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The Airmen's Stories - P/O C A Woods-Scawen


Charles Anthony Woods-Scawen was born in Karachi, India on 18th February 1918, the son of Philip Neri Woods-Scawen (1881-1955) and Kathleen Florence Woods-Scawen (nee Kelly 1886-1926).

The family returned to England in 1924 after Kathleen became unwell. Charles and his brother Patrick were enrolled at the Salesian College, Farnborough.

Charles joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1938. He was posted to 6 FTS Netheravon on 21st May and joined 43 Squadron at Tangmere on 17th December.


Images above left courtesy 'Friends of the Few 1940'


Over Dunkirk on 31st May 1940 Woods-Scawen's Hurricane, L1592, was damaged in combat with Me109s. He returned to Tangmere with a rapidly overheating engine and made a belly-landing. On 1st June he damaged a Me109. Woods-Scawen baled out over France on the 7th, after a combat near Dieppe. He landed in German-held territory and had walked twenty miles before falling in with a retreating British column. Evacuated from Cherbourg, Woods-Scawen arrived back at Tangmere eight days after he took off.

On 8th August he claimed a Me110 destroyed and three Ju87s probably destroyed ten miles south of the Isle of Wight but his own aircraft was damaged and he landed back at Tangmere with slight shell splinter wounds in the legs.

On the 12th Woods-Scawen damaged a He111 and on the 13th claimed two Ju88s destroyed over Petworth but was himself shot down by return fire and baled out, unhurt. His Hurricane, R4102, crashed and burned out on Northend Farm, Milland, near Midhurst.

Woods-Scawen claimed another He111 destroyed on the 15th and two Ju87s on the 16th. On this day Woods-Scawen was shot down by a Me109 off the Sussex coast and baled out, slightly injured. His Hurricane, N2621, crashed near Parkhurst, Isle of Wight.

Woods-Scawen claimed a Me109 destroyed on 30th August. He was shot down in combat with Me109s on 2nd September but baled out too low and was killed. His Hurricane, V7420, crashed at Fryland, near Ivychurch.

Woods-Scawen was awarded the DFC (gazetted 6th September 1940).

He is buried in Folkestone New Cemetery, Kent. He was the younger brother of F/O PP Woods-Scawen, who had been killed the day before.


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