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The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. J Worrall


John Worrall was born on 9th April 1911 in Bombay, India and educated at Cranleigh School. He entered the RAF College Cranwell in January 1930 as a Flight Cadet.

Worrall graduated in December 1931 with a permanent commission and then joined No. 1 Squadron at Tangmere.



He was posted to 208 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at Heliopolis on 28th February 1933, remaining with it until 7th October 1936, when he went to the School of Oriental Studies in Peking for language studies.

Worrall returned to the UK in 1939. He joined RAF Biggin Hill on 15th December 1939 and then joined 32 Squadron there on 30th April 1940 as a supernumerary. He took command on 6th May.

On 20th May he damaged a Hs126 and on 19th July he probably destroyed a Me109. On 20th July Worrall damaged three Ju87s.

The engine and gravity tank of his Hurricane, N2532, were badly damaged in the combat off Dover. He made a forced-landing near Hawkinge and the aircraft burned out.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 6th August 1940).

On 15th August Worrall shared in destroying a Me110. On the 16th he relinquished command of 32 to go to the Control Room at Biggin Hill as Senior Controller.

For the remainder of the war Worrall was on staff duties at Fighter and Transport Commands. He received a Mention in Despatches in 1944.

He attended the RAF Staff College in 1945.

He subsequently held several staff appointments in the Middle East and later commanded West Malling and then Kai Tak in Hong Kong, where his knowledge of Chinese came in useful.

Worrall was made a CB in 1963 and retired from the RAF on 5th August 1963 as an Air Vice-Marshal.

He later went to live in Spain and died there on 14th January 1988.

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