The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. G S ff POWELL-SHEDDEN
George ffOlliott Powell-Shedden was born on 1st April 1916 at Cowes and attended Wellington College from 1929 to 1933. He entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1934 but switched instead to the RAF College Cranwell in January 1935 as a Flight Cadet.
On 18th December 1936 he graduated with a permanent commission.
Powell-Shedden was posted to 47 Squadron at Khartoum on 11th January 1937.
On 9th August 1938 he changed his name by deed poll from George Shedden ffolliott Powell.
In September 1939 he was a Flight Commander with 33 Squadron at Mersa Matruh. Powell-Shedden returned to the UK in early June 1940 and on the 15th he arrived at 6 OTU for a refresher course.
He married Diana Eve Higgs on 27th June 1940 at Winthorpe Church, Newark.
After converting to Hurricanes he was posted to 242 Squadron at Coltishall on 30th June as 'B' Flight Commander. On 23rd July he destroyed a Ju88.
On 21st August he shared a Do17, on 7th September destroyed a Me109, on the 9th destroyed a Do17 and on the 15th destroyed a Do17 and shared another. Following this engagement he was shot down by Me109s over Rye, baled out and was admitted to Rye Hospital with a dislocated left shoulder. His Hurricane, P2884, crashed at Church Field, Udimore. He transferred to the RAF Hospital Rauceby on 20th September.
On 22nd November 1940 Powell-Shedden was posted to 258 Squadron, then forming at Leconfield, as a Flight Commander.
Above: the newly formed squadron.
Image courtesy of Joel Diggle.
He took command of 615 Squadron at Valley in April 1941.
On 19th July he arrived in Malta, with orders to form a new squadron. At the end of the month the Malta Night Fighter Unit came into being at Ta Kali, with Hurricanes.
During the night of 11th/12th August Powell-Shedden damaged a Fiat BR20 and on the 26th/27th two more BR20s. The MNFU was renamed 1435 (Night Fighter) Flight on 2nd December 1941 and Powell-Shedden handed over command.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 12th December 1941).
In January 1942 he was promoted to Acting Wing Commander and appointed Wing Commander Ops at Ta Kali and was given control of airfield serviceability. He later went to the Middle East.
In January 1944 Powell-Shedden joined 96 Squadron at West Malling as a supernumerary. He took command of 29 Squadron at Ford in March 1944, left in April and re-assumed command in July, leading the squadron until December 1944.
He was awarded the DSO (gazetted 27th April 1945) for leading many low-level night intruder missions in Mosquitos before and after D-Day with 100 Bomber Support Group.
In 1952 he received command of RAF Jever in Germany and from 1954 to 1957 served on the operational staff at Naples, before con-cluding his service career at the Air Ministry.
Powell-Shedden retired from the RAF on 20th March 1961 as a Group Captain, he joined the Stock Exchange and farmed in Buckinghamshire.
He died on 10th November 1994.