Battle of Britain London Monument – P/O P W Arbon

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – P/O P W Arbon


Paul Wade Arbon was born in Sydenham, South London on 8th February 1921 and educated at Brockley County School. He joined the RAF on a short service commission and commenced flying training at 13 E&RFTS White Waltham on 23rd January 1939. He subsequently went to 11 E&RFTS Scone and 6 FTS Little Rissington.

His first posting on 20th November 1939 was No. 1 School of Army Co-operation, Old Sarum for a short course after which he went to the Pilots Pool at Andover in early January 1940. Arbon returned to Old Sarum on the 16th of the month, when he joined 16 Squadron. Equipped with Lysanders, the squadron went to France on 8th April but was withdrawn on 19th May.

Arbon volunteered for Fighter Command and was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down on 8th September. On the 26th he joined 85 Squadron at Church Fenton. He left the squadron on 15th June 1942 and went soon afterwards to 54 OTU Charter Hall as an instructor.

A return to operations came on 31st January 1943 when Arbon went to 29 Squadron at West Mailing as a Flight Commander. Awarded the DFC (gazetted 14th April 1944), he took command of the squadron on 29th April 1944 as an Acting Wing Commander.

With his tour completed, Arbon was posted to RAF Bradwell Bay as Station Commander on 11th July 1944. He moved to RAF Hunsdon to command on 22nd March 1945 but a month later was appointed to a staff job at HQ Transport Command. Arbon was posted to 216 Group, Heliopolis on 11th June 1945, taking command of 249 Wing at Bari two weeks later.

He returned to England at the end of the year and was released in 1946 as a Wing Commander.

Arbon started an Auction and Estate Agency business in Hertfordshire. In 1967 he was elected as first President of the National Association of Estate Agents. The Association’s HQ in Warwick is called Arbon House.

He died on 21st November 1968 after a car accident in France.


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