Battle of Britain London Monument – Sgt. R W Dalton

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – Sgt. R W Dalton


Ronald William Dalton was born on 24th August 1918. He joined the RAFVR about July 1939 as an Airman u/t Aircrew. Called up on 1st September 1939, he was training at No. 1 Air Observers Navigation School at Prestwick in January 1940.

However by July 1940 Dalton had moved to No. 1 AAS Manby on a gunnery course, on completion of which he was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down.



Above: his portrait was made by William Rothenstein


He joined 604 Squadron at Middle Wallop in late August but his first two operational patrols were not made until 26th October, the first with Sgt. Brown and the second with F/Lt. PCF Lawton.

When the squadron converted completely from Blenheims to Beaufighters after the Battle of Britain, Dalton was one of the air gunners who were retrained as radar operators on the squadron.

During the night of 5th May 1941 Dalton was flying with F/Lt. IKS Joll when they destroyed a Ju88 near Chawleigh, Devon, on 6th June they destroyed a Ju88, which crashed into the sea off Poole, on 8th June they damaged a He111 near Botley, Hampshire and in the early hours of 5th July they shot down a He111 near Oakford, Devon.

On 28th October 1941 Dalton was involved in the destruction of a Ju88, possibly flying with a F/Lt. Lee.

Dalton was awarded the DFM (gazetted 2nd December 1941) for displaying great skill in night operations.

Commissioned in January 1942, Dalton was still serving with 604 when he and F/Lt. W Hoy shot down a He111 west of Lands End just after midnight on 29th July 1942.

They destroyed a He177 south of Beachy Head during the night of 7th March 1943. In July 1943, with his tour completed, Dalton was posted away to 62 OTU as an instructor, later moving to 51 OTU.

He returned to operations on 24th June 1944 when he joined 25 Squadron at Coltishall and once again flew with Hoy, then a Squadron Leader.

They flew anti-V1 patrols and shot one down on 9th July. They also flew night patrols, high-level bomber-support and low-level intruder patrols but had no further success.

Dalton stayed on in the RAF after the war. He received a Mention in Despatches (gazetted 1st January 1946).

From September 1952 to November 1954 he was on exchange duty with the US Marine Corps in North Carolina and later California. He was later with 29 Squadron at Tangmere and made his last flight in December 1956.

Dalton retired from the RAF on 31st March 1958 as a Squadron Leader.

He died on 29th June 2004.


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