Battle of Britain London Monument – F/Lt. E C Deanesly

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – F/Lt. E C Deanesly

 

Edward Christopher Deanesly was born on 27th January 1910 in Wolverhampton and educated at Wellington College. He joined 605 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force in early 1937 and was commissioned on 18th March.

Called up on 24th August 1939, Deanesly was posted to 152 Squadron when it was reformed at Acklington on 1st October. He was still with the squadron in early July 1940. On the 25th he shared a Do17 and a Ju87. His Spitfire, K9901, was damaged by return fire from a Ju87, which punctured his glycol tank. He ditched in the Channel south of Portland, was picked up by the SS Empire Henchman, landed at Lyme Regis and admitted to hospital, wounded.

Deanesly was shot down again on 26th September during a combat with Me109’s twelve miles south of the Needles and baled out, wounded. He was rescued by a Royal Navy launch and landed at Swanage. His Spitfire, K9982, crashed into the Channel. After a spell in hospital, Deanesly became a Fighter Controller.

On 23rd November 1940 256 Squadron was reformed at Catterick with Defiants as a night-fighter unit and Deanesly joined it as a Flight Commander. Over the Birmingham area during the night of 10th/11th April 1941 Deanesly, with Sgt. WJ Scott (of New Zealand) as his gunner, destroyed a He111, on 3rd/4th May they shot down a Ju88 over Merseyside and also a Do17 which crashed in North Wales. On 7th/8th May they destroyed a He111 over Manchester.

 

Above: Deanesly (left) and Scott

 

Deanesly was awarded the DFC (gazetted 30th May 1941) and Scott the DFM. They were decorated by the King in October. Deanesly took command of 256 Squadron in September 1941 and led it until April 1942. He commanded RAF Castle Camps until October, being then posted to West Africa where he was involved with maintaining the aircraft ferry route from Takoradi to Egypt.

After commanding 298 Wing in the Middle East from January to August 1943, Deanesly took over 114 Wing until March 1944 when he was posted back to the UK. He became CFI at 107 OTU, Leicester East, training pilots on Dakotas for paratroop and glider-towing operations. Deanesly took command of 575 Squadron, equipped with Dakotas, in December 1944. He took part in the Rhine crossings in March 1945, towing a glider.

Deanesly was released trom the RAF in September 1945 as a Wing Commander. He died in 1998.

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