Battle of Britain London Monument – Sgt. J K Down

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – Sgt. J K Down


John Knight Down was born on 26th May 1917 at Failand, near Bristol. He joined the RAFVR on 5th July 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot and began his flying training at 39 E&RFTS Weston-Super-Mare.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he was posted to 5 ITW Hastings on 29th November. He moved to 11 EFTS Perth on 29th April 1940, went on to 15 FTS Brize Norton on 15th June and on 21st September he arrived at 7 OTU Hawarden where he converted to Spitfires.



Down joined 64 Squadron at Leconfield on 6th October. He moved to 616 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on the 13th and flew two operational sorties before the end of the month, on the 20th and 26th.

He was posted to 611 Squadron on 13th December and then to 91 Squadron at Hawkinge on 20th February 1941.



Whilst with 91, Down damaged two German aircraft. He was posted to 52 OTU Aston Down on 15th November 1941, was sent on an instructors course to CFS Upavon in January 1942, after which he continued to instruct at 52 OTU until he rejoined 91 Squadron in August 1942.

Commissioned from Warrant Officer in September, Down joined 1696 Flight, AFDU at Bourn in August 1943. He went to HQ ADGB, Kenley in May 1944 and was later with the Communications Squadron at Northolt.

He was posted to the Indian Air Force at Karachi in February 1945, later returning to the UK, where he was demobilised at RAF Rugeley on 30th November 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.


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