Battle of Britain London Monument – S/Ldr. F P R Dunworth

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – S/Ldr. F P R Dunworth

 

Felix Patrick Raphael Dunworth was born on 15th April 1909, he joined the RAF on a short service commission in October 1929 and began his flying training at 3 FTS Grantham on 26th October.

With his training completed, he joined 25 Squadron at Hawkinge on 8th October 1930.

On 17th September 1932 he was involved in a mid-air collision that was reported in the press as follows:

A Royal Air Force Pilot involved today in a mid-air collision 5000 feet up remained long enough in the cockpit of his crashing machine to guide it away from where children were playing in a village street below. Not till then did he make a jump to safety, his parachute eventually catching in a cluster of London – Paris telephone wires.


The pilot was Flying-Officer FPR Dunworth of the 25th Fighter Squadron, stationed at Hawkinge (Kent). He was badly shaken and received cuts on the wrist. Nine aircraft of the squadron were flying in formation over the village of Newington when suddenly his machine collided with another, in which was Pilot Officer AE Clouston.

I was watching the flight‘ Mr. J Constable, a RAC scout, who witnessed the accident, said ‘when I saw two of the machines come too close together and touch. The wing of one crumpled immediately and it came falling to earth at terrific speed in a spiral dive. But the pilot kept his head splendidly, shut off his engine before he leaped out and somehow managed to steer the aircraft away from the street and cottages below. The street was full of playing children at the time.

The machine crashed in a field fifty yards away, just missing a pylon carrying electric wires of 13200 volts.

Pilot-Officer Clouston meanwhile managed to land safely, although pieces of the wreckage of the other machine were clinging his aircraft and his propeller was split in two.

Dunworth was appointed personal assistant to the AOC Fighting Area at Uxbridge on 24th April 1933.

With his service completed, he went on to the RAFO on 11th October 1934, becoming a civilian instructor at No. 1 E&RFTS Hatfield.

Recalled on 1st September 1939, Dunworth was appointed a flying instructor at 11 FTS Shawbury.

On 11th August 1940 he went to 7 OTU Hawarden and after converting to Spitfires joined 66 Squadron at Coltishall on the 23rd as a supernumerary. Dunworth was slightly wounded on 4th September in combat over the Thames Estuary and made a forced-landing at Great Cowbridge Farm, near Billericay, in Spitfire N3044.

He was posted to 54 Squadron at Catterick on 7th September, again as a supernumerary.

He was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader and given command of the squadron on the 18th. He was posted away to 5 FTS Sealand on 8th January 1941.

Dunworth was awarded the AFC (gazetted 3rd April 1945) and released from the RAF in 1946 as a Wing Commander.

He died in 1982.

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