Battle of Britain London Monument – F/Lt. H M FERRISS

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – F/Lt. H M Ferriss

 

Born at Lee, London on August 1st 1917, Henry Michael Ferriss was educated at St Joseph’s, Blackheath and Stoneyhurst College. He began flying with the University Air Squadron while he was at London University in 1935. He was later a medical student at St Thomas’ Hospital.

Ferriss joined the RAF on a short service commission in July 1937. He was posted to 6 FTS, Netheravon on September 18th and joined 111 Squadron at Northolt on May 7th 1938. He shared in probably destroying a He111 on April 8th 1940 and shared another on the 10th. During patrols over France in May, Ferriss destroyed three Me110’s and probably a fourth on the 18th, claimed a Me109 destroyed on the 31st and shot down two Me109’s on June 6th. He destroyed a Me109 and shared a Do17 on July 10th, damaged a He59 down on the sea on the 28th, shot down a Do17 and damaged another on August 13th and probably destroyed another Do17 on the 15th.

In a head-on attack over Marden on August 16th 1940 Ferriss collided with a Do17 and was killed. He crashed on Sheephurst Farm, in Hurricane R4193. The Do17, of 7/KG76, crashed at Moatlands, Benchley, Paddock Wood.

Ferriss is buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Chislehurst, Kent.

Ferriss featured in a remarkable set of photographs taken by a newspaper, however the article, under wartime conditions, simply describes the location as ‘in the North’. Since the declaration of war 111 had been based at Acklington in Northumberland. On the 29th November 1939, whilst patrolling 8 miles off the coast near Alnwick, the CO, S/Ldr Broadhurst, shot down a Heinkel He111. This became the first aerial victory of WW2 for the squadron but, hampered by heavy rain and thick fog, the squadron moved further North to Drem and by February 1940 all the way to Wick in Scotland so it would seem that either of the latter locations are a candidate..

 

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