Battle of Britain London Monument – S/Ldr. H L Hayes

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – S/Ldr. H L Hayes

 

Herbert Leonard Hayes was commissioned in the Royal Navy in 1923. He was attached to the RAF in March 1928 and granted a temporary commission as a Flying Officer. This attachment ceased on 30th October 1933.

He was re-attached to the RAF on 25th November 1935 as a Flying Officer with seniority to date from 14th March 1928. He returned to his Royal Navy duties on 28th October 1936 but was re-attached to the RAF on 16th November 1936, again as a Flying Officer. This attachment ceased on 26th July 1938.

Hayes rank in the RAF was made up to Squadron Leader on 1st September 1938, with seniority to date from 1st January 1938. His name appeared in the Air Force List until the end of 1942.

Hayes was posted to the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes on 27th July 1938 and then to HMS Frobisher on 3rd January 1939, a training cruiser used to receive new entrants to the Fleet Air Arm.

On 24th August 1939 Hayes went to Lee-on-Solent to form and command 710 (FAA) Squadron, equipped with Walruses. The squadron embarked on the seaplane carrier HMS Albatross on 1st September 1939 and arrived at Freetown, West Africa on the 8th. From there it operated as a Fleet Requirements Unit.

Hayes was made an OBE (gazetted 11th July 1940) as a Commander RN. He handed over command of 710 Squadron on 8th August 1940 and probably returned to the UK soon afterwards.

It would appear that Hayes flew an authorised operational sortie with 242 Squadron on 28th October 1940, patrolling the Maidstone-Sheerness area, thus qualifying him for the Battle of Britain clasp.

He was certainly not on the strength of 242 Squadron at the time.

His subsequent service is currently unknown but it is believed that he survived the war.

 

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