Battle of Britain London Monument – Sgt. E N Kelsey

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – Sgt. E N Kelsey

 

Eric Norman Kelsey, of Wyken, Coventry, joined the RAFVR about May 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. In September 1939 the FAA was short of pilots and after Kelsey was called up he was posted to Donibristle and joined the Torpedo-Spotter-Reconnaissance Flight.

He was later posted to 770 Squadron FAA for deck-landing training on HMS Argus in the Western Mediterranean. He was offered a transfer to the FAA but declined and was posted to 3 BGS, Aldergrove, as a staff pilot.

On 4th May 1940 Kelsey was recalled to the FAA and joined 759 (T) Squadron at Eastleigh for a refresher deck-landing course. He was later posted to 804 Squadron at Hatston. By mid-June the RAF was short of pilots and Kelsey was recalled and posted to 7 OTU, Hawarden.

After converting to Spitfires, he was posted to 611 Squadron at Digby on 1st July.

 

 

 

Back row standing: Sgt. Levenson, F/Lt. Macfie, Sgt. Burt, F/Lt. Scott -Malden, P/O CAT Jones, unknown, P/O DA Adams, Sgt. AS Darling, F/O B Heath, Sgt. EN Kelsey.


Middle sitting/crouching: F/Lt. DH Watkins, F/O WJ Jack Leather, F/O KM Stoddart, P/O PSC Pollard.


Front: P/O MP Brown.

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Within three weeks Kelsey was told to report to Uxbridge and he became one of a group of nine sergeants and one officer. They were flown to Hullavington, picked up Hurricanes, flew them to Abbotsinch and then embarked on the carrier HMS Argus, where they were joined by four more officers. They were told that their destination was Malta and they were now 418 Flight. The Argus sailed on 23rd July, arrived in Gibraltar and sailed for Malta on 31st July. At dawn on 2nd August they flew off to Luqa.

 

 

Above: Sgt. OR Bowerman (right) with Sgt. Kelsey

 

418 Flight and the Malta Fighter Flight were amalgamated to become 261 Squadron on 16th August 1940. Kelsey was reported Missing after being last seen chasing a Ju87 on 19th January 1941, in Hurricane P2629.

He was 20 years old and is commemorated on the Malta Memorial.

 

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