Battle of Britain London Monument – P/O R A Kings

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – P/O R A Kings

 

Robert Austin Kings was born on 22nd October 1914 and joined the RAFVR about July 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot and began training at 29 E&RFTS at Luton.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he was posted to 3 ITW Hastings on 13th December and moved on to 14 FTS Kinloss on 12th March 1940 and finished the course on 2nd August.

Kings went to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 7th August and after converting to Hurricanes was posted to 238 Squadron at St. Eval on the 31st.

 

 

He damaged a He111 on 25th September and was himself shot down by a Me110 in combat over the Isle of Wight on the 26th. Kings baled out, unhurt. His Hurricane, P3830, is believed to have crashed on Colemans Farm, Porchfield. He destroyed a He111 in the action.

Four days later he baled out again, after colliding with P/O VC Simmonds during a routine patrol. Kings was injured in a heavy landing because of a damaged parachute, which had ripped on the tail of his aircraft. His Hurricane, L1702, crashed near Shaftesbury.

Kings was admitted to hospital and did not rejoin 238 until 15th November 1940. However he was judged to be not fully fit and he was put on administrative duties and did not return again to 238 until 22nd December, this time fit to fly.

 

 

238 Squadron embarked on HMS Victorious on 17th May 1941, en route for the Middle East. However they disembarked when the carrier was added to the task force chasing the Bismarck. After returning to Scotland to refuel, it set off again for the Mediterranean.

On 14th June Kings flew off south of Majorca, heading for Malta. Refuelled, the squadron flew to Egypt the next day and on the 19th was attached to 274 Squadron in the Western Desert.

On 16th September 1941 the 238 pilots were flown to Takoradi, to fly back Hurricane 11cs. On 26th November Kings was shot down in a sweep over Sidi Rezegh and made a forced-landing in the desert. He was picked up by members of the 22nd Armoured Brigade and finished up in Tobruk.

Kings was posted to the ADU in the Delta on 30th April 1942 and remained with it until 17th May 1945 when he returned to the UK. In November 1945 he was posted to India, served at RAF Poona and Calcutta and returned to the UK in November 1947.

Later trained in Air Traffic Control and Radar duties, Kings retired from the RAF on 27th October 1964 as a Flight Lieutenant, retaining the rank of Squadron Leader.

He died on 1st May 2013.

 

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