54 Squadron Royal Air Force

Formed at Castle Bromwich 16th May 1916 Motto: Audax omnia perpeti (Boldness to endure anything) Codes: DL (39-41, 42-45) KL (41-42) HF (45-48)
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RAF ground crew work on a Spitfire Mk VIII's Merlin engine at Darwin, Australia, c.1943.No. 54 (Spitfire) Squadron RAF, Darwin airfield in Northern Australia. Photographer: Argus newspaper, Melbourne Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

RAF ground crew work on a Spitfire Mk VIII's Merlin engine at Darwin, Australia, 54 (Spitfire) Squadron RAF, Darwin airfield in Northern Australia. Photographer: Argus newspaper, Melbourne Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

Pilots of No 54 Squadron RAF gathered round a Supermarine Spitfire Mark IIA at Rochford, Essex. On the wing sits their Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader, Robert Findlay Boyd DFC & bar, with the squadron mascot "Crash". ca. April 1941

Pilots of No 54 Squadron RAF gathered round a Supermarine Spitfire Mark IIA at Rochford, Essex. On the wing sits their Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader, Robert Findlay Boyd DFC & bar, with the squadron mascot "Crash".

Ground crewmen prepare a Spitfire Mk. IIa of No. 54 Squadron RAF at RAF Hornchurch, Essex, in May 1941, while a group of pilots in the foreground pause to discuss tactics.

Preparing for battle: As ground crewmen inspect a Supermarine Spitfire fighter plane in a deserted field outside of London in 1941 pilots di.

On strength with No 54 Squadron RAF since 12 June 1940, Spitfire Mk I KL-O was flown by acting F/L Basil H "Wonky" Way from RAF Hornchurch on 25 July, when crashing into the Channel at 15.00hrs after being credited with an Me 109 destroyed 10m east of Dover. The 22-year-old pilot had achieved a personal score of 2 and 2 shared destroyed and 4 and 1 shared probably destroyed. His body was later washed up on a Belgian beach.

Spitfire Mk I versus Me 109 E performance comparison, wartime flight trials and data analysis.

Pair of Spitfires from No.54 Squadron. X4276 KL-B was the aircraft normally flown by the New Zealander Al Deere while withdrawn from the southeast of England to Catterick to rest and train new pilots to the Squadron. - Aviation Art by Alex Hamilton

54 Squadron Spitfires by Alex Hamilton A pair of Spitfires from Squadron. KL-B was the aircraft normally flown by the New Zeala.

Pilots of No 54 Squadron RAF

Pilots of No 54 Squadron RAF gathered round a Supermarine Spitfire Mark IIA at Rochford, Essex. On the wing sits their Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader, Robert Findlay Boyd DFC & bar, with the squadron mascot "Crash".

Leading No 54 Squadron RAF from RAF Hornchurch over the Dunkirk beaches on 24 May 1940, S/L Eric A Douglas-Jones lost consciousness at 32,000ft due to oxygen failure but regained consciousness again at 5,000ft in time to save himself and Spitfire Mk I KL-A. The 34-year-old South African had headed the first single-seat fighter sortie across the Channel at 10.35hrs 8 days earlier, patrolling the coastline from Ostend to Dunkirk for ½ hour.

Leading No 54 Squadron RAF from RAF Hornchurch over the Dunkirk beaches on 24 May 1940, S/L Eric A Douglas-Jones lost consciousness at 32,000ft due to oxygen failure but regained consciousness again at 5,000ft in time to save himself and Spitfire Mk I KL-A. The 34-year-old South African had headed the first single-seat fighter sortie across the Channel at 10.35hrs 8 days earlier, patrolling the coastline from Ostend to Dunkirk for ½ hour.

F/Sgt Phillip H Tew was posted to No 54 Squadron RAF at RAF Hornchurch, when the rest of No 65 Squadron RAF were moved to RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey in May 1940. The 27-year-old pilot claimed an Me 109 destroyed off Calais on 24 May, an Me 110 probably destroyed over Dunkirk 2 days later and a Do 17 destroyed on 28 May. An Me 109 was credited to him destroyed and an Me 110 shared on 8 August and an Me 110 shared on 18 August.

F/Sgt Phillip H Tew was posted to No 54 Squadron RAF at RAF Hornchurch, when the rest of No 65 Squadron RAF were moved to RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey in May 1940. The 27-year-old pilot claimed an Me 109 destroyed off Calais on 24 May, an Me 110 probably destroyed over Dunkirk 2 days later and a Do 17 destroyed on 28 May. An Me 109 was credited to him destroyed and an Me 110 shared on 8 August and an Me 110 shared on 18 August.

F/L Basil H "Wonky" Way of No 54 Squadron RAF was killed in combat off Dover on 25 July 1940, aged 22, immediately after destroying an Me 109 10m east of the Channel port. His body was washed up on a Belgian beach. During the fighting over Dunkirk in late May, he had been appointed to command B flight, having claimed 2 and 2 shared destroyed and 4 and 1 shared probably destroyed.

F/L Basil H "Wonky" Way of No 54 Squadron RAF was killed in combat off Dover on 25 July 1940, aged 22, immediately after destroying an Me 109 10m east of the Channel port. His body was washed up on a Belgian beach. During the fighting over Dunkirk in late May, he had been appointed to command B flight, having claimed 2 and 2 shared destroyed and 4 and 1 shared probably destroyed.

P/O John L "Johnny" Allen of No 54 Squadron RAF receives the DFC from King George VI at RAF Hornchurch on 27 June 1940. The award came on 11 June in recognition of the rescue of S/L Francis L "Drogo" White on 23 May when Allen and P/O Alan C "Al" Deere accompanied F/L James A "The Prof" Leathart to pick up the CO of No 74 Squadron RAF from Calais-Marck. Allen and Deere destroyed 3 and badly damaged 3 more. Allen downed 1 and damaged 2 others in Spitfire Mk I KL-A.

P/O John L "Johnny" Allen of No 54 Squadron RAF receives the DFC from King George VI at RAF Hornchurch on 27 June 1940. The award came on 11 June in recognition of the rescue of S/L Francis L "Drogo" White on 23 May when Allen and P/O Alan C "Al" Deere accompanied F/L James A "The Prof" Leathart to pick up the CO of No 74 Squadron RAF from Calais-Marck. Allen and Deere destroyed 3 and badly damaged 3 more. Allen downed 1 and damaged 2 others in Spitfire Mk I KL-A.

Operating from RAF Catterick on the afternoon of 25 October 1940, F/O Edward FJ "Jack" Charles of No 54 Squadron RAF survived unscathed after bailing out of Spitfire Mk I KL-D 2m southwest of the airfield when the engine malfunctioned during formation flying practice. The resultant clouds of black smoke gave the 21-year-old RCAF pilot the mistaken impression that the aircraft was on fire.

This Battle of Britain London Monument is an outstanding new sculpture commemorating

Spitfire Mk I KL-T is flown by F/O Colin F Gray from RAF Hornchurch in 1940. Taken on charge by No 54 Squadron RAF at RAF Rochford on 9 July, the aircraft was used by the 25-year-old New Zealander to claim 10 and 1 shared destroyed, 3 and 2 shared probably destroyed and 7 damaged between 13 July and 3 September.

Spitfire Mk I versus Me 109 E performance comparison, wartime flight trials and data analysis.

18th August - 54 Squadron's Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader James Leathart, taxis out at Hornchurch to prepare for take-off. Quickly following, the aircraft of New Zealander Colin Gray is guided out from dispersal by his ground crew. Gray would claim 3 Bf 110s in the encounter

Hornchurch Scramble by Robert Taylor - On August 1940 the Luftwaffe turned their full attention to the RAF's forward fighter bases and radar stations with the intent to obliterate them once and for all.

Pilots of A Flight rest at RAF Hornchurch as No 54 Squadron RAF went into action during the evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940. When acting F/L Alan C "Al" Deere (standing, first left) was forced down on a beach at De Panne on 28 May, the 22-year-old New Zealander was stopped and rasped at by an army major while joining a queue of soldiers on the mole, "For all the good you chaps seem to be doing, you might as well stay on the ground".

Pilots of A Flight rest at RAF Hornchurch as No 54 Squadron RAF went into action during the evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940. When acting F/L Alan C "Al" Deere (standing, first left) was forced down on a beach at De Panne on 28 May, the 22-year-old New Zealander was stopped and rasped at by an army major while joining a queue of soldiers on the mole, "For all the good you chaps seem to be doing, you might as well stay on the ground".

The Royal Flying Corp football team of No.54 Squadron RAF (1918)

Football in World War 1 The Royal Flying Corp football team of Squadron RAF line up for a team photograph in front of a Sopwith Camel aircraft,

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