Traces of World War 2 
RAF - No. 609 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 2 February 2008

609 SQUADRON - Fighter, Supermarine Spitfire Mk I

History | Operations and losses | Sources | Links | Books | Questions and/or remarks

No 609 Squadron was formed on 10 February 1936 at Yeadon as a day bomber unit of the Auxiliary Air Force. It began to receive Harts in June and these were replaced by Hinds before the squadron was redesignated a fighter unit on 8 December 1938. No fighters were received until the arrival of Spitfires at the end of August 1939, with war only days away.

After defensive duties in the north, No 609 moved to south-east England in May 1940 and flew patrols over Dunkirk to cover the evacuation of the BEF. It remained in the south throughout the Battle of Britain and began taking part in offensive sweeps over France in February 1941.


even 'official' Americans flew in Fighter Command in the summer of 1940:
Pilot Officer Arthur Donahue, 64 Squadron
Pilot Officer J.K. Haviland, 153 Squadron
Pilot Officer W.M.L. Fiske, 601 Squadron
Pilot Officer Vernon Keough, 609 Squadron
Pilot Officer Phil Leckrone, 616 Squadron
Pilot Officer Andrew Mamedoff, 609 Squadron
Pilot Officer Eugene Tobin, 609 Squadron

Drem 10 January 1940
Northolt 19 May 1940
Middle Wallop 5 July 1940

Commanding Officers
Squadron Leader M.T. Avent, 28/12/1939-28/06/1940
Squadron Leader H.S. Darley, 28/06/1940-04/10/1940

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Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940
Not all operations listed; those with fatal losses are. (June incomplete)

30/05/1940: ?. 1 KIA or DOW
: Dunkirk, F. 3 Planes lost, 2 MIA
01/06/1940: Dunkirk, F. 2 Planes lost, 2 MIA

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30/05/1940: ?

Type: Spitfire Mk. I
Serial number: ?, PR-?
Operation: Dunkirk?
Lost: 30/05/1940
Flying Officer (Pilot) George D. Ayre, RAF (AAF) 90330 (Newfoundland), 609 Sqdn., age 25, 30/05/1940, Northwood Cemetery, UK

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31/05/1940: Dunkirk, F

Type: Spitfire Mk. I
Serial number: L1081, PR-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 31/05/1940
Flying Officer John C. Gilbert, RAF (AAF) 90327, 609 Sqdn., age 27, 31/05/1940, missing
Shot down by a Me109.

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Type: Spitfire Mk. I
Serial number: N3202, PR-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 31/05/1940
Flight Lieutenant Dudley P. Joynt, RAF (AAF) 90322 (Ireland), 609 Sqdn., age 30, 31/05/1940, missing
On patrol duty over Dunkirk he was seen to dive in his Spitfire to attack a He111. Biography and photo on BBC WW2 People's War

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Type: Spitfire Mk. I
Serial number: L1087, PR-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 31/05/1940
Sgt G.C. Bennett.
Bailed out after being damaged by an Me109. Rescued.

The missing pilots are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

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01/06/1940: Dunkirk, F

Type: Spitfire Mk. I
Serial number: L1058, PR-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 01/06/1940
Flying Officer Joseph Dawson, RAF (AAF) 90331, 609 Sqdn., age 24, 01/06/1940, missing

Shot down by a Me110.

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Type: Spitfire Mk. I
Serial number: N3222?, PR-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 01/06/1940
Flying Officer Ian B.N. Russell, RAF 37869, 609 Sqdn., DFC, age unknown, 01/06/1940, missing
Shot down by a He111?

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609 Squadron & Association Website
609 Squadron RAF (in Dutch and English; Belgian pilots in the RAF)
The Battle of Britain: The American Connection - David Alan Johnson
Ciel de Gloire - Squadron 609
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Royal Air Force - 609 Squadron
RAF Battle of Britain - 609 Squadron
RAF - Campaign Diary - The Battle of France (May-June 1940)
RAF Museum: British Military Aviation in 1940
RAF Order of Battle, France, 10th May 1940
Royal Air Force History Section
The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945
The Second World War - a day by day account

War over Holland


R Beaumont 'Flying to the limit' (1942) (PSL 1996)
Bell 'To live among heroes: a medical officers insight into the life of 609 Sqn in NW Europe 1944-45' (Grub St 2001)
Ernshaw/ J D Vector '609 at war 1939-45' (2003)
E. Lanchbery 'Against the Sun' (biog of Roland Beamont)
Thomas 'Firestorm: Typhoons over Caen, 1944' (2007)
F Ziegler 'Story of 609 Squadron: under the white rose' (MacDonald 1971)


Air Aces
Airwar over Denmark
Allied World War II Casualties in the Netherlands
Australian Wargraves
De Belgen in Engeland 1940-1945 (in Dutch)
Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeological Team
British Aviation Archaeological Council - Books and research links
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
Håkans aviation page (from Sweden, in English)
'High flight', poem by John Gillespie Magee
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, poem by W.B. Yeats
Jagdgeschwader 27 (in German)
Luchtoorlog ('Arial War', in Dutch, with many photos)
The National Ex-Prisoners of War Association
Nordic Aviation during WW2 aircraft of WW2
Polish Air Force 1940-1947 Operations Record Books
RAF Battle of Britain
De Slag om de Grebbeberg
Warbird Alley
World War II Aircraft wrecksites in Norway

The Aerodrome - Aces and Aircraft of World War 1

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This page is dedicated to the men of 609 Squadron.

© Bart FM Droog / Rottend Staal Online 2008. Permission granted for use of the data gathered here for non commercial purposes, if this source is mentioned with a link to