Traces of World War 2 
RAF - No. 610 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 27 January 2008

610 SQUADRON - Fighter, Supermarine Spitfire Mk I

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No 610 Squadron was formed at Hooton Park on 10 February 1936 as a day bomber unit of the Auxiliary Air Force. Initially equipped with Harts, it began flying training in May 1936 and in May 1938 re-equipped with Hinds.

On 1 January 1939, the squadron was redesignated a fighter unit but retained its Hinds in anticipation of the arrival of Defiants. On the outbreak of war it received Hurricanes, but by the end of September 1939 had exchanged these for Spitfires, becoming operational on 21 October. When the German offensive opened in May 1940, No 610 moved to Biggin Hill and helped to provide fighter cover for the Dunkirk evacuation beaches and shipping.

During the operations over the Dunkirk area between the 27th and 31st May 1940, were ten enemy aircraft confirmed as having been destroyed by the Squadron, for the loss of seven pilots.

The RAF-fighters on 27th May though present the entire day on one or other of the different patrol lines, were usually greatly outnumbered Eleven Spitfires of No. 74 Squadron, for instance, gave battle to thirty Do.17's and Me.109's; five Hurricanes of No. 145 Squadron attacked the rear section of a Do.17 formation only to find themselves set upon by twenty or thirty Me.110's; twenty Hurricanes and Spitfires of Nos. 56 and 610 Squadrons, trying to pick off a single He.111, at once ran into thirty or forty Me.110's. But though our fighters could not prevent the enemy reducing the town and port of Dunkirk to rubble, they certainly spoiled his aim against the targets that mattered most—the harbour moles and the ships. For the damage did not, in spite of first impressions, make evacuation from the port impossible; and though there were a dozen concerted assaults against our vessels, as well as many individual attacks, not more than two ships were sunk.

During the Battle of Britain No. 610 Squadron operated from Biggin Hill, Hawkinge, and, on one occasion, from Croydon. The Squadron put up a terrific show and 40 enemy aircraft were confirmed as having been destroyed by 610 Squadron during August. The loss to the Squadron was eleven pilots killed during the Battle.

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

27/05/1940: Dunkirk, F. 2 Planes lost, 1 KIA, 1 MIA
29/05/1940: Dunkirk, F. 4 Planes lost, 1 KIA, 3 MIA
31/05/1940: Dunkirk, F. 2 Planes lost, 1 MIA
29/06/1940: ? 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA

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27/05/1940: Dunkirk

The Squadron's first major clash with the enemy was on 27th May when a Heinkel, protected by about 40 Me 110s, was engaged, The fight which ensued culminated in the Heinkel and three of its escorting fighters being shot down.

Type: Spitfire Mk I
Serial number: L1016, QW-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 27/05/1940
Flying Officer Albert R.J. Medcalf, RAF (AAF) 90339, 610 Sqdn., age 26, 27/05/1940, missing

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Type: Spitfire Mk I
Serial number: N3284, QW-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 27/05/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) William T. Medway, RAFVR 740320, 610 Sqdn., age unknown, 27/05/1940, Oostduinkerke Communal Cemetery, B

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29/05/1940: Dunkirk

Type: Spitfire Mk I
Serial number: ?, QW-T
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 29/05/1940
Squadron Leader (Pilot) Alexander L. Franks, RAF 26053, 610 Sqdn., A F C, age 32, 29/05/1940, Sage War Cemetery, D
C/O of 610 at Prestwick April 1940
. Shot down by a Me109.

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Type: Spitfire Mk I
Serial number: L1000, QW-R
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 29/05/1940
Flying Officer Gerald M.T. Kerr, RAF (AAF) 90336, , 610 Sqdn., age 30, 29/05/1940, missing
Shot down by a Me109.

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Type: Spitfire Mk I
Serial number: N3289, QW-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 29/05/1940
Flying Officer John K. Wilson, RAF (AAF) 90338, 610 Sqdn., age 32, 29/05/1940, missing
Shot down by a Me109.

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Type: Spitfire Mk I
Serial number: L1062, QW-L
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 29/05/1940
Sergeant Peter D. Jenkins, RAFVR 740830, 610 Sqdn., age 20, 29/05/1940, missing
Shot down by Flak. Bailed out over sea.

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31/05/1940: Dunkirk

Type: Spitfire Mk I
Serial number: N3274, QW-?
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 31/05/1940
Flying Officer Graham L. Chambers, RAF (AAF) 90343, 610 Sqdn., age unknown, 31/05/1940, missing.
Shot down by a Me109.

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Type: Spitfire Mk I
Serial number: ?, QW-E
Operation: Dunkirk
Lost: 31/05/1940
F/O G. Keighley. Shot down by a Me109. Bailed out, wounded, evacuated by sea.

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29/06/1940: ?

Type: Spitfire Mk I
Serial number: ?, QW-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 29/06/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) Ronald W. Haines, RAFVR 742106, 610 Sqdn., age 20, 29/06/1940, Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery, UK

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No. 610 (County of Chester) Squadron
No. 610 Squadron Diary - August 1940
Ciel de gloire - Squadron 610
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Fighter Command Air Combat Claims 1939-1945
Royal Air Force - 610 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


Wing Leader, J.Johnson (Hamlyn 1979)


Air Aces
Airwar over Denmark
Allied World War II Casualties in the Netherlands
Armée de l'Air - Order of Battle, 10th May 1940
Australian Wargraves
Axis History Factbook
De Belgen in Engeland 1940-1945 (in Dutch)
Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeological Team
British Aviation Archaeological Council - Books and research links
HMS Cavalier
CWGC Cemeteries Germany
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
Danish WW2 Pilots

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 Luftwaffe, 1933-1945
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
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
North East Diary 1939-1945
Wartime Leicester and Leicestershire

The Aerodrome - Aces and Aircraft of World War 1

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This page is dedicated to the men of 610 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