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Eyre, Anthony

    Date of birth:
    1918 (Lowestoft/Suffolk, Great Britain)
    Date of death:
    February 10th, 1946
    Service number:
    90406
    Nationality:
    British (1801-present, Kingdom)

    Biography

    Anthony Eyre was commissioned in the Auxiliary Air Force in 1938 and was posted to No. 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron.
    The squadron moved to Merville in France on November 15th 1939.
    Eyre had three kills between 10 and 20 May.
    Eyre found a new role as courier. The War Ministry and the BEF could not trust their communications to wireless telegraphy. Eyre flew backwards and forwards in front of the German advance eventually getting home in a Gladiator on May 20, 1940.
    Back in England, the squadron was reequipped with Hurricanes and Eyre scored more victories during the Battle of Britain. On February 23th, 1941, the CO of No, 615, the Australian Raymond Holmwood, was killed. Eyre was then promoted to CO instead. In May 1941 he was posted to 12 Group HQ. In Februay 192 we was was appointed acting Wing Commander of 132 Wing at North Weald. On 8 March 1942 Eyre led his squadron on a bomber escort mission to France and was shot down.
    He spent the rest of the war as a PoW in Stalag Luft IIIa at Sagan in Silesia, until liberated in May 1945.
    After being repatriated, Eyre took over RAF Fairwood Common as CO.
    On Saturday 16 February 1946 he took off in a Tempest when he encountered an engine problem. He attempted to make a precautionary landing at RAF St Athan. During the approach of the runway, the engine stopped completely, causing the plane crashing and killing Eyre.

    Promotions:
    July 26th, 1938: Pilot Officer
    January 26th, 1940: Flying Officer
    January 26th, 1941: Flight Lieutenant
    December 1st, 1941: Squadron Leader

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Flying Officer
    Unit:
    Auxiliary Air Force
    Awarded on:
    August 20th, 1940
    Citation:
    "This officer has shot down seven enemy aircraft, and inflicted damage on several others. Whilst on service in France, he showed eagerness to fly on all occasions and during the winter his flying times exceeded fifty hours monthly. During the evacuation from France, Flying Officer Eyre was entrusted with an important message from England to France and successfully completed this mission, which required great coolness and presence of mind. He has at all times shown great devotion to duty."
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)

    Sources

    • Photo 1: Tom MacNeill
    • Photo: Tom MacNeill
    • - The London Gazette Issue 34935 published on the 30 August 1940
      - The Magazine Online Edition

    Photo