RAF No 65 (East India) Squadron Crest
RAF No 65 (East India) Squadron

RAF No 65 (East India) Squadron Spitfire photographs

Aircraft wreck of P7665 YTL seen here lying in a French scrapyard 01

Aircrew Luftwaffe pilots looking over the wreck of P7665 YTL left side 01

Aircrew Luftwaffe pilots looking over the wreck of P7665 YTL right side 01

Aircrew RAF Patrick Sherlock Hayes RAF Sgt 740268

Aircrew RAF Patrick Sherlock Hayes RAF Sgt 740268 02

Aircrew RAF Patrick Sherlock Hayes school photo

DH60M Gipsy Moth RAF K1892 undergoing maintenance photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

DH60M Gipsy Moth RAF photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Hawker Hart I RAF K2991 trainer photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Hawker Hart I RAF K3858 trainer photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Hawker Hart I RAF K3964 trainer photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Hawker Hart T RAF K6508 trainer photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Hawker Hart T RAF K6508 trainer photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 02

Hawker Hart T RAF K6511 and K6522 trainer photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Hawker Hart T RAF trainer refueling photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Hawker Hart T RAF trainers photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Mills Magister RAF L8135 trainer photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

RAF Gatwick Aerodrome photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

RAF Hornchurch 65Sqn digs photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

RAF Hornchurch 65Sqn digs photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 02

RAF Hornchurch 65Sqn digs photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 03

RAF Spitfire MkI and self portrait of Patrick Hayes who was later KIA July 7 1940 01

RAF Watch Office photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

RAF Watch Office photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 02

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn FZ line up RAF Hornchurch photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn FZL Stanford Tuck K9906 Hornchurch 1939

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn FZP photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn with damaged right undercarriage photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn with damaged right undercarriage photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 02

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn YTD K9907 sd by Bf 109 Dover SLdr Cooke KIA 8th Jul 1940 01

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn YTE K9911 sd by Bf 109 Dover Sgt Kirton KIA 8th Aug 1939 01

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn YTL K9906 photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn YTN photo taken by Patrick Hayes KIA July 7 1940 01

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn YTN R6712 YTM R6714 Hornchurch Aug 1940 IWM HU54421

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn YTN R6712 YTM R6714 Hornchurch Aug 1940 IWM HU54421

Three Spitfire Mk Is (including R6712, YT N, and R6714, YT M) of No. 65 Squadron, taking off from Hornchurch, August 1940. Note censor's marks on factory chimney behind.

Imperial War Museum IWM HU 54421 https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205059905

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn YTO K9912 Kenneth Hart shot down by Bf 109 Dunkirk 26th May 1940

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn YTO Kenneth Hart K9912 sd by Bf 109E over Dunkirk 26th May 1940 NIOD

Spitfire MkII RAF 66Sqn YTL P7665 England 1940 01

Spitfire RAF 65Sqn YTK force landed Dunkirk France 1940 01

Spitfire Mk Ia K9906 flown by Flt Lt R S Tuck of No 65 Sqn, Hornchurch, August 1939.
This aircraft served later with No 64 Sqn during the Battle of Britain before being withdrwan from active service to No 7 OTU. It became one of the Mk Is converted to PR III photoreconnaissance aircraft and was delivered to No 1 PR unit at RAF Benson. Tuck became the first Spitfire-ace achieving his fourth and fifth victories, both Do 17's, over Dunkirk on 24 May 1940.

Spitfire MkIa RAF 65Sqn 'East India' YT-O K9912 P/O Kenneth Hart damaged by Bf 109E after combat and force landed Dunkirk 26th May 1940. The Kenneth Hart destroyed the aircraft as best he could and managed to evade capture and returned to England during the Dunkirk evacuation.

K9912 Ia 130 EA MII FF 25-3-39 65S 'YT-O' 4-4-39 Damaged by Bf109 and crashlanded on beach Dunkerque 26-5-40 SOC 14-8-40 test bed for MIII and DeH 3-blade 2-speed prop
Mission: Circus.
Date: 5th February 1941.
Unit: No. 65 Squadron R.A.F. (East India Sqdn.)
Type: Spitfire Ia
Serial: P7665
Coded: YT-L
Location: St. Omer.
Pilot: P/O Geoffrey Hill. M.B.E. 745896 P.O.W. (See further information below)
Geoffrey Hill joined the R.A.F.V.R. in late 1938 as an airman u/t pilot and was called for full time service on September 1st 1939. He was posted to 3 ITW, Hastings in October, went to 11EFTS for his elementary flying training and then to 6 FS, Little Rissington to complete it. In June 1940 he joined 65 Squadron at Hornchurch and served throughout the Battle of Britain. Commissioned in November 1940.

REASON FOR LOSS: Circus 3. Shot down by ME109 near St. Omer. One of 9 aircraft lost on Circus 3, 4 Spitfires and 5 Hurricanes with the loss of 6 pilots KIA.

Book Reference: Flugzeug Classic 2010-06

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RAF wings

Wing Commander Roland Robert Stanford Tuck
DSO, DFC & Two Bars, AFC

Wing Commander Roland Robert Stanford Tuck DSO, DFC & Two Bars, AFC (1 July 1916 – 5 May 1987) was a British fighter pilot and test pilot. Tuck joined the RAF in 1935. Tuck first engaged in combat during the Battle of France, over Dunkirk, claiming his first victories. In September 1940 he was promoted to Squadron Leader and commanded a Hawker Hurricane squadron. In 1941 - 1942, Tuck participated in fighter sweeps over northern France. On 28 February 1942, Tuck was hit by anti-aircraft fire and forced landed in France and was taken prisoner. At the time of his capture Tuck had claimed 27 enemy aircraft destroyed, two shared destroyed, six probably destroyed, six damaged and one shared damaged.

Early years
Tuck was born of Jewish parents at Catford, SE London. After a less-than-stellar school career he left St Dunstan's College, Catford in 1932 to join the Merchant Navy as a sea cadet before joining the RAF on a short service commission in 1935. Following flying training, Tuck joined 65 Squadron in September 1935 and remained with them until May 1940 when he was posted to 92 Squadron, based at Croydon, as a Flight Commander flying Spitfires.

Battle of France
Tuck led his first combat patrol on 23 May 1940, over Dunkirk, claiming three German fighters shot down. The following day he shot down two German bombers and as aerial fighting intensified over the next two weeks his score rapidly mounted. Tuck was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on June 11 and received it from King George VI at RAF Hornchurch on June 28.

Battle of Britain
His combat successes continued into July and August as the Battle of Britain gathered pace, although he himself was forced to bail out on 18 August. While attacking a formation of Junkers Ju-88s over Kent he shot one down and damaged another. However, during the exchange his Spitfire was hit by return fire and he bailed out near Tunbridge Wells. In another incident on 25 August Tuck's Spitfire was badly damaged during combat with a Dornier Do 17 bomber, which he destroyed, 15 miles off the coast. His aircraft had a dead engine but he glided it back to dry land to make a forced landing.

On 11 September, during the height of the Battle of Britain, Tuck was promoted to Squadron Leader and posted to command the Hawker Hurricane-equipped No. 257 Squadron RAF based at RAF Coltishall. He led his squadron into combat through September and continued to claim further victories. His last two official victories of the Battle were on 28 October, where he claimed two “probable” Bf 109s. He received a Bar to his DFC on 25 October, and the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in January 1941. In March 1941, he was awarded a second Bar to his DFC, and in June he survived being shot down over the English Channel, being rescued by a Gravesend coal barge. Tuck claimed a total of seven destroyed, four probables and two damaged on the Hawker Hurricane.

He had an extraordinary piece of ill-fortune when he intercepted a German bomber heading towards Cardiff. He fired at extreme range in poor light, causing it to jettison its bombs in open countryside instead of on the city. The last of its stick of bombs caught one corner of an army training camp and killed one soldier. The soldier was the husband of Tuck's sister.

In July, 1941, Tuck was promoted to Wing Commander and appointed Wing Leader at RAF Duxford where he led fighter sweeps into northern France. After a brief trip to America with several other RAF Fighter Command pilots to raise awareness of Britain's war effort, he returned to a posting at RAF Biggin Hill as Wing Leader. It was while flying from Biggin Hill Tuck’s last aerial combat of the war occurred. On 28 January 1942, while on a low-level fighter sweep 'Rhubarb' mission over northern France, his Spitfire was hit by enemy ground-based flak near Boulogne and he was forced to crash land.

Prisoner of War
Captured by the very German troops he had been firing upon as his aircraft was hit, Tuck then spent the next couple of years in Stalag Luft III at Żagań (Sagan), before making a number of unsuccessful escape attempts from several other prisoner of war camps across Germany and Poland. In company with a Polish pilot, he finally escaped successfully on 1 February 1945 as his camp was being evacuated westwards from Russian forces advancing into Germany. Tuck's Russian, learned from his childhood nanny, was now crucial as he spent some time fighting alongside the Russian troops until he managed eventually to find his way to the British Embassy in Moscow. He eventually boarded a ship from Russia to Southampton, England.

With the war now over, he received his final decoration, a Distinguished Flying Cross from the United States Air Force on 14 June 1946, before he finally retired from the RAF and active service on 13 May 1949 as a Wing Commander. His final accredited aerial kills numbered 27 and two shared destroyed, one and 1 shared unconfirmed destroyed, six probables and six and one shared damaged.
Later life

Following retirement Tuck continued flying as a test pilot, including working on the RAF's long-serving English Electric Canberra, before he found peace and contentment on his mushroom farm in Kent, choosing to shun the publicity enjoyed by some of his better known Battle of Britain comrades.

Tuck also worked as a technical adviser to the film Battle of Britain (1969) and eventually developed a close friendship with the German fighter pilot Adolf Galland.
Robert Stanford Tuck died on 5 May 1987 at the age of 70.
Memorials

On 9 May 2008, a plaque was unveiled in Tuck's memory at the Parish Church of St Clement, Sandwich, Kent.

Web Reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Stanford_Tuck

Hornchurch England Map

    Magazine References: +

  • Airfix Magazines (English) - http://www.airfix.com/
  • Avions (French) - http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/rubrique10.html
  • FlyPast (English) - http://www.flypast.com/
  • Flugzeug Publikations GmbH (German) - http://vdmedien.com/flugzeug-publikations-gmbh-hersteller_verlag-vdm-heinz-nickel-33.html
  • Flugzeug Classic (German) - http://www.flugzeugclassic.de/
  • Klassiker (German) - http://shop.flugrevue.de/abo/klassiker-der-luftfahrt
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://boutique.editions-lariviere.fr/site/abonnement-le-fana-de-l-aviation-626-4-6.html
  • Le Fana de L'Aviation (French) - http://www.pdfmagazines.org/tags/Le+Fana+De+L+Aviation/
  • Osprey (English) - http://www.ospreypublishing.com/
  • Revi Magazines (Czech) - http://www.revi.cz/

    Web References: +

  • History of RAF Organisation: http://www.rafweb.org
  • History of RAAF: http://www.airpages.ru/eng/ot/raaf_01.shtml
  • Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/

 

This webpage was updated 6th June 2021