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'Dopey' Davies - shot down and baled out over Brabourne, Ashford

Peter Frederick McDonald Davies was born on 11th August 1919 in Crudgington, Shropshire and joined the RAF on a short service commission. He began his elementary training on 12th July 1937.

On 18th September he was posted to 2 FTS Brize Norton and, after his course, he joined the RAF Ferry Flight at Cardington.

From Hucknall on 28th July 1939 Davies joined 56 Squadron at North Weald.

Image courtesy of the Graham Saunders Archive.

On 6th June 1940 a joint 56/151 Squadron formation took off from North Weald at 1215 to patrol Abbeville and Amiens. The first stage was uneventful and the formation refuelled at Rouen/Boos. On the return Davies, in Hurricane P3579, became involved in a combat with six Me109s. Out of ammunition, he took refuge in cloud. On emerging he was out of fuel and had to make an emergency landing in a grass field about 15 miles north of Le Havre. French civilians came to assist and a farmer offered to drive him to a French Air Force base near Le Havre. The staff there appeared to be inebriated and refused to supply any fuel. Seeking help in the town, Davies made contact with a Canadian Army Liaison Officer. After waiting for it to get dark, the three men drove to the unguarded fuel dump at the airfield and loaded their car with as many jerrycans as it could hold. Returning to his Hurricane, the same local civilians assisted in refuelling the aircraft and readying a makeshift take-off run. The following morning Davies was able to take off and hedge-hop to the coast before flying at low level over the sea to land at Tangmere. He returned to North Weald later on the 7th June. His family had already received a telegram to say he was Missing.

On 13th August 1940 he was shot down in combat with Me109s. His Hurricane, P2692, was set on fire and he baled out at 20,000 feet over Brabourne, Kent with burns on his hands, arms and legs and minor burns to his face. He was admitted to Ashford General Hospital.

His injuries resulted in his being re-categorised for non-operational flying only.

Davies went on ferry pilot duties in December 1940.

Davies resigned his commission on 11th August 1958 as a Squadron Leader.

He died in April 1993 in Chichester.

Photos and text courtesy of Battle of Britain Monument website

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