Corgi AA39204C Supermarine Spitfire MkI, R6891, DW-Q, 610 Sqn Biggin Hill, Sgt R.F. Hamlyn DFM, August 1940

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Flown by Sgt. R.F. Hamlyn DFM, who was also known as ‘The Pied Piper of Harrogate’ and became the RAF’s first ‘Ace in a Day’ of World War Two. He joined 610 squadron on the 6th June 1940. Hamlyn downed two enemy aircraft before the 24th August, but on this day he destroyed a Ju88 and four Bf109s to become an ‘Ace in a Day’. Hamlyn then destroyed Bf109s on the 26th, 27th, 28th and 30th Aug. He was awarded the D.F.M. on the 13th September 1940 and the A.F.C. on the 1st January 1943. He rose to the rank of Wing Commander and survived the war but sadly died on 7th May 1991. Formed at Hooton Park on the 10th February 1936, 610 squadron was initially a day bomber unit of the Auxiliary Air Force. On the 1st January 1939, the squadron was redesignated a fighter unit and at the outbreak of war was equipped with Hawker Hurricanes, and by the end of September 1939 Supermarine Spitfires. When the German offensive opened in May 1940, 610 squadron moved to Biggin Hill, then briefly to Gravesend and helped to provide fighter cover for the Dunkirk evacuation. During the Battle of Britain 610 squadron was attached to No.13 Group, operating from Biggin Hill, and was one of the units bearing the brunt of German attacks. The squadron put up a terrific show and forty enemy aircraft were confirmed as having been destroyed by 610 squadron during the month of August. The loss to the squadron was eleven pilots killed during the Battle.

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