It is believed that 90 Flight Cadets took part in the Battle of Britain.

26 were killed in action, a mortality rate of  28.9%*.

They were responsible for shooting down 116 enemy aircraft.

By the outbreak of the Second World War some 1,094 Flight Cadets from 43 Entries had passed out of the RAF College into the Royal Air Force.

Of that total 90 cadets from 29 of these 43 entries carried out at least one operational sortie in the Battle between 0001hrs on 1st July and 2359 hrs on 31st October 1940.

The Battle of Britain clasp to the 1939-45 Star was awarded on the basis of at least one authorised operational sortie with an eligible unit of the RAF during the period from 0001 hours on 10 July to 2359 hours 31 October 1940.

As a result 88 Flight Cadets qualified for this recognition.

They included:

2 Wing Commander Station Commanders who flew with their Squadrons,

the Wing Commander Officer Commanding the Fighter Interception Unit (whose role developing airborne radar/night fighting became increasingly important as the night blitz intensified),

27 Squadron Commanders.

They were deployed:

             On Squadrons in 11 Group: 41

                                           10 Group: 23

                                           12 Group: 14

                                           13 Group: 14          

Of the aircraft types they flew:

            3 were on Defiants    8 on Blenheims/Beaufighters   34 on Spitfires    and 39 on Hurricanes

In actions sustained (including friendly fire), but survived, 19 aircraft were cat 3 (write offs).

A total of 116 enemy aircraft were shot down:

            11½  Do17s   2½  Do215s   12 He111s   14½ Ju88s   9½ Ju87s

            46 Bf109s   17½ Bf110s   2½ Unidentified

B of B Fighter Aces**

                            Brian Kingcome CBF (9-36B) on 92 Sqn had the highest tally with 7

                            Aeneas MacDonell (9-32B)  OC 64 Sqn: 6½

With a tally of 6 each were:

                            Harold Atkinson (9-37B) on 213 Sqn

                            Charles Davis (4-39B) on 238 Sqn

                            Henry Hogan (1-29 B) OC 501

                            Peter Townsend (9-33B) OC 85 Sqn

With 5 each:

                            John Badger (9-31B) on 43 Sqn    

                            Timothy  Vigors  (1-39B) on 222 Sqn

After the Battle

Of the 64 survivors a further 19 (29.7%) ‘Cadets’ were killed in action later in the war.

*In comparison the overall loss of life during the Battle by aircrew was significantly lower at 17.2%.

** 5 or more kills (The highest scorer in the Battle was Sergeant J Frantisek on 303 (Polish) Sqn with 17 credited kills

Research by Peter Symes

Based  primarily on the extensive data in "Battle over Britain"   by the late Francis K. Mason

FRHist,  ARHistS of 52  Entry and taking the names on the Memorial Wall at the Battle of  

Britain  Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne as the definitive  listing.  

View the Roll of Honour

The Battle of Britain

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. Winston Churchill