The Airmen's Stories - P/O J A Sims
James Ayscough Sims, the grandson of a Royal Navy Commander, was born on 2nd October 1912, probably in Portsmouth, and attended Douai School.
His first choice was the Navy but he was not accepted and instead joined the RAF in September 1928 as an Aircraft Apprentice. He passed out in August 1931 as a Metal Rigger but later applied for pilot training and was selected.
He was serving with 3 Squadron at Biggin Hill at the outbreak of war. Sims was commissioned in April 1940 and he was a member of 'B' Flight when it went to France on 10th May 1940.
On 12th May he destroyed two Ju87s near Louvain, on the 19th he destroyed a He111 and on the 20th he shared in the destruction of another two He111s.
On 21st July 1940 'B' Flight of 3 Squadron was renumbered as 232 Squadron, when it was reformed at Sumburgh. Sims served with 232 in the Battle of Britain.
He was posted away to 2 CFS Cranwell on 27th December 1940 for a flying instructors course.
His subsequent service is currently undocumented but it is known that he stayed in the RAF postwar, retiring on 25th March 1959 as a Flight Lieutenant, retaining the rank of Squadron Leader.
Above: Sims served in Egypt at some time.
He subsequently worked diagnosing faults in motor vehicles and later as a telephone operator.
Sims died in 1970 in London.
Additional research and all photographs courtesy of Sims daughter Jan Rundall.