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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J E J Sing


John Eric James Sing was born in Bristol on 21st October 1916 and educated at St. Pauls School. He joined the RAF on a short service commission in October 1935 and was posted to 2 FTS Digby on 2nd November.

After completing his training, Sing joined 111 Squadron at Northolt in late 1936. On 8th March 1937 he moved to 213 Squadron, also at Northolt, at its formation.

On 15th September 1938 Sing was aloft from Wittering in Magister L8263 of 213 Squadron with AC2 R Humphreys. Over Stamford they collided with Gloster Gauntlet K7840 flown by P/O B van Mentz, also of 213 Squadron.

All three men baled out safely. However the Gauntlet fell on a house in Stamford, killing Miss Violet Mary Russell, aged 22.

A subsequent inquest returned a verdict of accidental death.

Sing was appointed 'A' Flight Commander on 3rd December 1938 and promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant on 16th September 1939.



When a 213 detachment went to France on 17th May 1940, Sing was in hospital having his appendix removed.

He destroyed a Me109 on 8th August 1940, two Me110s on the 12th, a Me109 on the 13th, two Me110s and a Ju87 on the 15th and a Ju88 over Newton Abbot on the 20th.

During a combat over Selsey Bill on 11th September Sing damaged a Me110 but his own aircraft was damaged in a surprise attack and he baled out, unhurt. His Hurricane, P3780, crashed into the sea.

On the 15th he destroyed a Do17, on the 25th he shared in damaging a Do17 and on the 27th shared in the destruction of a Me110.

Sing was posted to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge for instructor duties on 6th October and was awarded the DFC (gazetted 22nd October 1940).

In October 1941 Sing reformed 153 Squadron at Ballyhalbert from 'A' Flight of 256, with Defiants. He left the squadron in March 1942, went to 501 Squadron at Ibsley in June 1942 as a supernumerary Squadron Leader and took command of 152 Squadron at Wittering in September.

Sing took the squadron to North Africa in November 1942 and on the 25th he damaged a Fw190. He led 152 until April 1943. After his return from North Africa he was posted to 56 OTU Tealing as Wing Commander Training Wing.

Sing retired from the RAF on 23rd October 1962 as a Wing Commander.

He died on 9th March 1996.


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