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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. H R Sutton


Harold Robert Sutton was born on 10th June 1914 and educated at Addey and Stanhope School. He joined the RAF on 1st September 1931 as an Aircraft Apprentice. He qualified as a Metal Rigger at No. 1 School of Technical Training in August 1934 and was posted to 111 Squadron at Northolt.

In October 1935 Sutton was serving with 41 Squadron in Aden, at the time of the Abyssinian crisis. The squadron returned to the UK in August 1936 and Sutton was posted to the Oxford University Air Squadron at Abingdon as a Rigger.

Sutton went to Henlow for a Fitter Class 1 course, after which he joined 75 Squadron at Honington as a LAC. In September 1938 he was posted to the Long Range Development Unit.

His long-submitted application for pilot training was approved and on 6th February 1939 Sutton began his initial training course at 11 E&RFTS Perth.

On 1st May he moved to 2 FTS Brize Norton and after completing his training joined 235 Squadron at Manston on 6th November 1939, soon after its reformation. Still with the squadron in 1940, Sutton was on a submarine-escort operation on 16th October when he sighted and destroyed a He60 floatplane.

In mid-March 1941 he was posted to 24 (Communications) Squadron at Hendon, was commissioned in June 1942 and remained with the squadron until September 1944.

He then went to 109 OTU, a Dakota conversion unit. During his time with 24 Squadron Sutton flew Lord Trenchard thirty-five times.

In December 1945 he went to HQ 47 Group Hendon and in February 1946 went to India as Engineering Officer at Jiwani. Sutton stayed in the RAF on an extended commission, retiring on 28th November 1953 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He died on 29th December 1998.

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