610 (County of Chester) Squadron was formed in February 1936 as a bomber squadron. With personnel recruited from the local area for the expanding Auxiliary Air Force, these `weekend fliers’ were moulded into a cohesive fighting unit at Hooton Park, Cheshire. However, as the Second World War loomed, 610 Squadron transferred to Fighter Command, ultimately operating the iconic Supermarine Spitfire. Flying from Gravesend, 610 Squadron suffered seven pilots killed and one wounded whilst desperately protecting the Dunkirk evacuation. The Squadron then played a key role in the Battle of Britain, claiming a heavy toll on the Luftwaffe whilst operating from Biggin Hill and Hawkinge. After further tragic losses, 610’s veterans moved to Acklington, Northumberland, to train replacement pilots.
The author has produced a this book after meticulous research. He has untangled the frequent errors in official documents, added private reminiscences and other archive materials to create the detail of the life of this squadron from its formation in 1936 to the end of 1940. He also provides a tantalising look at what the future held in store.
As well as facts and figures, he provides a picture of the squadron, and the characters and talents of the men that were members of it, not just the pilots, but ground staff as well.