Malvern College Second World War Casualty

F/Lt. William Henry Cromwell Warner

House and time at Malvern: Sch, 1932 - 1937.

Regiment: R.A.F..
Died: 16 August 1940 aged in Channel. Shot down over the Channel.
Battle: Battle of Britain: July – October 1940. Cemetery: Runnymede Memorial Panel 5.

Son of L. A. P. Warner, Yew Tree, Poplar Rd, Oxton, Birkenhead.
School Prefect. Swimming Colours (1935-37). Sergt. In Corps.

610 Sqdn. Royal Air Force (Auxiliary Air Force)
The squadron flew Spitfires, and was based at RAF Biggin Hill, taking part in the Battle of Britain, and being one of the units that bore the brunt of German attacks.

'He was in the R.A.F. Reserve as qualified pilot before the War and was called up at once. He took part in the first heavy week's fighting in the Channel off Dover and was shot down over the sea on August 16th. On the previous day his squadron, under his leadership, had destroyed ten of the enemy in the morning and three in the afternoon. Naturally modest and with an unfailing spirit of cheerfulness, his steadiness and equanimity made him as popular with his Squadron as in his House at Malvern. (F.S.P.) ' (Malvernian, Dec 1940).

Combat report:
Date: 27.5.40. Time: 19:05. Flight A. Sqdn: 610. South of Dunkirk
One HE 111 was attacked by three aircraft and when I attacked it, it was pouring out smoke from both engines. I gave a short burst of about 2 seconds, and had to break away owing to the e/a going to slowly. He used no evasive tactics. After that we were attacked by ME 110’s and we broke up and selected our own targets. I attacked one formation and then saw one on my own tail. I turned and got a deflection shot in at another and broke away. Another came on my tail and followed me down to about 15,000 feet when I got away in the smoke which was coming from Dunkerque and returned to base. My a/c was hit twice once at the root end of the airscrew and once through the tip of the port main –plane.
Date: 29.5.40. Time: 17:30. Flight A. Sqdn: 610. South of Dunkirk. Aircraft: Spitfire
I attacked 1 ME 109 near Dunkirk and gave it about an eight second burst. This aircraft seemed to dive very steeply and a plume of smoke came from it. The aircraft may possibly have been damaged. I broke off that engagement and attacked another and finished my remaining ammunition. I then set course for base. Half way over the channel, an E.A. Me 109 attacked me twice and shot a hole in my petrol tank at the bottom and another in the radiator. I force landed the aircraft N.E. of Dover.
After the first attack on my return journey, I climbed into a cloud, and the E.A. must have followed me, as when I came out he delivered another attack and shot my glycol radiator. On landing I inspected the aircraft and found sixteen holes, three of which I presumed to be cannon. The control wires of the starboard aileron had also been cut in two.

Combat reports

Landing accident with Hurricane in 1939