Bio / Text:
Service No: 1461392 (Flight Sergeant)
Service No: 198805 (Flying Officer)
Grading Course at 11 EFTS, Perth (Australia) - completed 31 December 1942. Flying: DH82A (Tiger Moth)
Trained at 4 Air School, Benoni (South Africa): 19 July 1943 - 25 September 1943. Flying: DH82A (Tiger Moth)
Intermediate training at 25 Air School, Standerton (South Africa): 28 September 1943 - 18 February 1944. Flying: Harvard II & III, and Miles Master II.
Authorised to wear flying badge 18 February 1944.
First flew SPITFIRE V on 10 May 1944, at 73 OTU (Abu Sueir, Egypt and then Fayid, Egypt). His logbook lists five SPITFIRES by OTU number but not by serial number: they are listed as: 22, 31, 48, 49, 54. Others are listed as shown - with one exception. SPITFIRE V 'EE359' is listed twice: but is not recorded on this database. (ES359, perhaps? RAF records show EE359 as a MkIII Meteor...). At 73 OTU he flew Harvard IIA and SPITFIRE V (as listed).
Joined No5 RFU (Sinella, Italy) in 1944 - course ending 23 August included 'Aerobatics' and 'Battle formation' in SPITFIRE V (as listed). Key elements included: steep turns; tail chase; dive bombing and strafing; low flying. At this stage BCB had accumulated 304 hours and 55 minutes of flying time.
Blagdon Cecil BRITTON joined 145 Squadron (Loreto) on 28 August 1944. First Op on 30 Aug 'Sector recce' (SPITFIRE VIII JF838) under Sqn Ldr Neville Duke. His flying jacket was 'acquired' from an adjacent bomber Squadron, as 145 had outrun the supply chain; and the 'summer war' was cooling rapidly.
Flew from Fano from 2 Sep '44 (SPITFIRE VIII). Log entry for 16 Sep 1944 (re: SPITFIRE JF810) states "2 D.H. on A/C R/T and hydraulics U/S belly landed base." JF810 is possibly the aircraft pictured with damaged prop and cannons removed.
Flew from Bellaria from 2 Dec '44 (SPITFIRE VIII and SPITFIRE IX).
Flew from Treviso from 3 May 1945 - took part in the Desert Air Force fly past on 28 May.
Commissioned on 11 May 1945
Joined 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron in October 1945: flying first from Rosignano then Lavariano. Converted from SPITFIRE to Mustang on 19 October. His last flight in a SPITFIRE IX (PT957) was on 18 October 1945 - at which point he had accumulated 514 hours and 35 minutes of flying time, 150 of which were on OPs with 145 Squadron. Blagdon loved his SPITFIRES but spoke most fondly of the cockpit heater in his Mustangs...
BCB Joined 93 Squadron (when 237 was disbanded) in January 1946. He returned to civilian life in late 1946 and, like so many of that generation, spoke little of his war. "Dear boy, I flew towards the end of the war. There really wasn't much going on." The detail in his flying logbook is humbling to read and tells a very different story.
Blagdon died in 2005 after a short illness, valiantly borne. His grave is in Wells-Next-The-Sea.