5 – 6 december 1939 : Inspection by King George VI

On 5 December 1939, Squadron Leader Arthur V. Harvey joined Lille – Seclin Airfield with some of the ground crew : Flight Sergeant G. Stephenson and L.A. Andrews ; Corporal J. Fastland, W.L. Agate and F.W. Hunt. ; Leading Aircraftman P.W. Bickell and H.J. Smith; Aircraftman H.B. Ellis, L.V. Hals (?), W. L. Herbert, C.E. Meroar (?), A.F. Saunders, J.A. Seaman and R.O.H. Smith. They are joined by Flight Lieutnant Leslie T.W. Thornley with a Gladiators[1].

They are subject of a review by King George VI with other personnel from different Squadrons of the RAF in France.

King George VI, with Prince Harry, Duke of Gloucester, and General John S.S. Prendergast Vereker, Viscount Lord Gort (Commander-in-Chief of the BEF), inspected RAF Air Component units at Lille-Seclin. Here, the King reviews personnel from No 615 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force, drawn up in front of one of their Gladiators. A Blenheim IV from one of the Air Component’s strategic-reconnaissance squadrons can be seen in the background.

© Crown Copyright: IWM : http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205219333


[1] Unfortunately, the ORB of No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron does not identify theGladiator.

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