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                1155948 Leading Aircraftman Frederick Taylor


       He was born 8th February 1910 at Sheffield, Brownhills, Staffordshire. He married Clara May Kendrich at Walsall on 7th May 1932.

        His civilian occupation was given as Grocer's Assistant.


        His next of kin was his wife: Mrs C. M. Taylor, 200 Pelsall Lane, Rushall, Walsall, Staffordshire.

        His permanent engagement began on 12th June 1940 at that point he had one child Josephine May born 10th April 1934.

        His religion was given as Church of England, he was 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a 32 inch chest, brown hair, grey eyes and a

        fresh complexion. He had four vaccination marks on his left arm.


       He joined up at No. 2 Recruit Centre, Cardington (1937 Jan.-1946) on Oct. 12th June 1940 and then No. 7 Recruit Centre,

       Morecambe (1939 Dec.-1948) Feb. 15th June 1940,

       He was a Chargehand / Balloon Operator and promoted to Aircraftman 2nd Class on 12th June 1940.

       He was sent to No. 1 Balloon Training Unit at Cardington on 5th July 1940 and then No. 5 Balloon Centre, Sutton Coldfield

       on 2nd August 1940.

       He was re-mustered as Balloon Rigger / Fabric worker on 2nd August 1940 and promoted to Aircraftman 1st Class on same day.

       He achieved 74% in his re-mustering examination.

      On 24th October 1940 he was posted to 911 Squadron.

     (911 Barrage Balloon Squadron was formed on 24th August 1939 at Whitehouse Common,

     Bromwich on the Declaration of War moved to War Headquarters, “Springfield” 182 Birmingham Road, West Bromwich.

     Ceased to exist as an Independent Squadron on 31st May 1943.

     911 moved to Erdington as 911/913 Squadron (Amalgamated). 24th October 1940 to 1st July 1940.)

     On 30th December 1940 he was re-mustered as a Balloon Operator.

    Then to RAF Long Marston, Warwickshire on 1st July 1941. On 1st August 1941 he was promoted to Leading Aircraftman.

    On 16th June 1942 he was sent abroad to Iraq presumably to become part of 983 Squadron in Malta. 

    (983 Squadron was formed in Malta by drawing men from 974, 975 and 971 Squadrons from 1st February 1943 to 22nd February 1943.

    Then moved to Bizerte and Corsica in February 1944.)

    He does not appear to have actually joined 983 Squadron as before the Squadron began drawing men he was posted to 260 Wing on

    30th January 1943.

    The Headquarters No. 260 (Balloon) Wing at Ismailia was responsible for the technical efficiency of Balloon Barrages in Egypt. 

    The technical efficiency of those located in  Libya and the Levant was the direct responsibility of Command.  No. 206 (Maintenance) Group

    was responsible for the technical maintenance of balloons and for the supply and distribution of hydrogen.

    All balloon resources were allocated to Group areas in accordance with the recommendations of the Middle East Inter-Service Air Defence

    Advisory Committee. The allocation to individual barrages was the responsibility of the Air Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force, Egypt and

    was decided in accordance with the priorities submitted to him by the local Naval, Military and Air Force Commanders.

    In Egypt, balloon barrages were deployed to defend the Naval Bases and Ports of Alexandria, Port Said, Suez, and Port Tewfik, the Suez Canal,

    and anchorages at Fanara Bay, Suez roads, and Attaka, the oil refineries at Suez, the R.A.F. Maintenance Unit at Kasfarest and the anchorages

    at Abu Zenima and Ras Gharib in the Gulf of Suez.

   On 1st August 1943 he was posted to 974 Squadron

   No.974 Squadron was formed at Royal Air Force Station Cardington on 1st April 1941. On 24th April 1941 the Squadron was aboard HMT

   Dominion Monarch at Liverpool. Arriving at Durban, Natal on 27th May 1941 and disembarked at 1600 hours . At Imperial Forces Camp,

   Clairwood Durban. S.A.

   All ranks enjoyed the benefit of the hospitality of the inhabitants of the town and were able to see much of the area.

   On 6th June 1941 left Clairwood Camp, Durban at 1100 hours by train and embarked on "Nieuw Amsterdam" at 1130 hours without the

   Commanding Officer who was proceeding to Cairo by air. One enlisted man failed to embark and was declared AWOL.

   On 10th June the "Nieuw Amsterdam" sailed in convoy, with all troops under the command of Colonel T. Preston. The Conoy was ar sea

   until 20th June 1941 and arrived at Port Tewfik, Egypt at 0630 hours. The Squadron disembarked during the afternoon and proceeded to

   Middle East Pool. Various men were drawn from the Middle East Pool as demanded.

   974 Squadron as meant to replace 972 Squadron.

        On Chaloufe Canal Station, Egypt, men settled in to their routine, and on 6th July 1941 they faced the enemy for the first time when four

        high explosive bombs on the east of the canal. The bombing was carried out at a great height due to the balloons and was not accurate.

           Later a second aircraft came over and dropped one more bomb. No personnel were injured.

          On 10th July 1941, enemy aircraft dropped twenty-one high explosive bombs on the east bank of the canal. No great damage or injury was achieved.

          On 16th July 1941 H.M.T. "Georgie" was hit by bombs and burned out.


                  On 1st August 1943 he was posted to 974 Squadron, Home Establishment.

On 22nd February 1944 he was posted to No. 961 Squadron and then R.A.F. Cardington on 3rd April 1944. He was sent back to No.961 Squadron on 11th April 1944. He was next attached to No.22 Balloon Centre on 22nd July 1944. He was then sent back to be attached to No.961 Squadron, Cardington on 2nd August 1944. On 3rd August 1944 he was sent to No.961 Squadron at R.A.F. Cardington.

On 1st September 1944 he was sent to No. 949  Squadron.

On 22nd November 1944 he was sent to No. 906/10 Squadron

On 6th July 1945 he was sent to No. 5015 Squadron and on 6th July 1945 and on 9th October 1945 to 5351 Wing.

On 10th October 1945 he was sent to No. 101 Personnel Dispersal Centre for Release.

Throughout his career at his annual review he was found to be of very good character from 1940 to 1944 and his proficiency was Satis factory from 1940 to 1943 and Superior from 1944 on.



                        He was awarded the British War and Defence medal along with the Africa Star.

                        He was discharged to Group G reserves at the age of 55. He was awarded his first Good Conduct badge on 12th June 1943.





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