Blackadder Francis 607 *

90282 Flight Lieutenant William Francis Blackadder – 607 Squadron

William Francis Blackadder joined 607 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force in early 1936 having attended Cambridge University and played rugby for Scotland. He was called for full-time service at the outbreak of war and flew to France with the squadron on November 15th 1939.

On May 11th, the day after the Blitzkreig started, Blackadder shared in destroying a He111 and claimed another, unconfirmed. On the 18th he claimed a Do17 destroyed but return fire forced him to crash-land near Denais. 607 suffered heavy losses and was withdrawn to England on May 22nd. Blackadder was awarded the DSO (gazetted 4th June 1940), the citation stating that he had shot down three enemy aircraft and carried out several very important reconnaissances of bridges and roads at a time when information was hard to come by.

When the Battle of Britain began 607 was stationed in the north of England at Usworth and on August 14th intercepted German raids coming in over the North Sea, Blackadder damaging two He111’s and destroying another the next day.

The squadron was moved south to Tangmere on September 7th and on the 9th Blackadder shared in the destruction of a Do17, on the 13th he damaged a Ju88, on the 14th shared two Ju88’s, on the 26th destroyed a He111 and on October 4th shared in destroying another.

On November 9th Blackadder was posted to Turnhouse as Sector Controller in the Operations Room, later doing the same job at Usworth, Ouston, Prestwick and Ayr. He commanded 245 Squadron at Aldergrove from June 1941 to July 13th 1942, when he was posted to 10 Group, as Controller at Rudloe Manor.

B1ackadder went for a course to the Army Staff College, Camberley on January 1st 1943, after which he was posted to HQ Fighter Command, as Wing Commander Tactics, on May 7th 1943. He moved to HQ Allied Expeditionary Air Forces on September 28th.

Blackadder’s final wartime posting was as CO of the Air Fighting Development Unit at Wittering. He was made an OBE (gazetted 1st January 1945) and was released from the RAF on November 19th 1945. He rejoined 607 Squadron at Ouston in September 1946 and served with it until December 1948, after which he became CO of the Northumberland Wing, ATC until February 1st 1951. He died in 1997.

Posted in Memorial Stones.