Episode 126 – Spitfire Pilot Haydn Finbow

Host: Dave Homewood
Guest: Haydn Finbow
Recorded: 11th of July 2016
Duration: 2 hours 6  minutes 20 seconds

Born and brought up in a small village in Suffolk, England, Haydn Finbow joined the Royal Air Force in 1941, with the desire of becoming a Spitfire pilot. In this episode Haydn details his journey through the training system from initial entry at Lords Cricket Ground and flying Tiger Moths at Marshall Airport in Cambridgeshire, to advanced training in the USA, and his return to Britain where he eventually joined No. 610 (County of Chester) Squadron RAF.

Haydn flew Spitfire Mk. V’s and then the Griffon engined Spitfire Mk. XIV’s on patrols over Europe before and after D-Day, occasionally sighting enemy fighters including the famous yellow nosed Abbeville Boys, sometimes attacking ships, flying Search and Rescue operations, and more. Haydn had two crashes in Spitfires, the first shot down over enemy territory. He flew operationally with the squadron from mid-1943 through till after the end of the war. One of his squadron mates was New Zealander Colin Gray, who ended the war as New Zealand’s top fighter ace of all time. The pair were great friends.

Haydn and his wife moved to New Zealand in 1974, living in Cambridge , Hamilton and Tauranga before he has retired back to Cambridge.


Above: Haydn Finbow


Above: Haydn during WWII, a photo on his wall, hence the glass shine


Above: Haydn’s pilots’ certificate from the flying training course in the USA


No. 610 (County of Chester) Squadron.


Young Haydn

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