American Volunteers

American Volunteers who fought with the RAF

Eagle squadrons were made up of American volunteer pilots who served with the Royal Air Force in the early days of World War Two as a defence against attacks on naval fleets and merchant shipping.

133 Squadron was one of three Eagle Squadrons operating towards the end of 1941, base at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.

A Hurricane at Duxford 1999On October 8, 1941, Fighter Command decided 133 Squadron should take further instruction at Eglington before going on to operational flying. Accordingly, 15 Hurricanes took off from base.

Among them was one of the original three Eagles, experienced pilot Flight Lieutenant Andrew Mamedoff, from Thomson, Connecticut, who was to be Flight Leader on the day.

Others in the flight were Pilot Officers Roy Neal Stout and William Joseph White from Kansas, Hugh Harrison McCall from California, James C. Coxetter and George Bruce. Although these last two survived the tragedy on October 8, both died in accidents before the end of the month.

Flying to the Isle of Man after refuelling at Sealand, near Chester, the squadron experienced practically zero visibility in thick mist and cloud. Unable to see the ground, the group became separated.

Two returned to Sealand, three landed in the intermediate fields and six eventually managed to break cloud and make it to Andreas. However, four descended hoping for a visual fix and were killed.

The above newspaper article appeared in the Manx Independent, 18th October 1996.

By kind permission of Isle of Man Newspapers Limited.

Photograph by Dave Cornett.