Sergeant James (Jimmy) Speed RAFVR Air Gunner


Jimmy Speed

Jimmy Speed seen here in his family garden.

Twenty-year-old James (Jimmy) Speed’s log’s book gives a fantastic insight into the training of a Air Gunner in 1942. It was almost three months after joining the squadron that Jimmy under-took his first operation. In between that time was various gunnery courses and a spell on 218 Con Flight. Jimmy’s first skipper was  the experienced F/Lt Dodkin, within a few frantic  weeks and 9 operations Dodkin was tour expired. Jimmy then joined the crew of South African Johannes Du Toit. It was flying with Johannes that Jimmy was killed while attacking Lubeck on October 1st. On its way back to base W7613 was attacked by a German night fighter piloted by Major Günther Radusch of Stab. II./NJG 3 at 01:04 hours and is believed to have crashed into Juvre Dyb to the north west of the island of Rømø with the loss of the entire crew. Flying aboard was No.218 Squadron new commanding officer, Canadian Wing Commander Montague Read. Jimmy’s body was never found and he is recorded on the panels of the Runnymede Memorial.


Death Presumed !


May 1942, No.218 Squadron, RAF Marham.


No.218 (Conversion Flight) RAF Marham, June 1942.


No.1483 Target Towing & Gunnery Flight, RAF Newmarket. June 1942.


No.14 T.T & G Flight, July 1942.


No.218 (Conversion Flight) July 1942.


No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron. RAF Marham, August 1942.


August 1942.



September 1942 (Operations)