Eugene Tobin

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Eugene Quimby Tobin
Three American pilots of No. 71 (Eagle) Squadron RAF, Pilot Officers A Mamedoff, V C 'Shorty' Keough and G Tobin, show off their new squadron badge at Church Fenton, Yorkshire, October 1940. CH1442.jpg
Eugene Tobin (right) with Andrew Mamedoff (left) and Vernon Keough, Church Fenton, Yorkshire, October 1940
Nickname(s) Red
Born (1917-01-04)4 January 1917
Los Angeles, California
Died 7 September 1941(1941-09-07) (aged 24)
Killed in action, near Boulogne-sur-Mer
Place of burial Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France
Allegiance  France
 United Kingdom
Service/branch  France
 Royal Air Force
Years of service 1940–1941
Rank Flying Officer
Service number 81622
Unit No. 609 Squadron RAF
No. 71 Squadron RAF

World War II  

Flying Officer Eugene Quimby "Red" Tobin (4 January 1917 – 7 September 1941) was an American pilot who flew with the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain in World War II. He was one of 11 American[1] pilots who flew with RAF Fighter Command between 10 July and 31 October 1940, thereby qualifying for the Battle of Britain clasp to the 1939–45 campaign star.

Early life[edit]

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, but raised from early childhood in Los Angeles, California, the son of Ignatius Quimby Tobin and Mary Alicia Tobin (née O'Fallon).[2] Tobin initially came to Europe to fight on the side of Finland against the Soviet Union's invasion of that country, but hostilities had ceased before he arrived.[3] He was already a qualified pilot, having learned to fly in the 1930s.

Tobin and Andrew Mamedoff had been flying friends at Mines Field in California before the war.[4]

Second World War[edit]

He joined the French Air Force towards the end of the Battle of France, but as France fell he came to England with his friends and fellow Americans Andrew Mamedoff and Vernon Keogh and joined the Royal Air Force in 1940.

On 8 August 1940 Tobin was posted to No. 609 Squadron RAF at Middle Wallop airfield. He flew his first mission on 16 August 1940. He flew many missions during the height of the Battle of Britain in August and September. He was credited with two shared 'kills' – an Bf 110 on 25 August and a Do17 on 15 September.

He was posted to RAF Kirton in Lindsey in Lincolnshire on 18 September 1940 and was a founding member of the No. 71 'Eagle' Squadron along with Art Donahue, Andrew Mamedoff and Vernon Keogh.[5]

After arriving in Britain Tobin had been diagnosed with lupus which at the time was a fatal disease, but kept his illness a secret so he could continue to fly for the RAF.


On 7 September 1941, Tobin was killed in combat with Bf 109's of JG 26 on 71 Squadron's first sweep over northern France, one of three Spitfires shot down.[6] He crashed into a hillside near Boulogne-sur-Mer and was buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France. He was 24 years old.

See also[edit]


  • Klaus Ulrich Spiegel: "Quel canto mi conquide" - Stuttgart Spinto in his Era - HAfG Disc Edition - Hamburger Archiv