Paul Farnes

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Paul Caswell Powe Farnes
Paul Farnes Portrait.jpg
Born (1918-07-16) 16 July 1918 (age 101)
Boscombe, Hampshire, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1938–1958
RankWing Commander
UnitNo. 501 Squadron RAF
No. 611 Squadron RAF
Commands heldNo. 124 Squadron RAF
No. 229 Squadron RAF
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsDistinguished Flying Medal
Mentioned in Despatches
Air Efficiency Award

Paul Caswell Powe Farnes, DFM, AE (born 16 July 1918) is a former Royal Air Force fighter pilot and Second World War flying ace who flew during the Battle of Britain as one of "The Few". He scored 8 kills (comprising 7 and 2 shared destroyed, 2 'probables' and 11 damaged).[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Boscombe, Hampshire on 16 July 1918, Farnes joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) in April 1938.

Second World War[edit]

Farnes was mobilised in July 1939. He joined No. 501 Squadron RAF in September 1939 and remained with the squadron when it went to France in May 1940. He claimed his first victories during the Battle of France, with 'shares' in two bombers downed and a He 111 shot down solo.[3] During August 1940 he claimed 5 more and in October 1940 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM).[4] By now a sergeant pilot, he was commissioned a pilot officer (on probation) on 3 December 1940.[5]

In February 1941 Farnes was posted to No. 57 Operational Training Unit as an instructor. In November 1941 he transferred to No. 73 Operational Training Unit in Aden. He was confirmed in his rank and promoted to war-substantive flying officer on 3 December 1941.[6] Farnes was posted to No. 229 Squadron RAF in North Africa as a flight commander in February 1942. He flew with the squadron on 27 March 1942 to Malta where he later took command of the squadron.

Farnes returned to North Africa in late May 1942. On 26 July 1942, he was promoted to war-substantive flight lieutenant.[7] He was then posted to Iraq, where he joined the RAF headquarters staff and remained there until March 1945, receiving a promotion to war-substantive squadron leader on 1 May 1944.[8] On return to the United Kingdom he took command of No. 124 Squadron RAF, a command he retained until the end of the war. He ended the war with the acting rank of wing commander.[9]

Later life[edit]

After the war, Farnes became a liaison officer for training centres with the Air Ministry. He was granted a permanent commission in the RAF in the rank of squadron leader on 1 September 1945.[10] In 1948, he became a flying instructor. Farnes remained in the RAF until 1958, when he retired on 27 June with the rank of wing commander.[11]

In 2010, Farnes said:

I'm very proud of having fought in the Battle of Britain, it is thought of as being a considerable achievement. Whether we like it or not, and the Navy do not, but if you talk sensibly about it people accept it as an iconic occurrence.[12]


  1. ^ 'Aces High' Shores & Williams, 1994, page 257
  2. ^ Harding, Thomas (24 August 2006). "It's baloney, say RAF aces". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  3. ^ 'Aces High' Shores & Williams, 1994, page 257
  4. ^ "Wing Commander Paul Farnes DFM – Art prints and originals signed by Wing Commander Paul Farnes DFM". Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  5. ^ "No. 35028". The London Gazette. 31 December 1940. p. 7299.
  6. ^ "No. 35398". The London Gazette. 30 December 1941. p. 7382.
  7. ^ "No. 35709". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 September 1942. p. 4064.
  8. ^ "No. 36629". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 July 1944. p. 3517.
  9. ^ "No. 37119". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 June 1945. p. 2991.
  10. ^ "No. 37981". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 June 1947. p. 2617.
  11. ^ "No. 41433". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 July 1958. p. 4145.
  12. ^ "Battle of Britain: in men and machines". BBC News. 19 August 2010.

External links[edit]