John Francis Durham Elkington, Battle of Britain Pilot
Elkington was born on December 23rd 1920 in Warwickshire. He was educated at Old Ride Prep School, Bournemouth, Packwood Haugh Prep School, Hockley Heath and Bedford School. He entered RAF College, Cranwell in September as a Flight Cadet.
He carried out his elementary flying training at 9 EFTS, Ansty from October 1939 to April 1940 when he went to Cranwell for intermediate and advanced training.
On July 14 Elkington was granted a Permanent Commission and the next day he joined No. 1 Squadron at Northholt. On August 15 he shot down a Bf 109. On the 16th Elkington was in Flight Sergeant Berry’s section when the squadron was ordered off to patrol Portsmouth. A large force of German aircraft was met and in the ensuing engagement Elkington’s Hurricane P3137 was hit by a cannon shell in the starboard fuel tank and burst into flames. He baled out near the Nab light. Berry followed him and with his slipstream blew Elkington on to land at West Wittering. Elkington was taken to the Royal West Sussex Hospital at Chichester. His aircraft crashed and burned out at Manor Farm, Chidham.
After sick leave, Elkington rejoined No.1 Squadron, then at Wittering, on October 1 1940. He probably destroyed a Ju 88 on the 9th and shared in the destruction of a Do 215 on the 27th. He had a long post-war career in the RAF and retired on December 23rd 1975, as a Wing Commander.