University of Oxford
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Roland's War

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posted on 2024-06-05, 19:11 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

- Contributor's father (Roland Prosper Beamont) went straight from school to train as a pilot in Scotland.
- Posted straight away into the war, where he flew Spitfires, Hurricanes, Typhoons and the Tempest
- He test flew Typhoons and Tempest when resting from operations.
- He won lots of medals
- He was initially posted to what is now Cardiff airport
- He was shot down twice in WWII, once in Kent when the fuel tank was hit but he managed to get over the ocean to Kent.
- He was the first pilot to break the sound barrier
- 1944 he was shot down over France, captured, and taken to a P.O.W camp.
- He was in Squadron 609 (commander of the squadron), they had the mascot of a goat.
- He taught his pilots aero acrobatics
- Roland's wife was taken into hospital 3 days after he was shot down. She died before he managed to get home.
- Roland's name is on the memorial to 'the few' next to Westminster Bridge and in Capel y Ferne in Kent.
- Roland was in the procession of the memorial of the Battle of Britain 3 times
- His actual medals (miniature ones as photographed here) are in the RAF club
- His squadron shot down more bombs than anyone else
- He was known as 'Bee' throughout the aviation world


Item list and details

- Roland's miniature medals - His RAF flight cap - A photo of Roland and his wife

Person the story/items relate to

Roland Prosper Beamont

Person who shared the story/items


Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

Contributor's father

Type of submission

Shared at Llandaff Memorial Hall, Cardiff on 11 November 2023. Organised by The Cathedral School, Llandaff.

Record ID

111380 | LLA011