Fred Renshaw Vance

media-18567.jpeg UPL 18567 In the Pilots' Dispersal Hut at Rochford airfield, personnel of No 121 (Eagle) Squadron play Poker as they await the order to 'scramble'. Left to right they are: Pilot Officer Beatie (standing, from Georgia), Pilot Officer Heppel (New Jersey), Pilot Officer Kearney (New Mexico), Flight Sergeant Blanding (South Carolina), Flight Sergeant Carpenter (standing, from Pennsylvania), Flight Officer Hasey (Oklahoma), Flight Sergeant Sanders (Tennessee) and Flight Sergeant Fred Vance (Virginia). In the rear right-hand corner of the photograph, the telephonist can be seen, along with several other personnel awaiting the call to action.
IWM Photo D 9514

IWM Photo.

Object Number - UPL 18567 - In the Pilots' Dispersal Hut at Rochford airfield, personnel of No 121 (Eagle) Squadron play Poker as they await the order to 'scramble'. Left to...

121 Sqn RAF

" On 27 May 1942, 121 flew a shipping recce (reconnaissance) off Flushing Harbour. Squadron Leader Kennard

saw two mine-sweepers and a destroyer and took his no. 2 - Sgt. Kelly - down into a screaming attack on one of the 'sweepers, ordering Jimmy Daley and Sgt. Vance onto the other. Barry Mahon and Gene Fetrow followed

Kennard's example and also went for the first vessel. Both ships were badly shot about, Daley and Vance's target sending up a column of smoke after an explosion. As they pulled up, Daley saw eight Me 109's above and immediately attacked one which Vance saw dive into the sea. Vance put some lead into another which staggered away smoking. Mahon also scored a damaged on a third 109.

Hugh Kennard flew a similar mission on the 31st, this time to the Northeast of Walcheren, and again they found two mine-sweepers. Kennard ordered an attack on one of them, Flight Lieutenant Tom Allen and Sgt. Vance going in. Whether Tom Allen was hit or merely misjudged his second strafing run is uncertain, (Mahon thought he saw glycol) but Vance saw his leader's Spitfire hit the water on the far side of the target and bounce up into the air. Allen's voice came over the radio saying that his machine was 'coming apart' and that he proposed to ditch. As he was going at something like 100 mph, he failed to get a good angle onto the sea and nosed in and down. The fighter sank almost immediately. The others saw no sign of Allen, who came from South Carolina. Having survived, they flew off, leaving the two ships damaged, one sinking. Allen's place was taken by John DuFour, posted in from 71 Squadron."

112 Sqn RAF 24/4/43

his last mission was over Sicily in support of the British 8th Army's advance north along the eastern coast of Italy Killed In Action 14-7-43


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Units served with



Event Location Date Description


14 July 1943 Killed In Action 14-7-43
Washington, DC, USA


Washington, DC, USA Son of Captain Deane Harold Vance, MC, USN, and Harriet Alcithe Vance, of Washington, DC, USA.


Catania War Cemetery, Sicily, Italy.


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Fred Renshaw Vance: Gallery (3 items)