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Charles Francis Ambrose


Joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1939. He completed his training and arrived at 12 Group Pool on 23rd February 1940.

After converting to Hurricanes he was posted to 46 Squadron at Digby on 23rd March. On 2nd September he shot down a Me109 near Eastchurch. It crash-landed at Tile Lodge Farm, Hoath and the pilot was captured.

Two days later Ambrose was shot down by Me109's in combat over Rochford. He baled out of Hurricane P3066, unhurt. On 29th October Ambrose destroyed a Me109.

He was flying with P/O Lefevre of 46 in the early afternoon of 3rd November near Gravesend when they intercepted a Do17 of 8/KG3, which was being fired on by anti-aircraft guns. They shot the bomber down and it crashed at Bexley, with four of the crew killed and one captured. This man died of his wounds the following day.

On 30th November Ambrose had to bale out again, from Hurricane I P3429, when he was shot down in an engagement over Dungeness. In December he was awarded the DFC (gazetted 24th December 1940).

Posted away from 46 in June 1941, joined 71 [Eagle] Sqn RAF.
Ambrose went to the Middle East later in the year and served with 112 Squadron, flying Tomahawks in the Western Desert. On 5th December he probably destroyed a Fiat G50.

Ambrose remained in the RAF after the war. He commanded 43 Squadron from March 1946 to May 1947, was awarded the AFC (gazetted 29th October 1948) and held various staff appointments in Britain and overseas.

He qualified on the Senior Officers War Course at the Royal Naval War College, was a graduate of the RAF College of Air Warfare and qualified in Staff Studies. Ambrose was made a CBE (gazetted 8th June 1968) and retired on 27th January 1972 as a Group Captain.


Associated Place

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...

  • Kirton-in-Lindsey

    Military site : airfield
    Used as an RFC and RAF Home Defence landing ground during the First World War, Kirton-in-Lindsey was built during 1938-40 as an RAF fighter station. It had two grass runways, 10 hardstandings, three grouped C hangars and four over-blister hangars....

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...


Event Location Date
Born 27 January 1917

Born on 27th January 1917.

Died 1986

Died in 1986.


Date Contributor Update
17 October 2015 17:56:43 Al_Skiff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

EAGLES of the RAF - The World War II Eagle Squadrons by Phillip D Caine.