Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Fred Renshaw Vance


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


Units served with

  • No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    No. 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    'On 14 May 1941, No. 121 was reformed at Kirton-in-Lindsey as the second 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American volunteers. Equipped with Hurricanes, it began defensive patrols in October but in November it converted to Spitfires. It moved to North...

Associated Place

  • Biggin Hill

    Military site : airfield
    An RAF Station with US lodger units. USAAF Spitfires and P-38s were attached to RAF No 11 Group stations in mid-1942 for training; also used for special operations by British and US forces.


Event Location Date
Born Washington, DC, USA 1918

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

Lived in Washington, DC, USA 1940
Died 14 July 1943

Killed In Action 14-7-43

Buried 1945

Catania War Cemetery, Sicily, Italy.


Date Contributor Update
26 February 2016 22:50:51 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations

Date Contributor Update
04 November 2015 15:25:39 Al_Skiff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations and place associations