610 (County of Chester) Auxiliary Air Force Squadron, 1936-1940

Author(s): David J. Bailey 

ISBN: 9781781557143
£31.50 £45.00
610 Squadron’s history from 1936 to its courageous actions as a Spitfire squadron at Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain.
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  • Historically rich in detail with previously unpublished photographs from the Squadron Association’s archives and relatives

  • The little-known story of ‘The Chesters’: Cheshire’s own Auxiliary Air Force Squadron

  • Meticulous research into the pilots’ lives, including the Squadron’s Operations Record Book, Combat Reports and Aircrew Casualty Packs, pilots’ Log Books and relatives’ testimonies

  • A new and fresh angle on the Battle of Britain and of much interest to military and aviation historians as well as modellers 

610 (County of Chester) Squadron was formed in 1936 at Hooton Park, Wirral. With personnel recruited locally for the expanding Auxiliary Air Force, these ‘weekend flyers’ were moulded into a cohesive fighting unit.

As war loomed, 610 Squadron transferred to Fighter Command, ultimately operating the Spitfire. In 1940, flying from Gravesend, 610 Squadron protected the Dunkirk evacuation, suffering seven pilots killed and one wounded.

The Squadron then played a key role in the Battle of Britain, claiming a heavy toll on the Luftwaffe while operating from Biggin Hill and Hawkinge. After further pilot and ground crew losses, 610 moved to Acklington, Northumberland, to train new pilots.

This detailed book recounts 610’s valiant history for the first time, combining the Squadron’s Operations Record Book, Combat Reports and the latest National Archives’ files, with ground crew and relatives’ testimonies, plus a rare interview with a founding Squadron pilot. This heroic story is supported with rare photos, many previously unpublished from relatives and the Squadron’s Association Archive.

BOOK ISBN 9781781557143
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 544 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 386 black-and-white photographs



David J. Bailey studied English Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury, followed by an MA in Shakespeare at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has a long-standing interest in the history of the RAF during the Second World War, particularly concerning Fighter Command and the Battle of Britain. This led to his detailed research into 610 (County of Chester) Squadron, as many of the founding pilots and ground crew came from Wirral, his local area. David is a member of 610 Squadron’s Association, and a keen hockey player.