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Martin King (1)

Jim Nicolson writes:

I came across these photos recently of Pilot Officer M.A. King. As you know, he was one of the two pilots that flew with my uncle James Brindley Nicolson on 16th August, 1940. I’ve taken the liberty of drafting something that might be useful.

Martyn Aurel King was born on 15th October, 1921 in West Mersea, Essex and joined the RAF on a short service commission in August 1939. He completed his training and arrived at 5 OTU, Aston Down in late May 1940. After converting to Hurricanes he was posted to 249 Squadron at Leconfield on 9th June. On 16th August he took off with Squadron Leader Eric King and my uncle, James Nicolson. Tom Neil tells how angry he was that my uncle would not let Tom fly that day, as he had been on duty as officer cover all the previous night. As a result Martyn King was going to be flying Tom’s own Hurricane GN-F, serial number P3616. Like many pilots, Tom didn’t like anyone else flying his aeroplane and remembered warning Martyn in the strongest terms to be careful and not to get his beloved Hurricane damaged!

Many will know the story of how all three Hurricanes were subsequently damaged and Martyn was forced to bail out, as was my uncle a little later. Also, that as they descended¬†they both came under fire from some Home Guard soldiers. It is believed their fire was the cause of Martyn’s parachute collapsing. He fell onto the roof of 30, Clifton Road, Shirley, Southampton, his parachute got caught around the chimney stack causing the straps to¬†snap and Martyn fell onto the lawn where he died in the arms of the owner, a Mr Fred Poole. The remains of his parachute were still there some months later.

Martyn was buried in All Saints’ Churchyard, Fawley, Hampshire. His headstone states that he was aged 19, although in fact he was only 18 years old at the time of his death.

Martin King (2)

Just back from an amazing two day trip to RAF Coningsby as a guest of the Typhoon display pilot, who was being dined out at a mess dinner. I was the after dinner speaker and then gave the Nicolson VC talk the next morning.

The following morning I got to sit in the jet after which I had a 20 minute jaunt on the Typhoon flight simulator which was fab. I was flying at 450 mph around the glens of Skye at 200 feet. Doubt the locals would have liked that in real life! These guys get paid for this, too!

Jim Nicolson