Pilot Officer Cecil Robert Montgomery (42421) served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He saw action with R.A.F. 615 Squadron during the early stages of the Battle of Britain. Born in 1914, he was the son of John Montgomery and Mary Eleanor Montgomery (née Beatty) of Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone.
In June 1939, Montgomery joined the Royal Air Force on a short service commission, beginning pilot training on 12th June 1939 at No. 22 Elementary and Reservice Flying Training School in Cambridge. On 5th August 1939, he became an Acting Pilot Officer, moving to No. 2 Flying Training School at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on 21st August 1939. He completed training on 17th February 1940.
Montgomery’s name featured in the London Gazette on 26th March 1940, having received his wings on 24th February 1940. He joined the Group Pool at Aston Down, Gloucestershire, and converted to Hawker Hurricanes. On 14th May 1940, he joined R.A.F. 615 Squadron in France. However, they returned to R.A.F. Kenley, Surrey by 21st May 1940.
Death over the Channel
Montgomery died during the Battle of Britain on 14th August 1940 aged 26 years old. A Luftwaffe Fighter shot down Hawker Hurricane P3160 at 1250hrs over the English Channel off Dover, Kent.
At the time, R.A.F. 615 Squadron flew from R.A.F. Hawkinge, Kent. A total of 12 Hawker Hurricanes were to intercept a Luftwaffe raid over Dover. Flying Officer Peter Collard led Red Section with Montgomery and Pilot Officer S.J. Madle. Madle detached to fly beneath cloud cover due to an oxygen failure. He was the only survivor as both Collard and Montgomery’s planes went down.
Cecil Robert Montgomery’s grave is in Row 1, Grave 19 of Oye-Plage Communal Cemetery, Pas De Calais, France. His headstone bears the inscription:
We will remember him.
A small housing development now stands on the site of the former R.A.F. married quarters at the Kenley Airfield. The 7 roads in the development bear the names of men from Kenley who gave their lives during the Battle of Britain. Montgomery Way is one of these roads.