Sergeant James Eric William Ballard UNDATED CREDIT Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.jpg
WWII

Spitfire Pilot Added To Ranks Of 'The Few' After Nearly 80 Years

Sergeant James Eric William Ballard has been added to the list by the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust after the discovery of his logbook.

Sergeant James Eric William Ballard UNDATED CREDIT Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.jpg

A Spitfire pilot has been posthumously added to the ranks of The Few, nearly 80 years after the Battle of Britain.

Sergeant James Eric Williams Ballard is now part of the famed number of people who fought in the air battle in 1940.

Due to the desperate need for fighter pilots as German planes attacked the UK, Sgt Ballard had only 9 hours of flying time before joining 610 (County of Chester) Squadron.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Trust has recognised his role in the three and a half month battle after discovering his logbook.

The book shows an operational sortie flown on 8 October 1940, confirmed by the signatures of his commanding officer and flight commander.

Group Captain Patrick Tootal, secretary of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, said: "The research goes on and even 80 years later we learn new things about the Battle of Britain.

“It is rare to be able to add a new name to the list of those who took part, especially a Spitfire pilot.

"Sergeant Ballard's contribution to the Battle was relatively small but without him and men like him the RAF could not have achieved its victory.”

After the battle, Sgt Ballard was killed in action, aged 23, on 27 August 1941 during an operation over mainland Europe. 

His body was never found but his name appears on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede which overlooks the River Thames in Surrey.

The names of all the Allied aircrew known to have flown in the Battle are listed on the Christopher Foxley-Norris Memorial Wall at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne, just outside Folkestone in Kent.

Cover image: Sergeant Ballard (Picture: Battle of Britain Memorial Trust).