Edy, Allen “Jake” Laird, DFC

Allan, or Jake as he was known to his friends, was born in 1916 in Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. He left Winnipeg for England in June 1936 to join the RAF, and on the 14th January 1939, he received a Short Service Commission. 

In the Spring of 1940, he became a pilot of 613 Squadron (City of Manchester) Auxiliary Airforce during the Battle of France, which was also known as the Fall of France. 

Web Master: 613 Squadron was formed at Ringway on the 1st March 1939 as an Auxiliary Air Force Army Co-operation Unit. This was an initiative to develop air operations in support of ground forces, balloon maintenance and transport. Initially the Squadron was equiped with Hawker Hinds and then Hawker Hectors. When Jake joined the Squadron,  Westland Lysanders started to arrive and by May, the Squadron was being used for light bombing and supply-dropping missions over France.

Jack received a DFC while he was with 613 Squadron. His Citation was as follows:
On 25th May 1940, Pilot Officer Edy was a member of a formation of aircraft detailed to carry out a dive-bombing attack on a heavy battery near Calais. He pressed home his attack in the face of severe anti-aircraft fire with the utmost courage. His bombs were observed to fall inside the target area, and it was later reported that the battery had been moved. On the 27th May 1940, this officer took part in low flying bombing and supply dropping sorties over the Calais garrison area and although his single front gun failed, the raid was carried out at a very low altitude. By the skilful manipulation of his aircraft, Pilot Officer Edy not only evaded the enemy anti-aircraft defences, but enabled his air gunner to put two machine gun posts out of action. He remained over the target, drawing the enemy fire to himself until the supply dropping aircraft no longer required support. Pilot Officer Edy has shown a complete disregard of personal danger and has set a fine example by his keenness and magnificent spirit.

Then, after training as a fighter pilot, on the 8th September 1940, Jake was posted to 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron, which was another Auxiliary Air Force Army Co-operation Unit. There, he flew Spitfires in the latter stages of the Battle of Britain. On the 12th December 1940, he was shot down by Me109s near Folkestone and crash-landed at Shorncliffe, unhurt, in Spitfire X4658.

Web Master: 602 Squadron was originally formed in 1925 as a light bomber squadron. Its role changed in 1938 to an Army Co-operation Unit and in 1939 to that of a fighter squadron flying Spitfires.

Jake was then posted 315 Squadron (Polish) RAF, when it was formed at Aklington on the 21st January 1941, as a Flight Leader there until June 1941. While he was with 315 squadron, he was shot down over Liverpool, but managed to bail out and descend safely. . He moved to 457 (RAAF) Squadron when it was formed at Baginton on 16th June 1941. The photo is of 315 Squadron’s emblem. 315 Polish

After Jake completed his first tour of operations, he was posted to 457 Squadron RAAF for his second tour. when the Squadron was formed at Bagington on the 16th June 1941. As well as a founder member, he was the Squadrons first B Flight leader and remained so until he was killed on the 5th December 1941. He was in his Spitfire IIA, P7502, when it caught fire and spun into the ground over Ramsey on the Isle of Man. He bailed out, but was too low for his parachute to open. 

Jake is buried in St Andrew’s churchyard, Andreas, Isle of Man. He was 25 years old. Edy Allen Pic 9

Thank you Wikipedia (Squadron information)
Updated by Vince Conant
The Spitfire Association