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George Herman Bennions

Admitted to:

RAF Horsham. St. Faith SSQ.

Date of Injury:


D.O.B/Age when admitted:

15/03/1913 (28)

Cause of Incident:

Enemy Action. Shot down in Spitfire Ia, X4559, bailed out over Henfield, Sussex.

Transferred to QVH:



Burns to face, blinded in one eye, and sustained burns and injuries to his right arm & right leg

No. of Operations at East Grinstead:



This is to certify that the patient mentioned below and whose description is stated hereon is the authorised holder of this Identity card.


George Herman



Service No:





DFC 01.10.1940

Patient Unit:

41 Sqn


Pilot/Sqn Leader

Patient Rank:

Plt Off



Age at Death:


Dr Rank:

Dr Unit:


Born Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.

Took down twelve Nazi aircraft.

Founder member of the Guinea Pig Club. Also a member of the Caterpillar Club.

Bennions returned to service as an Acting Flt Lt and Operations Room Officer at RAF Catterick on 16 Feb 1941. His flying status was reinstated for daytime flying only and he returned to operations in 1943, traveling to Algiers in May 1943. Transferring to the U.S. 31st & 52nd Fighter Groups as a Liaison Officer on arrival, he flew several convoy patrols, but was wounded by shrapnel from a bomb while coming ashore at Corsica in a landing craft in October 1943.

He was evacuated to the UK the following month and was released from the RAF with a considered 50% disability in 1946. Bennions was nonetheless recalled to the RAF during the 1956 Suez Crisis, and ultimately relinquished his commission as a Squadron Leader in March 1958.

His Spitfire was unearthed from a field in Henfield in September 1975, along with the Messerschmidt he shot down. He joined the Wealden Aviation Archaeological Group digging it up.


SSQ - Station Sick Quarters

Further Reading:

'Guinea Pigs on Parade', The Guinea Pig, New Year 1977, pp. 25-7.
'Guinea Pigs on Parade', The Guinea Pig, July 1982, pp. 31-2.
'How I Became a Guinea Pig', George Bennions, The Guinea Pig, July 1984, pp. 24-5.


'Guinea Pigs on Parade', The Guinea Pig, New Year 1975, p. 34.
'A Likely Story', The Guinea Pig, Summer 1975, pp. 7-9.
'Guinea Pigs on Parade', The Guinea Pig, New Year 1976, pp. 22-3.
'Men of The Battle of Britain.' Kenneth Wynn

East Grinstead Museum Collection:
EGRTM 2799.1 - photographs of Bennions at the controls of a Tiger Moth