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Flying Officer Ken Wilkinson (deceased)
|Battle of Britain pilot flying Hurricanes, he flew Spitfires with 611 Sqn and then 616 Sqn at Kirton-in-Lindsey and 19 Sqn at Fowlmere during 1940 and after a spell instructing returned to operations on Spitfires, with 234 and 165 Squadrons. After spending time with 53, 24 and 10 Operational Training Units, he left the RAF in November 1945 and served in the RAFVR.|
Ken said :
From 1st September 1939 I wrote myself off. I thought, 'you've got no chance' lasting through whatever is going to be. It was quite obvious, in the way the Germans were moving, they were going to make a hell of a war out of it, so I was ready for war. I can remember saying 'we've got to stop this fellow Hitler'. When you think of all the thousands of citizens that were being killed by this absurd bombing. They had to pay for it didn't they. Yes, we lost people. Friends that didn't come back. I don't think we were the sort of people to brood over it, ever. You have to get into an attitude to make sure that you're as cold as a fish. Once someone has failed to return, that's it. Fortune smiled on me and not on some of the others. I can only say that whoever it was who pooped off at me, wasn't a very good marksman. It transpired that we were doing something far more important than we thought. As far as we were concerned, it was just that there were some untidy creatures from over the other side of the channel, trying to bomb England and the United Kingdom. And we didn't want them to bomb us. After all, we never asked the Germans to start this nonsense, did we? But they did, and we had to stop them, and we did. It's our country. You die for you country.
Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum DFC
|Joined the RAF with a Short Service Commission in August 1939. He joined 92 Squadron flying Spitfires in June 1940 at the time of Dunkirk. He flew throughout the Battle of Britain, later completing over 50 fighter sweeps and escorts over northern France and Belgium until August 1941. He then joined 65 Squadron as Flight Commander in March 1942 operating over northern France and flew off aircraft carrier HMS Furious on Operation Pedestal, to Malta. Geoff was a Flight Lieutenant during Operation Pedestal. He returned to the UK as a test pilot for Gloster Aircraft and finished the war as a Pilot Attack Instructor. Geoffrey was credited with three destroyed, four probables and several damaged and was awarded the DFC in July 1941.|
Wing Commander John Elkington
|John (Tim) Elkington was born in 1920 and joined the RAF in September 1939. Commissioned as a Pilot Officer in July 1940 he was immediately posted to join 1 Squadron flying Hurricanes atTangmere. On 15 August he shot down an Me109 over the Channel, but the following day he was himself shot down over Thorney Island. He baled out injured and was admitted to hospital, his Hurricane crashing at Chidham.|
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