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Thread: S/L Lionel Hubert Wakeford

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    Default S/L Lionel Hubert Wakeford

    I'm currently researching the RAF career of S/L Lionel Hubert Wakeford DFC (48267). He joined as a Halton Brat (564789) with number 22 Entry in 1930 and sadly died in Vampire WZ478 at Pembrey in 1953. I've been looking for his DFC citation awarded in 1945 when I believe he was probably flying Mosquitos with 139 Sqn. The Gazette just lists the award but is the actual citation available anywhere? Any further snippets welcome if anyone has them.

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    Default Re: S/L Lionel Hubert Wakeford

    I have the following in my incomplete data bases.

    WAKEFORD, Lloyd [Lionel ?] Hubert, A/F/L (48267, Royal Air Force) - No.11 Operational Training Unit - Mention in Despatches - Awarded as per Lodon Gazette dated 1 January 1943. Originally recommended for an Air Force Cross for New Year Honours List, downgraded to this award; text in Public Record Office Air 2/8871 (courtesy of Steve Brew). Rank of Pilot Officer when Pilot Officer.

    This staff pilot has been employed on conversion and operational flying for the past nine months following a successful operational tour in the Middle East. He has performed these duties in a most enthusiastic and conscientious manner, completing 340 hours instructional flying by day and 160 hours by night. During his present tour of duty he has participated in two operational sorties to Cologne and Dusseldorf and the example he has shown has resulted in a very high standard amongst his pupils. Pilot Officer Wakeford has at all times displayed zeal and the greatest devotion to duty.

    Air Ministry Bulletins 19736 and 19737 have numerous unpublished citations for the date of his DFC but I suspect his is not among them. On the other hand, I would suggest that there is a fair chance of the original recommendation being at Kew in AIR 2/8751.

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    Default Re: S/L Lionel Hubert Wakeford

    Excellent - thanks very much. That fits in with him completing his tour on Bombays with 216 in Heliopolis and his conversion to Wellingtons. I'll have a look at the Kew records

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    Default Re: S/L Lionel Hubert Wakeford

    Although it doesn't answer your question, you may not have the following info:

    Bedfordshire Times and Independent - Friday 27 July 1951

    "Coroner Commends Eaton Socon Man’s Action at Keysoe Air Crash.

    "I think that you did an extraordinarily good job of work", said the Deputy Coroner (Col. G. A. Battcock) to a witness at an inquest at Kempston Police Station on Wednesday on two airmen who lost their lives when their Harvard aeroplane crashed at Keysoe on Monday. The witness was Mr. Harry William Bradford, of The Crescent, Eaton Socon, who told the Coroner that after seeing the crash he approached the blazing plane and attempted to drag the occupants out. He was unable to do so until two other men came to his aid.
    Col Battcock said that he had experience with aircraft crashes during the war, and found that the people of North Bedfordshire, without exception, were always ready to risk their lives to save the occupants of crashed planes. Mr. Bradford said that before the plane crashed it performed a series of vertical banks which he described as "half rolls."
    Flight Lt. L H. Wakeford, D.F.C. (a wartime Pathfinder pilot), said that the men were on a normal training flight from their station at Oakington, Cambridgeshire under orders to practise instrument flying, aerobatics, and forced landings. Medical evidence showed that both men, Sgts. Norman James Fraser and William Douglas Thomas, were killed instantaneously in the crash. The bodies were severely burned after death.
    A verdict of accidental death was recorded."



    Bradford Observer - Wednesday 23 September 1953

    "Two killed in Vampire crash

    The pilot, Sqdn.-Ldr. L. H. Wakeford, and his pupil, Pilot Officer W. H. Williams, were killed yesterday when their Vampire dual-trainer jet crashed while coming in to land at RAF. Station Pembrey, South Wales. The Vampire burst into flames over the airfield. The pilot attempted to land, but missed the runway. His aircraft crashed and was quickly enveloped in flames. The Llanelly Fire Brigade was called to assist R.A.F. personnel in fighting the flames."

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    Default Re: S/L Lionel Hubert Wakeford

    Thanks Jonny - interestingly he never served on Harvards nor at Oakington so I guess he was at the coroners court as rep of the RAF BoI

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