View Full Version : W/C John Hugh LAPSLEY, interesting Meteor AFC

25th May 2021, 17:00
LAPSLEY, John Hugh, W/C, OBE, DFC (33320) - Eastern Sector Flying Wing, Station Horsham St. Faith - Air Force Cross – awarded as per London Gazette dated 8 June 1950. Recommended when he had flown 1,612 hours, 197 on current duties, 75 in previous six months. Found by Pavel Vancata in Public Record Office AIR 2/10073.

Wing Commander Lapsley assumed command of the Eastern Sector Meteor Flying Wing at Horsham St. Faith in August 1948, immediately after the Wing had been re-equipped with Meteor IV aircraft. Since that date, he has completed 197 hours on this type of aircraft (comprising 268 sorties). His own flying has reached a very high standard, and it has been through his example, combined with excellent leadership, that he has raised the flying standard in the Wing to its present high level. In addition, he has conducted many experiments, both in the flying and tactical use of Meteor IV aircraft, the approved results of which have led to the steady improvement in the fighting potential of the Wing - the most important aspect of his task during the development stage of the Jet aircraft. The Wing has also been selected to give demonstrations all over the United Kingdom and Europe. Wing Commander Lapsley has invariably been responsible for the flying programme given by his Units at these displays and, as an example of their success, three pilots in the Wing have already been awarded the Air Force Cross during his period of command. On October 1949, he led a detachment of six Meteor IV’s on a reinforcement flight to Egypt - the first time such a flight had been attempted in Jet aircraft. His leadership of this flight was masterly. Despite many minor delays on the way out, caused by the inexperience of Control and Airfield Staffs in the handling of Jet aircraft, the flight arrived on time for its exercise in the Canal Zone. On the return flight, much unforecasted bad weather was encountered, particularly on the routes Malta-Rome and Bordeaux-Tangmere. On all occasions, Wing Commander Lapsley’s resolute leadership kept the flight together during long periods of instrument flying. In the latter flight, he attempted to climb above the weather at 40,000 feet but without success. He, therefore, descended to the more comfortable altitude of 30,000 feet and completed the whole flight from Bordeaux to Tangmere in cloud. On reaching Tangmere, he descended to 1,000 feet and being still in cloud, insisted on being diverted to another airfield. He was given Manston and, still in cloud, set course with his flight, landing safely some 15 minutes later. At all times, Wing Commander Lapsley has commanded his Wing with exemplary efficiency and example and has made a great contribution to the fighting potential of Fighter Command.