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Lionel Hubert Wakeford, D.F.C., Squadron Leader, RAF.

 Lionel was born in Weymouth in 1915 and Joined the RAF at age 15 as an apprentice at RAF Halton. By the outbreak of WW2 he was a Sergeant Pilot in Egypt ( Heliopolis ) flying Bristol Bombay aircraft with 216 squadron throughout Egypt , North Africa and Greece . Later returning to the U.K. flying Wellington Bombers.  He was an early member of the Pathfinders with 139 Squadron flying Mosquito aircraft. By the end of the war he had flown over 2,400 hours at which time he had the rank of Squadron Leader.  He was twice mentioned in Dispatches and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Post war followed service with 29 Squadron. Moving to RAF Pembrey to form 233 Squadron a conversion unit in 1952 where he ran the tactical wing. On September 22 nd 1953 Lionel was training Pilot W.H. Williams in flying the Vampire Jet, and the aeroplane took off from Pembrey Airfield. However shortly after take-off Lionel requested permission to return to base. The aircraft was seen to weave for 2 miles approaching the airfield which was a method of losing speed. Unfortunately the Vampire crashed at the edge of the runway. The inquest found that the aircraft had suffered a sever fire probably starting immediately after take-off (possibly a re-ignite after a "flame out") which had led to the crash. Both men were killed on impact, and Lionel is buried at Pembrey (St. Illtyd) Churchyard. On the 9 th March that year, another Vampire Pilot based at Pembrey had been killed, when he crashed into a field at Llanybri.

Available from: http://www.laugharnewarmemorial.co.uk/page54.htm

 

 

 

 

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