War pilot daughter stops at Denham on tour of airbases
Father saw action across Europe and also taught pilots nightfighting
THE daughter of a Second World War pilot who landed his plane at a Bucks airfield has paid a visit to the site.
Elizabeth Halls travelled from her home, in Herefordshire, to Denham Aerodrome on Thursday, June 4 on the Bucks leg of a six-month tour of 60 UK airbases in memory of her father, Flight Lieutenant Bryan Wild.
Mrs Halls, a heritage consultant and counsellor, who edited Mr Wild’s memoirs after his death in 2012, is not a pilot herself, but drove to the airfield in a 1935 Singer Le Mans Special sports car, almost identical to the one her father owned before he was demobbed.
During the war, Denham Aerodrome was used as an RAF base, and at her visit on Thursday, she was the guest of f the site’s manager Amy Paul.
Mr Wild flew 14 types of aircraft during the war and saw action over the Mediterranean, North Africa, a, Germany and Great reat Britain itself.
He also took part in the very first Battle of Britain commemorative fly past, led by group captain Douglas Bader in September 1945.
Mrs Halls said: “Dad landed at RAF Denham in the summer of 1944 while he was serving with 51 Operational Training Unit, teaching single engine day fighter pilots to convert to night fighting in Beaufighters.
“I am thrilled to visit after all these years.
“In his diaries, my father speaksspeak about the thrillsthril and frissonfri of nightni flying, theth intensity of wartime action, the d e e p co comradeships a n d deva devastating loss of friends in combat along the way.”
The car in which Mrs Halls is completing the tour bears the number plate CHU 944 recalling the year her father bought his own vehicle, and his favourite wartime song, Chattanooga Choo Choo by Glenn Miller.
To follow Mrs Halls’ tour, go to www.wheretheyserved. com.
ON TOUR: Elizabeth Halls with her 1935 Singer Le Mans Special; (inset) Bryan Wild