War pi­lot daugh­ter stops at Den­ham on tour of air­bases

Fa­ther saw ac­tion across Europe and also taught pi­lots night­fight­ing

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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

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