The Airmen's Stories - P/O W Cunningham
Wallace Cunningham was born in Glasgow on 4th December 1916. He joined the RAFVR in September 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot.
Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 11 FTS Shawbury on No. 17 Course, which ran from 20th November 1939 to 8th June 1940.
Above: 19 Squadron at Fowlmere, L to R: Cunningham, Sub/Lt. AG Blake, F/O FN Brinsden (NZ).
He was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down on 10th June and after converting to Spitfires he joined 19 Squadron at Fowlmere on 25th June.
On 16th August Cunninhgam claimed a Me110 destroyed, on 7th September a He111 destroyed and another damaged, on the 9th a Me109 destroyed, on the 15th a Me109 destroyed and a Me110 shared, on the 18th a Ju88 shared and on 15th November a Me110 shared.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 8th October 1940).
On 21st July 1941 he damaged a Me109 on a sweep over France. About this time Cunningham was appointed 'B' Flight Commander and promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant.
On 28th August 1941 the squadron was escorting Blenheims on a low-level attack on shipping in Rotterdam harbour. Cunningham was shot down in Spitfire IIa P8439 by ground fire and taken prisoner after crash landing on a beach.
He was in several different camps in Germany until freed by the Russians near Berlin. Once back in Britain he married Mary Ferguson Anderson in August 1945 at Shieldhall and Drumoyne Church in Glasgow.
He was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant and went into engineering.
Cunningham later became vice-president of a Glasgow engineering company.
He died on 4th October 2011 in Scotland.