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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. W G Cunnington


William George Cunnington of Trimsaran, South Wales was born on 26th February 1913 and joined the RAFVR about October 1937 as an Airman u/t Pilot.

He was called up on 1st September 1939, completed his training and was serving with 7 B&GS Stormy Down in May 1940, possibly as a staff pilot.

He was attached to 4 Ferry Pilot Pool on 17th May but returned to 7 B&GS on the 20th.


Above: A Flight 607 Squadron September 1940

L to R: F/Sgt. Anderson (armourer), F/Sgt. Atkin, Sgt. RA Spyer, Sgt. WG Cunnington, unknown, Sgt. Ventham (rigger), F/Lt. WF Blackadder, F/O MM Irving, P/O Watson (IO), P/O MR Ingle-Finch.


He joined 607 Squadron at Usworth in early June 1940. He shared in the destruction of a He 111 off Sunderland on 15th August and on 15th September Cunnington shared in destroying two Ju88s.

He was posted from 607 to No. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge on 19th October 1940 to join the carrier HMS Argus on the 23rd. Cunnington did not go to Uxbridge but reported direct to the carrier at King George Dock, Glasgow.

He was one of thirteen pilots on the carrier destined for Malta. At dawn on 17th November 1940 the first six Hurricanes took off, Cunnington amongst them.

Led by a FAA Skua, they reached their first landfall, Galite Island, safely but nearly half an hour late and running low on fuel. They were led on the final leg by a Sunderland.

One of the Hurricanes ran out of fuel, the pilot baled out and was picked up by the Sunderland, which then hurried on to catch up with the others. By this time Cunnington had also run out of fuel. He baled out but the Sunderland failed to find him.

Cunnington is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 13.






Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner


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