The Airmen's Stories - F/O W D K Franklin
Walter Derrick Kerr Franklin, from Jamaica, was born on 14th September 1916 and joined the RAF on 23rd August 1937 on a short service commission and began his elementary flying course at 12 E&RFTS Prestwick.
On 24th October he was posted to No. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge for a short induction course, after which he continued training at 9 FTS Hullavington.
With his training completed, he joined 142 Squadron at Andover on 20th August 1938. On 2nd September 1939 the squadron flew its Battles out to France. It suffered heavy losses in May 1940 and was withdrawn to Waddington on 15th June.
Franklin volunteered to serve with Fighter Command and on 21st August he joined 74 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey. On 24th September he shared in damaging a Do17 and claimed a Ju87 destroyed on 14th November.
On 30th December 1940 Franklin was posted to CFS Upavon for an instructors course. He was instructing until 1945, when he went for a course at the Empire Test Pilots School at Cranfleld, after which he was posted to Farnborough.
Franklin resigned his commission in 1947 and he returned to Jamaica to run the family-owned hotel, which he eventually owned. He later sold it and returned to England.
Franklin died in October 2000 in Southampton.