The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. V D Page
Vernon Douglas Page was born at Oldcroft in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire on 14th December 1913. He grew up in Blakeney and went to the village school where his father was a teacher. He won a scholarship to Rencomb College, Cirencester and graduated in 1931.
Page began a student apprenticeship with the English Electric Company at Stafford and became a transformer designer.
In late 1938 he joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot and he had completed 50 hours on Magisters at 28 E&RFTS Meir by the outbreak of war.
Page was posted to 3 ITW Hastings, completed his elementary flying training at 18 EFTS Fair Oaks and then went on to 6 FTS Little Rissington. At the end of the course Page went to CFS Upavon for an instructors course but in September 1940 he was posted to 7 OTU Hawarden to convert to Spitfires.
An administrative error sent him in early October to a Hurricane Squadron, 601 at Exeter, where he carried out three operational sorties before it was discovered he was overdue at 610 Squadron at Acklington. After arriving there on 17th October Page carried out one more sortie before the Battle of Britain officially ended on the 31st.
Commissioned in April 1941, Page was posted to 54 Squadron at Hornchurch. While serving with the squadron he spent six weeks in hospital after a forced-landing near Whitstable due to enemy action. In December 1941 Page was posted to 61 OTU Heston as an instructor.
In 1942 he went on a gunnery instructors course at CGS Sutton Bridge, after which he was posted to the Middle East in August.
Page joined 127 Squadron in the desert near Alamein. In January 1943 the squadron moved to Haifa, with a detached flight in Cyprus. In October 1943 Page was posted to India where he joined 11 Squadron at Madras, then in the process of converting from Blenheims to Hurricanes. In December 1943 the squadron moved to the Arakan to support the Army opposing the Japanese offensive. In March 1944 it went to Tulehull on the Imphal plain, remaining there during the siege when road access was cut and all supplies came in by air.
Awarded the DFC (gazetted 19th May 1944), Page was posted to the Ground Attack School at RAF Ranchi in October 1944 as an instructor.
He was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 3rd April 1945) and repatriated to the UK.
Page was appointed CGI at 61 OTU Keevil and held this job until being released from the RAF in August 1946 as a Squadron Leader. He was officially credited with 4 enemy aircraft destroyed and one probable.
Page returned to English Electric and in November 1948 he joined 611 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force at Woodvale as a Flight Commander. He flew Spitfire XXIIs until 1950, when he emigrated to Australia.
Page became Chief Designer and later Chief Engineer and Manager of English Electric in Australia. He retired in 1978 and died on 22nd September 2001 at Jellat, New South Wales.