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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J W Slade


John William Slade, from Weston-super-Mare, was born in late 1916 in Swansea and attended Cardiff Technical College before joining the RAFVR about June 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot.

Called up on 1st September 1939 he completed his training and joined 64 Squadron at Leconfield in mid-September 1940.

He had married Constance Ruth Lynham in late 1939.

He flew his first operational sortie on the 27th.

Commissioned in July 1941, Slade apparently joined 603 Squadron early in 1942. On 20th April 1942 he was one of the 603 Squadron pilots who flew off the carrier USS Wasp to land at Ta Kali, Malta.

On 28th April Slade damaged a Me109, on 5th May he destroyed a Ju87, on the 6th he damaged a Ju88, on the 9th he damaged a Me109 and on 23rd June he damaged two more Me109s.

On 6th July 1942 Slade joined 126 Squadron at Luqa, as a Flight Commander, with the rank of Acting Flight Lieutenant. On 10th July he destroyed a Me109 and on the 24th he damaged a Ju88.

Slade was awarded the DFC (gazetted 22nd January 1943) as an Acting Flight Lieutenant with 126 Squadron. He then took command of the Gibraltar Defence Flight. In Spring 1944 the unit moved to Reghaia in Sardinia and was designated ‘C’ Flight of 256 Squadron.

He commanded 94 Squadron in Greece from November 1944 until the squadron was disbanded at Sedes on 26th April 1945. He then went to 337 Wing, also in Greece.

Slade was killed on 19th September 1945 as a squadron leader with 337 Wing. His jeep ran into the back of a lorry at night in Athens.

He was 28 and is buried in Phaleron War Cemetery, Athens.










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