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The Airmen's Stories -F/Lt. B H Way

 

Basil Hugh Way, of Hinton St George, Somerset was born in September 1917 in Newark, Nottinghamshire. His father was made MBE in the New Year Honours, 1919 for his service as Secretary of the Grantham and Claypole War Savings Committee.

BH Way was educated at Malvern College. The addresses of his parents, recorded by the school, were Hinton St. George, Somerset and Merriott House, Merriott, Somerset. Way became a Prefect and Captain of the Shooting VIII. He played football for a successful house team. At cricket he was a slow bowler.

Way entered RAF College Cranwell in January 1937 as a Flight Cadet. Whilst there he won the Groves Memorial Prize as the best all-round pilot and represented the College at cricket.

He graduated on 16th December 1938 with a Permanent Commission and then joined 54 Squadron at Hornchurch.

 

 

54 Squadron just before Dunkirk, Way is seated third from left.

 

Way was detached from 54 to the School of Air Navigation, Manston on 2nd January 1939 for a course in navigation. He rejoined 54 on 11th March 1939.

He was posted from 54 to the Photographic Development Unit at Heston on 31st January 1940 but had rejoined 54 Squadron by 12th February.

On February 13th 1940 he shared in destroying a He111 off the north Kent coast. In May he was appointed 'B' Flight Commander and over Dunkirk on the 25th and 26th he probably destroyed two Me110’s.

On the 28th he was appointed 'B' Flight Commander, as an Acting Flight Lieutenant.

On 3rd July Way shared a Do17, on the 8th he claimed a Me109 destroyed and shared another, on the 24th two probable Me109’s and on the 25th another Me109 destroyed. Immediately after this victory Way was shot down and killed, crashing into the Channel in Spitfire R6707.

Way was 22 years old. He is buried in Oostdunkerke Communal Cemetery, Belgium.

 

 

An obituary in the Malvernian described him as having a quiet manner and voice and a slow smile. It suggested that at school Way's 'heart was set on flying' and his time at Cranwell represented 'perhaps his happiest years'.

In 2010 a Battle of Britain memorial plaque was unveiled at Malvern College which included Way’s name.

 

 

 

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