The Airmen's Stories - P/O J W E Alexander
John William Edward Alexander was born on 28th January 1915 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He married Charlotte Willis in April 1936 in Newcastle.
He was recorded as being employed as a 'Motor Transport Driver' when he joined the RAF on a short service commission and began training on 1st May 1939.
His first posting was 13 E&RFTS White Waltham. He moved on to 10 FTS Ternhill on 10th July on No. 12 Course and completed his training on 9th December 1939.
Alexander arrived at 11 Group Pool, St. Athan on 28th December and went to 2 Ferry Pilot Pool on 26th January 1940. He was posted to No. 1 Air Armament School at Manby on 2nd March as a staff pilot.
He went to 7 OTU Hawarden on 17th June, converted to Hurricanes and then joined 151 Squadron at Martlesham Heath on 1st July 1940.
Flying from North Weald on 28th August, Alexander's aircraft was set alight in a combat over the Thames Estuary and he baled out, badly burned. The burning Hurricane, L2005, crashed into a bungalow at Godmersham.
Alexander was taken to the nearby Orchard End Nursing Home at Wye before being admitted to Chatham Hospital on 30th August. A further move was made to Queen Mary Hospital at Sidcup but three days later he was transferred to the RAF Hospital at Halton.
He returned to 151 Squadron, then at Digby, on 21st November and then seems to have been given two periods of sick leave before finally rejoining 151 on 27th December 1940.
His subsequent service is currently undocumented though it would appear that he went on to the Reserve at the end of 1942 and was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.
He died on 9th June 1993 in Choppington, Northumberland.