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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. V W Heslop


Victor William Heslop was born on 9th May 1913 and attended Bolton Municipal Secondary School. He joined the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice in January 1930 and passed out in December 1932 as a Metal Rigger.

He later applied for pilot training and was selected. Heslop carried out his flying training and passed out as a Sergeant Pilot.

He was serving with 142 Squadron in France by 10th May 1940, flying Fairey Battles from Faux-Villecerf west of Troyes.

On 26th May he returned from a sortie to find that the undercarriage would not lower, he belly-landed without injury but the aircraft was written off.

In August Heslop volunteered to serve in Fighter Command and joined 56 Squadron at Boscombe Down on 2nd September 1940.

He was posted from 56 to No. 1 FTS Netheravon on 20th January 1941 as an instructor.

Promoted to Warrant Officer on 11th October 1941, Heslop was commissioned in February 1943.

He left the RAF in 1948 but rejoined in June 1949 in the Secretarial Branch and retired on 9th May 1963 as a Flight Lieutenant.

Heslop died in Llandeilo, Dyfed on 20th August 1981.

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