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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. E R Lacey


Edward Richard Lacey was born on 18th August 1920. He joined 600 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force before the war as an Aircrafthand and later remustered as an Airman u/t Air Gunner.

Called up on 24th August 1939, Lacey completed his flying training and was posted to 219 Squadron at Catterick on 20th July 1940.



On 30th July 1940 he was a passenger in Blenheim L1109 at Catterick. The aircraft sustained damage to its undercarriage on take off and immediately returned to belly land without injury to the pilot, Sgt. T Birkett, or Lacey.

Lacey appears to have been training as a radar operator during October 1940, whilst still flying as an Air Gunner. On 25th October he flew a sortie in a Blenheim, with P/O DM Lake, as an air gunner.

On the 30th he flew again with Lake. This was his first operational sortie as a radar operator and was made in a Beaufighter. They returned to base when the AI equipment became unserviceable.

Commissioned from Flight Sergeant in October 1942, Lacey transferred to Bomber Command and was awarded the DSO (gazetted 20th April 1943) as a Pilot Officer with 90 Squadron, operating in Stirlings from Ridgewell, Essex.

He had then completed sixty four operations. By the end of July 1941 he had completed forty sorties on Wellingtons including attacks on Benghazi, Taranto and Tripoli. During this time he was involved in two serious crashes, both when returning to base after his aircraft had been damaged by enemy action.

The later sorties were to targets in the Ruhr plus German ports. The overdue decoration was initially a DFC but this was upgraded to the DSO by AVM The Hon. Ralph Cochrane, OC 3 Group.

He remained in the RAF postwar, was made an OBE (gazetted 13th June 1970) and retired on 18th August 1975 as a Wing Commander.

Lacey died on 10th March 1980.

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