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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. W B Parkes


William Bert Parkes was born on 27th April 1919 and joined the RAFVR on 23rd July 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He began his elementary flying training at 9 E&RFTS Ansty.

Called to full-time service on 13th September 1939, he later went to 3 ITW Hastings, moved on to 15 EFTS Redhill on 22nd November and was posted for intermediate and advanced training to 5 FTS Sealand on 27th April 1940.


Above: L to R: Sgt. R Mallet, Sgt. J Dyke, Parkes of 74 Squadron.


Parkes went to 5 OTU Aston Down on 6th August and, after converting to Spitfires, he joined 74 Squadron at Wittering on the 17th.

He remained with the squadron until 16th April 1941 when he was posted to SHQ Manston. On 30th September Parkes joined 11 Group Flight at Croydon, engaged on calibration of radar, searchlights and anti-aircraft defences.

On 11th December 1942 Parkes went to AFDU at Duxford and was commissioned in February 1943. He was posted to 2 FIS Montrose on 9th December 1943 and then went to 14(P) AFU at Banff as an instructor, moving to 5(P) AFU at Tern Hill on 16th August 1944.

Granted a Permanent Commission, Parkes joined 613 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force on 17th May 1946 as Flying Instructor and Adjutant.

He resigned his commission on 3rd May 1950.



Parkes died in November 1991 in Manchester.


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