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The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. W A Richardson


William Arthur Richardson was born on 19th July 1903 in Hong Kong and joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1930, he was posted to 5 FTS Sealand on the 29th.

After completing his training he joined 23 Squadron at Kenley on 8th March 1931. He was granted a permanent commission on 1st June 1936, went to SHQ Hal Far, Malta on 31st July 1936 and transferred to 3 AACU there on 16th August 1937.



Richardson returned to the UK in early 1938 and on 19th March he went to 9 FTS Hullavington as an instructor. He was posted to the Air Staff at HQ 13 Group on 24th July 1939 as Squadron Leader Ops.

After 141 Squadron was reformed at Turnhouse on 4th October 1939 Richardson joined it on the 6th as CO. On 19th July 1940 Richardson, with P/O AB Halliwell as his gunner, was flying one of the nine Defiants which were attacked by Me109s off Dover. Theirs was one of only four that returned safely to base. Halliwell probably shot down a Me109 in the action.

Richardson relinquished command of 141 Squadron on 17th September 1940 but remained on the squadron strength as a supernumerary until 8th October when he was posted to the Fighter Sector HQ at Dyce. He assumed command there on 28th October.

Richardson flew an operational sortie from Dyce on 2nd November 1940 with 111 Squadron. He was still commanding the Fighter Sector Dyce on 1st February 1941.

His subsequent service is currently undocumented though it is known that he stayed in the RAF postwar, retiring on 19th July 1955 as a Wing Commander.

Richardson died in 1970.


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