The Airmen's Stories - P/O D J Thacker
David John Thacker was born in 1918 in Buckinghamshire and joined the RAFVR about July 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 5 FTS Sealand on No. 48 Course, which began on 27th May 1940. However he fell sick and was moved to a later course which ended on 24th September 1940.
He arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on the 26th and after converting to Hurricanes joined 32 Squadron at Acklington on 18th October 1940. He was posted to 145 Squadron at Tangmere on 3rd December.
Thacker left 145 for overseas service in mid-December 1940 and embarked on the carrier HMS Furious on the 17th. With other pilots he flew a Hurricane off to Takoradi on 9th January 1941.They flew up to Cairo via Lagos, Kano, El Geneina, Khartoum, Wadi Haifa and Abu Sueir.
Thacker flew to Malta on 29th January and joined 261 Squadron at Hal Far. On 12th February he was shot down in Hurricane N3733 by Me109s of 7/JG26 and baled out, wounded, into the sea at St. Paul's Bay. He was rescued by High Speed Launch 107.
He was out of action for a month and when 261 Squadron was disbanded in May 1941 he returned to the Middle East and was later posted to ADU Takoradi on ferrying duties.
He was awarded the AFC (gazetted 8th June 1944) and was serving with 151 Squadron at Hunsdon in 1944/45 as a Flight Commander.
On 14th July 1944 he was on a 2-plane daylight sortie over France in Mosquito NFXIII PZ219 when his port engine was put out of action by flak.
Thacker was able to get the aircraft back to Predannack but hydraulic failure caused a crash landing and the Mosquito was written off. Thacker and F/O S Hall were unhurt.
He married Sheila Duff Ross on 28th July 1944 at St. Stephens, Inverness.
Thacker was released from the RAF in late 1946 as a Squadron Leader.
He died in 2002.