The Airmen's Stories - P/O A G Wainwright
Alec George Wainwright was born on 30th October 1912 in Luton, the son of Sidney George Wainwright and Margaret Annie Wainwright (nee McVean).
His birth registration records his first name as Alexander. He was educated at Dunstable Grammar School, Bedfordshire.
Wainwright was employed as a Bank clerk when he joined the RAFVR about September 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot.
Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training, was commissioned and joined 151 Squadron at Martlesham Heath in late August 1940.
On the 29th, during a routine patrol, Wainwright baled out and was admitted to Epping Hospital with broken ribs. His Hurricane, P3882, crashed near Basildon.
Wainwright was posted to 73 Squadron on 7th November 1940. The squadron embarked on HMS Furious on the 10th bound for the Middle East. The pilots flew their Hurricanes off at Takoradi on the 29th to fly the ferry route north to Heliopolis via Lagos, Accra, Kano, Maidugari, Khartoum, Wadi Haifa and Abu Sueir.
However Wainwright's aircraft came down in the sea, cause unknown, and Furious only just avoided running over it. He was picked up, suffering only a few cuts and bruises, by the cruiser HMS Naiad which received the signal 'Well fielded Naiad' from the captain of Furious.
During December the pilots of 73 Squadron were attached to 274 Squadron in the Western Desert. 73 Squadron became operational again as a unit in early January 1941. On the 21st the squadron escorted Blenheims to bomb Tobruk. The Hurricanes got into a dogfight with Fiat G50s and Wainwright was shot down and killed.
He is remembered on the Alamein Memorial.
Additional research and pilot's portrait courtesy of Grant Cornwell MBE.
Photographs courtesy of Colonel C R Romberg RA, British Embassy Cairo.