The Airmen's Stories - F/O J R Walker
James Richard Walker was born in April 1920 in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, the son of Frederick Richard Walker and Emily Walker (nee Sturgess).
The family emigrated to Oak Bay, British Columbia in Canada in 1921.
Walker was educated at Onoway High School and
He joined the RAF on a short service commission in October 1938.
With his training completed, he joined 9 Air Observer School at Penrhos from the School
of Air Navigation, St. Athan on 9th October 1939 as a staff pilot. 9 AOS was redesignated 9
B&GS on 1st November 1939.
Walker was posted from 9 B&GS to 6 B&GS on 29th April 1940, again as a staff pilot.
He arrived at 7 OTU Hawarden in early July 1940. After converting to Spitfires he joined 611 Squadron at Digby on 27th July 1940 and moved to 41 Squadron at Hornchurch on 29th September.
Walker claimed Me109s destroyed on 7th and 9th October.
In October he volunteered for service in the Middle East and was posted away on
the 19th to No. 1 RAF Depot, Uxbridge. Walker went from there to King George V Dock,
Glasgow, where he embarked on the carrier HMS Argus on 23rd October for Gibraltar.
In mid-November 1940 the carrier sailed from Gibraltar with Hurricanes for Malta. Walker was one of six pilots who flew off on 16th November led by a FAA Skua. A series of mishaps saw the Hurricanes run out of fuel and fall one by one into the sea, with the loss of all six pilots.
Walker is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 6.
Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.