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The Airmen's Stories - F/O R J Walker


Robert James Walker was born on 6th December 1911 in Liverpool and attended Liverpool College. He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his initial training on 10th May 1937.

He was posted to 5 FTS Sealand on 17th July and after completing his training joined 72 Squadron at Church Fenton on 23rd April 1938.



He married Margaret Harris Hartas Anson in Tadcaster, Yorkshire, in 1939. They had met when he was at Church Fenton.

Walker was still serving with 72 Squadron at the start of the Battle of Britain but was then posted away on 5th August 1940 to 7 OTU Hawarden as an instructor.

Walker was serving with 45 Squadron, operating in Mosquitos from Joari, India,

On 25th March 1945 he was aloft in Mosquito FB VI HR627 of 45 Squadron, operating on this day from Kumbhirgram airfield in Assam, India with navigator F/Lt. FJ Harper DFC.

The sortie was to attack an important bridge over the Sittang River at Toungoo in Burma. The target was well defended. Walker made several runs over the target before releasing his bombs. As he made a final run over the target to secure a photograph the aircraft was hit. The windscreen around the pilot's compartment was smashed. Walker was cut about the eyes and temporarily blinded. F/Lt. Harper at once took over the controls and flew clear of the target. He then rendered first aid and afterwards assisted in flying the aircraft to base. Walker's sight was badly impaired but, at the third attempt, he brought the aircraft down safely.

He was awarded the DSO (gazetted 12th June 1945). He was then an Acting Wing Commander.

Walker stayed in the RAF postwar, retiring on 28th November 1964 as a Group Captain.

In civilian life he was a director of James Walker and Sons, Mirfield and Dewsbury, a textile company. He also served as a magistrate.

He died in June 2001 in Shrewsbury.



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