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The Airmen's Stories - P/O W L B Walker


William Louis Buchanan Walker was born on 24th August 1913 in Hampstead, London and educated at Brighton College. He subsequently entered the brewing industry.

Walker joined the RAFVR on 2nd September 1938 at Kidlington, Oxford as an Airman u/t Pilot and flew his first solo there on the 28th. He moved to Romford and continued his weekend flying at 21 E&RFTS Stapleford.

Walker was called to full-time service on 1st September 1939 and posted to No. 1 ITW Cambridge on 15th November. He went to 2 FTS Brize Norton on 17th February 1940 and at the end of the course he was commissioned and posted directly to 616 Squadron at Leconfield on 18th June.



He was being led by an experienced pilot on a familiarisation flight when they unexpectedly encountered a Do17 over the sea. After his colleague had expended his ammunition without result Walker then engaged the Dornier but it escaped.

On landing back at Leconfield he discovered that his aircraft had not been loaded with ammunition. Walker, who had never fired his guns in training, had only heard the breeches being operated by compressed air and assumed that they were firing.

In combat off Dover on 26th August Walker was shot down in Spitfire R6633 and baled out, wounded in the foot. He was rescued by a fishing boat and admitted to Ramsgate Hospital, going the next day to the RAF Hospital Halton.

Walker rejoined 616 at Tangmere on 1st May 1941. He was attached to No. 1 ADF at Hendon from the 20th.

Walker returned to hospital at Halton on 23rd September 1941 and after convalescence at Torquay rejoined No. 1 ADF on 17th November. He was posted to 116 Squadron at Heston on 8th July 1942 on anti-aircraft co-operation duties.

Walker remained with the squadron until 6th July 1944. He then went to the Sector Gunnery Flight at Gatwick until 4th October when he rejoined No. 1 ADF. Walker served with the unit at various locations until released from the RAF at Uxbridge on 1st September 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He returned to the brewery industry and was Chairman of Ind Coope.

A book of Walker's poetry was published in 2011.

He died on 21st October 2012.


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