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The Airmen's Stories - P/O M L Wells


Malcolm Leslie Wells was born in January 1909 in St. Pancras, London. It appears that he was known to his family as 'Leslie'.

The 1911 census records his father as a pianoforte manufacturer living at Laurel Villa, Long Lane, Finchley, Middlesex. In the 1939 register he is shown as having retired from his trade and to be living at Rowley Green, Walton Lane, Weybridge, Surrey.

Wells joined the RAFVR about February 1939 as an Airman u/t Observer. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 5 B&GS Jurby and joined 248 Squadron on 30th March 1940. He was posted to No. 1 (C) OTU Silloth on 31st May 1940 and rejoined 248 on 26th June.


Above: Wells (left) and P/O EC Schollar, presumably in training as they are without their flying badges.

Above image courtesy of Judith Lockey, niece of F/O William Clifford Hall of 248 Squadron.


Above: he must have retrained as a pilot as he is wearing pilots' wings in 1941.


On 7th August 1940 P/O R Haviland was detailed to reconnoitre Trondheim in Blenheim IV L9456 WR*R but they were unable to identify anything once there as the visibility was almost nil. It did not improve on the return journey and they ran out of fuel and were forced to ditch in the sea. They were not far from Farne Island, off St.Abbs Head, and Haviland, Wells and Sgt. A Kay were soon picked up from their dinghy by a trawler. The aircraft had not sunk and was later recovered.

Wells went to Malta on 1st November 1940 to join 431 Flight, which was receiving Martin Marylands as they were ferried out from the UK.

The Flight was redesignated 69 Squadron on 10th January 1941.

Wells was awarded the DFC (gazetted 26th September 1941) as a Flying Officer with 69 Squadron in Malta.

He was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Squadron Leader.

Wells died in Strathtay, Perthshire on 17th November 1983.


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