The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. K A Wilkinson
Kenneth Astill Wilkinson was born on 29th June 1918 at Barrow-in-Furness and educated at Cheltenham Grammar School. He joined the RAFVR in March 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot.
Called up on 1st September 1939, Wilkinson went to an ITW and did not reach 5 EFTS Hanworth until 26th March 1940.
He was at 10 (Advanced) EFTS Yatesbury from 25th May to 7th June moving then to 8 FTS Montrose.
With his flying training completed on 31st August 1940, he arrived at 7 OTU Hawarden on 2nd September. After converting to Spitfires he joined 616 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 1st October and then went to 19 Squadron at Fowlmere on the 17th.
Wilkinson was posted away to 56 OTU Sutton Bridge on 27th January 1941 as an instructor. On 23rd October he joined 1488 Flight at Shoreham. He was sent on a course to COS Sutton Bridge on 10th May 1942, to become a pilot gunnery instructor, after which he was posted to 11 Group Practice Camp at Martlesham Heath.
Wilkinson went to 61 OTU Rednal on 23rd February 1943 for a refresher course on Spitfires before joining 234 Squadron on 23rd April at Skeabrae. He moved to 165 Squadron at Ibsley on 8th July.
He was posted away to 53 OTU Hibaldstow on 27th December 1943, was commissioned in February 1944, and remained there until 7th June.
He went to 24 OTU Honeybourne on 28th August and moved on to 10 OTU Abingdon on 27th May 1945.
Wilkinson was released from the RAF in November 1945 as a Flying Officer. He served in the RAFVR from 1947.
He became a Quantity Surveyor in civilian life and one of his projects was Birmingham's New Street Station.
He died on 31st July 2017 aged 99.