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The Airmen's Stories - F/O D F Wilson


Donald Fraser Wilson was born in Wairoa, New Zealand on 27th August 1916 and worked as a costing clerk in Wellington. In June 1938 he applied for an RAF short service commission and he was provisionally accepted. He sailed for the UK on 16th December in RMS Rangitata.

On 23rd January 1939 Wilson began his training at 13 E&RFTS White Waltham. He was posted to 13 FTS Drem on 15th April and after completing the course he joined the newly-formed 141 Squadron, operating Defiants, on 21st October.

Wilson served with the squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. He received a Mention in Despatches (gazetted 17th March 1941).

On 5th May 1941 he damaged a He111 at night over Glasgow. Wilson was posted to command 1451 Flight at Hunsdon on 1st January 1942, a Turbinlite Havoc unit.

In early June 1942 Wilson was posted to the Air Ministry as a Deputy Technical Officer. He was there until 30th June 1943, going then to 62 OTU as an instructor. Wilson transferred to the RNZAF on 1st January 1944 and moved to 51 OTU Bedford on 28th March for a refresher course on night Beaufighters.

He joined 219 Squadron at Bradwell Bay on 7th June but was moved to 277 (ASR) Squadron on 20th July. Wilson was appointed Deputy Director of the School of Air-Sea Rescue at 19 Group on 1st February 1945.

Wilson was posted away for repatriation to New Zealand on 13th January 1947. Later in the year he relinquished his RNZAF commission and rejoined the RAF. He retired on 1st April 1958 as a Squadron Leader OBE.

He settled in Queensland, Australia and died in November 1996.



Above Donald Wilson at his marriage to Betty on 7th March 1944


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