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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. J Winstanley


John Winstanley was born on 26th July 1916. He joined the RAF on 25th January 1933 as an Apprentice Clerk and passed out on 30th January 1935. He later applied for pilot training and was selected.

On 16th January 1940 Winstanley was serving with 98 Squadron at Hucknall, equipped with Fairey Battles. He was detached to HQ 4 Group Linton-on-Ouse from 25th January to 16th February.

He went to France with 98 Squadron on 16th April 1940. The Battles were withdrawn to Gatwick on 15th June.

Winstanley was serving with 88 Squadron at Sydenham, Northern Ireland in July 1940. In August he volunteered to serve with Fighter Command and joined 151 Squadron at Digby on 4th September.

Pursuing a He111 through low cloud on the 16th September, Winstanley flew into the ground, writing off Hurricane R4185 and putting himself into hospital with injuries.

In late 1941 Winstanley was sent to Russia with 151 Wing.

Commissioned from Warrant Officer in April 1943, he stayed in the RAF postwar, retiring on 26th July 1966 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He died in May 1989 in York.

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