IX(B) Squadron call to arms required sometime pre-Christmas as Derrick Allaway passed away on Friday 27 Nov 2015 with no known living relatives. He was 95 years old and one of few from the Wellington era who have been to our reunions in the past decade.
Derrick was our eldest surviving liney who was an AC & LAC Tyre Fitter on IX(B) Squadron from June 1939 to July 1942.
We expect Derrick’s funeral to be at a Crematorium near Cottingham, just north of the Humber Bridge sometime within the next fortnight. If you are interested in making sure that Derrick’s final Association Reunion is well-attended noting that he has no family other than the IX(B) Sqn one, then please contact me by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org. I (or Dutch) will also post the details on this closed Facebook page as soon as we have them.
Derrick remembered the IX(B) Sqn Wellingtons coming back from the first bombing raid on 4 Sep 1939. We sent 6 aircraft, but 2 were lost and the other 4 aircraft returned to Honington in an awful state and all very short of fuel. When the airframe lads had a look at the wings, they noticed that all the fuel tanks were holed and leaking fuel. The following week all the ground-crew were sent to Weybridge with all the Squadron aircraft to have self-sealing tanks fitted. It seems a German bomber had been captured and “inspected” by some boffins and they found that the German bombers had self-sealing fuel tanks, so the RAF copied the idea.
Post IX(B) Sqn, Derrick was posted to Hucknall to fit wheels & tyres on the Polish Squadron Fairey Battles and then to Canada as an Acting Corporal to fit wheels & tyres to Commonwealth training aircraft. He was subsequently posted to the Maintenance Unit at RAF Lyneham where he stayed until the end of the war. His rank on release was Corporal trade Fitter2A.
Derrick was awarded the Defence medal and 1939/45 War Medal. He joined the IX(B) Sqn Association upon its formation and was an avid supporter of the IX(B) Sqn Association, making virtually all the reunions until 2013. We were hoping that Derrick would join us for the April Dinner at Hendon but it appears the ‘big man’ has had his say. TABS