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Former Accrington fighter pilot dies at 96
8:45am Tuesday 19th June 2012 in Accrington
A FORMER fighter pilot and town clerk, has died at the age of 96.
Second World War hero John Macfadyen was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross for the sheer number of sorties he took part in along Britain’s coastline.
The pilot from Accrington was awarded the honour for displaying “great skill and courage in air operations” on a regular basis.
Not to rest on his laur-els, he took down a Ger-man ship with the help of a fellow pilot, after rece-iving the medal.
The former Peel Park Primary pupil was born in Accrington where his father Walter ran a painting and decorating business. He went on to Accrington Grammar School and suffered an early tragedy while stud-ying law at Manchester University, when his mother died at the age of 43.
Before the war, his legal education was put to use when he was articled to the town clerk of Accr-ington, marking the start of a career in local government. He enjoyed hill walking and cricket, playing for Accrington, and his mountaineering activities included Alps trips.
When war was declared, John asked to be in the RAF, volunteering for air crew, and was sent to Canada to train.
His first posting was to RAF Holmsley South and Hinton Wood Admiral Station in Hampshire to join 58 Squadron. Initial sorties were over the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay, searching for U-boats.
During one visit home on leave, John was able to marry his sweetheart Edna Wilson. After many more missions, flying four engine Halifax bombers, and moving to Stornaway to fly to Norway, where the U-boats had then been based, John was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
His wife Edna died in 2005, and he took up hill walking in their more recent home of Bournemouth.
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