THE widow of a World War Two flying ace has paid tribute to the heroics of her late husband.
Acting Flying Officer Stan Wilson, who has died at the age of 91, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and mentioned in dispatches for his bravery during the conflict.
And his widow Nancy has praised the courage of her husband who flew 36 bombing raids over Germany, coming under attack from Nazi fighters and enemy fire on many occasions.
She said: “He never used to talk about it and was very humble about what he’d done. But I am very proud of him and what he did.”
Mr Wilson of Branton, an electrical engineer by trade, was at first rejected as volunteer at the outbreak of war but was later accepted into the RAF as a pilot and underwent training in America during 1941.
On completing his training, he was assigned to 514 Squadron at RAF Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire and it was from the base that Mr Wilson undertook a series of bombing raids on Germany aboard his Lancaster bomber.
During a raid over France, Mr Wilson’s plane came under fire from enemy aircraft with his rear gunner shooting down a plane that was attacking them. Mr Wilson conducted a series of intricate flying moves and used cloud cover to avoid further attacks, earning himself the DFC and a letter from King George congratulating him on his bravery.
Nancy, who married her husband in 1944, said: “He was in the Home Guard originally and wanted to be a fighter pilot but ended up as a bomber pilot. After the war, it was a chapter of his life that he considered closed. He wasn’t involved in reunions or that kind of thing and didn’t really speak about his experiences. I think it used to upset him thinking about the friends he knew that had been killed.”
Following the war, Mr Wilson who leaves one daughter, Susan, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren, resumed his career as an electrical engineer, first living and working in Devon before returning to Doncaster, retiring at the age of 62.
Added Nancy: “He loved doing his job and gave many years of service. He was a very loyal man and after the war he was very proud that he had helped restore electrical supplies again and help get the country back to normal.”
Mr Wilson’s DFC medal, the letter from the King and other wartime memorabilia now take pride of place at Nancy’s home – and one of his granddaughters, Paige, wrote about his wartime efforts as part of a school project.
She added: “He loved his family – life revolved around them and the project with Paige was one of the few times he discussed what had happened during the war. I think it’s important that we shouldn’t forget his contribution.”