Harold Pender


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Harold Pender

Born 31st March 1922
Died 27th July 2011

Harold Pender grew up with his older brother Frank in a loving family in Cleaveleys near Blackpool. When the war came, Harold chose the RAF, Frank the Army.

Harold joined the RAF Voluntary Reserve at the outbreak of the war and also served in the Home Guard. He joined the RAF proper in February 1941 and served for 5 years. During 1941 to 1942 he travelled to Alabama to complete his flying training in the US Army Air Corps under the Arnold Scheme.

When he returned to England, Harold became a Staff Pilot Officer at the Air Observation School and spent two years flying non-combat missions training bomb-aimers and photographers. He then became a Flying Officer with Bomber Command flying Lancaster Bombers with 149 Squadron and completing operational tours (30 missions) between September 1944 and January 1945.

Harold and his crew were based at Methwold in Norfolk and carried out many successful bombing raids over Germany including industrial targets and supporting the Battle of the Bulge. His fellow crew members were Sgt. S. Dickinson, F/Sgt Phil Keily, Sgt W. Bennet, F/Sgt R. Baker, Sgt L. Lovatt and Sgt L. C. Catlin. On their very last trip the plane was hit by flak and lost its hydraulics, two engines, navigational gear and half its remaining fuel. Fortunately Harold managed to reach the coast at Woodbridge and landed on just one wheel. He was awarded the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) for this action. Sadly the crew members did not stay in touch after the war.

Harold went on to have a successful flying career for over twenty years as a Captain with BOAC which later became British Airways. He was happily married to Deanna and leaves two children - Jeanie and Thomas – and four grandchildren – Gemma, Arthur, Melody and Harriett. Harold died at the age of 89 and all his family have been very proud to commemorate his service to his country in the RAF.

Added by: Ms Deanna Pender on 28th February 2012.

 

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Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
67 Portland Place, London W1B 1AR
0800 169 2942
Registered Charity No. 1081009