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Battle of Britain hero, William Walker, dies from stroke

Written on:October 23, 2023
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SPITFIRES symbolised the UK military resistance to Nazi German attempts to conquer Britain

William Walker, the hero of the Battle of Britain of WW 2, who was the eldest surviving pilot from that Battle, has passed away at the age of 99 due to a stroke that he suffered last Thursday. William Walker died in hospital on Sunday, as per the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust (BBMT).

Flt Lt William Walker, who was shot down and injured in his Spitfire in 1940 during the zenith of WW 2 hostilities, was born in Hampstead in northern London.

The Battle of Britain from July to September 1940 represented the Nazi German air force’s endeavour to acquire aerial dominance over the RAF. The relentless intrepidness and perseverance of the RAF ensured that the Nazi German air force failed to accomplish its objective. Thus, Nazi Germany was compelled to abandon its objective of invading Britain also.

Thus, history remembers the Battle of Britain as a vital Battle among the several critical Battles that defined WW 2. The Second World War engulfed all the continents and, at that time, was unparalleled in its savageness and material destruction.

During the Battle of Britain, at Kenley, Spitfires from No 616 South Yorkshire Squadron were scrambled to the Dover and Dungeness zones of Kent. It was there that the Spitfires were locked in a dogged fight against Messerschmitt Bf 109s, which was a hefty Nazi German bombing force.

William Walker’s Spitfire was attacked and he bailed out, landing in the Channel, plagued by a bullet in his right ankle. William Walker clung to a shipwreck on the Goodwin Sands before being saved by a fishing boat. He was subsequently transported to an RAF launch and brought ashore at Ramsgate. There, he was welcomed by a large delighted crowd.

BBMT chairman, Richard Hunting CBE, has remarked that William Walker wanted future British generations to know about the Battle of Britain and WW 2.

Apparently, as a surgeon tried to extricate the bullet from William Walker’s ankle at an RAF hospital, the bullet shot out and struck the ceiling. The zestful and brave Walker enjoyed narrating this tale.

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2 Comments add one

  1. Frank says:

    RIP William Walker. Salute your spirit.

  2. Trevor says:

    The Battle of Britain can never be and should never be forgotten….

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