VOICES in the AIR, 1939 - 1945
Acting Wing Commander Percy Belgrave " Laddie " Lucas C.B.E., D.S.O. & Bar, D.F.C. ( September 2nd, 1915 - March 20th, 1998 ) was born in the old clubhouse at Prince's Sandwich Bay ( Kent, England ). He was educated at Stowe School ( Buckinghamshire, England ) and Pembroke College ( Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England ) where he read Economics. While at Cambridge, he captained the golf team, was the top amateur in the 1935 Open Championship and was considered the finest left - handed player in the world at the age of 19.
After graduating from Cambridge, " Laddie " Lucas was interviewed by Lord Beaverbrook ( 1879 - 1964 ), the famous Canadian - British newspaper publisher and backstage politician, for a post on the Sunday Express. Impressed by the young man, he later hired him as a sports writer. " Laddie " Lucas remained with the Sunday Express until the outbreak of war ( September 1st, 1939 ), when he volunteered for the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve ( R.A.F.V.R. ). He then joined in 1940 and went to Canada to undertake flying training under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan ( B.C.A.T.P. ).
After he received his wings ( as a fighter pilot ), he was then posted to No. 66 Squadron in August 1941. Throughout the Second World War, " Laddie " Lucas flew Spitfires on convoy patrols ( 1941 - 1942 ) ; served with No. 605 " County of Warwick " Squadron, R.Aux.A.F. ; commanded No. 249 " Gold Coast " Squadron ( arrival in February 1942 ) and fought during the Battle of Malta ( he had under his orders the famous Canadian Ace George F. " Screwball, Buzz " Beurling D.S.O., D.F.C., D.F.M. & two Bars, 1921 - 1948 ) ; was briefly assigned as aide - de - camp of the Duke of Kent ( Autumn 1942 ) ; served as instructor at the Fighter Leader School, R.A.F. Chedworth ( Gloucestershire, England, 1943 ) ; commanded No. 616 " South Yorkshire " Squadron, R.Aux.A.F., then the Spitfire Wing at R.A.F. Coltishall ( Norfolk, England, 1943 ) ; served as Staff Officer with Headquarters, Fighter Command, R.A.F. Bentley Priory ( near Stanmore, Greater London, England, 1943 - 1944 ) ; took over command of No. 613 " City of Manchester " Squadron, equipped with Mosquitoes ; then of No. 138 Wing, No. 2 Bomber Group, 2nd Tactical Air Force ( 2nd T.A.F. ) in North - West Europe ( 1944 - 1945 ).
Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross ( D.F.C., July 1942 ), the Distinguished Service Order ( D.S.O., January 1944 ) and a Bar to his D.S.O. ( October 2nd, 1945 ), " Laddie " Lucas rose to the rank of Acting Wing Commander ( A/W/Cdr ). At the end of the war, he was credited with 1 confirmed aerial victory, 2 shared, 1 probable, 8 damaged and 1 shared. He resigned his commission in 1945.
In 1946, he married Jill Doreen Addison ( 1921 ), the half - sister of Olive Thelma Enley Bader ( née Edwards, 1907 - 1971 ), first wife of the flying Ace with artificial legs : Douglas Bader ( 1910 - 1982 ).
After the war, he was encouraged to get involved in politics as a Conservative. In 1950, he was elected as Conservative Member of Parliament for Brentford and Chiswick ( present - day Greater London, England ), and held the seat until 1959. He wrote a popular column for the Sunday Express, and authored several books on golf and airmen around the world, as well as an idiosyncratic but much - admired history of the Second World War Siege of Malta : Malta : The Thorn in Rommel's Side - Six Months That Turned the War ( 1992 ).
" Laddie " Lucas died in Chelsea ( Greater London, England ), at the age of 82.
( sources : Wikipedia, rafgs.org, www.iwm.org.uk, www.thegazette.co.uk, Ciel de Gloire, www.geni.com, www.famechain.com )