On 4th July 2018, a highly decorated 96 year old WWII veteran, Mr Walter Wallace Lockyer, who is known as ‘Bill’ visited Royal Air Force Gibraltar accompanied by his wife Clementine and son Martin.
Mr Lockyer joined the RAF in 1939 at the age of 17 and was trained at the Telecommunication Centre in Yatesbury, Wiltshire as a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner. At the outbreak of war, he was based at RAF Biggen Hill with 79 Squadron flying in Blenheim 1 Fighter aircraft as navigator and gunner in the mid-upper turret. He took part in the North Africa campaign, working for a Mobile Telecommunication Unit in the Western Desert, and saw front line action against the German General Field Marshal Rommel, under the command of British Field Marshal General Montgomery.
Following his service in North Africa, Mr Lockyer served in Italy and Southern Austria before volunteering to spend 2 years in Aden. He subsequently fought in the Korean War and during his time in Korea, managed to save his salary and buy his dream car, a 2-seater MG. In 1953, he volunteered to go to Kenya and soon after arriving met his wife, Clementine Viola Danino from Gibraltar. It was love at first sight and after asking to take her out several times, his persistence finally paid off. Following a romantic drive in his MG, overlooking the city of Nairobi, Mr Lockyer proposed to Clementine and the rest is history. They have now been happily married for 65 years.
RAF Gibraltar Station Commander, Wing Commander John Kane hosted Mr Lockyer, Clementine and Martin and took them for a lunch in the Officers’ Mess before moving on to the RAF Headquarters. Current serving members of RAF Gibraltar were given the opportunity to meet Mr Lockyer and were completely delighted and inspired by his fascinating stories. It was especially poignant to host Flight Sergeant Lockyer (Retd) during the RAF’s centenary year as it provided the perfect opportunity to commemorate his outstanding achievements during his service years.
Currently residing in Gibraltar, Mr Lockyer will celebrate his 97th Birthday with his family on Saturday 7th of July. RAF Gibraltar wishes him a very Happy Birthday indeed.