Allan Wright

Allan Richard Wright
Born (1920-02-12)12 February 1920
Teignmouth, Devon
Died 16 September 2015(2015-09-16) (aged 95)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Years of service 1938–1967
Rank Group Captain
Unit No. 92 Squadron RAF
Commands held Air Fighting Development Unit
Battles/wars Second World War
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar
Air Force Cross
King's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air
In 1999 Allan Wright sits in Spitfire V BM597 at Calais, France, during the filming of a Time Team archaeological dig of a Spitfire

Group Captain Allan Richard Wright, DFC & Bar, AFC (12 February 1920 – 16 September 2015)[1] was a Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter pilot and flying ace of the Second World War. Wright scored 11 kills, three shared kills, five probable kills and seven damaged against the German Luftwaffe, and was one of the last surviving airmen called The Few who served in the Battle of Britain.[2]

Early life

Wright was born in Devon on 12 February 1920. His father had been in the Royal Flying Corps from 1916 and retired from the RAF in 1943. Wright entered Royal Air Force College Cranwell as a flight cadet in April 1938.

RAF career

After training Wright was posted to No. 92 Squadron RAF at RAF Tangmere on 29 October 1939 flying Bristol Blenheim night fighters. On 8 March 1940, the squadron converted to Spitfires. Wright flew his first combat mission on 23 May 1940 over Dunkirk and claimed a probable Messerschmitt Bf 110 destroyed and two damaged. The following day Wright added one confirmed Bf 110 and one 'probable' Bf 110 and on 2 June a Messerschmitt Bf 109.

During the Battle of Britain he shared a Heinkel He 111 destroyed on 14 August, a Heinkel He 111 of Kampfgeschwader 27 (KG 27) at night over Bristol on 29 August, a Heinkel He 111 and Messerschmitt Bf 109 'probable' on 11 September, a Messerschmitt Bf 109 damaged on the 14th, a Messerschmitt Bf 109 'probable' on the 15th, a Junkers Ju 88 'probable' on the 19th, a Dornier Do 17 on the 26th, a Junkers Ju 88 on the 27th, and two Messerschmitt Bf 109's on the 30th. On 30 September he was shot down and wounded near Brighton by a Messerschmitt Bf 109 of Jagdgeschwader 27 (JG 27) and hospitalised. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on 22 October 1940. The citation read:

On night in August 1940, this officer displayed great determination and skill in destroying a Heinkel 111, under difficult conditions. Pilot Officer Wright has consistently shown a keen desire to engage the enemy on all occasions. He has brought down a total of four enemy aircraft and has badly damaged four more.[3]

On 6 December 1940 Wright destroyed a Messerschmitt Bf 109. By July 1941 Wright had received a Bar to his DFC. He was posted to No. 59 Operational Training Unit in July 1941. Service with RAF Fighter Command HQ and as an instructor followed until being posted to No. 29 Squadron RAF at RAF West Malling in March 1943, where as a night fighter he had his last confirmed kill – a Junkers Ju 88 on 3 April.

For the remainder of the war, Wright worked on training and fighter tactics. He became chief instructor at the Pilot Gunnery Instructor Wing of the Central Gunnery School, and later commanded the Air Fighting Development Unit at RAF Wittering. In early 1945, Wright was transferred to RAF El Bellah in Egypt where commanded the fighter wing of the Middle East Advanced Bombing and Gunnery School.

Remaining in the RAF post-war, he retired as a group captain on 12 February 1967.[4]

References

  1. ^ Wright Allan: Daily Telegraph, death announcement
  2. ^ "Wright, Allan Richard". World War Two Awards. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
  3. ^ "No. 34976". The London Gazette. 22 October 1940. p. 6135.
  4. ^ "No. 44247". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 February 1967. p. 1706.

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