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Ginger Lacey's Birthplace Marked

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by The_Historian, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. The_Historian

    The_Historian Pillboxologist Patron  

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    Irony indeed.
    "World War Two fighter pilot James Harry "Ginger" Lacey is being honoured with a blue plaque this weekend at his birthplace - now the site of a German-owned supermarket. While WW2 pilots like Douglas Bader and Guy Gibson became household names, Lacey's story is less well known.
    With a nickname straight out of a Biggles adventure book, and a life story to match the fictional pilot, Ginger Lacey went from learning to fly to becoming one of the heroes of the Battle of Britain in just three years.
    One of "The Few", Lacey downed at least 28 enemy planes during World War Two and was a rare example of someone who served in the RAF on both the first and final day of the war.
    Due to both skill and luck, in his own words, he survived nine crash landings or ejections and famously shot down a German plane that had just bombed Buckingham Palace.
    To honour his achievements, Lacey, who died in 1989, has had a blue plaque installed in his honour on the land where his childhood home once stood in Wetherby, West Yorkshire.
    The site is now home to an Aldi supermarket, with the plaque displayed at the store's entrance.
    "Dad would have enjoyed the irony," said his daughter Min Lacey."
    James 'Ginger' Lacey: Battle of Britain pilot remembered - BBC News

    Media captionGinger Lacey was one of the pilots described as the "backbone of RAF Fighter Command"
    Born on 1 February 1917 at Fairfield Villas in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, Lacey had a rural upbringing, with his father adamant he would join the family business.
    Ms Lacey, 57, said: "He desperately wanted to join the RAF, but his dad wanted him to be a farmer - it wasn't until his father died that he managed to convince his mum.
    "He was a pale and skinny kid and his mum thought he would fail the medical, but of course he didn't."
    While working as a trainee pharmacist in Leeds, Lacey learnt to fly with the RAF Volunteer Reserve at weekends and became an instructor at the Yorkshire Flying School in Yeadon in 1938.
    As war broke out in 1939, he had amassed 1,000 hours of flight time and was sent to France as an RAF flight sergeant to support the British troops.

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