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Wavell Wakefield

Approaching to land on HMS Vindictive

Flight Lieutenant William Wavell Wakefield, MA – later Lord Wakefield of Kendal (1898 – 1983)

Wakefield of kendal

Wavell Wakefield (known as Wakers) was Captain Edward Wakefield‘s nephew (son of his younger brother Roger) who had commissioned Waterbird. He served in the Royal Naval Air Service/ Royal Air Force (1916-1923), became a rugby legend, and was an MP (1935-1963) including Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Under-Secretary of State for Air (1940-1942).

On 7 February 1943, when he was Director of the Air Training Corps, a Water Glider was flown at Windermere by Wakefield and also 4 days earlier by Flight Lieutenant Cooper Pattinson, DFC.

Wakefield made the only landing on the after-deck of HMS Vindictive, in the fleet’s last operational Sopwith Pup (No. 9944) on 1 November 1918 at Scapa Flow. This achievement is referred to in Naval Aviation in the First World War by R D Layman, The RNAS and the Birth of the Aircraft Carrier 1914-1918 by I M Burns and The Royal Navy’s Air Service in the Great War by D Hobbs.

On 4 October 1917, Wakefield wrote that he had done 12 hours flying in 3 days and had turned out a dozen pilots on Royal Aircraft BE aeroplanes and spun them all. That week he had done 120 landings, 220 spins, innumerable loops, side loops, cartwheels etc. Every pupil he took up he put into a flat spin so that he would know what to do if he ever got into one inadvertently..


Wings Over Windermere

Edward Wakefield described flight from water as ‘Something that beckoned …’