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Veterans

Parker, Sidney D.F.C.

Town : Brighstone
Regiment : Bomber pilot, R.A.F.
Landed in Normandy : June 10 1944
The late Sidney Parker began his wartime career in the armed forces as a private soldier when he was called into the Army as a Territorial volunteer and went over to France with the British Expeditionary Force. On returning to UK after Dunkirk he volunteered for a transfer to the Royal Air Force. Commissioned as a flying officer, he joined Bomber Command in 1943.With no previous operational flying experience, he arrived at his new base Skellingthorpe in Lincolnshire at 2 p.m. on June 10 1944. That same evening he found himself flying a Lancaster bomber as second pilot on his first bombing mission. He went on to complete 35 bombing operations, attacking enemy supply lines and installations day and night during the battle for Normandy. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 10th January 1945. The citation reads: "In August 1944, whilst attacking Koningsburg, his Lancaster was struck by heavy anti-aircraft fire. Half the rudder was shot away and the mid upper turret fuselage and tail plane were also severely damaged. Although the aircraft was difficult to control he flew it safely back to this country and effected a successful landing. ".. . .. Throughout this time he had shown himself to be an outstandingly skilful pilot and a most resourceful captain, while his courage in the face of the enemy was of the highest order. . . . " Leaving the RAF. in March 1946, he returned to work in the health service at Newcastle-upon­Tyne which he had left as an 18-year-old clerk to join the Army in 1939. Steady promotions took him to Carlisle in Cumbria and Truro in Cornwall. In 1965 he was appointed area administrator for the health service on the Isle of Wight and remained in that position until his retirement in 1982. He lived with his wife Elma at Brighstone until his death in October 2001.
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