Vale, William "Cherry"

    Date of birth:
    June 3rd, 1914 (Chatham/Kent, Great Britain)
    Date of death:
    November 29th, 1981 (Nottinghamshire, Great Britain)
    Service number:
    565293/44068
    Nationality:
    British (1801-present, Kingdom)

    Biography

    Cherry Vale was born on 3 June 1914 in Chatham, but was raised in Framlingham, where he became a county athlete. In 1931, he joined the RAF as an apprentice, qualifying as a Fitter, Aero Engines, and Aerial Gunner. Initially he served at Martlesham Heath until 1935, when he was
    posted to 33 Squadron in Egypt, then a light bomber unit with Hawker Harts. He volunteered for pilot training in 1936, completing this in July 1937, when he was posted back to 33 Squadron as a Sergeant. In March 1938 the unit converted to Gladiators on becoming a fighter squadron, and in September he saw action against dissident Arabs in Palestine. On June 22nd, 1940, he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer and was later posted to 80 Squadron.
    He ended WW2 with a total of 30 and 3 shared.
    In October 1946 he left the RAF, having also been awarded an AFC.
    He subsequently settled in Nottinghamshire, where he was killed in a road accident in November 1981.

    Promotions:
    June 22nd, 1940: Pilot Officer (on probation)
    June 24th, 1941: Flying Officer (war sub)
    January 17th, 1942: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Sergeant (now Flight Sergeant)
    Unit:
    Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    July 26th, 1940
    Mentioned in Despatches
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Pilot Officer
    Unit:
    No. 80 Squadron, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    March 28th, 1941
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Pilot Officer
    Unit:
    No. 80 Squadron, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    July 11th, 1941
    Action:
    Citation:
    "After the evacuation operations from Greece, this officer remained at Maleme aerodrome with some members of his unit. In the course of enemy air attacks on Crete, Pilot Officer Vale proved himself to be a staunch pilot. Frequently against odds, he continued his attacks against the enemy and destroyed four of their aircraft during an attack on the anchorage at Suda Bay. He displayed great courage and determination."
    Details:
    Second DFC awarded as a bar to be worn on the ribbon of the first DFC.
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Acting Squadron Leader
    Unit:
    No.11 Armament Practice Camp
    Awarded on:
    September 1st, 1944
    Air Force Cross
    Action:
    Citation drafted when he had flown 1,330 non-operational hours (150 in previous six months).
    "Since returning from a long tour in the Middle East, where he distinguished himself as an outstanding operational pilot, this officer has, during the last nine months, been in command of No.11 Armament Practice Camp. The excellent results produced by the unit have been entirely due to the outstanding work carried out by this officer. Squadron Leader Vale has produced and developed many schemes for the betterment of armament training, many of which have been adopted throughout the command. His total operational flying hours amount to 870."

    Sources

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