Malcolm Scholes was educated at Wakefield Technical College and became a member of the Air Defence Corps – later renamed the Air Training Corps (ATC) – in October 1939 and joined the RAF on his 18th birthday to train as a flight engineer.
Scholes completed 54 missions with Bomber Command during the Second World War, which saw his aircraft hit by flak 11 times.
On three successive long-range missions to Germany his bomber was badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire. He once made it home with no hydraulics and once having lost an engine. In March 1944 he was part of an attack on Nuremberg when Bomber Command suffered its worst casualties of the war. Ninety-five bombers, each manned by seven crew, were lost.
His final mission with No.35 Squadron was an attack on Saarbrucken on the 5th October 1944, 12 days before his 20th birthday.
Scholes served until the end of the War as an instructor at the Pathfinder Force Training Unit.
After the war he was stationed in Palestine, where he was involved in the evacuation of the country ahead of the creation of the state of Israel in May 1948. He was appointed MBE for his distinguished services in Palestine as per June 29th, 1948.
Commander RAF garrison in Tobruk ? - June 1967.
Station Commander RAF Biggin Hill 1970 - 1973,
RAF Regiment Depot Catterick,
Ministry of Defence; recruiting post ?- ?
In 1984 he was made an honorary life member of his old ATC squadron, 127 (City of Wakefield). He also served as president of 58 (Harrogate) Squadron.
He took to the skies for the last time on his 65th birthday- his last day in uniform- October 17th, 1989, in a Tornado fighter from RAF Leeming. However, his brief ´spin´ turned into a two and a half hour sortie over the North Sea after the pilot was radioed to investigate a Russian trawler that was close to British territorial waters, making him reputedly the oldest person ever to fly in a Tornado mission.
He was also awarded:
General Service 1918-62 one clasp, Palestine 1945-48
? Flight Sergeant
August 29th, 1944: Pilot Officer (probation/emergency)
March 1st, 1945: Flying Officer (war sub)
October 2nd, 1947: Extended service for 4 years and transfer to the Secretarial Branch
July 30th, 1948: Flying Officer (permanent)
December 4th, 1952: Flight Lieutenant
July 1st, 1960: Squadron Leader
July 1st, 1967: Wing Commander
March 25th, 1978: retirement (at his own request)
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