A 94-YEAR-OLD RAF veteran visited the Anglesey air base where he served during World War Two.

Former LAC (Leading Aircraftsman) Phil Hawkins was based at RAF Valley in 1944.

Then, the airbase was mainly occupied by the United States Army Air Force.

Phil has been a RAFA Rhyl branch member and past chairman since the 1940’s.

The current RAFA committee contacted RAF Valley to arrange the visit.

Squadron Leader Dave Williams from RAF Valley said: “It is a rare honour to meet veterans from World War Two, and even rarer to meet those who were here at RAF Valley.

"It was great to show Phil around, and we were able to re-kindle a few memories for him.

"The base has changed a great deal since those days, but we think we were able to pin-point where Phil worked from one of his old photographs.

"He was really interested to see how Valley is now, and we arranged for him to meet some of our Babcock colleagues working on Hawk T1 servicing which he really enjoyed.”

LAC Hawkins was just 19 years old in 1944 and undergoing bomber aircrew training when his entire course was told to re-muster as the RAF didn’t need as many aircrew by that stage of the war.

He was sent to RAF Valley to work in supply and logistics, and spent time delivering fuel to the USAAF aircraft that were being delivered in and out of RAF Valley at the time.

He recalled good relations between the RAF and USAAF on the base, and enjoyed seeing Glenn Miller and his orchestra playing one of the last concerts before the famous American band leaders’ mysterious disappearance in 1944.

He also remembers seeing famous actors David Niven (an officer in the British Army) and Clark Gable (USAAF aircrew) as they passed through.

Squadron Leader Williams again: “I mentioned to Phil that his forced re-mustering from aircrew to a ground job probably saved his life, given the casualty rate in Bomber Command. During World War Two, Bomber Command aircrew had a 50/50 chance of being killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

"In fact, they had the highest casualty rate of any branch of the services. It turned out that Phil was very well aware of this; his cousin being killed serving as bomber aircrew with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

"That really brought home the sacrifice of that entire generation, and the debt we owe to them all.”