A few moments of RAF service remembrance is in order for my dad, Bill Fallows. He served in Africa and the Middle East during World War II.
Last week, my grandson Jamie asked his grandfather (me) if my dad had served in the war. His teacher had brought her grandfather’s medals to school. So, I was able to bring out the “memory box” and do some RAF service remembrance.
Unfortunately, my dad passed away while I was still quite young. So, I never had the opportunity for any serious chats with him about his war experience. I just have some stories from my mom, and a quick check of his service record online, which was pretty sparse.
My dad, William John James Fallows, was born in Wales. World War II broke out when he was 18. As with many young men his age, he signed up quickly. My dad chose the Royal Air Force. He mustered as an Aircrafthand, which was basically part of an unskilled entry trade grouping, appropriate for his age.
Bill Fallows was soon posted overseas, specifically to North Africa. He spent time in Egypt, before being transferred to Air Headquarters Levant in Jerusalem. During this posting to Palestine, he met my mother at a Christian mission – they fell in love and married after the war.
My RAF service remembrance of my dad contains some stories of his wartime work. Mainly administrative, support and logistics. He increased his skills and moved up a trades grouping, getting involved with wireless operations. His experience with RAF wireless signals may have had some subliminal motivation for my interest in ham radio.
RAF Service Remembrance – Medals
I have hung on to my dad’s service medals, shown above. These include the Africa Star military campaign medal for service in North Africa between 1940-1943. Also, the 1939-1945 Star for more than 180 days operational service.
In addition, he received the Defence Medal and War Medal 1939-1945. These were pretty common medals for all British troops.
My mom also kept his RAF Eagle Insignia shoulder patches, shown top above. Hopefully, most of you pulled out some medals and remembrance items to share with your grand kids.
Incidentally, my dad earned a few shillings, or the modern equivalent of $10-$15 a day for his war service.