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King's Lynn's last known wartime air cadet has died

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The World War Two chapter of 42F (King’s Lynn) Squadron Air Cadets has finally passed into the annals of history with the death on 16th September, at the age of 97 years, of its last known wartime cadet Anthony (Tony) Williamson.

Tony, a Lynn lad, was like so many of his peers, eager to help the war effort and joined 42 (Founder) Squadron, Air Defence Cadet Corps on November 6,1939, at the age of 15 years.

A dedicated cadet, he climbed the promotion ladder reaching the rank of Cadet Flight Sergeant by July 1942. In October that year his time with the cadets ended when he left for active service in the Royal Air Force.

Tony Williamson, left, at his squadron retirement presentation
Tony Williamson, left, at his squadron retirement presentation

Leading Aircraftsman Williamson was discharged from war duties in 1946 returning to civvy street back in Lynn. His affection for his time as a cadet in the ADCC and, from 1941, its successor the Air Training Corps, saw Tony return to his old cadet squadron in the late 1950’s, this time as a member of its civilian welfare committee.

Tony was eventually elected as the committee’s chairman - a post he was to hold for many years. In January 2004, on reaching his 80th birthday, Tony retired from the committee after 45 years of dedicated service to 42F Squadron.

Sadly in his later years, Tony became less mobile but always found a way to attend and support the squadron’s social functions and also those of the King’s Lynn and District Branch of the Royal Air Forces Association of which he was also a steadfast member.

The last time Tony visited the Squadron’s Loke Road headquarters was in 2012, together with other past wartime members, sadly now all gone, for the dedication of a memorial to the fourteen former 42F cadets who never returned home from the war.

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