A wireless operator and air gunner who fought in Blenheims during the Battle of Britain and went on to win the Distinguished Flying Cross has died.
Flight Lieutenant William Robert Kent Hughes, pictured below while attending a Clarence House tea party in the presence of HRH Prince Charles, passed away on Monday (3 Dec).
Flt Lt Hughes was born in Tunbridge Wells but moved to Northampton at the age of five to be brought up by his grandparents. He joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) on 12 May, 1939 as an Airman u/t Wop AG and was called up on 1 September.
On 17 August 1940, after converting to Blenheims, he joined No 23 Squadron at Collyweston and made his last sortie with that squadron on 13 October. He was posted away to No 9 Squadron in November but instead went to No 149 Squadron at Mildenhall, which was equipped with Wellingtons.
Flt Lt Hughes served in Malta and then in Egypt with No 70 Squadron. After returning to the UK in early 1942, he joined No 12 Squadron and was commissioned from Warrant Officer in November of that year. He completed a second tour and was awarded the DFC in March of 1943. He later became a gunnery instructor and was released from the RAF in March 1946.
Although he did not regularly join other members of the Few at the Trust’s annual Memorial Days in July, Flt Lt Hughes attended two Clarence House tea parties. He leaves a son, Howard.