21st Sep, 2018

Tributes paid to Balsall Common spitfire pilot who died aged 95

Sarah Mason 5th Apr, 2018 Updated: 5th Apr, 2018

THE HEARTBROKEN son of Balsall Common Spitfire pilot Leslie Lunn has paid tribute to his father after his death, aged 95.

Harry Lunn said: “He will be remembered as a lovely man and a true gentleman by all who met him.”

War Hero Mr Lunn was just 18 when he signed up to the RAF in 1941 as a Leading Aircraftsman after spending his childhood making scrapbooks of areoplanes and the latest RAF machines.

He was sent to Canada and America to complete his training and gained his pilot wings in September 1942.

On his return to the UK – and after taking on his first solo flight on December 31, 1942 – he was soon on combat operations.

By the end of World War Two Mr Lunn been promoted to Flying Officer and been on 105 operations and clocked up 224 flying hours.

He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant in March 1946 and took part in the London Victory Parade flypast on June 8.

After the war Mr Lunn decided to stay in the Air Force and was deployed to New Zealand, Italy, Egypt and Somalia.

He received the Air Force Cross in 1963 for his routine at the Paris Air Show as a display pilot in a Vilcan.

He retired from the RAP in 1979 as a Squadron Leader.

Harry told us Mr Lunn met Women’s Auxiliary Air Force Officer Diana Broadhurst and the couple married on September 8, 1956.

The couple celebrated thier 60th wedding anniversary in September 2016 but sadly Mrs Lunn died in March 2017.

The couple had a daughter Dee and son Harry.

He also leaves behind four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The couple moved to Balsall Common to be closer to their daughter and her family in 1996.

They joined the bell ringers at St John the Baptist Church in Berkswell where Les continued to ring the bells up to a week before he died.

In May he was handed a certificate for being the senior ringer in the Coventry Diocesan Guild.

Paying tribute on the Coventry Diocesan Guild of Church Bellringers website Steve Tibbetts said: “I am sorry to report that Leslie Lunn passed away.

“Only last year he was recognised as the most senior ringer in the Coventry Diocesan Guild.

“Our thoughts are with his family.”

Mr Lunn’s funeral will take place today (Thursday) at 2.30pm at St John the Baptist Church, Berkswell.

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