Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sqn Ldr Michael Graves DFC 1921-1949

Squadron Leader Michael Graves DFC was the Westland Company's assistant chief test pilot under Harald Penrose.
Squadron Leader Graves, who had been with Westland Aircraft for two years, was attached to the Middle East Command and had received his DFC in 1942 when he had a record, as leader of a fighter squadron, of three enemies destroyed, five probably destroyed, and many others damaged.

He was killed on Monday 31st October 1949 when the aircraft he was flying, the Westland Wyvern turbo-jet fighter prototype crashed on two semi-detached council houses near the Westland aerodrome at Yeovil. Along with Sqn Ldr Graves, a six-year old girl cycling on the road and a woman were killed. Another woman, who had been trapped in her blazing house, was rushed to hospital after a dramatic rescue.