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I'm so proud of war hero dad I never met
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Patricia Phelps with a photo of her war pilot dad in the box of effects she was given by her aunt.
By Rob Harris
PATRICIA Phelps was only eight months old when her war hero father was killed in a plane crash, while carrying out tests on the Mosquito fighter bomber. Sixty-seven-years on, Patricia is still finding out about the father she never knew, after being given a treasure trove of personal artifacts by her aunt just a couple of months ago. The special box contains a wonderful array of personal letters and photographs, medals, his service record and newspaper clippings, to help Patricia piece together her own unique picture of her father. She said: “My dad was a proud Forester but I’ve no actual memory of him. It’s lovely to have this box because there are some wonderful letters in it to his mother and father. I am very proud of him.” Albert William John Hazell was 29 when one of the wooden wings of the ‘Mossie’ he was testing at Abbots Ripton split apart, forcing the plane to crash to the ground and catch fire. It was 1944. Flight sergeant Hazell had previously been awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal for his many daring raids. In September 1943 he participated in a successful attack on a heavily armed enemy convoy. He also took part in nine attacks on enemy shipping, returning from one mission with a souvenir, a piece of deck bolting that had come through the nose of his aircraft. An old boy of Lydney Grammar School, Albert had been a bus conductor before the war. He trained as a pilot in South Africa and received his wings in 1941.
Copyright Tindle Newspapers Ltd Sunday, 19 May 2013
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