Tributes paid to RAF Pocklington veteran Tom Sayer

The death of former RAF Pocklington veteran Tom Sayer has been announced, aged 98.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 11:07 am
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 11:07 am
The death of former RAF Pocklington veteran Tom Sayer has been announced, aged 98.The death of former RAF Pocklington veteran Tom Sayer has been announced, aged 98.

Mr Sayer, who was also chairman of the RAF (Ceylon) 102 Squadron Association for many years, died on Wednesday, August 4.

Mr Sayer visited Pocklington many times, coming back for Remembrance Day each November and the summer reunion for his old squadron.

Mr Sayer grew up in North Yorkshire and joined the RAF as a teenage clerk in April 1939.

Tom Sayer visited Pocklington many times, coming back for Remembrance Day each November and for the summer reunion for his old squadron.

He volunteered for flying duties in 1940 and his training took him to the USA, returning to Britain with his wings to become a flight sergeant at RAF Pocklington.

He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal in 1943 when he was aged just 21.

The citation recording that many of his sorties had been against heavily defended objectives in Germany, and noting “his skilful handling of his aircraft”, including one occasion when he completed his mission and returned safely despite his aircraft being attacked and damaged by an enemy fighter on the way to its target.

Harry Bartlett, secretary of the association, said: “Tom was an original in 102 and a stalwart of the association.

“His tremendous support over the years was to the benefit so many. A long-serving chairman, he was always at pains to make sure our events followed the tenets of our predecessors and to hold the remembrance of those who served and those who were lost while serving in 102 as our main aim. He would always say ‘we must remember them all’.”