Emotional visit to Swansea airshow for RAF fighter pilot’s Second World War girl
WHEN the Second World War Battle of Britain Memorial Flight appears in skies above Swansea, as part of this month's Wales National Airshow 2013, you can forgive one onlooker if she becomes a touch emotional.
When Gowerton-born pilot Oscar Griffith, known as Griff, climbed into the cockpit of his Lancaster Bomber, on Christmas Eve 1944, the thoughts and prayers of his fiance, May Ledson, went with him - sadly they were not enough to prevent the brave RAF flier's aircraft becoming shot down over the German city of Cologne, resulting in the death of all on board.
Also on that flight was another Swansea man, James Alwyn Morgan.
May, now 89, went on to marry and raise a family in Liverpool, where she still lives today, but she never forgot the heart-breaking loss of her first love during the dark days of the Second World War.
Last year she got in touch with the Evening Post to say: "I have always remembered Oscar with love and pride and I have photographs and many treasured memories which I would dearly love to share with anyone who remembers him, his family, friends or colleagues, while I am in good health.
"Griff had a brother called Byron and a sister called Megan. Their parents were Lewis Randall Griffiths and Gladys Ann Griffiths.
"I would be overjoyed if there are any living family members or friends who would like to speak to me."
Following the appeal several people got in touch with May and her family.
Barbara Huxley, May's daughter, explained: "Following the article in the Evening Post several people contacted me and have remained in touch with my mum.
"One of the gentlemen, Howell Evans, who flew on the same mission the night Oscar was killed, came to visit us in February."
Now May, who met Oscar at the No. 10 Air Gunners School at Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness and fell in love before he was transferred to RAF Waltham in Grimsby as part of RAF 100 Squadron, will visit the city of his childhood to see the air show and reminisce.
Her daughter said: "Our family are making a trip to Swansea on the weekend of July 13 and 14 to meet up with some of the people who initially got in touch, and of course to see the famous Lancaster fly over Swansea Bay on both those days, which will be wonderful and emotional to see.
"Another gentleman who has remained in touch, Gordon Dennis, who was Oscar's school friend, has located Oscar's nephew who is going to meet us too. I am also hoping that the sister of the other Swansea crew member, Jim Morgan, will be able to join us."