Sgt Tom Fee

Lancaster Pilot - 101 Squadron

Tom Fee with his wife Mabel and daughter Jean

My Grandfather and Tom Fee - can be seen together in many photographs in California. They first met at the Initial Training Wing at Newquay and together were posted as cadet pilots to No.6 British Flight Training School in California in December 1941.

In the Summer of 2002 I was very fortunate to make contact with Tom Fee's eldest daughter Jean (the little girl in the above photograph!). We were able to share memories and photographs and Jean very kindly lent me her father's log book and an original copy of 'Salute' - a magazine written by the airmen of No. 2 BFTS for their comrades.

Tom probably at the Pace's house

Thomas Fee was born in Whitehaven, Cumbria. Soon after the family emigrated to Pennsilvania, America for 7 years but returned to Whitehaven when Tom was 14 years of age.

Tom at Polaris

Tom was a bricklayer, taking extra exams at 21 years to become a builder. Around this age he spent some time with his Grandma in Canada, coming home to marry Mabel.

Tom, like my grandfather started training in California in December 1941 initially flying Stearmans. In January Tom flew his first supervised solo and on March 19 he flew searching for lost aeroplanes! In May he started flying the advanced AT6 and after 200 hours of Dual, Solo and Night flying - initial training was completed and Tom graduated in June 1942.


Tom with ? and Alan Pace and Alex Rennie

 Tom in a barrel!

In America both Tom and my grandfather enjoyed wonderful hospitality with the Pace, Rennie, Bottomley and Bloomhurst families. Tom was close to the Pace family. Jean remembers very well her mother sending to Mr and Mrs Pace's son Alan, Tom's Polaris scroll and wallet as they had got on so well together.

Jean also remembers that all families were in the war effort, children too. She made bead dolls and sold them to her mothers friends, she also made one each for my grandfather and her father and sent them off feeling very important.

The two Tom's and their American friends

On his return to England more training followed ending in a posting to 101 Squadron, a 1 Group front line Lancaster squadron, in April 1943. His crew comprised of Vernon Ager (Flight Engineer), Vincent Cook (Navigator), Robert Brough (Bomb Aimer), John Smith (Wireless Op), George Davison (Mid Upper Gunner) and Jack Beatson (Rear Gunner).

On the 13 April 1943 fate intervened when their Lancaster developed engine trouble after take off and crashed near the airfield tragically killing all on-board.

Never forget...

Sgt Thomas Fee - RAFVR