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Fred Willis avatar
Fred Willis

Fred's Virgin London Marathon 2014 page

Running London Marathon with the memory of Dad for The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund because He was a Legend and my Inspiration

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  • In memory of: Gerry Willis
  • Event: Virgin London Marathon 2014, 13 Apr 2014

The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund

We provide welfare support to serving & ex-RAF & their families

Story

I've already had an entry and have done many marathons, half marathons, triathlons etc but don't want to keep tormenting my friends for donations for my passions. However, I've put a load of training in, I've got an entry and then my Dad died two weeks before the event.

We are having his funeral on Monday 7th April just 6 days before the VLM and asking friends and family not to waste money on Flowers but donate to the RAF Benevolent fund. 

You see my Dad was a legend, he served as a Brat (Apprentice) at age 16 in the RAF (1946) and later became a commissioned jet pilot flying Vampires, Canberras and F86. He ejected twice including one very bad accident in 1963 where all crew from two Canberra flying in formation were killed at low level. Dad ejected and his head smashed the canopy breaking his back badly, he was found lying in a ditch with his May-West inflated and spent 4 months in hospital.

That would put most people off flying but not my dad. He returned to his post and flew the Canberra and other Jets until he was in his early 40's.

The injury hampered him greatly and later in life it was quite debilitating but Dad continued on and even fell out of trees in his 80's. If he put his mind to it he could do anything but one thing he couldn't do is live forever.

I am very proud to say that he is my Dad and I'm very proud to have his dogged determination and enthusiasm. That's what gets me to the end of an Ironman and that's what will get me to the end of the Virgin London Marathon is a personal best time.

Thanks for reading and thank you very much for supporting the memory of Squadron Leader Gerry Willis - my Dad.



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