Vivian Hollowday

Vivian Hollowday

Corporal (then Aircraftman First Class) Vivian Hollowday was awarded the George Cross for the "amazing courage and initiative" he showed in two attempted rescues of crashed RAF personnel [ [ Hollowday's award] ] .

While serving at RAF Cranfield on 2nd July 1940 at 11.40pm he saw an aircraft crash, hurried to the scene and put out the pilot's burning clothes with his bare hands. Unfortunately the pilot was already dead. The following month he rushed to another crash site and despite ammunition exploding all around him in the flames, he covered himself in sacks and made repeated attempts to rescue the three crew members trapped in the wreckage. He managed to pull two bodies from the conflagration but once again his brave efforts were in vain. Notice of his award appeared in the London Gazette of the 21st of January, 1941.

He was born on October 13, 1916 in Ulceby in Lincolnshire and died on April 15, 1977 in Bedford. His medals are displayed in the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon. The pilot in the July crash was the only occupant of the plane. He was called Noel Francis Lloyd Davies and was 20 years old. He was buried in a private grave in his hometown of Cleethorpes.


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