Tuesday, September 3, 2013
One of Norfolk’s most remarkable men, Wing Commander Ken Wallis, has died at the age of 97.
The former Wellington bomber pilot, who lived in Reymerston, near Dereham, was a key figure in the post-war development of the autogyro, which he flew as Sean Connery’s stunt double in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice.
Between 1968 and 2002 he set 34 world records for speed, circuit and altitude feats, many of which still stand – including the 129mph top speed recorded for a 3km flight in the tiny rotor-powered aircraft.
In July this year the great-grandfather, whose passion for planes led him to cheat in an eye test and fly every night to drop two tonnes of bombs on German targets, was finally awarded his Bomber Command medal - after a 71-year wait - for his time in the 103 Squadron based at RAF Elsham Wolds, in North Lincolnshire.
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