Trevor Sidney Wade

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Trevor Sidney "Wimpy" Wade
Nickname(s) Wimpy
Born (1920-01-27)27 January 1920
Wandsworth, London
Died 3 April 1951(1951-04-03) (aged 31)
Ringmer, Sussex
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Rank Squadron Leader
Service number 78984

Second World War

Awards Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Force Cross
Other work Test pilot

Trevor Sidney "Wimpy" Wade DFC, AFC (27 January 1920 – 3 April 1951) was a Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter ace, one of The Few and later a test pilot. He was killed test flying the Hawker P.1081 prototype fighter.[1]

Early life[edit]

Wade was born on 27 January 1920 and was educated at Tonbridge School.[1] He left school at 18, learned to fly at Gatwick and joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.[1]

His nickname Wimpy was borrowed from the American cartoon character of Popeye fame.

Fighter pilot[edit]

By the time the Battle of Britain had started Wade was with 92 Squadron flying the Supermarine Spitfire.[1] In the Battle of Britain and subsequent operations he destroyed seven enemy aircraft.

In 1941 he was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts during the first part of the war and achieving seven confirmed victories.[1]

After a course at the Central Flying School in October 1941 he became a pilot-gunnery instructor at the Central School of Gunnery. He was then appointed as OC Flying at the Air Fighting Development Unit at Duxford. For his work at the AFDU he was awarded the Air Force Cross.[1]

Test pilot[edit]

At the end of the war Wade joined the staff of The Aeroplane magazine but within a year he had joined Hawker Aircraft as an assistant to the Chief Test Pilot Bill Humble.[1] When Humble became a sales manager, Wade became Chief Test Pilot.[1]

In May 1949 he set a speed record between London and Paris in the Hawker P.1052 jet.[1] but on 3 April 1951 he was killed while test flying the Hawker P.1081, an experimental swept-wing fighter, when it crashed near Lewes in Sussex.[1]

Family life[edit]

Wade was married with three children.[1]

Honours and awards[edit]

  • 15 July 1941 – Pilot Officer Trevor Sidney Wade (78984), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 92 Squadron is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:
This officer has displayed great skill and determination in his numerous engagements against the enemy and has destroyed at least six of their aircraft. His efforts have contributed materially to the success achieved by the squadron. — London Gazette[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Sqn. Ldr. T.S. Wade – Chief Test Pilot of Hawkers". Obituaries. The Times (51966). London. 4 April 1951. col D, p. 6. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35219. p. 4064. 15 July 1941. Retrieved 15 November 2010.