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Fred Ponsonby

Area: Knottingley
Regiment: Royal Air Force
Family information: Husband of Mrs Mary Ponsonby nee Higgins
Rank: Leading Aircraftman

War Service

Pontefract & Castleford Express 28 March 1945 p 4 (+ photo)
A Knottingley man, LAC Fred Ponsonby, had won the BEM (Military Division) for outstanding bravery when three planes crashed on an improvised flare path at an Italian airfield. The flare path was composed of trucks drawn up on the runway and one plane crashed into a truck, injured the driver, killed an officer standing near and burst into flames. LAC Ponsonby, who is an ambulance driver, went to attend to the driver of the truck, who was trapped in his vehicle, with fractures of both legs. At the same time two other planes were making to land but Ponsonby remained with the truck and towed it away out of danger. The second plane collided with the first and also burst into flames and the third became involved immediately afterwards. LAC Ponsonby has been in the RAF for four years, three of which have been spent abroad. He was educated at the Northgate School, Pontefract and worked at Hillaby’s Liquorice Works, Pontefract for 16 years. Twelve years ago he married Miss Mary Higgins of Knottingley and she and their two children live at Gas House Lane, Knottingley. Mr and Mrs Ponsonby senior live at 35, Headlands Lane, Pontefract.”

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