Richard Wilson Lenton was born at Romiley, Cheshire on 29th June. 1922, he was eldest of two children born to Richard and Jennie Lenton. Together with his sister Jean, he was brought up in Romiley at 58 Stockport Road. He was educated at Romiley Council School and in 1933 won a scholarship to Manchester Grammer School. He left MGS in 1938 with a School Certificate having passed with credit in seven subjects, i.e. English Language, English Literature, French (written and oral), Greek, Latin and Mathematics.
On leaving school he went to work in the electricity accounts department of Manchester Corporation. He was a prominent member of Romiley Methodist Church where he became a Sunday School Teacher, he also enjoyed sport and played cricket for Romiley Cricket Club.
He volunteered for service in the Royal Air Force in October 1941 and after basic training in the UK he went to Canada under the Empire Training Scheme to qualify as a Navigator. After gaining his 'wings' he returned to the UK for further training and was posted to Coastal Command. On 8th August 1943 whilst under training at RAF Castle Kennedy, near Stranraer, his aircraft crashed killing the Pilot, Flight Sergeant Francis Richard Morris, 23years from Caergwrle, near Wrexham. Richard sustained an injury to his leg in the crash which seems not to have been too serious.
From correspondence sent to his mother it appears that he arrived at RAF North Coates near Grimsby around 20th September 1943, although squadron records show him being posted to 254 Squadron at North Coates on 6th October 1943. The squadron which was part of Coastal Command were equipped with Beaufighter aircraft and operated together with 236 squadron as the North Coates Strike Wing, they were engaged mainly in attacks on enemy shipping in the North Sea.
Whilst a member of the squadron he took part in several operations as the navigator in Beaufighter's which carried a torpedo, these aircraft were known as Torbeaus.
On Tuesday, 23rd November 1943 he flew with the Strike Wing (25 aircraft) in a Torbeau and they attacked an enemy convoy off the Frisian Island of Texel, a number of ships were successfully attacked, his aircraft attacked with torpedo and cannon. It appears that as they broke off from the attack, they were themselves attacked by enemy aircraft and his aircraft was shot down along with two others from 254 and one from 236. There were no survivors from the crews of the aircraft shot down. He has no known grave. He is remembered on the Runnymeade Memorial and also on the RAF North Coates Roll of Honour in Cleethorpes Town Hall. His name is also on the War Memorial at Barrack Hill, Romiley and is also recorded on plaques in St Chads Church, Romiley and in the pavillion of Romiley Cricket Club.
He is remembered with pride.
Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Wilson Brown, Richard's nephew for the picture and information