Professor William (Bill) Ballantyne
Professor Bill Ballantyne, veteran pilot of 77, passed away after a short illness on Wednesday, 11th August 2022, in his 99th year. We have fond memories of his attendance with Caroline at our reunions. Many will remember his brave and ebullient personality at our reunion at Elvington in 2019 with his family.
Our previous president, Bill Foote DFC, passed away at the end of 2017 and we offered the rôle to Professor Bill Ballantyne who members will recall gave a fascinating address after dinner in 2015. This Bill was a veteran pilot of 77 Squadron and on one occasion, on 12 December 1944, he was second pilot to Flying Officer Bill Foote on an op to Osnabruck.
In 1941, after serving with Cambridge University Air Squadron, Bill Ballantyne joined the RAF as a trainee pilot and was sent to South Africa to fly a succession of different airplanes: Tiger Moths, Hawker Harts and Hinds, and Oxfords. He was then posted to 267 Squadron in Transport Command in North Africa flying Dakotas to take supplies up to the front line, then to Tunis to take part in the invasion of Sicily. Restless for more action, when asked to ferry a Beaufort from England to Cairo he managed to stay in England and get posted to Bomber Command. He trained on early Wellingtons and Halifaxes and eventually joined 77 Squadron at Full Sutton, flying on 22 ops until VE Day 1945.