Len Paxton-Lawrence passed away on 10th September 2008 after a six month battle with lung cancer. Len was a Lightning Tiger, serving with them from June 1961 to February 1964 as a J/T (Airframes). He spent 22 years with the RAF in total from being a boy entrant at St Athan in 1956. His career took him to Leeming and Javelins (58-60), RAF Masirah (60-61), then the Tigers, followed by two years in Tengah with 45 Sqn (64-66). Len returned to Coltishall (66-70) with 226 OCU before going abroad again this time to Cyprus with 56 Sqn (70-71). He completed his time at Wyton with 51 Sqn (71-75) and Brawdy with 229 OCU (75-76). Len retired as a Chief Tech.
Of his time with 74 he always particularly remembered a Swedish Air Force Draken squadron at Colt. They gave a superb low level., high speed flying exhibition, mainly between 74`s hangar and No 4 hangar! The return visit to Sweden and then Norway by the Tigers produced another superb exhibition, this time of how to fly a Lightning.
Len told me that he was always very respectful of pilots such as Martin Bee, George Black, Vaughan Radford and Jack Kleynans as well as his fellow ground crew including Ron Rose, Curly Hunt and Ron Trussler – all people he was proud to know.