For RAF pilots Mike and David Waring, Father's Day is an opportunity to reflect on their family's service to the Royal Air Force, as the third and fourth generations to take to the skies in defence of Queen and country.
When Squadron Leader Mike Waring joined the RAF in 1995 he continued the family legacy started by his great grandfather Wada Pickard who flew FE2bs and transferred from the Royal Flying Corps to the newly-formed Royal Air Force in 1918.
He said: "I am incredibly proud of our family's RAF heritage and of everything the Warings and my family have done, during the First World War, the Second World War and subsequently. I am proud that my service continues that tradition."
After Wada Pickard was de-mobbed following the end of the First World War, his grandfather, Freddie Waring, took up the mantel. Initially joining the Army in the 1930s he then became a Policeman until finally transferring to the RAF in 1942. He completed pilot's training in Canada and went on to fly with 620 Squadron providing, among other things, support to the Resistance, supply drops and laying mines. Tragically he was killed in action when his Stirling was shot down on New Year's Day, 1945.
Mike, a Puma pilot now OC 57 Squadron at RAF College Cranwell, followed in the steps of his father Squadron Leader David Waring. David, also a Puma pilot, served in Singapore and Borneo during a 36-year career.
Mike added: "As I reflect on our family's history of service there has been one other constant in our lives – the RAF Benevolent Fund. All of my family have known the comfort that the 'safety net' of the Fund brings to all RAF personnel, past and present. The knowledge that should the worst happen, we are not alone.
"For the Waring family, the difference the RAF Benevolent Fund has made is immeasurable. My father was supported through school and the help certainly made his, and my grandmother’s life as a single parent, far easier. For myself, the support has been even more dramatic. Our daughter Gemma has severe and complex additional needs, including delayed learning, which means she needs extra support at school and at home."
More recently, the Fund provided a trike for Gemma to use while out on family bike rides during their daily exercise under lockdown.
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