Died 17 December 2012, aged 92: George Colton, a member of the famous wartime Dambusters squadron, died in Pinderfields Hospital after a short illness. He was one of the ground crew that kept 617 Squadron’s four-engined Lancaster bombers in the air, an achievement that was recognised when 1059782 Corporal E. G. Colton RAFVR was awarded a Mention in Despatches, announced in the London Gazette on 14 January 1944.
He attended many squadron reunions over the years, keeping up with former comrades. He was at the 60th anniversary of the Dambusters’ raid in 2003 when he went to a special event at the Derwent Valley reservoirs where the Lancaster bombers had carried out training and test flights. The raids claimed the lives of 53 aircrew, many of whom were Mr Collins’ friends. His daughter, Sue Saville, was quoted as saying: “There were happy memories as well as sad memories. He was very proud of being part of that very special squadron.” With the end of hostilities, Mr Colton joined the Post Office, retiring in 1981 as assistant head postmaster at Wakefield. He lived on Barnsley Road with his wife, Alice, who died aged 90 in January 2012. They had been married almost 70 years and had three children, four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Mr Colton spent his last year at Walton Manor care home.