Ken Wallis dies

The record breaking autogyro pilot, Ken Wallis, from Norfolk who has appeared regularly on ITV News Anglia, has died at the age of 97.

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Pilot and Bond stunt man dies at 97

A bomber pilot and James Bond stunt double has died after a "great life".

Retired wing commander Ken Wallis, 97, who lived near Dereham, Norfolk, was a former Wellington bomber pilot.

He was awarded a medal in July for his role in 103 Squadron's missions in the Second World War after years of campaigning.

In later life the great-grandfather spent 20 years working in armament and weapon research, flew nuclear-armed B36s for the US and was credited with a key discovery which made autogyro aircraft more reliable.

Between 1968 and 2002, Wing Cdr Wallis set 34 world records, many of which still stand, including the 3km speed record for autogyros, set at 207.7kph.

It was this passion which led to him featuring in the 1967 Bond film You Only Live Twice when he was asked to pilot an autogyro and double for Sean Connery in scenes shot in Japan.

He was made an MBE in 1996 and was honoured by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators for his lifetime contribution to aerospace.

His eldest daughter, Vicky, told the Eastern Daily Press: "He had great long and successful life."

Speaking after he received his campaign medal earlier this year, Wing Cdr Wallis said men like him had been turned into "villains" because of Bomber Command chief, Arthur 'Bomber' Harris's decision to carpet bomb German cities in a night-time offensive.

"It's a bit late - and long overdue," he added.

"There were 56,000 who were killed in Bomber Command and when we finished operations we thought we would get medals.

'"They thought we were bombing these poor innocent Germans, but there was never a moment of pleasure when we did it."

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