Squadron Leader Brian Waite: 609 (West Riding) Squadron

Born in 1947, Brian Waite was educated at King’s School, Grantham and Loughborough College of Physical Education. Following a teaching career of 10 years in Kent, he joined the Royal Air Force in 1981 in the Administration Branch which led to his first tour as OC General Duties Flight at RAF West Drayton.

He then served three and a half years in Germany stationed at RAF Wildenrath, a year as Station Cashier followed by a tour as an Intelligence Officer with 92 Squadron, which at that time was flying the F4 Phantom aircraft. On his return to the UK Brian began recruiting duties, commanding the recruiting offices at Leicester and Peterborough. Two years later he was posted to the RAF College Cranwell as a Flight Commander within Initial Officer Training. Two ‘admin’ tours followed in quick succession – OC PMS at RAF Church Fenton and OC SSF at RAF Boscombe Down. During these tours he had an enforced retirement from competitive sport and thereafter focussed his efforts on hill-walking and expeditions. He was promoted to Squadron Leader in 1994 with a new post in the Marketing Wing of the Directorate of Recruitment & Selection at RAF Cranwell. He was responsible for the RAF’s Exhibition Fleet of replica aircraft and the coordination of the outdoor and indoor shows attended by the Recruiting Field Force. Retirement from the Royal Air Force in 1997 led to two years living in Norfolk.

In 1999 Brian took up the post of OC Support Flight on the recently formed Air Defence Support Squadron of the RAuxAF at RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire. The ADSS became No. 609 (West Riding) Squadron later that year. In January 2001 Brian was promoted and appointed to command 609, a position he held for five years. During this time the new squadron went from strength to strength and his work back then formed the foundations on which today’s 609 now stands. He re-established wartime connections with the Belgian Air Force and Belgian veterans who had served with 609 during the war and also warmly embraced all aspects of the Squadron Association and became involved in their activities. He was universally respected by those on 609 and further afield. He was noted for his calm manner, patience, tolerance, wicked sense of humour and great love of sport!

Brian passed away suddenly in September 2022 at his home in Somerset, a great loss to all who knew him. He leaves his widow Louise.

RAuxAF Foundation (JWM)

Posted in Memorial Stones.