Sheffield RAF pilot who flew with the Dambusters dies aged 95

William Layton Eratt (centre), 617 Squadron - The Dambusters
William Layton Eratt (centre), 617 Squadron - The Dambusters
0
Have your say

A Sheffield RAF pilot who flew with the Dambusters during the Second World War has died aged 95.

Layton Eratt, born in Walkley, Sheffield, volunteered for the RAF when he was 19 and was drafted into to 617 squadron – the famous Dambusters – following their bouncing bomb raids.

Layton Eratt (third from left middle row), 617 Squadron - The Dambusters

Layton Eratt (third from left middle row), 617 Squadron - The Dambusters

Layton became a flight lieutenant and was stationed in both Burma and Germany.

His daughter Elaine Tomlinson,68, said her father loved aeroplanes and used to take her and her siblings to air shows and make model planes with her brothers.

She said: “He was always proud of being in the air force, He would take us to watch planes fly and tell us all about them.

“He knew the Dambusters as friends, he took me to the memorial in Lincolnshire and stood there crying.

William Layton Eratt, 617 Squadron - The Dambusters'Pictured with his daughter, Elaine Tomlinson

William Layton Eratt, 617 Squadron - The Dambusters'Pictured with his daughter, Elaine Tomlinson

“He told me about how he would have to clean the bottom of the planes out after they had come back from action, sometimes he had to clean out the bodies. It was a terrible thing for a young lad to be doing.”

Keen sports fan Layton boxed and played football but had to stop after an injury that almost cost him his leg.

After leaving the RAF, Layton became an area manager for Coca-Cola and went on to own pubs in the Newcastle area and spent time in Barbados with wife Isabella.

Elaine said: “He was very smart and very handsome with his little black moustache. He had a very varied life and a very good life.”

Layton Eratt, 617 Squadron - The Dambusters Pictured in later years.

Layton Eratt, 617 Squadron - The Dambusters Pictured in later years.

The Dambusters March from the 1955 film was played as Layton’s coffin was carried into his funeral service.

Mr Eratt had five children, 10 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.