Farewell to hero of World War II

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A SOUTH Yorkshire war hero, who as a teenager played football for Rotherham United, has died aged 90.

Harold John Westwood was born on October 11, 1921, and educated at Rotherham Grammar School.

He joined the Navy as a Naval Airman 2nd Class, and had pilot training in Canada.

Lt-Cdr ‘Cherry’ Westwood – named because of the ruddy hue he turned under the perspex canopy of his aircraft – flew with 880 Naval Air Squadron, which took part in almost every naval fighter operation of the Second World War.

He had joined the squadron in 1943, flying a modified Spitfire from the fleet carrier Indomitable. He gave fighter cover for convoys in the Mediterranean and during Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily.

Lt-Cdr Westwood, who died on February 1, is survived by two daughters.