A FORMER RAF serviceman from Tilehurst who has a museum named after him has been remembered by airshow organisers, Dunsfold Wings and Wheels.

William Edwin Reginald 'Reg' Day was a flight mechanic with 98 Squadron at Dunsfold from 1943 - 1944.

His passion for Dunsfold Aerodrome and his determination to keep its history alive was first directed into the 1992 book ‘Dunsfold – Surrey’s most secret Airfield’, to which he enthusiastically contributed.

He then poured his commitment into the Reg Day Museum, which provides a fascinating insight into what life was like during the Second World War.

On March 24, Reg died following the loss of his beloved wife, Ivy, just a few days earlier.

He has left a lasting legacy at Dunsfold.

Reg was born in Reading on November 19 1922, the oldest of eight children.

At 14, he started his first job at Tilehurst clay pits, where he tested and maintained the pumps.

This experience would eventually lead Reg to his calling in the RAF.

In September 1941, Reg volunteered to join the RAF and, following initial training, his experience with electrical pumps at Tilehurst meant he was seconded to aircraft engine maintenance.

He became part of 98 Squadron, who were stationed - from August 1943 - at the recently-built Dunsfold Aerodrome near Cranleigh, Surrey.

Reg was assigned as a Leading Aircraftsman to a kite called “The City of Derby”.

Paired up with another mechanic, he shared responsibility for keeping the aircraft’s twin Wright-Cyclone radial piston engines in tip-top operational order, and so began 15 months of bombing raids from Dunsfold.

Aged just 21, Reg wed his childhood sweetheart, Ivy, who herself was just 19.

Keen to make things official prior to being posted abroad with his squadron, Reg took a week's leave to marry Ivy on April 3 1944.

During his time in the RAF during the Second World War, Reg saw the capture of more than 52 enemy airfields and was part of the first squadron to go from Dunsfold to Melsbroek, an ex-Luftwaffe airfield in Belgium, when it was liberated in October 1944.

Reg was wounded during the Luftwaffe's last big air attack of the war, on January 1 1945, when he was 'nicked' by a cannon shell.

Fortunately, the shell had skipped on soft ground and was at the end of its trajectory when it landed on Reg, who was flat on the ground.

Fully recovered from his injury, he saw out the war and spent VE Day in Germany, at Achmer airfield.

Following the war, he worked at Huntley Bourne and Stevens, where biscuit tins were made.

He then went on to work for the family-owned Tuttys Department Store.

Missing RAF life, Reg volunteered his experience to the Air Training Corps (ATC), initially as a Civilian Instructor.

It was not long before he was back in uniform, serving first as an NCO (non-commissioned officer) with his local unit, 381 (Reading) Squadron, then being commissioned and finally commanding the squadron in the rank of Flight Lieutenant (RAFVR).

He served with the ATC for more than 25 years until 1981.

Reg ‘came home’ to Dunsfold Aerodrome in 2003 and, with the aid of Dunsfold Park, created a museum of memorabilia which recounted life at Dunsfold Aerodrome during the Second World War.

His determination to keep the memories alive, and to ensure that Dunsfold’s past and the efforts of the men who worked at the Aerodrome would never be forgotten, has seen visitors from all over the world tour the museum.

In what was to be one of Reg's proudest moments, he was awarded the BEM for voluntary service to RAF heritage in the 2014 New Year Honours list.

At 96, Reg died shortly after his wife Ivy, in March 2019.

Reg and Ivy will be remembered by their four children, 13 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

Reg's museum has been entrusted to a group of trustees, who will ensure his efforts to remember those that served on the airfield will continue.

The museum is open at Dunsfold Park from 10am - 3pm every Wednesday by appointment.