Waddington Wing Commander dies after short cancer battle

Tributes have been left in honour of a popular and enthusiastic Wing Commander at RAF Waddington who died after a short battle with cancer.

The Station Commander of RAF Waddington recently announced the death of father-of-three Phil McConnell, who passed away on Sunday. Phil was Officer Commanding 51 Squadron and RAF Waddington. The squadron said he was highly regarded throughout his military career.

In a tribute on Facebook, RAF Waddington said: “Many will remember Phil for his great sense of humour, enthusiasm and ability to always see the positive in every situation and person. Our thoughts at this sad time are with his family and friends.”

More than 300 people left tributes and memories to Phil on RAF Waddington’s announcement.

David John Wightman said: “Boss, it was a pleasure to serve with you on 51 and way back when you were a co-pilot on the mighty VC10. I never really know what to say in these situations, especially when you have been taken away from your family well before your time, but rest in peace and my condolences to your family.”

Grant Lawrie said: “Per ardua ad astra. I’ll raise a glass to you and our times on the VC10. I’ll chuckle at your footballing prowess, smile fondly reminiscing of our times down route and I will respect greatly the officer, gentleman, husband and father.”

Dave Scott said: “Such sad news. I knew Phil for many years. Whilst on the VC10, TriStar and even sailing (where he spent most of the time fishing). Had many good times. So gutted. Thoughts are obviously with his loving family at this incredibly sad time. RIP Sir.”

Chris Setterfield said: “An absolute pleasure to have met and worked with Phil, as far back as our pilot training days as irresponsible JOs. A true gent, and a massive loss. Rest easy Phil, and sympathies to your family.”

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