Tributes as Doncaster Vulcan Falklands War hero dies after cancer battle

Tributes have been paid following the death of a crew member of Doncaster’s famed Vulcan bomber who took part in a daring bombing raid during the Falklands War.

By Darren Burke
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 6:01 am
Barry with his partner Rea. (Photo: Clive Hanley Photography).
Barry with his partner Rea. (Photo: Clive Hanley Photography).

Squadron Leader Barry Masefield lost his battle with cancer at the weekend, with Doncaster’s Vulcan To The Sky Trust leading the tributes.

He was part of the crew that undertook the Black Buck missions in the Falklands conflict with Argentina in 1982.

A spokesman for the VTTST said: “Very sadly, we have received news that Barry Masefield has passed away following his battle with cancer.

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"Many Vulcan XH558 supporters will know Barry as ‘558’s Air Electronics Officer and a member of the crew who flew the Falklands Black Buck Missions."

Michael Trotter of VTTST said “Barry gave his time at many Vulcan events talking of his experiences with Vulcans and XH558.

"He was a gentleman and will be sorely missed by all who were close to him. The thoughts of everyone at Vulcan to the Sky Trust are with Barry’s family at this sad time.”

After completing his schooling in Torquay, Barry joined the Royal Air Force in 1959 as a radar technician apprentice.

In 1963 he was posted to RAF Topcliffe and spent the next 17 years flying Shackletons and Nimrods at bases throughout the world including RAF Ballykelly in Northern Ireland, RAF Changi in Singapore, and RAF Kinloss in Scotland.

He was then posted to RAF Scampton, beginning his career on Vulcans before switching to nearby RAF Waddington.

Shortly after his arrival, Barry and his crew were chosen to be one of the three crews to be trained to participate in the Falklands War in the South Atlantic.

His crew flew the bombing raid Black Buck 2, part of a series of seven extremely long-range ground attack missions against Argentine positions in the Falkland Islands.

The raids on Port Stanley Airport, at almost 6,600 nautical miles and 16 hours for the return journey, were the longest-ranged bombing raids in history at that time.

Following the conflict, Barry switched to the Victor aircraft and he participated in the first Gulf War in 1993 before retiring in 1994.

Barry then undertook retraining as a chiropodist and podiatrist in Sheffield, setting up his own highly successful practice in King's Lynn.

In 2008, he closed his practice and returned as a full-time member of the crew behind Vulcan XH558, based at Doncaster Sheffield Airport and which was the world’s last flying Vulcan bomber.

Ruth Kelly said: “I flew many times with Barry when I was a crew chief on the Victors of 55 Sqdn. He was a lovely man very amiable and easy going and many a beer we’ve shared. RIP Barry you were a true gentleman.”

George Moorfield added: “Spent a day up at 558 a few years back with my son. Barry was our guide/educator. He had great knowledge which he was eager to impart in a most interesting and entertaining way. Rest In Peace Sir.”

David Kinsey posted: “Spent a great day with Barry a few years back listening to him talk about Black Buck and all things Vulcan. Loved every minute of it, such a knowledgeable, friendly and engaging gent. Thoughts with his family. RIP Barry.”