Burntwood Family History Group
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Marcos Antonio LACAYO (Mark Anthony LACAYO)
 
 
Marcos Antonio LACAYO was born in Altrincham, Cheshire on the 17th April 1898. Not much is known of his early life but he is believed to have had a younger brother Julio Louis LACAYO also born in Cheshire 1891
 
Sometime prior to 1925 (Maybe before WWI) Marcus Antonio either changed his given names to, or just used Mark Anthony. In the 1920's Mark married Leonora and they had four children. At the age of 29 he was living at ’Brookleigh’, Brooklands Road, Brooklands, Cheshire and working in shipping
 
Mark had a passion for flying and took flying lessons and was a member of Lancashire Aero Club. On the 18th November 1925 Mark took his flying test in a Cirrus D.H. 60 ”Moth” 27/60 and obtained his pilots certificate
 
 
On 17th February 1928 is believed that Mark was flying a Cirrus DH60 Moth Moth G-EBVL. His passenger on this occasion was Jack ANDERSON. Both were members of the Lancashire Aero Club. Mark encountered strong winds and he was forced to crash land the aircraft east side of Great Whernside, in the Pennines. The aircraft overturned on landing but both Mark and Jack survived 
 
"As a result of the accident, Mark broke a leg very badly, and burst an ear drum. He had to have a metal plate fitted into his forehead which stayed there for evermore. It is my belief that his passenger Jack escaped unharmed".
(Daughter June SAXBY)
 
By 1932 Mark appears to be the Sales Manager for Comper Aircraft Ltd, Heston.
In that year, Mark took part in the King's Cup Race 1932, which took place on Friday 8th / Saturday 9th July at Brooklands.
He was flying one of Comper Aircraft's aircraft, a Comper 'Swift'  G-ABUU which took its maiden flight on the 8th April earlier that year.
Out of 52 entries, 42 started and Mark's Race Number was 23.
Unfortunately for Mark, he missed a turning point at Woodford and he was disqualified.
The following year 1933, the aircraft was entered in the 1933 King's Cup Race being flown by another pilot, who finished runner-up.
The aircraft he was flying was sold on many times. In 1999, it was sold to a compmany in Spain. It was repainted as and given EC-ATT.
In 2010, it still existed (2010) and was being flown in Spain.
(Researcher Terry MACE)
 
"Mark was a brilliant pilot and we had many of his trophies etc. which he had won in competitions between the wars. Unfortunately, they were all destroyed together with the rest of our furniture when it was put into storage during the war so that Mark`s family could follow him to the various aerodromes to which he was assigned".
(Daughter June SAXBY)
 
 
 
 
Mark joined the R.A.F. and became a Pilot, Flight Lieutenant (81381) with the RAFVA
 
"He became a test pilot for battle-damaged planes which were repaired at various maintenance units, and which he then delivered back to the battle stations. He was Chief Test Pilot at Lichfield where he was subsequently killed"
(Daughter June SAXBY)
 

During WWII, Mark went on to fly Wellington aircraft. On the 26th February 1941, he was involved in an accident whilst flying a Wellington. The accident was summarised:-

’26 February 1941 HQSFP Wellington IC R1401 P/O M A Lacayo. Detail: Ferrying aircraft. Engine failure [flight]. Crash landed Hucknall. Owing to slippery state of ground and decline, collided with boundary fence. C.O. Pilot not to blame. S.F. [not entirely certain as to the meaning of this abbreviation] Unable to draw fuel from left tank, apparently due to a sticking non-return valve, which prevents the fuel from balancing. S.F. Had had same trouble previously [pilot],’

The accident card shows Mark had 5000 flying hours in total [solo] with 24 of these hours at the controls of Wellington aircraft.

R1401 was repaired: it saw service with 218 Squadron before being relegated to operational training duties and as such served with 27 OTU, 12 OTU, 23 OTU and 14 OTU before being written off in a landing accident at RAF Cottesmore on 1 October 1942. In his 7th Volume of 'Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War - AMENDMENTS & ADDITIONS' Bill CHORLEY reported the loss as:-
 
 ’T/o 1945 Cottesmore for night flying. Landed at 2025 but ballooned back into the air and before corrective action could be taken, the bomber stalled and crashed’. The pilot was a New Zealander, Flight Sergeant J O McCabe RNZAF. The accident report indicates he was injured, as were two other members of his crew.

 
In 1943, Mark was awarded the Air Force Cross
 
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 1 JANUARY, 1945 PAGE 59
Air Force Cross
Mark Antony LACAYO (81381), R.A.F.V.R.
 
On 11th February 1946 Mark now aged 47, was out flying from RAF Lichfield (Fradley) Staffordshire in a Mosquito RG313. His passenger on this occasion was Leading Aircraftsman (LAC) Richard George DICKENS, also RAFVR. Something went wrong during this test flight and the aeroplane crashed killing both LACAYO and DICKENS
 
Mark’s death is registered in the first quarter of 1946 at Lichfield, mistakenly in as Mark A. LACARJO
 
"Mark was very proud of his eldest son who was also a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm and who fought many brave battles throughout the war, including at Malta".
(Daughter June SAXBY)
 
 
 
Mark is buried in Saint Michael’s Churchyard in Lichfield
 
Marking his resting place is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone
 
Mark is also remembered on the War Memorial in Saint Michael’s Churchyard
 
 
A Memory of Fl. Lt. LAYCAYO by Geoffrey WILLIAMS (12 06 2011)
 
As a young member of the Air Training Corps in 1941/42 I was mad keen on flying and would welcome a flight in any aircraft whatever state it was in. I well remember having a test flight in a Wellington bomber from Hawarden Royal Air Force Station.  The aircraft would have been in for repairs to the airfield MU. The pilot was Flight Lieutenant LACAYO. He was a tall man but, being in his forties, seemed comparatively elderly to the younger types flying Spitfires and Mustangs from the same airfield. I remember at the time thinking the pilot, seemed a little old for flying duties but he came across as a kind and considerate individual
 
I had the special experience of flying in the rear turret position and he was anxious that I was comfortable in this position. He certainly impressed me with his kindly demeanour and concern for our safety. Naturally, we looked upon the pilots in those days as knights in shining armour and Flight Lieutenant LACAYO fitted that description. I think it is amazing that the memory of a chance meeting over 70 years ago can be rekindled with this amazing facility ‘The Web’
 
Good luck with your organisation and best wishes for the future. Geoffrey WILLIAMS
 
Thank you for the article by Kaman LACAYO (30 09 2011)
 
My name is Kaman LACAYO. My father was Marcos Antonio LACAYO. I have seen and read your arcticle and I am very grateful for it
 
I live in Costa Rica and I am researching my family history. If anyone can provide me with any further information about my father, I would be very grateful
 
Thank you. Kaman LACAYO
 
Thank you for the article by June SAXBY (09 11 2012)
 
My name is June SAXBY. My father was Marcos Antonio LACAYO. I was very interested to read your profile on my father, and I was able to learn a little more about his early life. Mark had four children. I have two older brothers and a younger sister, but both brothers are now dead. My father was killed when I was 16 and I was still at school
 
If anyone can provide me with any further information about my father, I would be very grateful
 
Thank you. June SAXBY
 
 If you have any information about Mark Anthony LACAYO, please send it to us at enquiries@bfhg.org.uk   
 
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