Alfred Langonet - skilled violin maker and restorer, and member of RAF 209 Squadron.Alfred Charles Langonet was born in 1917 into a long line of highly respected violin makers. His grandfather Charles Francois, came to England from Mirecourt, France, at the request of renowned London violin makers W. E. Hill & Sons. His son, Charles Frank, also worked for Hill & Sons.
At the start of World War II Alfred joined the RAF and, probably because of his skills as a craftsman, became a rigger (looking after the structure and possibly electronics of aircraft).
In April 1941, aged 24, he was sent to Loch Erne, Northern Ireland with 209 Squadron to cover the North Sea as part of Coastal Command. He was on board a Catalina flying boat that hunted down the Bismarck.
In 1942 he travelled with 209 Squadron to East Africa to patrol the Indian Ocean.
Alfred Charles Langonet, aged 25, sitting by the blister window on board a Consolidated PBY Catalina while en route to East Africa.