A WWII pilot will be among the first to receive a telegram on his 100th birthday from His Majesty King Charles III. receives.
Flight Lieutenant George Dunn from Saltdean will be celebrating his special day with his family tomorrow.
Born in Whitstable, Kent in 1922, George left school before joining Pickfords Removals Company.
He then served in the Home Guard, the country’s armed militia, during the Battle of Britain between July and October 1940.
But as soon as he was old enough, George applied to the Royal Air Force and signed in June 1941.
After completing his basic education, he contracted pneumonia and was told he could not leave the country.
When his class was sent to Canada to continue their education, George ignored medical advice and went with them.
After further training in the UK and building a crew, George was posted to 76 Squadron, RAF Linton-on-Ouse, York.
Its first two operational flights were with Ten Squadron. These two flights were with an experienced crew so he could gain experience over a target.
George and his crew subsequently flew 30 operational raids, most notably the infamous Peenemünde raid, and it was during this tour that George was commissioned and awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross when he was only 20 years old.
At the end of his first tour, George became an instructor, teaching new pilots the skills he had learned on the job.
Returning to action himself, George transferred to the De Havilland Mosquito, flying with 608 Squadron as part of the Light Night Striking Force.
George had 14 operational flights before the end of World War II but his experience was to be used as a meteorological pilot with 1409 Flight which meant he was trained to fly in poor weather conditions.
Before long, George was posted overseas to continue flying the Met, but was sent to Egypt to test refurbished single-engine fighters, a role he was not trained for.
During this time George transferred a Spitfire to the newly forming Hellenic Air Force in 1947.
A little over 70 years later he was back on the plane at the Heritage Hangar at Biggin Hill in Kent, where the plane was being rebuilt. George was at Biggin Hill in January 2020 to see the plane’s test flight.
After leaving the RAF, George returned to Pickford’s and worked there until his retirement at the age of 60.
Although he worked other jobs, George devoted his free time to raising funds for the RAF Benevolent Fund and the RAF Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/22312961.raf-pilot-saltdean-celebrating-100th-birthday-tomorrow/?ref=rss RAF pilot from Saltdean celebrates his 100th birthday tomorrow