Tuesday 5th May 1987 saw the death of Wing Commander Robert Roland Stanford-Tuck – one of Britain’s greatest fighter piolets of the Second World War conflict. Born on the 1st July 1916 in London, England he became one of the highest-scoring fighter pilots in the Battle of Britain, having taken over the leadership of 257 (Hurricane) Squadron at the height of the battle in 1940.
After leaving school he joined the Merchant Navy before moving to the Royal Air Force in 1935. He gained his Wings in 1936. When the 2nd World War broke out he was with 92 Spitfire Squadron, bringing 8 enemy aircraft over Dunkirk. He later moved to 257 Squadron and built up its morale to make it a powerful force in the Battle of Britain. He went on to become a Wing Commander flying out of RAF Biggin Hill. He was forced to bail out several times during operations and was captured in 1942 after crash-landing in occupied territory. He escaped – on his third attempt – in 1945, returning to England. He retired in 1949.
The above is based on text from the 1988 Britannica Book of the Year.
In 1956 a biography of Stanford-Tuck, ‘Fly for Your Life’, was published.
Other stories can be found on: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Stanford_Tuck and http://www.historynet.com/robert-stanford-tuck-world-war-ii-raf-ace-pilot.htm