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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. H Cook


Harry Cook, of Grimsby, joined the RAFVR in July 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He began his elementary flying training on 6th August. Called up on 1st September 1939, he was posted to 3 ITW Hastings in October, after which he continued his training at 3 EFTS Hamble and 14 FTS at Kinloss and Cranfield on No. 7 Course, which ran from 28th April to 3rd August 1940.

Cook was awarded his flying badge on 21st June 1940, completed the course and went to 7 OTU Hawarden on 4th August.



After converting to Spitfires he joined 266 Squadron at Wittering on 26th August. He moved to 66 Squadron at Kenley on 12th September.

Cook shared a He111 on the 15th, claimed a Me109 destroyed on the 24th, a Me110 destroyed and another damaged on the 27th, another Me109 on the 30th and a Me109 damaged on 8th October.

He made a crash-landing at Hornchurch on 13th October following a combat with Me109s over Maidstone. His Spitfire, X4543, was written off but Cook was unhurt.

On 11th October Cook damaged a Me109 and on 26th November he claimed another Me109 destroyed.

In early 1941 Cook was posted to 7 OTU as an instructor. He married Dorothy Westcott in October 1941. Later in the year he was serving with 234 Squadron at Ibsley, he served as a pilot with the MSFU in 1942 and in 1943 he was with 41 Squadron.

On one early morning patrol Cook surprised a German destroyer which, after one burst of cannon fire, turned and ran on to rocks.

Commissioned in June 1942, Cook had three confirmed victories, three probables and four damaged. He also destroyed a V1, a train, two armoured vehicles and twenty other types of vehicle.

He was released from the RAF in 1946, as a Flight Lieutenant.


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