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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. R V Cook


Robert Vincent Cook was born on 2nd January 1921 and was employed as a clerk in the water works at Southend.

He joined the RAFVR at Southend on 10th March 1939 as an Airman u/t Air Gunner. He was called up at the outbreak of war and posted to RAF Jurby on 13th November for an air gunnery course.

On 20th May 1940 Cook joined 219 Squadron at Catterick and served with it throughout the Battle of Britain. When the squadron was re-equipped with Beaufighters Cook retrained as a Radio Observer.




On 22nd November 1941 his aircraft attacked and damaged a Do217 in the late evening.

Cook was posted away from 219 to the Telecom Flying Unit at Hurn/Defford on 25th February 1942.

Promoted to Warrant Officer in June, he returned to operations on 26th October when he joined 125 Squadron, operating Beaufighters at Fairwood Common.

A year later he joined 264 Squadron at Colerne as Radio Observer to 264's CO, W/Cdr. Ker.

On 6th May 1943 Cook went to Fairwood Common to be RO to the Station Commander, G/Capt. Heber-Percy, who had full use of a Mosquito of 307 (Polish) Squadron, stationed there at that time.

Cook was posted to 1692 Flight at Drem on 1st October 1943, it moved later to Little Snoring. He was injured in an incident on 15th February 1944, when his aircraft was shot at by British anti-aircraft guns after it entered a defended area.

The head injuries he received rendered him unfit for flying duties and in August 1944 Cook began training as an Airfield Controller. He was released from the RAF in June 1946 as a Warrant Officer.

Cook went into Aircraft Control in civilian life and was on the staff at Heathrow Airport for many years. He retired on 1st January 1981.

He died in May 2004 in Surrey.

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