The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. S F Cooper
Sydney Frederick Cooper was born on 14th July 1916. He joined the RAFVR in July 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot and was fully-trained when called up on 1st September 1939.
With other VR pilots Cooper was attached to the FAA at Donibristle, where he did a deck-landing course with Gladiators on HMS Furious.
The pilots were offered the chance to transfer to the FAA but most declined and were posted back to the RAF, Cooper among them.
He arrived at 12 Group Pool Aston Down on 30th October 1939, converted to Hurricanes and then joined 253 Squadron at Manston on 12th December.
Cooper was shot down in combat on 30th August. His Hurricane, P2631, crashed near Biddenden and was written off but he was unhurt.
He damaged a Do17 over Brooklands on 3rd December 1940.
Commissioned from Warrant Officer on 28th June 1943, Cooper stayed in the postwar RAF, was awarded the AFC (gazetted 10th June 1948) and retired on 29th June 1958 as a Flight Lieutenant.
He then continued flying at Exeter Airport as a civilian with the CAACU (Civil Anti-Aircraft Co-Operation Units).
He died on 21st December 1994 in Exeter.