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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. G D Craig

 

George Dudley Craig was born on 13th September 1914 in Bangkok, Thailand and educated at Winchester College and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He gained a BA in Law in 1936 and an MA in 1940. Before the war he was practicing as a solicitor.


He joined 607 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force at Usworth in 1937 and was commissioned in May. He was called to full-time service on 24th August 1939.

 

 

Craig was one of a section of three Gladiators that sighted a Do18 flying boat 25 miles out to sea on 16th October 1939. Their attacks inflicted such damage as to cause it to crash 50 miles out from the coast. The crew were picked up by a trawler and made PoWs.


On 13th November 1939 607 Squadron flew from Acklington to Croydon, going two days later to Merville in France. Craig was attached to 13 Squadron, based at Mons-en-Chaussee with Lysanders, on 2nd January 1940. He rejoined 607 three days later.


On 11th May 1940 Craig shared in the destruction of a Ju87. The squadron was withdrawn to England on 20th May and re-assembled at Croydon on the 22nd.


Craig served with 607 Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. On 15th August 1940 he probably destroyed a He111 and a Me110. He was posted to RAF Turnhouse on 18th December 1940 as a supernumerary on Ops duties.


He took command of the squadron in March 1941. Craig was shot down in Hurricane IIE BE418 whilst making a low-level attack on Le Touquet airfield on 4th November 1941 and captured.

In 1942 he attempted to walk out of Stalag Luft 3, disguised as a German guard, but was unsuccessful.

At Oflag XX1B Craig was one of thirty-six officers who tunnelled their way out. With a companion he walked south towards Gneisen but was recaptured by military police after three days.


After returning to England in May 1945 Craig was released from the RAF later in the year.

He received a Mention in Despatches (gazetted 28th December 1945) and was made an MBE (gazetted 26th July 1946) for distinguished service whilst a PoW.

Craig returned to his law practice, later becoming a partner.

He rejoined the Auxiliary Air Force in 1947, firstly in the Secretarial Branch but later in the Fighter Control Branch.

He died in 1974.

 

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