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The Airmen's Stories - P/O D M Crook


David Moore Crook from Shrewsbury, was born in Huddersfield on 24th November 1914. He went to Cambridge University.

He was awarded Aero Certificate 11881 at Scarborough Flying Club on 4th February 1934, his occupation was recorded as 'Football manufacturer'.


Above: Crook (left) with P/O GN Gaunt 609 Squadron.


In August 1938 he joined 609 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force at Yeadon and had done some flying training before he was called for full-time service on 25th August 1939.

He was posted to 6 FTS Little Rissington on 7th October and after completing his training he rejoined 609 Squadron in May 1940.

On 9th July Crook destroyed a Ju87 and damaged another, on the 13th he damaged a Do17, on 11th August destroyed a Me110, on the 12th probably another, on the 13th shot down a Me109, on the 14th shared a He111, on 27th September shared a Me110 and on the 30th destroyed two Me109's and probably another.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 1st November 1940).



On 10th November 1940 Crook was posted to CFS Upavon for an instructor's course, after which he went to 15 EFTS Carlisle, remaining there until April 1944 when he moved to AFU at Wheaton Aston.

In July Crook was posted to AFU Tern Hill, in September to 41 OTU Hawarden and on 1st December to 8 (Coastal) OTU Dyce.

On 18th December 1944 Crook took off in a Spitfire IX EN662 to fly a mid-morning high-level photographic sortie. At 10.52 am HQ 13 Group reported to Dyce that a Spitfire had been seen to dive into the sea near Aberdeen from 20,000 feet. A search of the area picked up some of Crook's flying clothing but he was never found. He may have passed out to due to a fault in his oxygen system.

He is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 202.




Crook's portrait was drawn by Cuthbert Orde in November 1940 (below).



In 1942 he had written a book ' Spitfire Pilot ', recounting his experiences when flying with No. 609 (West Riding) Squadron in the Battle of Britain.



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