The Airmen's Stories - F/O D J Looker
David John Looker was born on 26th February 1913 in London and educated at Eton.
He was awarded Aero Certificate 11737 at the
Airwork School of Flying on
5th March 1934, his occupation being recorded as 'Articled clerk'.
In the 1930s he was a member of the British four-man bobsleigh team that won the World Championship in 1937 and 1938.
He joined 615 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force at Kenley in 1938 and was a fully-trained pilot when he was called to full-time service on 24th August 1939. He was attached to 11 Group Pool St. Athan for Hurricane training on 9th September.
Looker later rejoined 615 Squadron at Croydon and went with it to France on 15th November 1939. He shared in the destruction of a Hs126 on 15th May 1940 but his Hurricane P2554 was then hit by flak, he baled out and landed on the battlefield at Waterloo.
With a badly injured left leg, Looker was sent to Brussels and then back to England.
On 13th June Looker was at Shenley Military Hospital before going on sick leave. He rejoined 615 at Kenley from No. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge on 8th July for ground duties while waiting to be assessed by a Medical Board.
On 17th July Looker was appointed CO of Kenley Sector Training Flight, which was formed to complete training of new pilots posted direct to Kenley from an FTS course. Looker was examined by a Medical Board on 27th July and pronounced fit to return to duty.
On 18th August Looker’s Hurricane, L1592, was severely damaged by Me109's over Sevenoaks. Whilst attempting a forced-landing at Croydon, he was fired on by ground defences and nosed over on landing, suffering severe concussion.
The aerodrome was about to be attacked by the Luftwaffe and personnel were in shelters. A corporal saw the Hurricane in the middle of the airfield, took a utility and drove out and dragged Looker out of his cockpit by his parachute harness, then took him to a shelter.
The Hurricane, L1592, can be seen today in the Science Museum, London.
Looker spent some time in hospital and returned to 615 Squadron for duty on 30th September. He was posted away to 607 Squadron at Turnhouse on 9th October to await an instructor posting.
He was posted from 607 to 5 FTS Sealand on 1st November 1940 for an instructors course. He went to Canada in December 1940 as a staff pilot at a training school.
His subsequent service is currently undocumented until he was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Flight Lieutenant.
For many years postwar Looker was Managing Director of HA Fox, the car showroom in Dover Street, London, selling mainly Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Jaguar models.
He died in January 1995.