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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. G F Silvester


George Frederick Silvester was born in Gravesend on 9th November 1920 and educated at the Grammar School there. He began training as a Quantity Surveyor. He joined the RAFVR in April 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot and began flying at weekends at 20 E&RFTS Gravesend.

Called to full-time service at the outbreak of war, Silvester was posted to 3 ITW Hastings on 3rd October 1939. He went to 5 EFTS Hanworth on 4th December and moved on to 10 EFTS Yatesbury on 29th April 1940.

Silvester did his intermediate and advanced training at 2 FTS Brize Norton from 25th May. After completing the course he went to 5 OTU Aston Down on 31st August.


Above: 229 Squadron

P/O V Ortmans, Sgt. J Arbuthnot, R Berry (not BoB), F/Lt. JB Holderness, F/Lt. JFF Finniss,

Sgt. FJ Twitchett, Sgt. GF Silvester, Sgt. CG Hodson


Silvester joined 245 Squadron at Aldergrove on 28th September and moved to 229 Squadron at Northolt on 16th October. He was posted to 145 Squadron at Tangmere on 21st January 1941, was commissioned in early December and left on the 24th to go to 52 OTU Aston Down as an instructor. In mid-March 1942 Silvester went to CFS Upavon for an instructors course.

He returned to Aston Down and on 10th July 1942 he was posted to the 52nd Pursuit Group (USAAF) at Eglinton to instruct American pilots on Spitfires.

On 29th September Silvester joined 154 Squadron at Wellingore. He went with the squadron to North Africa in November 1942. He was posted to 242 Squadron at Souk-el-Khemis on 13th March 1943 as a Flight Commander. Tour-expired, Silvester left the squadron at the end of July 1943 and went to 73 OTU Abu Sueir on 19th August as an instructor.

He moved to 76 OTU Aquir on 1st December. Silvester returned to operations on 12th July 1944, when he was given command of 32 Squadron at Foggia.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 17th October 1944) and led the squadron until 19th April 1946, when he returned to the UK.

He married Section Officer Elizabeth Maureen O'Donohughe WAAF in July 1946.

He went on to the Reserve in January 1950.

Silvester died in 1983.


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