The Airmen's Stories - P/O C D Strickland
Claud Dobree Strickland was born on 28th March 1909 in Tewkesbury.
He married Marguerite Rose Bligh, the daughter of Esme Ivo Bligh, 9th Earl of Darnley on 3rd August 1934 (below). They were divorced in February 1941.
He was awarded Aero Certificate 15118 at the
London Aero Club on
11th July 1937. He joined 615 Squadron of the Auxiliary Air Force in early 1939 and was called up on 1st September 1939.
He was attached to RAF Kenley from 615 Squadron on 5th February
1940. He was posted from there to 6 EFTS Sywell on 7th March
for elementary flying training.
Strickland moved on to 15 FTS Lossiemouth for No. 8
Course, which ran from 6th May to 12th August 1940. With his training
completed, he arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 17th August.
After converting to Hurricanes Strickland rejoined 615
Squadron at Prestwick on 8th September 1940.
At some time before the war in New York he had met
Maria Montez (1912 - 1951), an actress from the Dominican Republic.
To assist her in promoting her film star profile he agreed to pose as her fiancee and his portrait appears in the publicity shot below.
He was posted away from 615 on 9th December on
appointment to the staff of the Chief of Air Staff at the Air
Back serving with 615 Squadron, he was shot down and killed by flak on 27th October 1941 during a raid on targets along the Belgian/Dutch coast in Hurricane IIb Z3826.
Strickland was buried at Bredene Churchyard, Belgium.