The Airmen's Stories - F/O D H T Dowding
Derek Hugh Tremenheere Dowding was born on 9th January 1919, the son of Group Captain HCT Dowding, later Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding.
He was educated at Winchester College and entered RAF College, Cranwell as a Flight Cadet in September 1937. On graduation in July 1939, Dowding was commissioned and posted to 74 Squadron at Hornchurch.
Above: Dowding sitting on ground with squadron dog
The squadron flew over France from 20th May 1940. On the 24th Dowding destroyed a Do17, shared another and probably destroyed a Ju88, on the 23rd he shared a Do17 and on the 27th damaged a Do17 after chasing it for 20 miles before being forced to break off by intense anti-aircraft fire.
On 6th July 1940 Dowding probably destroyed a He111 and two days later he shared in the destruction of another.
He was posted away to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 8th August to be an instructor.
He was still instructing in 1941 but became a Flight Commander with 135 Squadron later in the year.
He served as a test pilot in the Middle East from 1942 to 1945 and held a number of appointments and commands before retiring on 17th November 1956 as a Wing Commander.
Dowding died on 22nd November 1992.