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The Airmen's Stories - F/O S B Grant


Stanley Bernard Grant was born on 31st May 1919 and educated at Charterhouse. He entered the RAF College Cranwell in January 1937 as a Flight Cadet and graduated in December 1938 with a permanent commission.

At the outbreak of war Grant was serving with 65 Squadron at Hornchurch. Over Dunkirk on 26th May

he claimed a Me110 destroyed and on the 27th another Me110 probably destroyed and a Do17 shared. Grant claimed a Me109 probably destroyed on 9th July 1940.


Above: 65 Squadron at Hornchurch

L to R:

F/Sgt. RR MacPherson, F/O JBH Nicolas, F/O SB Grant, F/Lt. CGC Olive, Capt. Balfour (Air Ministry), S/Ldr. HC Sawyer, F/Lt. GAW Saunders, F/O T Smart, Sgt. JR Kilner



He made his last flight with 65 on 31st July then went to 5 OTU Aston Down next day as an instructor.

He rejoined 65 Squadron at Tangmere on 24th February 1941 and was made a Flight Commander in August.

Grant was posted to 601 Squadron at Duxford in December. In February 1942 he went to Gibraltar in the carrier HMS Eagle, with sixteen Spitfires for Malta, the first to be allocated to the defence of the island. He led fifteen of them off the carrier on 7th March, leaving one behind with engine trouble.

Grant joined 249 Squadron at Ta Kali as a supernumerary squadron leader. He took command of 249 Squadron on 14th March 1942. He probably destroyed a Me109 on 11th March, damaged a Me109 on the 17th, claimed a Ju87 and a Me109 on the 25th, probably destroyed a Ju87 and damaged a Ju87, a Ju88 and a Me109 on 1st April, shared in a Ju88 on the 21st, and destroyed a Regianne 2001 on 10th June.

Awarded the DFC (gazetted 5th June 1942), Grant was posted away to the Middle East on 30th June 1942.

He returned to Malta later in the year and took command of the Spitfire Wing. He shared a Me110 and destroyed a Ju52 on 11th December.

He was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 29th January 1943).

Grant later went to 203 (Training) Group in the Middle East and in 1944 was at Advance HQ Mediterranean Allied Air Force in Italy as Command Training Officer.

After the war Grant served at the Air Ministry in 1946/47, with Flying Training Command from 1948 to 1954, with Fighter Command in 1955/56, after which he went to SEATO as a Group Captain.

Grant returned to Fighter Command in 1960 and did a course at the Imperial Defence College in 1962. After two years with NATO, 1963/64, as an Air Commodore, he was appointed to the staff of the IDC remaining there until 1968.

Grant's final duty was as Commander of the British Forces in the Persian Gulf. Created a CB (gazetted 1969), Grant retired from the RAF on 6th June 1970 as an Air Vice-Marshal (below).



He died on 4th July 1987.


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