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The Airmen's Stories - P/O C G Houghton


Cyril George Houghton was born in Bedford on 22nd October 1916 and educated at Bedford School, later working at St. Pancras Station as a trainee clerk with LMS Hotel Services. He joined the RAFVR in June 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training, was commissioned and was then posted to 141 Squadron at Dyce on 18th August 1940. He served with it until October 1942, when he was posted to North Weald as a controller.

He had married Peggy Pauline Sprague on 26th July 1940 in Holy Trinity, Bedford.

Houghton returned to operations on 15th March 1943, joining 29 Squadron at West Malling. He went to 85 Squadron, also at West Malling, on 23rd August 1943. In the late evening of 6th September, flying with F/O AG Patston as his navigator/radar operator, Houghton shot down a Fw190 which crashed at Bury St. Edmunds.

He stayed with 85 Squadron until 1945 when he was seconded to BOAC, transferring to BEA when that airline was formed.

BEA started a London - Cairo service in the 1950's, operating the HP Hermes, and Houghton and another Battle veteran, Eric Poole, flew the second leg Rome - Cairo.

He retired in February 1962 as a Senior Captain.

He went into partnership with Jimmy Chipperfield to build and manage Plymouth Zoo. Houghton and his family did this until May 1968 when they went to Tilburg in Holland to build and run a Lion Park.

He returned to England in October because of ill-health and he died on 22nd May 1969.


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