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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J H Hunter-Tod


John Hunter Hunter-Tod was born on 21st April 1917 and educated at Marlborough College and Trinity College, Cambridge where he obtained a degree in Mathematics.

He was commissioned in the Administrative and Special Duties Branch in late January 1940 and transferred to the Technical Branch on 24th April 1940, when this new branch was created.


Above image courtesy of the Hunter-Tod family.


Hunter-Tod had joined 23 Squadron at Collyweston by mid-June 1940. He was the Squadron Radar Officer, with the rank of Acting Flight Lieutenant. He was responsible for the training of AI operators and because good ones were in short supply he often flew operationally at night, qualifying for the Battle of Britain clasp. He flew sorties on 19th, 21st and 30th June and 30th and 31st July.

The AI equipment was still in its very early stages and few contacts were made. Although some enemy aircraft were intercepted and damaged during the period of the Battle, there were no confirmed victories.

From 8th to 13th August Hunter-Tod was attached to RAF Digby for signals duties. He flew one further operational sortie with 23 Squadron on 23rd August, he was then posted to the Signals section of Fighter Command on the 26th.

He flew a sortie with 600 Squadron from Redhill on 1st October and he also flew sorties with 219 Squadron at Redhill in November whilst still on the staff of Fighter Command. On 16th December 1940 Hunter-Tod joined HQ 12 Group for AI duties. He flew an operational sortie with 25 Squadron on 9th January 1941.

He was formally attached to 25 on 8th March from HQ 12 Group and he moved between 12 Group and 25 Squadron.

In the late evening of 4th May 1941 Hunter-Tod was flying in a Beaufighter of 25 Squadron piloted by W/Cdr. DFW Atcherley.

They shot down a Ju88, which crashed into a public house at Eastgate, near Bourne in Lincolnshire, killing four civilians and three soldiers. In the early hours of 18th June they shot down another Ju88 off Sheringham.

Hunter-Tod served in the Middle East later in the war.

He held a series of technical appointments and commands in the post-war RAF.

He was made an OBE (1957), a CB (gazetted 14th June 1969) and created a KBE (gazetted 1st January 1971).

He retired on 30th April 1973 as an Air Marshal.

He died on 11th May 2000.



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