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The Airmen's Stories - F/O C D Peel


Charles David Peel was born on 3rd May 1919, the younger son of Willoughby Ewart Peel (1883-1966) and Alice Dalrymple Hunter Peel (nee Blair 1890-1966).

Lt. Col. WE Peel DSO of Haddington, East Lothian had served with the Camel Transport Corps in Palestine in WW1 and had been Mentioned in Dispatches three times.

CD Peel attended Cheltenham College in 1932, graduating in September 1937.

In November that year he was apprenticed to A & J Robertson, Accountants of Edinburgh.

He joined 603 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force in December 1937 and began his initial training course.


Above image courtesy of and copyright the David Ross Collection.


Called to full-time service on 25th August 1939, he was attached to RAF Montrose on 14th January 1940, where 603 had some aircraft operating on aerodrome defence.

Peel was admitted to the Officers Nursing Home in Edinburgh on 16th February for a leg operation.

He was discharged and attached to RAF Turnhouse on 8th March as non-effective sick and supernumerary. This attachment ceased on 4th April and Peel rejoined 603 Squadron on the 7th. He went to RAF Halton on 22nd May 1940 for an appointment with the Central Medical Board.

He returned on the 24th, having been passed A1 fit.

F/O John Young, on attachment from 46 Squadron as a Flying Instructor, wanted to post Peel to an OTU for further training but he was kept with the squadron.

On 17th July Peel was reported ‘Missing’ after failing to return from an operational sortie from Montrose in Spitfire K9916.

An Anson made a search in the Bell Rock area, off Aberdeen but reported that it could see nothing because of adverse weather conditions. On that day there were other instances of squadron movements being hampered by bad weather.

Peel was 21. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 6.






Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.


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