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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. J E Proctor


John Ernest Proctor was born on 15th July 1913 and joined the RAF in September 1929 as an Aircraft Apprentice. He passed out in August 1932 but later applied for pilot training and was selected.

Proctor went to France with 501 Squadron on 10th May 1940. He claimed a Me110 and a Do17 destroyed on the 12th, two He111s on the 14th, a Me110 on the 15th, a Me110 on 5th June and a Do17 on the 6th.

The squadron was withdrawn from France on 19th June and re-assembled at Croydon on the 21st.



Proctor was commissioned from Sergeant in early July and joined 32 Squadron at Biggin Hill on the 8th. He claimed a Me110 destroyed and shared another on 20th July and claimed Me109s on 12th and 24th August.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 18th March 1941), being then credited with at least eleven enemy aircraft destroyed, seven of them in the fighting in France.

On 18th May 1942 Proctor took command of 33 Squadron in the Western Desert and three days later he made a forced-landing after being hit by flak. He commanded 352 Squadron from its formation at Benina on 22nd April 1944 until September 1944.

Proctor stayed in the RAF postwar. He was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 17th April 1951) for services in the Korean War with 205 Squadron.

He retired on 15th October 1957 as a Wing Commander and settled in South Africa where he died in 1991.



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