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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. D M Taylor


Donald Murray Taylor was born on 26th September 1917 in Blackburn. He attended Old Hall School, Wellington in Shropshire before going on to Oundle School from 1931 to 1934.

He joined the RAF on a short service commission and began his initial training on 12th July 1937.

He was posted to 11 FTS Wittering on 18th September and with his training completed he joined the staff at 5 Armament Training School at Penrhos on 7th May 1938.

On 10th April 1939 Taylor was posted from 5 ATS to 64 Squadron at Church Fenton.

He married Betty Swift at Bucklow in Cheshire in October 1939.

He assumed command of 'A' Flight of 64 Squadron on 3rd November 1939 and was promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant on the 9th. He relinquished this command and acting rank when F/Lt. DB Hobson joined the squadron.

Over Dunkirk on 31st May he destroyed a Me110. He shared in the destruction of a Do17 on 1st July and destroyed a Me110 and probably a Me109 on the 10th.



Above: Officers Mess Hornchurch November 1940


(L to R): P/O N Howkins, P/O J Lawson-Brown, F/Lt. J Thomson, F/Lt. DM Taylor, P/O J Rowden, P/O A Towers, P/O EG Gilbert, P/O AR Tidman, S/Ldr. ARD MacDonell, P/O EJ Watson, P/O R Jones, S/Ldr. J Rankine, P/O J Pippet, P/O P Beake, P/O T Gray.



Taylor was shot down on the 17th in a surprise attack by Lt. Wick of I/JG2. He crashed at Hempstead Lane, Hailsham in Spitfire P9507 and was admitted to Eastbourne Hospital categorised as 'seriously ill' with wounds, including fragments of metal in his head, body, right arm and right leg.

Taylor did not fly his next sortie until 3rd September 1940. He probably destroyed a Do17 on the 18th. He re-assumed command of 'A' Flight on 9th October as an Acting Flight Lieutenant when Hobson was posted away.

In March 1941 Taylor was posted to No. 1 FTS Netheravon as an instructor. On 16th November 1942 he went to Duxford to form and command 195 Squadron, operating Typhoons. He led the squadron until it was disbanded at Fairlop on 15th February 1944.

Taylor was then given command of 197 Squadron at Tangmere until July 1944 when he was posted away for a rest.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 5th September 1944).

He commanded 193 Squadron in Germany from April 1945 until its disbandment at Hildersheim on 31st August 1945.

Taylor stayed in the RAF postwar, retiring on 29th October 1957 as a Squadron Leader, retaining the rank of Wing Commander.

He died in 1977.

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