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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. N Taylor


Norman Taylor was born in Chellaston near Derby in 1919, the son of George Taylor of Kenilworth.

His early years were spent in South Derbyshire. He attended schools in Melbourne, Ashby and finished his education at Bablake College in Coventry.

Taylor joined the Standard Motor Company in Coventry as an apprentice and then in January 1939 enlisted in the RAF as an Airman u/t Pilot.

Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 12 EFTS and 10 FTS Tern Hill and arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 6th July 1940.



After converting to Hurricanes he joined 601 Squadron at Tangmere on 7th August 1940. Taylor damaged a Ju88 on the 15th, claimed a Ju87 destroyed on the 18th and shared a He111 on the 30th. He destroyed a Me109 on the 31st. His own aircraft was then hit in the gravity petrol tank. Taylor baled out, unhurt. His Hurricane, P3735, crashed and burned out.

He damaged a Do17 on 6th September 1940.

On 25th May 1941 he destroyed a Me109 and damaged another, on 13th June destroyed two more Me109s and on the 16th damaged another. Commissioned in June, Taylor was posted away in July and awarded the DFM (gazetted 29th July 1941).

About this time he was presented with a gold cigarette case by his former colleagues at the Standard Motor Company in appreciation of his participation in the Battle.

In 1942 he volunteered for the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit, based at Speke. This unit operated catapult launched Sea Hurricanes from specially converted merchant ships called Camships. These were deployed to counter the long-range four-engine Fw200 Condor bombers that threatened Allied convoys.

Taylor sailed in several uneventful convoys until 1st November 1942 when he was launched from the Camship Empire Heath, to engage a Condor. He intercepted it and drove it off before it could attack any of the ships. In the face of strong return fire he then shot it down from close range. After orbiting the convoy to make sure a second Condor was not there, he baled out and was picked up by the corvette HMS Sweet Briar.

For this action, Taylor was awarded the DFC (gazetted 15th December 1942).

He married Jean Florence Miskimmin in Belfast in May 1943.



Sometime in 1943 he transferred to Rolls Royce at Derby as a test pilot. At the war's end he opted to stay in the postwar RAF and joined 222 Squadron. It was equipped with Meteor jets and he took part in the 1946 Victory fly past over Buckingham palace.

Taylor was killed on 29th April 1948 whilst flying Harvard T Mk. 2B KF569 of the Station Flight RAF Wunstorf which spun into the ground at Wunstorf on the final GCA approach during instrument flying practice. F/Lt. RL Sims was also killed.

Taylor is buried in Munster Heath Military Cemetery, Germany.



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