In 1942, at the age of 18, Peter volunteered for the RAF and was sent to Canada for flying training, graduating as a navigator.
In 1944 he was posted to Bomber Command, becoming operational on Lancasters and quickly being transferred to the elite Pathfinder Force, surviving 31 operational missions. His bomber experience culminated with a posting to 617 Sqn, The Dambusters, during which a goodwill tour of the USA and Canada saw him navigate the first RAF direct flights across the Atlantic, between Binbrook, Lincolnshire, and Gander.
In 1946 Peter attended the Advanced Navigation Course at the Empire Air Navigation School, Shawbury, which trained potential navigation instructors as well as preparing for attendance on the Specialist Navigation Course. And, when he completed his bomber time, and having become both a Pathfinder Squadron Navigation Leader and a Station Navigation Officer, he did indeed complete the Specialist Navigation Course in 1950, at what had become the Central Navigation School back at RAF Shawbury.
He remained on the staff, instructing SpecN, StaffN and Staff Pilot courses and specialising in astro navigation; this also involved screening students on Lancasters, Wellingtons and Ansons. In 1951 he also made an Aries flight to the North Pole.
Further tours included senior positions in surface-to-air missile units and Coastal Command HQ and bases involving the Shackleton. His final Service posting was at HQ Training Command, retiring from the RAF after almost 30 years of service. He continued to work in the training area until he was 65, finally retiring as Registrar of the Cranfield Campus at Cranfield Institute of Technology.
Sadly, we say farewell to an accomplished navigator who gave so much to the war effort and passing his expertise to others. We pass our condolences to Peter’s family.