Henry Allingham Henry William Allingham (6 June 1896 – 18 July 2009) was a British supercentenarian, First World War veteran and, for one month, the verified oldest living man in the world. He is also the second oldest military veteran ever and at the time of his death, he was the 14th verified oldest man of all time.

Allingham was the oldest ever surviving member of any of the British Armed Forces and the oldest surviving veteran of the First World War. He was the last survivor of the Battle of Jutland, the last surviving member of the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) and the last surviving founding member of the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Sir Michael Armitage Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael John Armitage KCB CBE (born 25 August 1930) is a former senior Royal Air Force commander.

Armitage joined the Royal Air Force as an apprentice at RAF Halton in 1947.

Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1988 before retiring in 1990.

Richard Attenborough Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough, CBE (born 29 August 1923) is an English actor, director, producer and entrepreneur.
During the Second World War Attenborough served in the Royal Air Force.
Pam Ayres Pam Ayres MBE (born 14 March 1947) is an English poet, songwriter and presenter of radio and television programmes. Her 1975 appearance on the television talent show Opportunity Knocks led to a variety of appearances on TV and radio shows, a one woman touring stage show and performing before the Queen.

Served in the Women's Royal Air Force, where she worked in a drawing office dealing with operational maps

Sir Douglas Bader Group Captain Sir Douglas Robert Steuart Bader CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, FRAeS, DL (21 February 1910 – 5 September 1982) was a Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter ace during the Second World War. He was credited with 20 aerial victories, four shared victories, six probables, one shared probable and 11 enemy aircraft damaged
David Bailey David Royston Bailey CBE (born 2 January 1938) is an English photographer.
National Service in 1956, serving with the Royal Air Force in Singapore in 1957.
John Baldwin

     Wing Commander John Robert Baldwin, DSO and Bar, DFC and Bar AFC was a British Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve officer and the top scoring fighter ace flying the Hawker Typhoon exclusively.

     He went missing presumed killed in March 1952 during the Korean War while on officer exchange with the USAF, flying a North American F-86 Sabre

Ralph Barker Ralph Hammond Cecil Barker (born October 21 1917 in Feltham, Middlesex; died May 16, 2011) was an English non-fiction author with over twenty-five books to his credit. He wrote mainly about the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and Royal Air Force (RAF) operations in the First and Second World Wars, and about cricket.

Following the outbreak of World War II, in 1940 he joined the RAF as a wireless operator and air gunner. He flew with Nos. 47 and 39 squadrons on torpedo missions against Axis ships bringing supplies to Rommel's forces in the Western Desert in North Africa. These missions, from bases in Malta and North Africa, led to heavy losses amongst the Bristol Beaufort aircraft carrying them out. Barker's time in this theatre of war was ended by a crash in which his pilot and navigator died. He returned to Britain, and switched to flying transport aircraft. He completed two thousand flying hours before he was demobilized in 1946.
Alan Bates Sir Alan Arthur Bates CBE (17 February 1934 – 27 December 2003)
was an English actor
National Service at RAF Newton.
Percy Bernard

Air Chief Marshal Percy Ronald Gardner Bernard, 5th Earl of Bandon, GBE, CB, CVO, DSO, RAF (30 August 1904 – 8 February 1979) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force in the mid-20th century. He was a squadron, station and group commander during World War II and the fifth Commandant of the Royal Observer Corps after the War. He was awarded a US Distinguished Flying Cross in December 1946 and the American Bronze Star Medal also in 1946

The Earl graduated from Cranwell in December 1924 and was posted as a pilot to No 4 Squadron RAF in the rank of Pilot Officer, he retired from the RAF on 6 February 1964.

Frank Bossard Frank Clifton Bossard (1912 – 2001) was a British Secret Intelligence Service agent who provided classified documents to the Soviet Union in the 1960s. MI6 recruited Bossard in 1945, stationing him in Bonn, Germany, with a large entertainment budget. When Bossard returned to London in 1961, he found his lifestyle unsustainable without the budget, and fell heavily into debt. After profiling him, the Soviet Union sent an agent to him, offering money in exchange for pictures of interest to the KGB and the Kremlin. A Soviet double agent known as "Top Hat" in actuality Dmitri Polyakov, revealed Bossard's actions to MI5, who arrested Bossard on March 12, 1965. Bossard was convicted and sentenced to 21 years imprisonment. He was freed from prison in 1975 and returned to Yorkshire.

When Britain entered World War II, Bossard joined in the Royal Air Force and fought in the Middle East Theatre. He gained an officer's commission with a false rιsumι. Eventually, Bossard was transferred to a radar unit, where he had become a Flight Lieutenant by 1946. Bossard taught briefly at the Air Service College before the Ministry of Aviation offered him a post as an assistant signals officer. He was eventually promoted to the position of staff telecommunications officer.

Raymond Baxter Raymond Frederic Baxter, OBE (25 January 1922 – 15 September 2006) was a British television presenter and writer. He is best known for being the first presenter of Tomorrow's World, continuing for 12 years, from 1965 to 1977. He also gave radio commentary at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the funerals of King George VI, Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten of Burma, and the first flight of Concorde.

In the Second World War, he first flew Spitfires with No. 65 Squadron RAF in Britain, based in Scotland. He joined No. 93 Squadron RAF, flying over Sicily in 1943, where he was mentioned in despatches. He returned to England in 1944 as an instructor and was later a flight commander, returning to active service with No. 602 Squadron RAF in September 1944. On 18 March 1945, he took part in a daring daylight raid on the Shell-Mex building in The Hague, which was the HQ for V1 and V2 attacks. The commander, Max Sutherland, received a bar to his DFC and the other four pilots, including Baxter, were mentioned in dispatches.

Alec Bedser Sir Alec Victor Bedser, CBE (4 July 1918–4 April 2010) was a professional English cricketer. He was the chairman of selectors for the English national cricket team, and the president of Surrey County Cricket Club. He is widely regarded as one of the best English cricketers of the 20th century.

He joined the RAF to serve in World War II: saw action at Dunkirk and later served in North Africa, Italy and Austria, narrowly escaping from being shot in France. He was demobilised in 1946.

Tony Benn Anthony Neil Wedgwood "Tony" Benn (born 3 April 1925) is a British Labour Party politician, former Cabinet Minister and the current President of the Stop the War Coalition.
Michael Bentine

Michael Bentine CBE (26 January 1922 – 26 November 1996) was a British comedian, comic actor and founding member of the Goons.

In World War II he volunteered for all services when the war broke out (the RAF was his first choice owing to the influence of his father's experience), but was rejected because of his father's Peruvian nationality

He was called up for service in the RAF. He was appearing in a Shakespearean play in doublet and hose in the open-air theatre in London's Hyde Park when two RAF MPs marched on stage and arrested him for desertion. Unknown to him, an RAF conscription 
notice had been following him for a month as his company toured.

Once in the RAF he went through flight training. He was the penultimate man going through a medical line receiving inoculations for typhoid with the other flight candidates in his class (they were going to Canada to receive new aircraft) when the vaccine ran out. They refilled the bottle to inoculate him and the other man as well. By mistake they loaded a pure culture of typhoid. The other man died immediately, and Bentine was in a coma for six weeks. When he regained consciousness his eyesight was ruined, leaving him myopic for the rest of his life. Since he was no longer physically qualified for flight, he was transferred to RAF Intelligence and seconded to MI9 a unit that was dedicated to supporting resistance movements and help prisoners escape. His immediate superior was the Colditz escapee Airey Neave.

Richard Burton

Richard Burton, CBE (10 November 1925 – 5 August 1984) was a Welsh actor

Served in the RAF (1944–1947) as a navigator. Burton's eyesight was too poor for him to be considered pilot material.

Max Bygraves Max was born on 16 October 1922, joined the Royal Air Force as Aircraftman Second Class number 1212094 (when his brother later joined the RAF this meant two Walter Bygraves born on the same day, though with different numbers). On Max's first night , he demonstrated his skills at RAF Cardington as an entertainer by impersonating Max Miller, and was given the nickname Max, which he has used ever since. At the end of the war, Max went back to being a carpenter.
Gerald Campion

Gerald Theron Campion (23 April 1921, Bloomsbury, London, England – 9 July 2002, was an English actor best-known for his role as Billy Bunter in a 1950s television adaptation of books by Frank Richards.

Served as a wireless operator with the RAF in Kenya during second world war.

Colin Chapman Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman CBE (19 May 1928 – 16 December 1982) was an influential British designer, inventor, and builder in the automotive industry, and founder of Lotus Cars.

He briefly joined the Royal Air Force in 1948, being offered a permanent commission but turning this down in favour of a swift return to civilian life.


Prince Charles

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (Charles Philip Arthur George;  born 14 November 1948) is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

Charles spent time in the navy and air force. After Royal Air Force training that he requested and received during his second year at Cambridge, on 8 March 1971 the Prince flew himself to the Royal Air Force College Cranwell to train as a jet pilot. After the passing out parade in September of that year he then embarked on a naval career.


Leonard Cheshire Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, Baron Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO and Two Bars, DFC (7 September 1917 – 31 July 1992) was a highly decorated British RAF pilot during the Second World War.

Among the honours he received as a bomber pilot is the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. After the war, he became a charity worker, setting up the Leonard Cheshire Disability as well as other philanthropic organisations.

Winston Churchill Honorary Air Commodore of No. 615 Squadron
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill,
KG, OM, CH, TD, PC, DL, FRS, Hon. RA (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the great wartime leaders and served as Prime Minister twice (1940–45 and 1951–55). A noted statesman and orator, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. To date, he is the only British prime minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and he was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.
Arthur C. Clarke Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction author

Clarke served in the Royal Air Force as a radar instructor and technician from 1941–1946. He proposed a satellite communication system in 1945 which won him the Franklin Institute Stuart Ballantine Gold Medal in 1963

Alex Coomber Alexandra "Alex" Coomber (born Alexandra Hamilton on 28 December 1973) is a British skeleton racer who competed in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She won the bronze medal in the women's skelton event at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City

She had been an Officer of the British Royal Air Force, and retired from competing in the skeleton in order to return to her previous profession

Ronnie Corbett

Ronald Balfour "Ronnie" Corbett, OBE (born 4 December 1930) is a Scottish/British actor and comedian of Scottish and English parentage who had a long association with Ronnie Barker in the British television comedy series The Two Ronnies.

National Service with the RAF,  during which he was the shortest commissioned officer in the British Forces

Roald Dahl Roald Dahl  Norwegian: 13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990) was a British novelist, short story writer, fighter pilot and screenwriter

Served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence agent, rising to the rank of Wing Commander.

Lord Dowding Air Chief Marshal Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding GCB, GCVO, CMG (24 April 1882 – 15 February 1970) was a British officer in the Royal Air Force. He was the commander of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain.
Charlie Drake Charlie Drake (19 June 1925 – 23 December 2006) was an English comedian, actor, writer and singer.

Served in Royal Air Force during World War II

Neville Duke

Squadron Leader Neville Frederick Duke DSO, OBE, DFC & Two Bars, AFC, FRAeS,Czech War Cross (11 January 1922 – 7 April 2007) was a British Second World War fighter pilot. He was the top Allied flying ace in the Mediterranean Theatre, having shot down at least 27 enemy aircraft, and was acknowledged as one of the world's foremost test pilots after the war. In 1953, he became holder of the world air speed record when he flew a Hawker Hunter F Mk3 at 727.63 mph over Littlehampton in the UK.

He started working as an auctioneer and estate agent before attempting to join the Fleet Air Arm on his 18th birthday. He was rejected and joined the RAF instead as a cadet in June 1940.

Jimmy Edwards Jimmy Edwards DFC (23 March 1920 – 7 July 1988) was an English comedic script writer and comedy actor on both radio and television, best known as Pa Glum in Take It From Here and as the headmaster 'Professor' James Edwards in Whack-O!

He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross. His Dakota was shot down at Arnhem in 1944, resulting in his sustaining facial injuries requiring plastic surgery — he disguised the traces with the huge handlebar moustache that later became his trademark. He was a member of the Guinea Pig Club.

Denholm Elliot Denholm Elliott, CBE (31 May 1922 – 6 October 1992) was an English film, television and theatre actor with over 120 film and television credits

In World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force, training as a sergeant radio operator and gunner and serving with No. 76 Squadron RAF under the command of Leonard Cheshire.

Don Finlay

Group Captain Donald "Don" Osborne Finlay, DFC, AFC (27 May 1909 — 18 April 1970) was a British athlete and Royal Air Force officer.

He joined the RAF in 1935, and during World War II initially flew Spitfires with No. 54 Squadron RAF during the Battle of Britain before being wounded and later commanding No. 41 Squadron. He was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander in August 1941, becoming 11 Group Engineering Officer. He received the DFC in June 1942. His victory tally flying fighters was 4 and 2 shared destroyed, 3 and 1 shared damaged.

He then commanded No. 608 Squadron RAF, flying Lockheed Hudsons in the Middle East in 1943. In 1945 he commanded 906 Wing in Burma, being awarded an AFC. He became a Group captain in 1950. He was stationed for much of his time at RAF Acklington, whose chapel contains a recently dedicated stained glass window to honour him. As a Group Captain he was posted to No. 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton, as Senior Technical Training Officer.

Bruce Forsyth Sir Bruce Joseph Forsyth-Johnson, Kt. CBE (born 22 February 1928), commonly known as Bruce Forsyth, is an English TV personality.

He was conscripted into the RAF at the age of 19. Would have liked to have become a pilot but did not want to conscript for eight to ten years, so became a teleprinter operator, sending signals all over the world which he did for two and a half years.

Guy Gibson Wing Commander Guy Penrose Gibson VC, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, RAF (12 August 1918 – 19 September 1944), was the first CO of the Royal Air Force's 617 Squadron, which he led in the "Dam Busters" raid (Operation Chastise) in 1943, resulting in the destruction of two large dams in the Ruhr area. He was awarded the Victoria Cross and died later in the war.
Prince George
(Duke of Kent)
The Prince George, Duke of Kent (George Edward Alexander Edmund; 20 December 1902 – 25 August 1942) was a member of the British Royal Family, the fourth son of George V and Mary of Teck, and younger brother of Edward VIII and George VI. He held the title of Duke of Kent from 1934 until his death in 1942.

At the start of World War II, George returned to active military service at the rank of Rear Admiral, briefly serving on the Intelligence Division of the Admiralty. In April 1940, he transferred to the Royal Air Force. He temporarily relinquished his rank as Air Vice-Marshal (the equivalent of Rear Admiral) to assume the post of Staff Officer at RAF Training Command in the rank of Air Commodore.

Andy Green Wing Commander Andy D. Green OBE BA RAF (born 30 July 1962) is a British Royal Air Force pilot and World Land Speed Record holder.
Bruce Barrymore Halpenny Bruce Barrymore Halpenny is a widely respected English military historian and author,

Halpenny served in the Royal Air Force Police in specialist units, often overseas, but after being wounded, and instead of coming out of the RAF, he moved across to the RAF Police (RAFPD) on Special Security Duties (Atomic & Chemical Weapons) SS, and was part of a special RAF military police unit on Special Duties and in the Nuclear Division, that was responsible for the protection of the nuclear weapons that the V-bombers were to use in time of war


Tony Hancock Anthony John "Tony" Hancock (12 May 1924 – 24 June 1968) was an English actor and comedian.

In 1942, during World War II, Hancock served in the RAF Regiment.


Sir Arthur "Bomber" Harris Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Travers Harris, 1st Baronet GCB OBE AFC (13 April 1892 – 5 April 1984), commonly known as "Bomber" Harris by the press, and often within the RAF as "Butcher" Harris, was Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) of RAF Bomber Command (from early 1943 holding the rank of Air Chief Marshal) during the latter half of World War II. In 1942 the Cabinet agreed to the "area bombing" of German cities. Harris was tasked with implementing Churchill's policy and supported the development of tactics and technology to perform the task more effectively. Harris assisted British Chief of the Air Staff Marshal of the Royal Air Force Charles Portal in carrying out the United Kingdom's most devastating attacks against the German infrastructure.
Rex Harrison Sir Reginald Carey “Rex” Harrison (5 March 1908 – 2 June 1990) was an English actor of stage and screen.

During World War II he served in the Royal Air Force, reaching the rank of Flight Lieutenant


Kenneth Horne

Kenneth Horne (27 February 1907 – 14 February 1969) was an English comedian and businessman.

Shortly before the Second World War, Horne enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on a part-time training scheme. He was commissioned as an acting Pilot Officer, and on the outbreak of war he served in the RAF full time.  In between carrying out his RAF duties, Horne formed a concert party from his friends and colleagues.  On the strength of this he was invited by the BBC to take part in a programme for the armed forces, Ack-Ack, Beer-Beer (the title taken from the then-current phonetic alphabet), which he compered. It eventually ran to 324 episodes.  Within a year, Horne was promoted to Squadron Leader, and in 1943 he was posted to the Air Ministry in London with the rank of Wing Commander.

Godfrey Hounsfield Sir Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield CBE, FRS, (28 August 1919 – 12 August 2004) was an English electrical engineer who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Allan McLeod Cormack for his part in developing the diagnostic technique of X-ray computed tomography (CT).

Shortly before World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force as a volunteer reservist where he learned the basics of electronics and radar.

Roy Hudd Roy Hudd, OBE (born 16 May 1936, Croydon) is an English comedian, actor, radio host and author, and an authority on the history of music hall entertainment.

National service in the Royal Air Force 1955 – 57

George Hutchinson

George Henry Hutchinson (October 31, 1929–1996) was a professional footballer who played for Huddersfield Town, Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur, Guildford City, Leeds United, Halifax Town & Skegness Town.

He served in the RAF during National Service and was stationed at Ballykelly in Northern Ireland & RAF Cosford and was a PTI

Peter Imbert

Peter Michael Imbert, Baron Imbert CVO QPM (born 27 April 1933) was Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service from 1987 to 1993

Peter spent his National Service in the Royal Air Force Police

William Johns William Earl Johns (5 February 1893 - 21 June 1968) was an English pilot and writer of adventure stories, usually written under the name Captain W. E. Johns. He is best remembered as the creator of the ace pilot and adventurer Biggles.

He was commissioned into the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in September 1917 and posted back to England for flight training.

He stayed with the RAF until 1927, retiring with the rank of Flying Officer .


Peter Larter Peter John Larter (born 7 September 1944) is a former England international rugby union player. He was capped twenty-four times as a lock for England between 1967 and 1973.

He played club rugby for Northampton while based at RAF North Luffenham and represented the Royal Air Force at rugby union.

T. E. Lawrence

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18. The extraordinary breadth and variety of his activities and associations, and his ability to describe them vividly in writing, earned him international fame as Lawrence of Arabia,

In August 1922, Lawrence enlisted in the Royal Air Force as an aircraftman under the name John Hume Ross. He was soon exposed and, in February 1923, was forced out of the RAF.
He changed his name to T. E. Shaw and joined the Royal Tank Corps in 1923. He was unhappy there and repeatedly petitioned to rejoin the RAF, which finally readmitted him in August 1925.
He continued serving in the RAF based at Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire, specialising in high-speed boats and professing happiness, and it was with considerable regret that he left the service at the end of his enlistment in March 1935.

Christopher Lee Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ (born 27 May 1922) is an English actor and musician.

He served in the Royal Air Force and intelligence services during World War II, including serving as an Intelligence officer with the Long Range Desert Group. He trained in South Africa as a pilot, but eyesight problems forced him to drop out. He eventually ended up in North Africa as Cipher Officer for No. 260 Squadron RAF and was with it through Sicily and Italy. Additionally, he has mentioned (including in his audio commentary on the Lord of the Rings DVD) serving in Special Operations Executive. Lee retired from the RAF after the end of the War with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

Ken Loach Kenneth "Ken" Loach (born 17 June 1936) is an English film and television director.

Spent two years in the Royal Air Force


Dan Maskell

Daniel Maskell, broadcaster, tennis player, coach, born London 8 April 1908, died Redhill Surrey 10 December 1992

During the war served as a rehabilitation officer in the RAF.

Dan Maskell was appointed OBE for his services as a squadron leader when as the rehabilitation officer, first at Torquay, then at Loughborough, he helped many an injured airman back into flying. In 1982 he was promoted CBE for his service to tennis.

Warren Mitchell Warren Mitchell (born Warren Misel, 14 January 1926) is an English actor who rose to initial prominence in the role of bigoted cockney Alf Garnett in the BBC television sitcom Till Death Us Do Part (1965–75)

He joined the RAF in 1944 and completed his navigator training in Canada just as the war ended.

Cliff Michelmore Arthur Clifford "Cliff" Michelmore CBE (born 11 December 1919) is a British television presenter and producer.

He was an RAF squadron leader during World War II

Bob Monkhouse Robert Alan "Bob" Monkhouse, OBE (1 June 1928 – 29 December 2003) was an English entertainer.

Monkhouse completed his national service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1948.

Patrick Moore Sir Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, CBE, FRS, FRAS (born 4 March 1923 in Pinner) is a British amateur astronomer who has attained prominent status in astronomy as a writer.

In the Second World War Moore lied about his age in order to join the RAF and from 1940 until 1945 he served as a navigator in RAF Bomber Command, reaching the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

Frank Muir Frank Herbert Muir (5 February 1920 - 2 January 1998) was an English comedy writer, radio and television personality

Frank Muir joined the Royal Air Force during World War II and became a photographic technician, being posted to Iceland.

Alex Murphy Alex J. Murphy OBE (born St. Helens, Lancashire, 22 April 1939) is an English professional Rugby League World Cup winning footballer and coach of the 20th century.

During his national service Murphy played rugby union for the Royal Air Force, frequently playing for an Air Force team the same week as playing rugby league for St. Helens.

Denis Norden

Denis Mostyn Norden CBE (born 6 February 1922) is a former English comedy writer and television presenter.

His writing career began in the Royal Air Force during World War II, when he wrote for troop shows.

Des O'Connor Des O'Connor, CBE (born Desmond Bernard O'Connor on 12 January 1932) is an English broadcaster and singer. A former talkshow host, he was the presenter of the long-running Channel 4 gameshow Countdown for two years. He has also recorded thirty-six albums and has had four top-ten singles, including a number one hit with I Pretend.

Completed his National Service in the Royal Air Force

Sir Keith Park Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Rodney Park GCB, KBE, MC & Bar, DFC, RAF (15 June 1892 – 6 February 1975) was a New Zealand soldier, First World War flying ace and Second World War Royal Air Force commander. He was in tactical command during two of the most significant air battles in the European theatre in the Second World War, helping to win the Battle of Britain and the Battle of Malta. In Germany, he was known as "the Defender of London".
Donald Pleasence

Donald Henry Pleasence, OBE, (5 October 1919 – 2 February 1995) was an English actor who gained more than 200 screen credits during a career which spanned over four decades.

During World War II Pleasence was initially a conscientious objector, but later changed his stance and was commissioned into the Royal Air Force, serving with 166 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command. His Avro Lancaster was shot down on 31 August 1944 during a raid on Agenville. He was taken prisoner and placed in a German prisoner-of-war camp, where he produced and acted in plays. He would later play Flight Lt. Colin Blythe in The Great Escape where much of the story takes place inside a German POW camp.

Ralph Reader William Henry Ralph Reader CBE (25 May 1903 – 18 May 1982), known as Ralph Reader, was a British actor, theatrical producer and songwriter, best known for staging the original Gang Show, a variety entertainment for members of the Scouting Movement.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, in 1939, Reader was commissioned into the Royal Air Force as an intelligence officer. For his services to the Royal Air Force, he was awarded an MBE in 1943.

Peter Sallis Peter Sallis, OBE (born 1 February 1921) is an English actor and entertainer, well-known for his work on British television. Although he was born and brought up in London, his two most notable roles require him to adopt the accents and mannerisms of a Northerner.

After the outbreak of World War II he joined the RAF. He failed to get into aircrew because he had a serum albumin disorder and he was told he might black out at high altitudes. He became a wireless mechanic instead and went on to teach radio procedures at RAF Cranwell.

Peter Sellers Richard Henry Sellers, CBE (8 September 1925 – 24 July 1980), known as Peter Sellers, was a British comedian and actor

During World War II Sellers was an airman in the Royal Air Force, rising to corporal

Ian Smith Ian Douglas Smith GCLM ID (8 April 1919 – 20 November 2007) was a politician active in the government of Southern Rhodesia, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe Rhodesia and Zimbabwe from 1948 to 1987, most notably serving as Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 13 April 1964 to 1 June 1979.

Smith interrupted his studies during the Second World War and joined the Southern Rhodesia Air Force. After completing his flight training, he was seconded to the rank of Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force

Brian Statham

John Brian "George" Statham, CBE (17 June 1930, Gorton, Manchester – 10 June 2000, Stockport, Greater Manchester) was one of the leading English fast bowlers in 20th-century English cricket.

Statham joined the Royal Air Force for his national service. He was based at Stafford and would return home at weekends to play cricket.

Billy Steele William Charles Common Steele (born 18 April 1947) also known as Billy Steele,  is a former Scotland international rugby union player.

He represented the British and Irish Lions on the 1974 tour to South Africa

Billy encouraged the 1974 Lions to sing ,'O flower of Scotland', as a morale raiser before games. Now sung as the Scottish anthem before internationals.

Served in Royal Air Force as a PTI

Dudley Sutton Dudley Sutton (born 6 April 1933, Surrey) is an English actor.

He served in the RAF as a mechanic before enrolling in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art from which he was later expelled

Eric Sykes

Eric Sykes, CBE (born 4 May 1923) is an English radio, television and film writer, actor and director whose performing career has spanned more than 50 years.

He joined the Royal Air Force during World War II and qualified as a wireless operator with the rank of Leading Aircraftman.

Norman Tebbit Norman Beresford Tebbit, Baron Tebbit CH, PC (born 29 March 1931) is a British Conservative politician and former Member of Parliament (MP) for Chingford

During four years of National Service he flew Meteor and Vampire jets and had to break open the cockpit canopy of a burning Mosquito aircraft to escape from it.

Lord Tedder Marshal of the Royal Air Force Arthur William Tedder, 1st Baron Tedder, GCB (11 July 1890 – 3 June 1967) was a senior British air force commander. During World War I, he was a pilot and squadron commander in the Royal Flying Corps and he went on to serve as a senior officer in the Royal Air Force during the inter-war years. He held high command during World War II and after the War he served as Chief of the Air Staff before retiring from the RAF and taking up the Chancellorship of the University of Cambridge.
Lord Trenchard Lord Trenchard - founding father of the RAF
arshal of the Royal Air Force Hugh Montague Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard GCB OM GCVO DSO (3 February 1873 – 10 February 1956) was a British officer who was instrumental in establishing the Royal Air Force. He has been described as the Father of the Royal Air Force.
Brian Trubshaw Ernest Brian Trubshaw, CBE, MVO (29 January 1924 - 25 March 2001) was a notable test pilot, and the first British pilot to fly Concorde, in April 1969.

He was born in 1924 in Llanelli and educated at Winchester College. He signed up for the RAF in 1942 at the age of eighteen and went to the United States where he trained as a pilot flying Stearman biplanes. He joined Bomber Command in 1944, flying Stirlings and Lancasters, transferring a year later to Transport Command.

After the War he joined the King's Flight, piloting George VI and other members of the Royal Family. Then in 1949-50 he taught at the Empire Flying School and the Royal Air Force College Cranwell.

Trubshaw then went to Malaya when he was given permission to leave the RAF (Flight Lieutenant Trubshaw retired from the RAF at his own request on 21 May 1950.) to take up a role as test pilot for Vickers Armstrongs, where he remained for 30 years; he became chief test pilot in 1960, and director of test flights from 1966. Trubshaw worked on the development of the Valiant V-bomber, the Vanguard, the VC10, and the BAC One-Eleven, all of which he test flew.

Fred Trueman

Frederick Sewards ("Fred") Trueman OBE (6 February 1931 – 1 July 2006) was an English cricketer, generally acknowledged as one of the greatest fast bowlers in history

Trueman undertook his National Service in the Royal Air Force at RAF Hemswell in Lincolnshire. At that stage, "the RAF was probably less hierarchical than Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and he coped with the vagaries of service life rather better than he did with the Yorkshire committee".

Trueman's identity in the RAF was AC2 F S Trueman 2549485. He was later promoted to AC1

Rory Underwood Rory Underwood MBE (born 19 June 1963 in Middlesbrough, England) is a former English rugby union footballer who played wing

He is a former Royal Air Force pilot

Gordon Wharmby Gordon Wharmby (6 November 1933 - 18 May 2002) was a British television actor. He was best-known for the role of Wesley Pegden on Last of the Summer Wine.

Served in the Royal Air Force during his national service.


Martin Whitcombe Martin Alun Whitcombe (born 14 September 1961 in Keighley, Yorkshire) is a former Rugby Union Footballer of the 80's and 90's

After leaving school Whitcombe joined the Royal Air Force as a Physical Training Instructor

Sir Frank Whittle Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS (1 June 1907 – 9 August 1996) was a British Royal Air Force (RAF) engineer officer. He is credited with independently inventing the turbojet engine (some years earlier than Germany's Dr. Hans von Ohain) and is hailed by some as the father of jet propulsion
Prince William In January 2009, William transferred his commission to the RAF and was promoted to Flight Lieutenant. He trained to become a helicopter pilot with the RAF's Search and Rescue Force.
Kenneth Wolstenholme

Kenneth Wolstenholme DFC & Bar (17 July 1920 – 25 March 2002) was the football commentator for BBC television in the 1950s and 1960s, most notable for his commentary during the 1966 FIFA World Cup which included the famous phrase "some people are on the pitch...they think it's all over....it is now!", as Geoff Hurst scored England's fourth goal

Wolstenholme started his career as a journalist with a newspaper in Manchester, before joining the RAF, and from 1941 onwards flew 100 missions over Germany and won the DFC and bar as a bomber pilot. Based at RAF Great Massingham in Norfolk, he flew Blenheims with 107 Sqn, before joining Bomber Command's 8 Group Pathfinders flying Mosquitos.

Bill Wyman Bill Wyman (born William George Perks; 24 October 1936) is an English musician best known as the bass guitarist for the English rock and roll band The Rolling Stones

National Service in the Royal Air Force from 1955 to 1957

Jeff Young Jeffrey "Jeff" Young (16 September 1942 - 3 October 2005) was a Welsh rugby union player who gained 23 caps for Wales as a hooker between 1968 and 1973.

In 1971 he left teaching and joined the R.A.F. and became a Wing Commander, coaching the RAF and British Combined Services on their joint tour to New Zealand with British Police in 1988