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Geoffrey D. Stephenson

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Title: Geoffrey D. Stephenson  
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Subject: List of surviving Supermarine Spitfires, Supermarine Spitfire, List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (1950–54)
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Geoffrey D. Stephenson

Geoffrey Dalton Stephenson, CBE was a Royal Air Force Air Commodore, and former commandant of the Royal Air Force Central Flying School and Central Fighter Establishment, and Aide-de-Camp to the monarch.

Commanding a squadron during the Dunkirk evacuation, Stephenson was shot down and taken prisoner. Stephenson was killed in an air crash on 8 November 1954 while on a tour of the United States.

Background

The 44-year-old pilot had flown several thousand hours in fighter aircraft, both conventional and jet, during his 20-year RAF career. He had piloted virtually every type of British jet fighter including Meteors, Venoms, Hunters and Swifts, as well as USAF F-86s. He was considered one of the most experienced and capable fighter pilots in the RAF. Commodore Stephenson was married and father of three children.

Before the Second World War, Stephenson had been a member of the Royal Air Force aerobatic team. As squadron leader of [1] [2]

The crash

Air Commodore Stephenson headed a six-man team from the central fighter establishment, RAF, whose headquarters are at RAF West Raynham near Fakenham, Norfolk. They were at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, home of the Air Proving Ground Center, on an exchange tour.

On 8 November 1954, Commodore Stephenson was flying a USAF F-100A-10-NA Super Sabre, 53-1534,[3] near Auxiliary Field 2 of Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. He was flying at 13,000 ft (4,000 m) as he joined formation with another F-100, flown by Capt. Lonnie R. Moore, jet ace of the Korean campaign, when his fighter dropped into a steep spiral, impacting at ~14:14 in a pine forest on the Eglin Reservation, one mile NE of the runway of Pierce Field, Auxiliary Fld. 2.

Funeral

Memorial services were held at 0900 hrs. at the Eglin Base chapel on 10 November 1954, conducted by the Rev. Johnson H. Pace of St. Simons on the Sound church, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and attended by Air Vice Marshall R. L. R. Atcherley, chief of the Chief Joint British Services Mission to the United States, who arrived from Washington on the night of 9 November; Major General Patrick W Timberlake, commander of the Air Proving Ground Command; Brig. Gen. Daniel S. Campbell, deputy commander of the APGC; six Royal Air Force officers who were touring the U.S. with the commodore; and key staff officers of the APGC. At 1200 hrs., the party of Air Commodore Stephenson, accompanied by 30 RAF and USAF officers, flew to Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama, for interment at the Royal Air Force plot there. British armed forces traditionally bury their dead where they fall. There has been an RAF squad at Maxwell since World War II.[4]

References

  1. ^ http://www.aircrewremembrancesociety.com/raf1939/stephenson.html
  2. ^ Cha 4 programme Guy Martin's Spitfire, The rebuilding of Geoffrey Stevensons Spitfire Date of Programme 12th October 2014
  3. ^ http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_serials/1953.html
  4. ^ Special, "British Pilot Dies in Crash Of F-100 Jet", Playground News, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Thursday 11 November 1954, Volume 9, Number 41, pages 1, 10.
  • Air Commodore G D Stephenson (26165) Air of Authority
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