|David Arthur Coke|
|Born||4 December 1915
Norfolk, England, UK
|Died||9 December 1941 (aged 26)
Killed in Action, Libya
|Buried at||Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya|
|Service/branch||Royal Air Force|
|Years of service||1939–1941|
|Awards||Distinguished Flying Cross|
The Honourable David Arthur Coke DFC, (// KUUK; 4 December 1915 – 9 December 1941) was a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force Reserve during the Second World War, and is considered a flying ace, being credited with 2 destroyed, 2 probables and 2 damaged. He was known in popular culture for his friendship with the author Roald Dahl while serving in the Royal Air Force.
World War II
Coke joined the RAFVR in June 1939 and attended 5 OTU in April 1940. He was promoted to the rank of Acting Pilot Officer on 3 September 1940. By August 1940 he flew a Hawker Hurricane with No. 257 Squadron RAF during the Battle of Britain as a Pilot Officer. He was involved in an incident on 12 August 1940 when his Hurricane (P3776) was badly shot up over the Channel off Portsmouth. His finger was amputated and the aircraft was repaired and used again. Posted to 46 Squadron in December 1940, Coke was then promoted to Flying Officer.
He went on to fight in the Balkans Campaign with No. 33 Squadron and the Syrian campaign with No. 80 Squadron RAF. During this period, he became great friends with famed author Roald Dahl, as detailed in Dahl's autobiography Going Solo.
Flight Lieutenant The Hon. David Arthur COKE (73042), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 80 Squadron (since missing).
This officer participated in an attack on enemy transport on the El-Adem-Acroma road one day in November, 1941, in which a large number of vehicles, tanks and mechanised transport were bombed and machine-gunned. The damage inflicted played a very large part in the blocking of the road. By his skill and leadership, Flight Lieutenant Coke contributed materially to the success achieved. In addition to the low flying machine-gunning operations which have been carried out, Flight Lieutenant Coke has led the squadron with great success in air combat. During an engagement 2 days later, the squadron shared in the destruction of 5 Messerschmitt 109's.
- Those Other Eagles by C. Shores (2004), p. 111.
- Burke's Peerage, 1939 ("Leicester").
- The London Gazette: . 5 November 1940. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
- The London Gazette: . 4 November 1941. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
- The London Gazette: . 5 November 1940. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
- Profile, roll-of-honour.com; accessed 5 April 2014.
- Profile, cwgc.org; accessed 5 April 2014.
- Profile, thepeerage.com; accessed 5 April 2014.