Hugh Dundas

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Sir Hugh Dundas
CH 4545.jpg
Dundas at RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire, 2 January 1942
Birth name Hugh Spencer Lisle Dundas
Nickname(s) Cocky
Born (1920-07-22)22 July 1920
Doncaster, England
Died 10 July 1995(1995-07-10) (aged 74)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1938–1947
Rank Group Captain
Commands held No. 56 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order & Bar
Distinguished Flying Cross
Relations John Dundas (brother)
Other work Company director

Sir Hugh Spencer Lisle Dundas CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC (22 July 1920 – 10 July 1995), nicknamed "Cocky", was a World War II fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force. He was promoted to squadron leader at the age of 21, to wing commander at 22.[1] In 1944, Dundas was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and at 24 became one of the youngest group captains in the RAF. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1941; Distinguished Service Order in 1944 and Bar to the DSO in 1945.

Early life[edit]

Born in Doncaster, on 2 July 1920, Dundas, like his elder brother John, became fascinated by the idea of flying from a childhood, and he joined the Auxiliary Air Force straight after leaving Stowe School in 1938.

Second World War[edit]

Dundas was called up early in the war, serving with No. 616 Squadron, flying Spitfires. He was shot down on 22 August and wounded during the Battle of Britain, but returned to his Squadron in September 1940. His brother John, a 12-kill ace with No. 609 Squadron, was killed in action in November 1940 after shooting down Helmut Wick, the top–scoring German ace at the time.

In early 1941, No. 616 was part of the RAF Tangmere Wing, under the command of Wing Commander Douglas Bader. Through the summer of 1941 Dundas frequently flew with Bader's section, gradually building his reputation as a competent fighter pilot and tactician. In September 1941 he was posted as an instructor to 59 OTU, but his scruffiness and unruly pet dog did not endear him to commanding officer Group Captain Stanley Vincent, and he was transferred promptly as a Flight Commander with No. 610 Squadron.

After receiving the DFC, Dundas in December 1941 was posted as commanding officer of No. 56 Squadron RAF, the first to be equipped with the Hawker Typhoon. Posted to the Mediterranean in 1943, he led 324 Spitfire Wing from Malta and through Italy and then 244 Wing in June 1944, until the end of the war. His war time score was 4 destroyed, 6 shared destroyed, 2 shared probables, and 2 and 1 shared damaged.

Later life[edit]

For some years after the war, Dundas served with the RAuxAF as CO of No. 601 Squadron and was the air correspondent for the Daily Express newspaper.[2]

He joined Rediffusion Limited in 1961, becoming a Director in 1966, and Chairman of Thames Television until 1987, when he was knighted. He served as High Sheriff of Surrey for 1989.[3]

Further reading[edit]

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