Maurice Mounsdon

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Maurice Mounsdon
Maurice Mounsdon.jpg
Mounsdon during his military service
Birth nameMaurice Hewlett Mounsdon
Nickname(s)Mark
Born(1918-02-11)11 February 1918
Lichfield, England
Died6 December 2019(2019-12-06) (aged 101)
Menorca, Spain
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Years of service1939–1946
RankFlight lieutenant
UnitNo. 56 Squadron RAF
Battles/warsBattle of Britain

Flight Lieutenant Maurice Hewlett Mounsdon (11 February 1918 – 6 December 2019) was a British pilot who flew with the Royal Air Force during World War II.

Service in the RAF[edit]

Maurice "Mark" Mounsdon started training on 24 August 1939 and joined 56 Squadron on 3 June 1940 during the Battle of Britain.[1] Flying a Hurricane, he shared in the destruction of a Dornier Do 17 bomber on 3 July and three weeks later he probably destroyed a Junkers Ju87 "Stuka".[2] As the battle intensified in mid-August he destroyed two Messerschmitt fighters and a probable third. He shot down or damaged about seven German aircraft before he was shot down by German fighters over Colchester on 31 August 1940. He survived but was badly burned and so spent nine months in hospitals including Black Notley and the Queen Victoria Hospital – famous for its specialist work on burns and the Guinea Pig Club.[3][4]

While recovering, he served at the HQ at RAF North Weald. After the reconstructive surgery was complete, he was still rated below A1B "fit full flying" and so was posted as an instructor at RAF Bottisham and then as a flight commander at RAF Booker.[5] When the war ended, he was posted to 8303 Disarmament Wing, searching Germany for advanced weaponry such as jets and rockets.[2] After demobilisation in 1946, he returned to the engineering profession which he had started at the General Electric Company, specialising in inventions and patents such as US 4029297  – "winches for use with high masts".[6]

Life after the war[edit]

While in hospital, recovering from the burns he endured after bailing out, he married his childhood sweetheart Mary. The couple moved to the Spanish island of Menorca in the late 1970s and lived there until she died in 1993. In September 2018, for Mousdon's 100th birthday, the Red Arrows paid tribute to him with a flypast off the coast of Menorca.[7][8][1]

Mounsdon died on 6 December 2019 at the age of 101, at the nursing home where he lived on the island of Menorca.[9] The head of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Michael Wigston, said that Mounsdon's bravery should never be forgotten.[7][10][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b David Ross (2008), Richard Hillary: The Authorised Biography of a Second World War Fighter Pilot and Author of "The Last Enemy", Grub Street Publishing, pp. 228–9, ISBN 9781909166370
  2. ^ a b "Flight Lieutenant Maurice Mounsdon, one of last of the Battle of Britain pilots, who baled out of his burning Hurricane and became a 'Guinea Pig' – obituary". The Telegraph. 10 December 2019. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  3. ^ Battle of Britain pilot Maurice Mounsdon dies aged 101, BBC, 9 December 2019
  4. ^ "P/O M H Mounsdon", Battle of Britain Monument, Battle of Britain Historical Society, 2007
  5. ^ Wynn, Kenneth G. (2015). Men of The Battle of Britain: A Biographical Dictionary of The Few. Pen and Sword. p. 376. ISBN 978-1-4738-4770-5.
  6. ^ Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office: Patents. U.S. Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office. 1977. p. 662.
  7. ^ a b "Battle of Britain pilot dies aged 101". BBC News. www.bbc.co.uk. 9 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  8. ^ Graham Keeley (20 September 2018), "War hero, 100, given a fitting birthday treat", The Times
  9. ^ https://www.theleader.info/2019/12/09/battle-of-britain-hero-maurice-mounsden-dies/
  10. ^ "Battle of Britain hero Maurice Mounsdon dies, aged 101". ITV News. ITV plc. 9 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  11. ^ "Maurice Mounsdon: One of final living Battle Of Britain pilots dies aged 101". Sky News. Sky UK. 9 December 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2019.