Stan Turner (RAF officer)
|Percival Stanley Turner|
September 3, 1913|
Ivybridge, Devon, England
|Died||July 23, 1983|
Percival Stanley "Stan" Turner, DSO, DFC with bar (3 September 1913-23 July 1983) Served with the RAF and the RCAF during the Second World War. He holds the record of the most combat hours flown of any Canadian pilot.
Second World War service
In 1938 he joined the RAF, completing his pilot training right at Britain's entry to the war. He was posted to fly Hurricanes with 242 squadron. It was over Dunkirk that he scored the first of his 14 aerial victories he would post during the war. During the Battle of Britain he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross to which he received a bar before the war's end.
After the Battle of Britain, Turner was posted to 145 Squadron in June 1941, where he transitioned over to the Supermarine Spitfire mk II. During this time, Johnnie Johnson remarked that Stan was a "Fearless and great leader" of his squadron. In October 1941 he was awarded a bar to his DFC while flying over France again.
With a short rest in between, Turner was then given command of 411 squadron of the RCAF. His posting there spurred many requests to be transferred to the squadron, a notable one accepted was that of Robert Wendell "Buck" McNair. In 1942, he was then transferred to the Command of 249 squadron on Malta.
Stan Turner was also involved in some other interesting and remarkable events during the war. He flew escort for the mission that was agreed to by the Germans to drop an artificial leg to Douglas Bader. Turner and Bader were good friends, despite a rocky start when Bader took over command of the Canadian pilots who had survived the Battle of France. Bader won over Turner and the other Canadians by generously replacing their kit they had lost in France from his personal stores, not to mention by demonstrating his flying skills.