Gloucestershire Echo

War hero Tributes are paid to bomber co-pilot Peter, 100

- Phil NORRIS AND JOSIE ADNITT gloslivene­

ALANCASTER bomber co-pilot who survived 45 missions including D-day has died aged 100.

Peter John Gould’s family believe he could have been the last surviving Lancaster bomber pilot.

Great-grandfathe­r Peter, who was part of the 97th squadron, was part of the Pathfinder Force on D-day, fighting in Bomber Command.

He received France’s top military honour, the Legion d’honneur, for his squadron’s actions during the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944.

His daughter, retired businesswo­man Pamela Gould, 70, said her father continued to have strong links to the RAF throughout his life.

Pamela, from Pamington, near Tewkesbury, said: “He might be the last Lancaster bomber flight engineer and co-pilot, I’m not sure. But it’s the end of an era.”

She added: “I think people do remember their contributi­ons – it’s all part of our history and we’re here today because of them.

“He survived 45 sorties. He reckoned he survived because they’re trained to avoid combat and his crew did it slightly different, which is why he thinks he managed to survive.

“I spent a lot of time with him because I cared for him, you find war veterans are very reserved when it comes to the war.

“He wasn’t a boastful man but very down to earth, he would say it as it is.”

Peter, who was born in Bombay, India, in 1923, moved to England to join the RAF aged 16.

He trained as a flight engineer and learned to fly at RAF Halton and in the 1940s began flying Lancaster bomber planes.

The Lancaster was a World War II heavy bomber and is considered the most successful British heavy bomber of the war.

Peter, who lived in Oxford, completed a full tour of duty during the Second

World War and spent 12 years in total in the RAF, later writing a book on his experience­s called The Best 12 Years.

Pamela says after leaving active service in the RAF he continued to be involved in the organisati­on and enjoyed charitable pursuits.

She says the father-daughter pair would attend Aircrew Associatio­n meetings together and that he would sometimes tell her stories of his time as a co-pilot.

And she says he continued to drive until aged 96 and remained active into his 90s, loving swimming and water polo.

Peter, who had four children, seven grandchild­ren and four great-grandchild­ren, passed from dementia, which he developed in the last few years of his life.

Pamela expected RAF representa­tives to attend Peter’s funeral at Redditch Crematoriu­m, which was held on Tuesday, and he received full military honours.

“He stopped driving at 96 through choice and continued swimming into his 90s, and he used to play water polo so stayed very fit,” said Pamela.

“We used to go together to the Aircrew Associatio­n, he was very much a part of the RAF still.

“He was very supportive with his charity work and even in later life he was very knowledgea­ble and joined the u3a and a poetry club.

“Before the dementia over the last couple of years he was really with it, you could have a conversati­on, but what took his life was dementia.”

It’s the end of an era – we’re here today because of them

Daughter Pamela Gould

 ?? ?? Former Lancaster bomber co-pilot Peter Gould, with daughter Pamela
Former Lancaster bomber co-pilot Peter Gould, with daughter Pamela
 ?? ?? Peter Gould survived 45 sorties
Peter Gould survived 45 sorties

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