Battle of Britain London Monument – F/Lt. R E P Brooker

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – F/Lt. R E P Brooker

 

Richard Edgar Peter Brooker of Willingdon, Sussex was a school master when he joined the RAF on a short service commission in April 1937. On 17th July he was posted to 9 FTS Hullavington and joined 56 Squadron at North Weald on 19th February 1938.

Still with 56, on 13th July 1940 Brooker claimed a Ju87 destroyed and on 21st August shared a Do17. In this engagement he was shot down by return fire but was only slightly injured when he made a forced-landing at Flowton Brook, Bramford, west of Ipswich. His Hurricane, P3153, burned out.

On 7th October Brooker claimed two probables, a Me110 and a Do17. In late 1940 he was posted to CGS Sutton Bridge as an instructor.

 

 

A return to operations came in late April 1941, when Brooker was given command of No. 1 Squadron. During the night of 11th/12th May he shot down a He111 over London and attacked three more. Brooker damaged a Me109 on 21st May and destroyed another on 21st June. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 30th May 1941).

Brooker was posted to the Far East on 3rd November 1941. He took command of 232 Squadron at Singapore on 20th January 1942 after the CO was killed. On the 26th Brooker shot down a Kawasaki Ki27 and on 13th February a Ki48. During the retreat in late February, 232 Squadron reached Java, where it combined with the ground staff of 242 Squadron whose pilots and aircraft had remained in Malta.

On 4th March Brooker destroyed a Japanese fighter. It was decided to destroy the squadron’s remaining Hurricanes, after which Brooker and some pilots flew in a Lodestar to Australia. He was awarded a Bar to the DFC (gazetted 27th March 1942). Whilst in Australia Brooker helped form and then commanded 77 (RAAF) Squadron, flying Kittyhawks.

From May to July 1944 Brooker was Wing Leader of 123 Wing and was awarded the DSO (gazetted 1st December 1944). He returned to operations in January 1945 to lead 122 Wing at Volkel, Holland. He damaged a Me109 on 22nd February.

Brooker was shot down and killed on 16th April 1945 while leading 486 Squadron on a Wing operation. His Tempest NV641 ‘B’ was shot down by Fw190’s NW of Berlin. He was awarded a Bar to the DSO (gazetted 12th February 1946), which was given with effect from the day before his death.

He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 264.

 

 

 

Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner

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