Battle of Britain London Monument – P/O G W Couzens

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – P/O G W Couzens


George Walter Couzens was born at Attleborough, Norfolk on 31st May 1909 and, after serving as an apprentice carpenter, joined the RAF in 1927 as an Aircrafthand. He then trained as a Rigger and later became an air-gunner. In 1933 he was accepted for pilot training and served on the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous in 1935.

Commissioned in April 1940 he joined 54 Squadron at Hornchurch prior to the outbreak of the war and was one of the original members of the Squadron’s ‘A’ Flight with P/O Alan Deere and F/Lt. James Leathart, who were to go on to gain fame.


(Photographs courtesy of John Couzens)

P/O Couzens was involved in the squadron’s actions leading up to Dunkirk and later his flying experience of several years saw him responsible for the initial training flights of young pilots joining various squadrons at Hornchurch, among them the Irish pilot Brendan Finucane who was to claim 26 aircraft destroyed by the time of his death in 1942.

P/O Couzens served with 54 Squadron throughout the Battle of Britain, leaving in October 1940 to go to Training Command. He was an instructor for the rest of the war. In June 1945 he was awarded the
Air Force Cross (gazetted 14th June 1945) and retired from the RAF in September 1946 with the rank of Squadron Leader.


(Above: 54 Squadron’s A Flight. pre-27th May 27th 1940 as F/Lt. Pearson was reported missing on that day. L to R: F/ Lt Max Pearson, Sgt Jack Davis, P/O George Couzens, F/Lt James Leathart, F/O George Gribble, P/O Johnny Allen and P/O Alan Deere).

He went into farm management in Sussex for several years and died in Hampshire in 1978.

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