242 (Canadian) Hurricane squadron RAF under the celebrated
command of Sqn Ldr Douglas RS "Tinlegs" Bader which included
three Fleet Air Arm pilots: Sub Lt RJ Cork RN (Bader's wingman),
Sub Lt RE Gardner RNVR and Mid PJ Patterson RN
(Fleet Air Arm Archive)
...In 1944, Cork was given command of the 15th Naval Fighter Wing, comprising three squadrons of Vought F4U Corsairs, on board HMS Victorious. The carrier sailed for the Indian Ocean to join the British Pacific Fleet. After arriving Cork was killed in a flying accident over China Bay, Ceylon on 14 August 1944... He was buried in Trincomolee War Cemetery.
...On 1 July 1940, Cork and two other naval pilots joined the Hawker Hurricane equipped No. 242 Squadron under the command of Squadron Leader Douglas Bader; Cork was assigned to become Bader's wingman. On 30 August, he was involved in his first combat action with No. 242 Squadron. The unit claimed 12 aircraft destroyed, and Cork was credited with a Messerschmitt Bf 110 destroyed and a share in a second.
By 13 September he had shot down five aircraft and became a fighter ace. For his exploits he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on 18 October, which at the insistence of the Admiralty was exchanged for a Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). Out of the 58 Fleet Air Arm pilots seconded to the RAF during the Battle of Britain, 12 of them shot down at least one aircraft, five became aces, seven were killed and two wounded...
Worth reading the entire article. Only Royal Navy pilot to shoot down five aircraft in one day (Operation PEDESTAL - Malta convoys in 1942). His final score was nine destroyed, two shared, one probable, four damaged and seven destroyed on the ground which put him fifth in the table of Royal Navy Second World War aces.
Anyone hear Archive on BBC Radio 4 last night? The journalist Wynfrid Vaughan Thomas went on a bombing raid over Berlin. Whatever about debates on the morality of the bombing of Germany, and our ribbing of the Crabs.That took a special kind of courage, to keep doing that night after night, knowing your chances of surviving an operational tour.