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Gift of a Pick-Up Pilot’s Irvine Jacket

Peter Vaughan- Fowler was an outstanding pilot and when only 19 years old, was selected for Special Duties training. He was posted in April 1942 to No 161 Squadron’s ‘A’ Flight to fly Lysanders. The squadron’s role was to take and pick-up agents and resistance members to and from French farmers’ fields. Vaughan-Fowler’s first successful operation was on the night of 26/27 October during the October moon period. This operation was the first of twenty one successful operations out of twenty seven he attempted from RAF Tangmere between October 1942 and September of the following year. For his highly successful tour with No 161 Squadron Peter Vaughan-Fowler was awarded the DFC and Bar.

Later in the war, after the liberation of France, he commanded a Mustang ground-attack squadron and his fine leadership was recognised by the award of a DSO. Peter Vaughan-Fowler remained in the RAF after the war and retired in 1975 as a group captain. He died, in Oxford, on 24 April 1994.

James Vaughan-Fowler, one of Peter’s sons, has recently donated to the Museum an Irvine flying jacket worn by his father during his time at Tangmere flying pick-up operations. James is seen in the photograph in conversation with the Museum’s Director Dudley Hooley.

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