Bill Crawford-Crompton

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Bill Crawford-Crompton : biography

2 March 1915 – 2 January 1988

Air Vice Marshal William Vernon "Bill" Crawford-Crompton CB, CBE, DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar (2 March 1915 – 2 January 1988) was a New Zealand-born pilot and air ace of the Second World War. After the war, he went on to serve as a senior commander in the Royal Air Force.

Crawford-Crompton was born in Invercargill, New Zealand on 2 March 1915. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1939. In 1941 he was commissioned into the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve as a Pilot Officer. He was then posted as a pilot to No. 485 Squadron RNZAF. He is credited with shooting down 21.5 enemy aircraft, and for bravery was awarded the prestigious French Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and United States Silver Star. He took part in Operation Overlord and destroyed four enemy aircraft in July 1944 during that operation.

Post-war career

Following the end of the Second World War, Crawford-Crompton transferred from the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve to the regular Royal Air Force. After several staff tours, he commanded RAF Bruggen and then RAF Gamil. After several more senior appointments, he was promoted to Air Vice Marshal and took up the post of Chief of Staff at HQ British Forces in Cyprus. His final tour was as Air Officer Commanding No. 22 Group RAF.