Lieut-Col Louis Arbon Strange DSO MC DFC

  1913, when a farmer from Dorset, aged 22

 mini_-_l_a_strange2.jpg 1930, aged 39


'Flying Rebel'; WWI pilot and inventor; later Director of Spartan, Simmonds and Whitney Straight companies.

He was "none other than the famed R.F.C. pilot who, fighting a German at 8,000ft over Ypres in 1915, suddenly found his Martinsyde out of control, was flung out of his seat, and spun down 5,000 feet hanging from the Lewis gun mounting. He eventually got the machine under control with his feet."

Bar to his DFC in June 1940, while in the RAF Volunteer Reserve: "P/O. Strange was detailed to proceed from Hendon to Merville to act as ground control officer during the arrival and departure of various aircraft carrying food supplies. He displayed great skill and determination whilst under heavy bombing attacks and machine gun fire at Merville, where he was responsible for the repair and successful despatch of two aircraft to England. In the last, remaining aircraft which was repaired under his supervision, he returned to Hendon in spite of being repeatedly attacked by Messerschmitts until well out to sea. He had no guns in action and had never flown this type of aircraft previously, but his brilliant piloting enabled him to return."

Wing Commander in WWII, awarded OBE and US Bronze Star; returned to farming and died in 1966.

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