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Crookes, Arthur Norman

    Date of birth:
    December 23rd, 1920 (New Tupton/Derbyshire, Great Britain)
    Date of death:
    April 17th, 2012 (Chesterfield/Derbyshire, Great Britain)
    Service number:
    135428
    Nationality:
    British (1801-present, Kingdom)

    Biography

    Norman Crookes gained a scholarship to Kings College London University to read history, and in 1941 he joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve. Before completing his degree, he joined 125 Squadron, as a radar navigator on night fighters, mostly Beaufighters and crewed up with George ‘Jamie’ Jameson, pilot, from Christchurch, New Zealand.
    One night towards the end of July 1944 they shot down no fewer than four German bombers in twenty minutes.
    The Squadron was disbanded virtually as the war ended and he returned home by sea after which he spent his last year of service in command of No.11 Ground Control Unit as Squadron Leader.
    Having served with great distinction, Crookes was then declared unfit for regular commissioned service with the post-war RAF because he was colour blind.
    He returned to university to complete his degree and to enter teaching. until 1981 when he retired. Crookes also had 30 years service with the Air Training Corsp. He was CO of the 2326 Clay Cross Squadron, 768 Squadron at Brockley, and the William Rhodes Squadron. Then he became Wing Training Officer in Derbyshire and, in a civilian role, became Chairman of the East Midlands Wing.

    Promotions:
    October 20th, 1942: Pilot Officer (probation/emergency)
    October 20th, 1941: Flying Officer (war sub)
    October 20th, 1944: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)

    November 24th, 1948: appointment to commission (Training Branche)
    November 25th, 1953: extension of service for 4 years (Flying Officer)
    November 25th, 1957: extension of service for 4 years (Flying Officer)
    November 25th, 1961: extension of service for 4 years (Flying Officer)
    November 25th, 1965: extension of service for 4 years (Flying Officer)
    November 25th, 1969: extension of service for 4 years (Flying Officer)
    September 14th, 1976: commission resigned

    Post-war decorations:
    June 15th, 1974: MBE, awarded for his contribution to the Air Training Corps.

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Flying Officer
    Unit:
    488 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force
    Awarded on:
    August 15th, 1944
    Action:
    Citation:
    "As observer, Flying Officer Crookes has taken part in a large number of sorties and has displayed commendable courage and resource. He has assisted in the destruction of 5 enemy aircraft, successes which are an excellent tribute to his high skill and excellent co-operation."
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Flying Officer
    Unit:
    No. 488 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force
    Awarded on:
    September 22nd, 1944
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Action:
    Citation:
    "These offcers have complete many sorties as pilot and observer respectively. They have dsplayed great skill an co-operation, qualities which were well displayed on one occasion in July, 1944, when they destroyed four aircraft in one sortie. Their devotion to duty has been unfaling."
    Details:
    Awarded smultanuously to the observer, Flying Officer Crookes and to the pilot, Flight Lieutenant George Esmond Jameson.
    Second DFC awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Flight Lieutenant
    Unit:
    No. 488 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force
    Awarded on:
    June 29th, 1945
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Details:
    Third DFC awarded as second bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.

    Sources

    • - Fifth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36656 published on the 11 August 1944
      - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36713 published on the 19 September 1944
      - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37154 published on the 26 June 1945
      - Wingerworth Parish Council
      - BBC - People's war
      - Derbyshire Times