2nd Entire world War pilot George Dunn has just turned 100. Argus reporter George Carden sat down with him to hear about his outstanding life.
George, from Saltdean, flew more than 40 operational flights, generally in the Halifax bomber and Mosquito, notably the infamous Peenemunde raid of 1943.
He signed up for the Royal Airforce in June 1941 and trained in Canada and Britain.
When he turned 100 on Wednesday last week he celebrated surrounded by cherished types in Rottingdean – and was even addressed to a flypast from Spitfires.
George nonetheless has a spring in his phase, leaping out of his sofa to present his collection of six medals from his time in the RAF.
He life independently and cooks all his possess meals with help from variety neighbors for far more intense chores such as gardening, as effectively as a weekly shipping of fresh new veggies from his pal Malcolm Gann, who sat with us all through the interview.
But regardless of his very good wellbeing, George experienced a near connect with this time past calendar year.
He explained: “I experienced a drop in the bed room. I stumbled and caught my back on the dressing desk stall. I broke a few ribs and punctured a lung. At that age, it was not way too intelligent.
“Touch wood, we did get by means of it. I was in healthcare facility a few periods, when I arrived out I was in the nursing residence for a couple months. Then I came household in this article which I was extremely delighted about.
“Malcolm experienced a go at me when I was in the Royal Sussex, I virtually kicked the bucket there.”
Malcolm jumps in: “I failed to keep back, the nurses seemed at me, the clients seemed at me. When I remaining, George was lifting himself up and down in his mattress, I questioned what he was doing. He claimed was carrying out his routines.”
George, whose wife Dorothy died a couple of decades ago, has been back again at property considering the fact that his time in healthcare facility and his limited remain in a nursing dwelling.
He mentioned: “I have Malcolm and his wife Allison who do a great deal for me, my following doorway neighbors do my browsing, one particular of my neighbors across the street does the backyard. All in all, I’m effectively appeared soon after.
“We go to the pub after a 7 days for a drink.”
George and Malcolm, 80, to start with satisfied 18 many years back at East Brighton Golfing Club in Roedean Street.
The two men are originally from Kent and George acknowledged Malcolm’s surname from expanding up in Whitstable.
Malcolm reported: “I joined East Brighton Golfing Club in Oct 2004, we were being in the men’s locker home one particular early morning after a spherical of golf. I was chatting and somebody named out my title.
“George occurred to be in there, he said ‘are you a Gann?’
“He requested where by I arrived from to which I explained Canterbury in Kent. He stated he arrived from Whitstable.
“I informed him my wonderful grandparents commenced the Whitstable Oyster Corporation.
“George utilised to participate in for Whitstable Football Club. He told me ‘I was standing on the pitch when I was 7 in between your fantastic grandfather and my (George’s) father’.”
George added: “My father used to go often to the online games and would consider me. There was Fred Gann and a few other folks.
“I have a photograph of my father and Malcolm’s wonderful-grandfather sitting down in the very same soccer team.
“After that working day, we played golf a whole lot collectively until finally I gave up at 96. I was holding him up.”
“We have a excellent friendship”, reported Malcolm, “love at initially sight!”
Malcolm, a retired farmer, added: “After his time in healthcare facility, I produced George assure to phone me so I know he is all suitable. He has stored that assure, he phone calls me around 10am each and every early morning.
“Then he cooks his total English and has some porridge. Sometimes he will get up in the center of the night for a sandwich.
“It’s been a excellent friendship, I could never want for improved. We reminisce out in the yard with a glass of whiskey.”
George stated he experienced a “marvellous” time for his birthday, which was arranged by Malcolm and Allison.
He added: “There was all over 80 persons there, persons from the golfing club, family, the son of my bomb aimer from Ipswich and the son of my navigator from Belfast.
“Five reps came from the Struggle of Britain Memorial Flight, there have been reps from Biggin Hill Memorial Museum.
“People raised a couple eyeglasses to me, I lifted a couple red wines to myself.”
But what is George’s secret to a long lifestyle?
“I could say wine, women of all ages and song”, he jokes, “I have lived a pretty average daily life I feel, I have performed a large amount of activity, golf, cricket, tennis, soccer and squash.
“The important is if you can maintain good overall health and you have to be a bit blessed. I have experienced fairly a few spells in clinic but I have constantly come out.”
George gained six medals for the duration of his time in the RAF, the Distinguished Flying Cross, 1939–1945 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, Protection Medal, War Medal 1939–1945, and the French Legion d’Honneur awarded by the French governing administration.
He has a image of himself with his crew, named “G for George” in 1943. Pictured from remaining are Flight Officer Reg McCadden, who was navigator, Sergeant ‘Dixie’ Dean, rear gunner, Sergeant Jack Todd, wi-fi operator, Pilot Officer George in the center, Sergeant Ferris Newton, flight engineer, Flight Officer Andy Maitland who was bomb aimer and Flight Officer Joe Scrivener, who was mid upper gunner.
George was only 20 in the photo, taken in front of a Halifax Bomber. He is the final surviving member of the crew.
George flew in 44 operational flights for the duration of the Second World War.
He was then posted to Egypt to test fly refurbished single-engine fighters, a part he was not experienced for.
During this time George ferried a Spitfire to the re-forming Greek Air Pressure in 1947.
Just about 70 a long time later on, he sat in the aircraft all over again at the Heritage Hangar at Biggin Hill in Kent where by the aircraft was currently being rebuilt.
George was at Biggin Hill in January 2020 to see the aircraft’s check flight and frequented the museum all over again previously this week.