PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Stapleton, Basil Gerald "Stapme" (Service number: 41879, Royal Air Force)
Date of birth: May 12th, 1920 (Durban South Africa)
Date of death:  April 13th, 2010
Nationality:  South African
BIOGRAPHY: 
Basil Gerald Stapleton was born May 12th, 1920 in Durban, South-Africa. He attended school in England. January 1939 he entered service with the RAF. He participated in the Battle of Britain in 603 Squadron. Later on he took part in the fighting in various other units, including Hurricats with the Merchant Ship Unit, as Flight Commander of 257 Squadron, as an Instructor at the Gunnery School and as Squadron Leader of 247 Squadron.
In April 1946 he left the RAF and became a pilot with BOAC (British Overseas Airway Corporation), the predecessor of British Airways.

Promotions:
?: Acting Pilot Officers on probation;
October 21st, 1939: Pilot Officer on probation;
January 23rd, 1940: Pilot Officer;
October 21st, 1940: Flying Officer;
October 21st, 1941: Flight Lieutenant (war subs.);

Career:
January 1939: entered service in the RAF;
October 1939 - April 1941: No. 603 Squadorn, RAF Montrose, Schotland;
?: Merchant Ship Fighter Unit;
?: Flight Commander No. 257 Squadron;
?: Instructor Central Gunnery School;
?: Squadron Leader No. 247 Squadron, 124th Wing, 2nd Tactical Air Command
January 23rd, 1943: Transfer to Reserves (drafted by the Air Force);
December 23rd, 1944 - mei 1945: POW Stalag Luft I, Barth;
April 1946: Pilot BOAC.
     
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS (DFC)
Rank: Pilot Officer
Unit: No. 603 Squadron
Awarded on: November 15th, 1940
Action: Citation:
"Pilot Officer Stapleton has flown with his squadron in active operations since the war began. He has personally destroyed at least six enemy aircraft and has shared in the destruction of two others. Pilot Officer Stapleton has displayed great skill and courage in the face of superior numbers of the enemy."
 
     
VLIEGERKRUIS (VK)
Rank: Acting Squadron Leader
Unit: No. 247 Squadron
Awarded on: July 31st, 1945
Awarded for: Operation Market Garden
Details: 417th Award.
Royal Decree No.29, dated July 31st, 1945.
Permission to wear the decoration granted on January 1st, 1946.
 
 
 
  Provide alterations or additional information
Picture source:   - RAF photo
Information source(s):   - MEIJER, H.G. & VIS, R., Het Vliegerkruis, De Bataafsche Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1997.
- The London Gazette Issue 34989, dated 12th November 1940
- The London Gazette Issue 34993, dated 15th November 1940
- The London Gazette Issue 35366, dated 2nd December 1941
- Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 9th November 1945, Issue 37345, dated 13th November 1945
- Ninth Supplement to The London Gazette of 28th December 1945, Issue 37415, dated 1st January 1946
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