George "Pop" Coleman

RAF   S/L   -   DFC

George Byrne Stanislaus "Pop" Coleman, Born 4 Sept. 1908
Worked as a salesman before joining the RAF
Commissioned 13 September 1929
Trained at 5 STS Sealand
Joined 16 Army Co-operation Squadron in Sept. 1930
Posted to 463 Flight on HMS Courageous in January 1932
In May 1933 he was posted to RAF Gosport
Transferred to the Class A Reserve of Officers to
- become an Airline Pilot on 13 September 1934
Promoted to F/L in April 1937 & mobilized 1 Sept. 1939
Instructed at Elstree Flying Club for the rest of the year
In early 1940 he was moved to 15 EFTS Redhill
Attended Flying Instructor's School at CFS in March
Held there as a Supernumerary until January 1941, then
Posted to 8 SFTS, Montrose until May 1941, when he
Joined 6 AACU, Ringway
Attended 60 OTU, East Fortune in August
Posted to 256 Sq. in Sept. & 456 Squadron (RAAF) in Dec.
Sent to the Middle East in March 1942 (N. Africa & Malta)
Moved from 89 Squadron to 46 Squadron on 21 May
Joined 272 Squadron in November 1942
Injured in a flying accident on 11 January 1943
Posted to the UK in May, giving up his rank as Acting S/L
Instructed until March 1944, then returned to the Mediterranean
Joined 600 Squadron, returning to the UK in April 1945
Resigned on 30 September to return to airline flying
And subsequently killed in a flying accident 6 Jan 1948

  George Coleman


Distinguished Flying Cross

FRIDAY, 9 APRIL 1943, FIFTH SUPPLEMENT to The London Gazette of TUESDAY, the 6th of APRIL, 1943

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following award in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:

Acting Squadron Leader George Byrne Stanislaus COLEMAN (28146), No. 272 Squadron

This officer has completed a very large number of operational missions, including a number of daylight attacks on shipping. In night attacks on the enemy's communications he has bombed railway junctions and machine-gunned locomotives with success; he has also destroyed 4 enemy aircraft. On one occasion, after attacking two ships, he was forced to bring his aircraft down on to the sea when 1 of the engines caught fire. He spent several hours in the water before being picked up. The next day Squadron Leader Coleman led a successful attack on a merchant vessel escorted by 3 armed ships. In spite of heavy anti-aircraft fire from the ships and coastal batteries he succeeded in obtaining hits on the supply ship. This officer has invariably displayed courage, skill and determination.


David Bellis: “Squadron/Leader Coleman was in charge of this training and he was a great pilot. He must have been one of the oldest operational pilots in the R.A.F. “Pops” was a kind, quiet man and the expertise that he passed on to us was invaluable in our Malta operations.”


Aishlyn: “He was said to have ditched in the sea three times successfully. Once his plane was shot and disabled somewhere in Europe – don’t know where. He landed in a reservoir and managed to get back to England with his co-pilot. The planes carried a small inflatable dinghy. He was said to have blown a whistle which alerted the locals, who then came to the rescue. He once landed a plane that was so badly shot up that the repair crew were amazed that he had managed to fly it or indeed land it safely. He was fond of aerobatics – and would horrify his wife by performing barrel rolls and looping the loop over the house.”


Victories Include :

23 Oct 1941

6/7 Apr 1942
  9 May 1942
15 May 1942
  4 Sept 1942

17 Mar 1943

17 April 1943

20 Jan 1945
one Ju88

one Ju88
one BR20
one BR20
one Ju88

one Ju52
one He111
one Ju88

two Ju87s


damaged &

destroyed *

7 / 1 / 2

Score from Aces High 2nd Ed.

* His Radar Operator for this mission was F/O WR Frumar (RAAF). One of the victims was Obfhr Peter Stollwerk of 3/NSGr 9


Killed in a Flying Accident

"A Proctor V, serial G-AHWP, disappeared off Margate on 6th January 1948. At the controls was S/Ldr. G. Coleman, with a Mr. G. Dawson as passenger - the aircraft was on a private flight from Zurich to Stanstead. At 17.50 the pilot had established R/T communication with RAF Manston asking for bearings - the weather was poor, with cloud base at 1200 feet, 9/10 and visibility approximately 200 yards.

At 19.55 the pilot of the Proctor warned that his endurance was limited to 25 minutes. It was decided by Air Traffic Control that Manston was the only viable option for a landing, and all available lighting was put into operation at that airfield - this included SANDRA searchlights, signal mortars and pyrotechnics. The captain of the Proctor requested FIDO as well, but the Station Commander decided that this would take too long to implement and wouldn't have given any greater benefit. The pilot reported that he saw the searchlights and mortar fire, but no further communications were received after 20.36. The police were informed, and told to look out for any signs of an aircraft crash, and at 20.49 the Margate and Ramsgate Lifeboats were launched and searched an area up to 10 miles from the coast. A Constellation on a trip from Brussels to London was asked to circle the area and this it did, at a height of 1000 feet, for 20 minutes without success. The Coastguard reported sighting flares out to sea."

- Copied from a Key Publishing forum. Check out the thread, they have a good discussion about the incident there.


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Thanks go out to

Nephew Nick for the photo and infos, the forum, the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private

On these pages I use Hugh Halliday's extensive research which includes info from numerous sources; newspaper articles via the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation (CMCC); the Google News Archives; the London Gazette Archives and other sources both published and private.

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