Brooker, Richard Edgar Peter

Date of birth:
1918 (Chessington/Surrey, Great Britain)
Date of death:
April 16th, 1945 (Wittenberge/Brandenburg, Germany)
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Service number 39931.

Richard Brooker a former schoolmaster, joined the Royal Air Force on a direct commission in April 1937. On February 19th, 1938 he was posted to No. 56 Squadron on North Weald.
In action on August 21st, 1940, he was shot down by return fire by a Do 17 he was attacking and was slightly injured in the forced landing at Flowton Brook, Bramford, Suffolk. His Hurricane was burned out. Late 1940 he was posted to Central Gunnery School Sutton Bridge as an instructor but returned to operations in April 1941 as commanding officer of No. 1 Squadron based on Kenley.
In January 1942 he was sent to the Far East to command No. 232 Squadron in Singapore. When the Japanese attacked the city, the squadron was retreated though the East Indies, Java and finally evacuated to Australia. He aided forming No. 77 RAAF Squadron on Kittyhawks but then returned to the UK. In May 1944 he became Wing Leader of 123 Wing on Typhoons and lead the unit during the invasion of Normandy. He was rested in July. In July 1945 he returned to operations, this time as Wing Leader of 122 Wing in Holland on Tempests.
On April 16th, 1945 whilst in action he was heard over the radio, reporting that his engine was running rough and he did not return. His Tempest had been shot down by Fw-190's near Wittenberge and he had been killed.
His total confirmed claims were 7 or 8 destroyed.

Promotions:
April 5th, 1937: Acting Pilot Officer (on probation)
April 5th, 1938: Pilot Officer
January 5th, 1940: Flying Officer
January 5th, 1941: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Squadron Leader
Unit:
No. 1 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
May 30th, 1941
Action:
Citation:
"This officer led his flight with considerable skill and ability over a long period, during which he destroyed a number of enemy aircraft. Since taking command of the squadron, he has greatly assisted in the brilliant work performed by the squadron. Throughout Squadron Leader Brooker has set an excellent example."
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Squadron Leader
Unit:
No. 232 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
March 27th, 1942
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Action:
Citation:
"This officer has continuously led the squadron into action against largely superior numbers of enemy aircraft at Singapore and in the Netherlands East Indies. He has displayed gallantry, determination and cheerfulness in the face of heavy odds."
Details:
Second DFC awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Wing Commander
Unit:
Reserve of Air Force Officers
Awarded on:
December 1st, 1944
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
Action:
Citation:
"This officer has displayed the highest standard of gallantry and determination in his attacks on the enemy. During a phase of intensive air operations over Northern France, prior to the landing of the invasion forces, Wing Commander Brooker led large formations of aircraft in attacks against a wide range of well defended targets, including a number of radio stations. Much of the success achieved can be attributed to this officer's careful planning, inspiring leadership and skill in action. His record is most impressive."
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Wing Commander
Awarded on:
February 12th, 1946
Action:
Citation:
"From May to August, 1944, this officer led a wing of rocket-firing Typhoons, and during that time he completed many hazardous but successful attacks against heavily defended enemy rad«r stations, military headquarters, and railways. Under his command his wing have.destroyed at least 87 enemy, aircraft and damaged 62. This great achievement has been largely owing to Wing Cdr. Brooker's brilliant planning and skilful leadership."
Details:
With effect from I5th April, 1945 (since deceased).
Second DSO awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DSO.
Distinguished Service Order (DSO)

Sources