Flight Lieutenant David M Crook DFC – 609 Squadron
David Moore Crook was born in Huddersfield in 1914 and went to Cambridge University. In August 1938. He joined 609 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force at RAF Yeadon, and had done some flying training before he was called for full-time service on 25 August 1939 .He was posted to 6 Flying Training School Little Rissington on 7 October and, after completing his training, he rejoined 609 Squadron in May 1940. On 9 July, Crook destroyed a Junkers Ju87 ‘Stuka’ and damaged another; o the 13th he damaged a Dornier Do17. O 11 August, h destroyed a Me110, on the 12th probably another, on the 13th shot down a Me109, on the 14th shared a Heinkel He111, on 27th September shared a Me110 and on the 30th destroyed two Me109’s and probably another.
He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 1 November 1940).
On 10 November 1940, Crook was posted to Central Flying School Upavon for an instructor’s course, after which he went to 15 Elementary Flying Training School Carlisle, remaining there until April 1944 when he moved to the Advanced Flying Unit (AFU) at Wheaton Aston.
In July 1944 he was posted to the AFU at Tern Hill, in September to 41 Operational Training Unit (OTU) Hawarden and on 1 December to 8 (Coastal) OTU at Dyce.
On 18 December 1944 Crook took off in a Spitfire IX EN662 to fly a mid-morning high-level photographic training sortie. At 10.52 am HQ 13 Group reported to Dyce that a Spitfire had been seen to dive into the sea near Aberdeen from 20,000 feet. A search of the area picked up some of Crook’s flying clothing but he was never found. He may have passed out to due to a fault in his oxygen system and his death remains somewhat of a mystery to this day, although a theory exists that he had suffered a heart attack due to a hereditary condition which had only just been diagnosed at the time.
He is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, panel 202.