Eric Lionel Victor Stanley

102980, Pilot Officer (Pilot), 110 Squadron. Royal Air Force (VR).

Killed on the 6th December 1941 aged 22.

Eric Stanley was the son of the parish verger who lived at 93 Walkern Road, Stevenage. He was educated at Alleynes school in Stevenage and was described by his Headmaster, Mr H.P. Thorn, as " unassuming and reliable and who most certainly had a distinguished career ahead of him" . He was a brilliant student and a keen sportsman who liked Cricket and football. Before leaving school, in 1936, Eric had reached the position of Head Boy and was captain of the school football team as well as chairman of the literary & debating society and sub editor of the school magazine. Upon leaving school Eric, like his school friend Alan Pollock, took the entrance examination for the Civil Service and passed with flying colours.

He began his career, as did Pollock, with the Air Ministry and was later to enter the Executive section of the service, a position that was held in high esteem.

In October 1940 Eric joined the RAF and his capabilities were quickly recognised. He was selected for Pilot training under the Empire Air Training scheme and was posted to Canada for a course. Again his academic qualities brought him to the forefront and he was amongst the top three in his passing out examination. Shortly afterwards Eric received his commission and was the first North Herts man to fly the Atlantic, under the watchful eye of an American Ferry Pilot. He is also believed to be only the second British observer to navigate an aircraft across the Atlantic.

Eric was killed in a flying accident on the 6th December 1941 when the Blenheim he was flying in crashed during a training sortie just beyond the airfield at Bicester. The accident was later attributed to incorrect trim tab settings.

He is buried next to his mother at Holy Trinity church in Weston. (Row19. Grave 1)

Crew of BLENHEIM Mk.IV  Z7962  VE -







Victor Horace LANGRISH




Douglas Hickling IVENS




Allan Edward BAILEY




Eric Lionel Victor STANLEY


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