Stan Slater DSO OBE DFC
Above photo courtesy of Daily Telegraph Obit.
Stan was a Yorkshireman born and bred. Born 29th Sept 1921 in Doncaster and lived much of his early life in the village of Ridgeway near Sheffield. Pre war he was an apprentice chemist before joining the RAF in 1940. He trained as a pilot in the USA under the Arnold Scheme before returning to the UK as a Sgt pilot.
After further training at OTU and HCU he joined 100 Sqdn in March 1943 and completed his first tour of operations in 12 weeks - 27 operations in all. During this period Stan was commissioned and awarded a DFC for his determination and skill in pressing home his attacks.
He spent 6 months as an instructor with an HCU before returning to operations with 576 Sqdn at Elsham Wolds in Feb 1944. He completed his second tour of 31 ops at the end of Sept 1944. Rather a long second tour. During his time with 576 Sqdn he was promoted to Squadron Leader in charge of B Flight. On completion of his second tour Stan was awarded the DSO.
He was posted to the 13 Base staff also at Elsham Wolds but in March 1945 volunteered to fly with 103 Sqdn on a mine laying operation in the Kattegat off the Danish and Swedish coast. During this operation they were attacked by a German night fighter which killed both gunners and set the aircraft on fire. Stan and the rest of his crew were able to escape from their doomed Lancaster by parachute.
On landing in Denmark Stan was hidden for several days members of the Danish Resistance a farm and then moved to a safe house in Copenhagen where he was reunited with his wireless operator W/O T Fairclough. At this time they witnessed the daring low level raid by RAF Mosquito bombers on the Gestapo Headquarters in the city. Shortly after this the 2 airmen were were taken by boat to Sweden and safety.
See short item below from the RAF Elsham Wolds Assn Newsletter - Summer 2002
Pictured above Anna Mork nee Kavel and Stan Slater in 2002
“Former 576 and 103 Sqdn pilot Stan Slater recently had the pleasure of entertaining Anna Mork and her daughter during
their recent 4 day visit to the UK. As Anna Korvel she was the first English speaking person that he met in Denmark
after being shot down in March 1945.
He was given shelter at a farm and the farmer's wife contacted Anna's father who was an active member of the
Danish Resistance. After coming to the farm during the day he returned with Anna that night and took Stan to their home
in Olgod. There he met up with his wireless operator, W/O T Fairclough. They stayed at the Korvel's for 2 days and were
provided with, not only food and accommodation, but civilian clothes and false identity cards. Helped by various
members of the Danish Resistance they traveled to Copenhagen and finally to Sweden and then back to Elsham
Wolds 3 weeks after being shot down.
Whilst in Copenhagen Stan had a grandstand view of the RAF Mosquito raid on the Shell Mex building occupied by
the Gestapo and where many Danish resistance members were held prisoner and were able to escape as a result of the
Anna and her family also helped Stan's flight engineer who they hid for 10 days. After the war Stan visited the Korvel
family and it was only then he learned that, at the time of his evasion, German soldiers were billeted in the basement of
the house. This cover enabled the Korvel's to help continue their resistance activities without arousing suspicion.
Anna and her father received commendations from General Eisenhower on behalf of the President of the USA and her
father also received a commendation from the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force. “
Post war Stan enjoyed a varied and distinguished career in the RAF. He was awarded the OBE in 1960 and rose to the rank of Group Captain before retiring from the RAF in 1970.
Stan enjoyed a long, active and happy retirement and retained a keen interest in the RAF Elsham Wolds Assn through which I was fortunate enough to meet and have the most interesting and pleasant correspondence with him on occasions.
Stan has left quite a footprint on the internet. See the following links.
Stan’s full Daily Telegraph Obituary here
Ridgeway Village History page here
231 Squadron Assn page here
Air War over Denmark page here
Shot Down In Denmark site here
Finally 3 photos of interest which Stan sent me some years ago.
Acknowledgements - The late Stan Slater for the photos and excellent background info. Plus Daily Telegraph for the obit. Item written up by David Fell