Bio / Text:
Flight Lieutenant George PLATTS.
KIA 1945-03-09 Spitfire RM631
Served with 541 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Photographic Reconaissance Unit, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve at RAF Benson, Oxfordshire. He was awarded the DFC (Flight Magazine May 18th 1944) and the Air Medal (USA) on 20 July 1943.
Killed in action 9 March 1945 (he flew a Spitfire Mark XIX, Serial Number RM631), his name is recorded on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, Panel 265. This memorial is to airmen who were lost in the Second World War, and who have no known graves.
George was teaching at Hathersage school at an early age and was outstanding at Mathematics. He wanted to go to university and had the full support of his old school masters. However he was told that he could not go to university unless he volunteered for war service. He applied to train as a pilot in the Royal Navy Air Service but was rejected because he did not have a degree!
He thus applied for the RAF and was accepted for training about 1941/42. He did his basic training at Morecombe and then his flying training at Blackpool then Benson, then Montrose, then Wick through to St Ives where he passed out as a pilot. He was then posted to RAF Benson as a Flying Officer where he saw three years active service.
Whilst home on leave George left aerial photographs of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. The Scharnhost was sunk in 1943.
Also village tales of George bringing his aircraft back to base by hand priming his engine are probably true. George flew photo reconaissence sorties over Berlin and Milan.