Danny Josey, DFC: Norfolk pilot led flypast for Queen’s Coronation

A wartime pilot who led the Queen's coronation flypast and was awarded the DFC for gallantry has died aged 91 at his Watton home.

Dennis Josey, who was known as Danny, was born in Harlesden, north London, in 1920, had returned to serve in the RAF after the war.

After leaving school at 15, he became a trainee electrician and developed a passion for cycling.

During a 100-mile ride along the south coast he met his future wife, Olive, who had fallen off her bike. Engaged two days before the outbreak of the second world war, they married in August 1943.

He had joined the Territorial Army in the late 1930s and was called up in summer 1939.


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After training at Morley, near Wymondham, he served with the Royal Artillery for two years until he transferred to the RAF.

His first experience of flying was on August 18, 1941 – in a Tiger Moth. After further training in Britain and also Canada, he joined 103 Squadron flying Lancasters out of eastern England in the summer of 1944.

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His crews eventually completed 35 missions and he was awarded the DFC and also the American Distinguished Flying Cross for supporting the Allied Expeditionary Force on D-Day.

After the war he was a captain for British South American Airways but rejoined the RAF. In 1950 he became one of the first pilots to train on both Meteor and Canberra jets.

He and his crew was chosen to lead the Queen's coronation flypast over Buckingham Palace on June 2, 1953.

His flying career was cut short the next year by a burst ear drum, so he transferred to Air Traffic Control, where he spent 14 years in Cyprus, Germany and at RAF Watton and Marham.

In 1968 he retired from the RAF and settled near Dereham.

Shortly afterwards, he was widowed. He joined Norfolk County Council's highways department, where he worked until retirement.

He lived in Watton for more than 20 years.

He leaves a daughter, Anita, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

His friend, Eileen Kittell, said: 'He was a truly Christian gentleman who rarely spoke of his wartime experiences but who never failed to remember and to honour the friends and colleagues who served with him, so many of whom did not return.'

A funeral service has been held at St George's Church, Saham Toney.

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