Flight Lieutenant Ted Stocker

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Flight Lieutenant Ted Stocker DSO DFC Flight Lieutenant Ted Stocker DSO DFC

Few of those flying with Bomber Command in the Second World War lived to see the cities of Hitler’s Germany as often as did Flight Lieutenant Edward Stocker.

A founding member of the elite target-marking Pathfinder Force, he carried out 109 missions, including many to Hamburg, Frankfurt, Essen and Berlin, each lasting six or eight hours. In April 1945 he aimed and dropped four 2,000lb bombs on Hitler’s mountain retreat, the Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden.

It was an astonishing record for a flier in a service that between 1939 and 1945 lost more than 55,000 men — almost half of those who flew with it.

The Pathfinders, who had to reach the target first, drop flares and stay over it to direct the rest of…

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