Peter R. Edelston

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Peter Rodney Edelston was born on the 19th January 1923. He enlisted in the RAF as aircrew on his birthday in 1941. He was called up on the 18th June 1941 and completed flying training on Tiger Moths before he was shipped to Canada in December 1941.
He received his Wings at Kingston Ontario and was Commissioned.
Instructed on Harvard’s at Medicine Hat.
Promoted as Flight Commander in late 1943.
Managed to get posted to England as a Flight Lieutenant May 1945.
Awarded Short Service Commission and remained with 234 Squadron at Bentwaters.
Converted onto Meteor 3 Jet Fighters - The 4th Squadron to do so in the world.
Peter left the RAF in 1948 and joined 601 (County of London) Squadron.
Royal Auxiliary Air Force, flying Spitfires from RAF Hendon.
Moved to North Weald in 1949 re-equipping with Vampire Jets.
Promoted to Deputy Flight Commander and then Flight Commander.
Two years later (1951) re-equipping with Meteor 8s.
1952- Received an Air Force Cross in the New Year Honours. It was the last Air Force Cross to be awarded by King George VI and also the first to be awarded to a Pilot in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.
1956- Appointed Commanding Officer of 601 Squadron and remained as CO until the disbandment of the RAuxAF in March 1957.

6th March 1957- Peter led 601 Squadron’s Final Parade outside their Town Head Quarters, taken by Prince Philip who had been their Honorary Air Commodore for the past five years.
Prince Philip said: “Before you march past for the last time, I just want to say goodbye; and, as I expect no-one else will say it, to thank you for the service you have given to this Squadron, to the RAuxAF, and also to your country in peace and war.”
During Peter’s flying with 601 he worked for a large Printing Company called C&E Layton.
Following the disbandment, Peter became a Mink Farmer.

Added by: Louise Edelston on 4th March 2010.


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Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
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0800 169 2942
Registered Charity No. 1081009