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George Cecil 'Grumpy' Unwin; RAF; DFM*

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#1 Martin Bull

Martin Bull

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 03:42 PM

One of the last real, unsung heroes of the Battle of Britain passed away today.

George Cecil 'Grumpy' Unwin joined the RAF in 1929, was selected for pilot training in 1935, and joined 19 Squadron in 1936, becoming one of the very first pilots in the RAF to fly the Spitfire.

His first five victories were scored over Dunkirk, and during the Battle of Britain he was one of 19 Squadron's leading scorers, operating from Duxford and Fowlmere. Legend has it that the sobriquet 'Grumpy' was bestowed on him by none other than Douglas Bader.

Uniquely, all his victories were recorded in 1940, totalling 13 destroyed ( plus 2 shared ), 2 unconfirmed, 2 probables and 1 damaged.

Throughout this period he was proud to remain an NCO, and as such, was awarded the DFM in October and a Bar to the DFM in December.

A forthright, no-nonsense man who didn't suffer fools gladly, until quite recently he still played golf five days a week.

We shan't see his like again.

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"Stand by to pull me out of the seat if I get hit" - Guy Gibson

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