Stuart N 'Scotty' Sloan MVO DFC CGM 1922-1994
Over Dortmund in May 1943 when the crew of a Wellington bomber of 431 (Canadian)Squadron from Burn ran into trouble and were ordered to bale out of the aircraft. As the bomb aimer, Sergeant Stuart Nimmo Sloan (146605), was preparing to leave when he realised that there were two crewmen aboard who had not heard the order.With the pilot gone, Sloan took charge of the pilot's seat, even though he had no previous experience, and fought the controls and managed to get the aircraft level and under control. Harassed by flak, he shook off the searchlights, which were trying to pin-point the aircraft for the enemy guns, with remarkable corkscrewing, twists and dives.He asked the two remaining members of the crew if they wanted to bale out.
The navigator, Sergeant Parslow, and wireless operator, Flying Officer Bailey, both said that they were willing to stay. Sloan made for the East Anglian coast but he realised that the port engine was failing.Over Cottesmore, he once again asked his companions if they wished to bale out and once again they refused. With the aircraft becoming impossible to control, Sloan lowered the undercarriage and, as the engine failed completely, he made a good landing at RAF Cranwell.
The incident is still remembered as a magnificent feat for a seasoned pilot, let alone a bomb aimer with a very tentative knowledge of the pilot's trade.
Sgt Sloan was given an immediate Conspicuous Gallantry medal, which ranks just below the VC as the highest award open to NCOs. He was also commissioned in the field and sent on a pilot's course and in 1945 completed a successful tour with the famed 158 squadron at Lissett (flying Halifax MkIII). He ended the war as a Flight Lieutenant with a DFC and relinquished his commision as a Wing commander in 1975.
Post war he served with the King's Flight.He joined Vickers Armstrong as a test pilot in 1951, flying various types and displaying at the 1953 Farnborough airshow.