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Tributes paid to Halifax bomber pilot John Fisher
A Second World War veteran who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) has died at the age of 95.
John Fisher, who lived in Thirsk, flew Halifax bombers during the war, including missions during the Normandy invasion.
Born in Kensington in 1916, Mr Fisher showed an enthusiasm for the military from an early age.
He joined the Officer Training Corps and Territorial Army reserves before moving into the Artists Rifles and later the RAF, during the build-up to the Second World War.
As a Squadron Leader, Mr Fisher flew Halifax aircraft and towed gliders over the Channel on a number of missions, after originally being told by the RAF he could not fly. His daughter, Melanie, said: “He was originally turned down for flight training due to his eyesight, but reapplied and was eventually successful.
“His Halifax was attacked on his second mission, in what was later found to be a friendly fire incident.
“He and his crew flew below 1,000 feet with a wing on fire and took evasive action, before they proceeded on the rest of the mission and returned to base.”
Melanie said her father had told her of his flight on D-Day.
She said: “There were aircraft in front and behind, as far as you could see. He claimed he saw a dog scratching its ear, completely oblivious to the war, as he rattled over the beaches of Normandy.”
Mr Fisher stayed in the forces until 1966, then moved to Yorkshire, where he continued to meet his former crew while running the Clifton branch of Barclays, then retiring to breed Hebridean sheep.
Melanie helped care for him in the last months of his life, along with Marie Curie Nurses, and said she would not change the experience.
She said: “I really came close to him by looking after him. He was brought up as a Victorian himself, so he was very strict, firm and disciplined by the military.
“But we really became friends, great mates, as a result of me coming to nurse him.”
Mr Fisher died at home last week, and leaves his widow, Audrey, daughter Melanie, and grandson Edd.
A funeral will be held at St. Nicholas’s Parish Church at 11am tomorrow. Donations in lieu of flowers to the Herriot Hospice or Marie Curie Cancer Care at the family’s request.