Search

Tributes paid to ex-Spitfire pilot Tony Cooper who has died aged 100

PUBLISHED: 19:00 06 February 2017 | UPDATED: 17:53 07 February 2017

Spitfire pilot Tony Cooper after receiving a medal from France for his service during the Second World War. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Spitfire pilot Tony Cooper after receiving a medal from France for his service during the Second World War. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2015

Tributes have been paid to a former Spitfire fighter pilot, who died just days before his 101st birthday.

Spitfire pilot Tony Cooper with his plane. Spitfire pilot Tony Cooper with his plane.

Tributes have been paid to a former Spitfire fighter pilot, who died just days before his 101st birthday.

As a flight lieutenant in 64 Squadron, Tony Cooper flew the Spitfire on all 38 of its operational sorties and survived five forced landings – one of which came as a result of being hit by enemy fire.

Amazingly, he escaped with just a bump on his head when his Spitfire crashed in Belgium in 1944.

Notably he flew on D-Day as part of an aircraft formation providing fighter cover for Utah beach and Omaha beach.

Spitfire pilot Tony Cooper with his plane. Spitfire pilot Tony Cooper with his plane.

A popular member of the Rotary Club of Lowestoft, Mr Cooper, died aged 100 on January 26 at Ritson Lodge Care Home in Hopton-on-Sea.

Doris Day, who was Mr Cooper’s partner for nearly 20 years, said: “He was a real gentleman and a true Rotarian.

“He was very special to a lot of people, as he always cared and looked out for others – he was just amazing.

“Tony was very unique and one of the wittiest men with such a great sense of humour and was always full of laughter.”

Tony Cooper. PHOTO: Nick Butcher Tony Cooper. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Born on February 6, 1916, Mr Cooper was 21 when he was accepted for pilot training in the RAF Volunteer Reserve at Luton.

Following progression onto a flying instructor’s course, he was posted to Canada in 1940, where he met his wife of 56 years Pearl Cooper, and his last sortie in the RAF was in June 1945, after which he returned to Lowestoft, where he was the fifth generation to work at W.B Cooper LTD.

Flt lt Cooper was awarded the Légion d’honneur medal from France, in 2015, for his services during the Second World War.

Barry Scaplehorn, president of the Rotary Club of Lowestoft, said: “Tony was a gentleman in person and in mind and in every way possible – he treated everyone with such respect. He will be a great loss to the Rotary Club and to the whole of Lowestoft.”

PHOTO: Nick Butcher PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Mr Cooper leaves his partner Ms Day, his children Alison Bond and Peter Cooper, along with five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

His funeral will be held on February 24 at 1.30pm in St Marks Church, Oulton Broad.

TRIBUTES

Mr Cooper’s daughter Alison Bond, 66, said: “He had a zest for life and as a father he was just fun. As a child and young girl he was just fun to be with and when I was at school he would come to pick me up and everybody would want to speak to him as he was so outgoing.

“He was somebody to look up to and we were very proud of him. We were lucky to have him as he was a fantastic father.”

Other News

17:59

Motorists were diverted after a Norfolk road was temporarily closed following a two-car crash.

12:00

Tears of sadness have been replaced with tears of joy after hundreds of messages of support, jokes and special memories have helped to boost the spirits of a well-known comedy character who was diagnosed with cancer.

Norfolk and Waveney is perhaps one of the best areas in country for seeing the natural world up close.

08:59

Snow could be on its way to Norfolk on Sunday as the temperatures plummet to below freezing overnight.

Most Read

Fri, 08:28

Great Yarmouth is set for a tourism spending boost after it was confirmed cruise ships will be docking with hundreds of passengers at the town’s port throughout the year.

Read more
Graham Plant
Tue, 20:26

A care home in Great Yarmouth has been forced to close after watchdogs uncovered a catalogue of concerns.

Read more
Care Quality Commission
Fri, 11:17

He is a cat who became an internet star by making Great Yarmouth’s Tesco store his second home.

Read more
Facebook
Mon, 15:48

A teacher is feeling a new woman and enjoying time with her children after she lost more than four stone in 26 weeks.

Read more
Tue, 10:50

A woman has been arrested on the suspicion of drug-driving and possession of a class A drug after the car she was believed to be driving crashed into a home in Gorleston.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 3°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the Great
Yarmouth Mercury

e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter