8x10 inch photo signed by Len Ratcliff DSO DFC
Len Ratcliff joined the RAFVR in early 1939 to train as a pilot. In 1941 he completed a full tour of 30 operations in Bomber Command with 49 Squadron. After a rest period he was posted to 161 (Special Duties ) Sqn as Flight Commander flying agents and supplies in and out of France, Belgium, Holland, Norway and Denmark. He then spent a period in charge of A.I.2.C at the very centre of clandestine activities in the whole of occupied Europe. He returned to 161 Squadron in 1943 as Flight Commander and later Squadron commander.
Operating from RAF Tempsford in Bedfordshire and under cover of darkness, he took part in more than 70 operations behind enemy lines.
He would often pilot bombers deep into Germany, parachuting in saboteurs. On other occasions, he would fly single-seat aircraft into France, navigating by moonlight to meet members of the French resistance. The risks were huge - his squadron was wiped out three times during the war, 200 people lost or injured out of a staff of 600.
WW2 SOE Lysander pilot Len Ratcliff DFC signed photo
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