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Old 7th February 2009, 18:31
philippe1 philippe1 is offline
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info wanted on RAF hurricane pilot mike Stephens

hello i am looking for info on huricane pilot Mike stephens who flew with his hurricane L1610
3rd squad green section B flight on the day of 12 may 1940 opperation between Leuven and Diest belgium

what kind of mission and what happened with him after this day looking also for a picture of hm any details are welcome were was his base at that time
thanks in advance
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Old 14th February 2009, 13:47
RossGmann RossGmann is offline
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Re: info wanted on RAF hurricane pilot mike Stephens

The following may be of interest
Group Captain Mike Stephens

Last Updated: 9:53PM BST 27 Sep 2004

Group Captain Mike Stephens, who has died aged 84, developed an outstanding reputation as a fighter pilot, earning a DSO and three DFCs during the Fall of France, the Battle of Britain and the Siege of Malta, and while serving with the Desert Air Force.
As a squadron commander, he was so generous that he attributed shared "kills" to his junior pilots whom he wished to encourage.
Thus, his official score of 15 enemy aircraft destroyed would probably have been doubled if it included his shared as well as his unreported kills.
The exploit that led to the award of Stephens's immediate DSO occurred when he was leading No 80 Squadron's Hurricane fighter-bombers on December 9 1941 on a ground strafing attack on an enemy transport column in the Western Desert.
As he attacked, Stephens noticed that his fighter escort was involved in a dogfight above him. Climbing to assist, he evaded two fighters and had almost reached the escort when he saw a lone Hurricane diving with an Me 109 on its tail.
Stephens immediately turned in to engage the enemy fighter but, after opening fire, he came under attack from another Me 109 on his tail.
Stephens's Hurricane was set on fire and he was wounded in both feet. As the starboard side of his cockpit was blown out, he decided to bale out.
He was half way out of his cockpit when he glimpsed his assailant overshooting him. He regained his seat, and shot the Me 109 down in flames.
Only then did he abandon the blazing Hurricane, beating out his burning clothes as he descended by parachute before landing within 300 yards of the barbed wire of the German front line.
He started to hobble towards friendly lines when he was picked up by Polish troops who confirmed his victory and took him to Tobruk.
The son of an Army officer, Maurice Michael Stephens was born at Ranchi, India, on October 20 1919, and educated at the Xaverian Colleges at Clapham and Mayfield, Sussex.
In 1936 he joined the Port of London Authority where he had little love for his job but represented the PLA at rugby, swimming and rowing. Two years later he was accepted by RAF Cranwell, for which he boxed and rowed.
As a newly-fledged pilot officer in 1940, Stephens joined No 3, a Hurricane fighter squadron based at Hawkinge, Kent.
When Hitler launched the invasion of the Low Countries and France on May 10, the squadron was ordered across the Channel where, within 10 days, Stephens destroyed at least eight aircraft, including two Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers.
Landing from his final sortie, he was told that the squadron had been given 30 minutes to evacuate the airfield.
His aircraft had lost six inches off one propeller blade, enough to shake the engine to pieces if he tried to take off. The engineering officer decided he must burn the aircraft, but not wishing to return by truck and ship, Stephens got the ground crew to chop six inches off the other blade.
He then took off and clawed his way into the air before staggering back to an airfield in England. On his return from France, he was awarded the DFC and Bar.
In July his flight was detached to the Shetland Islands where it became the nucleus of a new squadron, No 232, which he commanded. On August 23 1940, Stephens shared in the squadron's first victory, an He 111 bomber shot down over Scapa Flow.
He next volunteered for service in Greece, leaving aboard the aircraft carrier Furious. However, he was diverted to North Africa where he joined No 274 and then was sent to Turkey.
He remained for eight months, during which he flew operational patrols along the Bulgarian border. He twice intercepted Italian S-84 reconnaissance aircraft intruding across the border, and shot them both down in a Turkish Hurricane, while wearing civilian clothes.
After inspecting the wreckage of each, he sent samples of ammunition back to England in the diplomatic bag. These victories were not included in his official score.
He returned to the desert to command No 80 at the end of November. After recovering from his wounds, Stephens was rested in Kenya before returning to the Middle East, where he was briefly attached to the newly arrived 57th US Pursuit Group in Palestine, flying P 40 Warhawks.
He then volunteered to go to Malta, where he joined No 249 Squadron, equipped with the Spitfire Vc, and destroyed eight enemy aircraft while damaging others.
On October 12, Stephens was shot down and parachuted into the sea. When his dinghy failed to inflate automatically, he held one arm out of the water to prevent water getting into his watch - a recent present from his parents - whilst he tried to inflate the dinghy with the other; he was soon picked up by a rescue launch.
Three days after being given command of No 229 Squadron, he shot down a German bomber, but his Spitfire was badly hit. He survived by flying at very low level through the Grand Harbour barrage before crash-landing on Takali airfield.
A little later he was awarded a second Bar to his DFC; the citation recorded: "This officer has greatly enhanced the gallant reputation he so worthily holds."
Stephens now sensed he was pushing his luck, confiding to his logbook: "Chased Ju 88 out to sea. Shot him down. Running fight on the way home with eight Me 109s.
Shot one of these down, but thought it only a question of time before one of them got me. Guardian angel working overtime!" After being promoted to command the Hal Far fighter wing, he noted: "Home at last. Thank God!"
Stephens did an instructor's course at the Central Flying School at Hullavington, Wiltshire, then became chief flying instructor at No 3 Flying Instructor School. His operational war was over, and he celebrated VE Day (May 8 1945) in America, where he was a liaison officer with the USAAF.
He returned in September to attend the RAF Staff College. In 1948 Stephens went back to Turkey as an instructor. Three years later he was posted to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Paris, and was the first RAF officer to join the newly founded Nato.
After a tour at Cranwell followed by one at Gutersloh in Germany, he had a spell in the Air Ministry where he was responsible for fighter operational requirements. He returned to SHAPE before retiring in 1960.
He joined the aero engines division of Rolls-Royce in Paris before becoming a consultant to Pilkingtons and Lucas before he retired to the south of France in 1980; he returned to England in 1992.
Stephens was an avid fisherman, the highlight of his year being the two weeks he spent on expeditions to fish the rivers of Ireland and Scotland with his son.
A great raconteur, he rarely dwelt on the difficult or sad times but would regale his friends with stories of the fun and exciting aspects of his remarkable career as a fighter pilot.
Mike Stephens, whose two brothers flew in Bomber Command, died on September 23. In 1942 he married Violet May Paterson, always known as "Blue" because she was tagged at birth with a blue ribbon to identify her from her twin sister. She died in 2000. A son and a daughter survive him.

Kind regards
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Old 18th March 2009, 05:45
philippe1 philippe1 is offline
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Re: info wanted on RAF hurricane pilot mike Stephens

thanks Ross for your info on Mike really appreciated,
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