Air Commodore Ronald “Ras” Berry, from Hull, made his reputation as a 23-year-old in the Battle of Britain, shooting down three Messerschmitts in a day. He was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, but is little known now.
Don Chester, who has written a book about Berry, one of 14 former Battle of Britain pilots to lead the cortege at Sir Winston Churchill’s funeral, said: “I’d never heard of Ronald Berry, which is what set me onto researching his story.
“Eventually I got round to visiting the National Archives and doing research into his time with the RAF.
“Sure enough I found what to my mind was an impressive and exciting history of a man whose ability and services to the nation had been totally unrecognised by the public at large.
“Statistically speaking he was in the top three per cent of fighter pilots and one of the very few who converted to being a bomber pilot and was then one of the commanding officers of the first nuclear bomber squadrons.”