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Derek Roxberry RIP

From Martin Beard:

Just to let you know that Derek passed away in March. For his 90th birthday he was taken to RAF Valley where he was hosted for a day by the mess which he thoroughly enjoyed. He was invited to sit in a Hawk that had been repaired but refused because he said that once he was in, then he would want to fly!

Derek Keith Roxberry. Squadron Leader. RAF Retired.
1926 – 2024.

Derek entered the RAF in 1944 part of Queens University Belfast Air Squadron and completed flying training at 19 FTS Cranwell in June 1946 followed by Mosquito fighter/bomber operational training at Middleton St. George, joining 4 Squadron at Gütersloh in mid 1947. After three years with 4 Squadron (and weapons and PAI courses at Central Gunnery School) he completed flying instructor training at CFS and instructor duties at 22 FTS training Royal Navy pilots.

He returned to the staff of CGS and was selected for an exchange posting for two years to the USAF Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB in Nevada. It was here that he ejected from a burning jet over the Nevada desert, in the days before health and safety protocols he was back in another plane the same day. Derek then went to Empire Test Pilot School in 1955 and then ‘A’ Fighter Test Squadron, A&AEE, from 1956 until 1959. This was followed by a posting to the Air Ministry for two and a half years responsible for the introduction of Lightning Training, and then after a year at Staff College was given a role on the organisation staff at Transport Command which clearly was not his favourite posting! He then joined the directing staff at the Junior Command and Staff school for a three year period after which he moved to the Far East as staff officer to the Director of Service Intelligence for a short time, before a further three year posting as Air Staff Instructor and Head of War Studies at RAF College, Cranwell.

Derek finished his career with a role in MOD(PE) responsible for fast jet cockpit installations.

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