A Lancaster bomber co-pilot from Oxford who survived 45 missions – including D-Day – has died aged 100.

Peter John Gould’s family believe he could have been the last surviving Lancaster bomber pilot.

Great-grandfather Peter, who was part of the 97th squadron, was in the Pathfinder Force on D-Day, fighting in Bomber Command.

thisisoxfordshire: Lancaster bomber pilot who survived 45 missions Peter Gould

He received France’s top military honour – the Legion d’Honneur - for his squadron's actions during the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944.

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His daughter, retired businesswoman Pamela Gould, 70, said her father continued to have strong links to the RAF throughout his life.

Pamela, from Pamington in Gloucestershire, said: “He might be the last Lancaster bomber flight engineer and co-pilot – I’m not sure, but it’s the end of an era.

“I think people do remember their contributions - it's all part of our history and we’re here today because of them.

“He survived 45 sorties – he reckoned he survived because they’re trained to avoid combat and his crew did it slightly different which is why he thinks he managed to survive.

“I spent a lot of time with him because I cared for him, you find war veterans are very reserved when it comes to the war.

“He wasn't a boastful man but very down to earth, he would say it as it is.”

thisisoxfordshire: Lancaster bomber pilot who survived 45 missions Peter Gould

Peter, who was born in Bombay, India, in 1923, moved to England to join the RAF aged 16 and lived in Oxford for most of his life.

He trained as a flight engineer and learned to fly at RAF Halton. In the 1940s he began flying Lancaster bomber planes.

The Lancaster was a Second World War heavy bomber and is considered the most successful British heavy bomber of the war.

Peter completed a full tour of duty during the Second World War and spent 12 years in total in the RAF – later writing a book on his experiences called “The Best 12 Years”.

Pamela says after leaving active service in the RAF he continued to be involved in the organisation and enjoyed charitable pursuits.

She says the father-daughter pair would attend Aircrew Association meetings together and that he would sometimes tell her stories of his time as a co-pilot.  

And she says he continued to drive until aged 96 and remained active into his 90s – loving swimming and water polo.

Peter, who had four children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, passed from dementia which he developed in the last few years of his life.  

Pamela says she expects RAF representatives to attend Peter’s funeral at Redditch Crematorium on April 9, and says he will be receiving the full military honours.  

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“He stopped driving at 96 through choice and continued swimming into his 90s and he used to play water polo so stayed very fit,” said Pamela.

“We used to go together to the Aircrew Association, he was very much a part of the RAF still.

“He was very supportive with his charity work and even in later life he was very knowledgeable and joined the u3a and a poetry club.

“Before the dementia over the last couple of years he was really with it, you could have a conversation but what took his life was dementia.

“I’m expecting some people representing the RAF to appear at his funeral and he’s having the full military honours.”