RIP - Lt Cdr Peter Twiss OBE DSC* RN

One of my boyhood heroes died yesterday at the age of 90. I'm sure there will be many obituaries over the next few days.

Wikipedia said:
Lionel Peter Twiss (born 23 July 1921, died 31 August 2011) OBE DSC and Bar was a British pilot, who held the World Air Speed Record as the first man to fly at a speed greater than 1,000 mph.

Educated at Sherborne School, he had been rejected by the Fleet Air Arm as a pilot but when the Second World War broke out, he was accepted as a Naval Airman Second Class. After training at 14 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School at Castle Bromwich and Yeovilton, he was employed on target-towing duties in the Orkney Islands. He then served with the MSFU on catapult ships flying Hawker Hurricanes. During the Malta Convoys in 1942 he flew with 807 Squadron, on Fairey Fulmars, from the carrier HMS Argus. For these operations he received the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). Later in the year the Squadron converted to the Supermarine Seafires flying from HMS Furious for the Operation Torch landings in North Africa. During the Allied landings in Algeria and Morocco he added a bar to his DSC, gazetted in March 1943. By this time he had shot down one Italian aircraft (a Fiat CR.42 on 14 May 1942) and damaged another.

He then flew long-range intruder operations over Germany from Ford Naval Air Station, developing night fighter tactics with the RAF's Fighter Interception Unit. He claimed two Ju 88's shot down during 1944. During the war Twiss began to get opportunities to fly new aircraft and began test flying in late 1944 in the United States. By the end of the war he was a Lieutenant Commander. In 1945 he attended No. 3 Course at the Empire Test Pilots' School then based at RAF Cranfield...
RIP and condolences to his family and friends.
Daily Telegraph 2 Sep 2011 said:
Peter Twiss, the first pilot to break the 1000 mile-an-hour barrier, has died, aged 90. Mr Twiss, who died on Wednesday, was considered one of the finest British pilots of his generation. He broke the air speed record more than 50 years ago. No details were available about the circumstances of former Second World War fighter pilot's death.

The former test pilot was at the controls of the Mach 2 Fairey Delta 2, a British supersonic research plane, when it broke the world speed record on March 10, 1956. He told a BBC documentary in 2006 that it took six attempts at the record "travelling up and down the South Coast like a bus" after taking off from their base at Boscombe Down, Wilts.

He eventually raised the record from 822mph to 1,132 miles while at 38,000 feet in his plane, which later was used as a basis for the design of the Concorde...
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