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

Peter John Gould, from Charford, Bromsgrove, was one of the last surviving Lancaster bomber pilots, his family has said.

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

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

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

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Peter John Gould with his daughter PamelaPeter John Gould with his daughter Pamela (Image: SWNS)

He was previously involved in the Bromsgrove RAF Association and founded the Bromsgrove Lions Club. He lived in Charford for nearly 40 years.

Ms Gould 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.”

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Peter John Gould as a young man Peter John Gould as a young man (Image: SWNS)

Peter, who was born in Bombay, India, in 1923, moved to England to join the RAF aged 16.

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

The Lancaster was a World War Two 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”.

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. 

Bromsgrove Advertiser: Peter John Gould in 1939Peter John Gould in 1939 (Image: SWNS)

Ms Gould 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.

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

“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".

His son Chris Gould, aged 73 said his father, who passed away on March 11, was a "well informed" and "well read" man who had an "influence" on him.