Last of the World War Two VCs

At the time of writing former RAF Coastal Command pilot John Cruickshank is approaching his 104th birthday. FlyPast presents a tribute to the last living recipient to have been awarded the VC during World War Two

When reminiscing, many veterans have described their war experience as ‘hours of boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror’. Those words must certainly ring true to the crews of RAF Coastal Command who undertook countless long patrols over vast stretches of ocean, often without seeing any sign of life, much less action. It seems likely that the RAF’s last surviving Victoria Cross recipient, John Alexander ‘Jock’ Cruickshank and his crew must have also experienced this scenario.



John Cruickshank was born in Aberdeen, Scotland on May 20, 1920, and was educated at the local grammar school before joining the Commercial Bank of Scotland as an apprentice in 1938.

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