Peter Potter - WW2 TAIL GUNNER

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Peter Potter was a Tail Gunner in 626 Squadron during WW2. He survived one tour - but this was more than 30 Operations. In retirement he lived in a village called Elmstead Market which is not far from Colchester in North Essex.

Peter was well liked and he always supported commemoration services connected to the RAF. In particular he attended the former RAF Wickenby's annual service for a good many years. Sometimes he'd travel to this by road and on other occasions he was ferried there by volunteer light aircraft Pilots. At a great age he would not think twice of climbing into a small aircraft. His 'can do' attitude to life was an example to all.

In 2016 he was awarded the Legion d' Honneur and that same year was a guest at the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at Coningsby. In 2017 he had a book published about his life - 'Tales of Peter Potter' is available from Frostick publishing. (This is not purely about his time in the RAF).

Peter met Hugh Frostick his author by chance. Hugh's father served in the GHQ Auxiliers (Churchills Secret Army) as did Peter for a few months before joining Bomber Command. Hugh encouraged Peter to complete his book.

When Peter passed away in 2019 friends asked the local council if they would name a road after him. This they agreed to and in October 2022 a small Cul de Sac was named 'Peter Potter Way' in his honour. Opposite the road an information panel was also positioned. The panel was the concept of Colchester's High Steward Sir Bob Russell. It was sponsored by The Hills Building Group (Stephen Williams their director). The panel shows Peter's Lancaster 'F2' which he flew most of his Operations in. Nearby is a road called 'Lancaster Way' which was chosen to reflect upon the type of aircraft Peter most served with.

 

As the war finished he was sent to help close airfields down. He ended his service locally at the former USAAF base of Boxted (Station 150) near the village of Langham, Colchester. This had been mainly a large Fighter base. In 2011 when a museum was established there Peter would spend many happy hours talking to visitors on open days. Some of his personal RAF items are now on display in the museum. https://www.boxted-airfield.com/

Post war Peter was a Fireman and Mental Health Nurse. The bombing of civilians troubled him he once commented. So those career paths were probably chosen as he wanted to help other people.

 

On the 29th October 2022 two of Peter's three daughters unveiled and dedicated the panel and road signs.

A film was made of this by the Colchester Film Club.Peter Potter Way Dedication 29th Oct 2022 - YouTube

On the 24th August 2023 The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight kindly flew over Peter's road several times in his memory. This was carried out before they attended the nearby Clacton on sea air show. The air show is a two day event. On day two they again flew over and circled Peter's road whilst they waited for their display time slot. (Very kind of them to do this two days running).

Another short film was made off the event:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbVLLWpm9Co

 

Also there is a 'YouTube Short' clip here:Peter Potter fly past - YouTube

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