It is with great sadness that we learnt today (Sunday) that Flight Lieutenant Maurice H. Mounsdon, one of the Few, passed away suddenly but peacefully on Friday 6 December 2019, in Menorca Spain.
Mounsdon was born on February 11 1918 in Lichfield, Staffordshire. His father, who worked in electrical engineering, served in the London Regiment in the First World War. M H Mounsdon joined the RAF on a short service commission. On August 24 1939 he began his elementary flying training at 3 E&RFTS, Burnaston Hall, Derbyshire.
On October 20 he went to 3 ITW, Hastings and he was commissioned on the 23rd.
He was posted to 14 FTS, Kinloss on November 2, later moving to Cranfield in April 1940. With his training completed, Mounsdon spent a few days at No 1 Flying Practice Unit at Meir. He was due to join 56 Squadron (Hurricanes) but was sent to 66 Squadron (Spitfires) at Duxford on May 18 1940. The mistake was corrected and he joined 56 Squadron at Digby on June 3.
Mounsdon shared in the destruction of a Do17 on July 3, probably destroyed a Ju87 on July 25, probably a Bf110 on August 13, destroyed a Bf110 and damaged another on the 18th, damaged a He111 on the 24th and destroyed a Bf109 on the 26th.
Mounsdon was shot down by Bf109s over Colchester on August 31. He spent the next nine months in various hospitals and became a Guinea Pig from a stay at Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.
On June 4 1941 Mounsdon returned to duty on the staff at SHQ North Weald. He was posted to 4 FIS, Cambridge on April 4 1942 and afterwards instructed at 22 EFTS, Cambridge from June 9 1942 until December 18 1943 and then at 21 EFTS, Booker, near High Wycombe, until April 14 1945, when he was posted to 8303 Air Disarmament Wing in Germany.
Mounsdon was released from the RAF on February 22 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant. His profession was given as “engineer” at that time. In 1950 he was living in Windsor, Berkshire. Two years later his address was in Streatham Hill, south west London and in 1963 in the area of Dulwich Village, south east London. Later he lived in west London before living in Menorca after his retirement.
Battle of Britain Memorial Trust Chairman Richard Hunting CBE said: “It is always sad to lose a member of the Few and our thoughts are particularly with his family and friends at this time.
“Maurice Mounsdon was one of a very special group of men to which this country, and the free world, owes a huge debt of gratitude. As a Hurricane pilot with No 56 Squadron during the Battle of Britain he played his part in a victory that was to prove incredibly significant. Not only did the Few stop Hitler’s invasion plans in 1940 but they ensured that this country could be used as the springboard for the D Day landings of 1944.
“Fewer than 3,000 members of the Royal Air Force – including Maurice Mounsdon – took part in the Battle, and every one of them deserves our respect and our thanks. The Trust pays tribute to them at the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne in Kent and is determined that their bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”