Lossiemouth flyer keeps his date with the Duke – and a DFC

THE RAF LOSSIEMOUTH fighter pilot who demonstrated ‘phenomenal’ quick thinking during operations in Iraq has received his DFC from the Duke of Cambridge.

Squadron Leader Roger Cruickshank had little fuel left in his Typhoon but pressed on regardless to aid soldiers who had been pinned down by extremist fighters in May last year.

Earlier this year insideMORAY reported how Roger, who was serving with II(AC) Squadron at the Moray base, had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions.

His citation said: “He showed phenomenally quick-thinking, supreme technical knowledge and sheer determination to successfully destroy enemy targets while his formation ran critically low on fuel, nevertheless, he still managed to achieve the mission and get his formation safely back to base.”

Speaking at the time of being told he would receive the DFC, Roger said: “I am very humbled to receive this honour and feel proud to have even been nominated in the first place. However, I sincerely feel that I was just doing my job and in the right place, at the right time.

“I have benefited from a supreme training system which set me up to deal with the task I was faced with and feel fortunate to have been given the confidence to cope.

“Finally, I must stress that it is hugely down to the team as a whole, the engineers, the survival equipment personnel, the operations staff and many others, who all ensured that I was indeed in the right place, at the right time and able to save the lives of allied personnel on the ground.”

Squadron Leader Cruickshank was a member of the UK Olympic Ski squad – but smashed his leg in a fall, putting both his skiing and RAF careers in danger. He fought back however to compete in the winter Olympics.