Sadly, another 75er has gone.
Flight Lieutenant George Stanley “Stan” Davies, DFC, NZ427262 RNZAF, passed away last week after a short illness, aged 93.
I had the privilege of attending his funeral service on the Saturday, and the pleasure of meeting some of his friendly and welcoming family. It was special to learn something of Stan’s life, and hear what a difference he made in his 93 years.
There were some wonderful tributes and memories shared by family, friends and colleagues. The love and respect he earned from his family was obvious, and the happiness he spread was summed up in their obituary: “We will always miss his laugh”.
Not only did Stan survive 24 op’s with 75 (NZ) Squadron, baling out of a burning Lancaster over Chemnitz in Germany, and a harrowing set of experiences as a late-war POW, but he went on to enjoy a very happy and fulfilling life, raising a family and forging a very successful and influential career in local government. It was said that his vision played a large part in the development of South Auckland, in his roles as Deputy City Manager, Acting City Manager and Property Manager of Manukau City.
The service was beautifully done, with a strong Bomber Command and 75 (NZ) Squadron component; a Bomber Command tribute video, the song “Full Moon Tonight”, RNZAF and NZBCA ensigns, an RSA tribute, and a live bugler for the playing of The Last Post.
Stan’s service had an extra connection for me, as he and his crew had arrived at Mepal the same day as my uncle’s crew (the J.H.T. Wood crew). In fact, their paths were so similar that I feel sure they must have known each other. I never met Stan, but it seems that anyone who did, was much the richer for it.
Thank you Stan, for a job well done.
– Ake Ake Kia Kaha.