The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. G S Taylor
George Stringer Taylor was born in Oamaru on 20th July 1918, the son of William John and Elizabeth Taylor.
He was educated at Waitaki High School. In October 1938 he joined the Civil Reserve of Pilots and carried out his flying training at the Southland Aero Club.
Taylor volunteered for war service in October 1939 and reported to the Ground Training School at Weraroa on 17th December.
He went to No. 1 EFTS Taieri on 15th January 1940 and moved on to No. 1 FTS Wigram on 10th March. He was awarded his flying badge in late May and promoted to Sergeant in late June. On 12th July Taylor left for the UK in the RMS Rangitane.
He arrived there on 27th August 1940 and went to No. 1 RAF Depot Uxbridge to await a posting. He was posted to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 11th September and after converting to Hurricanes joined 3 Squadron at Turnhouse on the 29th.
Taylor was posted away to the recently-reformed 96 Squadron at Cranage on 20th January 1941. Patrolling over the Liverpool area in a Defiant on the night of 8th/9th May he destroyed a He111.
Commissioned in May 1941, Taylor was still serving with 96 Squadron in early 1943.
He had married Betty McMean in late 1942 in Cheshire.
On the evening of 9th February Taylor was the sole occupant of Beaufighter VIF V8438 on a cross-country flight from Bicester to Honiley in Warwickshire. Soon after takeoff the starboard engine failed.
He continued on one engine to the nearby airfield of Turweston but stalled on turning in towards the runway for an emergency landing and crashed.
He was admitted to Horton General Hospital in Banbury but died of his injuries later that day. He is buried in Weaverham Churchyard near Northwich in Cheshire where his widow then resided.