Hunter, Geoffrey Colin Devas
He was the only son of Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Devas Hunter DSO, of Walmer, Deal, Kent, and Vixen Hunter (daughter of H. Lomas). He was the grandson of Robert Lewin Hunter (C 1865-1870), and nephew of two Wykehamists who died in the First World War: Lieutenant Hugh Michael Hunter (C 1905-1910), of the Wiltshire Regiment, who died of wounds in 1915, and Captain Richard Jocelyn Hunter (C 1899-1905), of the London Rifle Brigade, who fell in 1918. Both uncles were commemorated by the construction of Hunter Tent. A cousin, Robert Arbuthnott Hunter (C 1923-1929) was killed in action in Normandy, the only Wykehamist casualty of D-Day (see individual entry).
He entered ‘A’ in Short Half 1932. A keen member of his house, he ran in Steeplechase, got into OTH XV, and was a Commoner Prefect in his last year. After a year at Trinity College, Oxford, he joined the army and, debarred by a foot disability from serving in the infantry, was commissioned into the Royal Army Service Corps in January 1941.
Transferring into the RAF in August 1941, he won his ‘wings’ in June 1942, and began operations, flying Spitfires on photographic reconnaissance from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire. In August 1944 he had completed his two year operational period, but insisted on staying on for another four months.
On September 16th 1944 he was awarded the DFC, but two days later, on September 18th, he took off at 1155 in Mosquito PR.IX MM231, only to be shot down over Metgen, between Hamburg and Lubeck. He was twenty-five years old. His navigator, who was also killed, was Flying Officer John Fielden. Both men are buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Hunter in grave 6.H.27, and Fielden in 6.H.28.
Hunter’s Wing Commander wrote of him: “I have no hesitation in saying that Geoff was the most outstanding operational pilot I have known at Benson: he was completely fearless, and during his time here got through an enormous amount of work.”
- Surname: Hunter
- Forenames or initials: Geoffrey Colin Devas
- House: A
- Years in School: 1932-1938
- Rank: Flight Lieutenant
- Regiment: RAF
- Date of Birth: 17th March 1919
- Date of Death: 18th September 1944
- How Died: Killed in Action
- Location in War Cloister: Inner A1
- Decoration: DFC
- Burial Site: Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery: Grave 6.H.27