He was the only son of Sidney Russell-Cooke, of ‘Pratts’, Leafield, Oxfordshire, and later Newport, Isle of Wight. His mother was (Helen) Melville Russell-Cooke, daughter of Edward John Smith RNR, RD, who was the captain of RMS Titanic and who went down with his ship.
Russell-Cooke came to Winchester in 1936, and from the start was largely absorbed in his two main interests – the aeroplanes which he was later to fly, and boats and sailing.
He left the school young to go to an aircraft factory before joining the RAF in 1941 and going on the RAF Short Course at Oxford, and then continuing did his flying training in the USA. Returning to this country in 1942 he was graded as a fighter pilot, and subsequently posted to Coastal Command, being promoted to Flying Officer in October 1942 and eventually joining 144 Squadron.
144 Squadron, flying Beaufighter TF Mk.X strike aircraft from April 1943, served in Algeria from June to August of that year before returning to Scotland; first at Tain, then at Wick.
Russell-Cooke was reported ‘missing’ when his Beaufighter was seen to be shot down off Nord Fjord in Norway on March 23rd 1944, and he was later reported ‘believed killed’.
He is commomorated on Panel 205 of the Runnymede Memorial.
- Surname: Russell Cooke
- Forenames or initials: Simon
- House: E
- Years in School: 1936-1940
- Rank: Flying Officer
- Regiment: Coastal Command, RAF (RAFVR)
- Date of Birth: 18th June 1923
- Date of Death: 23rd March 1944
- How Died: Killed in Action
- Location in War Cloister: Inner B2
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: No known grave but is commemorated on Panel 205 of the Runnymede Memorial