George Hugo Formby Plinston DFC

George Hugo Formby Plinston was born 11 November 1913 in Teignmouth, England. Hugo went to live with his grandparents, Charles William (Bill) and Jane Neumann, in their house Inchanga in Teignmouth because of the impending Great War when his parents: George Herbert and Annie Natalie Plinston went back to India by ship just before the war started.

Natalie with Hugo
about 1913.

Natalie, Tony, Hugo, Iris.

Natalie (driving), Grandma Neumann,
Tony, Iris, Hugo.

Hugo (right) and Broughton 1930

Hugo and Grandma Neumann.

Hugo and Valerie.

Hugo, passed the Army Entrance exam in 1933 and went to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the East Lancashire Regiment in 1933. Army life did not suit him and so, in 1935, he transferred to the Royal Air Force.

  The undermentioned Gentlemen Cadets,
  from the Royal Military College,
  to be 2nd Lts. 31st Aug. 1933:-
T. & L.R.
  George Hugo Formby PLINSTON.

Air Ministry,
12th November, 1935.
The under mentioned are granted short
service commissions as Acting Pilot Officers
on probation with effect from and with
seniority of 21st Oct. 1935:

37419 George Hugo Formby PLINSTON.

Air Ministry, 6th October, 1936.
The undermentioned Acting Pilot Officers on probation
are confirmed and graded as Pilot Officers on the dates stated:-
  6th Aug. 1936.

George Hugo Formby PLINSTON

Having completed his flying training he was posted to No. 56 Squadron at North Weald in 1939. They were equipped with Gloster Gladiators, and later re-equipped with Hawker Hurricanes. Later that year he was posted to No. 1 Squadron at Tangmere in Sussex. He went to France in 1940 and served as a Flight Commander with No. 607 Squadron flying Gladiators, and then to No. 242 Squadron flying Hurricanes.

In 1941, he moved to the Merchant Ship Fighter Unit at Speke near Liverpool to train fighter pilots.

In mid-1942, he was in the Western Desert attached to No. 3 Squadron RAAF, equipped with Curtis Kittihawk fighters. Later in 1942, he was posted to command No. 601 Squadron with Spitfire Mk 5 aircraft. In March 1943, he was awarded the DFC. He is listed as an Ace with 7.33 victories.

He was next with the Aircraft Ferry Group in North Africa, taking aircraft from depots to the units that required them.

Hugo returned to England in 1945 and retired from the RAF in 1946.

Hugo married Valerie Barnes around 1940 and had two daughters: Susan, born 1941, and Deborah, born 1952.

Found at "12 O'Clock High": From Aces High Vol 1:

Posted to France with 1 Squadron in September 1939. Then posted to 607 Squadron as Flying Officer and saw action with them in May 1940. Posted to 242 Squadron during May, but posted away once they returned to Britain and Bader took over.

Sent to the Middle East, and flew as flight Commander in 3 RAAF Squadron in Oct 1942, then in 250 Squadron the following month.

DFC in March 1943, and posted to command 601 Squadron in the same month. Only remained a few days as tour ended. Details of subsequent career are not available. Total 7 and 1 shared destroyed.

Extract from "Aces High: A Tribute to the Most Notable Fighter Pilots of the ..., Volume 2"