About The Author

Terry Stringer

February 1930 - March 2024


 Terry Stringer flew 218 Operational Air strikes in the Bristol Brigand in Malaya

Terry Stringer joined No.37 Group Air Scouts in May 1941 before moving on to the ATC in 1944.  He was taken on his first flight, in a De Havilland Tiger Moth, by a Polish pilot stationed at Wolverhampton Airfield.

In early 1948 the RAF changed it's aircrew selection procedure by introducing new ranks which started with a cadet/pilot/navigator/signaller wearing a chevron on each arm.  Terry took advantage of this opportunity and spent a week at RAF North Weald in June 1948 undergoing aptitude and medical tests.  At the end of each day a number of the intake were sent home until by the Saturday only the top 12 were left and they were offered the coveted Aircrew places.  By the following Tuesday Terry had left work and travelled to RAF Cardington to become a member of the RAF.

Terry Stringer First week at ITSRAF  Wittering June 1948Basic training lasted 6 months at the Initial Training School at Wittering. In December 1948 Terry moved on to RAF Middleton St. George to train on Airspeed Oxford, Avro Anson and Vickers Wellington Aircraft.  After a year he transferred to 204 Advanced Flying School at Brize Norton using the De Havilland Mosquito MK3 and FB6 aircraft. 

Brize Norton Mosquito MKVI Aircraft

In March 1950 he was posted to 228 Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Leeming again using the Mosquito aircraft and completed his flying training in May 1950.

84 Squadron RAF CrestHe then volunteered to go overseas and, after embarkation leave, he travelled to RAF Tengah on Singapore Island, Malaya, to join 84 Squadron.  He had been told that he would be flying Mosquito aircraft however, on arrival at Tengah, he was not impressed to find that 84 Squadron were actually flying Bristol Brigand B1's. 84 Squadron had been due to return to their base in Iraq but before this could happen a general state of emergency was declared and the squadron were to remain at Tengah until January 1953, hence this saga, when the squadron was temporarily disbanded.

Brigand RH813 The Bridal Brigand

Bristol Brigand B1 "H" RH813

Terry left 84 Squadron in December 1952 having clocked up over 900 hours in Brigands and carrying out 218 operational airstrikes (Believed to be the record for the number airstrikes carried out in Brigands in Malaya - Given the Brigand's track record that makes it even more remarkable that he managed to survived his tour) against the mainly Chinese Communist insurgents who were operating throughout Malaya.

On returning to the UK he was posted to RAF Halfpenny Green, near his home, which at the time was No. 2 Air Signallers School equipped with Avro Ansons and was in the process of closing down. Terry left the RAF in June 1953 but remained on reserve for 4 years during which time he converted to the English Electric Canberra  PR3 jet aircraft (the spiritual successor to the Mosquito).

English Electric Canberra PR3

English Electric Canberra PR3 (Photo-Reconnaissance)


Terry is now in his mid nineties, battling several major illnesses, and is one of the very few remaining "Brigand Boys" but his memories of the Brigand and his time in Malaya are still as vivid as ever.

 Terry Stringer - Aircraft Types Flown - As recorded in his RAF log book

Aircraft Type Flying Hours
De Havilland Tiger Moth
Avro Anson 1 & 21
Airspeed AS10 Oxford
Vickers Wellington B10 & T10
De Havilland Mosquito III & FB6
North American Harvard IIB
Bristol Brigand B1
Bristol Buckmaster
Douglas Dakota 19 & 24
Handley Page Hastings
Percival Prentice
De Havilland Devon
English Electric Canberra PR3
Grand Total Hours 1,301hrs 55mins
Night Hours 137hrs 5mins


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