Stan became a Lancaster Pilot and played a major part in the activities of Bomber Command during the War. He participated in many sorties, against both German and Italian targets, operating with 100 Squadron and 576 Squadron. As a result of these activities, he was awarded both the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). The citations for these, from the London Gazette, are shown below:
Towards the end of the War, whilst with 103 Squadron, he took off from RAF Elsham Wolds in order to lay mines in the Kattegat area. On the return flight the Lancaster caught fire after being suddenly attacked by a German JU 88G-6 night fighter and at 21:45 hours the aeroplane crashed at Østergaarde in Denmark. Two of the crew were killed during the attack and the remaining five managed to bail out.
Stan was helped by a local farmer who arranged for the Kørvel family of Ølgod to take him to their home. Here he was quartered in the attic while two German officers were quartered in the basement! Thanks to the Danish Resistance, he was back in the UK three weeks later.
Distinguished Flying Cross
PILOT OFFICER STANLEY SLATER (I45503)
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve No 100 Squadron.
This officer has completed many sorties against various targets in the Ruhr and has invariably displayed skill and determination on pressing home his attacks.
On one occasion after a successful attack on Spezia in Italy, his aircraft was engaged by enemy fighters on the return flight, but he skilfully out maneuvered and reached base.
On 2 subsequent occasions, on the outward flight to his target, engine trouble has been experienced but Pilot Officer Slater displayed fine airmanship and completed his missions successfully.He has rendered excellent service
Distinguished Service Order
Acting Squadron Leader Stanley Slater, D.F.C. (I45503) R.A.F.V.R., 576 Squadron.
Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has participated in very many sorties including attacks on such targets as Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Kiel. He has continued to display the highest standard of skill and bravery and has set a fine example to all.
He has commanded his flight with much success and his untiring efforts, strong sense of discipline and fine fighting qualities have contributed in good measure to the operational efficiency of the formation.
At the end of World War Two, he was offered a Permanent Commission in the RAF and subsequently served for a further thirty years. Whilst holding the rank of Wing Commander, he was awarded the OBE, and he retired with the rank of Group Captain.
C.O. of 213 Squadron 1961 to 1964
He took command of the squadron on 7th June 1961 a mere three weeks before it was sent to the Persian Gulf to assist in the protection of |Kuwait from a threatened attack by Iraq. ‘’Operation Vantage’’ was clearly successful, and by the middle of July a severe drop in the temperature of the Cold War sent the Squadron hurrying back to its base in Germany and its main role as part NATO’s tactical nuclear shield.
Under his command the squadron won the LABS bombing section of the Salmond Trophy with a score of 903 points, the highest score ever recorded by any squadron in any of the rounds of the Salmond Trophy.
On 29th April 1964 after three years in command, during which the squadron reached the highest peak of efficiency, he was posted back to the UK as President of the Aircrew Selection Board with the rank of Group Captain.
In 2012, he attended the Ceremony in Green Park to witness the unveiling of the Bomber Command Memorial by the Queen. The Memorial comes after many years of campaigning by the Bomber Command Association, and for many veterans and family members it is a long awaited acknowledgement of the significant contribution made by the men who served in Bomber Command in World War Two. Now in his ninetieth year, Stan says that he is pleased to have lived long enough to see this event take place after so many years of uncertainty. He very much enjoyed the Lancaster fly-past, and completed the day by having his hand shaken by Prince Charles.