Warm tribute to Gestapo attack flying ace

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Tributes have been paid to a decorated Second World War airman, who was the scourge of the Germans and regarded as one of the force’s finest navigators.

Edward Sismore, of Kettering, was given a Distinguished Service Order for his efforts during the war as an air raid navigator, after helping mastermind precision attacks on Gestapo headquarters and on key Nazi party members.

His exploits, after joining up to the RAF on the first day of war, meant he was decorated four times over for planning precisely where and when air raids took place.

He died on March 22 at the age of 90 after suffering a stroke.

His son, Martin, 63, formerly of Kettering, said: “I’m immensely proud of him. I’ve heard that he was one of the most highly decorated RAF officers still living, which I was quite shocked to hear.

“He joined up on the first day of war aged 18.

“He had a very important job, he planned raids to knock out Gestapo headquarters with pinpoint accuracy, or the mission and the fleet would be compromised.

“One of his missions included interrupting a speech in Berlin by Joseph Goebbels and Hermann Goering at precisely 11am, which really annoyed Hitler.

“In the recording of the speech, you can hear the bombs.”

Born in the town in June 1923, Edward had aspirations of flying after watching an air display in Kettering, and he would go on to pilot a de Havilland Mosquito.

Later in the war, in 1945, he was the lead navigator in a successful mission to destroy a Gestapo outpost in Copenhagen, allowing prisoners to escape.

He was later honoured for this mission in a ceremony in Denmark, which moved him to tears.

Martin added: “He was a very humble man.

“He didn’t talk about his time in the war much.

“He had a great sense of humour and didn’t have any enemies, which says a lot about his character.”

Edward married his wife Rita in 1946. She died in 2006.

He had two children – son Martin and a daughter, Eileen.