Pilot Officer Eric Pile

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th October, 1944.

Younger brother of Pilot Officer Kenneth Laurence Pile D.F.M.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th October, 1944:

Two Mitcham pilot officer brothers of the R.A.F. are in the news this week through the award to one of them of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

He is Pilot Officer Kenneth Laurence Pile, aged 22, eldest son of Mrs E.C. Pile, Eldertree-place, Grove-road, Mitcham, who has completed his full number of “ops”, most of them over Germany.

His brother Eric, who is two years his junior, trained in Southern Rhodesia, and is now in Italy.

Both were educated at Western-road Central School, where their father, the W.A. Pile was school keeper from the opening day until his death. Mr Pile served through the last war.

P.O. Ken Pile continued his education at Wimbledon Technical Institute. He was a Flight Engineer with the R.A.F.V.R., with a rank of Flight Sergeant, when his gallantry was officially recognised by the award. it is not yet known why he was decorated.

Both brothers are keen sportsmen.

Kurt Taussig, a Jewish refugee and the last Spitfire pilot from Czechoslovakia who stayed in the UK after the war, spoke of his good friend Eric Pile, in an interview recorded by the Imperial War Museum (reel no. 11, from 2 minutes 25 seconds to 4 minutes 40 seconds.)

He said that as Eric didn’t have a father, and Kurt had no family himself, the two formed a friendship on this common ground. He said they were ‘like brothers’. Kurt spoke of their time in operations flying Spitfire Vc and IX with 225 Squadron, RAF at Peretola Airfield, Florence, from February 1945 to May 1947, and of reactions to posting and their accommodation at Villa Cora.

In the recording, made in December 2007, Kurt said that Eric was living in Stirling, Scotland and had advertised in a newspaper to meet up with his old comrades from 225 squadron, and Kurt re-established contact with him then.

Kurt Taussig died 19th September 2019, aged 96, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, 25th September 2019.

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