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Many of the WW2 generation faced hardship in their youth (they did spend their childhood in the Great Depression), but few had as bad of an early life as Denis Elliott, who became an RAF Flight Lieutenant. At age three he was placed in a brutal and abusive orphanage in London and was later subject to beatings by his first foster father. It wasn’t until the Second World War that everything in Denis’s life began to change — he finally overcame the lack of confidence and self-esteem that had plagued his childhood in Kent and went on to become a skilled, confident, brave pilot flying operations against Japanese forces in Burma, Malaya and Thailand.

He spent two stints serving in the RAF, which saw him posted across Africa, the Middle East, the Far East and Europe, flyingearning to flying B-24 Liberators and Avro Lancasters.


Today’s guest is Phillip Martin, author of “From Orphan to High-Flyer.” We discuss these stories, along with those of Denis’s personal growth, friendship and overcoming adversity.

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"From Orphan to RAF Hero" History on the Net
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