the late Wing Commander Peter Jennings, DFC RAF (Retd)
who was CO of 207 Squadron 5/43-2/44

David Balme was a great friend of mine and he will be sadly missed. Whilst I was commanding 207 Squadron I lost one of my Squadron Leader Flight Commanders. The usual thing in those days was to make the senior or a competent Flight Lieutenant up to acting Squadron Leader, but I thought that David was by far the most suitable.

HQ No. 5 Group did not like this, as David was still a Flying Officer. I sent for all their logbooks, and saw that David not only had the most flying hours, but had been in the Service by far the longest due to him getting his commission very late compared to the others.

I sent for him and asked him to explain. He replied that the first time he applied he was turned down. He was told that he had insufficient educational background. I then asked him what his civilian job was.

He replied that he was a Research Fellow in Greek Mythology at Cambridge University!