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Lt Cdr L Peter TWISS OBE DSC* for NAVAL FIGHTER OPERATIONS, firstly with catapult HURRICANE CAMSHIPS, CONVOY ESCORT and on long range NIGHT INTRUSION and Night Fighting Radar development with the FIGHTER INTERCEPTION UNIT.
As well as joining the BRITISH AIR COMMISSION on US Naval testing before attending the Empire Test Pilots’ School and later his 1956 Fairey Delta FD-2 World Absolute Speed Record.
Born in 1921 and educated at Sherborne was, after joining the Fleet Air Arm, firstly on the Camship Hurricanes and in 1942 on convoy protection duties in Operation Harpoon to Malta on HMS FURIOUS with 807 Squadron in Fairey Fulmars and when the squadron converted on Supermarine SEAFIRES.
His bar to his DSC was for his work on OPERATION TORCH, the landings in Tunisia and Algeria Peter Twiss was posted to the Naval Air Station at Ford, England to fly long-range intruder operations over Germany in Mosquito aircraft and destroyed at least three enemy aircraft on Fulmar and Mosquito aircraft.
By the time the war ended, he was a lieutenant-commander. After the war, Peter joined Fairey Aviation as a test pilot, where he would fly many new Fairey aircraft including the Primer, Gannet, Firefly and the Rotodyne compound-helicopter.
In 1954, he started his work on the Fairey Delta 2 and flew the first Fairey Delta FD2 (WG774) for its maiden flight on 6 October 1954. On 10th March 1956 Peter Twiss broke the World Speed Record, achieving a speed of 1,132 miles per hour (1811km/h) in level flight. This beat quite comprehensively the previous record of 822 miles per hour, set by a F-100 Super Sabre on 20th August 1955, and Peter was awarded his OBE.
In 1959, Fairey Aviation was sold to Westland Aircraft, the British helicopter manufacturer, thus ending his test flying. In 1960, Peter joined Fairey Marine and was responsible for the development and sale of their fast day cruisers, appearing in the Bond film “From Russia with Love” driving a Fairey Marine Speedboat and also in the film “Sink the Bismarck” where he flew a Fairey Swordfish. “Faster than the Sun” was Peter Twiss’s autobiography published by Grub Street.