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Tiburon man, now 96, recounts service as World War II tail gunner

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

English-born Peter Davis sits in his home office in Point Tiburon, perusing his World War II log book dating back to 1944. He was a tail gunner for a Lancaster heavy bomber in the Royal Air Force. (Elliot Karlan / For The Ark)

One of Tiburon’s oldest residents is also one of its last surviving World War II veterans.

Peter Davis, 96, of Point Tiburon served in the final years of the war in Europe, where he was a tail gunner on a Lancaster, Britain’s most formidable heavy bomber aircraft.

Davis and his crewmates flew 11 bombing runs together until Germany surrendered and the war in the European theater ended in May 1945.

Davis is particularly proud of three humanitarian missions his crew flew not long before the war ended. He was part of Operations Manna and Chowhound, air-dropping bags of food for starving Dutch civilians whose dykes the Germans had blown up to flood the fields and hinder Allied troop movements.

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