The Right Stuff
Peter Maynard Wilson
  • 88 years old
  • Date of birth: Nov 29, 1927
  • Place of birth:
    Bombay, Maharashtra, India
  • Date of passing: Dec 28, 2015
  • Place of passing:
    London, Essex, United Kingdom
Beloved husband, father and friend - he lived a full and honourable life, setting a wonderful example to us all.

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Peter Maynard Wilson, 88, born on November 29, 1927 and passed away on December 28, 2015. We will remember him forever. Please share any thoughts or memories you have of him here.

We cannot use a shared memorial site for both our parents just yet, so the links will have to suffice for now. Mum's memorial is at

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Arthur love on 14th September 2017

"Rest well sir. In the short time that I was your shift partner at NSY, you influenced my life disproportionate to the time. I joined the RAF, from the comments from those who served with you, I know it would have been a pleasure to serve under you as much as it was to know you. You enriched my life."

This tribute was added by Srini Kadaba on 3rd July 2017

"Dear Mark,

I am not sure how I got to this site but am I glad I did.

This is Srinivas Kadaba, your ex-classmate at St Peter’s School, Panchgani.

I read the eulogy to your dad, which evoked a whole lot of sentiments and memories. One image which I distinctly remember is the fly past in a Canberra during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of our school, at the very precise time and spot that we were assembled outside the Jubilee Hall. As an ardent fan of everything to do with aviation, I can still hear the roar of the jet engines from some 50 years ago. I can picture the wing waggle salute he gave before flying out of sight.

My inspiration and fascination with aviation was kindled by the numerous stories that you related to us about your dad and the IAF. It has become a lifelong passion of mine and this was only through stories I heard from you …. During his lifetime he must have inspired and mentored so many more in the IAF and beyond.

On reading through the number of tributes paid by his ex-IAF colleagues I can well imagine the number of wing salutes he must have received …. May his soul rest in peace


This tribute was added by Arthur Mitchell on 27th February 2017

"It's been 53 years and I've always remembered my short relationship with the Wilson Family. I was saddened to see this tribute but happy to reconnect with the past.  

My belated condolences and well wishes to your family.    

Mark do you remember who I am?


This tribute was added by Mark Wilson on 20th February 2017

"Dear Air Commodore Metha, Both Mum and Dad often spoke of you and the 'Shapurjee' was always a note of deep affection. As you know, my father loved deeply and his doing so has meant that many people, who I have never met, have become the fabric of my life. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind words, I have that photograph, too, in front of a Spitfire. My love to you and the family."

This tribute was added by Air Cmdre Minoo Mehta on 9th January 2017

"Sad to know that Pete (Service Nos 3590) is no longer with us, we were course mates together in 1947 and very good friends and I always admired him for his professional skills and friendly nature, although we never came together later in the Air Force, we always remembered one another and whenever he visited Delhi, he would host a lunch for old friends and colleagues. He never called me by my first name Minoo but jokingly would say Shapurjee which is my father's name. I will always admire him and may his soul rest in peace, and wish the family All the very Best. To date I have a photo of our flying days in my bedroom where Pete is part of the group. Air Cmdre Minoo Mehta Service Nos: 3592"

This tribute was added by Mark Wilson on 29th November 2016

"I miss not being able to call the Buddhaman this morning! But then, the vacuum left by his demise has been palpable for eleven months now. I miss my friend, my mentor, my hero, my guru, and most of all; my father. Strange, that at sixty five this is a difficult road for me, one I knew would happen but was not prepared for. My world is poorer for his absence."

This tribute was added by David Wilson on 29th November 2016

"Dad would have been 89 today; been thinking of him a great deal lately, most fondly and with much less pain now some time has passed. It was a blessing he left us before Mum; her long illness and departure just over a month ago would have been unbearable for him."

This tribute was added by Rajiv Jaswal on 6th April 2016

"Dear Mark, Ian and David,

Please accept my condolences for the legendary Air Cmde Wilson. I just surfed in I wanted some information on him for my speech during the School Annual Day on 08 April 2016.
I could just tell them to follow the foot steps of Air Cmde Pete Wilson and it would suffice. Never met the great man but I did school with some chips of the old Block. One of them even taught us.

With highest regards,

Rajiv Jaswal
Commodore (Retired)
Indian Navy"

This tribute was added by Mark Wilson on 12th March 2016

"Thank you all so very much for helping me negotiate these unfamiliar times and circumstances.
Dad's concern as, he and my mother, grew older was always focused on Mum being supported in the vacuum created by his dying first. For all of us who knew him, know that everything was analyzed, including the inevitability of death, although he always laughed at his own calculations. Mum survives Dad and her partner of almost sixty-six years has left a gap in her life. As their son, I can say unequivocally; that all of Dad's accomplishments where nurtured by Mum's support of Dad; they built both, intersecting and parallel lives.
Mum is an incredibly savvy, for a 91 year old, user of electronic media. My plea is that you reach out to her, she is a bird without a wing! Her email:
Forgive my presumptuousness, but I know how much you all meant to this team, my parents. And thank you all for your caring communications and celebration of a life each of you made possible."

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Dear Linda
My heartfelt condolences on the passing away of your dear Dad.
He was a living legend.  A perfect human being.
As a cadet, I always wanted to fly Canberras.  My instructor told me to get in touch with (then) Sqn Ldr Pete Wilson.  "What he doesn't know about Canberras is not worth knowing."
I had the privilege of serving under him for a short while in 1966.  He got posted to Agra and I followed to the Lynx squadron in 1967.  Then he got promoted and became Station Commander, Jamnagar.
Your Dad was in Air HQ and we had something to do with him when I was in ASTE Bangalore.  So I did meet him now and then.
In 1970 he reported me for flying too low over his station, Jamnagar.  Now, that was a great honour !
Your Dad is with the angels in heaven.  He will surely rest in peace.  So let us celebrate his life.
In grief,

Wg Cdr Joseph Thomas

One of his innumerable admirers."

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Dear Linda,

Your dad was already an icon in the IAF, even before i came to know of him way back in 1965, soon after commissioning.

He remained a most highly respected pilot and officer throughout his service tenure and amazingly but fittingly, even after his retirement and now, after his passing........

I, like many of my contemporaries, am proud & privileged to have served along with him in the IAF and feel the kinship with him, having flown the legendary Canberra.

Being the transient passengers as all humans are, we too must follow on.......

But looking back and after reading your email, about him being a great dad & husband, I know now why he was such a perfect icon in life and beyond......

May God give you all the peace which passeth all understanding..//

Thx & best wishes

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Linda I have seen you as a kid in Agra when Pete was the COO  and I was commanding JBCU. We also go along way back to the time when he was my instructor on Vampires.

He was not only a good man but a true professional a gentleman and a good friend. He was a great guy and i pray that God gives you and Mildred strength to bear this great loss. Give Mildred my love, I spoke to her about 10 months back.  BLESS YOU ALL. REGARDS ROY& NERGEZ KOTHAWALLA"

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Dearest Linda, Aunty Iona and I were deeply shocked and saddened to hear that dear Pete passed away on 28 Dec 15. ( Incidentally, my birthday )
     Pete Sir, ( Deservedly Sir Pete ), was a wonderful human being, an icon, handsome
, head and shoulders above the rest, both physically, professionally and  humanely; and not forgetting his tremendous sense of humour.
     His extremely well planned daring raid on Badin radar in Pakistan, 1965, planned and executed by him with precision and perfection is recorded for posterity in the history of the IAF; also his spectacular attacks on the Katangese, in the Congo, 1962 , are some of the highlights of his illustrious career.
We the Goodwins , express our deepest and sincere sympathies and condolences, to you Mildred, Linda, Mark, Ian, David and the extended family. May God give you all solace and courage in this your hour of bereavement.    
                                                            Love and God bless,
                                                                    Uncle Vivian & Aunty Iona."

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Dear Linda,

We were very saddened to hear about Uncle Peter passing away.  We fondly remember Uncle Peter and on behalf of the Burretts I send Aunty Mildred and all of you our sincere and heartfelt condolences.

It took mum back to Agra and she was reminiscing about your parents and all the others
Suares', Bedoes, Suris, and  told us about the wonderful times they enjoyed.

Peter and I are in India for 4 months and we heard the news yesterday via some Air Force friends.  

Please give you mum our love.  We pray that she and all of you are given the courage and strength to bear your loss.

Mum is holding the fort here and although Dad's Alzheimer's has taken hold he is physically strong and mobile.  So we are here giving mum and  Gloria some assistance and respite. Back in the UK early March.

With fond love

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Dear Linda,

We were very saddened to hear about Uncle Peter passing away.  We fondly remember Uncle Peter and on behalf of the Burretts I send Aunty Mildred and all of you our sincere and heartfelt condolences.

It took mum back to Agra and she was reminiscing about your parents and all the others
Suares', Bedoes, Suris, and  told us about the wonderful times they enjoyed.

Peter and I are in India for 4 months and we heard the news yesterday via some Air Force friends.  

Please give you mum our love.  We pray that she and all of you are given the courage and strength to bear your loss.

Mum is holding the fort here and although Dad's Alzheimer's has taken hold he is physically strong and mobile.  So we are here giving mum and  Gloria some assistance and respite. Back in the UK early March.

With fond love

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Indeed a legend has passed. His legendary daylight rocket attack on Badin radar, from a "sitting duck" Canberra, his ingenuous "trick" of lighting up a dummy runway on Sarmat Range during 71 Ops and his outstanding air combat skills made him one of the greatest Air Warriors of the IAF.

      I recall, in 1963, during the Day Fighter Leader Course in Ambala, in a Canberra ac he played merry hell into the ace pilots flying the far superior Hunters!

       Pete Sir, the IAF will remember you for generations to come ! May Your Soul Rest in Peace.


This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Dear All,

Late Air Cde Tiger Thapa VrC my course mate had flown with Pete Sir numerous times and he used to describe his prowess in Canberra flying unmatched. He was an IAF Air Warrior with a great foresight, as Station Commander Kalaikunda  he had advised the authorities to disperse a/c away from KKD as he expected strike by PAF sabres. His advise was not heeded and everyone knows what happened in KKD in 65 Ops. His feats as Stn Cdr Jamnagar in 71 Ops is legendary. In 1983  when I was DDSD my room mate in Air Hq (VB) was another Canberra Ace Late Gp Capt Charanjit Singh, he used to recall his Congo Days , tell me about Pete Sirs  leadership and his extraordinary flying skills. He did address us once in the CV offrs' mess it was a memorable talk.

May Almighty  give the strength to family members to bear the tragic loss. He will always be remembered as a great human being.

May his soul rest in peace.

In grief.

Wg Cdr Gautam Guha"

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Dear Friends,

We have lost another Gentleman and a wonderful Air Officer. May his soul Rest in Peace. Amen.  

I was not in Canberra Stream. I was in Packets. Yet often he would come to Agra Mess to have a chat with us. It was long long ago during 1958. His simplicity and kindness moved us all beyond understanding. A very few are like him and thus he will be remembered always. He had a terrific sense of humor and with that mild disposition and smile he conveyed what he wanted to. Mrs Wilson too was very kind and with Cheerful disposition. May their soul rest in Peace.

Pete Wilson was so Senior and Yet we remember as if he was our Friend. Indeed he won every Heart and Soul he came across . A very Few are born like him.  Our Prayer, " My Lord, Bless his Soul"

Often I take Solace from the Serenity Prayer from old testament:

Serenity Prayer
"God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference".

May his soul Rest in Peace.

In Grief,  HM Shahul."

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"It is with the deepest sadness that I offer my condolence to  - as he was always known to us- Pete Wilson's family.

Seniority & rank played no part in his relations with all around him - that was the measure &  stature of  his humility. He made the most difficult flying maneuvers look like a 'piece of cake' & demonstrated it.

Perhaps I was privileged to rub shoulders with a few of the icons JWG & Pete Gautam who wrer all humility personified.

As COO Pune I was called 'post haste to Agra as President of a C of I IRO a 'wheels up landing of a Canberra of No.5 Sqn. where W/C Pete Wilson was COO & Co No.5 Sqn W/C PP Singh. & AOC 'Thrombi' Hussain.

I was shocked when he briefed me that I was NOT to talk to either him or anybody & the C of I was to be conducted 'in camera' for want of a better word. It appeared to me that there was a huge 'trust deficit' on the Station. I think the pilots name was Parmar ' probably F/L or Sqn.Ldr.

Needless to add I blamed Parmar, but directed by AOC to redo the C of I & blame the Flt,Cdr.KK Bhadwar. Dutifully I redid the C of I but did not blamer the Flt.Cdr incurring the AOC's wrath to effect the blame on the Flt Cdr. Feeling the pulse of the situation I indicated that there was a column for his remarks which could be used more effectively than my conclusion.

With the C of I out of the way I spent a lovely evening with him with stories I only herd of in 'heresay' & Petes infectious laugh.

Like all of us we followed Pete's whereabouts and exchanged info.

There was amazing  camaraderie among Canberra crews. I recall Pete coming to Pune and doing a 'Fly Past' (beta up) for his kids when passing out of some such function. When I went to FTW for a C of I the Stn Cdr A/C Kawlra 'borrowed my aircraft' for a flight & so did W/C Benegal at Palam.

So Pete arranged a 106 Sqn Canberra to drop me back home & saw me off at the dispersal. It was the last time I was to see him.

May his soul Rest in Peace.


This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Dear All

Pete in heaven. Let us not mourn, but celebrate and emmulate the values he cherished n lived by with Lord's abiding graciousness.

Wg. Cdr. C. L. Gupta"

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"It is with utmost grief that me & my wife have learnt about the utterly shocking news of the demise of most highly respected Air Comde Peter Wilson.
I was lucky to have worked under him in 5 Squadron  and in Congo for a long period.  He was not only a great flyer but an exceptionally  mature Senior officer, with extraordinary wit, who lead his Juniors in an exemplary fashion in peace & war.
We pray that his soul rests in peace.

Wg Cdr (Retd) & Mrs. K.C. Soni"

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Pete Wilson was indeed a legend - I don't think there were many of my generation who did not know of him. In fact most of us knew much about him, most without ever meeting him!  I think his greatest asset was his ability to think out of the box, especially on operational issues and implement these, often in the face of opposition from or an unhelpful attitude of higher authorities. Apart from crew-room chatter, I heard several stories about him from my uncle A/Cmde ASM Bhawnani who led IAF's Congo UN peace keeping assignment.

Rest easy Pete Sir; you blazed a formidable trail for the IAF.  Many of us had tried to follow your example and I'm sure many more will in the future; you sure left a big pair of flying boots that are difficult to fill.


This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"Pete and me have been together for many years –in 5 Squadron and then in the Congo.

I remember, that with him, we did a lot of things that were not authorized in flying a Canberra, but then we were trying to find the limits of that aircraft after having been trained in the UK and then brought these aircraft to India where we were to evolve our own parameters for the utilization of this aircraft—both in the bomber role and the interdictor role.

It was left to people like Pete Wilson to find out the limits of these airplanes.

Rest In Peace Old Friend—You served your country and your family well.

Amrik S. Ahluwalia | International Law Consultant"

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"RIP, Sir. Cannot forget flying with you - Continued flying even after a scorpion bite in the cockpit, the low level flying in the Himalayan territory, your remark in flight (just a few days before being attacked) that our base (Kalaikunda) is visible from miles away for enemy to attack easily. You changed the role of Canberra from a High Altitude Bomber  to one of low level flying and High-Low-High profile attack, the first low level flight with you leading to modification of fitting a E2B Compass in the nose to assist the navigator to know the heading of aircraft while lying prone in the Bombing Station, Experimental attacks to test whether Flares would give enough illumination to carry out night bombing on a target, the lecture on how an attacking aircraft's profile when firing guns should appear to the pilot in his rear view mirror for it to be dangerous. Impressing on higher authorities that bird strikes while low flying need to be accepted as unavoidable occurrences and to do away with needless and time consuming C of I and suspension of crew from flying. Meticulously settling all Squadron Canteen (Tea & Snacks) bills and Squadron Fund. Your playing hockey with the airmen of the squadron, the 'Route' marches with all aircrew along the taxi tracks and perimeter fencing. The "CHIRUM" seeds drink at your residence. It was a jolly good time with you.

Rest in Peace, Sir - you have done more than your duty.

Yours in grief and tears,

Bosco Bhasker"

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"I remember Uncle Pete so vividly. He was a close and great friend to my dad  Late Air Commodore Santosh Kumar Jain(Toshi Jain) and I recall he was really a fabulous person --so jovial and charismatic. The last I met him was in Raksha Bhawan in Delhi in 1972 when my Dad and uncle Pete were doing the NDC course together. I remember Aunt Mildred and Linda, Mark, Ian and David and pray God gives them the strength and courage to bear this tremendous loss. May God bless uncle Pete's soul.

My own father passed away in 2002 but I still remember some stories of the time they shared together , perhaps in due course when Linda is in a better frame of mind.

Ashok Jain"

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 11th March 2016

"I am extremely sorry to hear the news of the sad demise of your father. Please accept my heartfelt condolence. He was my first Station Commander when I joined Indian Air Force in 1969,  as a raw medical officer (Gynaecologist), directly from the civil street. It was my Station Commander and your mother who took me under their wings, and helped me to grow as a true responsible Air Force officer. Your dad has always been my ideal during my service life and I remember him very fondly. May his soul rest in peace.
I got this news from Air Marshal McMohan yesterday.
With warm wishes
Air Vice Marshal J.K.De (Rtd)"

This tribute was added by Linda Hipwell on 14th February 2016

"After 42 years in fighter cockpits and at age 72, no boss's or colleague (senior or junior)'s passage to the Pearly Gates comes as a rude surprise anymore! But it does undoubtedly, in instances like your very eminent & iconic Dad's case, fill me with a certain melancholia and a stabbing reminder that I could not achieve in my IAF innings what I (and many others) had aimed to, as a Pilot Officer: which was to go on to become a complete military aviator, a role model officer & a gentleman to a fault, like Peter Maynard Wilson!! He was the stuff of legends & templates..... even for many like me who had never worked with or under him, anywhere, at anytime. Some of this aspiring lot had not even met or seen him!

That is a most unusual way of a great contemporary touching others' lives and helping them cast themselves in his mould.... by hearsay alone!!!      

What added immeasurable lustre to his towering professional persona was his hallmark Anglo-Indian probity, intellectual honesty, fierce integrity, exemplary rectitude and a simple, spartan lifestyle! That, we realised as we grew up, was his principal source of strength in conflict situations and his body armour when standing up to errant bosses, when there was cause to be brutally candid and when going at full throttle against the flow when it came to either mooting an out-of-the-box idea or supporting one by others!! He had this most enviable quality, we used to hear, of being kind without being soft, being strict without being tyrannical, being firm without being dogmatic and being frank without being abrasive! A most enviable & 'template' mix of virtues to possess for a military Commander & a leader!!

I consider it my singular misfortune that I never got to work under your Dad, though meet him I did about half a dozen times, in Jamnagar! If I were one of his offsprings, I suspect I would be far too busy coping with the aura of his brilliance and far too overwhelmed by his character & accomplishments, to find either the time, the temperament or the space to mope on and mourn his passing on!! Please accept my deepest condolences on your bereavement, Linda! My wife & I share the Wilson family's grief and loss not just substantially but wholly and in full measure and pray for the departed soul to rest in peace and beatitude!! We also pray as fervently for God to grant the Wilson family the fortitude, the courage and the serenity to bear this huge loss!

What the Bard might have had to say, looking down at the inert form of Air Cmde PM Wilson:
"Here was an Air Warrior, complete & par excellence; when comes such another??!!"

If there is anything I can do for you all in Delhi, at any point, you only have to ask!!
Yours in Grief,

Air Mshl Satish G Inamdar (Inoo)"

This tribute was added by Cecil Parker on 24th January 2016

"Early on New Year’s Day we received the sad news of the passing away of 88 year old Air Commodore PM Wilson, VrC on 28 December 2015 in the UK. Pete, as he was known to more than a generation of the Indian Air Force, received a spate of tributes from his long list of friends and admirers. Few are legends in their own time and this unassuming, straight forward, officer, gentleman and pilot par excellence, was certainly one. A natural flier and strategic thinker in the employment of air power, Pete was also blessed with the rare gifts of both common and uncommon sense. Tall and fair, his hooded eyes seldom missed anything in the air or on the ground. His laconic speech was frequently laced with an understated sense of humor. Five years my senior, he was for me, instructor, guide, mentor and friend.
Our relationship dates back to 1951 when, as a flight cadet in the Basic Stage of pilot training on the Tiger Moth, Fg Offr Pete Wilson took me up for my very first sortie of low flying. This was an experience I still recall vividly 65 years later! He was a pioneer Canberra pilot – an aircraft (ac) he swore by. In 1968, on promotion to group captain, he came and took over the air base at Jamnagar where I had raised our air force’s first Hunter Operational Training Unit and was in command of, as a wing commander. On one occasion, when a Canberra from his old squadron landed, he hijacked it, put me in the navigator’s cockpit and flew low level over the Arabian Sea teaching me how to calculate drift! Thereafter I had the embarrassment of converting him on to the Hunter ac. I soon realized that within a few sorties he was handling the ac with greater skill than I despite my extensive type experience! We both flew the Marut and Gnat for the first time. He flew the Hunter regularly and my flying instructors and I learned a great deal from this very experienced aviator who loved flying. At my farewell party he finally admitted that the Canberra was the second – best ac he had ever flown!

Learning from Pete was not restricted only to the medium of the air. I recollect one occasion after the 1971 Indo Pak war when Pete was at NDC and I had come to Delhi from Pathankot for my investiture. He called me up to congratulate me and asked me over for Dinner as he was keen to learn about all the counter air sorties I had flown. While recounting my experience, I included some unflattering comments about the leadership of my air base. Pete listened patiently and responded thus: ‘when you work under effective seniors, observe them and learn what to do. If you work under ineffective ones, observe them and learn what not to do!’ A typically cryptic example of ‘Peters Principle’ if you will. Pete’s own professionalism as a pilot had been demonstrated in the 1965 Indo Pak war, when he was awarded the VrC, and again as an air base commander in the 1971 war. In the mid 1970s he left the air force and migrated to the UK.

We continued to keep in touch. In 1980, while I was attending the RCDS in London, Pete was with Scotland Yard. We were both within walking distance of St. James’ Park and met there frequently for an open air lunch on a park bench with sandwiches from the Wilson household and beer from the pub behind my college. We communicated more freely than when he was in uniform but I could sense that he had left his heart in the world of military aviation he had left behind. Just a few weeks before he passed away I was in London and on the phone with him. Partly because of my own hearing disability, I could not clearly decipher his slurred speech. Mildred, his wife who was monitoring our conversation, interpreted his message thus: ‘tell him he is a good pilot and that I enjoy his articles’. No shishya could possibly ask for more from his guru. So this one is for you Pete: RIP

January, 2016 Cecil Parker"

This tribute was added by Sanjiv Malhotra on 6th January 2016

"A heartfelt tribute to one of the greatest air warriors. I have had the privilege of knowing Uncle Pete and his Family for 60 years. Uncle Pete has been a role model and true inspiration to everyone whose lives he has touched ! He will be greatly missed .Really one of a kind! A special salute and our thoughts and prayers with you forever.. Your dear friend Jaggi Nath's son- Sanjiv"

This tribute was added by Michael Morgan on 5th January 2016

"Uncle Peter was a great man and a great character, I will miss him as many will, Love to all the family"

This tribute was added by Dushyant Singh on 4th January 2016

"Air Cmde Peter Wilson was an exceptional pilot, brilliant strategist, and above all, a great man. All those who came into contact with him were fortunate -- you instantly became his friend and admirer. I was fortunate to have a very long association with the Wilson family right from my younger days and it is my privilege to feel part of the family. I, along with many, pay tribute to this great son of the IAF, who was a legend. He was beyond compare and we will continue to miss him in days and years to come. May his eternal soul rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Govind Rajwar on 3rd January 2016

"It was indeed my proud privilege and great honour to have served under Air Commodore Pete Wilson right from my formative years in the Indian Air Force. I first met him in 1964 while he was commanding No 16 Canberra Squadron as a Wing Commander in Kalaikunda, West Bengal. I was then posted to No 16 squadron as a young Pilot Officer.

I vividly remember my first surprise meeting with him at Kalaikunda. Soon after my arrival in the Squadron I was detailed to fly a low level navigation sortie with him. The evening prior to the sortie around 6 pm there was a knock on the door of my room in the officers mess. When I opened the door, I was totally taken aback to see a smiling Air Commodore (then Wing Commander) Pete Wilson asking me whether he could come in. He casually told me in his usual humble way that since he was flying with me in the morning for a low level navigation sortie, he thought of preparing and marking his maps in accordance with my maps. I told him that I was sorry as I had not yet prepared my maps for the morning sortie. With a view of putting me at total ease, he quickly said he was glad that I had not prepared the maps as it is better that we do it together. Thereafter, I was in for another surprise at his humility and greatness as he spent more than one hour with me in my room teaching me painstakingly about how the maps should be marked for low level navigation sortie including the drawing of turning radius of aircraft at turning points. He also explained to me what should be the optimum heights and ground speeds at which the aircraft should be flown at low level during day time, moon lit nights and dark nights commensurate to safety of aircraft keeping in mind visibility, terrain and weather conditions. He emphasized to me that the more we spent our time in carefully studying the maps and flight planning on the ground, the easier it becomes to undertake the operational flying missions in the air. Even today I wonder at his humility and humbleness that being a senior Squadron Commander he found time to walk to the room of a junior most Pilot officer in the squadron to teach him low level navigation in a very unassuming and friendly manner.

Air Commodore Pete Wilson was an out of box thinker and was instrumental in devising ways and means for enhancing the operational effectiveness of entire Canberra force. During the early sixties, he had evolved and mastered the art of low level navigation in the IAF and made sure that the Canberra crews were extensively trained in low level flying both during the day and night, which paid rich dividends for the success of our operational missions during 1965 and 1971wars. Apart from Canberra’s,  He was also widely respected in the entire Air Force for his ingenuity and operational thinking, whether it was as Station Commander Jamnagar or in the staff at Western Air Command or Air Headquarters.

I also remember the magnanimity of Air Commodore Pete Wilson and Mrs Mildred Wilson, that in 1977 while I was doing the Staff College course in UK, they drove all the way from London to RAF Staff College Bracknell to spend a day with us.

Air Commodore Pete Wilson was a legend, a great leader, a teacher by self example, an aviator par excellence, a towering Icon which everyone in the Air Force wanted to emulate. Above all he was a great human being. Indian Air Force will remember him for generations to come. May his soul rest in peace and may God give enough strength to Mrs Mildred Wilson, Mark, Linda, David, Ian and all other family members to bear this irreparable loss.

Air Marshal GCS Rajwar (Retd)"

This tribute was added by David Wilson on 2nd January 2016

"Sqn Ldr Raja Suri

Locky Sir,

Wishing you a very Happy New Year--I'm really very sorry to hear about Air Commodore Wilson--the last I met him was with Capt Jaggi Nath in London in the late nineties, when we went to visit him. We spent the afternoon doing target practice in his backyard with his air pistol over chilled beer which he kindly offered to us. He will always remain a true legend and example of courage and leadership, for me and my friends who knew of him, and served under him. With my regards and deepest condolences to the Wilson family ---Raja (Sqn Ldr PR SURI, IAF retd)"

This tribute was added by Kiran Sankar Sahu on 2nd January 2016

"Dear Mark,
To us all pilot officers of technical branch, Pit Wilson, way back in end 1065, was 'Humour Personified', cracking jokes all the way. Did he tell you the story of a  pair socks knitted by your mother for him, and how next year after the first wash, she could make one pull-over, and still one pair of socks could be knitted from the rest.
  He was so sure he had seen the Divine, while flying east above the clouds from Gorakhpur to Gouhati, in full colourful costume.
  We were not surprised when he lighted up the 'Bombing range' at Jamnagar with goose-necks, where the PAF pilots had a good practice during 71 war.
  We can tell his stories of Winco for hours. He was our 'Hero' always to this day. He leaves us all with a heavy heart.

Wg Cdr Kiran S sahu
Kendujhar Citizen's Forum"

This tribute was added by Ruby Almeida on 1st January 2016

"Those precious moments remembered of our loved ones and their passage of youth and beauty sadly come to pass away.

I always remember the wonderful times shared as young children in Agra with your Mum and wonderful Dad who always looked so elegant and handsome whilst we played around urchin like in our innocent and carefree world that our parents so happily provided for us.

As much as our lives were constantly on the move, the strong bonds formed as the extended air force family were always maintained over the years. Time and distance never dissipated that love that was there.

Much love to Aunty Mildred and all of the Wilson family.

God bless Uncle Peter. May He Rest in Peace.

From the children and grand children of Al and Emma Almeida"

This tribute was added by Pat Singh on 1st January 2016

"As can be seen from the many tributes , Pete Sir was a giant of a man. His sterling qualities as a person are etched in the minds of all those who came in contact with him. I first came across him when he took over command of Armament Training Wing ( ATW) Jamnagar. ATW was known as the Mecca of fighter pilots, where Pilot Attack Instructors were trained, and who in turn trained the pilots of the fighter squadrons of the IAF. There were many sceptics when we learned that a bomber/ transport pilot was taking over command of this exclusively  fighter pilots stomping ground. Pete's first job therefore was to convert to Hunter aircraft. He completed the conversion at the OTU and did an abridged Operation Training Syllabus. Very soon he was handling the Hunter as if he was born to do so. Having established himself as a capable fighter aircraft pilot, he got down to the job of establishing his professional and upright character on the Station. This he did by setting a personal example.
He believed that the personality of the Commander should be reflected in the Unit. He did not believe that Units should create a false image by white washing.
One quality that has not been highlighted in the tributes is his dry sense of humour. Those who were not well- versed in English were often unsure whether to agree or disagree with what he said. A book could be written about his witticisms.
I would like to add just one more important factor. That is , when Pete Sir took over command of ATW the morale of the Station was low due to certain tragic incidents. Within a very short period due to his leadership qualities and sense of humour the morale was restored.
I could go on and on about this man who contributed tremendously to the concept of Professionalism In the IAF. What we learnt was passed on to future generations.
May his example continue to be a beacon to all."

This tribute was added by AVM RAJENDER KHURANA on 1st January 2016

"Saddened to hear about the passing away of a Legendary Figure of the Canberra Force and the IAF.
I had the honour to meet him, when he paid a surprise visit to No1 AFSB, Clement Town, Dehradun; along with his son; in 2006/2007, where I was then posted as the AOC. I conducted him to all sections of the selection process. In the PABT room, he asked if he could try his hand on the machine to know if he at age of 80 yrs was still fit to join flying branch of the AF. Well we were not really surprised to see that he, who had held the gunnery record in the IAF, broke the record on that machine too.
May his foot steps continue to bolster the professional zeal amongst the pilots of the IAF.
With regards to his family members.
In grief,

              AVM(Retd) Rajender Khurana"

This tribute was added by Tara Wilson-Jones on 31st December 2015

"Peter Maynard Wilson was a great many things to a variety of people. Husband, father, brother, son, friend, hero, pilot, dog lover, avid reader, whiskey enthusiast, western movie fan and countless more. But for me, he filled the role of my Grandad.

When I was little, given my narrowed scope of the world and people, I neglected to grasp the idea that not every grandfather was like mine. I took for granted that when other people looked at their grandads and spent time with them, that they felt and experienced similar gifts I did. Before I can remember, my Grandad bestowed me with a nickname. Being the first born grandchild - I was so dubbed "Number 1". It was probably something he did without too much thought and carried on using the name because "it stuck". But to me it is a singular and small example of infinite ripples my Grandad set into motion during his lifetime by just being himself.  With this gesture, he found a way to connect with me and make me feel special, firmly establishing my place in his world. As I got older, and exponentially in the recent days since his passing, it has been evident that my grandfather had a way of doing this over and over again with countless people he encountered in his life personally and professionally.

However, unique, and above all other relationships in his life, ranked the one he shared with my grandmother. Their relationship spanned 65+ years, continents and countries, children, grandchildren and a great a grandchild and set a near impossible standard of partnership. Their love, friendship, fierce loyalty, laughter and life together not only endured through the decades, it grew with each passing day. In the great many things I learned from Grandad, perhaps the greatest was in his deep and abiding love for my grandmother and his ability look at her every single day with adoration and appreciation.

As I write this now, I can't help but think about how wholly uncomfortable these words would make him. Humble by nature, such attention would surely make him blush and downplay all these sentiments and facts about his life and impact. This, in turn, exposes another lesson I learned from Grandad. To journey through life making decisions and taking action based on a strong moral compass and commitment to my fellow human beings, as it is the right thing to do and needs no acknowledgement or praise.

The hole I feel in my universe since his passing, and the associated grief, is a result of the space he filled up for the 35 years of my life that I was lucky enough to have him. The pain that absence brings is a price that I am more than willing to pay for the incredible gift I received in exchange.

During my lifetime, I will likely fill several roles myself, but one of the very proudest and luckiest will always be that of Peter Wilson's granddaughter."

This tribute was added by AJIT AGTEY on 31st December 2015

"From Air Vice Marshal YR Agtey

You would have received many expressions of grief from many officers, who  served with or under Pete Wilson. This is some what different.
I first saw him in 1947 when he came as a cadet to learn to fly at Elementary Flying Training School at Jodhpur in the 46th PIlots course. He was not my pupil but we were all watching the pupils who were doing well in the course,and Pete Wilson was of course one of them. Little did we realize that that course would produce so many pilots that  made Air Force proud.
I never had the pleasure having with me in any of my appointments but I have seen him grow to what he achieved.
May his Soul Rest in Peace and may God give you all the courage to bear with this loss.

Yeshwant Agtey"

This tribute was added by Patricia Ann Beddoe on 31st December 2015

"I met Pete and Mildred when Bubbles was converting from Daks to Canberras.  I had a one year old boy, Richard, and Mildred made his first cake and the Wilson kids and a few others stood around and made that party memorable, I was expecting my second son at the time, and these two were like my parents. I loved them then and they will both be very special for me.... and I remember dancing with Pete balancing on his feet! I was a rebellious sort of girl and Pete supported my rebellion if he thought I was in the right. He told me Anglo-Indian men tend to marry Anglo-Indian women, but the women marry anyone just to keep the 'tribe
alive'.  Bubbles adored him and he was a hero to many young pilots. Today he is a legend, an icon of what the IAF brave-hearts were. I am sad, sad, sad. I am 81, almost 82, so 88 was not an age to go. I hope he and my Bubbles are touching some part of the great unknown with their brand of Glory."

This tribute was added by AJIT AGTEY on 31st December 2015

"I first met the late "Pete" Wilson on Christmas day 1969. We were posted to Jamnagar as "Pilo's" to OTU and reached there on that day, we naturally, called on the Station Commander to wish him.

I flew a total of four flights on the Hunter with him in the lead. I learnt a lot and that is putting it mildly. He was a legend and a towering personality (both literally and figuratively). It was a privilege to have served under him.

May his soul RIP.

In grief,

Ajit Agtey"

This tribute was added by David Wilson on 31st December 2015

"i remember Pete Wilson

Story by Bhaktimay Chaudhury added on : 12/31/2015

I remember Pete in two phases. In the first phase he was I think a Flt Lt in Agra and my brother's neighbour in the Air Force Station there. I was a boy in school in those days and used to play with Pete's children, Mark and Lindy. In the second phase I was a Wing Commander in the High Commission of India, Aldwych, London and Pete and Mrs Wilson had joined the party as guests of the Indian High Commission. I and my wife Rupa had walked up to them and chatted with them till the party ended. We exchanged memories of the IAF and Pete shared many a story of his days in the IAF. I will always remember Pete as one of the finest the IAF has had. I pray he finds eternal peace with the Almighty.

Air Cmde B Ray Chaudhury (Veteran)
31 Dec 2015"

This tribute was added by Dara Cooper on 31st December 2015

"I was a pipsqueak Pilot Officer when I crossed his path in 1965 at Kalaikunda - he was Commanding a bomber squadron then. My first and only encounter with him was for a transgression. I entered his office a nervous 21 year old expecting to be hauled over the coals by this towering personality. I left light heartedly with a smile and in total awe of a wonderful, compassionate father figure. From that moment on, and to this day, I have heard nothing but full-some praise, admiration and utmost respect for his professionalism and humanity. A colossus has moved on.

Am copying out a few words I blogged a few days ago:

'Saddened to hear about the passing away of Air Cmde Pete Wilson yesterday. Aged 88, he was a legend to those in the IAF who either knew him or had heard of him.

Of the few heroes I had in Service, he was the first. Have written about my one experience with him, just a few months ago. The photograph above is exactly as he was during those days in 1965. A charismatic personality, it would be impossible to find anyone who had anything but praise and respect for someone who was a loving family man, a thorough professional and a father figure and mentor to youngsters.

For leading the day time bomber raid on Badin in Sep ’65, he was awarded the Vir Chakra. Again in 1971, as Station Commander, Jamnagar, he was awarded the Param Vishist Seva Medal , the last sentance of the citation reads – “In his outstanding career, with his leadership, drive, determination and implacable will. Group Captain Wilson rendered distinguished services of the most exceptional order.” Famously known for  his deception plans – which in spite of multiple attacks launched by the PAF at Jamnagar resulted in almost no damage to the base. Most of all, it was his calm, soothing confidence which inspired ground and aircrew alike to give off better than their best during the operations.

For those who came in touch with him at all, his passing away will be felt as a personal loss. A chapter has closed, will not be forgotten.

Our heartfelt condolences to his family.'"

This tribute was added by Claire Wilson on 31st December 2015

"I met my father-in-law in 1982 when I met and married his youngest son, David, and was immediately enveloped into the Wilson family en masse, quite an experience for someone who had come from a very small family with divorced parents! Dad was always welcoming, always  courteous, and also very funny, though it took me a while to recognise this as he delivered his anecdotes/jokes with complete seriousness! I heard many stories, from family and friends, of his skill and bravery as a pilot and have come to understand just how highly he was regarded in his flying years, and continued to be revered.  We shared a love of dogs and he was a gentle, unassuming and generous man who was devoted to his family, especially his wife.  Their 65 year old marriage was a testament to their love and a wonderful inspiration for all the family."

This tribute was added by rabinder kharbanda on 31st December 2015

"my 2 years as his adjutant in 16 sqn was the finest education I ever recevied in my life. He dealt with extreme compassion and humility' He was the best philosopher and guide.
                MAY GOD BLESS HIS SOUL"

This tribute was added by David Wilson on 28th December 2015

"After many years of bearing his various illnesses stoically, Dad fell ill on 21st October with a chest infection. Again and again, he rallied when it seemed impossible anyone could find the strength to do so. This bought the precious time needed for the Wilson Diaspora to have the opportunity to visit and come to terms with his passing, each in our own way. He slipped into unconsciousness on Christmas Eve, before finally leaving us - peacefully and quietly - on the morning of 28th December.

It seemed he has left us in the same manner as he lived his wonderful life, going the extra mile to make things easier for the rest of us. We will grieve his absence, but there is and should not be very much sadness. His was a fulfilled life, full of achievements, humour and love. By every measure, he exceeded all reasonable expectations for someone starting life in a modest little apartment in Bombay in 1927.

He loved his friends, his flying and of course his family. But most of all he loved his wife of over 65 years, Mildred. Right until the end, it was her presence and voice that did most to brighten and lift his spirits. He remained steadfast in his devotion, loyalty and love for her - determined to do everything in his power to ensure she was protected and cared for. He knew, before he left us, that she would be cared for by the family - and this gave him great comfort at the end.

I always felt - and still feel - truly blessed to call him Dad."

This tribute was added by Mark Wilson on 28th December 2015

"I have been fortunate to have my father; who became my best friend, for sixty-five years. As all of you who know me will appreciate, Dad lectured me often about the pitfalls of making stupid decisions, I made them anyway and my father always laughed with me and allowed me to make the next one, he was the consummate teacher.
On the day I was born, at home, Mum was lying in bed,sore from my birth, Dad appeared around the corner, making like a gunslinger, and said, "Stick 'em up," causing Mum to laugh! My grandmother had to chase him out of the room because Mum's laughter was causing her pain. This was our father for all of our lives.
I have combed through his 'log books', all five of them, with almost 5000 hours of flying! In it Dad has anecdotes, giving a clear picture of the deep love he had for flying, airplanes, and the people he flew with. His cousin, Neville Gill, when I asked him about Dad the pilot said, "It was like he was a ballet dancer, I am sure there was music he was hearing." I later asked Dad if he ever heard music while flying, his short reply, "Always."
Dad was the most humble human being I have ever met. This was even more telling because he was also one of the most intelligent and well read people I have ever known. However, this never interfered with Dad celebrate the talent and genius of everyone he met.
I am grateful for all the wonderful people I have met because my father was such an exemplary human being. My father, Peter Maynard Wilson, has left the world an infinitely better place and I have been humbled by the example he has set me."

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