23 FEBRUARY 2015
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Always considered a true gentleman Air Commodore Geoffrey Cooper, who has died aged 89, was a fighter pilot who saw action in the Middle East and in Malaya. For 11 years, he was the Air Correspondent of The Daily Telegraph and afterwards the ever helpful Press Officer for the SBAC Farnborough Air Show.
In 1979, Cooper was appointed Air Correspondent of The Daily Telegraph. A lucid, serious writer, he settled in well, covering Concorde and the contraction of the armed forces. He described the RAF’s contributions in the Falklands conflict and did not always agree with Max Hastings' assessments, who reported on the ground. When asked to review Hastings’ controversial book Bomber Command he said that it had no depth and credibility, not least for its attack on the “obsession” by Air Marshal Harris with area bombing.
Staff and friends wondered about Cooper’s future at Hastings’ appointment as the paper’s Editor some five years later, and the standing down of other specialists. Cooper continued until 1989.
A keen and competent skier he met his wife Noreen, daughter of Air Vice-Marshal Don Bennett, chief of the RAF’s Pathfinder Force, on the slopes at Zermatt. She survives him as does a son and two daughters. BTN sends condolences to his family. He was a really nice guy.
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