CT2 copySir Michael Stear began his flying career as a fighter pilot in 1964 flying Hunters in UK and in the Persian Gulf.  After an exchange tour flying Phantoms with the USAF he commanded two RAF Phantom squadrons before converting to the Harrier.  He served as the station commander at Gutersloh in West Germany before becoming the AOC of No 11 (Fighter) Group at a time when the Tornado F 3 was entering squadron service.  After service in MoD he became the AOC of No 18 (Maritime) Group at the time of the first Gulf War when his Nimrods and Buccaneers deployed for operations.  His final tour before retiring in 1996 was as the Deputy C-in-C Allied Forces Central Europe.  A fine rugby player, he represented Cambridge University, the RAF, Combined Services and Hampshire.  He played against the 1963 All Blacks.  He was 81 when he died on January 5.

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