Lancaster and Spitfire pilot.

Born: September 11, 1919 Died: November 5, 2013

Squadron Leader Tony Iveson, who has died aged 94, was a fighter and bomber pilot who took part in the Battle of Britain and was also one of the Lancaster pilots who flew from RAF Lossiemouth to launch the successful attack on the infamous German battleship Tirpitz. Later, he campaigned successfully for a permanent memorial to Bomber Command.

He was born in York and educated at a local grammar school before joining the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1938. He was called up a year later and began as a Spitfire pilot with 616 Squadron based in Lincolnshire. He flew a number of missions during the Battle of Britain and survived having to ditch his Spitfire in the sea in September 1940 when he ran out of fuel while in pursuit of a Junkers 88.

After some time training other pilots in Rhodesia, he joined 617 (Dambuster) Squadron in 1944, the year after their most famous raid, and took part in some of their most dangerous missions, including the campaign to sink the Tirpitz.

The Admirality had wanted to destroy the feared Tirpitz for many years but an ingenious attempt to sink her using mini-submarines in 1943 had failed. By 1944, she was sheltering in Kaa Fjord in Norway and could not be reached from airfields in Norway. The attack, therefore, had to be made from Russia but on the first attempt, on September 11, the weather was poor and Sqdn Ldr Iveson was forced to land his Lancaster in a field. A second attempt was made four days later and the battleship was hit, causing some damage, and she was moved south to Tromso for repairs.

This brought her within range of British airfields and Sqdn Ldr Iveson and his comrades tried again, flying from RAF Lossiemouth in October. This mission was also thwarted by the weather, however.

On November 12, they tried another time, also flying from RAF Lossiemouth, and this time, at last, it was a success: 32 Lancasters achieved two direct hits and Tirpitz rolled over. She was effectively out of the war for good.

Afterwards, Sqdn Ldr Iveson continued his tour with 617, launching attacks on Germany. On January 12, 1945, their target was the submarine pens in Bergen but Sqdn Ldr Iveson's Lancaster was attacked by German fighters and the engine caught fire. Three of his crew bailed out and became prisoners of war but Sqdn Ldr Iveson, under heavy anti-aircraft fire, managed to pilot his stricken Lancaster to an airfield in the Shetlands, for which he was awarded the DFC.

He left the RAF in 1946 and had a long career in television and public relations, working for Granada TV, the Rank Organisation and Disney among others. It was he who handled the PR for Littlewoods Pools in 1961 when Viv Nicholson won £152,000, or around £3million in today's money, and promised that she would spend, spend, spend.

For many years, Sqdn Ldr Iveson was chairman of the Bomber Command Association and campaigned for a permanent memorial to his colleagues. He was ultimately successful and lived to see a memorial unveiled in London in 2012.

He was married twice (his second wife died in 1995) and is survived by his three daughters and his companion Mary Kimpton. A son pre-deceased him.