ROY Scott, a journalist, Second World War Spitfire pilot, and later an executive at The News, has died aged 89.
Mr Scott, who lived in Fordingbridge Road, Portsmouth, first joined The News as a junior reporter in 1940. As soon as he was old enough to enlist in the armed services, he volunteered for the Royal Air Force by travelling to the RAF recruiting office at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.
He was accepted as a pilot and received flight training in Derby then Rhodesia, before seeing active service as a Flight Sergeant in Egypt, including the defence of the Suez Canal. He flew De Havilland Moth biplanes and Harvard aeroplanes before joining a Spitfire squadron.
Following his service in North Africa he was transferred with his squadron to Burma in support of the Allied advance.
Described by friends as an extremely loyal, supportive and personable friend, he was also a modest man and rarely spoke about his wartime service.
After the war, he returned to his previous job as a reporter on The News, located at that time in Stanhope Road near Portsmouth Guildhall.
He was promoted to the management and in 1969, as divisional services manager, had a crucial role in transferring the newspaper’s operations to its current office in Hilsea, which housed a cutting-edge offset printing press, making The News one of the first local newspapers in the UK to adopt this new technology.
When industrial action threatened to halt production of the newspaper, he worked long hours and oversaw several changes to ensure the newspaper would continue to be printed.
He avoided a block on essential heating oil supplies for the print works by first arranging deliveries at night, then overseeing a switch to gas boilers.
Later during his time at The News, he suffered a heart attack yet managed to drive himself to Queen Alexandra Hospital where medical staff were able to stabilise his condition.
However, when concern over his health forced him to take early retirement, he started to travel extensively, beginning with a trip around the entire coast of Australia with relatives who had emigrated there.
He always returned to his home and friends in Portsmouth.
His health recovered and for many years he was a member of St Simon’s Church Choir and Milton Park Bowling Club. As a fan of Portsmouth Football Club, he witnessed both successful FA Cup campaigns, 69 years apart.
He enjoyed music and played the piano, having been taught as a child by his father who was a professional musician in theatres around Portsmouth. He enjoyed long walks and cycled around the city into his late 80s.
He died peacefully at QA.
Mr Scott leaves a sister and her family in Australia, and nother sister and her family in the Portsmouth area.
His funeral will take place at St James Church, Milton on Friday November 30 at 2pm.
· Roy Scott: Born on October 9, 1923; died November 7, 2012.