A superb Lancaster pilot who completed 64 operations - taking part in some of the most important main force Lancaster operations of the Second World War.
A highly respected and inspirational leader, 576 Sqn crews had the highest regard for W/Cdr Templeman-Rooke.
The W/Cmdr Started his RAF service in 1941 training initially as a raw recruit at No 1 Initial Training Wing at Scarbourgh,North Yorkshire. After basic training at Scarbourgh and having been selected for Pilot Training, Basil was posted to No 4 Elimentary and Reserve Flying Training School, RAF Brough (4EFTS) on the north bank of the River Humber near Hull. (now British Aerospace systems, Brough ). Continuing his basic flying training at various RAF training stations in Canada and the UK, finally crewing up at No81 Operational Training Unit, RAF Whitchurch.
Posted as a Sgt pilot with 100 Sqn to RAF Grimsby (Waltham) in April 1943, he completing his first tour of operations and was then screened from further operations and rested.
The rest he received was a posting after a period of leave to 28 Operational training unit RAF Wymswold near Leicester as a pilot instructor, converting novice pilots to the Vickers Wellington Bomber.
On 16 January 1944 now a Pilot Officer Basil was posted to 1667 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF Faldingworth, again as a pilot Instructor. In February 1944 this unit moved to RAF Sandtoft near Doncaster.
Sandtoft lived up to its name of Prangtoft with many accidents occurring.
This unit was part of No1 Groups Lancaster Finishing School. These Heavy Conversion Units were tasked with converting novice crews from the twin engined Vickers Wellington medium Bomber to the four engined Heavies of Bomber Command, the Handley Page Halifax and the Avro Lancaster.
No1 Group squadrons operated the Avro Lancaster from the Groups North Lincolnshire airfields.
This appointment was viewed as more dangerous than taking part in operations,as Novice crews and worn out training aircraft often resulted in many crashes and loss of life.
Posted to 576 Sqn RAF Elsham Wolds,near Scunthorpe with the rank of Flying Officer in May 1944. His first operation being on 11th May to Hasselt in Belgium.The target that night being the Railway Yard complex in the Town.
(576 Sqn at this period were sharing the Elsham Wolds airfield with 103 Sqn. 103 were the parent Sqn from which 576 was formed.)
In October 1944 the Sqn was moved to RAF Fiskerton when No1 Group took over command of RAF stations Scampton, Dunholme Lodge and Fiskerton from No 5 Group in a station reorganisation by Bomber Command HQ .These stations including Hemswell were administered from Scampton (15 Base)
By June 1944, having been promoted to Sqn Leader, he was appointed A flight Commander.
This post he held until the end of February 1945 when he was promoted Wing Commander and appointed Commanding Officer 170 Sqn at RAF Hemswell.
After the war, W/Cdr Templeman-Rooke was now in command of 210 Sqn specializing in maritime operations from Northern Ireland.
In 1951 he was awarded a well earned Air force cross. After tours of duty in Malta, he commanded No 205 Squadron, flying the Shackleton from RAF Changi, Singapore. He retired from the RAF in 1971, when he joined the Singapore Air Defence Command (SADC) in the rank of Major.
With the withdrawal of British forces from the Far East in September 1971, the recently established SADC assumed responsibility for the island's defence. Major Templeman-Rooke commanded the operations division at the former RAF Tengah, where Singapore's fledgling squadrons were forming with the Hawker Hunter fighter and Strikemaster ground-attack aircraft. After three years he returned to England.
In 1975 he was appointed General Manager of the Chelmsford Golf Club at an anxious time, when its fortunes were at a low ebb. Thanks to his planning and good management, the club recovered to thrive once again.
A man of great modesty, he always claimed that his unorthodox methods had allowed him to lead a "charmed life".
He never forgot his young aircrew who had lost their lives, and every year, he made a point of attending the annual service of remembrance at the RAF memorial at Runnymede.
The Wing/Cmdr died on July 28, 2004 aged 83, a few weeks after the death of his second wife, Joan.He is survived by a son Gary and two daughters ,Carolynne and Michelle.