Dennis “Squire” Wilkins, who has died aged 87, was a former Fleet Air Arm pilot.

He joined the FAA in 1943 as an observer (navigator) in the Swordfish “Stringbag” torpedo-bomber. But the back seat was not Wilkins’s natural position in any sphere of activity, and he transferred to the role of pilot, going solo on 4 June 1946 after 11 hours in a de Havilland Tiger Moth. He made his first deck-landing on the carrier Implacable on 1 December 1947.

Wilkins flew Fireflies with 812 Naval Air Squadron from the carrier Ocean in the Mediterranean in 1948-49, and in March 1950 survived a forced landing when his Seafire XV suffered an engine failure at 5,000ft and he made a wheels-up landing in a Scottish field.

In 1953, during the Korean War, Wilkins was loaned to the Royal Australian Navy and flew from the carriers Vengeance and Sydney. His last flight as pilot was on 5 July 1957; he had made 129 deck-landings and flown more than 1,000 hours on many types of aircraft, from biplanes to the twin-engined Meteor jet.

Dennis Wilkins, born 26 December 1924, died on 30 January 2012.