John Hector Stroud ( April 3rd, 1919 - March 14th, 2007 ) was born in Balham ( South London, England ).
Among his earliest memories was a visit to Croydon airport ( South London ) when he was 3 or 4 years old by which time the family had moved to Streatham Common ( Greater London ). Even though he was very young at the time he recalled seeing two de Havilland DH.34 aircraft at the airport.
In the summer of 1929, the family moved to Hatfield ( Hertfordshire, England ). During the following years ( he left the place around 1935 ), John Stroud was able to see all the mighty Imperial Airways H.P.42's and H.P.45's on their test flights from the Handley Page factory at Radlett ( Hertfordshire ).
John Stroud clearly had artistic capabilities. In 1933, he went to work for Imperial Airways, and was involved in designing the Imperial Airways cobalt blue livery for their DH.91 Albatross fleet before the war.
He appears to have been involved with recruitment and information / propaganda ( and possibly even intelligence ) work during the war. John Stroud illustrated a 1942 article on the Chinese Air Force in the Air Training Corps Gazette, which had been written by Captain W.E. Johns - the creator of Biggles.
After the war, he had established himself as an authority on aviation, and concentrated on civil aviation. In 1961 he took over from Owen Thetford as General Editor for Putnam's Aviation List ( later Putnam Aviation Books and Putnam Aeronautical Books ). Many of these books, which were written by expert authors, are now standard reference works on individual manufacturers, British aviation development and airports.
( sources : www.hatfield-herts.co.uk, www.europeanairlines.no )