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From 1929, when he was 13, Dahl attended Repton School in Derbyshire.
On the final leg he could not find the airstrip and, running low on fuel and with night approaching, he was forced to attempt a landing in the desert.
Dahl was rescued and taken to a first-aid post in Mersa Matruh, where he regained consciousness, but not his sight.
He rose to prominence as a writer in the 1940s with works for both children and adults, and he became one of the world's best-selling authors.
His awards for contribution to literature include the 1983 World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, and the British Book Awards' Children's Author of the Year in 1990.
After a 600-mile (970 km) car journey from Dar es Salaam to Nairobi, he was accepted for flight training with sixteen other men, among whom only three survived the war.
With seven hours and 40 minutes experience in a De Havilland Tiger Moth, he flew solo; Dahl enjoyed watching the wildlife of Kenya during his flights.
His first language was Norwegian, which he spoke at home with his parents and his sisters Astri, Alfhild, and Else.
Dahl and his sisters were raised in the Lutheran faith, and were baptised at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff, where their parents worshipped.
In July 1934, Dahl joined the Shell Petroleum Company.
Following two years of training in the United Kingdom, he was assigned first to Mombasa, Kenya, then to Dar-es-Salaam, Tanganyika (now Tanzania).