Tom Maxwell passed on his culinary knowledge while he was hiding with a family in France in 1944.
A rear gunner with 622 Squadron, his Lancaster bomber was hit by flak over Nazi-occupied France and he had to bail out along with the rest of the crew.
Having parachuted to land, five airmen were captured but Tom and two others escaped.
Tom, from Belfast, stayed with a family in Bazancourt, in the north west of France, for 10 days before he was able to find a way back to the UK.
He was given bread, cheese and red wine for breakfast but one day he made a request of his own.
Tom used sign language to show them that he would like a fried egg on toast.
His wish is believed to have been met with laughter and the farmer’s wife believed it was “ridiculous”.
Still the fried egg was made for him and it went on to become popular in the area.
It was decades later that Tom found out about the success of the new delicacy – when crash site researchers reportedly went to the farm and spoke to the wife’s son.
“His mother shared the story with friends who laughed at this crazy Irishman. It then ended up in all the local cafes.”
Tom said: “His mother shared the story with friends who laughed at this crazy Irishman.
“It then ended up in all the local cafes.”
With the help of the French Resistance, Tom was able to get back to the UK and continue the battle.
He was later awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Legion d’honneur.
Following the war he became a teacher before rejoining the RAF in Air Traffic Control and retired in 1978.
He spent another ten years with the Sultan of Oman’s Air Force before retiring to Exeter with his wife Katherine who died in 2007.