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Thread: One-legged pilot F/O R.G. Baker

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    Default One-legged pilot F/O R.G. Baker

    Hi,
    Can anyone tell me anything about the flying career of F/O R.G. Baker, a pilot with an artificial limb? He flew Typhoons with 1 Sqn during April – November 1943.
    Regards
    Mojmir

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    Hi Mojmir

    I can't answer your question, but it appears artificial limbs were not as uncommon as may be thought. Douglas Bader was perhaps the most famous such pilot, with two tin legs, but 41 Squadron had two pilots during WWII with a prosthetic leg, Flt. Lt. Thomas Burne DSO AFC (injured in bomb blast in Sumatra) and Fg. Off. Reginald Hoare (leg amputated pre-War).

    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    There were at least two Air Commodores with artificial legs, Freddie West VC and H M Massey (SBO at Stalag Luft III)

    Malcolm

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    Don't forget the double-amputee Colin Gerald Shaw Hodgkinson

    http://members.madasafish.com/~d_hodgkinson/tree.htm

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Also Gp Capt (later Air Commodore, Sir) Hugh Idwal Jenkins. One time OC RAF Wattisham in the mid-50's. He had a tin leg. Seems he mislaid the real one 1938-ish. Didn't stop him from flying Meatboxes. Pete Verney will have the gruesome (and hilarious) details!! Ho Ho!!
    Rgds
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter

    err, not to pick up on someone's need for a rest and an afternoon nap (considering my own decrepit state lol) but it was Hugh Idwal Edwards, not Jenkins ;)

    http://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/Edwards_HI.htm

    He didn't actually lose his leg, but severely damaged it.

    http://www.sealikeglass.com/the-pilots-raaf-a-raf/50-pilots/161-hugh-idwal-edwards

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Amrit,
    Nice one! Yr about right!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hello,

    F/O R.G. BAKER is given as being in "B" flight, No. 1 Squadron, as on 1st August 1943, in "Number One in war and piece". This is the only mention of him in the names index.

    Squadron C.O. was S/L Anthony ZWEIGBERGK, whose daughter wrote the biography : "Tony's War". No name index, and there's the same entry as in the former book, so it really looks like a copy from the Squadron ORB. I couldn't spot his name in the main body of the book.

    I also checked "Honour the Air Forces", but R.G. BAKER doesn't show up.

    Mojmir, you should try the London Gazette online. I tried with "R.G. BAKER" in WW2, got 13 hits but none match. If you narrow down to 1942 and 1943 with only the surname, with some work, you might eventually get his first names and service number, which might help to go further.

    As for the subject of pilots with artificial limbs, there was also "One Armed Mac", subject of a nice book by fellow forumite Brian Cull. Free French GUILLOU DE MéZILLIS had lost an arm but flew Spitfires with No. 340 Squadron, while Louis RICARDOU had lost a leg when he was serving in the "Légion Etrangère" at Bir Hakeim, and later flew as a Boston air gunner in No. 342 Squadron. Both lost their lives.

    And if my memory serves me well, the station commander at Elvington has also lost either an arm or a leg ?

    Joss

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    HI Joss

    You are thinking of ACM Sir Gus Walker, he lost his arm whilst rescuing a crew from a burning aircraft at Syerston, he was later Base Commander of No 42 Base at Pocklington which included Elvington.

    Malcolm

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    Hi all,
    Joss, I´m an owner of the "Tony's War", but because there is no name index, I used the www.books.google.cz (enter Tony's War and after that Baker) and found the R.G. Baker´s name on the pages 174, 186, 191. :

    13.10.1943 he was reclassified A2H, BH (?) and put non operational. He left the No.1 Sqn 11.11.1943.

    Another reference about him: http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?t=63552
    (by the way - there are other leggless airmen mentioned here):
    „On 18 April 1944 Spitfire VC EE643 PK-R crashed at Coolham while taking off. The aeroplane was going to be ferried away from 315 Sqn as the unit converted to Mustangs. The ferry pilot was 1st Officer R. G. Baker, and the accident card recorded 'pilot had an artificial leg'. „

    Yes, I tried the London Gazette, too. I think that F/O, F/L R.G. Baker (124381) could be my man, but I couldn´t find his full name there. The digits of the service number on the appropriate page are probably somehow damaged and illegible for the finder.
    I tried also Flightglobal´s archive. Nothing...
    Regards
    Mojmir

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