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Thread: K5054 pilot killed ?

  1. #1
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    Default K5054 pilot killed ?

    Hello,
    On the 4th September 1939 Spitfire K5054 was involved in a fatal event, killing its pilot.
    The pilot has been named as Flt/Lt. G. S. White known as "Spinner".
    I cannot find anything on him in CWGC or Geoff's websites.
    However I did find a Gilbert Stanbridge White who was a pilot but nothing more than that.
    Can anyone tell me if this is the pilot who was killed in K5054 ?
    Also anything on his pre WW2 service ?
    Many thanks
    Alex

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    Hi Alex

    Gilbert S White had been promoted to Flt Lt on 12 Dec 1928 and served with RAE at Farnborough since 9 Feb 1931 so looks like he was a 'professional' test pilot and likely to be a candidate for K5054

    Malcolm

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    Was he a civilian test pilot at the time? Was he still in the service. Have you fully checked the flight global archives magazines and London Gazette? And Freebmd.org.uk to get his age.
    Dennis Burke
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    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    As Dennis suggests he was not listed as a serving officer at RAE in January 1939 so may have left the service and remained as a civilian.

    Malcolm

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    Death registered:

    White Gilbert S 40 Aldershot 2c 258 is that the correct location, Aldershot district.

    Ancestry.com
    England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941
    WHITE Gilbert Stanbridge died 5 September 1939 at Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot, Hampshire

    and also
    Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificates, 1910-1950
    He had a Royal Aero Club license issued in 1931 at the RAE Aero Club. At which time he was a commished officer in the RAF.
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 27th February 2012 at 08:17.
    Dennis Burke
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    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Farnborough is in the Aldershot area

    Malcolm

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    Default K5054 pilot killed ?

    Hello and Thank You All,

    It looks certain that Gilbert is the man as the DoD would fit.

    I had looked in to the Flight archives but only back to 1937 and found nil. I looked at the Sept 39 and forward but he was not listed. from what I could make out Reported accidents ceased to be reported after the start of WW2 and War casualties began IIRC on the 14th Sept with confirmation in the next issue. So his Spitfire crash went unreported. As for the London Gazette I did a search but found nil perhaps my search was not right ? As for Freebmd.org.uk I had not heard of this site.

    I did a web search on K5054 and in one site there was a photo of the crashed a/c re-righted showing the cockpit area and part of the fuselage side, Camoflaged yes with a Yellow outer band to the roundel.
    However it looked to me as if the white of the roundel was overpainted and the roundel just red, blue and yellow.
    Can anyone confirm this please ?

    Alex

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    It looks like Flight Lieutenant 'Spinner' White died in hospital later probably on 5th Sept..

    According to "The Spitfire Story" by Price

    "The flying career of K 5054 came to an end on 4 September 1939, the day after Britain entered the war.Flight Lieutenant 'Spinner' White had been testing some new spark plugs that aftemoon and afterwards retumed to Farnborough. "He held off a bit too high, the aircraft stalled out and bounced. And as was often the case with a tailwheel aircraft, the bouncing got worse and worse. After two bounces and two leaps into the air, it finally tipped over on to its nose"

    Later it says "But 'Spinner' White had suffered serious neck injuries and he died in hospital four days later."

    Now Ancestry.com says died on 5th Sept (day later) so that date is probably correct. And the four days later is wrong

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    A short obit. appears in The Times for 9th Sept

    "Flight Lieutenant Gilbert Standridge White who has died on active service, was for several years an RAF experimental and test pilot. He was commissioned in the RAF as a flying officer in 1924, served at home and in Iraq. and in 1927 qualified as a flying instructor. He was transferred to the Reserves on completing ten years service in November 1934, but was subsequently reappointed in a civil capacity."

    On the same page are obits for F/L Guy Percy Robinson; F/O James Alexander Brownlie, P/O Harold Rosofsky, P/O Gordon William Brant and P/O Anthony Saint Croix Rose.

    regards

    DaveW

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    Dave the Obit is Times for 9th October 1939 (not Sept)

    The Times Casualty list reveals his service number as 19098 in Casualty Communique #4 from Air Ministry


    19098 Flight Lieutenant G.S. White


    He should be on CWGC but is not!

    I have sent them an email hoping they will add him... Unless I have missed him! -
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 28th February 2012 at 12:36.

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