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Thread: Sgt H.W. Potter - No. 401 Squadron

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    Default Sgt H.W. Potter - No. 401 Squadron

    Hi all,

    I am trying to identify a Sergeant H.W. Potter whose name appears six times in the ORB of No. 401 Squadron from August 25 up to September 9, 1942.

    The first mention in the ORB reads: "New pilot, Sgt. H.W. Potter posted to 401 Squadron from 133 Squadron, Orkney Islands, arrived today."

    Not sure about which squadron he came from, since there is a stain on the last number -- could be 132 Squadron.

    Last mention: "Sgt. Potters [sic] posted to 1496 Flight."

    A possible lead could be Horace Wayne Potter, who served with the USAAF in 1943 (see here: http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?12482-One-more-list-of-RCAF-pilots). But this man was already serving with the USAAC in 1941 (see here: http://www.accident-report.com/world/namerica/slist/sandiego.html).

    Also, the RCAF Casualty List published in The Globe and Mail on November 19, 1942 mentions a Flight Sergeant Harold Willisford Potter "seriously injured on active service overseas".

    Any piece of information that would help identify this pilot would be most appreciated.

    Regards,

    Fox.
    Last edited by Fox; 5th February 2013 at 16:55.
    Author of Crash in Bayeux - The Last Flight of Sergeant Ferguson (ISBN 979-10-91044-13-4) - www.facebook.com/crashinbayeux.

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    Default Query to Sgt Potter

    Hello. I am sorry if this is a bit of a long reply but it is the only way to set the picture.

    I have a short time ago belatedly received copies of photos' that had belonged to my late Father, Flt Sgt Les Taylor RAF. He was demobed at the end of the war and in his later years I managed to strike up a relationship that told me some of his service history but typically left a lot untold. One of these photo's show two pilots 'relaxing' in chairs, one being my Father, the other being a Sgt Potter. The other photo is of a group of 9 pilots posing in and around the cockpit, wing, body, ground (starboard side) of a Spitfire and the legend on the reverse of the photo reads "1942 circa, Sgt's Colins NZ, Harmer UK, Chapman NZ, Ives UK, P.O. Happell USA, Sgt's Barton UK, Potter Can, Kelly Can, Les Taylor UK. The only clear identification on the Spitfire are the letter codes 'G' (to the rear of the roundel) and 'H' to the front just aft of the cockpit. the 'date' could be approximate but I believe it to be reasonable accurate as I believe the Spitfire to be MkV.
    Now my Father left 53 OTU Rhoose with a proficiency of 'Average' on the 26th June 1942 and was assigned to :-
    165 Sqn at Ayr becoming Log book active with them on 4th July 1942. Flying Spitfire Vb's. On the 14th August 1942 the whole Squadron flew south to Woodvale then on to East Church to rejoin the Battle of Britain proper. On the 15th of August a posting request was received at the Squadron and my Father being the 'last one in' became the 'First one out' traveling back North to Prestwick for the briefing for the 'Overseas' posting that turned out to be a "Six Month" ( in the end it turned out to be nearly a year) rotation in Malta with 229 Sqn.

    Now, I have been trying to trace some of the people in the photo's that I have and I was wondering if the Sgt Potter (Can) as mentioned in the photo's would be the same as the one that you enquire about. I did find one other 'Potter' but he seems to have been a bomber pilot. Unfortunately I have no initial just the short name.

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    Default Query to Sgt Potter

    Hello. I am sorry if this is a bit of a long reply but it is the only way to set the picture.

    I have a short time ago belatedly received copies of photos' that had belonged to my late Father, Flt Sgt Les Taylor RAF. He was demobed at the end of the war and in his later years I managed to strike up a relationship that told me some of his service history but typically left a lot untold. One of these photo's show two pilots 'relaxing' in chairs, one being my Father, the other being a Sgt Potter. The other photo is of a group of 9 pilots posing in and around the cockpit, wing, body, ground (starboard side) of a Spitfire and the legend on the reverse of the photo reads "1942 circa, Sgt's Colins NZ, Harmer UK, Chapman NZ, Ives UK, P.O. Happell USA, Sgt's Barton UK, Potter Can, Kelly Can, Les Taylor UK. The only clear identification on the Spitfire are the letter codes 'G' (to the rear of the roundel) and 'H' to the front just aft of the cockpit. the 'date' could be approximate but I believe it to be reasonable accurate as I believe the Spitfire to be MkV.
    Now my Father left 53 OTU Rhoose with a proficiency of 'Average' on the 26th June 1942 and was assigned to :-
    165 Sqn at Ayr becoming Log book active with them on 4th July 1942. Flying Spitfire Vb's. On the 14th August 1942 the whole Squadron flew south to Woodvale then on to East Church to rejoin the Battle of Britain proper. On the 15th of August a posting request was received at the Squadron and my Father being the 'last one in' became the 'First one out' traveling back North to Prestwick for the briefing for the 'Overseas' posting that turned out to be a "Six Month" ( in the end it turned out to be nearly a year) rotation in Malta with 229 Sqn.

    Now, I have been trying to trace some of the people in the photo's that I have and I was wondering if the Sgt Potter (Can) as mentioned in the photo's would be the same as the one that you enquire about. I did find one other 'Potter' but he seems to have been a bomber pilot. Unfortunately I have no initial just the short name.

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    Default

    Hi Jolly green Giant , i have sent you a E- Mail

    Phill Jones

    Fox i have also PM You
    Last edited by phill jones; 7th July 2013 at 19:10.

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    Default

    Hi all,

    Jolly Green Giant, thanks for your message. Interesting story.

    Phill, I wrote you back. Harold Willisford Potter must be the man in question.

    Cheers,

    Fox.
    Author of Crash in Bayeux - The Last Flight of Sergeant Ferguson (ISBN 979-10-91044-13-4) - www.facebook.com/crashinbayeux.

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    Default

    "Sgt's Colins NZ, Harmer UK, Chapman NZ, Ives UK, P.O. Happell USA, Sgt's Barton UK, Potter Can, Kelly Can, Les Taylor UK."

    Happell could be James Rowland Happel (US) who was with 53 OTU from April 1942 and joined 121 Eagle Squadron in July.

    53 OTU used QG codes (among other) on their aircraft.

    John Engelsted

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    Default

    Thank you all for your information. I am sorry that I have not responded to you all in a little while, life has been a bit hectic. My wife has recently been told that she has to have a hip replacement, but (even worse) for communication purpose and research purposes, I also had a break in at work and my laptop was stolen with all my emails/email addresses/website addresses and web site log in details (apart from security codes which are indelibly etched into my brain, but utterly useless unless I remember to which sites they apply). But I am now back and I will have further questions for all, when I finally finish put all my info back together and retrace who had sent me emails recently to which I owed reply's.

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