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Thread: Spitfire P9550 - 1401 Met Flight

  1. #41
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    Hi all,

    I have followed this thread with fascination as the pilot Clive Wilson is buried in my town.

    Was the cause of the crash ever discovered or agreed on?

    thanks,

    P

  2. #42
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    Welcome Intboy15, and thank you for reminding me of this 5-years old thread. In the absence of any documents relating to the accident surfacing, together with a lack of an Operations Record Book for 1401 Met Flight, I'm afraid the cause has never been identified. However, your post prompted me to review what has been written so far in relation to the pilot's experience.

    The London Gazette (LG) records that Wilson was actually a 2nd Lt in the Royal Artillery before being granted a commission as a Pilot Officer in the RAFVR on 28 September 1940. His next entry in the LG is a promotion to Flying Office the following September - he was killed 6 weeks later. Without access to his service record it is difficult to know exactly how much experience he had, especially in respect of long distance flights, but I suspect it was not very much - that might well be what AP1134 was referring to in my #17 (PAMPA sorties were immediately suspended until a 'larger establishment and experienced personnel could be provided'

    My own feeling is still that the aircraft ran out of fuel given the length of time it was airborne and its limited fuel capacity.

    Interestingly his headstone in Esher Cemetery and CWGC documents all give his rank as P/O, whereas the LG definitely has him as being F/O.

    As a matter of interest is there a Grammar School or equivalent in Esher? My thinking is that was probably his level of education and it may be that his name is recorded on the school's Roll of Honour, and may even have a photograph.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 18th March 2019 at 08:07.

  3. #43
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    Does anyone have access to archived Eastbourne Heralds please. I understand the edition published on 6 December 1941 includes an item 'Body washed ashore' which relates to FCG (Clive) Wilson (source http://sussexhistoryforum.co.uk/inde...;topic=15219.0).

    Brian

  4. #44
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    Brian,

    Yes I have it.

    "BODY WASHED ASHORE

    The body of a man wearing RAF uniform was washed ashore near Holywell shortly after 1 pm Wednesday. It had evidently been in the water for some time. A sock and a vest were marked 'Clive Wilson'."

    regards

    DaveW

  5. #45
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    Much obliged, and thank you, Dave. I was hoping there might have been a little more to add what I have from his death certificate, but c'est la vie.

    Brian

  6. #46
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    I'm trying to build up a picture of Wilson, and would appreciate your help.

    Frank Clive George Wilson (born autumn of 1920) was commissioned from Gunner to 2/Lt in the 58th (Kent) AAR(RA) on 4 Mar 1939; his age at the time would have been 18 or 19. On 28 September 1940 he switches service on being commissioned as a P/O. I have requested his RAF service record, but in the meantime would I be correct in thinking that he remained an Army officer during pilot training and only transferred to the RAF on gaining his wings?

    I've not got very far searching for an answer online, and assume I'm not using the right key words.

    Brian

  7. #47
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    Wilson was one of 17 Army officers commissioned into the RAF on 28 September 1940. I suspect they had all recently completed pilot training for an AOP role with D Flight RAF (https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk...ation-post-aop).

    Peter (Resmorah) has suggested they might have transferred to the RAF to help fill a pilot short-fall caused by the Battle of Britain. Information is rather sparse on the Internet and I wonder if anyone could add anything to the story.

    Brian

    Edit. Found something about D Flight on page 90 of https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documen...Journal-54.pdf
    Last edited by Lyffe; 20th March 2019 at 12:06.

  8. #48
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    Brian

    The Battle of Britain film

    I am sure there is a scene in Dowding's office at Bentley Priory when he was musing about the shortage; I recall the phrase 'we must have more pilots'. I recall seeing somewhere that other commands were trawled for 'volunteers' to transfer to Fighter Command, particularly the light bomber squadrons. The problem is addressed and explained here at P227 et al
    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...pilots&f=false
    DaveW
    Last edited by davew; 20th March 2019 at 12:34. Reason: Link added

  9. #49
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    Pierre,

    I've tried to send a PM but your Inbox is full.

    Dave,

    Many thanks, another piece of background.

    Brian

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