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Thread: "Secret duties" 1940-41

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    Default "Secret duties" 1940-41

    Hello all,

    I've been closely researching the career of Peter Frederick "Fling" Illingworth (who served in No. 56 and No. 152 squadrons and commanded No. 74, No. 603 and No. 112), but I've come upon a mysterious year-long gap for which I can't find any documents.

    Squadron records show he left No. 56 squadron about April 22, 1940. Then, on Oct. 22, 1941, he joined No. 152 from the 53 Operational Training Unit.

    When he left No. 56, the logbook reads: "F/O Illingworth was posted for special duties abroad."
    In the book "Fighter Boy," his 56 squadron-mate Barry Sutton describes Illingworth's departure: "Fling had been posted ... for secret duties, of which we knew nothing beyond the fact that he was now flying Spitfires."

    Does anyone have any idea or documentation to detail where he might be posted during this 18-month gap? Even an educated guess would be helpful.

    Thank you!

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    Maybe Photo Rec?

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    There were no other Spitfires abroad until 1942.

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    Peter Illingworth served as a photo recce pilot with the PDU/PRU/1 PRU between Apr 40 and Dec 40 The unit flew Spifires over Europe during this period.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    He joined 59 OTU on March 16th 1940 and then 53 OTU on October 2nd 1940.

    John Engelsted

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    Sorry for the late reply -- many thanks for the help.

    I hope I'm not asking too much, but I wonder if anyone can help me fill two small, later gaps, these involving Middle East Command. According to squadron records, Peter Illingworth was in command of No. 603 Squadron from April 1942 to early June, overseeing the squadron's move to the Middle East. The log book reads in June: "Soon after our arrival in Egypt, S/Ldr Illingworth was posted N.E. sick, and finally posted from the squadron to HQ, RAF M.E." He then took command of No. 74 Squadron in Iran during Dec. '42.

    Is there any record of his activities with Middle East Command in the second half of 1942?

    (Then, after his stint with 74 Squadron, he "left for Cairo" in Feb. '43, according to the squadron history. He was posted to No. 260 Squadron in June, leaving another several-month gap in spring '43 in which he might have been stationed in Cairo.)

    If there's any indication of his work, if any, with Middle East Command during these two periods, I'd appreciate the assistance.
    Last edited by AltoidSBS; 9th December 2014 at 03:15.

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    Hi AltoidSBS,

    May I ask your interest in Peter Illingworth? My interest in him is due to his time as a photo recce pilot.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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