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Thread: Test pilots RAF Helensburgh

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    Default Test pilots RAF Helensburgh

    I have a list of test pilots at RAF Helensburgh, Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment, between 1939-45. The majority I have now identified but would like to know details of the following if anyone can help? Sq Ldr Banks, F.Lt Hayter (J.E.R) F Lt Hobley (H) F Lt (Sq Ldr) Reed, F Lt Fox F Lt Boyd F Lt Russell (R ) and Capt Gentry. Previous or post postings of interest. Most MAEE test pilots served with operational squadrons.

    Thank you, Robin Bird, who is writing the history of RAF Helensburgh

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    Hi Robin,
    F.Lt J.E.R Hayter did not survive the war as Flight Global of 6th january 1944 has a report of Sqn.Ldr. J.E.R Hayter DFC as missing.
    Flight Global 11th Dec 1941- award of DFC.
    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchi...0-%202976.html
    LG of 14th July 1943 shows a promotion from F/Lt. to Sqn.Ldr. (temp) effective from 1st July 1943.
    http://www.airmen.dk/e555016.htm has Sqn. Ldr. J.E.R Hayter (Pilot), listed as being lost on Lancaster JA972 OL-D of 83Sqn.which crashed off the Dutch coast on a raid to Kassel from RAF Wyton on 4th October 1943. Looks like it was AA fire as the cause.
    Photo of J.E.R Hayter:
    http://www.flensted.eu.com/19430104.shtml
    Wellington Roll of Honour, mention of his work at MAEE.
    http://lib.militaryarchive.co.uk/lib...l/page125.html
    Some more detail here:
    http://www.626-squadron.co.uk/willem25.htm
    The other names may not be as easy to trace.
    Alan.

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    Hi Robin,
    Another one traced.
    F.Lt. Harold Hobley's (later Sqn.Ldr) medals were sold by Spink with the follwing details "London Gazette 1.1.1943 Flight Lieutenant Harold Hobley (43170) M.A.E.E., Edinburgh. The Recommendation states ´This officer has been a test pilot at the Marine and Aircraft Experimental Establishment for over 5 years during which time he has completed approximately 1,000 flying hours in testing 30 different types of aircraft throughout he has maintained a very high standard of courage and devotion to duty.´ Squadron Leader Harold Hobley, A.F.C.; joined as Boy Royal Air Force, 1925; posted Flight Sergeant 25 Squadron (Hawkinge), 1931; Pilot Officer 1940; Flight Lieutenant 1941; Squadron Leader Aircraft Control Branch, 1947; retired 1954; died 1968."
    https://www.spink.com/lot-description.aspx?id=5012644
    Awarded Air Force Cross, London Gazette 1st Jan. 1943
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...ge/34/data.pdf

    Alan.

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    thank you Alan. Much appreciated. I have a full list of MAEE test pilots at Helensburgh. Most had action packed operational records and were often posted to Helensburgh between squadrons. Sadly several died . I plan to put their stories together as one.

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    Alan, see you are based at Rhu. Have you more on MAEE @ Rhu? robin bird, achgelis@yahoo.co.uk

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    Flying Officer Fox flew the Saro 37 half scale flying boat at Helensburgh. I wonder if he was the same Fox who was killed in Liberator EV885 of 206 Squadron on 28.9.44?

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    Robin,

    S/Ldr. Banks was 37077 David Kynvin Banks AFC.
    He was born 3 March 1916 in Guysborough, Nova Scotia in Canada to English parents. However when he was six weeks old his family returned to Britain. Possibly he died in May 2005, but not certain of this.
    He had a distinguished RAF career. He was awarded the Air Force Cross, gazetted on 1 January 1942, for work at the MAEE where he spent much time working on the Saro Lerwick. He was posted to 109 Squadron some time in 1941, he maintained this was in error for 209 Squadron ! Later he was posted to 27 Squadron flying Blenheims in the Far East against the Japanese and was shot down at least once.
    Shortly before he died in May 2005 (?) he recorded in March that year a series of interviews concerning his life and RAF service with the Imperial War Museum. The accession number is 27250 covering 9 reels containing 270 minutes. Quite expensive to purchase.

    The first page of this excellent website may be of further interest.
    http://www.csn.ul.ie/~dan/war/crashes.htm

    Hope this helps,

    Martin Gleeson.
    Last edited by Martin Gleeson; 26th June 2015 at 18:35. Reason: pasted website link

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    Still looking for these MAEE test pilots: F/O Stevens, Bloomfield, Mc Williams, Callender, Fox, Johnson, Boyd, Squire, Bastable, all flying officers or squadron leaders while at RAF Helensburgh between 1942 and 45. No initials, unfortunately. They usually served before MAEE or after with an operation squadron, usually Coast Command. robin

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    Hello,

    Re: your MAEE Test Pilot, Bastable:

    159501 Brian Bastable DFC.

    http://f-86.tripod.com/gagpd.htm

    For more on Bastable, and No.210 Squadron, see:

    Search, Find and Kill: The RAF's U-Boat Successes in World War Two.
    Franks,Norman.
    London:Grub Street,1995.
    p.51

    NB. The 3rd WOP/AG, W/O R Henderson, mentioned in the crew list, is actually - AUS409700 W/O (later F/O) Raymond John HENDERSON RAAF (later DFC.imm.).

    Col
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th December 2015 at 09:39.

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    Hello,

    A little more on 37077 David Kynvin BANKS AFC:

    3-8-1943
    No.60 Sqn.
    Blenheim IV Z7913

    Engine cut, lost height, ditched in China Bay, Ceylon.

    W/C D Banks and crew rescued, one injured.

    (No.60 Sqn Blenheim IV Z9813, is also recorded as ditching on this day. NFD).

    See:
    The Bristol Blenheim A Complete History.
    Warner,Graham.
    Manchester:Crecy Publishing,2005 (2nd.ed.)
    p.584.

    Col.

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