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Thread: Help wanted - Charles William "Pop" Bailey

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    Default Help wanted - Charles William "Pop" Bailey

    RCAF photo PL-27541 dated 6 June 1944 is captioned as follows: “A 58-year old Canadian pilot shown in this picture has become almost as much a part of the Far East as the camel he is admiring near the palatial secretariat in New Delhi, India. He is F/L C.W. ‘Pop’ Bailey (06022, RAF), 34 Inman Avenue, St. Vital, Manitoba, and he is now attached to Eastern Air Command playing a major role in preparation for the eventual Allied advance toward Japan. One of aviation’s pioneers, Pop was captain of a flying boat with the RAF during the First Great War and during the Russian Revolution he was awarded the Order of the White Rose of Finland by General Mannerheim, a medal he is not permitted to wear now Finland is an enemy country. Since the First World War Pop has surveyed every vital air route in the world except those of Europe. As pilot and passenger Pop’s logbook shows more than 10,000 flying hours, covering more than 1,000,000 aeronautical miles. A bachelor, Pop’s favourite hobby next to flying is being a Godfather. He has now sponsored 71 children and keeps in touch with all of them.”

    Charles William Bailey was born in the United Kingdom, 7 October 1886 but as of 1914 he was an artist with the T. Eaton Company, Winnipeg. Attended Curtiss Aviation School, San Diego, and obtained ACA Certificate 502, 14 June 1916. RNAS commission granted 1 September 1916 and duly served as a flying boat pilot (shot down by German seaplanes but survived, 15 February 1918). Granted Short Service Commission as Flight Lieutenant, 16 September 1919. As of 8 April 1938 he was rated by Air Ministry as a Civilian Instructor

    Confidential RAF List for January/February 1941 lists him on staff of Far East Command, Malaya as “Inspector of Landing Grounds.”

    Searching The London Gazette, 1919-1939, produces over 3,000 possible hits. Rather than troll through all these, I wonder if anyone knows of a thumbnail sketch of his career. My guess is that his air route surveys were as a civilian, and that he might turn up in civil aviation histories.

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    Hugh, Hi,

    I regret that in a moment of exasperation I cussed the LG! It has repaid me by running so slow that Boy Scouts with semaphore flags would be quicker!

    However, I find the following:-

    RESERVE OF AIR FORCE OFFICERS. GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Transfer between branches.
    Flt. Lt. C. W. BAILEY (06022) to the Admin, and Spec.' Duties Br. 25th Mar. 1944.

    RESERVE OF AIR FORCE OFFICERS. ADMINISTRATIVE AND SPECIAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Commission relinquished- (class CC): —
    Flg. Off. C. W. BAILEY (on cessation of duty). 25th Mar. 1944.

    The coincident date would seem to indicate it’s the same bloke?(A/Flt Lt, Subs Fg Off?) Very odd Transfer, and then Relinquishment on the same date? The War was not over! And he seems to have been aged 58. 55 was the normal Retirement age? Civilians (in the various Reserve(s)) could go on to 60 – although I was 62 before MoD finally released their grip on me! A “CC” Commission (Civilian Component?) was, in my day, a Commission (sometimes Dormant) that was held by Officer Status civilians employed by Air Min/MoD(Air)/MoD who would, in the event of Hostilities/Mobilisation (initiated by Royal Proclamation, Order In Council, or Lawful Order(under various KR/QRs)), be required to wear RAF Uniform. I know, I had one!! Malcolm and Ross (as our resident M’Learned Friends?!) may be able to shed more light on the problem?

    HTH. There may be more to this saga – assuming that the LG and I eventually ‘forgive and forget’!!

    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    I'll jump in here Peter before Old Duffer does with this online copy of the RAF Historical Society Journal which recorded a seminar I attended at Hendon.

    http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/document...ary-Forces.pdf

    Page 5 has an excellent list of the Reserve Class including CC

    The document is my "Go To" reference for Reserve questions and serves as a well thumbed document on my ready use ammo shelf.

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    Ross,
    Tks for that.
    It should, however, be pointed out that subsequent to the Falklands Unpleasantness the whole (then) Reserve Forces system (for all 3 Services) was heavily overhauled and brought into line with 'modern conditions' (most of the Reservists in the S Atlantic had actually been legally 'illegal' so to speak!). There have, no doubt, been other changes since that Reserve Forces Act.
    But, but, but, whilst this is fascinating 'nitty-gritty' it does not - at this point - give us a great deal more info with regard to Hugh's original request (sorry, Hugh!).
    We may - when the LG is restored to health - be able to mine other pieces of the jig-saw!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi,

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bintulu :

    In 1958, Bailey was killed in an air crash in Singapore. (1958?)

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/18414826 :

    The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 15 March 1954:
    The Sydney office of B.O.A.C. last night issued this list of the passengers who were killed in the Constellation crash at Kalang airport, Singapore, on Saturday.
    List of Dead: …Mr. Charles William Bailey, 67, single, civil engineer, of Sarawak…(The age fits.)
    C. W. Bailey, unidentified nationality.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1954_B...ellation_crash :

    BOAC Lockheed_Constellation G-ALAM, Belfast, crashed 13 March 1954, killing 33 of the 40 passengers and crew .

    Regards
    Mojmir

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    Hi,
    a bit more:
    https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightP...20-%200333.PDF

    F/L C.W.Bailey, from No.230 Squadron (Coastal Area), to School of Naval Co-operation and Aerial Navigation (Coastal Area) 7.5.22

    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...3202/page/6035

    16th Sept. 1926 transferred to Reserve.

    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/1352

    Developments in Burma

    Regards
    Mojmir

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    Hugh,

    In your initial posting on "Pop" Bailey, you mention the fact, that on 15 February, 1918, he was shot down by German seaplanes, but survived. There certainly was a combat with German seaplanes on 15-2-1918. One Curtiss H.12B/F.2A seaplane was shot down and the other fled. The four crew aboard F.2A N4338 were killed, and the crew of the other seaplane (N4339), which fled, were unhurt. A-B's, Royal Navy Aircraft Serials and Unis 1911-1919, relates:

    Curtiss H.12B (converted to F.2A) N4338.

    Shipped to UK 11.12.17; Arr MAD Felixstowe W/E 19.12.17 (convtd F.2A). While escorting convoy with N4339 nr North Hinder LV, attacked by 3 Zeebrugge-based fighters (probably Brandenburg W12s or W29s), and shot down by aircraft crewed by Flugobermat Urban and Lt.d.R. Erhard of 1 C Staffel of Seeflugstation Flanders 1, Zeebrugge 15.2.18 (T/F/L C C Purdy, Ens AD Sturtevant USNR, Boy Mech A H Stephenson and AAM1 S J Hollidge all killed) [Sturtevant, the co-pilot, was the first US Navy aircrew to be killed in WW1; he was awarded a posthumous Navy Cross, and two successive American destroyers were named USS "Sturtevant" after him].

    And what of N4339?

    Curtiss H.12B/(converted to F.2A) N4339.

    Shipped to UK 11.12.17; arr MAD Felixstowe W/E 19.12.17 (convtd F.2A); Attacked by 10 seaplanes 20m SE of North Hinder, but fled 15.2.18 (crew unhurt); Worn out, hull strained by 1.7.18; still Felixstowe 30.1.19.

    See:
    Royal Navy Aircraft Serials and Units 1911-1919.
    Sturtivant,Ray & Gordon Page.
    Tonbridge:Air-Britain (Historians),1992
    p.238

    Now, was Bailey aboard N4339?

    there is also the following entry in the same ref (p.201):

    Short Type 184 N1278.

    Deld Killingholme by lorry for storage 18.7.17; Westgate 20.8.17; Yarmouth 21.817 (repair); Westgate 3.9.17; EF, FL in sea 1.5m W of South Knock buoy, taken in tow for Sheerness by HMS "Clacton Belle", but o/t and sank in bad weather, Completely wrecked, off Westgate 6.10.17. (F/L C W Bailey and AM D A Alderton); Surveyed 13.10.17; Deleted 16.19.17 wrecked.

    Could this also be your man?

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 22nd January 2016 at 07:58.

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    I was hasty in reporting him as being "shot down" - his card at Directorate of History and Heritage say, "He was aboard one of two Felixstowe H.12s which were in a fight with three German seaplanes February 15, 1918. One was shot down and F/L C.C. Purdy, Prince Rupert, B.C. was killed. For details - from German records - see Cross and Cockade, Spring 1970, page 23." I shall consult that next week, but my main question remains unanswered - what was he doing after the war, and especially after 1926 that he would supposedly log 10,000 hours and where would he be engaged in route surveys ?

    This may be a case of looking for the needle in the haystack that is not there.

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    Hugh,
    I suspect that part of your answer may lie in the archives of Imperial Airways. This was the time (1920/30's) when the "Empire Air Routes" were being organised, and amended in the light of experience. It might be unfair to say that they were "making it up as they went along", but reading some accounts of the time it seems nearly to have been the case! And apart from the govt backed airlines there must have been any number of private/commercial air services (think "Round The Bend" by Neville Shute as an example!). I think your 'needle' may well be somewhere in the middle of an exceptionally large 'haystack'!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Hugh,
    Do you know this article?

    WITH R.A.F. IN FAR EAST
    Veteran Flier Surveyed Routes Allies Will Use To Drive Out Japs

    The Winnipeg Tribune from Winnipeg, July 24, 1944 Page 9

    https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/37380337/

    …in 1926 visited Japan. …, in 1927 he flew to Singapore…
    Unfortunately, I can’t read everything. I’m not a permanent reader of the newspapers.com.

    Mojmir

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