Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Squadron Leader Wilfred Ivanhoe Harris BURKE

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,382
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Squadron Leader Wilfred Ivanhoe Harris BURKE

    Hello

    I'm looking for détails about S/L Wilfred Ivanhoé Harris BURKE, 26100, who was killed in action on 8th June 1940. He was flying Blenheim IV R3746 of No. 15 Squadron and was killed near Guerville with his crew, and is buried locally. I have the casualty pack and ORB, and some pages from Flight archives, so I know he came out of R.A.F. College Cranwell in July 1929. He became a flying instructor in the mid thirties, and I'm trying to know when he was posted to the Squadron, and if he was still intructing at the outbreak of WW2.

    I suspect that he was posted to No. 15 Squadron in late May 1940, or early June, to replace the unit's combat losses (like on 18th May), which had created vacancies in flight commanders posts. Also, if he converted on Blenheims in an O.T.U., and if so, which one.

    Observer was Pilot Officer Robert Moffat 77921 and WOpAG was Sgt George Thompson 755768.

    Thanks in advance for any help

    Joss

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,609
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts

    Default

    Joss,

    Wilfred Ivanhoe Harris BURKE
    b. 21-Aug-1909 Reg ???
    m. dd.mm.1938, ? ?, Singapore p.337 l.47
    b. 28 Jun 1939, Robert H Burke
    loc. 29-Sep-1939, W I H Burke, R H Burke, Kenya House (Boarding House?), Abingdon R D, Berkshire
    d. 8 Jun 1940

    Jul 1937, Jul 1938 Flt Lt on FEAF Air Staff (5 Feb 1937)
    Jan 1939 Sqn Ldr on FEAF Air Staff (5 Feb 1937)
    (both from RAFWEB)



    HTH

    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 4th November 2017 at 15:17. Reason: Additions
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,382
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Peter for the FEAF bit. It fills in the period for which I was unsure, after instructing and before No. 15 Squadron.

    Burke was indeed born on 21st August 1909, in Ootacamund, India. His father was an army officer, based there.

    Joss

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Limerick, Ireland.
    Posts
    461
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Hello Joss,

    I expect you have already checked the 15 Squadron ORB which unfortunately has nothing on when Burke was posted in. The 15 Squadron Appendices are of no assistance either. He flew his first mission on June 7th and his second - and last - on June 8th.
    Checking the 101 Squadron ORB I note that his observer P/O R. Moffat was posted to 15 Squadron on 5 June 1940 from 101 Squadron. I can find no mention of Burke in the 101 Squadron ORB from January to June 1940.
    I also checked the ORBs and some Appendices for 35, 90, 104 and 108 Squadrons from September 1939 to April 1940 but without any success. As you say he may have come from an OTU (probably 13 or 17) but I do not have any of their ORBs.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,382
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Hello Martin,

    Thanks for checking. Indeed I have the Squadron ORB which gives no clues.

    Another interrogation mark is that there was another Thompson flying with the Squadron since pre-war, as Wireless operator air gunner. But no initials and no service number given. There was also a P/O Thompson at the same time, but he was a pilot...

    He might be George Thompson 755768, or Clifford William Thompson 551783, of the Masters crew, who is buried in Longueval (Somme) while his two crewmates are buried in Morval, both KIA 23rd May 1940.

    Sgt Moffat was flying with No. 15 Squadron in September 1939, on Battles. His time with 101 might be connected to a complement of operational training, and the change from Battle to Blenheims.

    Checking the 13 OTU's ORB might offer some answers. I have 17 OTU's ORB for that period, it gives figures but no names of pupils in classes, like in most OTU's ORBs.

    Regards

    Joss

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Resmoroh View Post
    Joss,

    Wilfred Ivanhoe Harris BURKE
    b. 21-Aug-1909 Reg ???
    m. dd.mm.1938, ? ?, Singapore p.337 l.47
    b. 28 Jun 1939, Robert H Burke
    loc. 29-Sep-1939, W I H Burke, R H Burke, Kenya House (Boarding House?), Abingdon R D, Berkshire
    d. 8 Jun 1940

    Jul 1937, Jul 1938 Flt Lt on FEAF Air Staff (5 Feb 1937)
    Jan 1939 Sqn Ldr on FEAF Air Staff (5 Feb 1937)
    (both from RAFWEB)



    HTH

    Peter Davies
    My Grandfather and father.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,382
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Hello Fenlander,

    I can't send you e-mails or private message through this board.

    Can you get in touch with me by e-mail at JossLeclercq AT orange.fr ? I can send you the documents I've gathered about the loss of your grand-father if you are interested.

    Joss

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •