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Thread: P/O N. V. Crabtree (U.S.A. R.C.A.F.) – commissioning gazetted or not

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    Default P/O N. V. Crabtree (U.S.A. R.C.A.F.) – commissioning gazetted or not

    Hi all,
    Does anybody know a RCAF service number of Norman Vincent Crabtree, an American pilot? I can’t find his name in The Canada Gazette.

    263 Sqn ORB 02.11.1941: P/O N. V. Crabtree (U.S.A. R.C.A.F.) was posted to 263 Squadron. (from 56 OTU via 137 Sqn)

    Was his commissioning gazetted in The Canada Gazette?

    The United States was a neutral country and wasn’t at war. It was a criminal offense to join the armed forces of a belligerent country. Anyone caught trying to join faced a $20,000 fine, 10 years in prison, and loss of U.S. citizenship.

    Regards

    Mojmir

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    Hello,

    J107779 Norman Vincent CRABTREE RCAF

    Nationality: American. Rank: Pilot Officer. Squadron: 137. Flight: B. In: 1 October 1941 from 55 OTU. First Whirlwind Op: Not operational. Out: 2 November 1941 to 263 Squadron. Squadron: 263. Flight: B. In: 2 November 1941 from 137 Squadron. First Whirlwind Op: 30 December 1941. Out: 29 September 1942 to 8 USAAF. Hours: 103.00 on 90 ops. Remarks: He joined the RCAF prior to America's entry into the war and was one of twenty-six pilots who served with both Whirlwind Squadrons. Discharged from the RCAF to join the 94th 'Hat in the Ring' Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group US 8th Air Force flying P-38s, by 10 November 1944 he was a Major in the 9th Air Force in France when he wrote off a Piper L4-B.

    See:
    263 And 137 Squadrons The Whirlwind Years.
    Bowater,Robert.
    N.p.:Fonthill Media,2013.
    p.228

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 17th March 2018 at 23:38.

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    Hi Col,

    Thank you very much for your quick answer.
    But… Would you be so kind to check the service number? It has too many digits. I tried a shorter version J10779 but it belonged to E.S. Kobiersky.

    55 OTU or 56 OTU?

    The 137 ORB stated:
    „Ten new pilots from 56 O.T.U. were posted to the Squadron, four Officers and six Sergeants… Two of the new Officers Pilots were transferred to No.263 Squadron…“

    During July - August 1944 Capt. N.V. Crabtree - only one non-Rhodesian pilot - flew Typhoons with 266 (Rodesian) Squadron. (Service No. O-885227)

    Best regards

    Mojmir

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    Mojmir

    Robert Bowater quotes Crabtree's service number (on p.228), as J/107779 and his OTU as 55 OTU. I have checked the other references to Crabtree in the book, afraid no mention elsewhere of a service number.

    Here is a sampling (from Bowater's book) of some RCAF Members posting in details:

    R78087 BREARLEY,Edgar --------------Posted in 9/10/41 from 55 OTU
    R72637 BRENNAN,John Robert --------Posted in 9/10/41 from 55 OTU
    J107779 CRABTREE,Norman Vincent - Posted in 1/10/41 from 55 OTU
    C2645 CURRY,John Harvey ------------Posted in 1/03/42 from 58 OTU
    J15111 GILL,Donald Ross --------------Posted in 9/10/41 from 55 OTU
    J15273 KENNEDY,Irving Farmer -------Posted in 30/9/41 from 55 OTU
    J15275 LOVELL,William Albert ---------Posted in 9/10/41 from 55 OTU
    J15505 McCLURE,John Edward --------Posted in 9/10/41 from 55 OTU
    R79587 MUIRHEAD,Harvey Donald ---Posted in 9/10/41 from 55 OTU
    R67827 REED,Richard Irl --------------Posted in 9/10/41 from 55 OTU

    Not meant to be comprehensive, purely a sampling

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th March 2018 at 14:34. Reason: Corrected J.H.Curry RCAF

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    Hi Col,

    Thank you very much again. I’ll try to check numbers J15xxx. I hope P/O Crabtree will be there. Or try R107779?


    By the way C2645 S/L John Harvey CURRY, DFC, OBE had to have a double:

    Posted overseas 20/11/1941 and further trained at No.58 OTU, Grangemouth, where he was posted 23/12/ 1941 from No. 3 P.R.C. He could not be posted to No. 263 Squadron 1/10/41.

    Regards

    Mojmir

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    Mojmir,

    See corrected entry for C2645 John Harvey CURRY RCAF, confused him with Vivian Lester CURRIE! I deliberately avoided decorations and awards in my listing.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th March 2018 at 14:41.

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    Thank you very much, Col.

    N.V. Crabtree’s service number – (107779) - could be a RAF one, because numbers 107774 – 107782, 107784 were probably allocated to Americans in RAF. Their commisioning weren’t gazetted.
    Is it possible?

    (107774) LG – nil POWELL, Thomas Ray Died 11/12/1941, U.S.A.
    (107775) LG – nil
    (107776) LG – nil LAGETTE Paul M., San Bernardino, U.S.A.
    (107777) LG – nil
    (107778) LG – nil HOOPER, Roy Wesley Died 17/10/1942 48 Sqdn. U.S.A.
    (107779) LG – nil CRABTREE N.V. U.S.A. (?)
    (107780) LG – nil
    (107781) LG – nil BICKSLER E.H., U.S.A.
    (107782) LG – nil
    (107783) MURRAY Allan (Nationality?)
    (107784) (LG – nil) PORTER, Robert Clarke Died 04/10/1942 521 Sqdn. U.S.A.

    I can’t find all names. Could anybody fill in gaps?

    Mojmir

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    Mojmir,

    A couple of gap-fillers:

    (107775) - Leo S NOOMIS
    (107777) - Joseph M KELLY

    Both recorded in Phil Listemann's, No.71 (Eagle) Squadron 1940 - 1942 (2010 ed.). p.11. Checked other "Eagle" squadrons, no luck.

    Col
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th March 2018 at 22:59.

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    Thank you very much, Col.

    Mojmir

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