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Thread: P/O L.G. Wilson (J/18876) 519 Sqn

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    Default P/O L.G. Wilson (J/18876) 519 Sqn

    One for our resident met. specialists.

    P/O L.G. Wilson of 519 Sqn was lost 15 Oct 43 when the his aircraft, Spitfire VI BR171, developed an engine fire. Does anyone know if he previously served with 1406 (Met) Flt from which 519 Sqn was formed in Aug 43 and if so between what dates?

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Andy,

    Service file shows him on No. 1406 from 31 March 1943 until 15 October 1943.

    Another portion of the file has him T.O.S No. 519 Sqn 18 September 1943.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Andy,

    Most of the following comes from the online 519 Squadron ORB: AIR 27/1989/5 (Summary of events) and AIR 27/1989/6 (Record of events)

    1. 1406 Met Flight became 519 Squadron on 18 August 1943. Following the change W/O L G Wilson's first sortie, a PRATA, was on the 20th. It lasted just 10 minutes as the radio failed soon after take-off, and the sortie was subsequently cancelled due to a deterioration in the weather.

    2. A PRATA was a rapid ascent for meteorological purposes over or near the base airfield to between 38000 and 42000 ft, the object of the sortie was to record air temperatures at regular intervals during the ascent, but a record was also kept of weather/cloud details/icing/contrails. There was a single daily sortie with take-off usually scheduled for 1300 hours and lasted for between 75 minutes and 90 minutes.

    3. For some reason on the 15th the take-off was delayed until 1325 hours; at 1420 hours Wilson radioed he was baling out as the aircraft was on fire. The timing suggests to me he was close to the top of the climb when he ran into trouble. The F1180 might add a little more to this.

    4. An ASR search was instigated but proved unsuccessful.

    5. Although the CWGC has him as P/O, every entry in the 519 Squadron ORB records him as being W/O; unfortunately the watermark obliterates his rank for the fatal sortie.

    Brian

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    It was nor uncommon for aircrew lost in WW2 to have been recommended for a commission, this would then be approved, but before the fact of commissioning had time to be gazetted, the individual might be killed or lost. Thus the CWGC would correctly record the commissioned rank, but the ORB might record on date of the individual's death that they were still a W/O or a F/Sgt, etc. So both accounts are correct, but for different reasons!
    David D

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    What David has written applies here.

    On the Form 765 Wilson was a Warrant Officer. His Record of Service shows him discharged from the RCAF on appointment to a commission 18 September 1943.

    Dave

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    I assumed the P/O was a posthumous commission, but was unable to find it in the LG - although (1) searching the LG is not one of my strengths and (2) I only went as far as the end of December 1943. I wonder if the Form 765 indicates the seniority of the appointment rather than the actual commission?

    Brian

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    Dave and Brian,

    Many thanks for the information regarding his service and final sortie.

    Best Regards

    Andy Fletcher

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