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Thread: Squadron Leader Alan Shipwright DFC, Bristol Bulldog pilot

  1. #11
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    You can find some of the details of his inter war postings here

    https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarch...r=1940&x=0&y=0

    Where he was RAF Jerusalem

    A. T. K. Shipwright, D.F.C., to H.Q., Transjordan and Palestine, 31.3.28

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    Many thanks for all this information, Col & Paul. It's always amazing what can be found if you know where to look!

    With all best wishes,

    Gerry

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    Did he have a brother, Denis Ewart Bernard Kingston SHIPWRIGHT, also in the RFC/RAF?
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    According to his M.I.C. he enlisted into the Kent Cyclist Battalion with the regtl number of 1913. He was also in the ASC before transferring to the RFC. Regards, Terry

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    Yes his brother was Denis Ewart Bernard Kingston SHIPWRIGHT, also in the RFC/RAF?

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    Correct - his brother Denis was actually my grandfather. He had a somewhat chequered career but was certainly involved with the RFC and RAF. I get the impression that Alan was the better pilot though. Denis was also a keen racing driver with various connections to Brooklands.

    I noticed mention of a Brooklands 'Shipwright' competition in some of the RAF Gazette links posted here - does anyone know if this was named after one of these Shipwright bothers or is it completely unrelated?

    G

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    SHIPWRIGHT, Alan Thomas Kingston, F/O (15062) - Distinguished Flying Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 11 June 1924 and reported in Aeroplane of 16 July 1924 (which carries a long despatch on operations), "for distinguished service rendered during the operations in Kurdistan between 15th February to 19th June 1923". Born 10 May 1897. Enlisted in Army Service Corps and subsequently became a Sergeant in Royal Flying Corps, piloting BE.2c aircraft at night from Hornchurch during German raids. On being commissioned, posted to France with No.19 Squadron. Shot down and captured, he was taken to Karlsruhe transit camp, escaped, and recaptured. Taken to Holzminden, Brunswick and escaped again through Holzminden Tunnel with 28 others before tunnel roof collapsed. Recaptured and spent three weeks in solitary confinement. Made another escape but was retaken just short of Dutch border. Mentioned in Despatches as per London Gazette dated 16 December 1919, “for valuable services whilst in captivity.” First RAF commission dated 1 April 1918. To RAF Depot on transfer to Home Establishment, 28 December 1924. Served in RAF with No.6 Squadron (DFC, 6 June 1924, Kurdistan). To No.2 Squadron, Manston, 6 March 1925. Invested by the King, 4 July 1925. To Armament and Gunnery School, Eastchurch, 26 March 1926. As of 2 October 1931, F/L A.T.K. Shipwright, DFC posted to No.3 Squadron, Upavon. Posted to No.1 Armoured Car Company, Hinaidi, Iraq, 17 November 1933. Promoted Squadron Leader, 1 December 1937. Retired 12 August 1939 and became a coal miner in Kent. Died 31 March 1980. Public Record Office Air 30/58 (provided courtesy of Anne Sadler) has the following:

    For untiring energy, gallantry and devotion to duty. Flying Officer Shipwright has carried out over 359 hours flying during operations. His work has been of a most valuable nature and in many cases has been done under conditions of the greatest danger.

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    Many thanks Hugh - most detailed & informative! It sounds like Alan had quite a distinguished career in the RAF, certainly more illustrious than his brother Dennis.

    With all best wishes,

    Gerry

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    Default Re: Squadron Leader Alan Shipwright DFC, Bristol Bulldog pilot

    Hello Gerry,
    My husband and I live in Cornwall, and have a 1951 First Edition of 'The Dam Busters' by Paul Brickhill, which is annotated thus: "Best regards to Alan Shipwright - one of the types. Paul Brickhill".
    We cannot remember exactly when or where we bought it as our library is quite extensive, but it is very likely that it was acquired here in Cornwall, and probably came from your Great-Uncle's estate. We found this thread when trying to identify the the name. I can try to send a photograph of the inscription if you like.
    It is also possible that he and my husband's grandfather may have served at the same time in the east (my husband's grandfather was ground crew) so I will look through the photographs and service record to see if that was the case.

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    Default Re: Squadron Leader Alan Shipwright DFC, Bristol Bulldog pilot

    Hello Alexandra,
    Thank you so much for posting here and many apologies for not responding sooner. I'm afraid that I haven't logged on since last year and just found your post through a Google search!
    Alan Shipwright lived out his final days in Cornwall and died in Penzance in 1980. His wife continued to live there until her death in 2002 and they had no children, so it's quite likely that the book was passed on to a local second-hand shop or something like that. I believe that Alan was serving in the near east (Jerusalem & Kurdistan) during the early 1920s - he got his DFC in 1924 for services in the field in Kurdistan.
    I've managed to find out quite a bit about Alan's life but so far I've drawn a complete blank on finding any photographs of him. It would be an amazing coincidence if your husband's grandfather was serving with the RAF at the same time!
    If it's possible for you to send a photo of the inscription that would be great, and if you turn up any other details please do let me know - I'll make sure to check in here more often, just in case! I think I assumed that if someone posted on a thread I had created that I would get an email notification, but evidently not!
    With all best wishes,

    Gerry

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