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Thread: P/O H. Capstick

  1. #1
    dodo Guest

    Default P/O H. Capstick

    I am interested in the life of the Battle of Britain pilot: P/O. H. Capstick.

    He is described as being from Jamaica, and the sole BoB veteran from this colony. Even today Jamaica has a very small population, so he must have been quite a figure in this small but very patriotic colony. If he lived outside of the urban centres of Kingston and Port Royal, he must been even more well-known.

    Any detail appreciated. Is there a photo on the web?

  2. #2
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    Info from the LG and the Web:
    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    The undermentioned are granted commissions for the duration of hostilities as Pilot Officers on probation on the dates stated:
    Leading Aircraftmen.
    5th May 1940.
    751809 Herbert CAPSTICK (79176).

    Air Ministry,
    20th June, 1941.
    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    The undermentioned Pilot Officers on probation are confirmed in their appointments and promoted to the war substantive rank of Flying Officer:
    5th May 1941.
    Herbert CAPSTICK (79176).

    Air Ministry,
    23rd June, 1942.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Flg. Offs. to be Flt. Lts. (war subs.):
    5th May 1942.
    H. CAPSTICK (79176)

    Between August and October 1940 the Luftwaffe (German air force) tried to kill off the British Royal Air Force in order to open the way for a German invasion of Britain. But the Battle of Britain went the Allies' way, thanks in large part to the brave contributions of Commonwealth and other pilots. These included Pilot Officer H Capstick, Jamaican, of 236 Blenheim Squadron.
    http://www.mgtrust.org/w2.htm

    Regards, Terry

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    Default Herbert Capstick

    Hi guys

    Do we know if Herbert was a black Jamacian? I note that he was a Sqn Ldr when demobbed in 1946. Any idea where he served after leaving 236 Squadron?

    Cheers
    Brian

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    Possibly, the IWM (via google) identifies him as West Indian and BOB. I also found this that may help to identify his background.

    http://disc.yourwebapps.com/discussion.cgi?disc=44591;article=3323;title=Profi les%20of%20the%20Few

    http://foundation.sedberghschool.org/index.asp?page=evans&menu=evans&menuParent=boys_ho uses&menuGrandParent=the_school&option=&debug=clea r

    Howard
    Last edited by Howdie; 7th December 2007 at 12:07. Reason: adding sedburgh link

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    Capstick appears to have been a white Jamaican. There is a picture of him (though I can't be 100% certain that the picture is of him), his log book and medals that were sold recently:

    http://www.ccbaviation.com/Products/Products.asp?mnuProducts=Memorabilia&mnuProd=Memor abilia
    (second item down)

    A

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    Default Herbert Capstick

    Thanks Terry and Amrit

    Amrit - do we know when S/Ldr Drew (with Capstick as observer) claimed the Bf109? I haven't note of this in my records.

    Cheers
    Brian

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    He's a real mystery man. Even the Men of the Battle of Britain states that there is no info on his activities post 236 Squadron.

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    Brian

    There's no mention of any such claim or activity in anything I've got - and I'd have thought "The Other Few: Bomber and Coastal Command Operations in the Battle of Britain" would have mentioned something.

    A

  9. #9
    dodo Guest

    Default bbm site

    Guys, (Terry, Brian, Howard & Amrit) many thanks for your insights and contributions. They answered many questions, though of course they prompt several new ones.

    The site with the photos was outstanding: well done for that.
    I've now tried LG online myself and, surprise, it worked: thanks for that.
    The school reference was also interesting: it mirrors the practice of the British in India.

    The Battle of Britain Monument (bbm) website describes P/O Capstick as a 'Pilot from Jamaica'. I did know Herbert Capstick was on 236 Sqn, a Blenheim squadron with O & AG, but I did feel that if the bbm says he is a pilot, they ought to know. The detail also seemed plausible as most Observers at this stage seemed to be Sgt. (and AG were still: Cpl., LAC & AC.1!). Beyond the additional background detail, I think the main value of my query was that this detail was so promptly corrected.

    On checking back the bbm site, I see that everybody is described as a 'Pilot'. That is obviously the popular perception, but it seems particularly slack on a 'semi-official' site, especially one with a dedicated focus, such as the bbm. I find this at best 'very disappointing'.
    The statement is actually inaccurate, but a semi-official site will be taken as a reliable source by many laymen wishing to learn more. The site does them no service, nor the non-pilot aircrew the site commemorates. It makes sites like this all the more to be treasured.

    Good job. Thanks to you all.

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    Default Herbert Capstick

    Hi guys

    Of course all - or some, at least - would be revealed if we knew who recently bought Herbert's logbook etc!

    Wishful thinking!

    Cheers
    Brian

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