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Thread: Bertram C Whittle Photographs

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    Default Bertram C Whittle Photographs

    MAY BE OF INTEREST

    I have recently been sent a link to a photo album which provides a collection of photos covering Bertram C Whittle's / Peter R Whittle's service with the RAF. http://www.flickr.com/photos/188470206@N05/

    It was sent to me because there were a couple of 35 Squadron related photographs, but there are a wide range of photos, which were annotated after the war; his son (Eric) is now interested to know if the captions are accurate and whether any more detail can now be added to supplement the descriptions.

    I have suggested that he adds a reference number to each photograph to make it easier to provide feedback and the practicality of this is being investigated (as there are other unpublished albums too)

    Feel free to add your feedback on this thread and I will pass the information on to Eric
    Last edited by PeteT; 18th June 2020 at 12:18.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Default Re: Bertram C Whittle Photographs

    Pete T
    A very interesting album, thank you for posting. I hope this might be useful to Eric...
    #1815 Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona, 1941. Aircraft is a Vultee BT-13A. Falcon Field was Mesa, AZ and Thunderbird Field was Phoenix AZ.
    #17ff Vultee BT-13 A, 41-1577. [Note data block near windscreen. BT-13A 41-1577 is recorded as being assigned to Phoenix and Mesa].
    A rough guide to #4 BFTS School Nos....
    Boeing PT-17 & - 17A, marked with school nos. “BP1” and up, assigned June 1941
    Vultee BT-13As marked "BP100" – "BP120". First BT's assigned to Phoenix 7 & 8.41 and to Mesa between 8 & 10.41. Reassigned away November 1942.
    North American AT-6A, etc., marked "BP121" – "BP270". First AT's assigned to Mesa. 9.41.
    #182e Not able to identify this accident aircraft other than it being an AT-6. If the given date and location are correct then this is unlikely to be a #4 BFTS accident – as one of the other captions states the RAF school moved from
    Thunderbird Field, Phoenix to the newly established Falcon Field, near Mesa in August 1941 and the AT-6s were assigned to #4 BFTS from around September.
    #185a The following from the AAF IARC:
    AT-6A, 41-585. Assigned Mesa 22.9.41 - (wrecked Bradshaw Hts AZ 12.10.41. Pilot Denys William E. Morgan LAC UK** flew into storm and struck mountain - complete loss) - w/o.
    LAC. Morgan (Course #2) escaped by parachute. Bradshaw Mountains appears to be about 20 km SSE of Prescott. It may be Morgan was on solo navex via Prescott.
    #1866 Photo included in “The RAF in Arizona, Falcon Field 1941 – 1945”, caption as reads follows: “Dated October 6, 1941, this official U.S., Army photograph shows the aftermath of a Stearman crash caused when both aircraft landed at the
    same time, one on top of the other. A similar accident occurred during a night flying exercise in November”.
    I have found no RAF or USAAF accident reports for this one.
    #1804 His first solo flight would have in a Stearman biplane, this must been his BT solo.
    #1851 Flying Instructor F.O. Smith mentioned on page 40 of the above book.

    Freshman
    Last edited by Freshman; 18th June 2020 at 20:53. Reason: additional text

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    Default Re: Bertram C Whittle Photographs

    Freshman

    Thanks for the detailed feedback; I have just provided Eric with a link to this thread so hopefully he will see your response when he picks up his messages (he is not in the UK so operates to different time zone)
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Default Re: Bertram C Whittle Photographs

    Freshman,
    Apologies for the delayed response, and thank you so much for the details you have offered in regards to Dadís photos. Bert was part of No. 1 Course, 1941, moving from Thunderbird Field to Falcon Field when the latter was (almost) ready.
    Getting back to image IMG_231 on Flickr (located here https://www.flickr.com/photos/188470...posted-public/) I have tracked down the stories of T.K.Whitfield, L. True, and Francis O Smith (flight instructor) but canít find anything on Wilkinson (or is it Williamson?) With your knowledge and sources, can you help? Bert and the three mentioned above all survived the war. Given the statistics it would be a rare and wonderful thing to be able to say that all the men in that photo survived.
    Regards

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    Default Re: Bertram C Whittle Photographs

    Hi Eric,

    The U-Boat sunk in the photos was U31 sunk by a Bristol Blenheim from 82 Sqn with the loss of all 58 of the crew on 11 March 1940. It sank in Jade Bight but it was raised and repaired and put back in service only to be sunk again on 2 November 1940.

    Some great photos, thanks for sharing.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Default Re: Bertram C Whittle Photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by EricAussie View Post
    Freshman,
    Apologies for the delayed response, and thank you so much for the details you have offered in regards to Dadís photos. Bert was part of No. 1 Course, 1941, moving from Thunderbird Field to Falcon Field when the latter was (almost) ready.
    Getting back to image IMG_231 on Flickr (located here https://www.flickr.com/photos/188470...posted-public/) I have tracked down the stories of T.K.Whitfield, L. True, and Francis O Smith (flight instructor) but canít find anything on Wilkinson (or is it Williamson?) With your knowledge and sources, can you help? Bert and the three mentioned above all survived the war. Given the statistics it would be a rare and wonderful thing to be able to say that all the men in that photo survived.
    Regards
    Hi Eric,
    The Nominal Roll of No.1 Course appears in the ORB Appendices. Not all the BFTS Nominal Rolls are not recorded so we are lucky with this one.
    The last names on the list are:
    1166508, True, L.
    1100068, Whitfield, T.K.
    552301, Whittle, B.C.
    1076962, Wilkinson, W.J.

    Hope this will help, Freshman

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    Default Re: Bertram C Whittle Photographs

    Hi John,
    Thanks for your interest and comment; it prompted me to go back and research/update the descriptions for the 3 photos relating to U-31. The survival rate of crew on those vessels was pretty grim.
    regards.
    Eric.

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    Default Re: Bertram C Whittle Photographs

    Hi Freshman,
    Yes, your information has been a great help. I've contacted descendants of L True and T K Whitfield. Wilkinson is still a mystery, although I discovered he received a DFM while with 207 Squadron. Have emailed the editor of 207 Squadron History website in the hope that he can provide more info. Found some wonderful photos (here https://sandiegoairandspace.org/file...G-SC.10134.pdf and here https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasma...57640121917044) of Francis Oscar Smith who was the American flying instructor in IMG_231. He must have been an extraordinary pilot and technician.
    Thanks again.
    Eric.

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    Default Re: Bertram C Whittle Photographs

    Eric,
    Searching an airman's service history is not my best subject but here is a little more I found today - starting from the RAF Gazette link on this site.....
    Flight Sergeant William John Wilkinson (1076962) promoted to Pilot Officer 11 May 1943 (new service No. 143091)
    Flight Sergeant William John Wilkinson (1076962) No. 207 Sqdn awarded D.F.M 14 May 1943.
    Flying Officer William John Wilkinson (143091) awarded Air Force Cross 7 September 1945.

    DFM citation here, page 645...https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/re...-fleet-air-arm

    Cheers, Freshman

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