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Thread: European Caterpillar Club Statistics 1939 to 1945

  1. #1
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    Default European Caterpillar Club Statistics 1939 to 1945

    Data from adverts here


    https://www.aviationancestry.co.uk/


    Caterpillar Club Growth WW2
    From a series of Adverts

    War Enrolments - "European Divison" of Caterpillar Club - Basically Irvin UK (covering Commonwealth) - US was separate

    In the European and Middle East battlefronts alone " British or Allied airman saved in combat or air emergency"
    Sept 3rd 1939 - June 30 1944 Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 9783 (Advert Date August 11 1944) Pow Over 4500
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 10459 (Advert Date August 24 1944) Pow Over 5000
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 12409 (Advert Date October 19 1944) Pow Over 5800
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 13075 (Advert Date November 16 1944) Pow Over 5920
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 13625 (Advert Date December 1 1944) Pow Over 6098
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 14387 (Advert Date December 29 1944) Pow Over 6770
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 17678 (Advert Date March 23 1945) Pow Over 8691
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by "17862" (Advert Date April 5 1945) Pow Over 8691 Think Typo should be 17682
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 17768 (Advert Date April 2 1945) Pow Over 8706
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 22013 (Advert Date June 15 1945)
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 22618 (Advert Date June 28 1945)
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 23034 (Advert Date July 26 1945)
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 23248 (Advert Date August 10 1945)
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 23504 (Advert Date August 23 1945)
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 23734 (Advert Date September 7 1945)
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by 23797 (Advert Date September 20 1945)
    Sept 3rd 1939 - ? Caterpillar Club Membership increased by over 30000 (Advert Date October 18 1945) - Suspect this number has been rounded down for more impact

    Finally RAF 40th Anniversary (Irvin 1926 to 1958) Advert Date March 28th 1958 over 40000 Lives saved in total
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 10th June 2022 at 09:25.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: European Caterpillar Club Statistics 1939 to 1945

    I note the big jump in numbers from April 2 1945 to June 15 1945 when a lot of PoW's would have been released and go back home - and going on for rest of 1945

  3. #3
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    Default Re: European Caterpillar Club Statistics 1939 to 1945

    I am glad they kept track of these statistics. We had been trying to identify the same among POWs. Of the 15000 POWs A vast majority (~9000) are unknown.. only 700 of the remaining are confirmed as bale outs.

    Where I am going is that finding 6000 new entries out of the 9000 POWs may be too big of a jump. Maybe they just winged it from that point. I wonder if they assumed all reported POWs are bale outs instead of other reasons..
    Last edited by Jagan; 10th June 2022 at 12:43.

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    Default Re: European Caterpillar Club Statistics 1939 to 1945

    I know some PoW's claimed club membership in letters home to parents/wives or even direct to Irvin etc - these were used to allocate membership


    Daily Mirror November 4, 1941 Page 5
    PIN TELLS WIFE OF 'CHUTE LEAP

    A caterpillar pin, which is given by the Caterpillar Club to all airmen who save their lives by parachute, has been sent to Mrs. Bewlay. of Somerset-road, Handsworth, Birmingham, on the instructions of her husband, Flying-Officer H. R. Bewlay. now prisoner in Germany.
    Nursing her baby boy, whom her husband has not seen. Mrs. Bewlay told the Daily Mirror: I got the pin six weeks after he was taken prisoner, but in his letter to me he said nothing about baling out

  5. #5
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    Default Re: European Caterpillar Club Statistics 1939 to 1945

    Irvin should pass their archives to Ancestry or somewhere - Even if only to 1940 rolling forward - As 100 years rule kicks in.... and anyone 18 in 1939 would now be 101

    They have a list. but not for public use

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