Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: F/Lt. Clifford Donald "Billy" Cross J/10826 - from bomber pilot to Spitfires

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,231
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default F/Lt. Clifford Donald "Billy" Cross J/10826 - from bomber pilot to Spitfires

    I have a newspaper obituary of one of my RCAF boys of Malvern high that says after he went overseas in 1942, he was a bomber pilot and later flew a Spitfire. He was previously a flight instructor at Brantford for a year.

    I have a couple of questions:

    Did many keeners switch commands in this way and what were the considerations for approving such requests? I am going to assume, until I get a copy of his records, that he survived one tour in bombers and decided to do a second in fighters, but I know that's not necessarily how it happened.

    Has anyone heard of a similar incident of hitting the water without a parachute? And how long could a man survive in the English channel in April before exposure killed him?

    Was it normal for someone who had broken both legs to go back to flying like that (other than Bader, of course)?

    Below is the extract from the clipping:

    "At first a bomber pilot, he had for some time been in charge of a Spitfire and was well on his way to completing his second tour when he was shot down over the English Channel in April, 1944.

    He bailed out of the plane but his parachute did not open and he was knocked unconscious as he hit the water. He was later picked up by a navy boat with both legs broken and his back badly injured. Flight-Lieut. Cross remained unconscious for several days. “After recovering he returned to duty in France and later was sent to Canada for a rest,” his mother said. He was in hospital in Montreal until a month ago, when he came to Toronto and died Feb. 28 [1945]."

    Dakota is looking up his casualty card already, so I was mainly looking for suggestions on the stuff that isn't in the records.

    If anyone can suggest a loss for the a/c that would be great too.
    David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bristol, England
    Posts
    1,316
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts

    Default

    The detail you are looking for is as follows:

    27/04/1944 Spitfire MJ140 of 411 Squadron abandoned over the Channel after a flak hit. Pilot CD Cross was injured.

    regards

    DaveW
    Last edited by davew; 28th December 2008 at 18:26. Reason: date added

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Yorkshire
    Posts
    356
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default from bomber pilot to Spitfires

    I understand that P/O GFJ Hoben RCAF (J/15077) switched from bombers at Topcliffe (possibly 102 Sqdn) and later flew with 403 Sqdn based at Catterick.

    He was killed on 11th July 1942 not far from Topcliffe when Spitfire AR345 he was flying crashed.

    regards Rich Allenby

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    1,231
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Rescued by a corvette

    Thanks Dave, that's very helpful. According to spitfires.ukf.net he was attacking a rail bridge near Granville as part of 2TAF. Damaged by flak F/O C D Cross injured in low bale out off Selsey rescued by corvette 27-4-44.

    Incidentally, his younger brother was killed two days before he died, serving in the army.
    Last edited by dfuller52; 28th December 2008 at 18:46. Reason: additional info
    David

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cornwall/UK
    Posts
    316
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default From Bombers to Fighters

    Archibald Cathcart Stewart was originally a 57 Squadron Blenheim pilot who badly hurt himself in the process when he baled out 12 April 1940 near Foucacourt-en-Santerre.

    He was advised to go onto single engined aircraft because his left knee was too weak to handle twin engined aircraft especially in the event of an engine failure.

    When he went back to flying it was as a 175 Squadron Hurricane pilot, then 167/322(Dutch)/65 and 122 Squadron Spitfires, then to Mustangs III's with 122 Squadron, then Spitfires again as WingCo Flying of 125 Wing in March 1944, finally, post-war, he became Air Commodore A C Stewart, DFC, DFC (US), MiD, jssc and was Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO) at HQ No 224 Group, based in Singapore, retiring in April 1961.

    cheers

    Allan
    Allan Hillman

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •