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Thread: D H Hodgkison, 2SFTS, 1940/41.

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    Default D H Hodgkison, 2SFTS, 1940/41.

    Further to a recent post, this chap was with my Father at Brize Norton between Nov. 1940 and April 1941.

    From commission dates, Douglas Henry Hodgkison was commissioned on the 3rd April 1941 along with a number of other guys with names that correspond with some of the other 37 on the course, so it is probably him.

    He appears to have died on 10th September 1941 and is buried in North Battleford Cemetery, Canada. I have little other detail.

    Any idea what he was doing here? What happened to him?

    Regards,

    Nick

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    63109 P/O Douglas Henry Hodgkison

    Killed in 35 SFTS Oxford AS550 30th September 1941 when it collided with Oxford AS186 and crashed 5 miles N of the aerodrome at North Battleford SK.
    35 SFTS was an RAF unit so he was probably staff.

    Sources; The Oxford, Consul & Envoy File (Hamlin) published by Air-Britain and They Shall Grow Not Old (Allison and Hayward) published by The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum.

    Ian Macdonald

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    Hi Nick,

    There was one RAF BCATP School at North Battleford at the time, No. 35 SFTS, which officially opened on 4 September 1941. As an RAF School, many, perhaps all, of the instructors, staff, and students would be RAF at that time.

    There were several other RAF and RCAF Schools close to North Battleford at the time, including 4 SFTS at Saskatoon from late 1940 (75 miles south-east of N. Battleford), 32 SFTS at Moose Jaw from December 1940 (180 miles south-south-east), and a dozen others within a few hundred miles. I don't have any crashes in my lists for 10 September 1941, but my lists are far from complete.

    You probably know this, but all the BCATP Schools in Canada had a mix of Canadian, UK, and others for students and staff from the beginning. The 30 and 40 numbered Schools started life as RAF units in Canada, and were gradually transferred to RCAF control as the war progressed.

    One other comment: by late 1941 a good portion of RCAF graduates of the BCATP were still going directly back to school as instructors (one year earlier the majority had wound up as instructors). I suspect the RAF statistics may have been similar.

    Ian - you just beat me!

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    Ian/Bill,

    This certainly looks like my man.

    He passed out 5th in class so certainly could have qualified for the job. Will l find 35SFTS records at Kew? This may confirm and give me the link. He left 2SFTS in April 1941 but would have been given some leave, l hope.

    Regards,

    Nick

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    Nick;

    Not sure about Kew, but the School diary will certainly be available on microfilm from Library & Archives Canada. Hopefully Dakota can supply us with a reel number.

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    Ian/Bill,

    I approached North Battleford Library and received the attached reply, most helpful and very prompt. Thought you guys may find it interesting.

    Regards,

    Nick

    Hi,
    I phoned the city here and found that Douglas Henry Hodgkison is buried, as you said, in North Battleford veterans cemetary in Block M, Plot 18, Grave 1. When I phoned the City I was told that there was no city address listed so he could have been a rural residence, but my conclusion would be that he lived at the training school.
    We have a vertical file on North Battleford Training School with a few clippings from the newspapers but his name was not mentioned. The information there was on the 35th not the 2nd. It did mention that a lot of the pilots were retained as flight instructors.
    I looked at our microfilm of our local newspapers. There was an article in the North Battleford News and another in the Battleford Press both of October 2, 1941. The North Battleford News refers to a collision on Tuesday (which would be September 30th) in which two airmen were killed, one an instructor and one a pupil. I ran out of time to look to see if there was a follow up. If you feel that would be beneficial, I will do so. The Battleford Press says that Pilot Officer D.H. Hodgkison and L.A.C. Bruce Adams were killed, and L.A.C. M.R. Hall was injured [but not seriously] in a mid-air collision near North Battleford. The News mentions that Funeral services were held Oct. 2, 1941 from Sallows & Boyd's Funeral Home. I have a phone call in to Sallows & McDonald Funeral Home here in town. She will see if she has any information and will get back to me.
    When I googled Mr. Hodgkison's name I notice that you already have the information that his parents are Frederick Harold and Ethel Maude Hodgkison of Enfield, Middlesex, England.

    My assumption from all this is that he was English but trained here with your father and then was retained as a flight instructor. He had his accident and was buried here. This is assuming a lot but does fit with the known facts.
    If you wish a copy of the two articles, I can scan them and email them to you.
    I will contact you when the person from the funeral home replies to me.
    If there is anything else you would wish me to do, please contact me.

    North Battleford Library
    1392 - 101st Street
    North Battleford, SK
    S9A 1A2

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    Nick/Ian/Bill, and All
    Librarians like that are worth their weight in gold!! Librarians, archivists, cemetery officials, and museum curators can be a mixed lot. Some can be obstructive, and want to charge money just to look in an index which their employers already pay them to keep. But some - like this one - are brilliant!! In this time of Local Authority cutbacks let's try to ensure that the good ones are listed as a Protected Species!
    Yrs Aye
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Eddie Fell Guest

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    The reel no you want for 35 SFTS could well be

    C - 12356

    at LA Canada

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    A few more details from the ORB and the accident report;

    From the ORB; 24SEP41 2100hrs F/O R.H. McGowan, F/O S.E. Bulford, F/O J. Ruddick, P/O H.L. Shackleton, P/O D.H. Hodgkison arrived this unit by rail from Halifax on disembarkation Canada.

    Hodkison's service number is listed as 924755 in the ORB, perhaps his original number before he was commissioned.

    From the accident report; The pilot of AS186 was 1199394 LAC M.R. Hall, he escaped with a fractured jaw, bruises and abrasions. Described as an exceptional student, likely to do well.
    It was felt that Hodgkison and his student were killed because they weren't strapped-in, it was not clear if they had been flying that way or if they had undone them in an attempt to bail out.
    Blame was assigned to both pilots for failing to keep a proper lookout. It was noted that Hodgkison may have been distracted by his student's air-sickness, nothing glamorous about their war.

    Ian Macdonald

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    Default 35 SFTS North Battleford

    Hi,
    A good friend of mine was an instructor at North Battleford for several years including the periods that you are interested in.
    One of his tasks was to investigate the various accidents that occured in and around the aerodrome.
    I have copies of several photos that he took at the time to aid investigation.
    I will check through them and see if I can attribute any to the events that you are loooking for.
    Gerry

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