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Thread: Squadron Leader Rigby WHITTY DFC

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    Default Squadron Leader Rigby WHITTY DFC

    Some questions about 90288 Squadron Leader William Hubert Rigby "Nits" WHITTY DFC.

    1) What are the details of a 76 Sqn Halifax crash 17/2/1945 - is it in BCL 45?
    2) What was his DFC awarded for?
    3) What was his second DFC awarded for?
    4) What became of him after the war - where did he go and what did he do?
    5) What was the meaning of his nickname - "Nits Whitty"

    I understand he left the RAF in late 1946 having been a flight commander on 76, 640 & 158 Squadrons during the last two years. Before his service with Bomber Command and Transport Command he was a pilot with Fighter Command starting off on 607 AAF Sqn at Usworth and/or Acklington, flying Gloster Gladiators and later in 1940, flying Hawker Hurricanes. He fought throughout the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain then became a flying instructor at various flying schools before returning to operations in 1944. He served every year of the war with great distinction. I have been researching him for sometime now but he goes 'straight off the radar' in 1946. Any information about his post war life and any corrections or additions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 7th September 2009 at 15:13. Reason: clarifying question No 1

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    He moved to Canada, Norman. Dies in 2003 and is buried in Troy, NY.

    http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/commonwealth_whitley.htm

    Regards,

    Dave
    Last edited by alieneyes; 7th September 2009 at 10:07.

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    Hi Norman,
    William Rigby Whitty was born in Litherland, Lancashire, March 27, 1914. After studying engineering at Liverpol College and Liverpool University he moved to the North East to work for Reyrolle Research. He joined 607 (County Durham) Squadron in the winter months of 1937/38 and had his first flight, an air experience flight, January 16 1938.
    All of the pilots on 607 Squadron had nick-names, mostly of gangster origin: Dudley Craig was Dillinger etc: a play was made on his name Whitty, converting it to 'Nit Whitty' then shortening it to 'Nits'. He was otherwise known as Will Whitty. He was one of the section that shot down the Do 18 off the North East coast, October 17, 1939.
    I understand his second DFC was the American one awarded in 1946. He retired from the RAF in 1946 and moved to Canada where he lived in Hawksbury, Ontario and worked as a sales consutant for Northern Electric. He died November 17, 2003 and there was a brief obituary in the Tmes, March 1, 1904. Will Whitty was the last of the original 607 AAF Squadron pilots to die.
    The link in Dave's posting will guide you to the Norav pages where I provided a few photographs of him. I also included some information about him in: '607 Squadron: A Shade Of Blue'.
    Hope this helped a little.

    Best Wishes.
    Robert.
    Last edited by northeagle; 7th September 2009 at 16:34.

  4. #4
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi Norman

    Whitty was posted to 158 Sqn on 25/5/45 and 'held the fort' as Squadron Commander between 10/7/45 and 30/7/45 pending the arrival of Hank Iveson. 158 disbanded on 1/1/46 so he MAY have gone to 51 Squadron with Iveson and most of 158 Sqn

    Note that he was Auxiliary Air Force

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    WHITTY, William Hubert, S/L, DFC (90288 Royal Auxiliary Air Force) - No.158 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 June 1946. Home in Litherland, Lancashire. Public Record Office Air 2/9114 has citation drafted when he had flown 14 sorties on second tour and 346 operational hours in all.

    "Since commencing his second tour of operations, Squadron Leader Whitty has completed 14 operational missions which included attacks on targets which were of vital importance during the final phase of the European war. During his first tour (in Fighter Command) he destroyed four enemy aircraft and probably destroyed four more. His work has at all times been characterized by a high sense of duty and conspicuous courage and leadership."

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    Default Bill Whitty

    Hi Norman

    I was in touch with Bill Whitty shortly before he died.

    In addition to the Do18 he shared with two others on 17/10/39. I have noted for him the following:

    10/5/40 He111 plus He111 damaged
    15/5/40 Bf109
    19/5/40 He111 damaged

    These do not equate with four destroyed and four probables as indicated by his DFC citation. I wonder if Hugh or others can clarify.

    Hugh - have you seen his logbook?

    Cheers
    Brian

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    Negative - I have not seen his logbook.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HughAHalliday View Post
    WHITTY, William Hubert, S/L, DFC (90288 Royal Auxiliary Air Force) - No.158 Squadron - Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 June 1946. Home in Litherland, Lancashire. Public Record Office Air 2/9114 has citation drafted when he had flown 14 sorties on second tour and 346 operational hours in all.

    "Since commencing his second tour of operations, Squadron Leader Whitty has completed 14 operational missions which included attacks on targets which were of vital importance during the final phase of the European war. During his first tour (in Fighter Command) he destroyed four enemy aircraft and probably destroyed four more. His work has at all times been characterized by a high sense of duty and conspicuous courage and leadership."
    Hi Hugh,
    If I can comment here without it sounding like a nit-pick: Will Whitty was of the Auxilliary Air Force and not the RAAF which did not come into being until 1947. To the best of my knowledge, Will Whitty did not return to the Auxiliaries after the war.

    Best Wishes.
    Robert.

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