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Thread: 131910 Sqn Ldr John CRAMPTON D.F.C., A.F.C.

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    Default 131910 Sqn Ldr John CRAMPTON D.F.C., A.F.C.

    131910 Squadron Leader John CRAMPTON, D.F.C., A.F.C., wartime bomber pilot, postwar fighter pilot and high altitude pilot. (GAP) In Aug 1944 posted to 76 Sqn (Halifaxes) in Sep 1944 appointed flight commander, a post he held till June 1945 when he was posted to No.11 FTU. (GAP) In July 1951 while at an unknown unit he was ordered by the C in C Bomber Command to take charge of a secret RAF special-duty flight and prepare to head for Barksdale AFB, Los Angeles for conversion training on RB-45Cs. Crampton had previously flown Whitley and Halifax bombers during World War II, then Meteor and Vampire jets post war. Returning to UK late Sep 1951 he was posted to RAF Sculthorpe, Norfolk. In Autumn of 1951, a US Air Force Strategic Air Command Unit commanded by Colonel Marion C. Mixson came over from Barksdale and formed base at RAF Sculthorpe with Sqn Ldr Crampton's Top Secret RAF special duty flight attached to it. With his navigator, Flt. Lt. Rex Sanders, Crampton received written 'over-flight' (of the Soviet Union) approval from Winston Churchill, newly returned as Prime Minister. After a practice mission in March 1952, the very first clandestine RB-45C over-flight mission took place on the night of 17-18 April 1952. The three aircraft known as ‘Tornadoes’ were all painted in RAF colours and markings and flew separate routes to their targets, the operating bases of the Soviet long-range Bomber Forces. One crossed the Baltic states, the second penetrated Byelorussia, while the third aircraft with S/Ldr Crampton, Flt. Lt Sanders, and co-pilot Sgt. Bill Lindsay went direct to the Ukraine. In late 1952 he took command of 101 Squadron (Canberras) at RAF Binbrook.(GAP)In 1957 John Crampton retired from the RAF, in which he had served with distinction in three commands, Bomber, Fighter and Transport. He then went on to work for HM Government for nearly three years. In December 1959 Sqn Ldr Crampton joined the project office of Hawker Aircraft and was responsible for presentations of the P.1127. I have also learnt he had a reputation for an upright manner and for the way he drove the 1932 Maserati 8C-3000 he owned just after the War.

    Questions:
    1) What did he do before 76 Squadron ?
    2) And can anyone help with the rest of the GAPs in my resarch ?
    2) Does anyone know anything about his post war Maserati?
    3) What became of him after Hawkers ?

    Any information no matter how small will be greatfully received. Thank you
    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 14th September 2009 at 16:12. Reason: correcting spelling of Barksdale

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    From the LG for his WW service:
    Air Ministry, 3rd, November, 1942.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    To be Plt. Offs. on prob. (emergency): —
    Sgts.
    1st Sept. 1941.
    1293256 John CRAMPTON (131910).

    Air Ministry, 9th April 1943.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Plt. Offs. (prob.) to be Flg. Offs. on prob. (war subs.):—
    1st Sept. 1942.
    J. CRAMPTON (131910).

    Air Ministry, 26th November, 1943.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Promotion.
    Flg. Offs. to be Flt. Lts. (war subs.).: —
    1st Sept. 1943.
    J. CRAMPTON (131910).

    Air Ministry, 22nd May/1945.
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards : —
    Distinguished Flying Cross.
    Acting Squadron Leaders.
    John CRAMPTON (131910), R.A.F.V.R., 76 Sqn.
    The above awards are in recognition of gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations.

    Air Ministry, 9th September, 1947.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE.
    GENERAL. DUTIES BRANCH.
    Appointment to commission.
    As Flight Lieutenants, extended service (four years on the active list)*:—
    8th May 1947.
    John CRAMPTON, D.F.C. (131910) (seniority 1st Sept. 1945).
    * Retaining their existing ranks under wartime rules.
    Regards, Terry

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    His Air Force Cross was gazetted 1 January 1953 and although no citation is available (not yet, anyway) the award is presumably connected to the work described in the original post. There is no DFC citation in Air Ministry Bulletins and one will have to search through Air 2 documents to find a recommendation.

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    Norman,

    From the 1975 RAF Retired List:

    CRAMPTON, J., DFC AFC. Born 21/8/21. Commd 1/9/41. Sqn Lder 1/7/50. Retd GD 1/6/57

    Errol

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    Norman,

    From the same link I gave Peter re: his question on OC 101 Sqn in November 1944 I see in the same group photo of six OCs of 101 that your man is also there:

    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1953/1953%20-%200945.html

    In the accompanying text it states:

    "For S/L. John Crampton the occasion was his last guest night with the squadron as its commanding officer, before handing over to S/L. W. D. Robertson next week.He is off to a staff appointment at No. 1 Group—his first non-flying job for over 13 years. With no Canberras to fly he will have to content himself with some fast motoring in his Maserati"

    Perhaps this fills in one of your gaps.

    It would also appear that as of September 2009 he is still with us. Have a look at the latest entry on this thread from another forum:

    http://www.pprune.org/archive/index.php/t-376693.html

    Regards,

    Dave

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    I believe that he came from Kenley, Surrey, or close by. When I met him in the early 1960s he recalled as a child watching planes at RAF Kenley through the fence from Kenley Common.
    Ian Macdonald

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    The Maserati - 8C 3000 "MPB 504" still exists. Crampton owned it between 1948 and 1949:

    http://www.pirro.com/english/All.Maserati/Detail/3002.8C.3000.htm

    and he wrote about owning it:

    http://www.carsfortheconnoisseur.com/history2007/sep2007.html

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    Default Where was No. 11 FTU ?

    Many thanks for your kind and informative responses which have led me to a wealth of further material - this will take a while to read and digest! I am very grateful.

    Meanwhile, many of my gaps are now filled apart from his 'immediate post war service'. I discovered on reading the 76 Sqn ORBs for June 1945, "S/Ldr J. Crampton posted to No.11 FTU"

    I have not heard of this unit before. Where was 11 FTU based and guessing 'F' may stand for Fighter or Flying, what aircraft did it operate ?

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 14th September 2009 at 18:41. Reason: expanding last line

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    Hi Norman

    FTU usually means Ferry Training Unit but there wasn't an 11 FTU however there was an 11 Ferry Unit, which was based at Talbenny and then Dunkeswell.

    There was also a 311 FTU but this was disbanded in 1944.

    Malcolm

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    Hi Norman,
    ORB reads 11 FU (Ferry Unit) and not FTU as you posted, and it was in July and not June as you thought.
    Regards........Alan.
    Last edited by AlanW; 15th September 2009 at 06:37.

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