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Thread: Pilots, crews and 2nd dickie flights

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    Default Pilots, crews and 2nd dickie flights

    I have a pilot who joined 426 Sqn on 7 Oct 1944 and flew on three ops before being lost on his fourth trip (Halifax NP709) on 1 Nov. It was his crew's second op.

    I have found him listed on the 6 Group operations logs (thanks again Richard for this great site) as the pilot on two missions prior to his last, one of which is probably with his crew, the Cologne mission of Oct 31.

    My question is, if his crew only flew one mission prior to this, how did he come to fly as lead pilot on the Oct 15 mission? I can see where he might have flown as 2nd dickie on a flight or two prior to taking his own crew but he was listed as pilot on the mission of Oct 15.

    "F/Lt W. Anderson landed at Charterhall on return due to poor weather at base."

    Does anyone have the 426 ORB that might explain what crew he was flying with on the 15th?

    Can anyone offer a suggestion as to why he leading a different crew before joining his own?
    David

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    Default Second dickie

    Hi

    From the reading I have done it seems that for a long time new pilots would have one maybe two flights as second dickie to get some experience. They would be allowed to fly part of the route by the pilot. It was reckoned that it gave them chance to get guidance from the more experienced crew and also some experience of what was going to happen when they hit the real ops. Harris later banned this because they were losing too many.

    Pilots did sometimes take over from others if there was sickness or the pilot had been injured in some way on the previous trip and he was crewless... Given that he was a Flt Lt he must have been experienced so maybe it was his second tour as crews were generally split all over the place when they did instructing after the first trip...

    Will be very interesting to hear the rest of this story....

    Dee

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    Default

    Thanks Dee, you have just pointed out a possible error for me. Anderson was a rookie and his rank was only F/O as of June 44, so either the adjutant might have made an error (there was a J. Anderson on the squadron at the time too), either in his rank or in which Anderson he meant.

    If he was 2nd dickie on a couple of flights, they must have been back to back as he was only on station from 7 Oct and flying as a lead pilot by 15 Oct. I need to see those ORBs for sure.
    David

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    Default

    Dfuller: Nothing unusual here. Errors on ORB's are common. In my dad's case, they had his rank incorrect in one entry and mispelled his name on one of the bombing photos. Dad flew only one trip as a 2nd dickie. I believe that was the norm. The most important thing is to get the crew lists (battle order) for the earlier ops to determine whether he flew as lead pilot. That should be possible either from the ORB's or the battle orders and since he was only attached to the Squadron for a short time, you really would only be looking through the October ORB's.

    Also important to note that there may be two Anderson's on the squadron: Check the service number. 419 Squadron had two Andersons flying on the squadron in the summer of 1944.

    Jim

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    Default

    Thanks Jim. I am assuming he was the pilot on the Oct 15 mission, since his name is listed with the note about the returnees being diverted to another station but it may well have been J. Anderson, although I now see he was with 419 Sqn, not 426.
    David

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    Default Anderson.WF

    David. The crew was posted in to 426 Sq on Oct 7/1944.
    He goes out with P/O G. Hamilton on Oct 9/10,1944 to Bochum.
    He goes out with P/O C. McKinstry on Oct 12,1944 to Wanne-Eickel.
    He takes his own crew out on Oct 30/31,1944 to Cologne.
    They go missing on Nov 1/2,1944 to Oberhausen.
    Richard

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    Default Second dickie

    Hi

    That sounds more like it... Yes they would likely be back to back for the induction flights as they wanted to get them up and running asap. If you are going to Kew for the F540s there are some microfiche records that record just the crew names.... Do you have the FOs service number cos that will help you sort out which Anderson is which.

    Might be worth contacting 426 sqn assn in Canada as they may have the details you want.

    Dee

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    Default

    Thanks Richard, so that means is the other reference to W. Anderson on the 15th is incorrect?
    David

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