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Thread: W/C Le Poer-Trench 31 SFTS

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    Default W/C Le Poer-Trench 31 SFTS

    Hi guys

    does anyone have any info on a W/C Le Poer Trench (or La Pour Trench as given in the book I am reading*)? Was Commanding Officer of 31 SFTS around Nov/Dec 1942. Possibly Charles Frederick le Poer Trench?

    And any info on a possible "incident" involving the W/C, an Anson, and disgruntled base personnel (late Nov/ early Dec '42)?

    * I am reading "Almost Into Wind: One man's firsthand look at the operations of the Fleet Air Arm" by D S Rooke



    cheers
    A
    Last edited by Amrit; 7th January 2010 at 20:16.
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    The only Ansons assigned to 31 SFTS were a small number with an "Army Cooperation Flight", although their duties appear to have included radar calibration. The flight was transfered complete to Eastern Air Command later in the war, as a calibration flight.

    Sorry I can't add any more.

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    Amrit,

    Does the book record anything of La Pour Trench's early life or, particularly, his father?

    Brian

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    Cheers Bill.

    The book states that it was the personal aircraft of the CO. The passage reads :

    "When I came in to land after my second flight of Monday, November 30, 1942, an Anson was taking off ahead of me. Half way down the runway it had already reached a height of about fifty feet when it lost power and landed with its wheels retracted. I was too low and too slow to open up and go round again without the possibilty that I would hit the Anson, so I landed behind it.....as I taxied past the Anson two figures climbed out and waved me down. They were the Commanding Officer of the base and his personal pilot......

    ....It turned out that someone had tampered with the Commanding Officer's Anson hoping to kill him." (ibid pg 47-48)

    Brian,

    the only other detail about Le Poer-Trench (or La Pour Trench as written in the book) was that he took over command of the Kingston base after being the Commanding Officer of the RCAF Military Police School, and that there was quite a bit of resentment against him for his disciplinary attitude.

    cheers
    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Default Golden Retreivers

    Much obliged Amrit.

    My reason for asking is that the name "le Poer Trench" figures prominantly in the development of golden retrievers, and is so unusual I was hoping there was a direct link between your man and mine (possible grandson?).

    The golden retriever was only recognised as a breed in 1913, and can be traced back to a litter of four born in 1868.

    My man, Colonel le Poer Trench, appears in the story in the 1880s as a young man living in Buckinghamshire.

    Nothing whatsoever to do with aviation (let alone WW2 aviation) but it links nicely with my other interest.

    Brian

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    Cheers Brian

    I think I may come across a reference or two to your man whilst googling. Though the name is rare there appear to be quite a few notable ones in the aristocracy (not that helps in my search).

    And GRs are stunning dogs. If I had the space I would love one, or a Lab

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    From a very old thread on the GWF Forum:
    (posted by Dolphin Nov 20 2004)
    Some forty years ago I had the privilege of meeting an elderly gentleman named le Poer Trench who had been a SPAD VII pilot in No 23 Sqn RFC; he was very proud of his RFC service, and I remember his RFC tie. I think that he may have been Charles Frederick le Poer Trench, who died in Sydney in 1974.

    From memory, he told me that he had previously served as a subaltern in the Sherwood Foresters. I just tried to confirm this in the on-line records of the London Gazette, but the Gazette site doesn't seem to be feeling well at the moment - it won't recall pages.

    I do remember that Mr le Poer Trench said that he had been posted back to the UK after a period of flying on the Western Front, and that he was to return to France as a flight commander in a Sopwith Salamander squadron in 1919, but it didn't happen due to the Armistice. He remained in the RAF after the War, and served in Canada during the 1939-1945 War. He gave me a copy of the 1937 RAF Pocket Book, that I still have.

    Another memory is his telling me that SPAD pilots could always be distinguished by their singed gauntlets. The exhausts of both the S. VII and S.XIII extended past the cockpit, and pilots used to warm their hands by grabbing the warm exhausts.

    The mention of "..serving in Canada during the 1939-1945 War..." may be connected? No mention of Military Police or Retrievers though!

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    Thanks Kevin. That could be my man by the sounds of it.

    The book is a great read but certain details (spellings) are clouded by memory (even though a lot of it is based on diaries he kept at the time). The most common mistakes seem to be spellings of people's names (but with enough tantalising details so as to allow me to correctly identify quite a few - including a BoB pilot, later a S/L, by the name of Smith!! That was a fun bit of research)

    cheers all for your help so far

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Amrit;

    Looking through notes made from the 31 SFTS diary many years ago, I found this:
    14 December 1942: Anson 7622 slightly damaged, lost power in one engine on takeoff, touched down 200 yards off end of runway. S/L P.D. Lamb was transporting CO of School to relief airfield at Gananoque; no injuries

    7622 was a Canadian built Mk. II, on the books of No. 1 TC from May 1942. It transferred to No. 3 TC, as part of 31 SFTS, on 18 February 1944. This may be your aircraft. 31 SFTS had 8 Ansons on strength in December 1942 (along with 121 Harvards, 6 Lysanders, and 1 Walrus).
    Last edited by Bill Walker; 8th January 2010 at 15:57. Reason: corrected, added info fro 31 SFTS diary

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amrit View Post
    Hi guys

    does anyone have any info on a W/C Le Poer Trench (or La Pour Trench as given in the book I am reading*)? Was Commanding Officer of 31 SFTS around Nov/Dec 1942. Possibly Charles Frederick le Poer Trench?

    And any info on a possible "incident" involving the W/C, an Anson, and disgruntled base personnel (late Nov/ early Dec '42)?

    * I am reading "Almost Into Wind: One man's firsthand look at the operations of the Fleet Air Arm" by D S Rooke



    cheers
    A
    This is probably too late, but.....

    My late Father was in 31 SFTS at Kingston (operated out of Norman Rogers Aerodrome, Collins Bay) from November 1940 to November 1943.

    CF Le Poer-Trench was his CO, and according to Dad, he was not well liked by his men. Your story sounds like it fits.

    I can tell you he was Australian, born in Orange, NSW in 1896. Died there in 1975. I don't have exact dates.

    Here are some photos relating to 31 SFTS...

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36702396@N00/3606888370/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36702396@N00/3605113146/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36702396@N00/3605112754/in/photostream/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/36702396@N00/3605112520/in/photostream/

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