View Full Version : Sgt Plt E. T. HEELDS, 1938

Steve Brew
3rd April 2015, 03:59
Hi all

According to William Cooke's "Wings over Meir", one of the flying instructors at 28 E&RFTS Meir was Sgt Plt E. T. Heelds. There is even a photo of him in the book.

However, despite detailed searches, I cannot identify this man (forename, middle name, prior service), and fear there may be some error in the surname. I have tried searching for variants such as Heald, Heels, etc., but am still coming up with nothing.

Does anyone have any ideas, or have you come across this man?


3rd April 2015, 09:02
Steve, Hi,
Not a lot of help I’m afraid.
There does not appear to be a “Heelds” in Air 78/74.
In a couple of the BMD sites the majority of the “Heelds” are pre-1837 – so you may be looking at some form of typo.
There is, however, a “Heelds” in Google which may be of some help, but if he’s not in AIR 78/74 then I doubt if they will be of much use.
Somebody else may have better luck!
Peter Davies

Steve Brew
4th April 2015, 00:38
Thanks Peter

That confirms my suspicions.

Unfortunately, records of 28 E&RFTS do not appear to have survived, although records for a subsequent school, No. 1 Flying Practice Unit, exist for February-June 1940. Records of RAF Meir itself, according to the TNA Catalogue, do not commence until January 1942, even though 28 E&RFTS opened in August 1938.



Alex Smart
4th April 2015, 02:50

Could find nil in RAF Lists for 1938/9. But as said to be a NCO at that time would not be in the list.
I did find however the following in the March 1941 list. Not in January's.
Could he be your man?
60320 - HEELAS, Eric Tyndale - P/O - RAFVR - Seniority - 15-1-1941.


Steve Brew
4th April 2015, 06:28
Mr Smart, you are a legend!

Further searching now shows that a Mr. E. T. Heelas was CFI in Leicestershire in March 1938, so that looks like my man.

I still can't find any record of him being with the RAF/RAFVR (e.g. inter-war airmen's records in findmypast) but the fact he was commissioned from Sgt Plt in Jan 1941 proves he was. In fact his number, 740745, suggests he joined the RAFVR between Jan 1937 and Sep 1939. Being a relatively low number in the block 740000-759999 also suggests to me it was likely earlier rather than later that he joined the RAFVR, so I think that sits nicely.

Just brilliant; thank you very much.