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Sqn Ldr W G Tiley 17/04/1944


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#1 nicks

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:15 PM

TILEY, WILLIAM GODFREY
Rank: Squadron Leader
Service No: 45766
Date of Death: 17/04/1944
Age: 34
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force

525 Sqdn.
Awards: M B E
Grave Reference Grave 126.
Cemetery COLERNE (ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST) CHURCHYARD
Additional Information: Son of William and Emma Selina Tiley, of Colerne.

I have added a photograph of this officer's headstone to another thread.

http://www.ww2talk.c...html#post479456

However research into his loss has thrown up a few discrepancies, firstly the CWGC database list him as serving with 525 Sqn but the GRO Index list his unit as 105 O.T.U at Bramcote, which would be correct?

Elsewhere on the internet I have found that he may have been onboard Warwick BV247 that crashed in Newquay Bay on the 17/04/1944, I would have thought if this had been the case then his death would have been registered in the Civil register and not that RAF Index, I have been unable to find such an entry. According to Colin Cummings in his book ‘Though Without Anger’ the Warwick was on a routine flight to Algeria when it collided with a enemy fighter shortly after take-off. All onboard were killed including several high ranking officers from SOE and MI6, unfortunately all of those onboard are not listed by name.

If I remember correctly a documentary called The Gold Plane was made about the last flight of this aircraft in the 90's.

Any help would be appreciated.
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He was a common, unconsidered man, who, for a moment of eternity, held the whole future of mankind in his two sweating hands.

 

And did not let it go.
 

(Excerpt from Fighter Pilot by ACM Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris GCB, OBE,DSO)


#2 Harry Ree

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 02:26 PM

Can't add much apart that No 525 Squadron was based at Lyneham in April 1944 equipped with the Warwick1.

As far I can see,RAF Bramcote as No 105 (Transport) OTU never had the Warwick on charge and at the time of Squadron Leader Tiley's death had 35 Wellingtons on charge.The OTU at the time was the main resident unit at Bramcote and was part of No 44 Group Transport Command.

As regards Squadon Leader Tiley,I had the impression he may have been a Halton brat when I visited Colerne churchyard some years ago.It would appear that he served in the RAF from from about 16 years of age.

Memories of Colerne,played rugby for RAF Yatesbury against RAF Colerne a long time ago when the place was a MU.If I remember correctly every blade of grass was covered by gaunt looking white cocooned Lancasters.From what we know now,all destined for the breakers yard.

At the time of our visit,I was researching a Hampden crew,skippered by a New Zealander which crashed on returning from a raid. He lies close to Squadron Leader Tiley's grave which does not possess a CWGC tombstone which must have been determined by his NOK.
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#3 nicks

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:57 PM

As far I can see,RAF Bramcote as No 105 (Transport) OTU never had the Warwick on charge and at the time of Squadron Leader Tiley's death had 35 Wellingtons on charge.The OTU at the time was the main resident unit at Bramcote and was part of No 44 Group Transport Command.


Would the Wellington and Warwick have shared characteristics given that they were similar in design albeit the Warwick being larger? I was always under the impression that experienced crews were posted to an O.T.U operating the same aircraft as they had just completed their tour on.
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He was a common, unconsidered man, who, for a moment of eternity, held the whole future of mankind in his two sweating hands.

 

And did not let it go.
 

(Excerpt from Fighter Pilot by ACM Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris GCB, OBE,DSO)


#4 Harry Ree

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 07:40 PM

Nick,

Sorry for a late response.

The Warwick was designed as a follow on from the Wellington,albeit from a specification originating from January 1935 and from the same stable of the Wellington to the geodetic design favoured by Barnes Wallis.The Warwick was intended as a bomber but its development was retarded to some extent due to a delay in deciding its role and hence did not make a flight appearance until the eve of the war.The aircraft was one of the aircraft that were affected by the earlier decision to use the Vulture engine.The first prototype,powered by the Vulture reflected a poor performance and a decision was made to use the Bristol Centaurus but the availability of this unit proved to be a problem and a decision was made to utilise the P&W Double Wasps in the Mark 1 type.

Production progress was slow,(I would think it should be accepted that there were greater priorities in aircraft production) from a start made in January 1941 to its first appearance almost 18 months later.As I see it, a decision still had not been made about its future role,a bombing role would have been completely out of the question as the Air Ministry had clearly made a decision that the Lancaster and Halifax as the best economical method of taking the air war to the skies of Germany.The bomb load capability of the Warwick would be regarde as inadequate,being no improvement on the Wellingtom

However, 16 Warwicks had come off the production line as bombers but in the end these were left as non operational aircraft when a firm decision was made in January 1943 to convert the Warwick to the Air Sea Rescue role.Approximately 350 Warwick Mark 1s went on to serve ASR duties.

The maritime version. G.R Mark V came into service late in the war but was too late for hostilities.

In 1943,the Warwick was also issued to the British Overseas Airways,the British civilian transport element which would later develop into BOAC and BEA.The aircraft differed from the Mark I by having no gun turrets and extra speed was designed by the introduction of fairings at the nose and tail,so increasing the max speed from 22 mph up to 260 mph.

Interestingly related to the Sqn Leader Tiley research,these aircraft were given up by BOA/BOAC in 1944 and reissued to No 167 Squadron at Holmesley South and No 525 Squadron at Lyneham,both in Transport Command.

(This brings me to the thinking that Sqn Leader Tiley was lost while with No 525 Squadron out of Lyneham.The other interesting point about Squaron Leader Tiley was that he carried the award of a MBE.I would think this would be unusual.It was no doubt awarded "for services to" but what was it?

There was another variant of the Warwick, being the Mark 111 which had a flexible role and appeared as a transport,freighter,paratrooper aircraft and VIP personel transport.

As regards OTUs.In order to maximise the training efficiency of a training unit in terms of well trained pupils,intructors were usually drawn from men with experience of operational flying and the greater the depth of air operation experience in difficult and trying situations,so much the better.To gain from this expertise,it was normal succession policy that experienced aircrew were posted to OTUs after they had qualified by experience and completed their stint of duty at the sharp end and to this end they were normally screened off operations for at least 6 months until they would be invited for a second stint of duty,(ie tour).The policy paid dividends insofar as probably, mentally weary aircrew such as pilots and navigators were refreshed with different interesting training duties and were, in undertaking these training duties,able to pass on valuable experience to those pupils in training.

Above all, instructors ensured a succession policy was achieved to build up the force in expansion and for manpower losses that occurred due to enemy action,operational incidents and the like

Edited by Harry Ree, 23 February 2012 - 08:42 PM.
Finger trouble...resulting in a post too early.

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#5 nicks

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 08:06 PM

Harry,

Thank you for your informative reply.
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He was a common, unconsidered man, who, for a moment of eternity, held the whole future of mankind in his two sweating hands.

 

And did not let it go.
 

(Excerpt from Fighter Pilot by ACM Sir Christopher Foxley-Norris GCB, OBE,DSO)





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