I need to find a Pilot!

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Gordon Biggerstaff, May 3, 2018.

  1. Gordon Biggerstaff

    Gordon Biggerstaff New Member

    I am searching for information regarding an RAF pilot, what I have is very sketchy but I hope you all will be able to help me. I will tell you what I know and I hope to hear from anyone, anywhere, who can add anything.

    The man in question was
    1. A pilot in the Royal Air Force, Rank unknown. White man and definitely English
    2. Married to an Indian woman, I think she was born in India spoke fluent English.
    3. He may have served in India and met her in India. I know she referred to him as "My English Husband"
    4. I believe his aircraft was badly shot up and went down into the English Channel - certainly went down into "The Channel" which I am assuming is the English Channel though I may be wrong.
    5. He was flying either a Spitfire or Hurricane, He was unable to open the canopy and was attempting to return to the coastline for a landing though that was in doubt due to either fuel or engine issues.
    6. The aircraft descended over the sea in a controlled manoeuvre, touching the sea with wheels up in an otherwise good and level approach for landing. The air intake caused the aircraft to 'nose down' when the aircraft touched the water, acting like a scoop.

    I am well aware that the evidence I have so far is very sketchy, so I am interested in information relating to any pilot married to an Indian woman. I think that will give me a start point with names.

    Any Help- greatly appreciated.

  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic Patron


    Have you any other information at all? Places, dates, names, context of your question? Otherwise it's very 'needle in haystack' especially as, to the best of my knowledge, while Next of Kin details are/likely to be mentioned on the gentlemans service records (although who is to say that his 'wife' was the declared NOK), that is information only available on the pilots records...and you don't know who that is.....bit of a vicious circle really. Hopefully I'm wrong.

    Note: my own great uncle (white English) was married to an Indian lady but I believe he was Army and she had very basic English.
  3. Gordon Biggerstaff

    Gordon Biggerstaff New Member

    Hi SDP

    No, unfortunately that is all that I have at the moment. Definitely RAF pilot - I can make some assumptions but I am afraid they may steer me in the wrong direction. For example, I think he was in India prior to the outbreak of the war and that would suggest he was regular and not reserve, if that is the case, then it is unlikely that he was a sergeant pilot and more likely an officer. But - I do not know that for certain.

    No, the only certainty I have is that he was RAF pilot, married to a well spoken Indian woman - very clear spoken English - and that he went down in the channel in a spitfire or hurricane. I think it was around 1940 or 41. but that is just my assumption.

    As I get more information I will post it up for anyone who wishes to follow it.

    Thanks for your help.

  4. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Why do you need to find this RAF pilot? Where does the information you do have come from? Some context would help as it could lead to a new line of inquiry.

    Do you have any part of the widow's name?

    Also, it isn't stated but can we assume that the body was not recovered?
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
    CL1 and alieneyes like this.
  5. LucVervoort

    LucVervoort Junior Member

    Hi Gordon,

    As a start for your research and limit the size of the haystack.

    If we presume that the body of the pilot in question was not recovered, we can try to search as follows :

    - Make a download from the CWGC website for the period in question and for the Runnymede Memorial only and enter it into an excel (or similar) file.

    - Apply filters on the excel file and sort per squadron.

    - Remove all lines for pilots and crew of bomber squadrons.

    - Check if all remaining lines are related to units using Spitfires or Hurricanes for that period. If not remove the line in question.

    The result will be list of x lines. One of these will be the pilot in question.

    As mentioned earlier this is only a start.

    Best regards

  6. Gordon Biggerstaff

    Gordon Biggerstaff New Member

  7. Gordon Biggerstaff

    Gordon Biggerstaff New Member

    Hi Luc

    Thank you very much, I had begun to wonder how I or where to get this information and you certainly give me hope and an action plan. I will start on this today and will post further information as i get it. I am overseas for the next few weeks so wll be unable to post for May but will be back in June and will keep you posted.

    Thank you once again.


Share This Page