RAF Trainer?

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Uncle Target, Apr 21, 2021.

  1. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Attached is a photo of an aircraft on the back of which is written:
    A snap taken 6 months ago, it is a friend of mine sitting on my aeroplane.
    Have done some 220 hours in this machine alone and some 360 hours altogether.
    I have no idea who the friend sitting on the wing is or of the person who wrote on it but maybe if the aircraft can be identified and some idea of where the photo might have been taken the answer might emerge.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. Markyboy

    Markyboy Member

    193C9486-294B-4394-BC23-B6DD9315581B.jpeg At the risk of being 'shot down' by the real buffs on here, I'd say it's a Miles Magister.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
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  3. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Having just quickly looked it up would the White uniform of the "friend" put it in a Fleet Air Arm context.
    This puts it totally different to my first view of it over a year ago when I found it with letters and photos of around 1940/41 and thought it might be a private plane in an East Anglian airfield. Only today did I notice the tail plain.
    In the folder was a photo of a pilot of whom I made very mistaken identification. Would he match this aircraft I wonder.
    In which case I might have a name for the friend but not the pilot.
    Perhaps this is the beginning of another solution.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
  4. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    I think it is a Percival Proctor:
    upload_2021-4-21_16-43-58.jpeg
    British Naval Aircraft since 1912 by Owen Thetford (1991).

    The whites might suggest Piarco, Trinidad.
     
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  5. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info to date I will step back and let it "cook" for a while rather than interfere.
    Let the experts debate for a while then see what conclusions can be reached.
    If you have any questions please PM me if you wish.
    I hadnt even considered the Caribbean as everything I have studied to date took place in Europe but it was after all a World War.
    This might amplify the comment: Have done some 220 hours in this machine alone some 360 hours altogether since here"
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2021
  6. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    What is clear is that a letter in the same pack was not referring to this aircraft or the pilot as it is by an RA Officer who flew from Fakenham or Thetford to Cambridge to save travelling time.
    These things tend to be sorted through and mixed up over the years.
     
  7. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

  8. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much. This is very encouraging but at the moment we are having difficulty finding out who he is related to.
    I dont think that we will from records, it will be down to the family to flush him out from their family tree.
    If however he is a friend rather than a relative I dont see how we can establish why his photo is in the collection unless he crops up elsewhere.
    We thought he was a cousin but cant find him yet but we now have more to go on so will pursue it through the family.
    It does however demonstrate how far men were moved to train or serve in WW2.
    I take it that he was born and bred in the UK and not in the Caribbean, that might provide a lead if it were the case.
     
  9. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    The one slim chance is that someone will turn up who knows the person who wrote on the back of the photo.
    Stranger things have happened on ww2t
    Onwards and upwards.
     
  10. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    I'd second you on the Proctor, although with such a small photo an outside chance is a Miles Mentor.
     
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  11. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    We think that we might have cracked it and are awaiting a response from a relative.
    We think Roy Woolley might be related to the famous Archaeologist Charles Leonard Woolley or the Cricketer Frank Edward Woolley.
     
  12. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Checked with relatives not related as dates dont fit. We still dont know who wrote the caption on the aeroplane photo.
    Woolley seems to be a red herring.
    Lots of families think they have links to famous people but they dont stand up to record scrutiny.
     
  13. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    This demonstrates the resources that the country had in WW2 to be able to train pilots not only in the UK but even the Caribbean.
    Thank you for the help it seems that we have covered all that we can regarding this aircraft photo and the person on the wing.
    Is there anything we can do regarding the pilot photo.
    Is he in the type of flying gear for this part of the world or this type of aeroplane.
    Or is he RAF or even an Army Air Observer.
    Is he likely to have written the caption on the photo of the plane.
    How would we know.
     
  14. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    A clue rather than a red herring I think.

    Following Woolley’s postings gives you possible locations in a timeline. While other scenarios might fit, we know from the Navy List that he was in the aeronautical branch and in Trinidad from late 1940/early 1941 to mid-1942.

    Someone with greater knowledge of flight training might be able to deduce something from your author’s flying hours. Are these compatible with a trainee or is he an instructor? They seem like a lot for a trainee to me and he does say “My aircraft” – not sure a trainee would.

    My hypothesis FWIW: your author and Woolley may have been colleagues for a period during 1941-42 on the staff of No.1 Observer School. If you search for GOSHAWK in any of the Navy Lists during Woolley’s tenure you will typically come up with fewer than 100 names, and there will doubtless have been some rotation, but your author could be among these if you have the patience to sift through them.

    TNA hold many of the Fleet Air Arm diaries in ADM 207 but unfortunately I couldn’t see No.1 Observer School or 752 Observer Training Squadron among them.

    I can’t help with the other photo I’m afraid.
     
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  15. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    From the OP:"Have done some 220 hours in this machine alone and some 360 hours altogether."

    This suggests that he was employed as a pilot, possibly in a communications role. Far too many hours for a trainee, but feasible in those times to have been an instructor.
     
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  16. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tips I will do some more digging. I will try to research the names of the Observer School personnel to see if any names ring a bell.
     

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