W/O Richard Francis Spalding

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by archivist, Dec 17, 2019.

  1. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    Can anyone help with information on this RAF pilot who is believed to have been serving as a pilot in Bomber Command during WW2. The only information I have on him is that he flew with Coastal Command and was photographed beside a Wellington with the Squadron Code OQ which I do not recognise. Many thanks
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Death cert
    Name: Richard Francis Spalding
    Death Age: 63
    Birth Date: 18 Apr 1909
    Registration Date: Apr 1972
    [May 1972]
    [Jun 1972]
    Registration Quarter: Apr-May-Jun
    Registration district: Newton Abbot
    Inferred County: Devon
    Volume: 7a
    Page: 1381

    Family Tree

    • Spouse: Violet Eileen Spalding
      Father: William Spalding
      Mother: Alice Scott
      18/04/1909 Barton Lancashire England
      Death: 06/1972 Newton Abbot Devon England
      Residence: 02 Apr 1911 Eccles Lancashire England

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  3. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

    Just about to post this and TD got there first!.............. I agree with you!

    Not a huge amount to go on, but not too many contradictory / multiple possibilities on ancestry et al..... this feels possible:

    Potential RAF service number: 1508776, may have enlisted in Padgate, Warrington 1941

    Richard Francis Spalding:
    Born 18 April 1909 (registered in Barton, Lancashire)

    Died 1972 (registered April in Newton Abbott, Devon)

    Married Violet Eileen Hart 1934 (registered in April, in Barton, Lancashire)
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
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  4. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    Thank you TD and wibs12

    Both your responses look very promising. His son knows virtually nothing about his father's background but he might be able to confirm some of the details above. I will ask him.
  5. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    TD and wibs12
    I have asked the questions and I am awaiting an answer but it looks promising as the birth date is definitely the same
  6. Temujin

    Temujin Junior Member

    Could you post the photo?? Could the Squadron Code by “QO”?? And do you have any dates when he served?

    No. 432 Squadron RCAF
    Active 1943–1945
    Country [​IMG] Canada
    Branch [​IMG] Royal Canadian Air Force
    Role Strategic bombing (1943–1945)
    Fighter-interceptor (1954–1961)
    Part of No. 6 Group RCAF (1943–1945)
    Motto(s) Saeviter ad Lucem
    ("Ferociously towards the light")
    Battle honours
    • English Channel & North Sea 1943
    • Fortress Europe 1944–1945
    • France and Germany 1944–1945
    • Biscay Ports 1944
    • Ruhr 1943–1945
    • Berlin 1943–1944
    • German Ports 1943–1945
    • Normandy 1944
    • Rhine, Biscay 1943
    Squadron Code
    QO (1943–1945)
    Squadron Badge Argent in front of a full moon Argent a Cougar leaping downwards Sable armed and langued Gules.
    Aircraft flown
    Vickers Wellington Mk.X
    Avro Lancaster Mk.II
    Handley Page Halifax Mk.III & VII (1943–1945)

    It was first formed at RAF Skipton-on-Swale in May 1943, as part of No. 6 Group of RAF Bomber Command. The unit was equipped with Wellington Mk.X bombers.
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  7. Temujin

    Temujin Junior Member

    I went thru the Squadron Codes and I do NOT see one for “OQ”.........and as 432 Squadron, RCAF was allocated the code “QO”....I doubt that they would issue another squadron a code that was “that similar”.......I’m searching thru 432 Squadron Operational Record Books now, to see if I spot his name, but if I had some kind of time line.....it would really help shorten the search???
  8. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    Hello Temujin
    QO or QD were my first thoughts until I saw the photo. This would mean 432 or 304 Squadrons but the photo is clearly OQ OQ.png
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  9. Temujin

    Temujin Junior Member

    I have to agree, it sure looks like “OQ” to me also.....but what is that symbol behind the 2 men in the center?? Might that help if we knew what that was???
  10. Temujin

    Temujin Junior Member

    But, as you indicated, 403 Squadron used either Squadron Codes: NZ, QD.......And the photo really looks like a OQ.......on with the search.......OH, forget my first comment on the symbol.....realized that was the “waist gunners” windows.......funny design because of the way the Wellington was made
  11. wibs12

    wibs12 Well-Known Member

  12. Temujin

    Temujin Junior Member

    OK, the more I look at this the more confused. NORMALLY, the Squadron Code came first........so for example, 304 Squadron would have the code QD then the RAF Roundel and then the aircraft code “A, or B etc”.......

    So, looking at this photo, could it be “backwards” (I mean the photo, not the aircaft) and the code is QO?? Just thinking out loud here.......
  13. Temujin

    Temujin Junior Member

    I’m not sure if it could be Patron’s suggestions,

    No 52 Operational Training Unit

    This was formed at Debden on 25 March 1941 within No 81 Group to train day fighter pilots using Hurricanes. In August it moved to Aston Down and the following month began converting to Spitfires. From 15 January 1943 the half of the unit located at Charmy Down was redesignated as the Fighter Leaders School and in April it was transferred to No 9 Group control. In August 1943, the Fighter Leaders School returned to Aston Down at which point No 52 OTU was officially reduced to half OTU status. Further redesignations followed, firstly as No 52 OTU (FLS) in September and then No 52 OTU (Fighter Command School of Tactics) in October and finally on 25 January 1944 the unit lost the OTU title altogether when it became simply the Fighter Leaders School again.

    Codes used: - NS

    xxx xxxx - Aug 1943 GK

    Allocated and probably used TJ

    Allocated but not used? OQ

    xxx xxxx - Aug 1943

    So, No 52 use “Hurricanes”.......and we have a “Wellington”..........UNLESS, the Wellington was used as a “target aircraft”...........and this info says the code OQ wasn’t used?? again, just thinking out loud

    AND, not sure if it could be No 5 Squadron

    From 1920 until 1941 they had a succession of aircraft: Bristol Fighters, Westland Wapitis, Hawker Harts and Hawker Audaxs. In 1942 they received American built Mohawks and became escorts to Blenheim bombers over north west Burma. These were replaced in turn by Hawker Hurricanes and P-47 Thunderbolts. No. 5 Squadron converted to Tempest IIs in February 1946, but disbanded on 1 August 1947

    Again, wrong type of aircraft
  14. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    52 OTU is a possibility but the other two are fighter related
    If the negative was the wrong way round when it was printed then QO is a distinct possibility
  15. archivist

    archivist Well-Known Member

    That is clearly a Wellington bomber so I think you have just eliminated 52 OTU. Being white painted, I am fairly sure it was Coastal Command. Was 432 Coastal Command?
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  16. Temujin

    Temujin Junior Member

    Well, that’s what I’m thinking........as I said, I’m going thru the Operational Record Books for 403 Squadron to see if I can spot his name......but have to go “page by page”....and the original microfilm is NOT GOOD.....so I’ll keep looking unless someone comes up with the answer or better thoughts
  17. Temujin

    Temujin Junior Member

    No, 403 was part of 6 Group of Bomber Command......but you bring up a good point on the colour......way to go.....confuse an old man even more........still looking
  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Photo not reversed as suggested cos the wings on their uniforms are on the correct side.
  19. Temujin

    Temujin Junior Member

    found this on the web........it “LOOKs” like a QO marking, which would make it a 403 Squadron, and the aircraft looks to be “white” .......but then again, it may just be my eyesight “wanting” it to be a QD

    OOOPpps, over my photobucket limit......I’ll see what I can do sorry
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
  20. Temujin

    Temujin Junior Member

    Your right....still searching

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