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66 Squadron, RFC & RAF, 1916 to 1919

Update Archive

Update 07 January 2009

- Men, Update 16 January 2007

Frederick Calhoun Vincent did not missing near Riga in 1920. He was attached to the British Military Mission in Riga between 23 November 1919 18 May 1920; he was Mentioned in Dispatches for his work with the Latvian Army. After the war he served for a while with the Ulster Constabulary, but returned to London and was charged with theft in 1922. He was also awarded the D.F.C in January 1919 whilst serving at Manston Naval Air Station?

- Medal page

After a long search in the USA I have now located Pat O’Brien’s MC and this can be seen it it’s original presentation bow in the medal section The question now is where are his British War and Victory medals?

Update 01 July 2008

- Colour Profiles

Thanks to the generosity of well known author Jon Guttman I have included some of his profiles which were published in Cross and Cockade (USA), these have been coloured by Dario Silva.

- Biographies

The following have been updated with new information and photographs, T.H.P. Bayetto, S.S. Hume and P.A. O’Brien. I have a new bio in preparation about Wilfred George Robinson Bailes, aka “Robin”. He served with 66 in France and Italy although his flying career was cut short following a serious accident on take-off in Camel B5407.

- Officers

There are some “new” officers to research including John Whitaker Woodhouse and already mentioned below D. H. Newton. Other’s including H.A. Johnstone, L.G. Stevenson, H.E. Evans and N.W. Wadham.

- Enlisted Men

I continue to find the odd new names and recent finds include, early RFC recruit F. V. Wells s/n 75, S.V. Shew holder of the 1914-15 Star, Daniel Henry Newton s/n 217 MSM, 1914 Star & Bar, MiD. He was commissioned in 1933 and was awarded an MBE, he was promoted to Sqn Ldr and finished in the RAF as a Wing Commander, he died on 11 June 1978. Also of interest is 66 Squadrons only Sgt pilot William Henry Dunn who was born in Islington, London and joined the Royal Tank Corps. He was transferred to the RFC in August 1915, he gained his RAeC Cert on 24 June 1916 and joined 66 in early 1917 when he delivered the first Sopwith Pup A6151 on 2 February 1917 from Farnborough via Kingston and Upavon arriving at Filton the next day 1917, his last flight was on the 19th. He was posted to France arriving on 24 April and was shot down on 13 May whilst serving with 29 Squadron becoming a pow.

- Harold Hindle James
Recent research has centred on the strange case of Harold Hindle James. James retired from the RAF in 1931 and was awarded an OBE. He had at one time been posted to HQ Iraq Command at Hinaidi as part of the Air Staff Intelligence section. It appears that James had been living in Cairo due to his ill health; during the Israeli - Egyptian six day war of June 1967. According to reports by James the Egyptian authorities arrested, tortured him, and accused him of being a spy. At one point they tried to get him to sign a false confession. The Egyptians ransacked his flat and many of his possessions went missing. James returned to the UK and was residing in Tavistock during part of 1968 and went to Malta for the winter, where he died. Recent research has found that James was living in the Xara Palace Hotel in the ancient city of Mdina, Malta when he was taken ill. He was moved to St Catherine’s hospital, Attard, Malta and died on 2 February 1969. James was buried two days later in Mtarfa Military Cemetery, Rabat. (ANDY can you insert a link to the photo of his grave)

Update 20 September 2007

The following entries have been updated or amended in the light of new research. New biography and photographs about little known pilot Arthur J Howell. Other biographies that have been up dated include; John M Warnock, more on his WW2 service, Darrell J Tepoorten, more on his early flying training. Hillard Brooke Bell, corrections and minor up dates. The biography about Pat O’Brien is being re written after new material came to light and I hope to post this in the near future.

Update 09 May 2007

- Officer’s Records

Further information has been added to the majority of records.

- Enlisted Men

Many “new” names have been added and the majority have an entry against them. Information on 228 known names is nearly finished with information needed on nine men and four Manchester Regt. who may have been “passing through” the books?

Men’s records updated include James S Ackrill’s date and cause of death on 26 April 1933 when he drove into an unlit parked lorry. Ackrill and a passenger Muriel E W Choppin, aged ten years were killed.

Update 16 January 2007

Recent research has revealed that at least three former 66 Squadron officers, including VC winner Alan Jerrard, served in the North Russian campaign of 1919-20. N S Taylor crashed Camel N6825 on 13 August 1919 at Koivisto, and F C Vincent went missing near Riga in 1920. Any additional information would be appreciated.

- Walbanke Pritt
Recent research has uncovered the date and cause of his death, and also some photos of him aged about six!

- Robert Oxspring
I now know his date of death, and the location of his grave near Leeds. For those who contact me for information about his illustrious son Robert Wardlow Oxspring DFC, AFC, who also flew with 66 Squadron during the Battle of Britain; the only information I have is his date of death (8 August 1989) and place of burial (Cranwell parish Church, Lincolnshire). Updates have been made to information held for the following officers: G Round. H Row, M Rowat, A Rudge, E Salthouse, A Sevastopulo, C Sharpe, D Sheehan, A Shirley, A Sissing, C Smith, R Stedman, S Stretton, C Stuart, A Sutcliffe, F Symondson, A Jerrard, P Taylor, N Taylor, F Wilkins, J Warter, R Wilson, F C Vincent, F Winby, A Yates and W Young.

- Enlisted Men

Research into known names is now nearly finished, with basic information only required on 14 men, four of whom were Manchester Regiment and may therefore have been just passing through the books. Updated records include cause of death for James Ackrill in 1933, and Albert Harper, who died in 1918 and is buried near Bedford.

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