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Barker, William Eric (Leading Aircraftman)

Killed in Flying Accident 1942-July-24

Male Head

Birth Date: 1921-July-07 (age 21)

Son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Barker, of New Bolsover, Derbyshire, England.

17 EFTS- Elementary Flying Training School
Stanley, Nova Scotia, Canada
Leading Aircraftman
Air Chief MarshalA/C/M
Air MarshalA/M
Air Vice MarshalA/V/M
Air CommodoreA/C
Group CaptainG/C
Wing CommanderW/C
Squadron LeaderS/L
Flight LieutenantF/L
Flying OfficerF/O
Pilot OfficerP/O
Warrant Officer 1st ClassWO1
Warrant Officer 2nd ClassWO2
Flight SergeantFS
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Service Numbers

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Canada Primary Source Library and Archives Canada Service Files (may not exist)

Crew on Finch Finch II 4445

Fleet Finch

Fleet Finch Mk. IICanadian Warplane Heritage Museum

The Fleet Finch was the final version of a whole family of light biplane trainers, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of Buffalo, NY and intended for civilian use. Few of these aircraft were marketed under the Consolidated name, as most were sold through Fleet Aircraft Canada, under a range of model numbers. Only the RCAF gave any of these models names, calling the Model 7 the Fawn and the Model 16 the Finch. These aircraft were built from 1930 to 1941, all at Fort Erie, Ontario.

The Finch was developed to meet an RCAF requirement for a fully aerobatic, primary trainer. The RCAF ordered the first batch of aircraft in July 1939 and powered by a Kinner R5-2, 160 hp engine, they were designated the Fleet Finch Mk. I. Most of these aircraft were delivered to the RCAF Central Flying School at Trenton, Ontario by early 1940.

The RCAF placed a further order for primary trainers with Fleet in January 1940. The Fleet Finch Mk. II, powered by a Kinner B-5R, 130 hp engine, first flew from Fort Erie in March 1940. During the following year, over 400 Fleet Finch Mk. IIs were delivered to BCATP Elementary Flying Schools right across Canada.

The Fleet Finch was well liked by the RCAF as it was a rugged aircraft, was relatively easy to fly and withstood the abuse of novice pilots. Some Fleet Finches remained in service with the RCAF until 1947, but most were retired by October 1944. Their role as a primary trainer was taken over by Fairchild PT-26 Cornell. Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum

YouTube Fleet Finch

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
RCAF On Strength (431), RCAF 400 Squadron (3), Canadian Aircraft Losses (34), Canadian Manufactured (1)
last update: 2021-09-07 16:39:39

Finch Finch II 4445

To RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario on 23 May 1940. Later with No. 3 Elementary Flying Training School at London, Ontario. Category C crashes at London at 16:25 on 9 June 1941, at 10:10 on 10 July 1941, and at 09:25 on 29 August 1941. To Fleet Aircraft for overhaul, with 1422:40 flight time, from 14 January to 3 March 1942. To No. 3 Training Command when completed, for use at No. 17 Elementary Flying Training School at Sydney, NS. Category C crash at 11:40 on 29 June 1942 at Stanley, when right wing tip dug ion on landing, causing a ground loop. Category A damage at 20:00 on 24 July 1942, near Sydney. Dove into ground and caught fire near Otterson Lake, Brentwood, NS. Instructor Warrant Officer L.L. Burks and student LAC W.E. Barker killed. To No. 4 Repair Depot on 25 August 1942 for scrapping.
1940-05-14 Taken on Strength No. 12 Technical Detachment 2019-08-20
1941-January-22 Accident: 3 Elementary Flying Training School Loc: Thorndale Ontario Names: Simone | Young
1941-June-09 Accident: 3 Elementary Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Stovel
1941-July-10 Accident: 3 Elementary Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Pierce
1941-August-29 Accident: 3 Elementary Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Kennedy
1942-June-27 Accident: 17 Elementary Flying Training School Loc: Stanley Airport Names: Mcdonough
1942-June-29 Accident: 17 Elementary Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Thorsteinson
1942-July-24 Accident: 17 Elementary Flying Training School Loc: Otterson Lake Brentwood Names: Barker | Burks
1942-10-06 Struck off Strength Struck off, reduced to spares and produce 2019-08-20

17 EFTS- Elementary Flying Training School (17 Elementary Flying Training School)

An Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) gave a trainee 50 hours of basic flying instruction on a simple trainer like the De Havilland Tiger Moth, Fleet Finch, or Fairchild Cornell over 8 weeks.Elementary schools were operated by civilian flying clubs under contract to the RCAF and most of the instructors were civilians. For example, No. 12 EFTS Goderich was run by the Kitchener-Waterloo Flying Club and the County of Huron Flying Club.The next step for a pilot was the Service Flying Training School.

More Information on RCAF Station Stanley can be found here

  • RCAF Roundel - RCAF Station Stanley Nova Scotia

  • 1941-03-17 Primary Location Stanley NS Canada Initially abandoned but resurrected in 1968 current site of Stanley Airport CCW4

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