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Blythe, Richard Reginald (Sergeant)

Killed in Flying Accident 1941-May-02

Birth Date: unkown date (age 43)

Born: Wapella, Saskatchewan

George and Margaret Blythe.

Home: Crowell, Texas, USA

13 EFTS- Elementary Flying Training School
St Eugene, Ontario, Canada
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
13 Elementary Flying Training School, St Eugene, Ontario. Sgt Blythe was killed when Fleet Finch aircraft 4664 crashed four miles east of Rockcliffe, Ontario, LAC A. Thomson was seriously injured. Prior to the war Sgt Blythe was in Industrial Public Relations, among his many clients were: Col. Charles Lindbergh and his flight to Paris in 1927; the first flight to America of the Graf Zeppelin and its round the world flight in 1927, and the Byrd Arctic Expedition.

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

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

Sergeant Richard Reginald Blythe was cremated.

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 4664

Category A damage on 1 May 1941 while with No. 17 Elementary Flying Training School at Stanley, NS.
1940-10-29 Taken on Strength 2019-08-20
1940-December-09 Accident: 13 Elementary Flying Training School Loc: St Justine Quebec Names: Whelchell
1941-May-01 Accident: 13 Elementary Flying Training School Loc: Rockliffe St Names: Blythe | Thomson
1941-06-19 Struck off Strength 2019-08-20

13 EFTS- Elementary Flying Training School (13 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.

St Eugene EFTS13

More information on RCAF Station St Eugene can be found here

  • RCAF Roundel - RCAF Station St Eugene Ontario

  • RCAF Roundel - Relief Landing Field Hawkesbury Ontario

  • Notable students from 13 ETFS Wing Commander Fred Jones

  • Museum Vintage Wings - Wing Commander Fred Jones and his connection to the Poem High Flight

  • 1940-10-28 Primary Location St Eugene ON Canada Airport abandoned still visible on satellite imagery
    1940-10-28 Relief Field Hawkesbury ON Canada Relief Field turf runways now site of Hawkesbury Airport Private

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