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Burns, William Henry (Flight Sergeant)

Killed in Action 1941-October-13

Birth Date: 1920 (age 21)

Home: Halifax, Nova Scotia

Service
RCAF
Unit
58 Sqn- Squadron (RAF)
Alis Nocturnis (On the wings of the night)
Rank
Flight Sergeant
Marshal
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
SergeantSGT
CorporalCPL
Senior AircraftmanSAC
Leading AircraftmanLAC
Aircraftman 1st ClassAC1
Aircraftman 2nd ClassAC2
Position
Wireless Air Gunner
Service Numbers
R/65045:
405 City of Vancouver Squadron (Ducimus). FS Burns and Sgt H.E. Donson were killed when Whitley aircraft Z 9155 crashed one and one half miles south of the airfield at Pocklington. addendum2: See page 89. FS. Burns was not assigned to 405 Squadron, he was flying with 58 Squadron at the time of his death. Whitley aircraft Z 9155 (GE-G) was returning from a night attack against Nimberg, Germany when it ran out of fuel and crashed one and one half miles south of the airfield at Pocklington. Sgtis H.E. Donson, C.G. Lord(RAAF), J.G. Rich (RAAF), and H.C. Lee (RAF) were also killed.

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

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

Crew on Whitley Mk. V Z9155

Armstrong Whitworth Whitley

Source: Harold A Skaarup Web Page (RAF Photo)

The Armstrong Whitworth AW 38 Whitley was one of three British twin-engined, front line bomber types that were in service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) at the outbreak of the Second World War. Alongside the Vickers Wellington and the Handley Page Hampden, the Whitley was developed during the mid-1930s according to Air Ministry Specification B.3/34, which it was subsequently selected to meet. In 1937, the Whitley formally entered into RAF squadron service; it was the first of the three medium bombers to be introduced. Following the outbreak of war in September 1939, the Whitley participated in the first RAF bombing raid upon German territory and remained an integral part of the early British bomber offensive. In 1942 it was superseded as a bomber by the larger four-engined "heavies" such as the Avro Lancaster. Its front line service included maritime reconnaissance with Coastal Command and the second line roles of glider-tug, trainer and transport aircraft. The type was also procured by British Overseas Airways Corporation as a civilian freighter aircraft. The aircraft was named after Whitley, a suburb of Coventry, home of one of Armstrong Whitworth's plants.

John Lloyd, the Chief Designer of Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft, selected the Armstrong Siddeley Tiger IX radial engine to power the Whitley, which was capable of generating 795 hp (593 kW). One of the more innovative features of the Whitley's design was the adoption of a three-bladed two-position variable-pitch propeller built by de Havilland; the Whitley was the first aircraft to fly with such an arrangement. Lloyd was unfamiliar with the use of flaps on a large heavy monoplane, they were initially omitted from the design. To compensate, the mid-set wings were set at a high angle of incidence (8.5°) to confer good take-off and landing performance. Although flaps were included late in the design stage, the wing remained unaltered; as a result, the Whitley flew with a pronounced nose-down attitude when at cruising speed, resulting in considerable drag. The Whitley holds the distinction of having been the first RAF aircraft with a semi-monocoque fuselage, which was built using a slab-sided structure to ease production. This replaced the tubular construction method traditionally employed by Armstrong Whitworth, who instead constructed the airframe from light-alloy rolled sections, pressings and corrugated sheets.

The Whitley had a crew of five: a pilot, co-pilot/navigator, a bomb aimer, a wireless operator and a rear gunner. The pilot and second pilot/navigator sat side by side in the cockpit, with the wireless operator further back. The navigator, his seat mounted on rails and able to pivot, slid backwards and rotated to the left to use the chart table behind him after takeoff. The bomb aimer position was in the nose with a gun turret located directly above. The fuselage aft of the wireless operator was divided horizontally by the bomb bay; behind the bomb bay was the main entrance and aft of that the rear turret. The offensive armaments were stowed in two bomb bays housed within the fuselage, along with a further 14 smaller cells in the wing. Other sources state there were 16 "cells" total: two groups of 2 in the fuselage, and four groups of 3 in the wings, plus two smaller cells for parachute flares in the rear fuselage. Bomb racks capable of holding larger bombs were installed on the Whitley Mk III variant. Wikipedia

Wkikpedia Wikipedia Armstrong Whitworth Whitley

YouTube YouTube Armstrong Whitworth Whitley

General Harold A Skaarup Web Page

CASPIR Aircraft Groups:
Canadian Aircraft Losses (245)
last update: 2021-11-01 19:56:19

Whitley Mk. V Z9155



58 Sqn- Squadron (RAF) Alis Nocturnis

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