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Whitaker, Donald Fielden (Flight Sergeant)

Killed in Flying Accident 1940-November-23

Birth Date: 1915-October-10 (age 25)

Son of Frank Lewis and Lily Whitaker, of Waterloo, Ontario.

Home: Waterloo, Ontario

9 EFTS- Elementary Flying Training School
St Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Flight Sergeant
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
Sergeant F.E. Wellington and Flight Sergeant D.F. Whitaker were both killed when Fleet Finch aircraft 4554 stalled on a steep turn close to the ground and crashed one half mile south of the airfield at St Catharines.

Canada Primary Source School Daily Diary Entry " 1940-11-23

Canada Source Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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

Flight Sergeant Donald Fielden Whitaker was cremated.

Google MapWaterloo, Ontario

Google MapRidley College Chapel
Ashes placed below floor of chapel Name plaque on wall of chapel

Finch 4554

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), Canadian Museum(1)
last update: 2021-09-07 16:39:39

Finch Finch II 4554

Category A damage in the afternoon of 23 November 1940 while with No. 9 Elementary Flying Training School at St. Catharines, Ontario. Took off from St. Catharines for a weather reconnaissance flight with two instructors, under low ceiling. Stalled from a low climbing turn west of the airfield. Caught fire on impact, Sgt. D. Whitaker and Sgt. F.E. Wellington died of injuries. Both had been classmates at Ridley College in Hamilton, part of McMaster University. These were 9 EFTS', and McMaster University's, first fatalities of the war.

1940-08-19 Taken on Strength 2019-08-20
1940-November-23 Accident: 9 Elementary Flying Training School Loc: Aerodrome Names: Wellington | Whitaker
1941-01-25 Struck off Strength 2019-08-20

9 EFTS (9 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.

1941 Course NO9 EFTS

Information on RCAF Station St Catherines can be foud here

RCAF Roundel - RCAF Station St Catharines Ontario

General 9 EFTS Blog

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