|(I would like to thank Ted Hutchinson and his son Clive for the information on this page. Webmaster.)|
Edward (Ted) Hutchinson, Royal Air Force
|Ted was was posted to RAF Kinloss in March 1940. As a corporal he
worked in the workshops until 19 OTU was set up in May 1940 when he was transferred to the
major inspection and servicing hangars. When 19 OTU "D" Flight moved to RAF
Forres in January 1941, it was decided that a minor inspection unit would be set up there
to save aircraft due for minor inspections flying to Kinloss. He was in charge of this
servicing crew at the Pilmuir site.
The "D" Flight dispersal point was originally sited alongside the Inverness road where the River Findhorn takes a right angle turn towards the village of Moy. The Flight comprised a four-wheeled metal caravan as the Flight office and a small tent for sheltering groundcrew and spares! Similarly, "C" Flight was set up close to the River Findhorn bridge on the Inverness road.
When "D" Flight took over at Pilmuir after four Nissen huts were built there, Ted returned to the servicing hangers at RAF Kinloss. At RAF Kinloss, he was eventually Flight Sergeant in charge of major inspections in Numbers 1 and 2 hangers.
Sometime in late 1943/early 1944, Bomber Command issued an instruction that officers and senior NCO technicians were to have experience of both major and minor servicing and flight servicing. Consequently, Ted was transferred to RAF Forres as Flight Sergeant in charge of "D" Flight with Flight Sergeant Middleton moving in the opposite direction.
He remained in charge of "D" Flight until it was moved back in 1944 to RAF Kinloss where he set up "C" Flight at Langcot House on the corner of the airfield.
Ted found dispersal work during his time at RAF Forres very pleasant, especially during the summer, after two years or so of dealing with major servicing emergencies and panics at Kinloss and drome crash clearances at both stations.
He was demobbed in 1946 and returned to his native county of Lincolnshire to work for A V Roe & Co. and has lived there ever since.
RAF personnel stationed in the area found Forres townsfolk friendly and helpful.
Ted affectionately remembers: -
Ted recalls the losses as sad and unpleasant but during the war, they were accepted as inevitable in the circumstances. Crash clearances were part of the job. He can still vividly remember some of the crashes.
Fortunately the groundcrew did not personally know aircrews under training because of the transient nature of the aircrews postings there. Nevertheless, permanent members of 19 OTU did feel the poignancy of such tragic losses. Ted remembers on one such occasion, a WAAF driver reported seeing a young woman crying on a banked roadside near the Forres camp. It turned out that she was the wife of a crew member killed in the previous nights crash: she had arrived in Forres to spend a few days with him. The WAAF returned to comfort her and to make sure that she safely returned to her hotel.
Photograph: D Flight 19 OTU RAF Forres c.1943-4
The photograph was taken in the Pilmuir area of the
aerodrome. Posing in front of a Mark V Whitley are the complete staff of "D"
Flight except for one sergeant and six groundcrew who had been on night duty. The officers
on the front row were operational flyers, who, resting after a period on operations,
performed the flight training. Note their medals. Also on the front row were the senior
flight NCOs. Corporals and LACs were on the second row with airmen on the other rows. Click on the image to enlarge.
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