The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. I K Arber
Ivor Kenneth Arber was born on 18th February 1917 in Kettering and was working as an electric motor fitter when he
joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot in December 1938.
He was called up on 1st September 1939. He did his advanced flying training at 8 FTS Montrose and completed the course in May 1940. He probably joined 603 Squadron at Dyce in the latter half of June.
On 3rd July Arber shared in the destruction of a Ju88 off the east coast of Scotland and on the 12th he shared a He111 with P/O Gilroy and Sgt. Caister in an engagement over Aberdeen. The enemy aircraft, from 9/KG26, crashed and burned out killing the crew of four.
On 2nd August 1940 Arber crashed at Inkhorn, Aberdeenshire in Spitfire R6717. He had become lost in bad visibility. He suffered slight injuries and was admitted to the Royal Auxiliary Hospital Kingseat, Aberdeenshire where he was kept under observation.
He does not appear in 603's records after this so it may be speculated that he was injured and spent some time recuperating.
His subsequent service is currently undocumented until he was commissioned in August 1943. Arber was awarded the AFC (gazetted 1st January 1945), the citation read:
This officer has been employed in No. 41 Group since September 1940, during that time he has qualified to fly all types of land based aircraft and is qualified to Flight Test a considerable number. Flying Officer Arber never hesitates to accept hard work, particularly where there is a fair share of risk. During March 1944, he undertook the rather dangerous task of ferrying non-effective aircraft for breakdown and, in consequence, a very considerable economy in skilled man hours was effected. This officer gives of his best and has thereby made a definite contribution to the successful Flight Testing record of his group.
He left the RAF after the war and was commissioned in the RAFVR in October 1947.
Arber was a keen motorcyclist and in 1951 won the Senior Clubmans race held as part of the TT event on the Isle of Man.
Above images courtesy of Vintage Mann journal.
On 2nd September 1952 he was making a practice run for the Manx Grand Prix when he lost control of his 500cc Norton and crashed at Hillberry Corner. Arber was killed.
He is buried in Douglas Borough Cemetery, Isle of Man.