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The Airmen's Stories - P/O G D Calderhead


George Douglas Calderhead, from Glasgow, was born on 29th January 1918 and attended the High School of Glasgow.

He joined the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot in June 1939. He was called up on 1st September and commissioned. After training at Cranwell FTS he joined 54 Squadron at Catterick on September 28th 1940 (below).




He was killed in a flying accident on January 12th 1942, while serving with 31 (General Reconnaissance) Squadron in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in Canada. The accident was reported locally as follows:

A major air accident occurred on Monday, January 12th, at about 1530 hours when two Anson aircraft, 5358 and 1722, of “A” Flight collided and crashed between Tea Hill and Southport (now Stratford) on the property of Mr.HJ Kennedy. The two aircraft had just returned from major overhaul and were being test flown. It was reported that the pilots appeared to be doing a series of roll manoeuvres when the two aircraft collided ripping a wing from one of them. It appeared that the second aircraft’s pilot attempted to get his aircraft under the crippled aircraft to support it back to the Station but both crashed. All personnel were killed including a young civilian. The two aircraft were flying between 3000 and 5000 feet when the accident occurred. The crash sites were within 400 yards of one another, in neither case did fire break out. The bodies were conveyed to the MacLean’s Funeral Home, Charlottetown. A Military Funeral was held at the Station on Thursday January 15th. Buried at the Sherwood Cemetery are LAC ELJ Beaumont, Flying Officer GD Calderhead, AC1 K Ellis, Flight Lieutenant BJ Rofe and LAC GW Taylor. Buried at the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Charlottetown, is AC1 JF Agar. Phillip Compton, a 16 year old employee in the Reconnaissance School’s YMCA canteen who had been granted a greatly sought-after familiarization flight, was also killed. Following a funeral service at the MacLean’s Funeral Home he was buried in the Peoples Cemetery, Charlottetown.

Calderhead was 23 years old.

(F/Lt. BJ Rofe was also a Battle veteran - for his webpage click here)



Image courtesy of Alan K Wood.




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