The Airmen's Stories - P/O C A C Chetham
Charles Arthur Copeland Chetham, from Newton Abbot, was born in October 1919 and joined the RAFVR in September 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot.
He did his pre-war training at 7 E&RFTS Desford before being called up on 1st September 1939. He completed his training at 10 FTS Ternhill, on No. 17 Course, which ran from 9th December 1939 to 25th May 1940.
Commissioned on 26th May, he then went to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on the 27th. After converting to Hurricanes he was posted to RAF Hendon for onward posting to France. In the event he joined No. 1 Squadron at Tangmere in mid-June.
(Above: Chetham (right) with F/Lt. MH Brown (Canada) of 1 Sqdn.)
On 11th August he shared a Me110 with P/O GE Goodman. He was on a night flight on the 27th when he was held by searchlights and lost control. Chetham baled out and landed, unhurt, at Amersham. His Hurricane, P3897, crashed and burned out at Monkton fir plantation, Speen, Buckinghamshire.
Back in action, he claimed a Me109 on 1st September and damaged another the next day.
In 1941 Chetham was serving with 33 Squadron in Greece. He was killed on 15th April, aged 21, flying Hurricane P3732 or V7419, both were shot down during combat with Me109s over Larissa.
He is buried in Phaleron War Cemetery, Athens.
On 25th April 1942 Newton Abbot was bombed, part of the Baedeker raid campaign.
Chetham's father, Samuel Fisher Chetham, was on duty as a Special Constable and was killed when a bomb landed near the Berwyn Hotel. He was 63.