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The Airmen's Stories - F/O C H Bacon

 

Charles Harvey Bacon was born on 15th January 1919 in Chorlton upon Medlock, Manchester.

In 1929/30 the family home was Shawbrook Lodge, Burnage Lane, Withington, Manchester. Bacon's father, William Charles Frederick Bacon, had been master of the sailing vessel Esperanza.

He left the sea, aged 29 and gave his name to the firm of Sivewright Bacon & Co, shipowners and shipbrokers, based in West Hartlepool. The company moved to Manchester in 1897 to take advantage of opportunities offered by the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal the previous year. A major feature of its business was sailings between Manchester and Montreal.

In the First World War one of its ships was captured by the Germans and the rest were sold. In 1902 WCF Bacon became a director of the Manchester Ship Canal Company and in 1916 Chairman. His first wife died and CH Bacon was a child of his second marriage. After a period of ill health WCF Bacon died on 12th January 1931 at Wilmslow, Cheshire. His second wife, Charlotte, died in 1948 in Windermere.

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CH Bacon was educated Sedbergh School, where he was awarded a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford as a research chemist. While there as a Demi (Half Fellow), he joined the Oxford University Air Squadron and transferred to the RAFVR in June 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He was called up on 1st September 1939. Commissioned on 26th September, Bacon was on No. 6 Course at RAF College FTS, Cranwell from 6th November 1939 to 9th May 1940.

Bacon arrived at 10 B&GS Warmwell with the Advanced Training Squadron from Cranwell FTS on 26th April. With the course completed, he joined 98 Squadron in France in early May, flying Fairey Battles.

 

 

The squadron was withdrawn to England in early June, Bacon was evacuated aboard the RMS Lancastria and was one of the few rescued when it was sunk.

The squadron re-assembled at Gatwick on the 15th and in July it was preparing for a move to Iceland for coastal patrol duties. When 98 Squadron departed on 27th July Bacon stayed at RAF Gatwick as a supernumerary.

He joined 4(C) Ferry Pilot Pool on 1st August. Along with other pilots with Merlin engine experience, he went to 7 OTU Hawarden on 3rd September. After converting to Spitfires, he joined 610 Squadron at Acklington on the 16th.

On the 30th September 1940 two Spitfires engaged in a practice dog fight collided over Alnmouth. The two Spitfires were L1037 piloted by Sgt. HR Clarke and K9818 piloted by Bacon. They were at 14,000 feet when they collided, a wing being chopped off Bacon's plane.

Bacon failed to bail out and was killed when the aircraft crashed into Alnmouth beach.

Clarke bailed out safely.

 

Bacon is buried in the churchyard of St.Mary's, Windermere. The privately-provided gravestone wrongly records his rank as Pilot Officer.

 

 

 

 

There is also a Roll of Honour inside St. Mary's.


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