The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. P Thorpe
Peter Thorpe joined the RAFVR about June 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he went to 3 ITW Hastings on the 4th, moved to 6 EFTS Sywell on 30th November and then to 8 FTS Montrose on 4th April 1940, where he was awarded his flying badge on 6th June.
He completed his intermediate and advanced flying course on 26th July 1940 and arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on the 22nd. After converting to Hurricanes Thorpe was posted to 145 Squadron at Drem on 19th August.
The squadron went south to Tangmere on 9th October 1940. Thorpe was shot down by Me109s on the 12th over Hastings and baled out, injured. He landed at Coghurst and was taken to Buchanan Hospital, Hastings.
His Hurricane, P3896, crashed in Blackbrooke Wood, Guestling. Thorpe reported that the Germans machine-gunned him as he floated down.
He lost his operational flying category but regained a limited non-operational one, A2B. On 1st April 1941 Thorpe was posted to 8 MU Little Rissington for flying duties and was later at 23 MU Aldgergrove, 46 MU Lossiemouth and 6 MU Brize Norton.
In late 1942 and early 1943 Thorpe had two four-week spells in 10 Ferry Pool at Ringway.
In February 1944 he went to AV Roe at Woodford, where he carried out training as a production test pilot for Lancasters. Thorpe was on test duties at Woodford and Baginton from 4th June to 27th August 1944.
Thorpe was released from the RAF on 4th November 1945.