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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A Whitby


Alfred Whitby was born in Liverpool on 19th May 1912 and joined the RAF on 29th June 1936 as a direct-entry Airman u/t Pilot.

A newspaper report described him as 'a former Liverpool clerk'.

After successfully completing his initial training he was formally enlisted in the RAF on 24th August.

After completing his advanced training he joined 79 Squadron at Biggin Hill in April 1937. The squadron went to France on 10th May 1940 to give support to the squadrons there.



On the 12th Whitby destroyed a Do17, on the 14th he damaged another, on the 17th he probably destroyed a Me109, on the 20th he probably destroyed a Do17 and shared another and on 7th June he destroyed a Hs126.

Whitby was awarded the DFM (gazetted 28th June 1940).

On 30th August he shared in the destruction of a He111.

In January 1941 he was posted to 55 OTU Aston Down as an instructor. Commissioned in May, Whitby moved to 59 OTU Crosby-on-Eden. He later joined 403 (RCAF) Squadron. He became ill and did not return to the squadron.

On 11th December 1941 he sailed for India, then flew on to Basra and began ferrying Hurricanes to Burma. In February 1942 Whitby joined 135 Squadron in Burma but, after falling sick, he was evacuated to India and then returned to the UK.

Found to be unfit for further flying, Whitby was posted to the Navigation Department at Fighter Command and he later was Command Navigation Officer at 2nd TAF.

He stayed in the RAF postwar, retiring on 29th June 1962 as a Squadron Leader.

Whitby died in June 2000 in Shropshire.

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