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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. S A H Whitehouse


Sydney Anthony Hollingsworth Whitehouse, of Harrow-on-the-Hill, was born on 18th December 1919 and educated at Harrow School and Keble College Oxford. He joined the RAFVR in February 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot.

He was called to full-time service on 1st September 1939. He began No. 7 Course at 15 FTS Middle Wallop on 29th April 1940 and then completed it at Chipping Norton from 11th June to 20th July.

Whitehouse was posted direct to 32 Squadron at Biggin Hill on 27th July. The CO, S/Ldr. J Worrall, would not accept such novices and Whitehouse and two other new arrivals, Sergeants RJK Gent and TG Pickering were attached to the Biggin Hill Sector Training Flight until 3rd August, when they were all sent to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge.



Above: with 501 Squadron

L to R: Whitehouse, P/O RC Dafforn, Sgt. VH Ekins


Whitehouse made a forced-landing on Swanton Morley aerodrome on the 8th, in Hurricane L2091, after engine failure. Having converted to Hurricanes, the three pilots rejoined 32 Squadron in late August.

On the 27th the squadron went north to Acklington for a rest. The CO said Whitehouse, Gent and Pickering were not in need of rest and they were posted to 501 Squadron at Gravesend on the 27th.

Whitehouse was shot down in combat with Me109's over Cranbrook on 25th October in Hurricane P5193. He baled out from 2000 feet, unhurt, and was taken to a farmhouse, where he met another 501 pilot, F/O VR Snell, who had been shot down in the same action. They returned to Kenley together in an Army car.

On 8th November Whitehouse damaged a Me109. He was commissioned in late November 1940 and posted to 52 OTU on 8th July 1941 as an instructor. He returned to operational flying in April 1942, joining 167 Squadron, then forming at Scorton, as a Flight Commander.

Later in the war Whitehouse served in India and Burma. He was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Wing Commander.

He died on 6th January 2015.


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