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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. W H R Whitty


William Hubert Rigby Whitty was born on 27th March 1914 in Litherland, Lancashire. He went to Liverpool College and was at Liverpool University from 1931 to 1935, studying Engineering.

Whitty was commissioned in 607 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force in March 1938 and was called to full-time service on 7th September 1939.



On 16th October Whitty was one of a section of three Gladiators which sighted a Do18 flying boat twenty-five miles out to sea. They attacked and it crashed into the sea fifty miles out, the crew being picked up by HMS Juno.

The squadron flew from Acklington to Croydon on 13th November 1939 and two days later flew on to Merville in France. Whitty destroyed a He111 and damaged another on 10th May 1940 and destroyed a Me109 on the 18th.

607 Squadron withdrew to Croydon on 20th May. He served with the squadron throughout the Battle of Britain. On 15th August he damaged two Me110s.

He was posted away to 56 OTU Sutton Bridge on 3rd November, instructing there on Hurricanes until March 1942. Whitty then instructed at 24 EFTS until February 1944, when he was posted to Bomber Command.



He joined 76 Squadron in July 1944, operating Halifaxes, and went to 640 Squadron at Leconfield in February 1945, again on Halifaxes.

Whitty was awarded the DFC (gazetted 26th October 1945).

He went to Transport Command in June 1945, joining 158 Squadron at Lissett and serving with it until November. He was awarded the DFC (US) (gazetted 14th June 1946).

Whitty was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Squadron Leader.

He later went to live in Ontario, Canada, employed by an electricity supply company.

He died on 17th November 2003.


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