Eric was born in London, England on December 22, 1920. Pre-war he was a surveying assistant until he joined the RAF in London, England on March 1940.
He trained at Aberystwith; Ansty; Brize Norton and #2 School of Air Navigation at Cranage.
He was awarded his Pilot/Nav. wing in July 1940 at Brize Norton.
In the earliest days many Hampdens with normal Pilot/Nav/Wireless Op/Gunner crews went down because once the pilot was incapacitated no other member of the crew could fly the aircraft. To overcome this the RAF took a
number of pilots and trained them additionally as Navigators. Normally on first “OP” you went as a navigator to gain experience. (Dual was impossible.)
Stations served on while training included, Cottesmore, Finningly, Wyton and Warboys; 1442 Ferry Training Flight, Portheath, ---- Bircotes, Blyton. Stations served on During Ops were North Luffenham, Swanton Morley; Snaith and Kirmington which involved the following RAF Squadrons:--- #144 -- 5 Group; #226 -- 2 Group;#150 -- 1 Group; #166 -- 1 Group.
Members of Crew on Ops
HAMPDEN BLENHEIM IV/V WELLINGTON III
Obs - Sgt. Macdonald Obs. - Sgt. W. Payne Obs/BA --F/Sgt. Payne
WOP -- Sgt. S. Jobes WOP/AG -- Sgt. J. Robertson Nav. --Sgt. A. Hagues
AG -- Sgt. Wadsworth WOP -- Sgt. J. Conrad
AG -- Sgt. E. Gale
No. of Ops = 3 No. of Ops = 4 No. of Ops =9
LANCASTER 1; Nav; Sgt. A. Smith; BA - Sgt.E.Hunt(RNZAF); WOP - Sgt. Patterson; AG - Sgt. B.A. Iverson;
AG - Sgt. Davies; FE - Sgt. A. Rossi. No. of Ops =3
Most Memorable Operations.
March 4/42 - attacked by ME 109’s in daylight formation - Blenheim IV.
Shot up by FW 190. near Cologne at night, completed bombing run - belly landed on return - Mar3/43 Wellington III.
Berlin, November 23, 1943; shot down over target by Schrage-musik JU88. Landed south of Berlin and captured on Nov. 25, attempting to board a military lorry going north. Sent to Dulag Luft, Frankfurt then brief stay at Stalag Luft 6, Heydekrug then to Stalag 4B,at Muhlberg am der Elbe.
Retired from the RAF, September 1946, London, England.
Post War -- Chartered Surveyor and Town Planner.
Divorced - 2 sons(45 and 35 yrs.) one grandson,
Have flown light aircraft since 1974, still hold pilot license. Member of Canadian Aeronautical and Space Institute; Royal Aeronautical Society, Royal Institute of Navigation; Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators;
Registered Professional Planner(RPP); Member Canadian Institute of Planners(MCIP). Flew with the Civil Air Search & Rescue Association for thirteen years. Currently member of the Canadian Warplane Heritage at Mount Hope, producing air mail cover flown in CWH aircraft. May 28, 2001