Ed. St Pauls School
m. Dec 1934 Mary Gertrude [Burton] in Stroud, Glos.
prev. an 'Engineering Representative'
prev. exp. 394 hrs plus 1.45 hrs night on Tiger Moth, Magister, Lysander, Oxford, Blenheim, and Wellington.
Address in 1942: The Woodlands, Malpas, Newport, Mon.
Seconded due to a) lack of night flying experience, and b) being of a 'highly nervous type'.
"A keen and sensible type of N.C.O. who should prove a useful ferry pilot. He was somewhat slow in emergency but he possesses good air-sense and is unlikely to come to grief."
" A very nice type whose flying is unfortunately not too good. He is under-confident and does not use his head but tries very hard."
d. 10 Mar 1944 (Died in ATA Service) in Wellington II W5385 which after an excessive take-off run, rose slowly and then struck trees 1/4 mile N
Technical examination showed the elevator trimmers and trimmer control to be in the 'fully nose-down' position. "Evidence also showed that the pilot did not do the preliminary cockpit check in the normal fashion, since he took over the aircraft with engines running and did not run them up. The pilot appears to be to blame for this accident."
"Always in the thoughts of wife Mary and son Peter."
In April 1944, Mary wrote to the Under-Secretary of state for Air, the Rt Hon Harold Balfour, to ask for his help: "As you know it was always understood that Peter should follow on at his father's school St. Paul's and he should be starting this coming winter as a boarder. Public Schools as you know are somewhat heavy on the pocket consequently it is imperative that I leave no stone unturned to improve my pension."
She reckoned that, due to Charles having being seconded from the RAF as an NCO, her pension would only amount about 2 guineas a week. He was unfortunately not eligible for the ATA death insurance payment of £2,000.
Peter did start at St Paul's, but by September 1945 Mary wrote again to say that she found her RAF pension "quite inadequate to cover his expenses and tuition."
Could the ATA, therefore please help them to emigrate to the USA? She wanted Peter to finish High School, and then Harvard "at my fiance's expense". Perhaps they could allow her 'free or reduced passage by way of practical appreciation of my husband's services and death?"
They said, well, no, or to put it another way: "It does seem that there is no justification and no argument that we could put forward in any way that will enable us to assist her in her request." Perhaps her fiance could stump up a bit extra?...
Anyway, Mary married Irvin B Miller in Sep 1946 in Newport, and sailed to New York in July 1947, stating that she was intending to stay in the USA.