M.560 2nd Officer Ramchandra Murlidhar Badhe b. 7 Aug 1905, Saugar C.P., British India 24 Jun 1941 to Jan-43
Address in 1941: 19 Hartington Rd, East Feltham, Middx
Next of kin: (brother) Vishnu Badhe, Kelibag, Mahal, Nagpur, India
M.Sc., then an aircraft assembler fitter for Heston Aircraft Co, Hounslow. From whom he received this slightly awkward endorsement:
"I would say that Mr R M Badhe has been in our employ for about three years, and we have always found him to be a first-class reliable man from every point of view, and although it is always difficult to get under the skin of certain classes of Indians, I had no hesitation whatever in recommending him for a commission in the RAFVR, and in your case also I feel that he will give you excellent service... He has always conducted himself here in a very correct and respectful manner."
However, his instructor's report in October 1942 was less complimentary:
"A keen pilot whose assessment can only be judged by his ability to use his intelligence, which is below average. It was necessary to reprimand him for gross carelessness and lack of airmanship and he has been told that if on any future occasion his airmanship is proved to be lacking, his contract will most probably be terminated."
Actually, he did have a few accidents...
- Jul-42, he had a burst tyre on landing a Spitfire (not to blame).
- Sep-42, he landed an Oxford in the wrong direction and collided with another Oxford, severely damaging both (pilot to blame);
- Nov-42, he taxied of the perimiter track (to avoid some cyclists, he said) and nosed over in the soft ground (pilot to blame);
d. 20 Jan 1943 (Died in ATA Service) - Henley L3408 crashed in trees on Ulpha Farm nr Meathop, Westmorland, while attempting forced landing due to engine failure (suspected to be due to water in the petrol system).
Cremated at Golders Green Crematorium on 26 Jan 1942:
"He was billeted with us... he made many friends amongst my gentlemen, he was a gentleman in every possible way and we shall greatly miss him"
M.126 First Officer Homi Nandbhoy Chothia b. 13 Oct 1914, Bombay 1 Aug 1940 to Nov-43
Address: 174 Court Lane, Dulwich, London SE21
prev. pilot with Western Airways (BOAC)
In 1934, when he was 19, Homi had been fined 40 shillings, and ordered to pay witnesses expenses of 32s, for driving a car without due care and attention; he tried to overtake a lorry near Bank Bridge. Tarleton, and "as a result an approaching coach had run against the bridge wall to avoid a collision."
Postings: 1FPP, 2FPP
Flight Captain from Feb-42 to Oct-43, when he was demoted to First Officer: "was party to a breach of Standing Orders C47 and C38"
"He has had difficulty in winning the confidence of pilots under him, which has impaired his efficiency as a Flight Captain.... his record as a pilot has been exceptionally good."
d. Dec 1982 - Bromley, Kent
M.518 First Officer Nariman Rustumji Mucadum b. 4 Jun 1909, Bombay, British India 23 Jun 1941 to 30 Sep 1945
Next of kin: C.R. Mucadum, 50 Wodehouse Rd, Colaba, Bombay, India
Ed. Technical High School, Bombay
m. Dec 1939 Mary Ann [Johnstone, d. 1966] 1 son b. 1949
prev. a Viewer (Engineering) for J. Stone & Co, Arklow Rd, Deptford, London
Address in 1941: 15 Avon Rd, Brockley, London SE4
Initially considered a "keen and willing pilot who is doing well", he was held responsible for an accident in a Wellington in November 1942 when he failed to check the take-off swing and the port undercrriage leg struck an obstacle. After making an immediate landing, the leg collapsed.
He was immediately sent on a refresher course: "This pilot was in need of a check as his flying was most erratic. He is a very slow thinker and inclined to imagine that anything will do."
However, "he completed by showing marked improvement and it is thought that he now realises the importance of detail and thinking for himself."
d. Nov 1998 - Richmond Upon Thames
M.546 First Officer Satyendra Kumar Roy b. 28 Jan 1915, Calcutta India 8 Jul 1941 to 31 Oct 1945
Father: Prasana Deb Rikut
Ed. at Bangasi College, Calcutta
prev. a student, working for Folland Aircraft Ltd, Hamble.
Address in 1941: 75 Victoria Rd, Woolston, Hants
Postings: 2FPP, 7FPP, 3FPP
Contract Terminated 31 Oct 1945, and he sailed to Bombay on 1 Dec.