Traces of World War 2 
RAF - No. 17 OTU
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 28 January 2008

17 Operational training Unit (OTU) - Blenheim Mk IV and Anson

History | Operations and losses | Sources | Links | Books | Questions and/or remarks

17 O.T.U. formed at Upwood on the 4th April 1940, from the resident 35 and 90 squadrons, which were both equipped with Blenheims and Ansons. To allow for expansion, 17OTU was divided into four Flights on 14 May 1940:

'A' (Conversion) Flight;
'B' (Anson) Flight;
'C' (Armament) Flight
and 'D' (Operational Training) Flight.

17 O.T.U. left from Upwood on 24th April 1943 for Silverstone.

Squadron Code used by 17 OTU: AY Apr 1940 - Nov 1946

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Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940
Not all operations listed; those with fatal losses are.

10/05/1940: Training, UK. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA

24/05/1940: navigation exercise, UK. 1 Plane lost, 2 KIA, 1 WIA
05/06/1940: W/T exercise, UK. 1 Plane lost
12/06/1940: navigation exercise, UK. 1 Plane lost, 2 KIA

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10/05/1940: Training, UK

Blenheim Mk IV
Serial number: L4889, AY-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 10/05/1940
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Grenville J. McFarland, RAF 42413 (NZ), age 20, 10/05/1940, Bury Cemetery, Huntingdonshire, UK
T/o Upwood. On return to base, stalled and came down 2240 at a spot know locally as Green Dyke. Until recently P/O McFarland, a New Zealander, had been head prefect at Nelson College. He had left New Zealand 6 May 1939 to join the RAF. See the Cenotaph Database for his photo.

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24/05/1940: navigation exercise, UK

Blenheim Mk IV
Serial number: P4907, AY-?
Operation: navigation exercise
Lost: 24/05/1940
P/O I.A. Mead injured
Sergeant (Obs.) Arthur R. Jackson, RAFVR 755494, age 19, 24/05/1940, Pwllheli Borough Cemetery, UK
Aircraftman 2nd Class (W. Op.) Roy South, RAF 643394, age 19, 24/05/1940, Adwick-le-Street Cemetery, UK
T/o Upwood for a navigation exercise;base-Pershore-Fishguard-Criccieth-Aberystwyth-base. Crashed 1155 in Tremadog Bay at the eastern end of the Lieyn Peninsular.

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05/06/1940: W/T exercise, UK

Avro Anson Mk I
Serial number: N5112, AY-?
Operation: W/T exercise
Lost: 05/06/1940
Sgt M H Farmer
T/o Upwood for a W/T exercise, involving the taking of loop bearings. Forced-landing 1130 in a rough field, due to engine failure, near towcester, 9 miles SSW from Northampton and was wrecked after swinging into a hedge.

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12/06/1940: navigation exercise, UK

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV
Serial number: L9172, AY-?
Operation: navigation exercise
Lost: 12/06/1940
Sgt V A Bain - survived.
Sergeant (Obs.) William H. Wheeler, RAFVR 747805, age 33, 12/06/1940, Bushey (St. James) Churchyard, UK
Aircraftman 2nd Class (W. Op./Air Gnr.) Sidney Boulton, RAF 636888, age 20, 12/06/1940, Hatfield (Woodhouse) Cemetery, UK
T/o Upwood for a navigation exercise; base-Lundy Island-Exmouth-base. At 1223, while flying at 20,000 feet, the pilot radioed 'breaking up' and soon afterwards eyewitnesses saw the Blenheim falling in a series of uneven rolls and slowly disintegrating.

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Air of Authority
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database
Bail-outs for 1940
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Royal Air Force - 2 Squadron
RAF Battle of Britain - xx Squadron
RAF Bomber Command
RAF - Campaign Diary - The Battle of France (May-June 1940)
RAF Museum: British Military Aviation in 1940
RAF Order of Battle, France, 10th May 1940
RAF Upwood - 17 OTU losses
Royal Air Force History Section
The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945
The Second World War - a day by day account

The War in France and Flanders, 1939-1940, by Major L.F. Ellis, 1954

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Air Aces
Airwar over Denmark
Allied World War II Casualties in the Netherlands
Armée de l'Air - Order of Battle, 10th May 1940
Australian Wargraves
Axis History Factbook
De Belgen in Engeland 1940-1945 (in Dutch)
Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeological Team
British Aircraft Directory
British Aviation Archaeological Council - Books and research links
HMS Cavalier
Ciel de Gloire (in French) RAF Squadrons
CWGC Cemeteries Germany
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
Danish WW2 Pilots

Håkans aviation page (from Sweden, in English)
'High flight', poem by John Gillespie Magee
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, poem by W.B. Yeats
Jagdgeschwader 27 (in German)
Luchtoorlog ('Arial War', in Dutch, with many photos)
Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
The Luftwaffe, 1933-1945
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
The National Ex-Prisoners of War Association
Nordic Aviation during WW2 aircraft of WW2
Polish Air Force 1940-1947 Operations Record Books
RAF Battle of Britain
De Slag om de Grebbeberg
Warbird Alley
War over Holland
World War II Aircraft wrecksites in Norway
North East Diary 1939-1945
Wartime Leicester and Leicestershire

The Aerodrome - Aces and Aircraft of World War 1
WW1 Cemeteries

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This page is dedicated to the men of 17 OTU.

© Bart FM Droog / Rottend Staal Online 2008. Permission granted for use of the data gathered here for non commercial purposes, if this source is mentioned with a link to