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My latest Medal group - Lieut. C.C. White DFC, RFC/RAF the 1917 Blitz 83 Squadron Western Front

Article about: Hi, My collecting interests this year have been WW I aviation gallantry for the commonwealth, and WW I in general - getting ahead on the centennial price run ups. So – a while ago I flogged

  1. #1

    Default My latest Medal group - Lieut. C.C. White DFC, RFC/RAF the 1917 Blitz 83 Squadron Western Front

    Hi,

    My collecting interests this year have been WW I aviation gallantry for the commonwealth, and WW I in general - getting ahead on the centennial price run ups.

    So – a while ago I flogged some other collections items and sorted out enough money to buy this nice modest group, my first DFC and it is a so far proving to be a great one! It is for Lieut. C.C. White RAF. I have a researcher who got his records and there is fortunately a lot of 83 squadron material! I am waiting for records for 50 squadron.

    His DFC was one of the first for 83 squadron, which became a famous WW II pathfinder unit and later operated Vulcans before disbandment.

    From what I know so far from a web search, which turned up some nice information from the Kent history forum, is that he was with 50 & 83 Squadrons flying a variety of 2 seat fighters/bombers on some very exceptional missions daytime and night intercepts with home defence squadrons and night bombing on the Western front. He was also a very busy pilot during the first ‘Battle of Britain’ in the summer of 1917 against the Gotha raids. When I know more I’ll follow up. If anyone has any information to share that would be great. Some of the guys on the British Medals forum located pictures of him in WW 2 - he was the Sheriff of Nottingham and died in 1970 in Nottingham. I also have a copy of his Aeroclub pilots certificate.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Group Citation of Six Awards of the DFC. 83 Squadron.

    D.F.C. (GV), B.W.M. Victory (Lieut. R.A.F.) Mounted as originally worn with horizontal DFC ribbon to Lieut. C.C. White. D.F.C. L.G. 3/8/1918 83 Squadron RAF ‘These officers carried out a night reconnaissance under exceptionally bad weather conditions, the clouds varying in height from 500 feet to 1500 feet. A strong wind was blowing, with heavy rainstorms. Owing to the low altitude at which the reconnaissance was conducted it was impossible to avoid searchlights and they were subjected to heavy anti-aircraft fire. Under these conditions the successful completion of the reconnaissance was a most gallant effort on the part of the officers concerned, calling for courage, determination, and technical skill worthy of the highest praise.

    There were only 7 DFC’s to 83 in WW I, 6 on one raid. White’s observer on the raid in Fe 2B’s was 2 Lt. Sellars.

    Cursory research, thanks to the Kent History Forum, also indicates he was with 50 squadron home defence in 1917 in Kent and was active as a day and night interceptor during the first ‘Battle of Britain’ Gotha and Zepplin Raids in Be 2C’s and BE 12’s.



    When 83 was reformed it’s squadron crest transformed this raid into its’ heraldry.
    No. 83 Squadron
    Motto: "Strike to defend".
    Badge: An attire. The red deer's antler is in reference to the squadron's association with Scotland. The attire has six points commemorating an outstanding occasion in the First World War when six DFCs were awarded for one operation - an extremely valuable reconnaissance-successfully completed by six individuals in three aircraft during 14/15th June 1918.) They were the only Allied aircraft in the air in weather which had grounded all others. The antler in black affords reference to night flying and the three top points stand for the crown of success met with by the squadron.
    Authority: King George VI, April 1938.

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    50 Squadron RFC/RAF 1916-1919
    Formed Dover 15th May 1916 as a home defence unit, CO Major M. G. Christie.
    Disbanded 13th June 1919, reformed May 1937.

    Bases.
    Dover, HQ Flight, from 15-5-1916.
    Bekesbourne, A Flight, from ?-9-1916. The whole of 50 Squadron moved to Bekesbourne on 18th Febrary 1918.
    Throwley, B Flight, from ?-2-1917. Expanded 30th July 1917 to form 112 Squadron.
    Detling, C Flight, from ?-5-1917.
    Harrietsham, from ?-10-1916.
    Aircraft types used
    Royal Aircraft Factory, BE2A, BE2C, BE2E, BE12, BE12A, BE12B, RE8, SE5A.
    Sopwith Pup.
    Sopwith Camel F.1, from late 1918.
    Vickers FB19.
    Vickers ES1.
    Armstrong Whitworth FK8.

    1917
    Sorties flown against German air raids.

    16-17 February 1917, night, single Zeppelin raid on Calais. (5/6)
    HQ Flight Dover.
    BE2C 1767 Capt Storey.
    4588 2nd Lieut C.C. White.

    1 March, daytime, single aeroplane raids Broadstairs, (4/24)
    HQ Flight Dover.
    Two sorties, details unknown.
    A Flight Bekesbourne.
    Two sorties, details unknown.
    No contact.

    Strength 50 Squadron 7th March 1917.

    Aircraft
    Establishment 24
    Actual strength 16
    Available 13

    Pilots
    Establishment 18
    Actual strength 16
    Available 10


    23-24 May, night, 6 Zeppelins raid London (7/76)
    A Flight Bekesbourne
    BE2E 6817 2nd Lieut J.G. Goodyear, recalled bad weather.
    6817 ? Burnham, later flight.
    BE12A ???? 2nd Liet F.A.D. Grace.
    B Flight Throwley
    BE2C 2699 2nd Lieut A.J. Arkell.
    BE12 6185 Capt T.R. Irons.
    6493 Lieut H.D.O. Windsor.
    C Flight Detling
    BE12 6183 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    No contact, bad weather.

    Day time Gotha raids.

    25 May, daytime, 21 Gothas raid Folkestone, (12/77)
    A Flight Detling
    BE2C 2711 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    BE12 6183 2nd Lieut W.R. Oulton.
    BE12A A577 2nd Lieut A.J. Arkell.
    A6308 Lieut Carmichael.
    A6305 Lieut R.W. le Gallais.
    A582 2nd Lieut L. Lucas.
    A6313 2nd Lieut N.E. Chandler.
    B Flight Throwley
    BE12 6493 Lieut H.T.O. Winsor.
    6185 Lieut Winsor, later flight.
    RE8 A3836 Capt T.R. Irons.
    C Flight Bekesbourne
    BE2E 6187 2nd Lieut F.A.D. Grace.
    Vickers ES1 7759 Capt A.J. Capel.
    No contact.

    5 June, daytime, 22 Gothas raid Sheerness, (8/62)
    A Flight Detling
    BE12 6183 2nd Lieut W.R. Oulton.
    BE12A A6313 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    B Flight Throwley
    Armstrong Whitworth FK8 B229 Capt C.R. Rowden.
    RE8 A3840 2nd Lieut A.J. Arkell.
    C Flight Bekesbourne
    AW FK8 B225 Lieut R.W. le Gallais.
    B224 2nd Lieut J.G. Goodyear.
    B238 2nd Lieut N.E. Chandler.
    Vickers ES1 7759 Capt A.J. Capel.
    Arkell, Capel and Goodyear sighted enemy but unable to close gap.

    13 June, daytime, 18 Gothas attack London (12/94)
    A Flight Detling
    BE2C 2711 2nd Lieut W.R. Oulton.
    BE12 A6313 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    A6309 2nd Lieut L. Lucas.
    B Flight Throwley
    BE12 6185 2nd Lieut F.V. Bryant.
    RE8 A3836 2nd Lieut A.J. Arkell.
    A3840 2nd Lieut N.F. Perris.
    AW FK8 B229 Capt C.R. Rowden.
    C Flight Bekesbourne
    Vickers ES1 7759 Capt A.J. Capel.
    AW FK8 B225 Lieut R.W. le Gallais.
    B224 2nd Lieut J.G. Goodyear.
    B247 2nd Lieut F.A.D. Grace.
    B238 2nd Lieut N.E. Chandler.
    No contact.

    16-17 June, night, 2 Zeppelins raid London. (?/32+)
    50 Squadron details not recorded, aerodromes affected by fog, two aircraft force landed.

    4 July, daytime, 18 Gothas raid Harwick and Felixstowe (8/103)


    22 July, daytime, 21 Gothas raid Harwick and Felixstowe. (15/121)
    A Flight Detling
    Sopwith Pups, 5 sorties, no details.
    B Flight Throwley
    BE12/12A, 5 sorties, no details.
    C Flight Bekesbourne
    BE12/12A, 5 sorties, no details.

    12 August, daytime, 11 Gothas raid Southend (10/132)
    C Flight Bekesboure
    BE12 6657 2nd Lieut L. Lucas.
    6509 2nd Lieut W.G. Latham.
    6185 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    BE12A A6309 Lieut J. Metcalfe.
    A6313 2nd Lieut T.V. Villiers.
    Patrol line Bekesboure-Throwley-Dover.
    No contact.

    22 August, daytime, 10 Gothas attack Kent coast (10/137)
    C Flight Bekesbourne
    BE12 6509 Capt J.S. Shaw.
    6493 2nd Lieut W.G. Latham.
    6185 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    6157 2nd Lieut L. Lucas. WT tracker.
    BE12A A6309 Lieut J. Metcalfe.
    A6313 2nd Lieut T.V. Villiers.
    2nd Lieut Lucas was flying a wireless carrying tracker aircraft and transmitted the first air-to-ground wireless telegraph message for home defence.
    Bryant, Truran, Shaw, Latham, Metcalfe and Villiers came into contact with the enemy but too far away to have any effect.

    Night time Gotha raids.

    3-4 September, night, 4 Gothas raid Chatham (4/18)
    Bekesbourne
    BE2C 2711 2nd Lieut L. Lucas.
    BE12 6185 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    6493 2nd Lieut w.g. Latham.
    6157 Lieut W.L. Williams.
    No contact.

    4-5 September, night, 9 Gothas raid London (3/18)
    Bekesbourne
    BE12 6185 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    6493 2nd Lieut W.G. Latham.
    Detling
    AW FK8 B247 2nd Lieut F.A.D. Grace, 2nd Lieut G. Murray.
    Grace and Murray shot at Gotha near Faversham.

    24-25 September, night, 13 Gothas raid London (8/30)
    Detling
    BE2E B4507 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    AW FK8 B224 2nd Lieut W.R. Oulton, Capt Kirby.
    B223 2nd Lieut F.V. Bryant, Lieut R. Roberson, crashed on landing, crew uninjured.
    No contact.

    25-26 September, night, 14 Gothas raid London (1/20)
    Detling
    BE2C B4507 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    Returned early, bad weather.

    No contact.


    31 October-1 November, night, 22 Gothas raid London.(9/50)
    Detling
    AW FK8 B229 Capt C. J. Truran, Lieut R. Robertson.
    B247 2nd Lieut F.A.D. Grace, 2nd Lieut G. Murray.
    B224 2nd Lieut W.R. Oulton.
    B226 2nd Lieut F.U. Bryant.
    BE2E A3134 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    Oswell reported a Gotha seen briefly NW of Dover.
    Lucas reported 2 Gothas over Thames estuary.


    18-19 December, night, 13 Gothas, 1 Giant raid London (9/47)
    Detling
    AW FK8 B3316 Capt C.J. Turan.
    B225 2nd Lieut F.V. Bryant.
    B247 2nd Lieut Grace, 2nd Lieut Murray.
    B229 2nd Lieut N.F. Perris.
    B4017 2nd Lieut C.C. White.
    B3316 2nd Lieut W.R. Oulton, Lieut H. Harris.
    .
    One of the aeroplanes used by No. 50 Squadron in 1916-17 still survives.
    Royal Aircraft Factory BE2C 2699, now on display at the Imperial War Museum, London.
    Built by Ruston, Proctor and Co of Lincoln, it served with No. 50 Squadron c. May 1916-cMay 1917. It flew at least 5 anti Zeppelin sorties as listed above.

    Later it served with 190 and 192 Night Training Squadrons and No. 51 Home Defence Squadron. After a forced landing it was withdrawn from service and passed to the IWM.
    As restored the aircraft is in clear doped linen. In No. 50 Squadron service it would have been painted lampblack overall.

  2. #2

    Default Re: My latest Medal group - Lieut. C.C. White DFC, RFC/RAF the 1917 Blitz 83 Squadron Western Front

    Nice grouping you have there. Glad that you have been able to pull up so much info, its always a nice feeling. Congratulations

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