Christopher Walter Waitt

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Military person

Christopher Walter Waitt Template:Post-nominals (3 September 1895 − December 1974) was a British airman who served in the Royal Flying Corps in World War I and also in the Royal Air Force in World War II. In 1916 he was awarded the Military Medal. During WW2 he served as adjutant to No. 550 Squadron RAF, a squadron of heavy Lancaster bombers which participated in bombing raids over Germany and occupied Europe from 1943 to 1945.

Early life

Christopher Walter Waitt was born on 3 September 1895.[1] He was the son of Walter Henry Waitt (c1861-c1898) and Florence Lavinia (Pratt) Waitt. His father died when he was very young, and his mother re-married, to a German named Erwin Nagel.[2] Prior to WW1 Waitt spent "five or six years" in Germany.[2]

Military Service

WW1

Waitt joined the Royal Flying Corps prior to WW1, on 20 April 1914.[3]. The RFC at that time was just two years old, having been formed in April 1912.

Waitt accompanied the RFC to France when war began in 1914 as a second class air mechanic.[2]. In 1915 Waitt intercepted a wireless message from a German aeroplane, instructing German artillery to fire upon a certain wood, occupied by British troops. Waitt personally telephoned Corps HQ, thereby saving many lives. For this action Waitt was awarded the Military Medal,[2]recorded in the London Gazette on 11 October 1916.[3]

In December 1916 Sergeant Waitt was transferred from France to home duties. In January 1917 Waitt was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, "appointed for ground duties only".[2]

In 1917 Waitt came under suspicion of harbouring pro-German sympathies (his stepfather was German), but by March 1918 the case had been "quite cleared up and there was nothing against this officer in any way".[2]

WW2

550 Squadron Flight Commanders and Leaders May 1945
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Lancaster B1 bomber in the markings of No 550 squadron: BQ-B "Phantom of the Ruhr".

Christopher Walter Waitt also served in WW2 and 1940 he was listed in the The London Gazette on 22nd January 1940.[4]He was also in the Gazette on 28 March 1941, listed as a "flying officer on probation".[5]

From January 1944 to 26 May 1945 Waitt served as squadron adjutant to 550 Squadron RAF, a heavy bomber squadron which flew Lancaster bombers.[6] During the course of the war, 550 Squadron completed 3,582 operational sorties. Today, a surviving Lancaster bomber continues to fly in the markings of BQ-B "Phantom of the Ruhr" EE139 from 550 squadron as part of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.[2]

References

  1. National Archives Retrieved 20 April 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Official war records, unpublished
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Contemptible Little Flying Corps, p.408
  4. The London Gazette, 13 February 1940 Retrieved 7 June 2019
  5. Gazette, 28 March 1941 Retrieved 7 June 2019
  6. www.550squadronassociation.org.uk

External links