Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Honored Allies Wednesday: Whitney W. Straight (United Kingdom)

"During the Second World War, Whitney Straight served as a Royal Air Force pilot.  He was sent to Norway in April 1940 to find frozen lakes suitable for use as airfields.  Lake Lesjaskog was utilized by No. 263 Squadron RAF during the Norwegian Campaign as a result.  Straight was seriously wounded during a German bombing raid in Norway.  After convalescing, he next served with No. 601 Squadron RAF in the Battle of Britain.  From September 1940 until April 1941, he was credited with two aircraft destroyed. He then became commanding officer of No. 242 Squadron RAF, bringing his total to 3 and 1 shared ( with 2 'probables') by late July 1941.  Early in 1941 he was awarded a Military Cross for his work in Norway.  He was shot down by flak over France on 31 July 1941 and initially evaded capture.  Through the French Underground, he made his way to unoccupied Vichy France where he was captured and put in a prisoner-of-war camp.  However he escaped on 22 June 1942 and with the aid of the French Resistance reached safety in Gibraltar.  In September 1942, now as an air commodore, he was sent to the Middle East joining HQ, No. 216 Group RAF, as Air Officer Commanding.  For his service in Norway, he was awarded the Norwegian War Cross with sword in 1942." 

Another honored alley,
Brian & Mel

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