M.689 * Senior Commander 

Hon. Benjamin Ludlow 'Ben' Bathurst

2nd Viscount Bledisloe 

flag england   b. 2 Oct 1899, Westbury, Wilts 1 Dec 1941 to 15 Dec 1945

 ata benjamin bathurst 19281928

     

 

Ed.  Eton, Magdalen College, Oxford (B.A.)

2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery in WWI.

prev. a Barrister at Law; Squadron Leader in the RAF.

m 1933 Joan Isobel [Krishaber]

Postings: before Apr 43, ATA Chief Establishment Officer; from Apr 1943 Director of Services and Personnel

"In early 1944 [6 Apr] the ATA were called in to collect a Hudson from Holmsley South in the New Forest, which had been flown in from the Middle East and had been landed, one must suppose, at the first airfield in England that came into view. The task fell to Ben Bathurst, one of the senior members of the headquarters staff, who had only recently completed his Hudson conversion course. Nobody at Holmesley South had ever seen a Hudson but eventually, the crew satisfied themselves as to the serviceability of the aircraft and made their departure.

The runway at Holmesley South was a long one but even so, the Hudson even with full engine power refused to become airborne and the take-off ended in an adjacent field minus wheels and engines.Ben and his flight engineer were indeed lucky to escape."

"During the next few months three Hudsons were lost in similar circumstances, in each case the crew being killed. It was at this stage that Coastal Command put in hand an investigation which showed that all four Hudsons had recently returned from the Middle East where they had been parked out in the tropical sun. The sun and heat, it was decided, had split the rubber of the wing leading-edge de-icing boots causing a breakdown of the air over the wings. After this the rubber was replaced by metal sheeting." ELC

He also had another accident on 2 Jan 1945, when his Stinson Reliant FB669 landed at White Waltham minus an escape hatch, which must have blown off in flight, "probably due to insecure fastening."

 ata ben and joan bathurst 1946

"The Hon. and Mrs Benjamin Bathurst" Tatler, 1946

d. 17 Sep 1979

see his entry in  https://en.wikipedia.org

 

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