M.736  Acting 2nd Officer Hubert James Dixon 
   b. 26 May 1914, Northernden, Cheshire  17 Mar 1942 to 28 Nov 1942

 ata hubert dixon 1938 1938

 ata hubert dixon ATA

 

1942 caricature by 'Pat Rooney'

via George Cogswell

 
 

 

prev. an aero engineer, for Ford Aero Engines (Rolls Royce) in Eccles, Lancs.

prev. exp. 97 hrs

Address in 1938: 'Moliere', Wythenshawe Rd, Northernden

Address in 1942: 'Manilla', Nansen Rd, Gatley, Cheshire

Hubert originally applied to the ATA in February 1941, but they replied that they weren't allowed to take pilots of military age unless they had been turned down by the RAF.

He replied that he had indeed offered his services to the RAF, twice, but they had refused him because he was in a strictly reserved occupation. The ATA replied, somewhat archly, that as he seemed now to able to obtain his release, he should go back to the RAF and ask them again ...

After another session with the RAF (who still said they couldn't take him), he then talked to the Ministry of Labour and the National Service Controller in Manchester. Who agreed that, if he could find a job of even greater national importance than his current one, they might be able to secure his release.

Finally, the RAF had a chance to turn him down properly, which they duly did because the vision on his left eye was not up to their standards. Hubert said "In my own personal opinion I can see perfectly."

Anyway, by December 1941 the ATA was prepared to offer him a job, and he was eventually taken on as a Pilot Cadet. His instructors (Margaret Ebbage, Harry Woods and Eugene Prentice) assessed him as 'an average pilot' with 'an average amount of common sense.'

After training, he was seconded to 6FPP at Ratcliffe on 27 Nov 1942. He died the next day in an unlucky accident.


220px Boulton Paul Defiant Mk I in flight

d. 28 Nov 1942 (Died in ATA Service) in Defiant I N3319 which stalled and crashed at Wood Lane, Timperley, nr Ringway, while he was attempting a forced landing after an engine problem.

The aircraft ended upside down and on fire with Hubert, already dead, trapped in the cockpit. Harry Warburton, (an ex-RFC pilot) who owned the adjoining nurseries, was the first to arrive on the scene, "followed by many others", who righted the aircraft and carried the body away. Mr Warburton said later that he "was only 12 feet away when the petrol tank exploded."

The Coroner praised the rescuers: "I should like to congratulate Warburton and the others on the very prompt way they responded ... they recovered the body as little burned as was possible ... it was very commendable. I trust those who were injured will soon be well again."

 

He was buried at Altrincham Bowden and Hale Cemetery, Cheshire, near Bill Elliott and Earl Renicker (q.q.v.)

 ATA Memorial Herbert Dixon

"Always thoughtful and kind, a beautiful memory left behind. Mother, Raymond & Dora

with thanks to Barbara Grayson

 

The ATA's Flying Establishment Officer visited his widow Elsie and her two children in January 1943. Elsie had in fact moved out a few months before Hubert died, and was living with her parents in "rather a humble dwelling, in a poor quarter of Manchester." ... "I gathered the impression that Mrs Elsie Dixon was rather young and irresponsible, so I decided to call on the deceased's parents, to obtain what information I could."

Annie (Mrs Dixon senior) agreed, and went as far as to say that "whatever money was given as a lump sum to Mrs Elsie Dixon would be squandered." Annie also showed him a letter from her son dated 12th May 1942, in which he had written "About the insurance - I have had it made payable to you (Annie Dixon 23 Nansen Rd Gatley). If anything should happen I want £800 to go to Elsie and £800 for Michael and the other baby [Martin, who was born 13 September 1942] to be divided equally when they are 21. The other £400 is for you - don't say you don't want it."

And so that is what they did.

  


Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey

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