M.962 3rd Officer Joseph Francis [Jose Francisco Jorge Santiago] Wheelock b. 20 Jul 1913, Managua, Nicaragua 18 May 1943 to 27 Nov 1944
Father: Thomas Wilfred Wheelock (b. 1874 in Lima, Peru); Mother: Maria Benita [Corazo], both of Managua, Nicaragua
Ed. Alabama University (BSA)
prev. exp. 34.5 hrs on single engine light planes
prev. a Coffee Planter
Address in 1943: 9 Taviton St, Euston London WC1
Rejected by RAF as medically unfit - "bilateral nerve deafness"
"Mr Wheelock is the owner of coffee lands here in Managua and has left behind him considerable wealth as much as a very comfortable life with a high social standing and a host of friends and relatives"
His flight test report says "Left S. America to help with the war. A keen and alert type who should be given a chance" and "Rather talkative but keen"
The ATA hurriedly checked, and "Confirmation that Nicaragua is actually at war with the Axis has been received from the Foreign Office"
Postings: 5TFPP, 2FPP, 7FPP, 3FPP
17 Aug 1943: he had a little 'misunderstanding' with the RAF Duty Officer at RAF Ternhill over how much fuel he needed; "although a flight of 35 to 40 miles could easily be accomplished within safety limits, it must be remembered that the pupil is a temperamental foreigner who has been instructed always to ensure that the tanks of the aircraft are full before a cross country flight."
On the 18 August, he was given permission to wear shoulder flashes bearing the word "Nicaragua"
By the 26 Sep 1943, he had reached a "lowly" Class I standard, but he "had to be taken off Hart training as he did not appear able to manage this type"
"His future flying will have to be carefully watched as, although he is keen and willing, his ability is limited."
He sustained a broken collarbone when hit by a taxi Anson in August 1944, and returned to the USA from 11 Sep to 15 Oct 1944.
d. 27 Nov 1944 in Mosquito VI NT147 piloted by First Officer Allen Pollock, which hit a flock of birds on a ferry flight from Hawarden to 44MU Lixell via Kirkbride. They arrived at Kirkbride with the port engine feathered, and crashed when attempting to go-round after the undercarriage indicator showed the wheels unlocked. F/O Pollock only suffered superficial cuts and bruises, but Joseph was fatally injured on the head.
Buried Carlisle Cemetery
His will left the benefits of his life insurance of 3,000 USD "in loving remembrance, divided thus:- Two thousand dollars to my mother and one thousand to Rosita Arguello Solorzano. I beg that my mother forgives me for all the trouble I have caused her". He left his house in the Avenida Hospital to his son, Armando Solis, when he should reach the age of 25.
And his estate amounted to 121,226 Nicaraguan Cordobas!