Albany, Georgia and the RAF
The RAF Arnold Scheme's connection with Albany began in 1941 with Turner Field and Darr Aero Tech being selected as flying training bases. Darr Aero Tech was designated a Primary Flying Training School and Turner Field an Advanced School, although between 24th January 1942 and 6th August 1942 it was also an Acclimatization Centre for the intakes of Classes 42H through 43B. It was here that the young RAF LAC got his introduction to the "strange ways" of American life, from its food and climate to its customs.
Nearly one-third of the RAF "cadets" who commenced Pilot training within the Arnold Scheme during the period June 1941 to July 1942 (Classes 42A through 43B) did so at Darr Aero Tech yet no evidence of any Official registers of the classes has to date been found, other than pages retained by the former Commandant, Colonel Gordon Wheeler USAF Ret'd.
Col. Gordon Wheeler pictured at the 1991 dedication ceremony, Albany. (Photograph reproduced by permission Nicola Bate)
Crown Hill Cemetery, Albany is the final resting place of seven young men who were destined never to see their homeland again. Their graves are tended by the people of Albany to this day.
On 19th October 1991 a memorial monument presented by the people of Albany and the surrounding area was dedicated in their memory and in honour of all the British aviation cadets who had trained in America between 1941 and 1943. The Albany Municipal Airport also has a memorabilia cabinet in the passenger concourse commemorating the RAF presence there in World War 2.
RAF Memorial Crown Hill Cemetery
Crown Hill Cemetery 1991
L.A.C. Thomas MOSELEY R.A.F (V.R.)
|1919 - 1942||42 G|
|L.A.C. Robert Seymour WILSON R.A.F (V.R.)||1921 - 1942||42A|
|L.A.C.D'Arcy Harry Michael WILSON R.A.F. (V.R.)||1922 - 1941||42A|
|L.A.C. Jack HARTLEY R.A.F. (V.R.)||1917 - 1941||42A|
|L.A.C. Eric Nepean George Newberry FURZE R.A.F (V.R.)||1922 - 1941||42D|
|L.A.C. Dennis HOPE R.A.F (V.R.)||1923 - 1942||42G|
|L.A.C. Edward Stanley HEADINGTON R.A.F (V.R.)||1921 - 1941||42A|
Bob Drake, was a 14 year old when the "Brits" first came to Albany and was one of the leading members of the committee of Albany citizens who were the driving force behind establishing the memorial at Crown Hills. Now in his 80's Bob still willingly greets the families and friends of those original British visitors who make the pilgrimage to south-west Georgia.
Bob has graciously said that visitors with a special interest in RAF pilot training in Georgia can contacted him through the Register or by clicking the link above.