Whittaker, Ivan

Date of birth:
1921
Date of death:
1979
Service number:
51704
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Ivan Whittaker enlisted in the Royal Air Force as Aircraft Apprentice in January 1938 and was commisoned in 1943
On the 'Dams Raid' he flew with Squadron Leader Micky Martin in 'P for Popsie. Martin's plane was in Group One, led by Wing Commander Gibson; the primary target for this group was to attack the Moehne and then go onto the Eder, but after the Moehne was successfully destroyed Martin and Maltby, who were successful on their runs, were sent home by Gibson.
He later joined 511 Squadron - a VIP unit flying royalty and other dignitaries, including the then prime minister Clement Attlee.

Post-war decorations:
2 June, 1962, OBE

Promotions:
? Sergeant
5 April, 1943: Pilot Officer (temporary)
5 October, 1943: Flying Officer (probation/war sub)
5 April, 1945: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)
23 January, 1946: Flying Officer, extended service
5 October, 1946: Flight Lieutenant (substantive)
9th June 1949: commissioned as Flight Lieutenant (permanent) and subsequent transfer to the Technical Branch
1 December, 1949: transfer to the Technical Branch
1 January, 1954: Squadron Leader
1 July, 1959: Wing Commander
1 July, 1965: Group Captain
19 October, 1974: retirement (own request)

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flying Officer
Unit:
No. 617 Squadron, Royal Air Force (No. 617 Squadron, Royal Air Force)
Awarded on:
October 16th, 1943
Action:
Recommendation:
"During a long and strenuous operational tour Flying Officer Whittaker has taken part in many missions of a daring and hazardous character including the attack on the German Dams. In September 1943, he flew as flight engineer in an aircraft detailed for a low level night operation. This sortie was completed in the face of adverse weather and heavy opposition from the enemy defences. This Officer's skillful manipulation of the throttles while the aircraft was flying in low level formation contributed largely to the outstanding performance of the crew. He has always displayed high devotion to duty and outstanding courage."
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Flight Lieutenant
Unit:
No. 617 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
March 31st, 1944
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Action:
Citation:
"In February, 1944 this Officer was the flight engineer of an aircraft detailed to attack a target in Southern France. Whilst over the target the aircraft was repeatedly hit and sustained much damage. Flight Lieutenant Whittaker was wounded in both legs but, in spite of this he coolly made a detailed examination of the aircraft and gave his Captain a full report of the damage sustained. He displayed great fortitude and devotion to duty and his efforts were of much assistance to his Captain who flew the damaged bomber to an airfield where a safe landing was effected."
Details:
Second DFC awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.

Sources

  • - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36027 published on the 21 May 1943
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36201 published on the 5 October 1943
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36248 published on the 12 November 1943
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36448 published on the 28 March 1944
    - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37053 published on the 24 April 1945
    - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37993 published on the 20 June 1947
    - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 38020 published on the 18 July 1947
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 38771 published on the 29 November 1949
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 38826 published on the 31 January 1950
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 41753 published on the 26 June 1959
    - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 42683 published on the 25 May 1962
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 43701 published on the 29 June
    - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 46455 published on the 7 January 1975
    - Spink
    - BBC News