17 December 1939 : new pilots

Two new pilots, Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo and Flying Officer Woodwark are assigned respectively to A and B Flight. If the first, Petrus H. Hugo, of South African origin, has just completed his training, the identity of the second is more difficult to establish. Indeed, his name is only quoted a few times in the ORB without mentioning its initials. It disappeared, moreover, from the strength in March 1940 without any precision. After a search in the archives of the London Gazette, three members of the RAF correspond to this surname. The first is a George Arthur Woodwark (77404), whose commission as Pilot Officer is granted on 27 January 1940, and then promoted to Flying Officer on 27 January  1941. He appears, however, to serve with the administrative and technical branch of the RAF, and his rank does not match for the corresponding dates. The second is Peter Anthony Stanley Woodwark (81422) who is commissioned Pilot Officer on 28 June 1940 after his formation, which also eliminates him. The last was George Stuart Woodwark (37842), who was appointed Pilot Officer at the end of his training in March 1937, and was promoted to Flight Lieutnant in November 1940. He was discharged from the RAF in 1949, as Squadron Leader. However, if the dates seem to match, there is no concrete evidence that the latter is indeed the Woodwark of No.615 (County of Surrey). It is therefore necessary here to refer to the Flying Officer George S. Woodwark, while pointing out that this is merely a working hypothesis, which may be invalidated or confirmed subsequently.

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