Summery of the loss of Sgt Geoffrey Arthur Painting 118 Squadron RAF 1941 and my connection.
Mr Arthur Painting (Headmaster) Westcourt Junior School.
Mr Painting was a fair and caring gentleman, even though I and Freddie Cruse were caned by him for truancy.
Being young and impressionable, we pupils did not appreciate the stress that he was under during the wartime years having lost his only son in 1941 while flying with the RAF. He kept a photograph of his son in uniform on his desk. This fine gentleman did not allow his grief to show through, and was always upbeat in front of his pupils.
Mr Painting and his wife moved to Worcester to finish his days in the comfort of his daughter's home where he died a number of years ago.
Sgt Painting flew with 118 Squadron out of RAF Ibsley. His aircraft was a Spitfire N0 W3849 He was one of many who never returned.
He was reputed to be 17 years of age of his loss. It is thought that he enlisted using a false Date Of Birth, as 17 was a bit young for a trained pilot.
He was shot down on the 30th Sept 1941 while attacking an enemy Flak Ship. He crashed into the sea 15 miles North of Point Hide, Banfleur. He is in fact still reported as missing.
He is remembered at the RAF St Clement Danes, London and at Runnymede Memorial.
Derek Sowter 23rd Sept 2019