Thursday, 14 November 1940

RAF Stradishall – Baginton, Coventry

F/Lt Keast flies Whitley P5029 to the Armstrong Whitworth factory at Baginton, just outside Coventry. He takes one crewman with him: the Whitley could have been flown single-handed except that in an emergency the manual lowering of the undercarriage has to be operated by a third party. (Think of the climactic ending to the film Memphis Belle.) Wireless operators often went up on pre-operation air tests as they used the opportunity to test their sets, especially the D/F (direction-finding) apparatus, but the real reason for being aboard was to lower the undercart if necessary.

F/O Oettle flies the new Whitley T4264 to Baginton, where he picks up Keast and his crew, and they return to Stradishall. P5029 appears to be undergoing some unspecified modification (perhaps the installation of a shield for the tail wheel) or a repair. A similar installation is fitted to all Whitleys at Ringway on the 16th, but the shields have a tendency to fall off when taxiing over rough ground.