RAF Tunic F/O Frank Wheeler Amiens Raid Operation
A 1944 dated Service Dress Tunic belonging to Flying Officer Frank Wheeler DFC who flew a Typhoon with 174 Squadron escorting Mosquitoes on the famous Operation Jericho, the attack on the prison at Amiens.
Of great historical importance is an eight page hand written and signed letter by F/O Wheeler, graphically recounting his memories of the raid.
Frank Wheeler joined the RAF in 1941, training in England as a pilot after which he completed a period of instructing. In January 1944 he was posted to join 174 Typhoon Fighter Squadron at Westhampnett, his first operation being as an escort to the Mosquitos taking part in Operation Jericho, the Amiens Jailbreak.
During his researches for the book “ Fighter Command Station at War” Frank was interviewed by Mark Hillier and agreed to write down his memories of the Jericho raid, later visiting Goodwood airfield for a flight in the Harvard, a photograph of which is included. His letter is also published in the book.
Following his death in early 2013, Frank’s uniform was placed in auction by his family, having first obscured the name but fortunately Mark Hillier was able to acquire it to reunite it with his letter.
The Tunic is in very good condition, free from moth or other damage and with his original Kings Crown pilot wings and medal ribbons showing the entitlement for the DFC, 1939-45 star, Aircrew Europe Star with Rosette indicating France and Germany entitlement and defence and war medal. In the pocket was found the remains of a mess bill or credit note with Frank’s signature on it
He stayed with 174 Squadron for the remainder of the War, serving throughout occupied Europe, and in 1945, at the end of his tour of operations, he was awarded the DFC.
A unique piece of history associated with a famous RAF raid, accompanied by a good and well prepared amount of research material.