Preserving the Past- About Unverified Sources…

Maybe I jumped to conclusions a little too fast.

William K. Moncur was not a Free French pilot. The information I had taken from the Internet proved false.

This is the proof right here on a top secret document about the debriefing of Flight Lieutenant Moncur who was shot down 19 September 1944 and who managed to escape.

This is what got me thinking about William K. Moncur after reading the report.

Length of service: 5 1/2 years (September 1944 minus 5 1/2 years = March 1939

His private address: 53 Spottinswoode Street, Edinburgh

To the question, Do you speak French? He answered “Fair French”.

In 1955, William K. Moncur got a Queen’s commendation as part of RAuxAF.

From Wikipedia…

By March 1939, 21 flying squadrons had been formed, the 20 surviving units being ’embodied’ (included) with the Royal Air Force at the outbreak of war. Notably, all enlisted men continued to serve under their auxiliary conditions of service until they expired when they were required to transfer to the RAFVR. The squadrons were equipped with a variety of operational aircraft which included Hurricanes and Spitfires. The squadrons scored a number of notable successes before and during the Second World War: the first flight over Mount Everest, undertaken by auxiliary pilots from 602 Squadron, the first German aircraft destroyed over British territorial waters – and over the mainland, the first U-boat to be destroyed with the aid of airborne radar, the first kill of a V-1 flying bomb; the first to be equipped with jet-powered aircraft, and the highest score of any British night fighter squadron. In the Battle of Britain, the AAF provided 14 of the 62 Squadrons in RAF Fighter Command‘s Order of Battle and accounted for approximately 30% of the accredited enemy kills. Indeed, in 11 Group Fighter Command, that saw the heaviest fighting over South East England in 1940, of the 15 top scoring squadrons, eight were auxiliary. The losses sustained during the Battle of Britain, as with all other squadrons, were replaced by drafting in regular and RAFVR pilots.

The Tactical Air Force squadrons were chosen to carry out several successful ultra low-level raids on key ‘pin-point’ targets in occupied Europe. The Balloon Squadrons also played their part, downing and deterring many hostile aircraft and were accredited with the destruction of 279 V1 flying bombs.

The Auxiliary Air Force was also responsible for the anti-aircraft balloon defences of the UK. At the outbreak of war in 1939 there were about 42 Squadrons operating barrage balloons, with the number of squadrons peaking at about 102 in 1944.

This page that I was relying on as a proof was also incorrect.

Preserving the past isn’t always easy especially for an amateur historian.


4 thoughts on “Preserving the Past- About Unverified Sources…

  1. Interesting research, it puts a very human perspective to the war experiences. Many today have no idea what these people experienced in their service nor the sacrifice for our freedom.

    • I agree completely. I know a lot about what these unsung heroes went through. However I still learn a lot more through what many bloggers are writing. I am doing my part to preserve the past and sharing my research as an amateur historian.

  2. It can be very difficult to confirm ‘facts’ without official documents, even then they can be wrong. We try to be as accurate as we can, cross referencing and double checking, but inevitably mistakes can /will be made in the process. The fact that you are preserving and promoting the efforts and sacrifices of these people is the important thing. After all, errors can be corrected later on!

    • It was obvious Moncur’s uniform wasn’t Free French! I have tried contacting what I believe is William Kerr Moncur’s son.

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