Wing Commander Edward Peter William Hutton, DFC, AFC, DSO (37178) was born in Perth in 1916, educated at Perth Academy, Dollar Academy, Ross’s (Perth) Commercial School and resided with his grandmother Mrs J. McLaren, 14 Robertson’s Buildings, Dunkeld Road. Edward Hutton was the son of the late Edward and Mrs Hutton of Cockfosters, London. Edward’s late father worked in Iraq for twenty years.
Edward played rugby for Perth Academy Former Pupils and Dollar Academy in 1934 and 1935. Edward married Freda Stamper and they lived together in Girvan, Ayrshire and Sands Close, Braintree Road, Felsted, Essex, England.
Edward Hutton joined the RAFVR in 1935 as a commissioned officer. His promotions:
Acting Pilot Officer 7 May 1935
Flying Officer 16 November 1938
Flight Lieutenant 16 November 1939 – Gazetted 21 November 1939
Posted to RAF 75 Squadron from RAF 9 Squadron (Squadron Leader) 19 January 1940
RAF 75 Squadron ceased to exist at Harwell, now New Zealand Squadron and assume new name, RAF 75 (New Zealand) Squadron, 4 April 1940
Squadron Leader 01 December 1940 – Gazetted 10 December 1940
Wing Commander 01 March 1942 – Gazetted 27 March 1942
Squadron Commanding Officer RAF 221 Squadron, October 1942 to June 1943
As Wing Commander with RAF 221 Squadron, he carried out 35 operational missions, involving mine laying, anti-submarine patrols, attacks on shipping and bombing sorties in the Mediterranean theatre. In January 1943, he was responsible for illuminating the harbour at Candia (modern day Heraklion, Crete), lighting up the target for the following bombers. RAF 221 Squadron at this time were based at RAF Shallufa near the Suez Canal, Egypt, with detachments at RAF St. Jean, Palestine, and RAF Gianaclis (Jiyanklis), Alexandria, Egypt. They flew at this time Vickers Wellington Mk XI and XII aircraft.
In February 1943 during an anti-shipping mission with RAF 221 Squadron, he spotted a medium sized merchant vessel, escorted by a destroyer. Wing Commander Edward P. W. Hutton immediately attacked the merchant ship, hitting it from close range with a torpedo. For the above actions he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), gazetted on 23 April 1943.
Wing Commander Hutton continued flying a large number of sorties, attacking enemy shipping. In September of 1944 he is reported by the Chelmsford Chronicle as having penetrated the narrow strip of water between the Helder (Den Helder) mainland and the island of Texel, Netherlands in the face of violent fire from ships and shore batteries. Wing Commander Hutton fired his canon shells into two auxiliary ships. He then noticed another Bristol Beaufighter in trouble, black smoke poured from its starboard engine which had been hit by flak. But he said the pilot did not waiver and went straight through a convoy with all his guns blazing. Hutton went to the assistance of the damaged Beaufighter and escorted it back to the nearest base.
On 3 May 1945, Wing Commander Hutton lead his Bristol Beaufighter wing to attack German naval and merchant ships attempting to escape to Norway (Germany surrendered on 12 May 1945). Following up on reconnaissance reports from Coastal Command of large numbers of ships stretching north from Kiel through the Little and Great Belts of Denmark. The vessels caught in the stampede included fishing boats, U-Boats and a 10,000-ton passenger liner. The wing immediately took off from bases in England for Denmark, escorted by RAF North American P-51 Mustangs. The Bristol Beaufighter of Coastal Command aircraft were armed with cannon, machine guns, torpedoes and rockets. The weather was perfect, they first attacked 4 coastal vessels south of Sprogø, Denmark. Hutton detached one section from each of his formation to attend to it. Next the whole wing dived on a stationery merchant vessel with a tank landing craft and two motor launches. Initial claims revealed that two vessels were probably sunk with 38 more burning fiercely, smoking or otherwise damaged. This was reported as the Beaufighter biggest strike, three Coastal Command aircraft were lost.
The next day the attacks by the Second Tactical Air Force of the RAF continued. The weather was not so good, but ten ships were sunk and 61 damaged in the first 400 sorties flown. On land some 1200 vehicles were destroyed or damaged.
AFC (Air Force Cross) 17 March 1941
Notification Only London Gazette No. 35107, Dated 1941-03-17
DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) 23 April 1943
Wing Commander Edward Peter William HUTTON, A.F.C. (37178), No. 221 Squadron. This officer has completed 35 operational missions, involving anti-submarine patrols, mine laying operations, attacks on shipping and bombing sorties. In January, 1943, in extremely bad weather, he piloted an aircraft detailed to illuminate the harbour at Candia, preparatory to a bombing attack. Whilst over the target area, his aircraft was severely damaged but, displaying great skill and determination, Wing Commander Hutton flew it back to base. One night in February, 1943, he captained an aircraft detailed to search for shipping. In the course of the flight a medium sized merchant vessel, escorted by a destroyer, was sighted. Wing Commander Hutton immediately attacked the merchant ship, obtaining a hit with a torpedo from close range. The vessel sank. By his skilful leadership, great courage and determination, this officer has contributed materially to the fine fighting spirit of the squadron he commands. London Gazette No. 35989, Dated 1943-04-23
DSO (Distinguished Service Order) 13 July 1945
Wing Commander Hutton has completed a very large number of sorties involving many attacks on enemy shipping. He has consistently displayed outstanding devotion to duty and throughout has Shown courage and enthusiasm of a high standard. His efficiency was amply demonstrated in May, 1945 when he led a successful low level attack against enemy shipping in the Baltic, much damage being inflicted on the enemy. Wing Commander Hutton has set a fine example of keenness, determination and gallantry London Gazette No. 37175, Dated 1945-07-13
Research by Ken Bruce
Edward Hutton’s grandmother’s Mrs J. McLaren, 14 Robertson’s Buildings, Dunkeld Road, Perth had a son who lost his life on 22 May 1944 – RAFVR Sergeant Alistair McLaren (189177) was an air gunner on-board Avro Lancaster ND762, piloted by another Perth resident Ernie ‘Sherl-E’ Holmes DFC.
RAF Shallufa was one of many overseas RAF Stations that had a Malcom Club. Wing Commander Hugh Gordon Malcolm, VC (2 May 1917 – 4 December 1942) was from Broughty Ferry and educated at Glenalmond College. The RAF’s Malcolm Clubs were named in his honour. These were welfare clubs for RAF personnel, which operated in several countries mostly between 1943 and the early 1970s.
An earthquake located off the northern coast of Crete on 12 October 1856 destroyed most of the over 3,600 homes in the city of Heraklion. Only 18 homes were left intact. The disaster claimed 538 victims.
During the period of direct occupation of the island by the Great Powers (1898–1908), Candia was in part of the British zone.
In July 1945, RAF 75 Squadron began to train to join the Tiger Force, also known as the Very Long-Range Bomber Force of UK Squadrons to be deployed to the Pacific Theatre. They were scheduled to be deployed to Okinawa ready for the invasion of Japan. The colour scheme for Tiger Force aircraft was white upper surfaces with black undersides; this scheme, developed to reflect sunlight and thus lower the internal temperatures in the tropical heat. Flight refuelling was to be undertaken, if necessary, by equipment developed by Flight Refuelling Ltd, founded by Alan Cobham. Cobham’s air circus visited Perth in 1934, using the fields at the top of Necessity Brae.
As early as 1943, the Avro Lancaster aircraft’s name appeared on a US list of aircraft that could potentially carry a nuclear bomb internally. The highly advanced Boing B-29 was introduced for operational use in May 1944 and experienced many initial issues which required modifications. At the end of 1943, although almost 100 B-29 aircraft had been delivered, only 15 were airworthy, 150 aircraft were modified in the five weeks between 10 March and 15 April 1944. The Boeing B29 Superfortress had two bomb bays, neither large enough for the nuclear bombs, Little Boy or Fat Man. The B29 (Enola Gay) used to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to have it bomb bays modified and reinforced to carry nuclear bombs. The Enola Gay was the first of 15 from the initial production of Silverplate B-29s specification. Otherwise, the Enola Gay could have carried the nuclear bomb externally or the task given over to the Avro Lancaster’s of Tiger Force. The forward bomb bay and forward wing spar required modification to accommodate a single bomb that would weigh in the area of 10,000 pounds. They adopted the British Type G single-point attachments and Type F releases that the British used on the Avro Lancaster bomber to carry the 12,000-pound Tallboy earthquake bomb. Overall, the changes made enabled the modified B-29 bomber to carry an atomic bomb while cruising at 260 mph, at 30,000 feet.
Odense is the main city on the Island of Funen which lies between the Little Belt and Great Belt in Denmark. Canute IV of Denmark who had designs on the English throne and was considered to be the last Viking king, was murdered in 1086 by unruly peasants in St. Albans Priory, Odense. He was the grandnephew of Canute the Great, also known as Cnut the Great, who ruled England, Denmark and Norway until 1035.
William Joyce aka Lord Haw-Haw (“Germany calling, Germany calling”) and other British propaganda broadcasters who broadcast Nazi Propaganda during the war left in a convoy for Denmark on 2 May 1945. He got as far as Kupfermühle, near Flensburg, right on the border of Germany and Denmark. Joyce was eventually captured by British soldiers as he cut a birch tree outside a cottage, he went for something in his pocket and was shot in the thigh. He had in his pocket pages of a manuscript in which he said he would be glad when he was caught as the suspense was getting on his nerves, and, anyway, he loved England. Back in England he was tried for treason, found guilty and hanged in Wandsworth jail, London in January 1946. Hitler’s successor Admiral Karl Donitz had also taken refuge in Flensburg just before his arrest on 23 May 1945 to the Allies. Donitz died in 1980 at the age of 89.