Sunday, February 17, 2019

Flight Officer Frank Hanton

Roger A Freeman; Mustang at War, Doubleday 1974
One of the Canadian squadrons flying Mustangs in Europe was No. 400 (City of Toronto) and one of the more successful pilots was the man shown above, hugging his airplane. 
Flight Officer Frank Hanton recorded the first nighttime victories by a Mustang on the moonlit night of August 14, 1943, catching and shooting down both a Me110 and a Ju88 as they were landing. From On Watch to Strike
A quick Google search fills in more of his story. During his service he 
shot down a number of German planes and also ran up a tally of 54 trains destroyed while on ground attack missions. 
On one of those missions he was shot down and suffered burns to his face when he crash landed. That made him part of the Guinea Pig Club, the pioneering plastic surgery program where injured and disfigured soldiers and airmen were integrated back into society. 
After the war he flew for the Manitoba Government Air Services until his retirement in 1978.
More on Hon. Col. Hanton here
Update; I got derailed a bit on this post, getting distracted by the Guinea Pig Club. Turns out there is a Canadian connection in Dr Albert Ross Tilley who worked closely with New Zealander Dr Archibald McIndoe in the program. Incredible work.

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