Preserving the Past – RAF No. 5 I.T.W. Cadet pilots


This post was written in 2016, but I never published it. I was contacted by someone whose uncle was on a group photo. 


Exactly two years ago on August 29, 2016, Theo Griffiths passed away but Theo Griffiths will always be remembered on this blog as well as his navigator Rick Maude.

Theo and Ric montage

Theo’s son-in-law has been sharing everything he could find about his father-in-law and everything he sent has been shared on the blog. Richard sent me this 1941 photo of Theo and someone whose name was Green. The date is 12 August, 1941 and taken most probably in Toronto, Canada.


Theo and Green.jpg


Collection Theo Griffiths DFC

Hopkins, Sheppard, Cpl. Shuttleworth (P.T.I.), Green, Thompson.

Every bit of information is important like these two photos I found on a forum last week which helped me in reuniting two first cousins once removed.

I have just found out my 1st cousin, once removed was a navigator in 23 Squadron based in Malta 1942-1943. Sgt Leslie GREEN, 1556380, is buried at Catania War Cemetery, Sicily, after his Mosquito crashed on landing back at Malta on 5th September 1943, following night disruption flights over Italy. I am interested to find anything more about him, and in particular a picture.


Source Internet

I don’t think we have the same Leslie Green.

A shot in the dark

This story will be continued some other day.

For now this is what I had written in 2016 about a group picture.


I took me three years to finally understand the meaning of RAF No. 5 ITW that Theo Griffiths DFC wrote in the last years of his life.

Theo is no longer with us, but his memories will live on forever on cyberspace.

Last month I wrote a post The End of the Beginning followed by The Beginning of the End. I never thought for a moment someone would find this blog and would share all the information he had on his uncle “Bunty”.


Collection Graham Padden

Graham Padden had shared so much photos that I just had to create yet another blog to pay homage to his uncle Gerald Thomas Padden seen here on the group picture.


All these cadet pilots are from No. 5 Initial Training Wing Squadron 4.

Very little information exist on the Internet about this group. If you have any information please use the contact form just like Graham Padden used. You never know what you may find.

The Journey – Bud Badley

Bud Badley group picture

Robert Bruce Madge could be on this group picture with pilots and navigators of 23 Squadron. This could be have been taken when 23 Squadron came back from Italy.

This next photo is part of an album shared by Theodore Griffiths’ son-in-law who has shared most of Theodore Griffiths’ war mementos and recollections.

A flight 23 Squadron Naples 10 November 1943

I never took the time to identify everyone on this photo.

Bud Badley group picture

Maybe the time is right to do so especially if Robert Bruce Madge is on it.

Preserving the Past – Toronto, September 1941

Richard Cooper and I are preserving the past. I have been doing it since 2009. Richard joined me in February 2013 when he found this blog and started contributing stories and pictures.

My father-in-law is Theodore Griffiths DFC. He was a Mosquito pilot with 23 Squadron and his navigator was a Rick Maude. Any memories copies of photographs would be much appreciated. Theo suffers from Alzeimer’s and vascular dementia but is still able to recall his time with the squadron.

Richard Cooper

This is another day in the life of Theo Griffiths whose life has been touching so many people’s lives.


Click on the image to get a closer view…
Collection Theo Griffiths DFC (courtesy Richard Cooper)


Theo Griffiths DFC

Theo was one of 90 cadet pilots from England heading down South.

Now look closer at the group picture…


George Rushbrook

George Rushbrook was also one of the 90 cadet pilots from England, with a friend…

Look closer…


Gerald Thomas Padden


What’s next on this blog?

90 cadet pilots are going south of the border…to Souther Field, Georgia, USA!

Theo in training mod

We will be October 24, 1941…

Another day in the life of Theo Griffiths whose life has been touching so many people’s lives.

Day I soloed 24 October 1941


Souther Field, Americus, Georgia Revisited

This picture was taken in 1942…

Theo in training mod

Collection Theo Griffiths DFC

These were also taken in 1942…


Courtesy Graham Padden (
Collection Gerald Thomas Padden (1922-1942)


Courtesy Graham Padden (
Collection Gerald Thomas Padden (1922-1942)


Courtesy Graham Padden (
Collection Gerald Thomas Padden (1922-1942)

Theodore Griffiths

Collection Theo Griffiths DFC


Courtesy Graham Padden (
Collection Gerald Thomas Padden (1922-1942)


In 1942, both Theo Griffiths and Gerald Thomas Padden were in the same class at Souther Field, Americus, Georgia.

Theo Griffiths’ story is here on this blog.

Gerald’s story will be told here.

July 1945

Little Snoring - June or July 1945

This is the last group picture taken of 23 Squadron. I have been using it since 2010 to remember these heroes.

Some are still unknown.

Little by little people who are related find this blog created in 2010 and leave a message…

Hi, My grandfather recently passed away and I am in the process of scanning and copying all of his things. I have come across lots of old photos of him in 23 Squadron and I also have his Flying log book. Would you be interested in copies of these for your blogs if you are still doing them? My grandfather is John William Thompson (Jack) he is the photo above middle row 6th person in. We will be saying our final farewell to him on Tuesday 13th September and would love to know if you have any more information on him.



I always write back like I did with Theo’s son-in-law…

Theo in training mod