Serial Number: NZ416680
RAF Trade: Wireless Operator-Air Gunner
Date of Enlistment: 30th of November 1941
Rank Achieved: ??
Flying Hours: ?? hours
Operational Sorties: ?? Ops
Date of Birth: 11th of December 1919, in Cambridge
Personal Details: Fred was the son of Frederick Freelander Birdling (29/9/1856 - 1/7/1964) and Amelia Jane Birdling (nee Wilson, 26/6/1877-10/7/1959).
Fred was married twice. His first marriage was to Beverly Adelaide Williams, on the 25th of July 1941. Together Fred and Beverly had two children. Beverly passed away in 1956, and later Fred was married again to Mary Taylor Rattray.
Service Details: Frederick Birdling enlisted at RNZAF Station Levin on the 30th of November 1941 as an Air Gunner under training.
He embarked on the Dominion Monarch on the 8th of January 1942, travelling to Canada to undergo his Wireless Operator-Air Gunner training. His first posting was to No. 3 Wireless School, at Winnepeg, as a member of Course 37. He graduated from that wireless course on the 1st of June 1942, and then proceeded to No. 8 Bombing and Gunnery School at Lethbridge.
His next posting after the bombing and gunnery course was to No. 34 Operational Training Unit at RCAF Pennfield Ridge. This was situated in Charlotte County, New Brunswick. It seems this unit was flying Lockheed Ventura reconnaissance bombers.
Died: 23rd of September 1995, aged 75, in Auckland
Connection with Cambridge: Fred's second cousin Rae Sidwell (nee Birdling) believes that Fred was actually born in Cambridge and he obviously lived in the town for a time before joining the RNZAF.
Notes: Thanks to Errol Martyn who has supplied some information on this page. and to Rae Sidwell for additional information and the photo of Fred.
Fred Birdling (Photo kindly supplied by Rae Sidwell)