WONZ Show Episode 167 – Charles Sharp – PRU Pilot

Guest: Charles Ernest Sharp, 157688, Flight Lieutenant, Royal Air Force, WWII
(21 May 1920 to 11th of October 2011)

Host: Dave Homewood

Recorded: 17th of July 2012

Released: 27th of October 2017

Duration: 54 minutes 25 seconds

Charles Sharp joined the Royal Air Force in October 1939, though his training did not begin till late 1940. After learning to fly on de Havilland Tiger Moths and Airspeed Oxfords, he was at an Operational Training Unit flying Beaufighters when he was shot down by a night fighter over Yorkshire. This forced him to spend a considerable time in hospitable, but when he returned to flying he was eventually sent on a different path, to fly Photo Reconnaissance Unit aircraft.

Joining No. 140 Squadron RAF, Charles flew Supermarine Spitfire PRIV’s and PRXI’s to begin with, then he converted onto the Photo Reconnaissance version of the de Havilland Mosquito. He flew the Mosquito II, IX and XVI on this squadron. He flew all over Europe photographing targets and areas of interest.

Following 60 operations with no. 140 Squadron Charles was rested, during which – among other postings – he joined No. 1 Ferry Unit at RAF Pershore, and was engaged in ferrying Beaufighters and Mosquitoes to the Middle East and Far East.

He then returned to No. 140 Squadron, now at Eindhoven, and continued photo operations in Europe and England till the end of the war. He left the RAF in March 1946.

Charles passed away in October 2015 in Whangarei where he’d lived for many years.

Above: A screencap pf Charles Sharp from the interview

A No. 140 Squadron RAF Mosquito as flown by Charles Sharp.

An interesting artwork from Charles’s logbook

The following are aerial photos taken by Charles over Europe, click to enlarge:

Notes: This interview was recorded in the Whangarei Returned And Services Association clubrooms, hence a little bit of occasional background noise from their kitchen’s dumb waiter lift. The music at the end if ‘Someone To Watch over Me’, sung by Margaret Whiting (1944)

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