After joining RCAF and completing his Manning Depot training in December of 1943, Edgar Wightman was posted to No. 3 Bomb
and Gunnery School at MacDonald Manitoba until January 28th of 1944.
Once posted overseas all RCAF personnel reported to No. 3 Reception in Bournemouth, here Sgt. Wightman awaited his next posting.
It would also be his first glimse into the everyday life of the British during war time retraints with ration cards, black out regulations, food shortages and air raids.
His first step towards operational flying would take place at one of the Operational Training Units. His posting brought him North to RAF Wellstone home of No.22 OTU
No. 22 OTU - No. 1666 HCU
The OTU were where the crews came together, the different air trades were normally brought together in a large mess hall and allowed to sort themselves out into full crews.
Crewing up was in fact a serious business, their lives would depend on the individual ability of each man to do his job effectively under pressure
to help them make it through the rough journey to the magical thirty sorties
and completion of a tour. For the next few weeks the Wellington's of No. 22 would be their class rooms as the crews knit them selfes into a team.
With just over sixty-seven and half hours it was time to move on to No.1666, Heavy Conversion Unit, at RAF Wobleton.
It was here the aircrew captained by P/O Colin MacLaren became familiar with the Lancaster and Wightman would meet the two additional crew members who
would be needed to fully crew the heavy bomber.
The time at No. 1666 was even shorter than at OTU, with a little over 34 hours day and night time hours spent flying cross country trips, practising landing skills my doing
circuits and bumps, gunnery drills and most importantly for the pilot and Flight Engineer time spend flying the Lancaster with only two or three engines in use.
On March 12th the crew reported to 419 squadron :
Pilot P/O Colin Charles MacLaren
Navigator F/O Donald William Wincott
Wireless Op. P/O William Henderson
Bomb Aimer F/O Charles Robert Loft
F/E P/O Gordon Archie Livingston
Rear Gunner P/O Gregory James Jones
At 419 squadron they would fly only a few operations together; Hamburg, Leipzip in addition to playing part in a diversionary attack.
On the night April 13/14 of 1945 the crew took off in
KB866 for Kiel and were not heard from after that.
P/O Wightman's Log
F/O Herbert M. Wightman, Edgar's younger brother was a pilot with 419 squadron from October to December
of 1944 before he was repatriated. Another brother F/L H.G. Wightman was with Ferry Command and took part in the
first trans-Atlantic towing of a glider aircraft.