Flight Lieutenant Bert (Herbert William) Catlin RAVR DFC

Born: 1921 (Wellingborough 3b 221)




London Gazette




LAC to Plt Off (on probation)

8 May 1943

23 July 1943



Plt Off to Fg Off (WS)

8 Nov 1943

09 Nov 1943



Awarded DFC                  (51 Sqn)


10 Nov 1944



Fg Of to Flt Lt (WS)

8 May 1945

29 May 1945




Awarded DFC London Gazette 10 Nov 1944 no citation


Bert Catlin was born in Northamptonshire in 1921. He joined the RAF in 1942, receiving his commission in July 1943. He trained as a navigator in South Africa and was then posted to an Operational Training Unit at Kinloss flying 'Whitley' bombers. This was followed by a Heavy Conversion Unit flying 'Halifax' bombers. His first operational posting was with 51 Squadron where, after V.E. Day, the squadron became part of the Transport Command and trained for service in the Pacific theatre. With the dropping of the atomic bomb the war was over before 78 Sqd were deployed and he spent the rest of his RAF service as a navigator on C-47 'Dakota's' in the Middle East. He left the RAF in Oct 1946 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. He returned to university where he gained an Hons BA Geography. In 1948 he started a teaching career at Rushden Secondary Modern School for Boys. He retired from this same school in 1980 having spent 23 years as headmaster. He currently resides in Northamptonshire with his wife Pat who is also a retired headteacher.

At 0400 on June 6th 1944 Flt/Lt Catlin was navigator on Halifax 'Q' - Queeny' bombing the German coastal defences at Mon Fleurier.