Sgt K.W. Tutton's Watch

    On the 67th Anniversary of 426 Squadron's formation the unit members, active and retired, gathered to celebrate. As part of the proceedings a rare relic was added to the proud halls of Dishforth Building; a wrist watch that was being worn by a Thunderbird when he perished (please see Beegden & Heel article).  

    Kenneth W. Tutton was the son of Mr and Mrs T.H. Tutton of Firstbrook Rd, Toronto. Ken attended Norway Public School and Malvern Collegiate, and was a member of St John's Anglican Church. An avid rugby footballer, he was part of Malvern's championship teams of '38 and '39. He enlisted in Jan 41, and trained at No 1 Initial Training School, Windsor, and then the Service Flying Training School No 16 at Hagersville, graduating 12 Dec 41.

Sgt Tutton (on left) joins the Thunderbirds.

Sgt Tutton's first solo.

    On his first flight over enemy territory, a raid on Cologne, 14 Feb 43, acting as second pilot for W/C Blanchard, he was killed in action (aged twenty) with all the crew when they were brought down by a night-fighter. Their bodies were recovered and buried together in Holland. A boy, who witnessed the crash, was exploring the site a few days after the German authorities had left. He found Ken's shattered watch, engraved with his service number and "To Ken, From Gladys, 1941", close by. (This watch had been a farewell gift from Tutton's sister.)

The horrific impact of the crash must have torn the watch from Ken's wrist. The watch was presented to 426 Squadron in May 99 as part of the unveiling of a cairn to the memory of the crew of that crash. Unfortunately, it was then misplaced and only recently rediscovered, Jul 09.

Sgt Tutton (on right) graduating from flight school.

He shipped overseas Jan 42 and, after further training, joined No 426 Squadron a year later.

The watch was unveiled in Blanchard Hall, (l to r) on behalf of the active squadron is Hon Col A. Sherwin, LCol J.G.C. Roy, Cpl R.S. Fleming (website scribe), and on behalf of the Association is President D. Jones, Membership Secretary J. Sare, and Treasurer R.J. Rose. 15 Oct 09.

The watch, with photos and RCAF pilot wings, are now shadow boxed and hang outside of Blanchard Hall, Dishforth Building, Trenton. It is the only relic of this nature that the squadron has in its collection, and represents all the young Thunderbirds that gave their tomorrow for our today.