Wg Cdr F S “Logger” Powley DFC, AFC.
|Many of us who have read Air Chief Marshal PC Lal’s Autobiography “My Years with the IAF” would have wondered at the three cartoons that accompanied the initial chapters dealing with the Second World War.
Two of the cartoons feature the same caricature, and the captions talk about “A.T.S”, which ofcourse is the Advanced Training Squadron of No.1 Service Flying Training School at Ambala. The moustachioed character in two other cartoons (featured in this page) was the then Commanding Officer of the ATS – Sqn Ldr F S Powley (39601 RAF).
The connection with Air Chief Marshal Lal is not clear, but it is considered possible that Lal knew Powley and the other british officers from Ambala at that time as he was himself an instructor in navigation techniques with the SFTS.
FS Powley, born in British Columbia in 1915 joined the RAF in 1937. He was the CO of ATS at Ambala and received the AFC for his tenure. After moving on from ATS, Powley went on to operational flying and was the first CO of No.153 Squadron RAF. He picked up the DFC prior to his command flying missions over Berlin.
Sadly Powley did not survive the war. His Lancaster was shotdown in the very last days of the war, 4th April 1945 while on a mining sortie.
|This Cartoon shows Sqn Ldr FS Powley (Right) and Flt Lt Waymouth (40487 RAF) left carrying a “passed out” airman from the SFTS.|
|A more direct reference to the Indian Air Force is done in this cartoon. “The pants were removed by the 7th Course Pilots January 3rd 1942”.|
|The Photographs and information are courtesy of Mr. Frank Powley, nephew of Wg Cdr FS Powley. Research done by Mr. Steve Pickup. The photographs are originally from the collection of “C. Hutt 12222516 RAF” who was posted at Ambala in 1941. See more photos from this album in the Aircraft of SFTS Ambala and Kohat Airfield pages.|