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The Papers of Wing Commander Charles Kimber

Reference Code: GBR/0014/KMBR

Scope and Contents

Papers comprising a scrapbook and photocopies of a flying log book and a desk diary


  • Creation: 1928 - 1983

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Kimber was born in West Hartlepool, County Durham, 6 October 1912. He was educated locally. He married Ethel Beatrice Mellanby in 1939, with whom he had one son. He joined the Royal Air Force as an aircraft apprentice at RAF Halton, 1928-31. He served as a metal rigger and a fitter, 1931-9, working at first on airframes. He returned to RAF Halton and RAF Henlow as a student on the Conversion Course, 1935-6, which qualified him to work on aero engines. He undertook the Observer's Course, 1937, and flew as a navigator with 83 (B) Squadron, 1936-7, and 110 (B) Squadron, 1937-9. He trained as a Gunnery Leader at the Central Gunnery School, RAF Warmwell, 1939. He was commissioned and promoted Flying Officer, 1940, and continued as a navigator with 110 (B) Squadron, 1940. He flew with his squadron as a Bombing Leader on sorties over France and the Low Countries. He was posted to staff duties in navigation, bombing and gunnery with HQ 2 Group in East Anglia, 1940-1. He undertook the Specialist Navigation Course at RAF Port Albert, Canada, 1941, and then served as Chief Navigation Officer in the rank of Squadron Leader with HQ 44 Group, 1941-3. He was attached to the Flight that later became 511 (T) Squadron at RAF Lyneham, 1942-3, and formally posted to the Squadron, 1943-4, making many flights to destinations in Italy, the Middle East, North Africa and India. In August 1942, he was the navigator on flights made by Winston Churchill to Gibraltar, Cairo, Tehran and Moscow. He was a student at the RAF Staff College at Bulstrode Park, near Gerrards Cross, 1944. He was promoted Wing Commander and posted as a Board President to RAF Brackla and RAF Catterick, 1944-5. He took up duties as DP3 at the Air Ministry, 1945-6. He was the Commanding Officer of Singapore Area Control Centre at RAF Changi, 1946-7, and Senior Air Traffic Control Officer at RAF Tengah, 1947-9. He was Officer in charge of operations at the Central Signals Establishment, RAF Watton, 1949-50; Chief Navigation Officer at HQ Flying Training Command, RAF Shinfield Park, 1950-2; and Wing Commander Administration, RAF Benson, 1953-4. He was Senior Personnel Staff Officer at HQ 24 Group, RAF Halton and RAF Spitalgate, 1954. His final posting was to duties in Organization (Works and Buildings) at HQ Home Command, RAF White Waltham, 1954-6. He retired from the Royal Air Force in 1957. He trained as a lecturer in Engineering at Garnett College, London University, 1957-8. He was a teacher at Slough College, 1958-60, Reading Blue Coat School, 1965-7, and Wallingford Grammar School, until 1973. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.


1 archive box(es)

1 volume(s)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Copies of the collection level description and catalogue are available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge and the National Register of Archives, London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were given to Churchill Archives Centre by Charles Kimber's son, Charlie Kimber, 2005.

Related Materials

Churchill Archives Centre also holds photocopies of Charles Kimber's navigation logs, August 1942 (reference: GBR/0014/WCHL 6/29). A copy of Charles Kimber, "Son of Halton" (1977) was donated with the papers and has been added to the Roskill Library in Churchill Archives Centre.


This collection level description and catalogue was prepared by Sophie Bridges, 2005. Biographical details were obtained from Charles Kimber, "Son of Halton" (1977); Charles Kimber's Royal Air Force service record; and from items in the scrapbook.


Kimber, Charles Thorley, b1912, navigator

2005-05-19 14:05:06+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087