Born and raised in Kingston he received an associate degree from Bucknell Junior College. Serving 28 years with the active Air Reserve he had trained as a civilian pilot and, while training with the USAAF, Maxwell Field, Alabama, he was one of 15 cadets chosen to train with the RAF. Training at Riddle Field, Clewiston, with 5 British Flying Training School, he was awarded best flying cadet in class and at graduation received his RAF wings from a British general.
Later he received his USAF wings and was trained to fly combat planes. He then flew flying boats having gained his Navy wings. Stationed in the Pacific, where he flew Air Sea Rescue, he was known as “Three Wing Willie” as he was one of very few to have earned three sets of wings!
Bill Cushner was David Richard C Blackhall, “Blackie’s”, room-mate at No 5 BFTS and his autograph in the 5 BFTS year book reads “To a helluva swell roommate “Blackie” – get a “109” for me”.
Military | Chief Ground School Instructor
Mr Cliff E Bjornsen was the Chief Ground School Instructor at 5 British Flying Training School in Florida based at Riddle Field. He was a well respected instructor and in April 1943 the Embry-Riddle Flypaper reported, " According to the latest report...
Military | Pilot
David Richard Croft Blackhall was from Diseworth, Derbyshire, UK and arrived at No 5 British Flying Training School at Clewiston with the RAF students in 1942 to join Course 13. He shared a room with William Cushner at Riddle Field, Clewiston, while...
Military | Link Trainer Instructor
Charles Jackson Hopkins was born in Chrisney, Indiana, on 21st September 1921. He later moved to Huntingburg, Indiana and graduated from Grade School to High School. On leaving school he was employed as a bookkeeper and then manager of a loan company....
Military | Colonel | Pilot
Born in Ohio, USA, Samuel Huston signed the 5 BFTS Anniversary book for No 5 British Flying Training School at Riddle Field, Clewiston in 1943. In a letter to William Cushner in 1992 he records the following memories:
Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot / Instructor
John Jordan attended 5 BFTS (Course 13) from January-July 1943.
Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot
George W Morse from Massachusetts was one of the USAAF cadets who joined the RAF trainees at Riddle Field, Clewiston No 5 British Flying Training School. As he had worked for the Associated Press he was recruited as Assistant Editor for Course 13's...
Military | Flight Lieutenant | Pilot
Originally from London, England, G.A Renvoize joined the No 5 British Flying Training School Course 13 and used his artistic skills by publishing line-drawings and caricatures in the Fly Paper weekly publication. He was also recognized by J P Riddle as...
Military | Captain | Pilot /Instructor
Bob Richardson was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He joined the RAF at the beginning of the Second World War and was sent to Clewiston, Florida to train at No 5 British Flying Training School. He was on “Course 3”, the University Flight as all fifty cadets...
Formerly a barnstormer and flying instructor for stunt pilots, John Paul Riddle was a pioneer in aviation history taking the controls only 17 years after the Wright brothers’ first flight. His career in aviation had taken him from the Embry-Riddle...
Military | Pilot / Instructor
William Aumick Slade “Bill” was born in Troy, Pennsylvania. Bill graduated from Cornell University and joined the Army Air Corps as a pilot in the ferry service. He was one of seventeen US Air Force cadets in Course 12, the first course training US and...
Units served with
The 'Arnold Scheme' (1941-43) and the British Flying Training Schools (1941-45), with the co-operation of Squadron Leader Mills DFC and President Roosevelt, enabled the setting up of flight training in the USA for RAF pilots to train alongside American...