The article about Whitney Straight’s motor racing was well received and produced an enthusiastic letter from his daughter in New York. But she says that her father never held the title of “Sir” and that Miss Psyche Altharn who raced the K3 MG was not his fiancée. But if Whitney Straight never got the full honours due to him for his War service and subsequent exploits with BOAC and Rolls-Royce, he was awarded the MC, a DFC and the CBE, the first-named an unusual accolade for an RAF Officer.
Straight had joined Auxiliary Squadron 601 early in 1939 and in April 1940 he was sent to Norway to find frozen lakes that could be used as landing grounds. He was injured when Lake Lesjaskog was bombed, for which action he gained the MC. He then flew ops with 601 and 242 Squadrons, and got three confirmed “kills” (an He111, a Me110 and a Me109) and one shared and two “probables” against Me109s, before he was shot down in July 1941, captured, and spent a year escaping from occupied France. By then he was an Acting Sqn Ldr. but on his return was promoted to Acting Air Commodore and was confirmed in the substantive rank of Gp Capt by 1943. He had been posted to the Middle East as AOC 216 Group in 1942, engaged on transport and communications, and was awarded the CBE in 1944, the Norwegian War Cross and the US Legion of Merit. W B