Sometimes watch gathering or excitement goes past the affection for watches. It is about stories and legacy that has more importance than the actual watch. Today, Fratello Watches presents to you the narrative of RAF Squadron Leader Frank Wright Walton (Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order, Distinguished Flying Cross and bar) and his Omega 30T2 pilot’s watch.
Not excessively long back, I got a message from Julian after I posted a military Longines that was shipped off a Londoner in the RAF Pathfinders in 1941. Julian revealed to me that his grandfather was additionally in the Pathfinders in WWII, as a Squadron Leader of 109 Squadron and that he had acquired his RAF gave Omega 30T2 timepiece.
RAF Issued Watch
Most pilot’s watches you’ve likely seen, have dark dials. Toward the beginning of WWII nonetheless, the RAF offered watchmakers to come up with a watch that had railroad markers, Arabic numerals, a white face for intelligibility (particularly around evening time) and only 3 hands. Omega got one of the providers of these watches and gave their reference CK2292 watch with solid (and still commended) 30T2 SC development to the RAF. Pilots and navigators (in any event) bomber command, that necessary solid and synchronized watches, gotten this Omega 30T2 SC from the RAF. It was important that their watches were matched up before every mission (and kept chance) to drop their heaps at precisely the ideal time. This was a significant issue when performing night assaults with different squadrons on a 7,5-hour return outing to Berlin.
Frank W. Walton additionally got this Omega reference CK2292 watch and wore it on each and every one of his 71 fights/missions. This alone was an astounding accomplishment by this RAF pilot, as the normal was 3 missions before a pilot was killed, and in addition to his DFC & bar, was granted with his oak leaves and mentioned in dispatches. Straightforward’s watch never let him down; it generally worked perfectly.
Frank W. Walton’s Squadron
Julian (Frank’s grandson who contacted me) experienced a portion of his grandfather’s pack and memorabilia from the RAF and after WWII, with British South American Airways (BSAA), British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) and ultimately British Airways (BA). Julian’s dad (Geoffrey) had ordered all things fastidiously and I have the joy of showing you some of them in this article.
What about the outlined duplicate of a map from Bomber Command’s HQ, endorsed by Marshall of the RAF Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ T. Harris (C-in-C Bomber Command) and Air Vice Marshall D ‘Don’ C.T. Bennett (CO Path Finder Force) which shows each mission Frank flew on, each runway he flew from and each Aircraft he flew in; continually wearing his Omega CK2292 30T2 SC watch.
Another fascinating photograph that Julian offers is the one that shows Frank with his RAF flight preparing squadron. You can see that a portion of the squadron individuals have bowler caps drawn on their heads. It was a somewhat horrible approach to manage the misfortunes, as the companions who stayed away forever from a mission got a bowler cap by Frank and his primary navigator “Hitch” Hitchcock. They halted sooner or later as too many were being executed. They are in the second column down in the center (clearly without bowler caps on) – Frank with the full wings (pilot) and Hitch with the half wings (navigator).
Once operational and in the main long stretches of bombarding operations the men were frequently put together on missions (“Right chaps, next plane is a Lancaster. We need a pilot, navigator, bomb aimer, engineer, front heavy armament specialist, center heavy weapons specialist, back heavy weapons specialist – team up!”). Yet, rapidly they stayed all together of siblings and it was unfortunate to do something else. Blunt’s principle navigators were Hitch (on his first deployment) and on his second visit, it was principally Rivett – who is found in one of the photographs with Frank; both wearing their Omegas 30T2s. On the photograph with the remainder of the 109 Squadron, you can see Frank wearing his Omega. He is in the principal line (beneath), in the middle with his legs straight and his cap at a carefree angle.
Good Luck Charm
After the war, the aforementioned Air Vice Marshall D ‘Don’ C.T. Bennett shaped British South American Airways (BSAA) and accumulated his skilled pilots from the Pathfinder power to go along with him. Among them, Frank W. Walton. On the photograph that his grandson sent us, you will see him flying the initial commercial trip into Santiago after the war. That Lancastrian (a converted Lancaster bomber) was the principal carrier to cross the Andes, so the team and travelers needed to utilize breathing devices as the lodge was unpressurised.
Frank continued wearing his Omega CK2292 30T2 watch on the entirety of his trips after WWII, in light of the fact that he felt it was the most exact of his watches, yet additionally as a lucky trinket. At the point when he wasn’t flying, he wore a gold Omega Seamaster with dark dial (envisioned), however when he needed to leave for a flight, he would trade that dress watch for the watch he got from the RAF. He really got this gold Seamaster from individual pathfinder Len Gatrill, who offered it as a hint of their friendship.
Escape Money and a Blue Polka Dot Flying Scarf
Frank’s grandson Julian, (who messaged me), composes that his grandfather was a beguiling and magnetic man. The photographs show this also, both presenting with his companions in WWII and very ‘Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever’ in the image underneath during his experience with BOAC (shown holding a briefcase).
Besides his grandfather’s Omega CK2292 – which actually keeps amazing time and gets some wear occasionally – Julian additionally has his grandfather’s head protector, goggles, uniform and bomber coat (not in the photographs), silk hanky escape map, escape money (note the comment on the envelope, that it should be returned unopened to the police) in French, Belgian and Dutch cash and his blue spotted flying scarf.
Squadron Leader Frank W. Walton lauded his pilot’s watch for its unwavering quality and precision. To such an extent, that he continued wearing it when he expected to rely upon it. He finished his vocation as Director of the Queen’s Flight and an individual from the Executive Committee of British Airways. Julian sat on his grandfather’s lap tuning in to the remedial ticking of his Omega CK2292 RAF watch. Fortunately, the watch is his now and each time he takes a gander at it and hears the ticking of the 30T2 SC development, it helps him to remember his grandfather.
The Omega CK2292 watches were conveyed to the RAF from 1940 onwards and as per “A concise manual for military watches” by Z.M. Wesolowski, the mid ones had a nickel case only to be supplanted very little later with delicate combination cases. The 30T2 development is an incredible development that was in production from 1939 until 1963 of every few iterations (30T2 was subsequently known as type 26x and 28x developments also). The 30T2 development utilized in these CK2292 military watches had a middle seconds hand, otherwise called the 30T2 SC version. This 16 gem development has a force hold of 44 hours and ticks at 18.000 VPH. The type 30T2 SC isn’t chronometer confirmed, yet it got exceptional regulation mentioned by the British government.
Omega CK2292 watches had all glossy silk brushed case, a non-marked crown and measure approx. 33mm in measurement. An exceptionally little watch to the present standards you could say. Notwithstanding, a watch with this history and appearance can without much of a stretch be worn regardless of what wrist size you have. It is an ideal conversation creator, particularly when it belonged to one of your family members. As per some unsubstantiated sources, Omega provided 110.000 watches to the British powers, however only 3000 bits of this Omega CK2292 watch. The straightforward plan, white dial and exemplary blued ‘pear’ molded hands don’t promptly make you think about a military watch, yet it truly was. A ton of these watches have been engraved on the caseback. Either stamped “HS8” for the Royal Navy and Fleet Air Arm or 6B/159s for RAF. The 2292 was likewise accessible with a delicate combination case (aluminum, copper, magnesium and manganese) and was referred to as UK2292.
You can in any case discover these watches in great condition on eBay and different sources somewhere in the range of 1000 and 2000 Euro, contingent upon the specialized and stylish condition. A few watches are being offered with the Extract of the Archives from Omega, expressing that it was ‘delivered with exceptional dial and hands for the British Government’. If not, you can demand such a concentrate yourself on the authority Omega site (in the USA, you need to do a solicitation by means of an authority Omega Boutique). What you can’t accepting however, is an extraordinary story like the one about Frank W. Walton who wore his CK2292 on his missions during WWII and his pioneering aviation undertakings after.
Frank W. Walton died on December 14 of every 1997, age 80.
A large thank you to Julian ( on Instagram) for offering his story to us.
More pictures below:
The Orde Sketch representation was commissioned by Bomber Command to record their “Saints” for Morale. Other remarkable Pilots that Orde drew included Lord Dundas (a dear companion of Frank’s and the last person to see him alive) and Douglas Bader.