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Author: Subject: Battle of Britain
Ivan

posted on 15/9/18 at 11:38 AM Reply With Quote
Battle of Britain

Today has brought family and acquaintances to mind.

My Uncle Ray who flew Hurricanes and Spitfires in the Northern Desert and Italy much involved in rocket attacks of trains and Italian harbours. Lost to us for 5 years now.
My childhood neighbour Vincent - a tail gunner in Wellingtons - his last mission was the Berlin Airlift
Sailor Malan - 27 kills - had the occasional meal at my parents home in the mid 50's when he was politically active against the policies of the National Government in South Africa.

For a young boy who loved Biggles tales they where all great heroes of mine and had some great tales to tell.

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theconrodkid

posted on 15/9/18 at 11:58 AM Reply With Quote
not many left now, were they "hero,s" or just your average Joe that steped up to the plate when asked ?, i would say hero but that term is so diluted now it,s not worth using.
RIP to all of them





who cares who wins
pass the pork pies

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steve m

posted on 15/9/18 at 04:02 PM Reply With Quote
What we have to remember about these "heros" were they were 17-23 years old, flying machines that they had very very little training on, some as little as 5 hours flying a spitfire, having been trained on a Tiger Moth, and they only had 20 hours total flying
before serous combat and fighting for there lives, incredible, and as a flyboy myself, cant even imagine how they did it

The only Great, ive met (twice) was Captain Eric Winkle Brown, what a bloke !! I cant explain in words, you need to read his books, for what he has done, and I can assure you, from his own mouth he never declared himself a Hero, just someone who was doing the job he was told to, at the time, and surviving from day to day, he lived local to me, and died last year,

Also, there were great people through out the services, all doing there very best, but the Pilots always seem to get the accolade of being hero's,

steve





Thats was probably spelt wrong, or had some grammer, that the "grammer police have to have a moan at




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snapper

posted on 15/9/18 at 08:47 PM Reply With Quote
I didn’t appreciate what my dad did until after his death, RAF Burma star says a lot.
His father in law, First World War, trenches, told me how he got a bayonet through the wrist but got the “Hun” with his through the ribs and needed to “put one up the spout” and fire to get it out. Trust me he was the most loverly grand father but apparently a fearsome man.
His son, my uncle who brought up 4 children on his own after his wife died in the 70’s no man could live up to.
However fought many Second World War campaigns, was properly front line on the Anzio landings, fought his way up Italy, injured twice and came back with an Italian wife.
A family legend.
How do we live up to this?





I eat to survive
I drink to forget
I breath to wee my ex wife off (and now my ex partner)

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jollygreengiant

posted on 16/9/18 at 10:20 AM Reply With Quote
I know and feel your loss. My Father, a Flt.Sgt trained at Brough (Tiger Moths, and got his wing earlier so he and others could be Pall bearers to the NCO crew of a crashed Wellington), then on to Spitfire training in Wales (now Swansea airport and the Welsh race track) before Squadron posting (several killed in accidents during this) before a Squadron posting (165Sqn reforming at Lossiemouth then on to Eastchurch. On arrival at Eastchurch he was re-posted (last man in first one out) to 229Sqn in Malta. He went out weighing 11st 10lb's in his swimming costume (prior to the war he had swam with the Plaistow Swimming club and had been lined up to go to the 1940 Olympic Swimming team but the the War started) He was 1 of 26 to go out their for 6 months (I believe the only intact pilot to return) and when he got home he weighed 8st 10lb's in FULL uniform, and he was on the better diet out there because he was a Fighter pilot ("22 years old and the Government gave me a Spitfire to play with." was one of his best comments), so, ALSO think about the general population of Malta who had been there on a worse diet for nearly 2 years.
My Maternal Grandfather was in the RHA for the duration of the First World War, he survived despite having been blown up and Gassed a couple of times on the Somme, after demob, my Grandmother cared for him (he was not quite the full shilling but, better off than some) until about 1933 when she was one of the founders of a company (Adhesive Tapes Ltd - Selotape) and she had him cared for at Banstead Hospital. No one knew he was still alive until she passed in 1960 and then grey haired old man turned up at my Mothers doorstep, Grandfathers funding had stopped when Grandmother died, so, the hospital sent him to my mothers house.

I learnt a lot of my Fathers stories (but not ALL, he passed about 20 years ago) but never talked to my Grandfather, he passed when I was about 18 months old.





Beware of the Goldfish in the tulip mines. The ONLY defence against them is smoking peanut butter sandwiches.

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David Jenkins

posted on 16/9/18 at 10:26 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by steve m
What we have to remember about these "heros" were they were 17-23 years old, flying machines that they had very very little training on, some as little as 5 hours flying a spitfire, having been trained on a Tiger Moth, and they only had 20 hours total flying before serous combat and fighting for there lives, incredible, and as a flyboy myself, cant even imagine how they did it



Many years ago my son and I were watching a programme about RAF bombers and their crews. He was quite interested, but totally shocked when I told him that most of each crew were about the same age as him (he was around 18-19 at the time). Only the captain was likely to be older, and he would probably have been 23 - 25.

It shook him a bit.





The older I get, the better I was...

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Tazzzzman1

posted on 17/9/18 at 09:58 AM Reply With Quote
My Grandfather was one of the 1st across on the D-Day landings and would rarely discuss any of his exploits. Only in his last months did he discuss a few stories to his great grandchildren.
He was a driver of Churchill tanks. First time driving a tank was 2 days before the landings. All training was done in a lorry as no tanks were available. He witnessed the 1000 bomber raid on Cannes and was 3 times blown out of his tank in less than 2 weeks, being injured twice. Outside Cannes his tank broke down whilst under enemy fire and saw 4 of his fellow tanks totally destroyed. In darkness they had to get out of the tank and crawl to safety. He came face to face with 20+ dead Germans in a trench, scared him sh@tless....
His War ended when his tank was mortared when they were taking a pee break... he was wounded in the leg and his best friend the radio op was never found....
God bless them all, as we have so much to thank them for. I don't think anyone will ever fully understand what they went through

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owelly

posted on 17/9/18 at 11:47 AM Reply With Quote
My son joined the Air Cadets last year mainly due to the tales told by his great grandfather, who died four years ago. He got to fly a Grob Tutor for the first time a couple of weeks ago and was utterly overwhelmed by the experience. He's 13 years old without a care in the world. We talked about lads not too much older than him getting a few hours classroom training, like the cadets, and then a couple of hours in a little plane, like the cadets, and then been sent to fight in a war......
I don't agree with a lot of the battles we send our military to fight in, but I'm 100% behind them!!





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Mr Whippy

posted on 17/9/18 at 11:59 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by owelly
My son joined the Air Cadets last year mainly due to the tales told by his great grandfather, who died four years ago. He got to fly a Grob Tutor for the first time a couple of weeks ago and was utterly overwhelmed by the experience. He's 13 years old without a care in the world. We talked about lads not too much older than him getting a few hours classroom training, like the cadets, and then a couple of hours in a little plane, like the cadets, and then been sent to fight in a war......
I don't agree with a lot of the battles we send our military to fight in, but I'm 100% behind them!!


if he's hooked you want him in the air cadets, can get their licence before driving a car... I wish I'd done it that way and it wouldn't have cost me thousands...

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owelly

posted on 17/9/18 at 02:58 PM Reply With Quote
quote:

if he's hooked you want him in the air cadets, can get their licence before driving a car... I wish I'd done it that way and it wouldn't have cost me thousands...



He's already really committed!! He's already filled his brassard, been all over the country with the RAFAC band and been asked to join the National Band.....Flying is just the cherry on top for him.





http://www.ppcmag.co.uk

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Ivan

posted on 21/9/18 at 07:44 AM Reply With Quote
Great stories all
Thanks for sharing.

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