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SWIFT REPLY

THE NEWSLETTER OF No 72 SQUADRON ASSOCIATION

VOLUME 4 ISSUE 3

JUNE 2010

EDITORIAL
Once again it has been a busy start to the Association year with members attending the unveiling of a memorial to those involved in the famous Channel Dash operation (details in this issue). The Annual Reunion was held again at North Weald with an excellent visit to the RAF Museum in Hendon and the return of our furthest travelled members, Pat Hegwood and Lisa King, from California! Hot on the heels of the reunion was the unveiling of two Tucanos at Linton on Ouse marked in camouflage mimicking that worn by two Battle of Britain Spitfires which were flown by two of the 72 Squadron commanders later in the war, Brian Kingcome and Bobby Oxspring. Our next event will be the 72 (R) Squadron Open Weekend in August (details in this issue). I hope to see all of you there! Tom Docherty Newsletter Editor

REUNION 2010 By Jim Barton

When I arrived home on Sunday from the Reunion, dying for a cup of tea, my wife, Toni, asked the same question that she asks every year; How did it go? I said exactly the same reply as every year, Bloody wonderful, the best one yet! It really is the most satisfying feeling to have shared such marvellous, warming company, for which I thank you all. I must thank our CO, Helen Gardiner, Tom Barnes and Chris Bloom accompanying her. Thank to all of you who loaded us with the goodies for our raffle great stuff! I cant end this without saying You did us well, Alan, as did the ladies in the NAAFI. We are all lucky that we can look forward to have The Squadron club to return to on 7th May 2011.

SWIFT REPLIES
HELP REQUEST Dear Association Members, My name is Adam Goddard and I was a member of 72 Sqn from 1994 to 1996. Although I was Navigator at the time I am now a First Officer flying the Canadian Regional Jet for Air Canada Jazz in Calgary, Canada. In my spare time I am trying to write a novel (with strong historical accuracy) about a present day 72 Sqn student using his modern knowledge and skills to fight with the Sqn in the Summer of 1940. I would like to make contact with anyone who has knowledge of the period and in particular, anyone who worked on or flew the MkI Spitfire. Copies of photos from Aug 1940 to Sept 1940 would also be of great value in the quest for accuracy and knowledge. I can be contacted at mail@adamgoddard.net. Thank You.

HELP REQUEST I have an unusual request and I hope you might be able to help me. After many years absence I have returned to plastic modelling. I have started to model the Gloster Meteor, in various scales, that were based at RAF Church Fenton, North Yorkshire with various squadrons from September 1945 until June 1959. 72 Squadron were based there from May 1953 until June 1959 and, according to my research, were one of the last UK based Meteor Squadrons. I have quite a few pictures of 72 Sqn Meteors at RAF Church Fenton but what I am looking for are personal stories from people who were based there when the Meteors were flying. I know that the CO's name was Maurice Shaw (was he the only CO of 72 Sqn at that time?) but I know nothing about him or indeed any other pilots or ground crew. Can you help me with people's stories? A little bit about myself. I first went to RAF Church Fenton in early 1974 as a 14 year old Air Cadet and had my flights in the venerable Chipmunk from this base. My last visit there was on 6th December 2009, as I was taking some Air Cadets for Air Experience Flying in the Grob Tutor. I am not a pilot but I have been a uniformed officer in the RAFVR(T) for nearly 7 years and before that 5 years as a civilian instructor. I am currently based with 2490 (Spen Valley) Squadron, Air Training Corps. Normally we take cadets flying on either a Saturday or Sunday and from my house it usually takes less than one hour. You may be aware that Church Fenton is not a permanent base any longer

but a satellite to RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Such is the change within the RAF that the only full time RAF at Church Fenton work in the control tower. Grob Tutor pilots are RAFR and many of them are also airline pilots. Everyone else are civilian contractors. With each round of defence cuts I wonder how much longer they will keep Church Fenton open. Look forward to hearing from you. My very best regards. John Seed John Seed [jseed44@hotmail.co.uk]

BOB AUSTIN My father in law, now deceased, was F/O Bob Austin who joined in the squadron in late 1944 and served until disbandment in 1946. We have his flying log and photo album when he was stationed in Italy and Austria. In Vol 2 of Tom Docherty's book 'Swift To Battle' he is in a group photo on p206. My question is are there any of his old squadron still alive who remember him? Richard Seffens seffens.family@tiscali.co.uk =============================================================== COMISO AIRFIELD I am a Retired USAF engineering officer who was once stationed at RAF Bentwaters/ Woodbridge. I am interested in writing a history of Comiso AS Sicily ( I was part of the unit that constructed the GLCM facilities). I know that the 72 Squadron flew from there during WWII and I read an article about Tom Hughes. I would really love to "talk" to some members of the 72 who would possibly share their history. We owe it to the many who served to tell the story of their dedication and service. Any help that you can provide would be great. Thank you and thanks to all who serve. Jack Baker jbaker@fm.umd.edu

NEWSLETTER UPDATE
There are 25 members who receive the newsletter in electronic pdf format. Unfortunately, due to technical problems with the word document to pdf conversion programme currently being used, dissemination of the newsletter in this format has had to be temporarily suspended. Members who elected to have the newsletter in this format have received the normal magazine newsletter instead. Once the conversion issue is resolved the pdf newsletters will resume. As always articles for the newsletter are most welcome. If you have a story to tell or photos of interest please pass them on to Tom Docherty the newsletter editor.

MEMBERSHIP UPDATE
Subscription renewal was due in November. Details of your subscription state are listed below. If it notes S/O you are paying by standing order. If it states (12) you are paying the right amount. If not please update your standing order. If you see anything other than NOV 10 SO (12) or November 2010 (12) against your name YOU ARE DUE TO PAY YOUR SUBS. Please note that if your membership number has been prefixed with EN you have elected to receive the newsletter electronically by e-mail. MEMBERSHIP BREAKDOWN AS AT 8 MAY 10

HONORARY MEMBERS FRIENDS OF ASSOCIATION FULL MEMBERS TOTAL MEMBERSHIP

23 15 164 202

SUBSCRIPTION BY STANDING ORDER 146 MEMBERS OVERDUE SUBSCRIPTIONS 8 MEMBERS LAPSED IN LAST YEAR 10 NEW MEMBERS IN LAST YEAR 7 MEMBERS TAKING NEWSLETTER IN ELECTRONIC FORM BY EMAIL - 25
EN 03 EN 127 EN 161 EN 218 EN 276 EN 335 EN 34 EN 356 EN 358 EN 366 EN 373 EN 381 EN 395 EN 440 EN 463 EN 478 EN 479 EN 49 EN 5 EN 65 NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 11 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) S/O NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) TG RW H AL DJ DA DE AWJ MG RB GS RSH LD PR DC HG NC RD JAI AE DOCHERTY NEEDHAM THOMAS WILLINGS GORHAM METCALF LLOYD McAULEY DUDGEON WEBBER BURNETT IRWIN SUMNER WILSON WILSON WHITTLE HEANEY SCRASE BOLTON SWEETMAN EN 72 EN 80 EN 81 EN F004 EN F013 F002 F003 F005 F007 F009 F010 F011 F012 F014 F016 F017 F018 F019 F020 H111 NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 (12) HONMEM NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 11 (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 11 (12) HONMEM B S BR D MP C PF LL D AP G EA ACR A C R MRS S LR P MRS J SHARP HYAMS MERRY PERRY KEATS HALL METCALF KING LANE POOL BARTON GREEN MANSFIELD WOODS ALDRIDGE LINDSAY MORE WILLIAMS PICKERING BROWNE JR

H129 H130 H145 H171 H18 H19 H200 H22 H23 H24 H25 H26 H27 H28 H343 H393 H432 H437 H460 H53 H54 H56 1 7 10 11 32 33 44 46 50 51 70 77 84 89 91 95 98 100 105 106 109 114 118 120 121 124 128 135 142 151 163 164 167 168 174 182 193 195 211 213 223 224 236 258 260 271 273 277

HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM S/O HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM HONMEM NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 11 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 13 S/O (10) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 09 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 09 (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 09 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 15 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12)

MRS KR HALL ME SMITH JM STALLY J SMITH B LONGARETTI L TWEEDIE J ORRELL LADY SAUNDERS R McNULTY N LYNCH M BRODIE MBE RH LILLEY G BURNEY M NICOLSON K SUMMERS A MORETON M PARK D FOSTER-WILLIAMS A CROUCHMAN S HUTTON A HUTTON J POCOCK KJ PARKES PF O'BRIEN GP ANDREWS CA CARTER RJ BARLOW JW PRICE MED MOON AWD PEACEY D McDOUGALL TAK WOOD FM TURNER J LANCASTER VJ SMITH JD MAYES LS BALL J BIRD LJ BARTON TB HUGHES MJ BELL KC WELLER TG GAILEY AF COOK FR JAMES ML McCAUL JA HOWARTH JA LUCIA VJ RAINBOW DM PRICE LA FRAMPTON MR COE MP DOUGLASS IA WRIGHT JR ADAMS MW ADAMS AG HOPPER RE TURNER A SMITH DEV GRAVENEY PA BURLINGHAM GM MONAHAN D WHATLING R FOSTER SS STIRRAT MK JOHNSON GW PAUL JRA WHITNEY RN BROOKS JD KENNETT-WISE

278 279 285 299 300 303 308 310 311 312 313 323 324 325 331 339 344 347 348 353 354 359 360 371 376 377 379 380 382 383 384 386 388 389 390 391 392 406 412 413 414 416 417 419 420 421 422 424 425 426 427 429 430 435 436 441 442 443 444 446 447 448 449 450 451 452 453 454 455 456

NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 09 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 12 (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 11 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 11 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12)

MP MEECH JP SYDES J CLEGG T FOSTER JR DAY N BREWERTON A CHATER RK WORRALL DWR CRAIG KRJ DEARY JA BELL RH MITCHELL GM RUSSELL MG LLOYD RJ HINDS K HOWELL CC MACLACHLAN IR JONES JE HUREL JW MEDDOWS SJ HEIGHWAY KA BOYD K WOODGER JC DADE NCW EASTHOPE SJ MEAKINS TGW HAMILTON GT MORGAN G LLOYD RP HARRIS GJ BRYANT AJ DAWSON DL BREESE PJR WARMERDAM WJ ROSSER CR WEST MW DRUITT JG BEATTIE CJ TOMLINSON MG FISHER JS CARRINGTON IC DUGUID DP KIVLEHAN P DAVISON C RHODES R WILSON WA FOWELL D BRYSON S McCANN MN WARING MG BROWN RG ALLAN JM WATSON NJ GROSE KCW MARCH. BJ WATKINS SA VERNON A MORE AFC JM MAGUIRE D BRIGGS JGP YOUNG J TELFER R MYLES B DOUGHTY JA GROOM BW JOHNSON MJ CLAGUE PJ WRIGHT S HUTCHINSON DJ McCANN

457 458 459 461 462 464 465 468 469 470 472

NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 09 (12) NOV 09 (12) NOV 11 (12)

KN ID JFW RS TJ LJ JE EJ EN TK JW

MUNDAY JENKINS DOLDER HAWKINS SAMWELL HUMPHRIES HUREL MANNINGS BOAKES McGOWAN NORRIS

473 474 475 476 477 480 481 482 483 484 485

NOV 09 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 09 (12) NOV 10 S/O (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 11 (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 10 (12) NOV 11 (12) NOV 11 (12) NOV 11 (12)

DG TL BS WH SC P LD LJ A AR NG

DURANT SPARK SMITH OLSEN WILDE RAWLINGS THOMAS HAYES GODDARD LORIMER CRAFT

OH SO SOFT By The Association Security Officer (AKA RM)


Notwithstanding the constraints of The Official Secrets Act there is a little known secret that an Association mole has unearthed involving an esteemed author and prominent member of 72 Association. This person has been on a secret mission for many years masquerading as an Avon Representative with the Holy Grail of remedies a cream which acts as a midge repellant. It has been reported that he has been seen in full camouflage, and cream at the ready, pouncing on unsuspecting tourist in the Highlands. He is known to his secret associates as Oh So Soft! Apparently his cover is easily blown by the sound of the two-tone door chimes so members are advised to carry a spare set of door chimes with them at all times to avoid attack. (I leave it to the membership to decide the identity of both author and mole! Editor)

An old Daily Express RAF recruiting advert unearthed by Jim Barton (and completed by him!) The original photo on which the advert was based showed Fg Off Taffy Taylor climbing into a 72 Sqn Vampire assisted by LAC Johnny Groom.

BOOK REVIEW

In the Service of the Sultan Book Review by David Lloyd This book is certainly of interest to those of the Association who served in the Sultan of Oman's Forces in 1974 and any who had the pleasure of servicing the Wessex. The rugged Wessex features in the book as a prime example of the "can do" spirit that the Wessex Detachment showed under Alek "Jock" Tarwid's leadership. The book illustrates well the conditions that prevailed throughout the whole Dhofar campaign, which has been described as a "forgotten war". "Forgotten" - maybe - but pivotal most certainly. The winning of the Dhofar War contributed greatly to stabilising the Middle East.

The book is easy to read, humorous in part and accurate in describing Oman, its history and the nation's culture. Members of the Sultan's Forces may have looked a rag tag bunch, but they were professionals and I am proud to say that I was one of them!

A Survivors Tale by Ted Nelson ISBN: 978-1-906183-12-7 10 Available from bookstores and internet sellers Published by Old Forge Publishing Ted Nelson trained as a Wop/AG and survived 87 Ops over some 698 operational flying hours. He flew with 125 different pilots in 25 different aircraft. He served with 206 Sqn, 279 Sqn, Coastal Command Development Unit and the Air/Sea Warfare Development Unit. This is a fascinating story of some otherwise unrecorded areas of RAF history.

Another Dawn, Another Dusk by Kenneth Ballantyne ISBN: 978-0-9550601-3-7 9.99 Published by Laundry Cottage Books This is the absorbing biography of air gunner Trevor Bowyer. The story covers his early childhood and career in the TPO. It also covers his experiences of the Blitz prior to joining Bomber Command. Bowyer flew on the first 1,000 Bomber Raids. Later he was shot down over the desert and walked back through enemy lines. The story also covers his second tour on Lancasters and includes accounts from his contemporaries such as Sir Michael Beetham, who became Marshal of the RAF.

Back Bearings by Gp Capt Eric Cropper ISBN: 9781848841512 30 Published by Pen & Sword Books Ltd This excellent autobiography covers Croppers career from 1942 to 1974 in the RAF. It covers his role as a navigator from the early days of dead reckoning on Lancasters to the more modern techniques and equipment of the 1970s After training he began operations with 103 Sqn. Later he served with the Empire Air Navigation School and RAE Farnborough before an exchange posting with Alaskan Air Command and as Station Commander of RAF Gan. This is a fascinating book which relates the history of the writer and the less well recorded units he served on over 32 years in both WW2 and the period of the Cold War.

Cold War Shield by Roger Lindsay ISBN: 978-0-9544069-1-2 39.99 Privately published and available from the author at 7 North Meadow, Hutton Rudby, N Yorks, TS15 0LD What can I say about this book? Buy it! It is a huge tome with a hefty price tag; however it is set to be THE reference book for RAF fighters in the 1950s. This is Volume 1 and covers the Spitfire, Tempest, Hornet, Mosquito and Meteor. Of particular interest to 72 Sqn members will be the sections on Meteor day fighters and Meteor night fighters, both of which include much information and many photos of 72 Sqn aircraft. The book is filled with great photos including a colour section and colour art profiles of the types in the book. Chapters cover the post-war political situation, the RAFs expected air opposition, Air Defence Radars, RAF Organisation, fighter assets, training and tactics, camouflage and markings before launching into the sections for each aircraft type. There are numerous appendices to the book. This is a limited edition so order now or lose out. For the Vampire fans you will have to wait for volume 2 start saving now!

THE CHANNEL DASH MEMORIAL EVENT


BY Rodney Scrase

12/13

February 1942 The German warships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen were in harbour in Brest. It had for some time been thought they would make the effort to get back to one of their home ports. Accordingly air patrols were sent out each night to monitor activity. On the night of 11th February three Coastal Command Hudsons were on patrol. Two suffered equipment failure and the third was recalled because of poor weather conditions in England. It would be left to the Jim Crow patrol two Spitfires, flying over the Channel from Kenley, to encounter substantial formations of Messerschmitts and in diving to attack them to see the German warships sailing up the Channel. It was 10.42hrs.

A section of the memorial relating the details of the Channel Dash and the role of 72 Sqn in it. Fighter Command instructions were to maintain radio silence and a further 30 minutes would pass before the two Spitfires got back to Kenley and raised the alarm. The Royal Navy response commenced at 11.30hrs with MTBs engaging the enemy. Meanwhile 825 Sqn with their six Fairey Swordfish would take off from Manston, ready to fire their torpedoes at the German warships. Three squadrons of fighters had been scheduled to take off and protect the torpedocarrying biplanes. They did not find the biplanes. From Gravesend, 11 aircraft of 72 Sqn took off with Sqn Ldr Brian Kingcome leading them. Their instructions were to Get to Manston, escort six Swordfish and intervene in a battle between German E-boats and

British MTBs. No mention of the German fleet or the substantial Messerschmitt escort. The 72 Sqn fighters were successful in bringing down three enemy fighters, 1 probably destroyed and 1 damaged without loss to themselves.

The Channel Dash memorial stone dedicated to 825 Sqn FAA. The passage of the German warships through the Channel caused a political storm with the Prime Minister ordering a full enquiry. The failure of air reconnaissance and the need for a single authority to control sea and air forces were the key lessons learnt.

Sqn Ldr Helen Gardiner, OC 72 (R) Sqn, at the memorial unveiling. On the German side the operation could only be seen as a tactical success. But its failure was that their fleet was all now concentrated on their northern sea ports and no longer able to operate from the flank of out main north/south convoy routes. 12th February 2010 The Channel Dash Association unveiled a memorial adjacent to Ramsgate Museum in commemoration of the Channel Dash. Members of No 72 Sqn attended the ceremony which was located at Ramsgate as this was the area that Lt Cdr Esmonde circled with his squadron whilst waiting for their Spitfire escort. The memorial is dedicated to those members of 825 Sqn who took part in the operation and also mentions the involvement of 72 Sqn.

72 Sqn Association members at the Channel Dash memorial event. L to R: Ernie Graveney, Sydney Hyams, Jim Barton, ?, ?, John Meddows, Rodney Scrase and Dick Brooks. A second monument is planned dedicated to all of the personnel involved in Operation Fuller and will be located in Granville Garden at Dover Harbour. 72 Sqn Assoc members attended the dedication and will no doubt be on hand for the Dover dedication too.

OBITUARY

Michael McCaul From LAC to Squadron Leader That was the progress Michael was to make in the WW2 years and his subsequent career in MI5. In our last issue we gave a summary of those years. Little did we realise it would be but a short time before his passing. Michael died peacefully in his sleep The funeral was held 8th February in the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Little Gaddesden. This beautiful village a traditional English village in the Home Counties

was the place where Michael served as a Church Warden and to -day where he lies buried. The No 72 Squadron Association was represented on the day. A donation has been was made to Michaels chosen charity the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted.

A photocopy of a print from Jim Barton showing the remains of Flt Lt Norman Claytons Vampire after a forced landing at North Weald in 1952. An intake blank had been left in resulting in the crash on the sports field adjacent to the Kia-Ora Caf.

NORTH WEALD 72 SQN ASSOCIATION REUNION 2010

The visit to the Grahame White Hangar at the RAF Museum revealed exhibits not seen on previous visits including this photo-reconnaissance Hunter PR.10 It only seems weeks ago I was writing the report on the 2009 Reunion at North Weald and here we are again with another year gone and another successful reunion in the bag! This year some 39 members and their guests attended. The uptake on accommodation at the Green Man hotel in Old Harlow on Friday evening was very good and the staff arranged a long table for us to dine at. An excellent evening of conversation and reminiscence was had, setting us up nicely for the next days events. It was an early start on Saturday as we were off to the RAF Museum at Hendon and did not wish to encounter delays on the M25. We were fortunate to have a clear run in and actually arrived 15 minutes earlier than planned! Security let us in but would not let us off the bus till 10am health & safety issues apparently!

Once we had made our way into the museum it was suggested that we start at the Grahame White Hangar as it is only open from 10-12am and our specially booked visit to the Battle of Britain Hall was not till 10.30. The Grahame White Hangar turned out to be a little gem of an exhibition with a large number of WW1 types on display including an intriguing Bristol M.1c with a large red dragon on the fuselage and other red and blue markings on the tail and wheels. Inquiring about the colours (red and blue like 72 Sqns) I was informed the marking were those of an instructor at an RFC training unit but the staff were unable to elaborate on it. Could it have been an early marking used by an ex-72 Sqn pilot?

The Bristol M.1c in the Grahame White hangar with the intriguing red and blue markings including the large dragon on the fuselage. At 10.30 we made our way to the Battle of Britain Hall for a private viewing of the exhibits and following a short tea break we all gathered in the main hall at the behest of the official RAF Museum photographer, who took a group photo of all the Association members in front of a Meteor F.8 (not in 72 Sqn markings sadly). Among the members attending were two American ladies, Pat Hegwood and Lisa King , the daughters of Bob Chuck Breeze the USMC exchange officer with the squadron in the early 1950s. They had brought one of Bob Breezes log books with them to the

reunion and using this we were able to take them around the museum to photograph the types he flew with the RAF; the Tiger Moth, Oxford, Vampire and Meteor as well as a Harvard. Whilst flying with the USMC he logged time in the SNJ as the Harvard was known to the US Navy and Marines.

Lisa King and Pat Hegwood flank Jim Barton, one of the ground crew responsible for maintaining Bob Breezes aircraft. Bob Breeze lost his first log book in a typhoon on Guam in 1947 so much of his history is lost, however his second log book records flight time in the Vought Corsair, Grumman Panther (during the Korean War operations), Lockheed TO-1 and TV2 (Shooting Star) and the North American FJ-2 Fury (similar to the Sabre). Pat and Lisa were extremely pleased to find out more about the types their father flew. The visit to the RAF Museum was all too brief and we soon set off for the North Weald Museum to lay the wreath at the memorial area there; unfortunately it rained as we did that, so it was back on the bus and off to The Squadron for a bite to eat followed by the AGM. We returned to The Squadron for the evening function where we were provided with an excellent meal by the NAAFI ladies before taking part in our raffle. As usual, year on year we have surpassed ourselves in sales of tickets and the number of prizes available

and many members went away with prizes and knowing they had boosted the Association funds greatly. Many thanks to all who donated prizes and bought tickets. As always the evening flew by and we had to board the bus for the hotel again. Sunday morning saw a leisurely departure for most and farewells were said with promises to return in 2011. If you missed it this year come and join us then you dont know what youre missing.

72 SQN BATTLE OF BRITAIN ANNIVERSARY EVENT 20 MAY 2010

A Battle of Britain Spitfire replica was positioned outside the entrance to the Officers Mess for the event convincing isnt it? On 20 May 2010 a small group of 72 Sqn Association members were invited to a Battle of Britain 70th Anniversary event. The event was in two parts, the first part hosted by No 72 (R) Sqn. This event was an opportunity of unveil two of the Squadron Tucano trainers, which had been repainted in authentic Battle of Britain fighters squadron colours

and code markings. The Tucanos were marked as LZ-R of 66 Sqn and QJ-F of 92 Sqn. The markings were those of Brian Kingcome and Bobby Oxspring, both Battle of Britain fighter pilots and both latterly Commanding Officer of 72 Sqn. Due to other considerations it had not been possible to mark the aircraft with 72 Squadron s RN code letters (see the AGM minutes).

AVM Mike Lloyd (ex-OC 72 Sqn) and Spitfire pilot Laurie Frampton enjoy a cool drink and the sunshine during the flying display. The second part of the days festivities was the RAF Linton-on-Ouse Annual Reception and Sunset Ceremony held in and outside the Officers Mess. The event commenced with a light lunch in the Officers Mess after which Sir John Day, ex 72 Sqn CO, unveiled a painting by Ken Summers depicting two 72 Sqn Spitfires high over a cloudscape during the Battle of Britain. We then were taken by coach to 72 Sqn and from a viewing point close to the taxiway were able to stand in the sun and sip our cool refreshments whilst watching flying displays by a formation of four aircraft comprising the two camouflaged Tucanos and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire and Hurricane as well as a solo display by one of the Tucanos.

72 Sqn Tucano marked as LZ-R of 66 Sqn. After this we were bussed back to the Mess for a quick change before enjoying the company of members of 72 Sqn, the staff of RAF Linton-on-Ouse and invited guests from the local communities at a champagne reception. During the reception members of 72 Sqn provided small vignettes, accompanied by a slide show, from the balcony of the Mess ante room. Toward the end of the reception we were invited into the grounds of the Mess to observe the lowering of the RAF Ensign while a bugler played the Last Post and the Hurricane and Spitfire gave another flypast. This was a very moving moment. Once the visiting guests had departed the opportunity was taken by Association members to engage in conversation (and not a few drinks) with members of 72 Sqn and the Station in the Mess bar. All in all this was a very special event and we were well looked after as well as being kindly treated by the weather during the flying displays and Sunset Ceremony.

BBMF Spitfire in the markings of 92 Sqn.

BBMF Hurricane at Linton-on-Ouse

No 238 Course of 72 (R) Sqn. As usual a few of the formation are not looking where they are going!

Jack Lancaster, 72 Sqn groundcrew during the Battle of Britain, discussing the Spitfire with the BBMF pilots.

72 Sqn Tucano marked at QJ-F of 92 Sqn.

Jack Lancaster sits in the Spitfire cockpit.

The Tucano, unfortunately, could not be marked with 72 Sqns RN coding or could it? L to R: Jack Lancaster, Jim Barton, Laurie Frampton, Rodney Scrase, Erik Mannings, Tom Docherty, Johnny Meddows, Ernie Graveney and Arthur Moreton. (The front cover photo of this issue is of two Tucanos in formation is courtesy of Geoff Lee/Planefocus. Geoff took literally hundreds of photos of the Tucanos, and Spitfire and Hurricane formations during the event. Geoff granted permission for us to use some of the photos in this issue of the newsletter.)

Two 72 Sqn Tucanos in authentic Battle of Britain colours and codes in company with the BBMF Spitfire and Hurricane. The Tucanos are marked with the codes of 92 and 66 Sqns and are those of Brian Kingcome and Bobby Oxspring who were both OC 72 Sqn after the Battle. (Geoff Lee/Planefocus)

Tucano and Spitfire in formation. (Geoff Lee/Planefocus).

SUBMARINE PILOT! By Tom Docherty


On the morning of the 72 Sqn Battle of Britain event on 20th May I was at a loose end. I was hanging around in the crew room when one of the instructors came in and announced that he had arranged a slot in the Tucano simulator for me. I followed him to the simulator building and after winding through a maze of corridors ended up in the simulator itself. The simulator instructor briefed me on the equipment and the simulated Tucano cockpit before explaining that, though to all intents and purposes, I would be flying a Tucano I would not feel any movement or G as it was a static simulator. Once I was comfortable seated he lowered the canopy and retreated to the control room to set everything up. I place the headset on and listened to his instructions. The instructor positioned the Tucano on the runway and then gave me control. I applied full throttle for take of and started my roll down the runway. Unfortunately I failed to apply sufficient rudder to counteract the torque and I ended up veering off the runway onto the grass! The voice in my headset told me I had flying speed, so before I ran into a hangar I pulled back on the stick and I was airborne. To speed things along the instructor repositioned the simulator to the Lake District and I commenced some low flying practice. As a helicopter crewman I was fairly used to being at low level, though normally at around 120kts rather than the 240kts of the Tucano. As I became used to controlling the aircraft I pushed the height down to 50 feet and sped along valleys and lakes hugely enjoying myself. The instructor commented that I was flying a little low to which I responded that I was used to that height in helicopter and it was only a little faster than normal and anyway, I was used to seeing the world from that height! The lakes in the simulator were a little strange in that they al had slopes in them and it is quite unusual to have to pull up as you cross a lake to maintain height above it! After a while I was becoming quite brave about low flying and pushed the height down some more only to discover that the lack of texture as you cross fields and woods fools you into thinking you are higher than you really are. More than once I flew through the trees, but like a computer game with built in cheats I did not crash and burn! At one point I was flying along quite happily when suddenly the stick went slack in my hands, the Tucano rolled rapidly to the left the pulled through and dived for the ground. I tried to counteract this but to no avail it was a computer software failure that caused it, but to

me it felt like someone had sneaked up behind me and shot my tail off beware the Hun in the sun! The instructor then moved the picture to the Humber Estuary and ahead of me was the Humber Bridge. Fly under it at 80 feet and you should be OK he said. Being a trusting soul I elected to go lower and went under at 10 feet I was not going to hit the bridge. OK he said This time as you approach the bridge roll inverted No problem, I thought and did just that. As I approached the bridge I thought I was a bit close to the water so I decided to gain height. This is where it all went wrong! I made the classic mistake of pulling back on the stick to climb whilst inverted instead of pushing forward! Suddenly the world turned white! What happened? I asked, You are underwater he responded. I pushed forward on the stick and the world reappeared phew! Just then my time was up. I had become a submarine pilot for the first time, though I expect I am not the first or the last!

From: Flight Lieutenant T Barnes RAF Royal Air Force Lintonon-Ouse YORK North Yorkshire YO30 2AJ Telephone: (01347) 847295 Fax: (01347) 848838 25 May 2010

72(R) SQUADRON ASSOCIATION OPEN WEEKEND 20 22 AUGUST 2010 Preparation is under way for this years 72(R) Squadron open weekend and we would be delighted if you could join us. The format of the event will be broadly similar to last year with guests arriving from 1300 hrs on Friday. The weekend will hopefully open with a Tucano display and various static aircraft on show at the Squadron. The main event will be a formal Dining-In Night held in the Officers Mess on Friday evening (Black tie and Ladies equivalent). Saturday will begin with a coffee on the Squadron when I hope the simulator will be available for a few hours until lunch time. Following a buffet lunch in the Officers Mess, guests will be taken on a visit to the Royal Armoury, Leeds. Alternatively, guests may wish to explore the local area or even take the opportunity to visit the historic City of York. The evenings entertainment will be a guest speaker after an informal fork supper in the Mess. Once again, the bar will be open during the evening and guests will depart following breakfast on the Sunday. Accommodation will be available in the Mess and, if you are able to attend, please fill in the enclosed application form which should give me all the information I require. Unfortunately, due to accounting changes, the cost of staying in the Mess has increased considerably and Ive had to raise the price of the event. The cost for the entire weekend will be 85 per person with cheques made payable to Service Funds RAF Linton-on-Ouse. I hope you agree that this is still reasonable value for an all inclusive weekend away and I would be happy to accept two instalments of half the cost if that is more convenient. Should you have any queries or questions regarding the weekend then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully, Tom Barnes

72Sqn Association Liaison Officer LIN72RSqn-SF43@lintononouse.raf.mod.uk

The 72 Sqn Association Weekend 20th 22nd Aug 2010

I would / would not like to attend the 2010 72 Sqn Open Weekend. Name: Name of guest/partner: Address:

Tel No: Email address: Dietary requirements:

Do you require a room in the mess? Yes / No Twin/Single Car registration: Any other info:

No of rooms:

Please send this form with a cheque for either the full amount (85 per person) or the first instalment payable to: Service Funds RAF Linton-on-Ouse and send it to: Flt Lt Tom Barnes 72(R) Sqn RAF Linton-on-Ouse York YO30 2AJ E Mail: LIN72RSqn-SF43@lintononouse.raf.mod.uk

STRANGE ENCOUNTER WITH A PILOT (Reproduced courtesy of RAF NEWS)


DG Williams of Kempsey, Worcester, never used to believe in apparitions. Then one day in 1975 he visited his old airfield at North Weald: In 1940 Im sure that if anyone admitted to believing in ghosts he would either be accused of being bomb happy or that he was trying to work his ticket. I myself have never believed in such apparitions. However in 1975 an incident occurred which changed my mind. I have never mentioned it to anyone before. I was a regular airman having enlisted at the age of 17 about nine months prior to the outbreak of war. I was posted as a Flight Rigger to 25 (F) Squadron late in 1939. The squadron was then at Northolt; we later moved to North Weald. We were equipped with the Blenheim short-nose fighter version, and we operated as a night fighter squadron amongst other duties. Whilst at Northolt we carried out one of the first attacks on the enemy a shoot-up of the seaplane base at Borkum. Whilst at North Weald we had a detachment at Martlesham Heath. Aircraft, aircrew and ground crew were rotated every few weeks, but one could swap about, so it was possible for those who preferred North Weald, especially the Londoners, to remain there. We ground crew had plenty of trips in Blenheims both official and unofficial. We were usually allocated to a particular aircraft and flew on air tests and we flew up to Martlesham Heath to take spares etc. Sometime late in 1940 three of our Blenheims returning to North Weald on the change-over were mistaken for Junkers 88s and shot down by Hurricanes. One pilot, P/O Hogg, was killed and it is this pilot who featured in my nostalgic return to North Weald. I have a record of all my flying hours and I flew with P/O Hogg for one hour on 20th March 1940; we were doing what was known as AA co-op. I had a similar trip with him in 1st April; this time we were up for two hours. On 10th April I again flew with P/O Hogg on a 30-minute air test; this was one of the official flights and you had genuine grounds for the loan of a parachute. My last flight with P/O Hogg was on 8th June when we paid a quick visit to Northolt. Of course, I had other trips with various pilots but the outstanding thing about P/O Hogg was he actually went out of his way to obtain a parachute for the ground crew when they were just going

up for a ride. I was 18 at this time and I think P/O Hogg was about 20. The air gunner with P/O Hogg on that fateful day was Sgt Powell who parachuted to safety. The wreckage of the Blenheim in which P/O Hogg was shot down was put in the corner of 25 Squadron hangar. The ground crew who worked with him were all upset by his death; he was popular with us all. What made matters worse was the fact that it was the result of a tragic mistake. In the summer of 1975 I thought about making a return visit to North Weald. I was working at the Post Office at the time and I was about 53 years old. Why pick North Weald out of all the RAF Stations I had served on before going to France? The reason was because the events which took place there are etched into my mind. The several bombing attacks, the land mine which drifted down and failed to explode, the outstanding Station Commander, Victor Beamish and the thrill of seeing 56 and 151 Squadron Hurricanes taking off after being scrambled. I made enquiries about North Weald and discovered that it was being used by several firms engaged in various business ventures; also at that time (1975) a gliding club was using the base. I was advised to write to the landlords of North Weald who were the PSA at Peterborough. In due course I received a permit which allowed me access to the airfield.

I booked in for a couple of nights at a motel at nearby Epping and drove up to the airfield. I showed my permit to the gatekeeper who said there were dozens of people who called in and asked if they could have a look around and I was the first one with a permit. I went round to the far side of the airfield and noted the air raid shelters at the rear of the aircraft pens were still there. My mind went back to 1940 and the times we had to take cover in those shelters. I drove back over to the main camp and had a look round. It all looked familiar except for the absence of aircraft. I spent a couple of nostalgic hours and got back into my car prior to driving out of the camp. This is summer in the middle of the day. As I attempted to close the door, it seemed as though someone was holding on to it; there was no wind about, and it was quite spooky. I got out of the car and I was aware of a presence; it was a shadowy figure which reminded me of someone surrounded by thick mist. Suddenly the mist cleared and I saw P/O Hogg as clear as a bell. He was holding a flying helmet in his hand. Again this mist appeared and P/O Hogg vanished and so did the mist. Although it was a bit upsetting, at no time did I feel nervous. I know the mind plays funny tricks on one, but I have no doubt that it was P/O Hogg I encountered on that summer day, 35 years after his death.

ELECTRONIC COPIES OF THE SWIFT REPLY

At the AGM the possibility of receiving the Swift Reply in electronic form via the internet was discussed. It would arrive as a PDF file e-mail attachment for members to download to their home computers. It must be stressed that this is only an option and not compulsory. Those who prefer to have a hard paper copy of the newsletter will continue to do so. Those who would prefer an electronic copy will need to opt in to the scheme by completing the form below and returning it to the Newsletter Editor Tom Docherty. The advantages of the PDF version are that you will receive your copy earlier than you would if you have to wait for paper printed copies, the photos inside can be reproduced in colour, and it would reduce the printing and postage costs to the Association markedly. Please complete the form if you wish to opt in. (IF YOU HAVE ALREADY INDICATED A WISH TO USE THIS FORMAT PLEASE SEND ME A FORM AS I HAVE MISPLACED SOME ALREADY SENT TO ME!) Tom Docherty Newsletter Editor

Cut off here and return to Newsletter Editor. I wish to receive my copy of the Swift Reply in electronic format. MEMBERSHIP NO NAME E-MAIL ADDRESS SIGNATURE DATE

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