Forgotten pilots or flights...

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#341 Post by FD2 » Fri Apr 07, 2023 12:24 am

Commander Allan Tarver GM

Of particular significance to CharlieOneSix

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/ ... very-navy/

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#342 Post by CharlieOneSix » Fri Apr 07, 2023 10:08 am

Sad to see that but it comes to us all. 10 May 1966 remains vivid in my failing memory.
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#343 Post by FD2 » Fri Apr 07, 2023 8:20 pm


Rear Admiral Ray Rawbone, naval pilot who saw action over France, Greece, Burma and Sumatra – obituary


He flew more than 40 types of aircraft but however fast or advanced none gave ‘that feeling of joie de vivre’ of the early marks of Seafire
By Telegraph Obituaries 7 April 2023 • 6:26pm


Rear Admiral Ray Rawbone, who has died aged 99, was shot down over southern France and later led a Fleet Air Arm squadron in the Suez Campaign.

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In October 1943, 20 years old and recently promoted from midshipman, Rawbone joined 809 Naval Air Squadron, flying the Seafire Mark LIIc under the command of Major AL Wright RM, in the carrier Stalker. Wright, Rawbone later recalled, was “a smart, rather strict disciplinarian, which was probably just as well as we were a fair mixture of high-spirited Commonwealth officers”.

After escort duties in Atlantic convoys, in May 1945 Rawbone and his aircraft and others from 809 were lent to 208 RAF in Italy, flying two and sometimes three sorties a day from improvised airfields on armed reconnaissance, or spotting for the Army’s heavy guns.

Then in August he took part in Operation Dragoon, the Allied landings in the south of France. In the absence of enemy aircraft, Rawbone strafed and bombed German vehicle columns, and spotted for the guns of the US battleship Nevada.

However, on the morning of August 24, north-west of Nimes, while diving to strafe a German staff car, he was hit by flak, his engine and instruments failed, and, unable to climb above 800 ft, he was forced to land in a field.

Rawbone set fire to his aircraft and, seeing German troops approach, ran off, hoping to find Maquis resistance fighters. He was taken in by French farmers near Dions in the Gard region, and with his new friends cycled into the newly liberated city of Nîmes, where he met Major Lancelot Hartley-Sharpe, leader of a Jedburgh clandestine team which been operating behind the lines. He then joined the Allied forces advancing on Uzès.

He was anxious to get back to my ship as soon as possible “because I knew that my drama was being shared by my wife who was expecting our first child”. At Salon-de-Provence he found a lift in a small plane to Naples, and from there he hitched several more lifts to rejoin Stalker, which by now was in Alexandria. Just two weeks after having been shot down, he was airborne and operational again.

He was Mentioned in Despatches.

Rawbone remained with 809 NAS until the end of 1945, seeing further action over Greece and later Burma, Sumatra and Malaya. Though he had no more accidents, there were many Seafire and pilot losses, not least due to landing accidents on Stalker’s short and narrow flightdeck. By the end of the war he was the squadron senior pilot.


Alfred Raymond Rawbone was born on April 19 1923 at Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire, where his father, who had flown in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War, was an engineer.

Ray volunteered for the Fleet Air Arm in 1941 aged 18. His initial training, at the former Butlin’s holiday camp at Skegness, was overseen by Ted Briggs (one of only three survivors from the loss of the battlecruiser Hood in May that year) and then by Chief Petty Officer Wilmott, a celebrated instructor and father-figure, at HMS St Vincent, Gosport.

Rawbone learnt to fly at Elmdon, now Birmingham international airport, in the de Havilland Tiger Moth, and, crossing the Atlantic in RMS Queen Mary, at Kingston, Ontario.

Post-war, he became an instructor at the RAF’s Central Flying School where in 1950 he was awarded the King’s Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air, and in 1951 the Air Force Cross.

Back in the Fleet Air Arm, Rawbone flew the Navy’s first operational jet, the Attacker, from the carrier Eagle, before commanding 736 training squadron.

In 1956, during the Suez Crisis, Rawbone commanded 897 Naval Air Squadron flying Sea Hawk jets from Eagle in the day-fighter/ground-attack role. Ten of his 14 pilots were straight from flying school, and “we knew that the Egyptian aircraft were superior to ours, so, to save ourselves a lot of grief, we planned to take out the airfields at first light on the first day.” Rawbone trained his novice pilots in night operations and they responded with “skill and great spirit”.

Flying at dawn on November 1 over Inchas, Rawbone recalled, “there were several craters from RAF bombs but no damage to runways or hangars”, so he led his squadron down to strafe and rocket rows of parked aircraft. Later that day he sank a barge which was being towed into the Canal.

Confident that the Egyptian air force had been put of action, over the next few days the Fleet Air Arm turned to Army targets and bridges “but most targets were so lightly defended that one had an uneasy, almost guilty, feeling”. Only on November 3, over Almaza, was there intense and accurate flak, but all aircraft returned safely.

In the days before the campaign, Rawbone had passed on his knowledge of escape and evasion, teaching his young pilots to sew compasses and maps into their clothing and to carry sidearms. Only Lieutenant Donald Mills, shot down on November 6 100 miles into the desert, was obliged to make use of this knowledge, and he, unlike Rawbone in 1944, was rescued by helicopter.

Next Rawbone commanded the frigate Loch Killisport (1959-60) in the Gulf, and was Commander (Air) at the Royal Naval Air Station, Lossiemouth, and then in the fleet carrier Ark Royal in 1961-63. From 1963 to 1968 he held senior staff appointments ashore, before commanding the frigate Dido (1968-69) and Royal Naval Air Station, Yeovilton (1970-72), where he oversaw the arrival of the first Sea Harriers.

Next he commanded the guided missile destroyer Kent (1972-73), and when he was promoted to rear-admiral he was appointed to Nato headquarters at SHAPE (1974-76).

Rawbone flew more than 40 types of aircraft including most marks of Seafire: he reflected that the later models “were faster and more advanced but, in my view, none allowed that feeling of joie de vivre so apparent in the early marks.”

In 1976 he joined a family-owned car franchise in the South West.

Ray Rawbone married, during a brief leave in 1943, his teenage sweetheart Iris Willshaw. Both needed their parents’ consent, and after a two-day honeymoon they only saw each other once in the next year. Iris survives him, with their daughter; a son predeceased him.

Ray Rawbone, born April 19 1923, died March 12 2023

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights... Jerrie Cobb

#344 Post by OneHungLow » Fri Apr 14, 2023 3:52 pm

Geraldyn M. Cobb (March 5, 1931 – March 18, 2019), commonly known as Jerrie Cobb, was an American aviator. She was also part of the Mercury 13, a group of women who underwent physiological screening tests at the same time as the original Mercury Seven astronauts. She was the first to complete each of the tests.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman

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Women have had, and still do have, to put with so much c%*p.
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Colonel Tomb

#345 Post by OneHungLow » Mon May 01, 2023 11:20 am

A bit like the contemporary mythical ace, the Grey Ghost of Kiev, Tomb seems to have been an artefact of wishful thinking, or a psychological crutch, or at least a chimera, summoned up by amalgamating the exploits of a number of pilots as part of a popular mass delusion, likely fostered by propagandists who wanted, or more likely, needed a hero, mythical or otherwise, that a hard pressed opulace, and pilots themselves, could hang onto at a time of personal, martial and national stress!

That some USAF pilots actually believed Tomb was real is a tribute to the effectiveness of the myth itself, wherever it emerged from!

Colonel Tomb
The story of the epic aerial combat duel between North Vietnamese MiG-17 pilot Colonel Tomb and the American F-4 crew of Lt. Randy "Duke" Cunningham and Lt.(jg) William P. Driscoll was popularly featured with CGI-based reenactment of the battle scenes on The History Channel in the premiere episode of the 2006 television series Dogfights.

"I could see a Gomer leather helmet, Gomer goggles, Gomer scarf...and his intent Gomer expression... I began to feel numb. My stomach grabbed at me in knots. There was no fear in this guy's eyes as we zoomed some 8000 feet straight up."

— Lt. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, describing his canopy-to-canopy encounter with Colonel Tomb in the pilot episode of Dogfights and in his combat memoirs of May 10, 1972

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#346 Post by OneHungLow » Mon May 01, 2023 11:26 am

The creator of this interesting video, a usually reliable commentator, gives some interesting insights into the basis for the Colonel Tomb fable...



Even without "Colonel Tomb" , North Vietnamese aces did exist and the North Vietnamese Air Force was a credible and often effective adversary!


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_V ... lying_aces
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Top scoring North Vietnamese pilot with an unforgettable name.

#347 Post by OneHungLow » Mon May 01, 2023 12:32 pm

Nguyễn Văn Cốc

I guess his name was no laughing matter....



The video is irritating for the speed with which it moves from caption to caption (clearly from a book), but worth freezing to read them.
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#348 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sun May 07, 2023 10:08 pm

Well, I hope he's not a forgotten pilot - Flight Lieutenant John Cruickshank VC of Aberdeen will be 103 on May 20th.
.
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On 17 July 1944 an RAF Catalina flying-boat with a ten-man crew took off from Sullom Voe in the Shetland Islands. Its role was to assist in providing anti-submarine cover for ships involved in Operation Mascot, an unsuccessful attempt by carrier-based aircraft to destroy the German battleship Tirpitz moored in the Altafjord near Norway’s North Cape. The U-boat that the aircraft attacked and sank was U361 not U347 as once thought. When the Pilot Flying Officer J A Cruickshank collapsed because of his wounds and loss of blood, Flight Sergeant J S Garnett, the Second Pilot, took over the controls of the plane. Garnett was awarded the DFM.
London Gazette Citation for the award of the Victoria Cross to John Cruickshank:
This officer was the captain and pilot of a Catalina flying boat which was recently engaged on an anti-submarine patrol over northern waters. When a U-boat was sighted on the surface, Flying Officer Cruickshank at once turned to the attack. In the face of fierce anti-aircraft fire he manoeuvred into position and ran in to release his depth charges. Unfortunately they failed to drop. Flying Officer Cruickshank knew that the failure of this attack had deprived him of the advantage of surprise and that his aircraft offered a good target to the enemy’s determined and now heartened gunners. Without hesitation, he climbed and turned to come in again. The Catalina was met by intense and accurate fire and was repeatedly hit. The navigator/bomb aimer was killed. The second pilot and two other members of the crew were injured. Flying Officer Cruickshank was struck in seventy-two places, receiving two serious wounds in the lungs and ten penetrating wounds in the lower limbs. His aircraft was badly damaged and filled with the fumes of exploding shells. But he did not falter. He pressed home his attack, and released the depth charges himself, straddling the submarine perfectly. The U-boat was sunk. He then collapsed and the second pilot took over the controls. He recovered shortly afterwards and, though bleeding profusely, insisted on resuming command and retaining it until he was satisfied that the damaged aircraft was under control, that a course had been set for base and that all the necessary signals had been sent. Only then would he consent to receive medical aid and have his wounds attended to. He refused morphia in case it might prevent him from carrying on. During the next five and half hours of the return flight he several times lapsed into unconsciousness owing to loss of blood. When he came to, his first thought on each occasion was for the safety of his aircraft and crew. The damaged aircraft eventually reached base but it was clear that an immediate landing would be a hazardous task for the wounded and less experienced second pilot. Although able to breathe only with the greatest difficulty, Flying Officer Cruickshank insisted on being carried forward and propped up in the second pilot’s seat. For a full hour, in spite of his agony and ever-increasing weakness, he gave orders as necessary, refusing to allow the aircraft to be brought down until the conditions of light and sea made this possible without undue risk. With his assistance the aircraft was safely landed on the water. He then directed the taxying and beaching of the aircraft so that it could easily be salvaged. When the medical officer went on board, Flying Officer Cruickshank collapsed and he had to be given a blood transfusion before he could be removed to hospital. By pressing home the second attack in his gravely wounded condition and continuing his exertions on the return journey with his strength failing all the time, he seriously prejudiced his chance of survival even if the aircraft safely reached its base. Throughout, he set an example of determination, fortitude and devotion to duty in keeping with the highest traditions of the Service.
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#349 Post by Karearea » Mon May 08, 2023 2:09 am

I happened to read this death notice in the NZ Herald:
DAVENPORT, Ernest. Born 4 January 1923. Warrant Officer in the Pathfinder Force. Pilot, Bomb-Aimer, Sailor, Engineer, Artist. POW 1943-1945. Beloved father of [etc] On the 3rd May 2023, Ernest peacefully took his final flight after 100 years and four months. ...
and investigated.

Audio of a 20 minute interview with transcript:

https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.u ... ent/10768

and a 53min. interview on video which I found well-worth seeing:

https://www.nzonscreen.com/title/memori ... port-2015

from a Radio NZ article earlier this year, https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/481 ... turns-100
He led a fruitful life of building a family and a career as an electrical engineer in New Zealand.
He said it was his love of sailing that pulled him to New Zealand in the 1950s.
"And before you know where you are, 100 years have gone," he said.
"And to think that it's the same dear old Moon..."

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Not gone and not forgotten SAAF Fying Cheetah's

#350 Post by OneHungLow » Mon Jun 19, 2023 8:19 pm

2 Squadron SAAF



and men like this who served before 1959 ...

viewtopic.php?p=369697#p369697
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Re:#348.....

#351 Post by Rossian » Tue Jun 20, 2023 10:00 am

....I first met John Cruickshank when I was 3 when he was staying/visiting my parents after he had a recovered a bit from his injuries. All I remember was sitting on the floor playing with my Bakelite model railway engine and he ate some aircrew chocolate and didn't give me any!!
He stayed away from the RAF for a long time until persuaded back to contact by the Aussie who had been his radar operator. He came to visit Kinloss (mid '80s-ish?)and I met him in the back bar after he had been on a flight with 206 Sqn.
He compared the Nav accuracy between his time and that day, illustrated by a mission where they had been in a "box" east of Iceland on a grey, grey day no sun shots available. Having departed at off task time set heading for Sullom Voe in the Shetlands but after many hours made landfall at Benbecula with even more hours to get back to base accompanied by a lot of grumbling. He was amazed from his Nimrod trip that at shutdown the nav error was within the wingspan of the a/c.
He was the guest of honour at a dining-in night at Kinloss a few years later where he was to be the principal speaker. It was one of those evenings where there was an undercurrent of unrest and aggro fuelled by a lot of booze and the PMC was having difficulty in keeping control. When JC stood up to speak, I groaned inwardly thinking that this was not going to turn out well. He commanded the room instantly and you could have heard a pin drop, sheer force of personality. Staggering to be present at.

The Ancient Mariner

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Forgotten pilots or flights... Reinhard Heydrich...

#352 Post by OneHungLow » Sun Jul 09, 2023 8:17 pm

Senior Nazi, mass murderer and pilot!

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Delmar Benjamin and the Gee Bee R2

#353 Post by OneHungLow » Thu Jul 13, 2023 7:07 pm

The Granville Gee Bee Model R Super Sportster story is an interesting one and probably well known to most who read this, but do you remember Delmar Benjamin who flew a replica with such elan in the 90's and early 2000's?

Delmar Benjamin and the need for speed.


Gee Bee R2.JPG
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/2 ... ow-circuit

Do any of the cognoscenti here know if this good man and superb pilot is still alive?
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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#354 Post by OneHungLow » Thu Jul 13, 2023 7:38 pm

Here flying at Phoenix...

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#355 Post by PHXPhlyer » Thu Jul 13, 2023 7:57 pm

I saw him do his routine a handfull of times back in the day at my home field.
He put on an amazing performance, especially considering the reputation of the original.
Our show was very popular with the performers, considering the base population.
The draw for the performers was the opportunity to do air to air photo shots with backdrops of Lake Powell, Monument Valley, and the surrounding area.

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#356 Post by FD2 » Wed Jul 19, 2023 8:29 pm



Flt Lt Jack Frost, one of the last veterans of RAF wartime Coastal Command – obituary
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/ ... world-war/

He flew throughout the Battle of the Atlantic and in support of Russian convoys, and the Liberator heavy bomber he was flying was badly hit

By Telegraph Obituaries 19 July 2023 • 6:01pm


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Flight Lieutenant Jack Frost, who has died aged 103, served as a pilot in Coastal Command, which fought the air war over the sea, from the first to the last day of the Second World War. He flew throughout the Battle of the Atlantic and in support of Russian convoys.

On November 15 1944, Frost and his crew took off from Leuchars in Fife in their four-engine Liberator of 206 Squadron to patrol off the coast of Norway. Flying close to Bergen, his heavy bomber was attacked by three Messerschmitt Bf 110 long-range fighters.

During a series of co-ordinated attacks, his aircraft was very badly damaged, an air gunner was killed and another severely wounded. One of the Liberator’s engines was put out of action, the hydraulic system was rendered useless and the intercommunication between the crew was made unserviceable. This made taking evading action particularly difficult, but Frost maintained control.

When one of the attacking fighters was severely damaged, the engagement was finally broken off after nearly an hour of combat. Despite flying on three engines, losing fuel, and with extreme damage to the aircraft’s control surfaces, Frost managed to nurse the crippled bomber to Sumburgh in the Shetlands, where he made a crash landing, having been unable to lower the undercarriage.


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Frost was awarded an immediate DFC and two of his crew were awarded the DFM. The shared experience forged a strong bond between the surviving crew members and, despite having returned to their own countries after the war, they all held November 15 as a special date and sought to contact each other on that day in memory of their Sumburgh “arrival”.

Marshal John Gibson Frost, always called Jack, was born in Brixton on July 28 1919 and educated at what is now Haberdashers’ Hatcham College in New Cross. Following the death of his father in 1933, he declined a sixth-form place and started work as a clerk with the Eagle Star Insurance Company, continuing his education at night school.

To supplement his income he joined the Territorial Army, but in 1938 he was allowed to transfer to the RAF Volunteer Reserve, where he started training to be a pilot.


Mobilised as the war started, he completed his flying training and was posted to fly the Anson with 608 Squadron based near Middlesbrough, known as the “Kipper Patrol” and mainly employed on shipping patrols over the North Sea. During a transit flight from Wick, Frost’s Anson was forced to ditch in the sea. He was picked up by the destroyer Electra as the only survivor.

Having recovered from his injuries, he re-joined 608, now flying the American-built Lockheed Hudsons on anti-shipping tasks off Norway. In early 1942, on promotion to warrant officer, he was posted to 53 Squadron at North Coates in Lincolnshire, also flying Hudsons.

He led anti-shipping sorties on “Rover” patrols against enemy convoys off Heligoland and participated in an abortive strike against the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau after their dash from Brest through the English Channel.

When 53 Squadron was taken “out of line” due to excessive losses in April 1942, Frost was posted to a unit training aircrew for Coastal Command – sometimes known as the “Cinderella Command”, since Bomber and Fighter Command attracted more attention. He then became a pilot instructor on Wellingtons, using the powerful “Leigh Light” searchlight which was mounted on the wing and used to illuminate surfaced U-boats.

Requesting a return to operational flying, in August 1943 he was dispatched via the RMS Queen Mary to Oakes Field, Nassau, in the Bahamas, to train on the Liberator. Returning with his constituted crew, he joined 206 Squadron at St Eval in Cornwall, flying anti-submarine patrols over the Bay of Biscay.


In the build-up to D-Day, he flew over the Southwest Approaches during the highly successful Operation Cork, which sealed the Channel from enemy naval activity that could have menaced the huge armada heading for Normandy.

In July, 206 Squadron moved to Leuchars, where the anti-submarine war continued; Frost attacked U-299, inflicting minor damage. A few days later, he had his encounter with the enemy fighters off the Norwegian coast.

After the armistice, Frost flew several patrols rounding up surrendering U-boats, one of which had to be “persuaded” with the help of a depth charge and a few rounds of cannon fire. At the end of hostilities, 206 Squadron Liberators were converted for passenger duties. Operating from Oakington near Cambridge, Frost flew long hauls to RAF Mauripur, near Karachi, to collect personnel returning from the Far East.

After the war, he continued to fly with the RAF Reserve and he resumed his education. He attended Birkbeck, University of London, gaining an honours degree in geography and then a master’s. He held several posts in education, eventually becoming vice principal of Newbury College of Further Education.

Frost was a founder member of the 206 Squadron Association and he supported the organisation for the rest of his life, attending events until his health began to fail. He was awarded the Air Efficiency Award with Clasp and received the Russian Federation’s 50th Anniversary of the Great Patriotic War medal for his support of the Arctic convoys.

Jack Frost is survived by Kyllikki, his Finnish wife of 58 years, and their two daughters.

Jack Frost, born July 28 1919, died June 12 2023

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#357 Post by talmacapt » Thu Jul 20, 2023 3:56 pm

FD2.

I read the obit of Jack Frost and found that we have several things in common.

I, too, went to Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham Boys' school (as was), albeit at different times.

We both went into flying and whilst I have not crash landed at Sumburgh, have burst a tyre there.

My wife is also Finnish.

I trust the omens are good that I will survive until, at least, 103.

Wonderful life he led.

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Re: Forgotten pilots or flights...

#358 Post by FD2 » Thu Jul 20, 2023 8:01 pm

Good luck with that! Sumburgh was often an interesting place for us to operate from too, with major storms and high speed fogs.

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William Reid (VC)

#359 Post by OneHungLow » Sun Jul 23, 2023 9:28 am

William Reid VC (21 December 1921 – 28 November 2001) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He earned his Victoria Cross as a pilot in the Royal Air Force Bomber Command during the Second World War.

Born in Baillieston, Lanarkshire, he applied to join the RAF on the outbreak of war. After initial training, he was selected as a bomber pilot, and soon became a flying instructor himself. He was eventually given an operational posting, flying several raids before that on Düsseldorf which led to the award of the VC. On a later raid he was shot down and became a prisoner of war in Germany. He left the RAF after the war, and worked in the agricultural industry.

On 19 November 2009 his VC was sold at auction for £384,000, a record for a VC awarded to a recipient from the United Kingdom.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Reid_(VC)

http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/bbreidw.htm

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Re: William Reid (VC)

#360 Post by OneHungLow » Sun Jul 23, 2023 11:40 am

OneHungLow wrote:
Sun Jul 23, 2023 9:28 am
William Reid VC (21 December 1921 – 28 November 2001) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy
He featured in this episode of the World at War.



Go to 23:07 if you don't want to watch the whole excellent episode.
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