Friday 13 December 2013 11:33 UTC
This forum is for anything to do with light aviation
I would like to share something with you.
John was a member of 49 sqdn and operated as a Navigator in the Lanc during WW2. His log book holds hundreds of hours with countless 10-12 hour bombing raids on Berlin. He flew in the very last bombing run of WW@ On the night of 12/13 July 1943, John and his friend Leslie were grounded due to the fact that they both had colds. Tragically their crew failed to return leaving them to find other crews in order to complete their tours. John navigated for Sgt. Edy’s crew and finished his tour of 30 ops in October 1943.
http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii5 ... -photo.jpg
John is first left on the top row.
http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii5 ... rabb_J.jpg
Bigger picture of John.
John is my Grandfather. He is now 92, lives in Glasgow and has been married for 60 years. He has two daughters and six grandchildren. His youngest daughter, my Mum was named Lesley after his friend who he flew in 49th with.
It has always been my ambition to get my pilots licence and fly commercially and this is due to Johns stories of flying Lancs, Tiger Moths and Mosquitos and from showing me his log book and flying instruments etc. After leaving Uni, i gained my private licence and start commercial training next week. There was always one thing which got me through the endless days of bad weather and reading boring air law books, and that was the desire to take my Grandpa up for a flight. So, a month after getting my licence, today that desire came true and i took my Grandpa and Mum for an hours flight round Scotland in a 4 seat, PA28 III Archer.
http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii5 ... G_6161.jpg
John in control again after all these years.
http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii5 ... G_6155.jpg
John enjoying being in the air again.
http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii5 ... 6169-2.jpg
My Mum (Lesley) and her father after our flight. Safe to say Grandpa was more comfortable in a light aircraft than my mum was.
http://i1260.photobucket.com/albums/ii5 ... G_6171.jpg
My Grandfather and I.
I hope he enjoyed it as much as i did.
I would just like to say thanks to everyone on the forum. Without the help and adivce of you guys, i would never have got my licence and this flight would never have happened.
P.S. Sorry for using links to the photos. Resizing them to 800 megapixels makes them just too small.
Very well done. There is nothing quite like taking a WW2 Veteran for a flight and the fact that it was your grandad makes it all the more special. Here's to many more such flights for both of you.
Well, at least you were unlikely to get lost with a decent Navigator on board!
Seriously: a great story and very well done.
Last edited by Jonzarno on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
That's a great story, very special when it's family. Thanks for sharing and good luck for your future in aviation
I took a 90 year old flying last weekend, used to service Tiger Moths during WWII and hasn't flown in a small aircraft since. If he had won the lottery I don't think it would have made him happier than the flight over the Severn Bridges.
His joy was infectious and it made me realise how much it means to some people. Must do it more often.
He and his wife celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November.
What can I say, but "nice one!" My grandfather died the week I went out to Florida to learn to fly, and I never got to take him up. He wasn't aircrew though. I have subsequently flown with WW2 aircrew and it's an incredible feeling to do so and to hear their tales, which are mostly spoken of in a most matter of fact way. Just the way things were, mistakes and all.
Thanks for your kind words guys! It was a brilliant day and quite emotional for my Grandfather. I don't think he has ever flown since the war, even to go on holiday, so i think i brought back a lot of memories. Good and bad. It was so strange to sit in the aircraft with the old boy and have him tell me what every instrument did and about the QNH and QFE etc. It seems that not much has changed. Can you believe that he was sent solo during training for the war after only 3 hours flight time! Im hoping its because they had confidence in his ability to pilot the aircraft and not that they didnt have enough time to train him.
This was my drive to complete my PPL, and that flight has definitely replaced my first solo as my best flying experience to date and i dont really see anything replacing it. Now to get some pictures framed for him of our experience.
The only down side to that flight, is that its opened my eyes to the fact that we don't do enough for our WW2 vets. I bet there are hundreds of ex flight crew who would give anything to experience flight for one last time. We don't do enough. I urge anyone who has the chance to do something similar, to do it. You will make an old mans week.
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