Lieutenant-Colonel Allan Corner - Telegraph Obituary

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by jim30, Sep 18, 2010.

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  1. Hope you don't mind me posting this here, but though this daily telegraph obituary would be of interest to people on this sub forum. The late Colonel sounds like quite a character! Lieutenant-Colonel Allan Corner - Telegraph

    Lieutenant-Colonel Allan Corner, who has died aged 77, had an adventurous career flying with the Army Air Corps (AAC).

    Allan Cecil Corner was born at Newbottle, Co Durham, on December 14 1932 and educated at Barnard Castle School, where he was head boy. He was offered a place by two Oxbridge colleges but decided to go to Sandhurst and, after being commissioned, was posted to the 33rd Parachute Regiment in Egypt. He subsequently took part in the Suez Campaign.
    Lieutenant-Colonel Rupert ThorneloeFlying to Libya, his Auster developed engine problems and oil spattered his windscreen. He landed in the desert, managing to solve the problem and fly on to his destination. After apologising for being an hour late he was told that he had put the plane down in an uncleared minefield and was lucky to be there at all.

    One Bastille Day, he and his team were invited by the French to do a fly-past at Dinard. Corner took the lead and flew in so low over the operations hut that a tricolor on a flagpole became wrapped around his aeroplane's wheels. He managed to get his foot around the trailing flag and pull it inside and duly presented it to the assembled dignitaries with as much composure as he could muster.

    The next day, a large tricolor which was flying from the roof of the town hall was pointed out to him with the warning that if he removed that one he and his team would be guillotined.

    In 1964, 651 Squadron was deployed to Cyprus. Corner was already serving there with a gunner regiment and he rejoined the squadron as a helicopter pilot. One day he was flying over the Kyrenian range with UN forces and carrying their markings when he received a radio message saying that a Greek boy had been badly injured during the factional strife in the area.

    Corner picked up the boy, together with two Swedish doctors, and took him to Nicosia. It was dark and the aircraft started vibrating heavily. They arrived at the hospital in time to save the boy's arm, but the engineers who checked the helicopter told Corner that he had been within two minutes of a catastrophic mechanical failure.

    After a posting to Canada as a flying instructor, in 1968 he returned to England to take command of the Parachute Brigade Squadron at Farnborough. He was once flying one of three Austers at the air show there, dropping the SAS freefall team. Each member of the team had red, white and blue smoke grenades attached to his legs and would pull the pin when out of the aeroplane.

    The leader of the freefall team accidentally ignited a smoke grenade inside Corner's Auster. The small plane quickly filled with a billowing cloud of red smoke but Corner spiralled down, trailing smoke, and landed without incident on the main runway. The crowd, believing that this was all part of the display, applauded with enthusiasm. Corner emerged from the Auster dyed bright red from head to toe.

    A move to Lee-on-Solent came next. On being asked whether he was enjoying his appointment at the Interservice Hovercraft Unit, he replied that it was strange to go from flying at 2,000ft to 2in. Following promotion to lieutenant-colonel, he moved to Verden in BAOR as commanding officer of 1st Regiment AAC.

    In 1988 he retired and became regimental secretary of the AAC. He took up golf and spent many happy hours losing balls at Leckford, in Hampshire, and enjoying leisurely lunches in pubs in the Test Valley. In late summer, defying a large sign forbidding slow play, he would stop in the middle of the fairway to pick berries for his sloe gin.

    Allan Corner died on August 17. He married, in 1956, Joyce Plews, who survives him with their two sons and two daughters.

  2. Blimey, the bloke was a flying Form 5.
  3. I love reading these obituaries but where has the obits forum gone? I can't find it in this new site layout
  4. Gremlin

    Gremlin LE Good Egg (charities)

    Home-> Forum -> ARRSE Life -> Interests & Hobbies -> Military History and Militaria

    It's a sticky in there
  5. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    I met him a few times he was an AAC Legend
  6. I'd forgotten this incident - until now. I remember the weather was absolutely bloody awful and didn't something prang badly too?
  7. He was the CO of D&T for the 4 years I was there and was famous for his sporty red trousers when in Civvies - didn't realise he'd dyed them using an Auster as a bathtub.

    His wife Joyce used to do charity work with mentally [and physically?] handicapped kids and used to bring them to D&T for a BBQ every summer. It was difficult to pick them out from the LAD when it was time to get them back on the bus.