One of the old and bold

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Trans-sane, Apr 28, 2011.

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  1. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    Relatively recently I discovered a bit of family history pertaining to the Second World War. My mother's cousin was mad keen on all things flying and was in the process of signing up to the RAF Volunteer Reserve when some nark Austrian shortarse decided to invade Poland. At which point he was informed that the RAFVR was no longer recruiting. Apparently he informed his mum and dad that he'd spend christmas at home and volunteer for the regular RAF in January. He trained as a Navigator, was posted to 22 Squadron (shortly after the squadron re-equipped with Bristol Beauforts and very shortly after the Brest raid in which Flt Officer Kenneth Campbell was posthumously awarded the VC for an attack on the Gneisenau).

    The squadron was then trasferred to the Middle East via Cyprus- awesome dit involving his plane, a Me110 and the rear gunner getting the gas parts shot off his machine gun. Turns out single rounds od .303 aren't much use in an air battle. PS. the landing gear collapsed due to damage, the plane went through a fence and by the time his aircrew got to Iraq the squadrom was being transfered to Ceylon.

    He then spent a couple of years carrying out patrols and torpedo attacks of oppertunity against Japanese shipping (got shot up enough times that he wrote off another 3 airframes, 2 ditched in shark infested waters). He finished the war in Transport Command, flying all over but mostly all over India.

    At the start of this month Wilf was 90. And I had the brainwave of building him a model of one of the aircraft he served in and paiting it up in 22 Squadron colours of the time. And here is the finished product with the mn himself, still very much alive and kicking (many years may he have left along with all the surviving veterns

    Attached Files:

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  2. ACE! I wish him many many more years of active enjoyment.
  3. Pedant alert... you could have at least painted it up in the cam patteran and colours used in SE Asia or the Med! It looks like he's giving you a bit of a 'nice try Spanky' smile there....
  4. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    Pedant fail. That is the camo pattern that 22 Squadron flew with on their Mk.X Beaufighters that they re-equipped with in 1944. However Wilf never served in Beaufighters (he transferred to Transport Command a few weeks before they re-equipped). THAT would have got you pedant points if you'd have noticed it wasn't actually a Beaufort ;)

    I couldn't actually find a model kit for the Beafort anywhere (hence opting for the Beafighter). Seems a shame that one of the more important aircraft of the war (from a strategic point of view) isn't available as a kit, but who am I to judge the business sense of it? For the true spotters in our midst, the model is a 1:48 Bristol Beaufighter TF Mk.X kit by Tamiya. Which is doubly ironic given successes that both the Beaufort and the Beaufighter had in Japanese comerce shipping in the far east (hence my claim to the Beafort being one of the more important aircraft of the war).

    Anyone else with any models they've built with a bit of history behind them, feel free to post them in here if you should so wish. Should have opened the thread with it but I was knackered and forgot...
  5. Its a nice gesture. There are some examples of the old "Frog" model company's 1:72 scale Bristopl Beaufort's on e bay for C £16.

    You could see if you could introsuce him to a Bristol Beaufort Flight simulator.

    You can get a freeware download for Microsoft flight simulator Classic British Flight Sim • View topic - Bristol Beaufort repaints

    Here are a couple of screenshoits of a No 22 Sqn Beaufort.


    These don't show the cocklpit view, so I am not sure if exists. They have used the internal views of some other aircraft , which is easier than building a 3D model of the crew stations ina bomber.

    There was a user community project called Target Rabaul -a multi player on line flight simulator, which were planning to include a Beaufort. Here is one. Targetware :: View topic - Bristol Beaufort

    I don't know if these simulators are still in business, but he might be flattered if you found one. The attachment shows Neville Duke at the Tangmere Aviation Musuem circa 2000 "flying" a simulation of the aircraft which he flew in November 1941.

    Attached Files:

  6. Google is your friend. Chocks away now and make him a proper aircraft before he goes for a Burton!

    Special Hobby 1/72 Bristol Beaufort Mk.Ia/II # 72083

    Special Hobby 1/72 Bristol Beaufort Mk.II Australian version - 72027 - £20.15
  7. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    Should have been clearer with that as well. the 1/72 was noly about 4 inches long (Saw a ready painted die-cast version and thought "too small"). Wanted a 1/48 minimum and there doesn't seem to be a current kit in that scale or in 1/32.
  8. I find it a little odd that you have gone to great lenths to present him with a kit of an aeroplane on which he did not serve. Howevr, it is a nice gesture to remember an old boy who carried out one of the most dangerous jobs in WW2.

    Somewherer I recall reading that the highets mortality in any service arm was to be a torpedo bomber pilot.
  9. maguire

    maguire LE Book Reviewer

    best wishes to both of you. thats ace.
  10. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    That was because I had been (mis)informed that he spenmt the whole war in 22 Squadron (who finished up in Beaufighters). As it happens he was transferred only a couple of weeks before they got the new airframe, something I only found out on the day from the man himself!

    Still the Beaufighter was very closely related. Same engines, same wings, same tail fin. Just a more slimline fusalage and less aircrew (2 as oppose to 4, they ditched the navo and the wireless op).

    PS Based on Pteranadons CG images Wlif would have been the bloke right at the front in the glass and perspex bubble. Imagine flring into flak in that!
  11. The Beaufigher used much of the same airframe as the Baufort, but not the same engines. The two Taurus engines generated 2,100 hp while the two Hercules generatred 3,200hp.

    The Armed Rovers is the story of beaforts and Beaufighters in the medieteranean. The Armed Rovers: Beauforts and Beaufighters Over the Mediterranean Airlife's Classics: Roy Conyers Nesbit: Books

    This book quotes some interesting statistic about aircrew survival prioduced by the Air member for Personnel Air Marshall Garrod on 16 November 1942.
    This lists the percentage chance of survival for one tour and two tours for different types of aircraft and role.

    So day fighter pilots had a 43% of surviving one tour and 18.5% chance of surviving two, and heavy bomber crews had siumilar figures 44% and 19.5% sobering odds themsevles.

    For torpedo bomber crews the chance of surviving one tour was 17.5% and two 3% Kamikazi pilots had a higher survival rate that that!

    Here is another booksa on the topic.
    Torpedo leader on Malta Torpedo Leader on Malta.: R.P.M. Gibbs: Books
  12. I have a little book "We Speak From the Air ,published in 1942, and is the scripts of BBC radio broadcasts given by RAF crews, one of the most interesting is by Flt Sgt Ray Loviett talking about his attack ,flying a Beaufort against the Lutzow on 13th June 1941 and although he was in 42sqn five 22sqn Beauforts were involved in the raid.

    his attack was successful and put the Lutzow out of action for six months
  13. Hi, I've just found your message concerning your relation Wilf. I am researching into the ferrying of RAF aircraft out to the Far East in 1942 and I believe that Wilf was in one of the Beaufort crews, possibly with pilot P/O J.C.White. If there is any chance, I would love to correspond with him on the subject of his ferry flight by letter or otherwise. Thanks for any help you can offer.
  14. Drop him a pm, as it's possible he may miss your post here.

    ..........and quick about it-these old boys are'nt getting any younger, bless 'em!
  15. Hi, I've just found your message concerning your relation Wilf. I am researching into the ferrying of RAF aircraft out to the Far East in 1942 and I believe that Wilf was in one of the Beaufort crews, possibly with pilot P/O J.C.White. If there is any chance, I would love to correspond with him on the subject of his ferry flight by letter or otherwise. Thanks for any help you can offer.