View Full Version : 'Puddy' Catt RIP


BEagle
9th Dec 2013, 13:47
I've just received the sad news that one of the RAF's real characters of Meteor and Hunter days, Flt Lt D.A.G Catt, know to one and all as 'Puddy' slipped the surly bonds a couple of days ago.

Such a larger than life character was well-known to anyone who went through TWU at Brawdy in the mid-'70s; he later retired to his favourite part of Pembrokeshire and it seems he was just as large a figure there.

No doubt he will be at the fighter pilots' pub in the sky and that famously rich, booming voice will be entreating his former chums to "Take beer!!".

RIP Puddy - and thanks for all the help at TWU!



Onceapilot
9th Dec 2013, 14:19
Sad to hear of his passing.

OAP

Courtney Mil
9th Dec 2013, 14:19
Oh, how very sad. What a fine pilot. I shall raise a glass to you tonight, my friend.

Thanks for posting BEags.

Haraka
9th Dec 2013, 15:37
Sad News Beags . ( Mistakenly reported in the past). I'll forward the news to the those of a certain era in the P.I. community.

Gericault
9th Dec 2013, 16:06
What a great shame, very happy memories of trips with him in the Meteor, less happy ones of his pitching up at initials when Brawdy was Red - "Weather's far too bad for a GCA Spot, to tower"!!! I'll raise a glass this evening.

newt
9th Dec 2013, 17:23
Sad day indeed.

Always remember him reminding a Wg Cdr that the particular seat he was was occupying at met brief belonged to Puddy! Said Wg Cdr got up and moved to another seat allowing Pud to take up his usual slot!

sharpend
9th Dec 2013, 18:38
Sad indeed. I remember one day when he had to fly a Hunter from Brawdy to Lossie. He go airborne but forgot any maps or radio frequencies. Just called for steers all the way to Scotland. Bless you Puddy.

RSuppards
9th Dec 2013, 19:02
Although far too young to have been there myself a friend recounted his tales of Puddy when I mentioned the beneficial influence that he had had on me. Puddy had apparently been on 54 Sqn in the Hunter days, and the squadron board had the usual list of names and responsibilities. Sqn Leader ---, OC54; Flt Lt ---, OC A Flt; etc and then at the bottom Fg Off D G Catt, "Self confessed raconteur and bon viveur".
Before the days of the T7 each of the Hunter squadrons had a Vampire for instrument training and rating. On the occasion of the annual live firing camp Puddy had been responsible for taking the T11 to Malta. Hot and high, or whatever, had resulted in the Vampire in the overrun. The Boss, not very impressed had tasked Puddy with recovering the aircraft. Sensibly he left the job to the engineers and repaired to the mess. The Boss finding him in the dining room went incandescent and bawled Puddy out and ordered him back to the task only to hear, " But Sir, I haven't finished my soup".
Goodbye, Puddy; thank you for the ride in Clementine and for the huge amount of help to a young wannabe.

BEagle
9th Dec 2013, 19:03
There must be a million happy stories about Pud!

A few I recall:

Flying his beloved 'Winston' (Meteor F8 VZ467) to somewhere on the continent for an airshow in the late 1970s, he was asked to route via. some VOR or other. "Sorry, old boy, no VOR in this aeroplane". "OK, so vill you please report the ?? NDB". "Sorry, old chap - no ADF". "OK sir, please squawk ????". "Sorry, no parrot - not even an egg!". "Sir, vot navaid DO you haff?"....."I'm talking to you on it!"
His tale concerning a donkey in Oman named Daniel. Or, to be more accurate, 'Fellatial Daniel' as it had an unique and highly obvious way of pleasuring itself. It seems that this was greatly encouraged in the presence of certain snooty wives, one of whom would shriek "Oh my lord - Daniel's being dirty again!"
Another Oman tale concerned a Strikemaster student who had somehow managed to get the aircraft up to such a speed that the ASI was on its second revolution, but he wouldn't turn back to the aerodrome. It seems that Pud had told him to be careful at turning at low speed (as the student thought he was), because the aircraft would stall if mishandled. Pud told us that the student wailed "If I turn, I die....." over the R/T until Pud could talk some sense into him.
One of Puddy's tricks during combat with his Omani students was to hum the tune of 'Hava Nagila' when he was winning!
The day he beat up HMS Bronington whilst she was within Hartland range - not knowing that the Prince of Wales was her captain. "Oh bugger, Pud by Royal Appointment from now on", he rumbled after getting back to Brawdy.
His wonderful trick with a soda syphon at Dining-In Nights. Somehow the voluminous mess kit he wore allowed him to secrete a siphon between his ample gut and his nether regions. Whilst chatting to some unsuspecting senior officer, he would say "Do excuse me, I need to take a leak", then operate the syphon so that a jet of liquid shot out through his fly. "Ah, that's better", he'd say, then continue the conversation. But never if ladies were present.
In RAFG, I gather that his 'weather is far too bad for instrument flying' trick was pulled on many an occasion. He actually had a 1" map from initial to RW at which he would look whilst pottering in at 200' (max...) and approach speed.
Another time in RAFG, it seems that his admirable disdain for administrivial nonsense such as an annual medical was finally challenged when a posse of quacks ambushed him as he went into the OM - he was whisked off to the Med Centre, declared fit in wind and limb and returned to the OM to buy the docs a beer or two.


There must be so many more - but what a giant he truly was!

Wholigan
9th Dec 2013, 19:17
What a great bloke. Very fond of Puddy. Shall have a single malt in his honour tonight.

klingonbc
9th Dec 2013, 19:36
My only regret - not accepting that Meteor trip in 79. A rare thing for a Hunter student to be offered - so I knew he was only kidding. RIP.

Bill Macgillivray
9th Dec 2013, 19:57
You will be sorely missed, Puddy! So many tales I would not know where to start! I raise a glass of the amber liquid to you, old friend.

Bill.

Legalapproach
9th Dec 2013, 20:53
Sad news, a real character. Managed to blag a trip with him at Brawdy in 81. When I informed him my father had been a nav on Meteors he said "OK but in that case don't touch anything". Am raising a glass of the malt to him as I type.

hunterxf382
9th Dec 2013, 21:54
What a day it's been since hearing the news myself. I have been in touch with "Rosemoor" via email since his posting and have been the bearer of the sad news amongst many others who knew Puddy that I could contact online all day now...
The funeral arrangements will be passed to me when known - I for one want to give him a fitting send-off down in Wales...

It's been heart-warming reading the huge volume of tributes and comments that have filled my inboxes all day from so many people who knew him....

Blue skies and R.I.P. Sir - I feel it an honour to have known you.

BEagle
9th Dec 2013, 22:32
Blue skies and R.I.P. Sir - I feel it an honour to have known you.

To which we must surely add 'Blue notes'!

Seeing and hearing Pud running in from initial in 'Winston' after in a cloud of condensation with a real Meteor 'blue note' announcing his presence to all at Brawdy (and probably most of Pembrokeshire too) was a total delight. Even when one of us hadn't shot the flag off the back of his Meteor, Pud would drop the flag, then wind old Winston up to a goodly rate of knots before howling across the aerodrome to break into the circuit, followed by a masterly, feather-light touch down - the sign of a true master!

hunterxf382
9th Dec 2013, 23:11
Indeed - Blue Notes is rather apt.

As for the target banners, well as one of the groundcrew who dealt with those, I can say with some fond memories that not ALL shots made it even to the banner, as Winston suffered several attempts at shooting the tail boom right off by some students who must have felt the urge perhaps - who knows?
Puddy's reaction that was akin to a good detective - he always found the culprit (made easy by the coloured dye tips on the Aden ammunition used) - and when we brought the tattered remains of the banner back to the awaiting students and instructors outside - it was comical watching the round count underway, especially when the poor sod realised they had one unaccounted for (well until Puddy got back of course).

Puddy was the ONLY pilot I ever came across who could sit there and NOT actually be flying the Meteor! He would set it up over the practice area and trim it to fly in constant banking turns whilst he read a book / ate his food / ermmm smoked in the cockpit!!! No Oxygen system in use for Puddy - such things were for lesser mortals of course.....

One anecdote surfaced long after Winston had been pensioned off and sold privately - the civilian operators could never fathom out why Winston seemed to fly as if the entire rigging was out? Of course they weren't aware that the tailboom had some damage to it, and was out of alignment by a fraction! Puddy had told me that he offered the real explanation to them - of course it had never bothered him when he flew it - he just trimmed it out and got on with it!

Rocket2
10th Dec 2013, 09:48
As a TASF / VASS liney I was honoured to work with Puddy & fly with him on many occasions & yes we took a bullet through the rudder while I was flying Clementine on my next to last trip, his reaction? "Are you Ok in the back? Can you handle it while I talk on the radio?" - "Yes sir on both counts" - "Good oh, now head for home, she'll take you there" - click!
While I never made it as aircrew I learned a heck of a lot about flying from Puddy & the others while flying in Clementine , the JP's & countless Chipmunks etc, good times.
Lastly, a few years ago I returned to the area with Mrs R2 & was negotiating the bends up the hill out of Newgale beach, she suddenly remarked that she'd never seen anyone wearing Plus 4's for ages, when I looked in my rear view mirror I said "that's not an ordinary bloke my dear that's Puddy" she knew who I was talking about.
RIP sir - I shall raise a glass to you tonight.

langleybaston
10th Dec 2013, 09:52
I cannot for the life of me remember when/ where my innocent little metman path passed his, but it certainly did, some time between 1964 and 1980.

Difficult to get an edge in wordwise, and he knew my job [he said] better than me.

Of course.

RIP Puddy.

60024
10th Dec 2013, 10:06
Another legend gone...

Puddy cut quite a sartorial dash arriving at Met Brief at Brawdy on his scooter with the large windshield, whilst wearing a long leather overcoat and a skid lid with the side flaps covering his crew cut.

And Winston's Blue Note can probably be found on YouTube these days down in NZ I believe.

cuefaye
10th Dec 2013, 10:38
RIP my friend

TLDNMCL
10th Dec 2013, 16:09
A great character if ever there was one - as a brand-spanking new ground crew member many years ago I had the pleasure of shoe-horning him into the Hunter cockpit on occasion; he always had a tale to tell and a few well placed profanities too, usually aimed at the current crop of students (or my boss!). I'm almost sure it was meant in jest - mostly!

Sad news, but he lived a hell of a life along the way.

BEagle
11th Dec 2013, 08:07
Pud's final sortie will be at the Parc Gwyn Crematorium in Narberth, SA67 8UD at 10:45 on Monday 16 Dec, followed by a social gathering at the St. Bride's Inn in Little Haven for the rest of the day.

Puddy's instructions were that "I think that something simple will suffice" with regard to the arrangements to be made. In view of which, people are asked not to arrange for flowers or any such thing. However, it is felt that it might be appropriate for donations to be made to either:

The RAF BENEVOLENT FUND, of 67 Portland Place London W1N 4AR, or
The FORCES PENSION SOCIETY of 68 South Lambeth Road Vauxhall London SW8 1RL, both of which are beneficiaries under Puddy's Will.

All will undoubtedly be aware of Puddy's sartorial style and sophistication. People are urged to take that, and the fact that his send-off should not be a sombre affair, as a cue for their attire when attending. Those attending can come as they would like to be seen, but not necessarily in "grey" or "black" just because that is the norm. Puddy would shun the norm, and a splash of colour never hurts, especially in these dark winter months.

The executors would very much like to make the day fit the man. As a result, people may find some things perhaps a little unconventional. All the same, they hope that they will leave everyone with warm hearts, a smile on the face and many happy memories of Puddy.

Incidentally, should anyone reading this have a Meteor or Hunter at their disposal, the crematorium is at N51°47'43" W004°42'25" and the St Bride's Inn is at N51°46'24 W005°06'29.4............

newt
11th Dec 2013, 10:00
Thanks Beags. Have booked a room as I imagine it will be a good session.

benrudder
11th Dec 2013, 10:50
Hello everyone.

Puddy was a great family friend to myself as I was growing up in Pembrokeshire, and I just wanted to ask whether anyone (particularly BEagle) would mind if I sent some of your stories to Flight International, as I feel a small mention in there would be fitting.

Regards

Ben Rudder

hunterxf382
11th Dec 2013, 11:20
Thanks for posting the details - also got several emails from the executors this morning regarding the service and other matters....
I will be making a supreme effort to be there.

hunterxf382
11th Dec 2013, 12:48
Ben, from my personal perspective I think that's a wonderful idea and I have no issue with my own recollections being used at all under the circumstances. I have more memories of working with Puddy and subsequent trips to see him too if needed. By all means contact me.

2 TWU
11th Dec 2013, 12:59
Puddy's own story of his first solo trip on his first Sqn, Vampires at Wuntsdorf if my failing memory is up to it.

Puddy walking somewhat nervously to the aircraft and began the externals, a stentorian voice came down the line.

"Mr Catt, what are you doing?"

"I I I I 'm doing my external checks Flight Sergeant"

"Mr Catt, if I give you an aeroplane, it's serviceable GET IN"

And he did

BEagle
11th Dec 2013, 14:10
Ben, you'll no doubt find a few of my tales regarding Puddy here on PPRuNe - feel free to use them as you wish.

Pud's turn of phrase was remarkable. I took off one day to lead him around some targets he'd allocated me in South Wales - an initiation into the dark arts of fighter recce. He made me rub out the lines I'd drawn on my map "Cheating little bugger, that's not allowed!" - I was expected to find my way by map reading. But shortly after we took off, he broke formation and returned to Brawdy with an ailing engine. Despite his efforts, the barrier wasn't quite up to the task and Pud ended up in the overrun.

"You'll have to tiddle off to St Athan, old boy - I seem to be stuck in the mud outside Pen-y-Cwm post office!" was his reply when I checked in with him.

Great chap; for those who never knew him, he was the spitting image of Gert Frobe's character in Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines - with the same impressive walrus moustache!

hunterxf382
11th Dec 2013, 14:14
I seem to recall reference to the picture I've linked to as being that same incident BEagle?

Image of Mk. 9 Hawker Hunter comes a cropper at RAF Brawdy (http://pembrokeshire-pictures.co.uk/raf/image_page.php?p=hawker_hunter_mk9_0003)

BEagle
11th Dec 2013, 16:46
The date on that photo doesn't match - and although it's captioned F(GA) Mk 9, that's an Mk6 (no brake chute) with the smaller 100 gall tanks, rather than the 230 gall tanks with which we normally flew. But we did have a few F6s still at Brawdy in 1976, including a couple of 'GT6's.

According to my logbook, Pud's little event with the barrier was on 12 Aug 1976 - the day after he took me on that partial airtest in T7 XL617 which had been snagged for 'aileron restriction'. Which included him hunting out the Fishguard-Rosslare ferry before plunging down from on high at supersonic speed to "Boom the buggers!" in typical Puddy style.

hunterxf382
11th Dec 2013, 16:55
I had wondered about the accuracy of the captioning text myself too..... yes it's an F6 as I distinguished it comparing the location of the IFF ariel on the spine (FGA9's had the IFF on the nose just forward of the windscreen) so maybe the date is slightly out too?

Love the bit about bombing the ferry in typical Puddy fashion ;)

All before my time there of course - by the time I arrived in June 79 and worked with Puddy he was more likely to be found up to no good in Winston but he had XF382 in his log book which I have a copy of somewhere here, so still flung a Hunter around up until the end of his Brawdy time.... 382 was one of those "GT6" versions you refer to - the F6A with chute and other mods to bring them up to almost the standard of the 9's.....

Many happy memories - and some will surface at the funeral which I am attending now that I've confirmed things here.

BEagle
11th Dec 2013, 17:37
The 'GT6' was actually a stripped-down F Mk 6 without guns or sabrinas and had TACAN rather than Rebecca. So not much use for weaponeering as the sight piccy was all wrong; instead it was used for ACM and ciné work at Brawdy. The Valley GT6s were even quicker, with a high-gloss paint job and without the weight of the GGS system or radar ranging.

The F6 modified as you describe was actually the F Mk 6A. On 20 Jul 1976 Standards Sqn (where I was holding after 58 Sqn folded :( ) flying 4 x F6As escorted Neville Duke to Brawdy in a T7 on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Hunter. The formation was led by S/L Tim Webb and included Puddy (naturally!), Geoff Steggell ('that aged old bugger Steggell' as Puddy termed him, being as he was a couple of years older than Pud) and myself. We flew out to meet Wg Cdr Mike Neal and Neville Duke and returned to Brawdy in a 5-ship. But publicity was restrained as it was felt 'inappropriate' for the RAF to be commemorating an aeroplane which was 'so old'....:\

hunterxf382
11th Dec 2013, 17:43
Oh those GT6's.... my apologies

John Farley
11th Dec 2013, 19:10
The last time I saw Puddy was in the pilots' coffee bar at Dunsfold. He had come to collect a new Hawk, so it must have been the late 70s. Checking to see we were not being overheard he looked a little sheepish and asked if I could explain why in 1v1 with the Hunter you always finished up lower than you started but with the Hawk you always finished higher. I smiled and asked him what he did in an aircraft that offered more g than he could handle. "Climb" he said. I just looked at him. After about 10 secs this smile came across his face and he left forgetting his coffee.

He was an inspiration and role model to so many in those days. What a war time commander he would have made then.

hunterxf382
11th Dec 2013, 20:31
John, I don't think it will ever cease to amaze me how many people came into contact with Puddy one way or another!
A wonderful tale about your own experience by the way, and quite bizarre for me to read as I happened to follow your own career quite closely as it happens.
To me, you are as synonymous with the Harrier as Puddy is to the Meteor....

I chuckled at your reference to Puddy as a Wartime Commander -one can but wonder about the outcome!

britinusa
11th Dec 2013, 22:00
I had the privileged of maintaining both meteors that Puddy Catt flew at Brawdy. I owe him a lot for pushing me to become aircrew. He also pushed the Stn Cdr and harangued Biggin Hill OASC, making sure I would be called forward for selection. Happily, I passed and flew helicopters for the next 30 years.

Thank you Sir---RIP

TLDNMCL
12th Dec 2013, 00:26
Mr. Beagle and all those who encountered Puddy: I foresee a monumental pi$$ up in the offing with hoots a-plenty, as the vagabond that was Mr. Catt would no doubt have approved of: I can't get there, but I trust you all to embarrass yourselves accordingly - I'll take a quiet moment (and a chuckle) at the appropriate time. This man holds on to a considerable part of my limited memory bank. I suspect the formalities would irritate him, so if I may make so bold... Cheers Puddy for some of my earliest memories of Air Force life; your pals and the recipients of your famous bollockings will remember you in pubs for years to come. (Has the bugger still got that two-piece helmet that he wasn't supposed to wear?) Please will somebody put it in or on his wooden cockpit if available?

TLDNMCL
12th Dec 2013, 00:36
:D I can imagine him saying that now!

BBadanov
12th Dec 2013, 05:30
"Which included him hunting out the Fishguard-Rosslare ferry before plunging down from on high at supersonic speed to "Boom the buggers!" in typical Puddy style."

I seem to remember his beating up of the ferry was legendary during my time at Brawdy in 1980. I didn't fly with him as I was holding on Hawks with 63 Sqn, he was of course with 79 Sqn (or Standards?). He was always referred to with deference by some other old-and-bolds like Chalky White and Ray Passfield.

To answer a query on "Winston", it is here in Oz flying in 77 Sqn RAAF Korean War markings.

The thing I remember about Puddy - apart from rattling into the circuit in his Meteor - was his-larger-than life (literally) presence in the bar.
So appropriately, all the best with a good pub send-off. :ok:

BEagle
12th Dec 2013, 07:28
(Has the bugger still got that two-piece helmet that he wasn't supposed to wear?)

I was at RAF North Luffenham doing a pre-Vulcan aeromedical course when I was surprised to see Puddy and Tim Webb in the coffee bar. Pud was known for his disdain for all things medical, but it seems that officialdom had caught up with him, so the pair of them had been told to do an AMTC refresher course. To persuade Puddy to agree, Tim had auth'd a 'Summer Wine' trip to Wittering and they'd flown there in Winston and Clementine.

In those days you had to take all your flying kit with you, so that it could be checked - and usually rejected as being U/S :\ . They wouldn't exchange it, so you ended up having to take your kit back with you as well as a whole load of new stuff...

Puddy had one of those Mk2 bonedome boxes with him, which surprised me as I knew he hated the things. "I don't wear the b£oody thing for flying, old boy, it's a spare which I only bring out to keep the quacks happy! My proper hat is safe at Wittering!" was his typical explanation.

Fortissimo
12th Dec 2013, 08:03
There are not many people for whom the description 'legend' is entirely apt but Puddy was one of them. My fondest memory of a Puddy-ism (1979) was going to the range at Hartland for live air-to-air, him in Winston, me in a Hawk. I had just done the obligatory cine pass when he announced that he had a bit of snag with an engine. Low oil pressure ended with the engine shut down, plus banner and stringy bit consigned to the Bristol Channel.

I escorted him back to Brawdy, which was (unusually!) visible from miles away because of all the blue flashing lights. 300ft or so on the approach, I was suprised to find myself needing more and more power to keep up with him. Next transmission, no callsign, just "Haven't done an asymmetric circuit for simply ages...". Puddy turned downwind and landed while I held overhead watching the stream of wheels and other Very Important Gawpers leaving the tower. No sign of Puddy when I got back - he was off enjoying his bollocking from OC Ops! He told me afterwards his defence was that he thought he would take the opportunity for a bit of proper practice.

Does anyone remember him getting nicked for his Hunter ILS (not fitted)?

BEagle
12th Dec 2013, 09:14
Does anyone remember him getting nicked for his Hunter ILS (not fitted)?

The tale I heard about that was that, in his fighter recce days in RAFG, Pud had observed that flashing around in marginal vis. was quite normal - so to have to climb up into cloud merely to fly a GCA was simply unacceptable. Hence his comment of "Weather is far too bad for instrument flying, old boy" on such occasions.

This later became "I'll do an ILS". Neither Hunter nor aerodrome was so equipped; however, it seems that Pud had a one inch map of the approach from an IP some miles out direct to the threshold. So he would fly to the IP, set himself up and then thumb his way along his 'ILS' map.

Allegedly, one gloomy day some wheel or other was visiting the aerodrome and was somewhat astonished to see a Hunter appear out of the murk at rather low level - which subsequently hopped over the approach lights and landed. It was, of course, young Catt completing another 'ILS'..... I gather that the map was subsequently seized!

As I say, this was just a tale and I cannot verify its veracity. But it sounds like just the sort of thing he'd have done!

Onceapilot
12th Dec 2013, 10:13
A "Puddy-tail". During a Hawk refresher at Brawdy, I was fortunate enough to spend a day as Orderly Officer. In the evening, after a pleasant duty dinner in the Mess, I conducted my other tasks of inspecting defaulters and key checks etc. Around 1015 I returned to the bar for a pint. "Occupying" the bar (since dinner) was Puddy and a small happy group. Now, my last duty of the evening was to ensure that the bar was closed at the appointed hour. Noting my presence, Puddy announced to me, " you look tired young-man, I will finish off your duty here and let you get off to bed".
What a generous gesture!

Brawdy-where I learned to look and listen both ways when walking out to the line:ok:.

OAP

Rigex
12th Dec 2013, 10:43
I also had the pleasure of meeting Puddy a few times in my capacity as (very) JNCO I/C stn. flt. at Wittering. Always found him to be a real gentleman with a unique view of things. I remember that Winston had a nasty habit of spitting fuel from the ventral tank if you stood in the wrong place/did things in the wrong order. Puddy had a drill which he shouted at those of us not (overly) familiar with Winston's ways which if followed exactly, guaranteed a dry day. I also remember Puddy, during a strap-in in Winston - which I always volunteered myself for, getting a tad mixed up with straps/helmet/dropped pen etc and saying "Take me back to the days when all you had to worry about was getting your scarf caught in the rudder"!
Re. BEag's post #43 above, I have unearthed a (slightly tatty) slide of the two Meteors ("Meteii"?)at Witt - presumably on that very day. Not sure of the exact date, but early '77 seems about right.
RIP Sir.

http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/b534/rigex1/PICT0014_zps6c18cae8.jpg

Geehovah
12th Dec 2013, 13:07
A legend. He will be sorely missed. RIP

Wander00
12th Dec 2013, 14:19
I never knew this chap, but I really wish I had had that privilege. Enjoy the crew room on the clouds. RIP

BEagle
12th Dec 2013, 15:47
Rigex, it was probably 10 or 11 May 1977?

What is particularly interesting about this thread is that it is abundantly clear that the legendary Puddy was just as popular amongst groundcrew as amongst fellow aircrew. There cannot be many aircrew who have ever commanded such universally pleasant comments from their groundcrew.

Never at a loss for words, Pud was once having lunch in the little aircrew feeder we had at Brawdy just below 234's crewroom window. Noting with disproval the rather meagre pieces of chicken on offer, he announced "Same old story. The nobs get the tits and legs - and we get the horns and ears and ar$eholes!" in that rich, booming voice of his.

sharpend
12th Dec 2013, 19:48
Talking of that feeder, & slightly off topic (sorry Puddy), they did a fantastic Strammer Max.

Just looked up the spelling:

'The term Strammer Max (literally "stiff Max" or "tight Max") originated in the 1920s in Saxon slang, where it initially referred to an erection, the male name "Max" being often used as a slang word for penis (similar to the English "Dick" or "Willy"). The term was adopted into Berlin street slang and applied to a dish that was supposed to be especially strengthening to the sexual prowess of the person eating it.'

Puddy would approve!

langleybaston
12th Dec 2013, 19:58
so where does that leave the croque Monsieur then?

BEagle
12th Dec 2013, 21:19
Puddy would approve!

Undoubtedly, blunty old bean.

so where does that leave the croque Monsieur then?

The Croque Madame, rather then the Croque Monsieur, is closer to the Strammer Max. Except that, whereas the Reichsimbiss is normally fried in butter, the version des grenouilles is toasted.

Though quite whether melted cheese and fried eggs would have been a significant challenge to Puddy's moustache, I'm not sure.

higthepig
13th Dec 2013, 17:22
83 or 84, Brawdy Red in fog, Newgale Blue. Puddy had been on a landaway and recovered to Brawdy, plan from OC Ops was to allow him to try one approach and then divert. Not sure Puddy was fully aware of this plan and promptly landed. I was dispatched from the Tower in the Landrover to find him and escort him into the dispersal. This went to rats as I got lost on the airfield in the pea-soup, by the time I had caught up with him he was in the Line Hut signing the aircraft back in.

Puddy was a complete gent and as for Beagle's comment,
What is particularly interesting about this thread is that it is abundantly clear that the legendary Puddy was just as popular amongst groundcrew as amongst fellow aircrew. There cannot be many aircrew who have ever commanded such universally pleasant comments from their groundcrew.

You missed Air Traffic out (too clever to be Groundcrew!), he was an absolute delight to host as DOF when he was forced to spend time on the ground, I learnt a huge amount from his stories and sage advice and feel privileged to have known him.

RIP Puddy

I presume you will give him a fitting send off.

Broken Wings
13th Dec 2013, 23:14
Everything l have read just takes me back to my days at Brawdy in the early 80's when flying was fun and Puddy was a young pilots hero. "Rules are for the obedience of fools but the guidance of wise men" in that booming voice that was more suited to the Army than the RAF. His recce briefs at morning Met Brief with his snooker cue as a pointer were legend - often fatigue stressing it by rocking has large frame to and fro - once, with perfect comic timing, he was discussing bridges and their weak points as the cue finally gave up its molecular strength and Puddy collapsed to the floor with everyone, including the Staish, in tears of laughter.

The most colourful pilot I met in my career and, weather permitting, on Monday I will be giving him a 'smoke on' salute in my homebuilt Vans RV8 to say farewell at St Brides Inn at Little Haven - this country needs more people like you Puddy. RIP

Broken Wings

BEagle
14th Dec 2013, 22:38
I'll keep my fingers crossed for the weather to be kind, BW! But from what I remember of Brawdy's weather factor......:\

That's a really nice RV-8 of yours Construction of Vans RV-8 G-JBTR (http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/jbtrellis/) and it would be a fitting tribute to Pud's memory if you were able to make it.

Rosemoor
15th Dec 2013, 00:10
Well BW, this will be wonderful if you can get it done! And even if it would turn out to be impossible due to weather or other issues, it's the thought that counts the most!:ok:

We have been telling lots of Puddy's non-RAF acquaintances of the kind of messages appearing here, as your world is to a large extent unknown to average civvies like myself. Your flypast will really be the proof of the pudding, the icing on the cake, whatever the most appropriate term would be!

We shall all be watching from the slipway, and I for one hope you'll be able to make it down to the St. Bride's afterwards as well. We should easily be there long enough for that.... :)

Jan Meulendijk

BEagle
15th Dec 2013, 09:38
A pity that there isn't a little light aircraft landing strip at the old Talbenny aerodrome, Jan.

FlyingOfficerKite
15th Dec 2013, 15:53
Not 'Puddy' and 'Winston' on Wikipedia is it by any chance - under 'Gloster Meteor'?

Can't quite make out the reg on the F.8 shown.

MPN11
15th Dec 2013, 16:03
I have a confession. I know I have met him, somewhere in the circuit of RAF life, but I'm dammned if I can recall where. All I can remember is a rather larger (in all senses of the word) gentleman, who somehow epitomised those days of yore. Brawdy? Chivenor? Valley? 11Gp?

Wherever it was, Sir, you are clearly leaving the world a slightly smaller place. I wish you all the very best in the next one, without fuel constraints or G-limits.

GeeRam
16th Dec 2013, 09:32
Not 'Puddy' and 'Winston' on Wikipedia is it by any chance - under 'Gloster Meteor'?

Can't quite make out the reg on the F.8 shown.

It's definately 'Winston'.........

FlyingOfficerKite
16th Dec 2013, 14:25
GeeRam

Interesting ... I just was curious to read up about the Meteor again having read this Thread and saw the photograph.

The pilot looks 'substantial' - but that could just be his flying gear, so maybe 'Puddy'?

GeeRam
16th Dec 2013, 17:51
Interesting ... I just was curious to read up about the Meteor again having read this Thread and saw the photograph.

I've done a bit of digging, and I've found was cliamed taken during arrivals for RIAT at Greenham Common, so it was while Winston was still in RAF service. However, the caption has the date incorrect, as it claims RIAT in 1986, and I know the last RIAT at Greenham was 1983, which if I recall was pretty grotty weather wise.
I've also tracked down a photo of Winston in the static of a sunny RIAT at Greenham in 1981, which fits better, so my guess would be it's was arrival at RIAT 1981.

Anyone know if it was Puddy flying Winston into static for RIAT 1981....??

FlyingOfficerKite
16th Dec 2013, 18:59
... just paged down and read the Summary under the photograph - missed that first time :O

BEagle
16th Dec 2013, 19:27
How went Puddy's final trip today?

I'm sure I saw a ghostly Meteor with a mustachioed pilot at the helm formating on our wing as we landed this evening at RAF Wahn....aka Köln/Bonn airport....:sad:

Herb S
16th Dec 2013, 21:12
Sorry gents, I've only just picked up this thread. I would echo all the above comments. I was on 79 at Brawdy at the same time as Puddy. A gentleman in every sense of the word. RIP.

Rosemoor
16th Dec 2013, 22:33
Puddy's final sortie was well attended, although some former RAF colleagues present were not particularly impressed with the complete absence of anyone from higher up.

The flypast was magnificent. I'll let others comment on the service and the gathering afterwards, as I was too instrumental in that to report on it. Food and drink was very much Puddy-like. He would have enjoyed that bit for sure.

BEagle
17th Dec 2013, 06:56
....some former RAF colleagues present were not particularly impressed with the complete absence of anyone from higher up.

Sadly indicative of today's RAF, I fear. But good to know that many of Pud's ex-colleagues were able to make it to see him off in a manner with which he would have undoubtedly approved.

Was that BW's flypast in his RV-8?

Rosemoor
17th Dec 2013, 13:04
Yes, BEagle, it was BW in his little plane. He gave us a good long smoke trail, coming in quite low into the valley from the bay, and then performing a "screw" (don't know the terms, but you'll get my meaning) straight over our heads. Very impressive (to us civvies, anyway), and very moving.

RodfjH
17th Dec 2013, 13:45
Better late than never. Sad that I was unable to attend Puddy's final sortie. I served with him in Kuwait on the Hunter Squadron and we have always corresponded. RIP my friend.

Broken Wings
17th Dec 2013, 16:40
Thanks for the kind comments Rosemoor it was an honour to provide the flying salute for Puddy. It was lovely to meet you and your good lady and it was shame that due to my night shift I was not able to be at the service. The atmosphere in the pub at Little Haven was spot on with the photo slide show on the TV and it was great to hear Puddy stories being regaled in his booming voice style. It was also great to see Hunterxf382 represent the groundcrew and he tried his best to get a Meteor/Hunter or JP flypast but they were either in winter servicing or no pilot available.

BEagle - basically I flew from Brawdy down the coast towards Stack Rock - the reverse route that Puddy and I used to follow before dropping the bullet ridden flags (or not so on some occasions!). I then trailed smoke and turned low into the Little Haven inlet before pulling up to 45, a 540 roll then pulling down to roll 180 and flypast his home in Walwyns Castle before retuning to base and then the pub.

Onceapilot
17th Dec 2013, 18:31
Good to hear the success of those who could. BW, I am sure your effort was worthy and uplifting. Good show!:ok:

OAP

BEagle
17th Dec 2013, 18:54
BW, what a great sight that must have been! And I can just hear Pud announcing "Nice show, old boy - now come and TAKE BEER!".

I gave a nudge to couple of contacts, but no Hunter was available - and probably a bit too far for the remaining Meteors at this time of year.

I had a quick look through Nick Carter's book Meteor Eject before I left home on Monday and found some tales of Puddy's times flying Vampires for the Royal Jordanian Air Force - and a photo of him and some chums watching entertainment provided by a local...'dancer'..:ok:

The RSAF flight at Brawdy in my time was known as 'Rice Flight' - and Puddy was one of the insturctors. I was visiting the ATC tower on day (as we were encouraged to do) - when 'Merlin', returning from a landaway announced 'Right Initial'. The ATCO muttered "Ah yes - hear they are. Just about subsonic this time!" as they blue-noted into the circuit!

hunterxf382
17th Dec 2013, 19:38
Well what a final sortie and send-off that was!
I felt somewhat honoured to have taken part in the proceedings - writing and saying my euology was a nerve-racking affair.... I'm so glad I made it down to see Puddy off in such style, it felt like a duty that could not be refused. And a really heart-felt thank you to Rosemoor and Skip for organising such an occasion.
Not forgetting BW for his wonderful flypast which looked quite spectacular as he headed almost head-on for the Little Haven Christmas lights strung across the quayside :)
It was a close-run thing when attempting to initially find a suitable classic jet as I almost got a Meteor - sadly I had an apologetic phone call at the last minute from Classic Air Force down at Newquay who had their Meteor T7 to position back to Coventry for winter maintenance but lacked the pilot availability to do so despite planning for the move on Monday anyway.
It was nice to see some familiar faces amongst the attendees.
I'm pretty sure that Puddy would approve of the 10 hours I spent in the pub celebrating his life (me and Newt were the one's staying there so we felt obliged to struggle on until the end ;))

The funeral and send-off may be over, but the memories will continue to live on for many years to come - Puddy cannot be easily forgotten!

Something I had seen before - given that this clip which starts at 16 mins 27 secs shows Chivenor - I can't help wondering whether it is Puddy at the comtrols of the Meteor dragging the target banner seen?

Famous Warplanes - Hawker Hunter - YouTube (http://youtu.be/NkRb47ZsZZ4?t=16m27s)