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Old 9th Dec 2013, 14:47   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 21,922
'Puddy' Catt RIP

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!
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 15:19   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 647
Sad to hear of his passing.

OAP
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 15:19   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Tarn et Garonne, Southwest France
Posts: 3,773
Oh, how very sad. What a fine pilot. I shall raise a glass to you tonight, my friend.

Thanks for posting BEags.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 16:37   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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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.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 17:06   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Open prison in the desert
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Puddy the Met Man

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.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 18:23   #6 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Pole
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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!
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 19:38   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Lechlade, Glos.UK
Posts: 300
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.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 20:02   #8 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The Marches
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Fg Off D G Catt

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.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 20:03   #9 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 21,922
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!
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 20:17   #10 (permalink)
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What a great bloke. Very fond of Puddy. Shall have a single malt in his honour tonight.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 20:36   #11 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 25
RIP Puddy

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.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 20:57   #12 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Oxford
Age: 76
Posts: 118
RIP Puddy.

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.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 21:53   #13 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: London
Posts: 410
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.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 22:54   #14 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: West Midlands
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Posts: 36
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.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 23:32   #15 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
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Quote:
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!
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 00:11   #16 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: West Midlands
Age: 52
Posts: 36
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!
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 10:48   #17 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Wessex
Posts: 401
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.
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 10:52   #18 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baston
Posts: 624
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.
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 11:06   #19 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 66
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.
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 11:38   #20 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 463
RIP my friend
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