View Full Version : Hughie Green at Coltishall

Hamish 123
4th Sep 2012, 13:29
Here's a brilliant period piece from the late 50s, presented by Hughie Green, with lots of footage of Javelins and interviews with some very familiar Battle of Britain/WW2 pilots.

East Anglian Film Archive: Battle Formation: The Story of the Royal Air Force Coltishall, 1959 (http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/209623)

Spot 4
4th Sep 2012, 16:45
After being depressed reading the penny pinching thread (on Military Aircrew) I found this link to be an awesome reminder that we once had an Air Force to be proud of. I also found it quite humerous that whilst I personally wish I had flown aircraft of a previous generation, so in turn they had wished the same of wartime aircraft.

4th Sep 2012, 18:56
It seems it was the summer of '59. At the time I was a twelve-year-old, totally besotted with the idea of being an RAF pilot, and this film would have had me drooling. I was fortunate, and was awarded my wings in '66.

4th Sep 2012, 19:26
My old Boss in that, the late Ted Nance. Thank you, Hamish, you made my evening.

4th Sep 2012, 19:56
Indeed Hamish thanks:ok: Marvellous footage and great nostalgia - what's happened to "Blighty" since:hmm:

4th Sep 2012, 20:04
Back in 1959, we didn't have ITV in my neck of the woods. I was an 'air-mad' youngster who would have sat spellbound in short grey flannel trousers watching this!

It makes one sick to think how much we've lost since those days....:mad: But I did at least get to fly some of those Hunters 17 years later at RAF Brawdy.

Nice to hear people speaking English correctly too!

PPRuNe Pop
5th Sep 2012, 07:15
Very much enjoyed seeing that, Hamish. It was a really very well done piece for Hughie, no show biz style. And seeing JEJ and Bob Tuck and Bader and especially Colin Hogkinson, like Bader legless (not in the bar this time!).

Nice way to start the day.

Beags, was that your Hunter Squadron?

Thanks again, Hamish. This forum is what that kind of stuff was meant for.

5th Sep 2012, 08:31
Pop - after a post-Gnat Hunter refresher course at RAF Valley, I was a TWU student on 234 Sqn at RAF Brawdy, then posted to 58 Sqn at RAF Wittering. Which, on learning of my arrival, promptly disbanded! So I returned to RAF Brawdy and held on Standards Squadron for the wonderful summer of '76 :ok: , with plenty of Hunter time, plus the odd passenger trip cadged in the Meteor T7 and Jet Provost T4.

I thought that Bader came across as rather a grumpy old so-and-so in that video.....:hmm:

Hamish 123
5th Sep 2012, 11:44
Glad everyone's enjoyed it as much as I did. It really is very evocative of a not-so-distant era, but one which which might as well be a 1,000 years ago (and I mean that most sincerely, folks!).

The East Anglian Film Archive has much more stuff (some aviation and military related), if you want to wallow in general nostalgia.


5th Sep 2012, 15:38
Terrrific stuff Hamish, grandson enjoyed it as well. BEagle would've been taken by his comment that 'you all talked very posh in those days'. I did point out that it was three years before my time, whereupon the whitty little sod said 'Is that all?' So many of my childhood heroes in one clip, one of whom became my AOC in Aden. Nice surprise to see my old friend Jimmy Dell there as well.

5th Sep 2012, 16:40
That film brought back happy memories of a camping holiday near the Broads with some friends. We found ourselves on the road which crossed the end of the main runway and were held up at the traffic lights as a couple of Javelins and Hunters taxied past to take off - except for one of the Tiger Squadron Hunters which appeared to have a problem and returned to the apron. Happy days!

5th Sep 2012, 16:45
Hamish, thank you for the link. I have just watched it in HD on the TV with the sound through my amp. Delightful. Many happy memories of Coltishall At Home days in my childhood when I lived about 10 miles away.

PPRuNe Pop
5th Sep 2012, 21:19
Thanks Beags, interesting.

As for Bader, I have a healthy but grudging respect for him. What I do find odd is that he insisted on "a collsion with a Me 109" was how his war finished. Always stuck to the story. However, RAF records show him to have been shot down. When I watched Hamish's great 'movie' Johnny Johnson mentioned to Bader that he had been shot down, Bader retorted with "when I went down" - apparently still not prepared to say he was shot down. Pride can be a nasty mate sometimes. Galland too says that Bader was shot down.

6th Sep 2012, 06:21
WWII War Artist - Frank Woottons version:

"Bader Bale Out" by Frank Wootton.
The following quote is from Frank Wootton and is printed in his book, "Frank Wootton - 50 Years of Aviation Art", published in 1992. Sadly, Frank is now deceased, but this excellent book carries on his legend of aviation art.

About "Bader Bale Out": "Douglas was a legendary figure, colourful and controversial. He was a distinguished fighter leader of Worlod War II and one of England's greatest heroes. I painted the picture entitled "Bader Bale Out" at the suggestion of a mutual friend, Wing Commander Bob Stanford Tuck. It was 9 August 1941. A number of things had gone wrong; the incident has been covered by many writers, but controversy still remains as to how it happended. Bader always thought he was hit by an Me109 in a collision, the only feasible explanation as the whole rear portion of his Spitfire has been torn away.

Galland told me, 'There was no collision. He was shot down.' One is reminded of the controversy which still surrounds the mystery as to how Baron von Richthofen was shot down in World War I. On reflection, two good things mitigated the unhappy day. Douglas survived and returned after the war, and the painting was sold for 6,000 pounds by the RAF Benevolent Fund to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., the proceeds being used to support the funding of the Duke of Kent Scheool near Ewhurst, Surrey, where priority is given to children whose fathers have died or been killed while serving in the Royal Air Force." (Note: the painting was given to the Benevolent Fund by Wootton).

One could argue that you do not need bullets to shoot an aeroplane down and that in conflict, the one that flies away to fight another day 'shot down' the one that did not; however the end result was achieved.

PPRuNe Pop
6th Sep 2012, 13:58
TM, nicely summed up. Whatever the 'truth' it does not denigrate Bader's natural ability to fly and fight. He did that with great skill, that fact alone is enough to allow for his kind of wallpapering. The records speak for themselves but the hero worshipping will still prevail I fancy. Then one day the battle will slip into the annals of our history and there it will stay forevermore.

I have not seen that painting before but is a beautiful example of Frank Wootons particular skill in his art. His legacy is set in stone as a great aviation artist.

6th Sep 2012, 16:59
Fantastic stuff! Great to see "young" Ken Goodwin! He was my Station Commander at Wattisham and I was lucky enough to have a couple of beers with him recently. A top bloke:ok: