View Full Version : Jeffrey Quill

10th Dec 2002, 10:59
Thanks to those that replied to my query regarding the Bismark.

Another WW2 query.

I have read a book about Jeffrey Quill, a test pilot for Supermarine and instrumental in the development of the Spitfire. I think it was autobiographical and makes a reference to the fact that he joined a squadron at some stage to assess the aircraft from an operational viewpoint but didn't really elaborate on the time he spent there.

Does any one know what successes (or otherwise) he enjoyed in battle while with that squadron?

Genghis the Engineer
11th Dec 2002, 19:21
As FO Quill with 65 Sqn he bagged an ME109 and a HE111 before being told to stop playing and sent back to work. He later did 5 months as Lt.Cdr Quill RNVR, but according to my source (the Daily Telegraph book of airmen's obituaries) he didn't increase his score.


12th Dec 2002, 10:03
Meanwhile, if I recall correctly something I read on the subject, Alex Henshaw had some arguments with the Ministry as to whether Spitfires under test should be armed. His point: what if a stray intruder has a go at me or one of my boys whilst we're on a test? Their argument: you are not in uniform and would be an unlawful combatant: what if the Germans found out? What if one of your blokes got too keen and chased the intruder back over the Channel, and then got shot down and captured in France? The women ferry pilots in the ATA may have had the same problem.

14th Dec 2002, 02:04
Thanks GE and FNG

FNG raises another question.

Where there any instances of female ATA pilots coming under attack in the course of their duties?

Genghis the Engineer
14th Dec 2002, 19:11
Ann Welch told me that whilst ferrying a Tiger-Moth she once spotted a Bf109, but managed to avoid it by dropping to hedge height and running away.


16th Dec 2002, 12:52
Splendid story Genghis. I did not have the privilege of knowing Miss Welch as you did, but that anecdote sounds very much in keeping with the character that emerges from the recent obituaries here and elsewhere.

I have not yet come across any new or second books about the exploits of the ATA pilots, although some must have written memoirs. Off to alibris and abebooks I go....

Two digressions:-

(1) Someone designed an amusing scenario for the Microsoft flight simulator in which you are in the circuit in a Tiger Moth and are set upon by between two and four 109s with unfriendly intent. Your mission is to stay alive for five minutes, after which time a bunch of Hurricanes turn up to save your butt. With practice you may even get a sneaky kill by provoking one of the bad guys to stall and spin in from treetop height.

(2) A friend of mine doing pleasure flights out of Waltham in a yellow ex-RAF Moth recently enjoyed a turning fight with the pretend Me 108 which lives at Waltham in Luftwaffe colours, to the delight of the passengers in both aircraft.

18th Dec 2002, 22:31
FNG, as I recall from his book "Sigh for a Merlin", Hensaw was made an honourary RAF sergeant and had an armband to wear in case he was taken prisoner. Pretty funny, since as chief production test pilot at Castle Bromwich he was in charge of various RAF officers up to the rank of wing commander.