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Old 7th Oct 2017, 17:07   #11321 (permalink)
 
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Danny, I am shocked (indeed appalled) by your beer management technique. Of course, Tiger isn't real beer, so well suited for throwing. And in any case, with 3 Bars in the Mess being fed from a central chilled cellar via various pressurised pubmbing, it would have been a bit of a challenge.

Scorpio here too, BTW. Wasn't that 84's Badge?

Last edited by MPN11; 7th Oct 2017 at 19:07. Reason: corrected appalling iPad spelling
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Old 7th Oct 2017, 17:57   #11322 (permalink)
 
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Official Squadron Badge of No. 84 Squadron RAF


MPN11, Can't space this properly, but you appear to be right ! 84 were with us at the end in Burma, but had been doing good work with the Chindits earlier. Their C.O.. Wing Cdr Gill was put up for a DSO for it, but the Vengeance was out of favour. so it was scaled down to a DFC.. There is a Thread about him on Military Aviation
"Pungunt" sounds "smelly" to me, looked it up: "Pungo" = "I prick/sting". Understand they fry 'em and eat 'em in Singapore, you would know.....Danny.............................................. ............................................................
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Old 7th Oct 2017, 19:03   #11323 (permalink)
 
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W00T ... a memory cell still works

Huzzah for all Scorpios/Scorpions


< PS: I didn't look it up, Sir, honestly! >
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Old 7th Oct 2017, 19:15   #11324 (permalink)
 
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Sheesh, having read this >>> https://exemplore.com/astrology/Scor...le-Personality
... and having recently garnered my years of F1369 ... That is quite scarily accurate!
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Old 7th Oct 2017, 21:41   #11325 (permalink)
 
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Kee-risht - I seem to have stirred up a nest of scorpions on this thread, and as you have read yourselves, it is not just my experience of you Scorps. - MPN11, on my next visit to Jersey to see my aunt and cousins I'll come and throw stones at your windows (I'll set the parish Centenier on ya).
Danny, to call me a "base fellow" when your last comment on my character was to comment on how "sage" my historic posts had been confirms how fickle the 15 minutes of fame we are all allocated these days really is!

Seriously tho' there must be some kindly scorpios out there - it's just that in my 70 years on this, the 3rd rock out from the sun, I have not been fortunate enough to meet them.
As always, I live in hope!

Ian BB
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 08:56   #11326 (permalink)
 
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Entirely Off Topic:

MPN11,

When you were training at Shawbury in the mid 1960's on one of the courses run at that time by George Elliot DFC, a WWII Canadian bomber navigator, and Tim Derrick, my step mother was a Flight Officer stationed there.

(for the uninitiated until 1968 the WRAF had a different rank structure. A Flight Officer was the feminine form of Flight Lieutenant).

One of her important roles was giving George Elliot all the details on young officers on the courses showing too close an interest in his daughter Rosie -- with whom I spoke most recently by telephone earlier this year).

George Elliot was a gentleman. Tim Derrick could be brusque.
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 09:05   #11327 (permalink)
 
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harrym,

I was transported in the back of a Beverley from KL to Singapore in late 1958. It was like entering Batu Caves. An enormous cavern.

In the same year, when I had a clear line of sight from the garden of our married quarter on the hillside to the west of the runway in KL, I could watch the BOAC Bristol Britannia fly in -- once a week on a Saturday, as I recall. What a wonder sight, sound and smell. It was true love at first sight for a nine year old boy.

Last edited by roving; 8th Oct 2017 at 09:30. Reason: syntax
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 11:15   #11328 (permalink)
 
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For those who found sidevalve's posts on the Comete Line interesting, Channel 4 had an episode of the WWII Great Escapes series last night that featured the "Pat O'Leary Line". The Pyrenees were the route to freedom of some 33,000 in total according to the programme presenter Monty Halls, of which some 3,500 served. The majority of the civilians were Jews fleeing the Nazi and Vichy regimes (albeit to yet another Fascist regime in Spain!).

In retracing the highest and most challenging route, after easier routes had been compromised by betrayal and counter intelligence, Halls shows us the demanding terrain involved. He and his crew wore modern climbing gear and travel in the summer by day, whereas many had to cross by night and in the winter, and in the clothing and footwear that they happened to have been wearing as they evaded. Many perished in the course of the crossing of course:-

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/w...mand/65446-004

Registration is required in order to watch this free on demand service.
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 11:23   #11329 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roving View Post
... When you were training at Shawbury in the mid 1960's on one of the courses run at that time by George Elliot DFC, a WWII Canadian bomber navigator, and Tim Derrick, my step mother was a Flight Officer stationed there. ...

One of her important roles was giving George Elliot all the details on young officers on the courses showing too close an interest in his daughter Rosie -- with whom I spoke most recently by telephone earlier this year).

George Elliot was a gentleman. Tim Derrick could be brusque.
1. Lt Cdr Tim Derrick was my Course Commander when I went through. Seemed OK from what I recall - at least, I didn't get into trouble with him!

2. There was another Instructor at the time who had 2 daughters. I dated one of them a few times, and the other ended up married to a contributor here*


* Unless my memory is playing tricks, but I'm quietly confident!
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 12:35   #11330 (permalink)
 
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Chug - just watched the programme on the Pat O'Leary line (recorded on my Freesat box). I have to confess myself hugely moved at the challenge faced and overcome by 3500 servicemen and 33000 refugees to escape from occupied Europe. The people who helped them were pretty remarkable too. We owe them all the greatest respect.
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 13:21   #11331 (permalink)
 
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Absolutely agree, Wander00. If this were simply a story about sheer fortitude of civilian and military escape and evasion by land over immense distances and terrible terrain (witness the Polish Army evacuation following the successful Nazi invasion) it would be well worthy of a thread dedicated as this one is to WWII.

But, as sidevalve has already told us, the raison d'etre of the Comete, nee Dedee, Line was the escape of Allied Airmen to the UK via the Basque region of SW France. Here at least collaboration gave way to resistance in order to repatriate that most valuable of war winning Allied assets, trained operational aircrew. Those courageous civilian volunteers who risked their lives, and often gave them in order to assist in this unique way the Allied Bomber Offensive, had no illusions about the true cost of total war. They may have been young but they had more wisdom than the anguishing chattering classes back in the UK. As you say, respect!
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 13:38   #11332 (permalink)
 
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We love walking although we can't cover the ground so well these days. Those pathways where they existed at all would make my hair stand on end even when we were young and fit. How so many people made the journey without proper food, clothing and footwear and often at night reflects great courage and dedication, and the bravery of their guides. It was mentioned that thousands of people had died on the route; I'm not surprised. Well done C4 for this well deserved tribute.
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 14:19   #11333 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MPN11 View Post
1. Lt Cdr Tim Derrick was my Course Commander when I went through. Seemed OK from what I recall - at least, I didn't get into trouble with him!

2. There was another Instructor at the time who had 2 daughters. I dated one of them a few times, and the other ended up married to a contributor here*


* Unless my memory is playing tricks, but I'm quietly confident!
I saw Derrick on the course photograph you posted on this website, hence my mention of him. I am sure he was very professional.

Not sure who the course instructor was who was so generous with his daughters, but it was not Wing Commander George Elliot DFC -- Rosie was an only child.

My father & step mother, the Elliots and the Derricks were very close, 'not least because my dad was flying with Marshalls Outstations Shawbury from late 1961 to December 1981, much of which was as chief pilot.

When my dad retired, he also relinquished his VR (T) commission.

After a seven year career break between 1973 and 1980, my step mother resumed her Royal Air Force career, being posted to Northwood just ahead of the Falkland's war. She was promoted to Squadron Leader in 1984. She retired in 1987 to become Bursar of a West Midlands Public School, which she ruled with a rod of iron for more than a decade. My dad died in November 2007, my step-mother last year.
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 18:41   #11334 (permalink)
 
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ian BB (#11316),

You said:
Quote:
..."I seem to recall that Cap'n Chugalug is, a (self confessed) SCORPIO (well I wouldn't want any daughter of mine to marry one)!"...
How would you expect any red-blooded Scorpion to react ? Never met any face-to-face myself, they mainly infested the drier NW Provinces, whereas over in the wet, humid East our troubles included snakes, spiders, millipedes, white, red and black ants, and a Cowardly Tiger (oh, and not forgetting an AWOL Elephant !)

Notwithstanding, I always tapped my slippers out before putting them on in the morning (the scorpion was supposed to find inside the toe a cosy bunk for the night), and this habit stayed with me long after I got back to Blighty.

Just About Everybody Else,

Lt-Cmdr Derrick (aka "The Admiral") was our Boss when I laboured in the vineyard of the CATCS (and we turned out some fine vintages '64 - '67). Wg Cdr Elliot was a remote figure (didn't his Rosie have a Lotus - two Unattainable Objects of Desire in One ?). But no interest to happily married Danny.

Over all presided Group Captain Wallace................No Comment.

Chugalug, have never heard of the "Pat O'Leary Line," must look it up, if only as a counterpoise to that old ruffian Michael of that ilk who has got Ryanair into a hole and is busy digging. You have to admire the persona of the lovable old oirish country "Paddy", who is in fact the very successful CEO of a billion-pound company (and, I believe, owns 4% of it).

But they were happy days ..............

Danny.
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 19:33   #11335 (permalink)
 
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Ah, Gp Capt Wallace

The one bright spot during my time was when a WRNS student walked past him and didn't salute (this was in tbe pre-integration days).

"You .. why didn't you salute me?"
"Because I don't have to, Sir."

ISTR we students drank a few to celebrate that, when the news leaked out!
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Old 8th Oct 2017, 23:25   #11336 (permalink)
 
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Danny:-
Quote:
Chugalug, have never heard of the "Pat O'Leary Line"
it was a nom de guerre adopted by a Belgian Captain MO, Albert Guerisse, who was granted an RN commission having escaped to England. He was captured by the Vichy French having ferried two SOE agents ashore. The boat had foundered while returning to his ship. He gave his name as Pat O'Leary, a Canadian officer friend of his. He was sprung from prison, remained in France to run the Escape Line, and retained the name O'Leary. His exploits can be read here:-

Albert Guerisse (Pat O'Leary)

If your cantankerous laptop is in a sulk again Danny, simply Google him. Having survived the Gestapo, the SS, and Dachau, after the war he was heavily decorated by the British being awarded the George Cross, the DSO, and receiving an honorary knighthood. The Belgian King ennobled him, and he retired as a Major General from the Belgian Army having been described as the world's most decorated man for bravery.
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Old 9th Oct 2017, 08:18   #11337 (permalink)
 
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Thanks Chug - I've not been able to watch this Ch 4 programme as yet (hoping it will surface on YouTube before too long) but if watching the story of the Pat O'Leary line made anyone's feet restless, then there's a re-run over the mountains every July. It's known as the "Chemin de la Liberté" and it would lend itself as an adventure training tool.. assuming the RAF still has the funds to support these activities.

For many years it was run under the inspired leadership of Scott Goodall, who sadly died last year. His work might be familiar to some here (he was a cartoonist for comics prior to retirement). The "Chemin de la Liberté" couldn't be described as a "walk in the park" - as the route takes participants up to the snowline and across into Spain at 9000'. After taking part in the "Chemin" one year, Ed Stourton (BBC presenter) wrote an excellent account of the wartime escape routes across the Pyrenees called "Cruel Crossing" (available from the usual suspects).

In contrast, the annual Comet walk (always across the 2nd weekend in September) across the same routes used by evading aircrew during WWII in the Pays Basque is less demanding and should be within the capabilities of all serving aircrew (and even most of those of pensionable age!). In 2018, we'll be tracing the spectacular inland route that was used from 1943 on. I've already had notice that several extended families of notable US evaders will be attending.

Yesterday, I posted on our blog* an hour-long documentary (2010) made by Spanish Basques about the Comet Line. There are interviews with RAF evaders (in English) and Belgian guides (in French and English) and even if your French isn't up to snuff, it's a worthwhile and inspiring watch.

At the end, all the key players (some of whom experienced interrogations and the camps) are asked if they'd do it again - and without exception, they all said yes.

* if the link doesn't work, google cometepaysbasque.

Last edited by sidevalve; 9th Oct 2017 at 08:39.
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Old 9th Oct 2017, 09:22   #11338 (permalink)
 
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A memory cell tickled - in Spain about 12 years ago near the Mar Menor, having a coffee in a bar and got talking to another Brit couple, telling their woes of having moved all their assets to Spain, house and road not finished then bottom falling out of the market. He and I then realised we had net before, at Shawbury, when I was carrying out the Command Accounts Inspection and he was Senior Naval Officer in the ATC School. Sadly cannot remember is name. Hope it all got sorted for him in the end
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Old 9th Oct 2017, 11:03   #11339 (permalink)
 
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It would not have been the Naval Officer mentioned above. He had moved to a far far higher altitude long before then.

It is very interesting that when the Royal Air Force inspects Station accounts the task is performed by Royal Air Force personnel.

My younger brother - now retired - had a long history of auditing in the aerospace and defence industry.

About twentyfive years ago he created his own consultancy operation.

His principle client was the Ministry of Defence. I cannot publish the details, but I can comment that on at least one of the sites he periodically visited, security was so tight he could not even take a mobile phone with him.
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Old 9th Oct 2017, 17:49   #11340 (permalink)
 
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roving (#11339),
Quote:
..."It is very interesting that when the Royal Air Force inspects Station accounts the task is performed by Royal Air Force personnel"...
Long ago, I was Adj of an Auxiliary F.C.U. Although there were two other Auxiliary units (the Squadron and a Regt Sqdn) on the Station (Thornaby). and they all had "Tea Swindles", for some reason mine attracted all the traffic (could my 70-odd girls possibly have had something to do with it ?) Be that as it may, we prospered mightily.

The Station Accountant Officer had enough on his plate, looking after the Non-Public Funds, and averted his eyes from us. But when I first arrived, I found that our Swindle had been enriching itself with schemes of doubtful legality. Knowing that Nemesis might come one day when I was still "holding the baby", I put a stop to these and enlisted the help of one of my Auxiliary Secretarial Officers (Tom Oliver), who was Asst. Manager of a Darlington Bank. He set up a full set of books for us, opened an account for us in his Bank, and ensured that our Swindle was run in an impeccable way. We were "copper-bottomed".

Some years passed, and then one afternoon, unannouced, there appeared in my office a civilian with a bulky briefcase, who informed me that he had come to audit our Swindle. My first instinct was to "tell him where to go", but my kindly nature came to the fore, and I sat him down with a cup of tea and a bikky, and laid all before him - yea, even to the cash box in my safe, and the little bag of surplus "profit" we could not account for.

Mollified, he went his way satisfied: seems that the little bag of "bunce" convined him of my honesty, when everything is too perfect, they smell a rat ! We parted with assurances of mutual esteem.

Danny.

(Then I got out the "Black Book"....no, just a joke !)
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