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Cruickshank VC back in a Catalina

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Cruickshank VC back in a Catalina

Old 10th Sep 2013, 08:52
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Cruickshank VC back in a Catalina

John Cruickshank VC was back in a Catalina at Leuchars, age 94.
What a man!
Flt Lt (Ret?d) Cruickshank
mmitch.

Last edited by mmitch; 10th Sep 2013 at 08:52.
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Old 10th Sep 2013, 09:08
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Wow

What an impressive story.
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Old 10th Sep 2013, 09:42
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Yes, amazing story.

I spared a thought though, for the crewmembers who were killed, who received no recognition.
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Old 10th Sep 2013, 09:46
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Thanks for posting the link mmitch

I was instrumental in getting Bill Perrin to paint a picture of John's aircraft (link below) while based at Kinloss but sort of got overlooked as the painting was subsequently commisioned by 120 Sqn (if I recall correctly) & I was pond life - still my great pleasure to meet & entertain Bill P for a day (sadly didn't meet John) & fly him around Morayshire in a Kinloss flying club aircraft for a couple of hours. Happy days

D'Arcy Collection: "Catalina!" by Bill Perring. Published by D'arcy Collection.

Last edited by Rocket2; 10th Sep 2013 at 09:47.
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Old 10th Sep 2013, 09:59
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I didn't realise that this heroic chap was still alive - he looks well in the photo.

I remember reading the account of his tenacious attack on the U-boat when I was a youngster - a true inspiration.

Great that he could be back in the Cat!
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Old 10th Sep 2013, 10:23
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I spared a thought though, for the crewmembers who were killed, who received no recognition.
At the time the rules were that the only awards which could be given posthumously were the Victoria Cross and a mention in despatches. None of the "intervening" awards (DSO, DFC, DFM etc) could be given posthumously, so the best these men could have received was a posthumous MID, although it could certainly be argued that they deserved that at least.
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Old 11th Sep 2013, 08:20
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Yes, he does look well. A fantastic and true story with a well deserved VC. I wonder if the Army have removed all the references to him at Kinloss. Anyone know if the Cruickshank Theatre has been renamed?
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Old 13th Sep 2013, 14:00
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I suspect the point trim is trying to make, tanker trash isn't about posthumous award protocol (only the nav was killed) rather that everyone on board shared exactly the same risk as Flt Lt Cruickshank. In fact I think the second pilot got a DFM? Great story and huge respect to him. Had no idea he was still alive!

Last edited by ShotOne; 13th Sep 2013 at 14:10.
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 09:59
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Cruikshank VC

I had the privilege of meeting Cruickshank VC and John Appleton when they visited RAF Turnhouse in 1995. I managed to take John for a trip in a Bulldog during which we flew over East Fortune where John "convalesced" as a stores man while recovering from the wounds he received during the action. I remember John was quite a large man and we had difficulty getting his life jacket to fasten. He proudly showed me the scar on his head where shrapnel had cut through his helmet but not penetrated his skull! John told me they ran out of first aid dressings, so they cut open a life jacket and used the Kapok from it to plug Cruikshank's and other crew members wounds. Two real heroes, but quiet and unassuming gentlemen when you met them. It was good to see the pictures in which Cruikshank looks so well and is clearly able to enjoy flying. I hope I look that good if I reach my 90s!
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Old 14th Sep 2013, 10:04
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VC

Cannot speak for the army but the ARCC at Kinloss had a print of the painting mentioned in an earlier post hanging on the wall when I retired in 2011. As the ARCC is still there I suspect the painting is too.
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Old 20th May 2020, 06:27
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/j...-100-qm5zndg7d

John Cruickshank: Second World War’s last surviving Victoria Cross hero reaches 100

The last surviving recipient of a Victoria Cross from the Second World War does not want a fuss made for his 100th birthday today.

A private man from Aberdeen, John Cruickshank has never liked attention. When he landed in the Shetlands in 1944, bleeding heavily from 72 wounds sustained in sinking a U-boat, his first reaction was to ask after his crew.

Mr Cruickshank is only two years younger than the Royal Air Force, which he joined in 1941 after two years in the Royal Artillery. He was sent to 210 Squadron to pilot Catalina flying boats in 1943 and on July 17, 1944, led a ten-man crew on the sortie for which he would be awarded the highest honour, one of 182 recipients of the VC during the war.

Sent to protect the British fleet in the Norwegian Sea, the Catalina tried to bomb a U-boat but the depth charges failed to release. On its second run, the plane was heavily strafed, losing its navigator. Flight Lieutenant Cruickshank was peppered so heavily that he was later said to resemble a human colander with two wounds to his lungs, ten in his legs and 60 others. Despite this, he sank the U-boat at the second attempt before setting the Catalina for its base at Sullom Voe. Refusing morphine, arguing that it would cloud his judgment, he drifted in and out of consciousness for five hours as his co-pilot, Flight Sergeant Jack Garnett, flew. He then retook control to land the plane on the sea.

Flight Lieutenant Cruickshank had lost so much blood he needed a transfusion in the aircraft and never flew in command again. His VC citation says that “by pressing home the second attack in his gravely wounded condition and continuing his exertions on the return journey with his strength failing, he seriously prejudiced his chance of survival”. It praises his “determination, fortitude and devotion to duty”.

In 2018 Mr Cruickshank attended an RAF centenary event at the Royal Northern and University Club in Aberdeen. Jimmy Hutchison, the club chairman, said: “He is such a modest man, who does not like a fuss to be made.” Five years earlier he had been taken up in a Catalina at the Leuchars Airshow in Fife. Asked to reflect on his bravery, he said: “It was just normal. We were trained to do the job and that was it.”

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Old 20th May 2020, 10:07
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“It was just normal. We were trained to do the job and that was it.”
Sums it all up doesn't it.
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Old 20th May 2020, 11:52
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No argument regarding the word "Hero" for this man at all. What an example for others. Well done Sir!
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Old 20th May 2020, 13:52
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That's 2 Centenarian Heroes who put the GREAT into BRITAIN (The ONLY country in the world to use that terminology!!!)

Happy Birthday Sir!

Last edited by unclenelli; 20th May 2020 at 14:05.
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Old 20th May 2020, 15:00
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I hate to be pedantic but the GREAT just means "big"
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Old 20th May 2020, 15:12
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_(place_name)

After the Anglo-Saxon period, Britain was used as a historical term only. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical Historia Regum Britanniae (c. 1136) refers to the island of Great Britain as Britannia major ("Greater Britain"), to distinguish it from Britannia minor ("Lesser Britain"), the continental region which approximates to modern Brittany.........

The term
Great Britain later served to distinguish the large island of Britain from the French region of Brittany (in French Grande-Bretagneand Bretagne respectively). .......
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Old 20th May 2020, 16:25
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
I hate to be pedantic but the GREAT just means "big"
Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_(place_name)

After the Anglo-Saxon period, Britain was used as a historical term only. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical Historia Regum Britanniae (c. 1136) refers to the island of Great Britain as Britannia major ("Greater Britain"), to distinguish it from Britannia minor ("Lesser Britain"), the continental region which approximates to modern Brittany.........


Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. Please search for Britain (place name in Wikipedia to check for alternative titles or spellings.
The term Great Britain later served to distinguish the large island of Britain from the French region of Brittany (in French Grande-Bretagneand Bretagne respectively). .......

I wasn't even born in 1136 - I was referring to the modern age (20th Century...)
If it refers to Big, why not Great Russia, Great Canada, Great Australia.....???????
We are STILL the only UN Sovereign State to declare itself GREAT!!!

And these guys did it!.......
In Spades!!!!!!

Last edited by unclenelli; 20th May 2020 at 16:56.
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Old 20th May 2020, 17:00
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/j...-100-qm5zndg7d

John Cruickshank: Second World War’s last surviving Victoria Cross hero reaches 100

The last surviving recipient of a Victoria Cross from the Second World War does not want a fuss made for his 100th birthday today.

A private man from Aberdeen, John Cruickshank has never liked attention. When he landed in the Shetlands in 1944, bleeding heavily from 72 wounds sustained in sinking a U-boat, his first reaction was to ask after his crew.

Mr Cruickshank is only two years younger than the Royal Air Force, which he joined in 1941 after two years in the Royal Artillery. He was sent to 210 Squadron to pilot Catalina flying boats in 1943 and on July 17, 1944, led a ten-man crew on the sortie for which he would be awarded the highest honour, one of 182 recipients of the VC during the war.

Sent to protect the British fleet in the Norwegian Sea, the Catalina tried to bomb a U-boat but the depth charges failed to release. On its second run, the plane was heavily strafed, losing its navigator. Flight Lieutenant Cruickshank was peppered so heavily that he was later said to resemble a human colander with two wounds to his lungs, ten in his legs and 60 others. Despite this, he sank the U-boat at the second attempt before setting the Catalina for its base at Sullom Voe. Refusing morphine, arguing that it would cloud his judgment, he drifted in and out of consciousness for five hours as his co-pilot, Flight Sergeant Jack Garnett, flew. He then retook control to land the plane on the sea.

Flight Lieutenant Cruickshank had lost so much blood he needed a transfusion in the aircraft and never flew in command again. His VC citation says that “by pressing home the second attack in his gravely wounded condition and continuing his exertions on the return journey with his strength failing, he seriously prejudiced his chance of survival”. It praises his “determination, fortitude and devotion to duty”.

In 2018 Mr Cruickshank attended an RAF centenary event at the Royal Northern and University Club in Aberdeen. Jimmy Hutchison, the club chairman, said: “He is such a modest man, who does not like a fuss to be made.” Five years earlier he had been taken up in a Catalina at the Leuchars Airshow in Fife. Asked to reflect on his bravery, he said: “It was just normal. We were trained to do the job and that was it.”


This fine gentleman apparently declined a birthday cake from the Royal Air Force to mark his 100th birthday because he did not want to make a fuss . . . .Neither, it seems does the RAF. . . . I can find no existing mention of John Cruickshank VC on the RAF website [which anyway, now disdainfully announces it'no longer covers detailed RAF history on this site'] or on the RAF Museum website to which you are subsequently directed. "The RAF Museums are one of many great sources of historical information." . . . they say. Really! Not on this evidence!
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Old 20th May 2020, 17:20
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britain_(place_name)

After the Anglo-Saxon period, Britain was used as a historical term only. Geoffrey of Monmouth in his pseudohistorical Historia Regum Britanniae (c. 1136) refers to the island of Great Britain as Britannia major ("Greater Britain"), to distinguish it from Britannia minor ("Lesser Britain"), the continental region which approximates to modern Brittany.........

The term
Great Britain later served to distinguish the large island of Britain from the French region of Brittany (in French Grande-Bretagneand Bretagne respectively). .......
Are you sure?

Article I, Union with England Act 1707

"That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England shall upon the first day of May next ensuing the date hereof and forever after be United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain (my emphasis) And that the Ensigns Armorial of the said United Kingdom be such as Her Majesty shall appoint and the Crosses of St Andrew and St George be conjoined in such manner as Her Majesty shall think fit and used in all Flags Banners Standards and Ensigns both at Sea and Land"

Auth;
Union with England Act 1707
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Old 20th May 2020, 19:42
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Never mind the politics !! I raise a glass to this hero on his 100th birthday. Happy returns, Sir, and thank you!

Bill
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