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'Puddy' Catt RIP

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'Puddy' Catt RIP

Old 12th Dec 2013, 08:03
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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There are not many people for whom the description 'legend' is entirely apt but Puddy was one of them. My fondest memory of a Puddy-ism (1979) was going to the range at Hartland for live air-to-air, him in Winston, me in a Hawk. I had just done the obligatory cine pass when he announced that he had a bit of snag with an engine. Low oil pressure ended with the engine shut down, plus banner and stringy bit consigned to the Bristol Channel.

I escorted him back to Brawdy, which was (unusually!) visible from miles away because of all the blue flashing lights. 300ft or so on the approach, I was suprised to find myself needing more and more power to keep up with him. Next transmission, no callsign, just "Haven't done an asymmetric circuit for simply ages...". Puddy turned downwind and landed while I held overhead watching the stream of wheels and other Very Important Gawpers leaving the tower. No sign of Puddy when I got back - he was off enjoying his bollocking from OC Ops! He told me afterwards his defence was that he thought he would take the opportunity for a bit of proper practice.

Does anyone remember him getting nicked for his Hunter ILS (not fitted)?
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 09:14
  #42 (permalink)  
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Does anyone remember him getting nicked for his Hunter ILS (not fitted)?
The tale I heard about that was that, in his fighter recce days in RAFG, Pud had observed that flashing around in marginal vis. was quite normal - so to have to climb up into cloud merely to fly a GCA was simply unacceptable. Hence his comment of "Weather is far too bad for instrument flying, old boy" on such occasions.

This later became "I'll do an ILS". Neither Hunter nor aerodrome was so equipped; however, it seems that Pud had a one inch map of the approach from an IP some miles out direct to the threshold. So he would fly to the IP, set himself up and then thumb his way along his 'ILS' map.

Allegedly, one gloomy day some wheel or other was visiting the aerodrome and was somewhat astonished to see a Hunter appear out of the murk at rather low level - which subsequently hopped over the approach lights and landed. It was, of course, young Catt completing another 'ILS'..... I gather that the map was subsequently seized!

As I say, this was just a tale and I cannot verify its veracity. But it sounds like just the sort of thing he'd have done!
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 10:13
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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A "Puddy-tail". During a Hawk refresher at Brawdy, I was fortunate enough to spend a day as Orderly Officer. In the evening, after a pleasant duty dinner in the Mess, I conducted my other tasks of inspecting defaulters and key checks etc. Around 1015 I returned to the bar for a pint. "Occupying" the bar (since dinner) was Puddy and a small happy group. Now, my last duty of the evening was to ensure that the bar was closed at the appointed hour. Noting my presence, Puddy announced to me, " you look tired young-man, I will finish off your duty here and let you get off to bed".
What a generous gesture!

Brawdy-where I learned to look and listen both ways when walking out to the line.

OAP
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 10:43
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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I also had the pleasure of meeting Puddy a few times in my capacity as (very) JNCO I/C stn. flt. at Wittering. Always found him to be a real gentleman with a unique view of things. I remember that Winston had a nasty habit of spitting fuel from the ventral tank if you stood in the wrong place/did things in the wrong order. Puddy had a drill which he shouted at those of us not (overly) familiar with Winston's ways which if followed exactly, guaranteed a dry day. I also remember Puddy, during a strap-in in Winston - which I always volunteered myself for, getting a tad mixed up with straps/helmet/dropped pen etc and saying "Take me back to the days when all you had to worry about was getting your scarf caught in the rudder"!
Re. BEag's post #43 above, I have unearthed a (slightly tatty) slide of the two Meteors ("Meteii"?)at Witt - presumably on that very day. Not sure of the exact date, but early '77 seems about right.
RIP Sir.

http://i1290.photobucket.com/albums/...ps6c18cae8.jpg
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 13:07
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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A legend. He will be sorely missed. RIP
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 14:19
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I never knew this chap, but I really wish I had had that privilege. Enjoy the crew room on the clouds. RIP
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 15:47
  #47 (permalink)  
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Rigex, it was probably 10 or 11 May 1977?

What is particularly interesting about this thread is that it is abundantly clear that the legendary Puddy was just as popular amongst groundcrew as amongst fellow aircrew. There cannot be many aircrew who have ever commanded such universally pleasant comments from their groundcrew.

Never at a loss for words, Pud was once having lunch in the little aircrew feeder we had at Brawdy just below 234's crewroom window. Noting with disproval the rather meagre pieces of chicken on offer, he announced "Same old story. The nobs get the tits and legs - and we get the horns and ears and ar$eholes!" in that rich, booming voice of his.
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 19:48
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Talking of that feeder, & slightly off topic (sorry Puddy), they did a fantastic Strammer Max.

Just looked up the spelling:

'The term Strammer Max (literally "stiff Max" or "tight Max") originated in the 1920s in Saxon slang, where it initially referred to an erection, the male name "Max" being often used as a slang word for penis (similar to the English "Dick" or "Willy"). The term was adopted into Berlin street slang and applied to a dish that was supposed to be especially strengthening to the sexual prowess of the person eating it.'

Puddy would approve!
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 19:58
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so where does that leave the croque Monsieur then?
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 21:19
  #50 (permalink)  
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Puddy would approve!
Undoubtedly, blunty old bean.

so where does that leave the croque Monsieur then?
The Croque Madame, rather then the Croque Monsieur, is closer to the Strammer Max. Except that, whereas the Reichsimbiss is normally fried in butter, the version des grenouilles is toasted.

Though quite whether melted cheese and fried eggs would have been a significant challenge to Puddy's moustache, I'm not sure.
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Old 13th Dec 2013, 17:22
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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83 or 84, Brawdy Red in fog, Newgale Blue. Puddy had been on a landaway and recovered to Brawdy, plan from OC Ops was to allow him to try one approach and then divert. Not sure Puddy was fully aware of this plan and promptly landed. I was dispatched from the Tower in the Landrover to find him and escort him into the dispersal. This went to rats as I got lost on the airfield in the pea-soup, by the time I had caught up with him he was in the Line Hut signing the aircraft back in.

Puddy was a complete gent and as for Beagle's comment,
What is particularly interesting about this thread is that it is abundantly clear that the legendary Puddy was just as popular amongst groundcrew as amongst fellow aircrew. There cannot be many aircrew who have ever commanded such universally pleasant comments from their groundcrew.

You missed Air Traffic out (too clever to be Groundcrew!), he was an absolute delight to host as DOF when he was forced to spend time on the ground, I learnt a huge amount from his stories and sage advice and feel privileged to have known him.

RIP Puddy

I presume you will give him a fitting send off.
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Old 13th Dec 2013, 23:14
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Everything l have read just takes me back to my days at Brawdy in the early 80's when flying was fun and Puddy was a young pilots hero. "Rules are for the obedience of fools but the guidance of wise men" in that booming voice that was more suited to the Army than the RAF. His recce briefs at morning Met Brief with his snooker cue as a pointer were legend - often fatigue stressing it by rocking has large frame to and fro - once, with perfect comic timing, he was discussing bridges and their weak points as the cue finally gave up its molecular strength and Puddy collapsed to the floor with everyone, including the Staish, in tears of laughter.

The most colourful pilot I met in my career and, weather permitting, on Monday I will be giving him a 'smoke on' salute in my homebuilt Vans RV8 to say farewell at St Brides Inn at Little Haven - this country needs more people like you Puddy. RIP

Broken Wings

Last edited by Broken Wings; 14th Dec 2013 at 08:39.
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Old 14th Dec 2013, 22:38
  #53 (permalink)  
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I'll keep my fingers crossed for the weather to be kind, BW! But from what I remember of Brawdy's weather factor......

That's a really nice RV-8 of yours Construction of Vans RV-8 G-JBTR and it would be a fitting tribute to Pud's memory if you were able to make it.
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Old 15th Dec 2013, 00:10
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Thumbs up Smoke-on Salute for Puddy

Well BW, this will be wonderful if you can get it done! And even if it would turn out to be impossible due to weather or other issues, it's the thought that counts the most!

We have been telling lots of Puddy's non-RAF acquaintances of the kind of messages appearing here, as your world is to a large extent unknown to average civvies like myself. Your flypast will really be the proof of the pudding, the icing on the cake, whatever the most appropriate term would be!

We shall all be watching from the slipway, and I for one hope you'll be able to make it down to the St. Bride's afterwards as well. We should easily be there long enough for that....

Jan Meulendijk
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Old 15th Dec 2013, 09:38
  #55 (permalink)  
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A pity that there isn't a little light aircraft landing strip at the old Talbenny aerodrome, Jan.
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Old 15th Dec 2013, 15:53
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Not 'Puddy' and 'Winston' on Wikipedia is it by any chance - under 'Gloster Meteor'?

Can't quite make out the reg on the F.8 shown.
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Old 15th Dec 2013, 16:03
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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I have a confession. I know I have met him, somewhere in the circuit of RAF life, but I'm dammned if I can recall where. All I can remember is a rather larger (in all senses of the word) gentleman, who somehow epitomised those days of yore. Brawdy? Chivenor? Valley? 11Gp?

Wherever it was, Sir, you are clearly leaving the world a slightly smaller place. I wish you all the very best in the next one, without fuel constraints or G-limits.
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Old 16th Dec 2013, 09:32
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingOfficerKite
Not 'Puddy' and 'Winston' on Wikipedia is it by any chance - under 'Gloster Meteor'?

Can't quite make out the reg on the F.8 shown.
It's definately 'Winston'.........
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Old 16th Dec 2013, 14:25
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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GeeRam

Interesting ... I just was curious to read up about the Meteor again having read this Thread and saw the photograph.

The pilot looks 'substantial' - but that could just be his flying gear, so maybe 'Puddy'?
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Old 16th Dec 2013, 17:51
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingOfficerKite
Interesting ... I just was curious to read up about the Meteor again having read this Thread and saw the photograph.
I've done a bit of digging, and I've found was cliamed taken during arrivals for RIAT at Greenham Common, so it was while Winston was still in RAF service. However, the caption has the date incorrect, as it claims RIAT in 1986, and I know the last RIAT at Greenham was 1983, which if I recall was pretty grotty weather wise.
I've also tracked down a photo of Winston in the static of a sunny RIAT at Greenham in 1981, which fits better, so my guess would be it's was arrival at RIAT 1981.

Anyone know if it was Puddy flying Winston into static for RIAT 1981....??
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