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Old 2nd Nov 2017, 17:31   #121 (permalink)
 
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tredigraph (#120).

Yes, as Herod has mentioned, the Aussies have remembered their "Vengeance" much better than we have. But in 1943, people back here had a lot on their plates already, India was 5,000 miles away, and the jungle war was only a sideline. As our (Aussie) General "Bill" Slim told his ragged troops: "You men call yourselves 'The forgotten Army'. You've not been forgotten - it's just that no one's ever heard of you !"

AFAIK, we have never seen on Post here an extended account of RAAF operational life in New Guinea by the crews, although I suppose there are many books on the subject "down under". It would be interesting to compare their tactics and experiences with ours in Burma, given that we both had to "make it up as we went along".

More power to the elbow of those groups down there who are trying to cobble one together from bits, but doubt whether the thing will ever fly again.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 3rd Nov 2017 at 12:43. Reason: Spelling Errors.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 17:02   #122 (permalink)
 
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Does anyone actually know what eventually happened? Did the RAFM simply go ahead regardless, or was the whole fiasco allowed to quietly fade away?
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Old 15th Nov 2017, 16:58   #123 (permalink)
 
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They did and announced "The majority of votes were for Franciszek Kornicki, the last surviving Polish Air Force squadron commander who celebrated his 100th birthday in 2016."
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Old 15th Nov 2017, 17:12   #124 (permalink)
 
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My goodness. They don't even have a basic command of grammar.
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Old 15th Nov 2017, 17:37   #125 (permalink)
 
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Sergeant pilots, clearly. Not Officer class.
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Old 17th Nov 2017, 16:42   #126 (permalink)
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Perhaps to draw this thread to a close, I note that the Polish Embassy in London has announced that Mr Kornicki died yesterday, a month before his 101st birthday:

https://twitter.com/polishembassyuk/...26971527491584
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Old 18th Nov 2017, 11:33   #127 (permalink)
 
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Another brave man gone. RIP
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Old 22nd Nov 2017, 11:47   #128 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Does anyone actually know what eventually happened? Did the RAFM simply go ahead regardless, or was the whole fiasco allowed to quietly fade away?
Regardless of the final outcome, I recommend PPRuNe readers purchase the latest issue of Pilot magazine in UK. There is a first class article by David Unwin on the subject of the peoples' Spitfire Pilot. No political correctness there, thank goodness. Well put, Dave
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Old 4th Dec 2017, 10:57   #129 (permalink)
 
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Another brave man gone. RIP - Wander00

There is a very interesting and detailed obituary in today's Times.

Jack
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Old 4th Dec 2017, 16:17   #130 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the kind words Centaurus - glad you approved.
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 19:31   #131 (permalink)
 
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Centaurus (#128),

Not in the January issue, November or December ?

Danny.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 08:39   #132 (permalink)
 
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Here you go Danny - its 'off sale' now so I'll paste it below. Hope you like it.

PTT DEC 17.

In a world that brings us such excruciating horrors as ‘Celebrity Big Brother” and “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ I shouldn’t be disgusted by the RAF museum’s initiative to find the ‘People’s Spitfire Pilot’, but you know – I am. I’m sure – or at least hope, that the RAFM meant well, but we all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or, in this case, unutterably tacky naffness!

I suppose we should all be grateful that at least Simon Cowell didn’t get involved. Can you imagine the toe-curling ghastliness as Simon hitches his trousers up to his neck and says “you know, he flew well, fought hard and died without blubbing, so it’s a yes from me; he’s through to the next round” while Ant and Dec gurn enthusiastically from the wings. Incidentally, if you don’t know which one’s which, I believe that Ant is, confusingly, the larger one.

But I digress; - you may well be thinking “I wonder what the selection criteria was for the ‘People’s Spitfire Pilot’ shortlist?” Well, the principal requirement was that candidates had to have flown a Mk.V. As for the rest, the RAF Museum’s curator, Peter Devitt said "… we’ve selected a wide, and perhaps surprising, range of people who flew the type to demonstrate to people of all walks that the RAF is relevant to them, and by extension the RAF Museum’s Centenary Exhibition also has something for everyone." In fact, the list appears to have come straight from Central Casting’s PC Dept, as in a clear box-ticking exercise it features a gay man, a man of colour, a disabled man, an Eastern European and a woman.
You can almost hear the chaps in the retired fighter pilot’s home spluttering their indignation over morning coffee. “I say Bunty old boy– have you seen this list for ‘The People’s Spitfire Pilot’? There’s a couple of colonials, a darkie, a poof; - there’s even a woman on it!” “Hells teeth Ginger, that’s simply appalling – a woman you say? Bad show! I hope you’ve written to the Telegraph”
And mention of the Daily Telegraph brings me to the next part of this tragi-comedy, where general tackiness descended into farce. The Eastern European contender is Franciszek Kornicki, the well-respected commander of 308 squadron when it operated Mk.Vbs, who turned 100 last year. All well and good, but apparently Kornicki’s son Richard wrote to the Telegraph and opined that perhaps his father Franciszek had been confused with Josef Frantisek. Kornicki did not participate in the Battle of Britain, nor score any kills, whereas Frantisek was one of the highest scoring allied aces of the battle. Interestingly, although he flew with No 303 (an RAF squadron manned mostly by Poles) Frantisek was a Czech, and to add insult to (fatal) injury, died in a Hurricane!
Anyway, the Polish weekly news magazine Newsweek Polska, national newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza and ‘Polish Radio London’ all supported the campaign to have Kornicki voted number one, and to no one’s surprise (although, I suspect to Kornicki’s bemusement and embarrassment) the social media campaign ensured he won by a landslide. He will now be immortalised in cardboard, as a full-size cut-out next to the RAFM’s Mk V. Does he deserve it? Of course he does – they all do! That’s what makes the whole thing so crass and distasteful. I mean, whatever next’? ‘Britain’s got the VC factor’, hosted by Dermot O’Leary and Tess Daly, with Alan Dedicoat reading out each citation and a ‘Brucie Bonus’ if the award was made posthumously?

It really is profoundly offensive. Ian Gleed is primarily included because he was gay, not because he was a brave man who flew (and died) in a Spitfire. What about other famous Spitfire pilots, such as Geoffrey Wellum, Al Deere or Robert Stanford Tuck? Surely my namesake George ‘Grumpy’ Unwin (no relation) deserves to be on the list? One of the RAF’s original Spitfire pilots (his squadron, No. 19, was the first to receive them), he shot down at least 14 enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain, and is one of only 60 men to win a DFM and Bar. Perhaps even more impressively, having selected a good field to force-land in after his Spitfire’s engine failed, he suddenly realised there were children playing in it. Without hesitation he chose another, less satisfactory field and crash-landed there instead, destroying the aircraft and risking his own life in the process. If that’s not worthy of a cardboard cut-out then I don’t know what is!

If you’ve never been, a much better tribute to anyone who ever flew (or worked) on Spitfires can be found at the National Memorial to the Few at Capel-le-Ferne. There you will find a tasteful statue of an anonymous pilot gazing out across the English Channel for eternity. He’s clearly a young man – almost still a boy, and that’s all we need to know. His race, nationality and sexuality are completely irrelevant. He doesn’t have to be anyone, he represents all of them.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 10:21   #133 (permalink)
 
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DaveUnwin (#133),

Dave,

Thank you for a marvellous piece of prose (I like: "unutterably tacky naffiness" - a foeman worthy of my steel !). Just about sums it up perfectly. Typical of our times, I'm afraid.

"When Everybody's Somebody", wrote Gilbert, "Nobody's Anybody" (or words to that effect).

A splendid hatchet job on a daft idea - so kind of you to copy it to me and to our readers.

Cheers, Danny.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 10:56   #134 (permalink)
 
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Dave - brilliant, as usual, and straight to the point


Cheers W
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 17:24   #135 (permalink)
 
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My pleasure Danny & Wander - pleased you both liked it.
All the best, Dave
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 19:21   #136 (permalink)
 
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I also agree Dave - well done!
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Old 7th Dec 2017, 11:55   #137 (permalink)
 
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Thanks Jindabyne. You'll all be pleased to hear that the editorial office also received some mail supporting my (and our) view of this puerile exercise.
My only concern is that a mindless TV executive somehow comes across the piece and thinks " 'Britain's Got The VC Factor' - hmmmmm. Tess and Dermot presenting, Claudia interviewing surviving relatives to explain why they eventually auctioned the medal, Alan voicing the citations, a 'Brucie Bonus' if awarded posthumously, maybe get Ashcroft on board (he shouldn't find it too taxing) - that could just work........"
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