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Sqn Leader GHA Wellum DFC RIP

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Sqn Leader GHA Wellum DFC RIP

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Old 21st Jul 2018, 13:14
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Can only echo all of the above.

A great loss.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 14:22
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I count myself lucky to have met Sqn Ldr Wellum on a number of occasions and can attest to the comments others have posted. A true hero, like all the others who willingly put their lives behind securing the freedom we all enjoy today.

RIP Sir - Per Ardua Ad Astra
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 15:02
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The book "First Light" is truly wonderful. It is in my top 3 of aviation books, along with "Fate is the Hunter" by Ernest K. Gann and "Sagittarius Rising" by Cecil Lewis.
You are right there - absolute top of the pile, all three.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 16:37
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Had the privilege of meeting him & listening to his speech at a Battle of Britain Dinner in 2013. You could have heard a pin drop during & there was a prolonged standing ovation at the end, a truly memorable occasion . He looked rather overawed during the applause, I felt he might have been thinking ‘how come I’m here being cheered to the rafters when so many others didn’t make it?’

I have to agree with the views on his book, a classic of the aviation genre and a remarkably modest account of his part in history.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 16:51
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As well as being mentioned on all the TV news broadcasts yesterday there was a double page obituary in today's Times. Pleased to see this level of coverage.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 18:07
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I was reading in Leo McKinstry's essay in the Daily Mail today, Geoffrey Whellum in the cold war flew reconnaissance missions with 192 Sqn and afterwards was North Luffenham, I believe as a Thor IRBM controller!

FB
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 19:31
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No stress in either of those appointments, then.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 19:49
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I've had the privilege of meeting him - an absolute gentleman - and his book is an undoubted treasure to be re-read. I watched the screening of the Spitfire documentary earlier this week, in which Geoffrey featured. He used a phrase that I have heard him use face to face, on radio and now, on film - it should be his epitaph: "we just want to be remembered for what we did". You will be, sir!
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 22:26
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I have a recollection of reading an old copy of Air Clues, it had a piece about a Washington aircraft (UK operated B29) that suffered a catastrophic engine failure as I recall on an air test. The pilot got a ‘good show’ or something similar, name of G Wellum. Always believed it must be the same man but can’t be certain.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 13:41
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Piqued by curiosity I had a rummage through some old boxes & found the reference in the 50th anniversary edition of Air Clues published in 1996. The ac captain in the incident was Flt Lt GHA Wellum so it was indeed the same man. Whilst feathering the No 1 engine during an air test it failed to feather & caught fire due to a loose nut on the feathering pipe line adaptor allowing oil to spray out when operated. Subsequently disciplinary action would be taken against the JNCO responsible for the error.

Happily the fire was successfully extinguished and Wellum returned to base at low speed due to the windmilling prop & landed on 3 engines without further incident.

The 1957 Wg Cdr Spry said 'The captain showed a high standard of airmanship' but it doesn't say that he received any award though. The events took place during his 4 years on 192 Sqn.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 13:46
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Originally Posted by Ken Scott View Post
I have a recollection of reading an old copy of Air Clues, it had a piece about a Washington aircraft (UK operated B29) that suffered a catastrophic engine failure as I recall on an air test. The pilot got a ‘good show’ or something similar, name of G Wellum. Always believed it must be the same man but can’t be certain.
Ken, his Times obit did state he was a Washington pilot later in his career.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 16:18
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and his book is an undoubted treasure to be re-read
I agree - First Light is on my shelf of books to be re-read. The film adaptation is also very good.

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Old 10th Aug 2018, 07:02
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It's Geoff's funeral today. Hopefully the weather will improve so the Spitfire can give him a flypast later. Apparently there is one sat at Culdrose ready to go.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 12:05
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Spitfire LF1X arrived at Culdrose yesterday from the Memorial Flight at Coningsby, a lengthy flight and MK356 overflew us here in Cornwall en route. splendid sight, splendid and very appropriate act by the RAF and we have lost a true gentleman in Geoffrey Wellum. Some heavy showers here in Cornwall this morning.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 21:32
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Does anyone know where GWs final resting place is? I will be in Cornwall soon and would like to pay my respects.
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Old 10th Aug 2018, 21:38
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Timelord

BBC Cornwall shared this today

A special tribute has been paid by RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall to one of the last pilots from World War Two who were known as "the few".

Squadron Leader Geoffrey Wellum, who lived on the Lizard Peninsula, was the youngest Spitfire pilot to take part in the Battle of Britain and died last month at the age of 96.

The Cornwall naval base prepared a Spitfire before it performed a flypast - in tribute - over his funeral in Mullion.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 02:09
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Good Lord. I had not encountered his book at all until I ran across it in Waterstones on Piccadilly. On July 20. RIP, sir.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 16:31
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The funeral was at St. Mellanus Parish Church, Mullion. The bereavement notice in the local press stated ‘’followed by PRIVATE internment.’’ (their capitals). I assume the internment was at Mullion.
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Old 11th Aug 2018, 19:23
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RIP Geoffrey, I had the honour of meeting him & he kindly signed my copy of his wonderful book, a treasured memory. He was a truly inspirational & humble gentleman hero. Forever blue skies Geoffrey on your eternal final sortie. Deepest respects to his family in their sad loss.
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 00:08
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Hmm. Since the opening of this thread I actually bought the book First Light on "audible" via amazon.
I'm not through yet.
However I have re listened to the 65 Sqdn second sortie section twice now. It's as far as I have got.
It is such a blisteringly raw account of fear, despair, conviction and sheer bloody, pig headed courage.
I was working, out under blue skies, in the Perthshire hills on Friday, when I caught news of his interment, via PPRuNe, online, and in my mind I went through the narration once again.
It takes a lot for me to well up...
RIP and thank you.
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