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Bill and Dick Langworthy

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Bill and Dick Langworthy

Old 20th Aug 2018, 05:49
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Bill and Dick Langworthy

Started researching to write a book about my father Bill Langworthy and his twin Dick, have now re started this and looking for stories, pictures, anecdotes infact anything relating to the twins. Look forward to some interesting replies.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 07:19
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Hi Hh.

I’ve passed this on to lots of people who knew your dad in the Hunter andJaguar world and hope you’ll get some inputs from them. I’ll put my thinking cap on and get back to you.

Good luck

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Old 20th Aug 2018, 09:52
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Flew with Bill at Lossie when on the Jaguar OCU in the 70s.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 10:11
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I remember Dick's funeral; there was an audible intake of breath when Bill walked in - they really were like two peas in a pod - even down to each having an AFC ....... (of course Dick also got BN's first DFC in FI too).

There's a question: I know of at least one father and son who both got AFCs, but apart from Dick and "Brother Bill" (as Dick always referred to him), does anyone know of other brothers with AFCs?? TTN or O-D would seem to be the experts.....
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 10:18
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I had a few trips with Dick in Pumas at Odiham when he was on standards at 38 Group, I went on a jolly... sorry NavEx to Copenhagen with him, his brother flew under us enroute in a Jag.
I can remember passing over the top of I think Antwerp and disgusted to find a Biafran chicken leg wrapped in clingfilm in his lunch box ( A standard fare of the day and served with great repetition ) he promptly opened the DV window and slung it out. I often wondered if some poor sod was on the other end.


Last edited by NutLoose; 20th Aug 2018 at 12:32.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 10:23
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One of the crewman pointed out to me his little trait, in a Puma you naturally shake with the vibrations, Dick used to have the same shake when he got onboard and prior to start up, you could see his head "shaking" for want of a better word.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 12:06
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Originally Posted by teeteringhead View Post
(of course Dick also got BN's first DFC in FI too).
In BN's HC Mk.1 guise there was a very discreet brass memorial plaque to DL mounted on the aft face of the interseat console.

It was there during the original FADEC development trials on that aircraft but I don't know if it survived the rebuild and transition to HC Mk.2 - does anybody know? If it didn't, I hope it found a very good home.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 12:26
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I won’t do this justice, but had one of my early BFJT sims with Jaguar Bill as we called him. The conversation went something like:

JB: ‘So, going to Sea Harriers then?’
Orca: ‘Hoping so, yes Sir.’
JB: ‘Good. Single seat jet.’
Orca: ‘Yes Sir. Yes it is.’
JB: Leaning forward, menacing: ‘And what do we think of twin seat?’
Orca, sitting back, taken aback: ‘Never really thought about it Sir.’
JB: Both arms out, both thumbs down. ‘No good is what we think!’

Jaguar Bill was the sort of instructor that you wanted; you relaxed when you saw it was him that you had for the sortie - but knew you’d get a good work out and a fair report.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 14:17
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I can provide a short bit on Bill's wheels up in the Jaguar and the poor old SEngO being left behind as Bill departed courtesy of Messrs Baker and Martin. At SEngO's dining out he was presented with a Pilots Flying Logbook in which it says something like: 'Captain and 1st Pilot - 4 seconds'.

Regarding AFCs to others in the family, the best I can do are the Sowreys. As to other family awards: Rhodes-Moorhouse father and son VC/DFC, Peter Squire and his Dad both DFCs but Dad has a DSO as well. Major Mike Keilly (SAS Oman) and his Dad DSOs. There are various combinations of VCs and GCs with family connections in the Army but will need to look those up.

Sorry TTH not to be able drop a few more names in but think Whitworth-Jones father and son spring to mind for DFCs.

Old Duffer
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 14:31
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When I was a new cadet at the Towers in 63 ISTR 4 of the senior Entry had ACM fathers, and 3 of them hit the same dizzy heights
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 14:48
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Jaguar OCU Lossiemouth.

Bill Langworthy in conversation with Bill Lewis (ex-truckie))

It was said that B. Lang sharp pencilled time in his logbook, accused of logging time chock to chock.

Bill Lewis,
So how many fast jet hours do you have Bill?

Bill Lang,
About 8000. And your transport hours ?

Bill Lewis,
Quite a few. At least mine are all airborne.

I do not recollect the exact conversation or the hours quoted, but that is the gist of it.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 20:21
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I was a pall bearer at DL’s funeral; the team flew in to ODI from RAFG in one of HM’s HS125s and, despite the gravity of the moment, we celebrated his friendship, expertise and life.
The burial arrangements allowed for a double-decker plot but unfortunately, the funeral organisers had not allowed for this depth when placing the tapes supporting the coffin prior to committal. Come the moment, perched on the astroturf at the graveside, we lowered away horrified that the end of the tapes were in sight but the coffin was far from reaching at the bottom. As one, we bent forward on blended knee to ensure that DL had a gentle final landing.
Sadly missed.
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Old 20th Aug 2018, 21:04
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I first met Dick as a young(ish) SAC Ops clerk at Upavon in 1975 when he shared the Heli Tasking Office with Uncle T W and P L. I would pass him either early morning as I went home after nights or in the evening as he went home at the end of the day and was going back on shift. He always recognised me and waved from his VW Beetle as we passed. A few years later as a trainee Sgt Crewman on the Wessex OCU, he insisted that I was his crewman to return to Upavon for a meeting, with the instruction that I return to Ops and show off a bit. His demise was a true loss to the SH force.
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 16:11
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Can you PM me your email.

Couple of people want to send you something direct and they’re not on PPRuNe.

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Old 21st Aug 2018, 16:17
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I had the good fortune to accompany Bill on four consecutive squadron tours. We first met up on 4 Sqn at Gutersloh, and on disbandment we were posted to Chivenor, me initially on 234 Sqn and then moved to join Bill on 79 Sqn, instructing on W.I.F. We were then selected for the Jaguar Conversion Team, and during this tour I was promoted to become Bill's boss on 1 Sqn, Jag OCU. We parted ways then, with Bill going to Germany and I to Colt on 41 Sqn.
Bill and Dora were terrific companions during this period and their sons were constant companions to my son and later, daughter.
I look forward to the book Howard !
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 16:40
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I flew my first LCR night check on the Puma with Dick, from Odiham. The visibility deteriorated badly (it was in those terrible days when the farmers used to burn the corn stubble) and he asked my opinion on the matter. I said it seemed to be on the limits. He agreed but asked me to continue until I was no longer happy to do so. My final part of the check was to land at a NATO T, which had been set out in a field by a crew from the other squadron. As we approached, we made the required RT call, only for the pilot of the only other Puma on scene to reply saying that unfortunately he was on the ground but his crewman was outside collecting in the lighting set and he had no way of stopping him. They assumed that we would have already scrubbed and returned to base. Dick asked him to remain on the ground and asked me if I was prepared to have a go at landing next to him. I did and managed it safely. At that point he told me that as far as he was concerned, if I could do that, I was more than LCR. His encouraging words meant a huge amount because I had previously struggled with the Puma at night mainly because I couldn't see over the instrument panel due to all the seat cushions on the fleet being collapsed, thankfully rectified when the seat base PSP was introduced. I know he later kept an eye on me from a distance and was always very pleasant to me - not a privilege everyone enjoyed because in certain circumstances he "took no prisoners".

Later in my career, I became a Puma QHI. During night flying on Salisbury Plain Dick was carrying out a night check on a Wessex pilot.. We were all based at Upavon for the week. The infamous Salisbury Plain fog rolled in. Dick and the pilot he was checking decided to do one more circuit at the remote HLS then recover the training underslung load to Upavon. The visibility decreased very rapidly, but on time they saw what they took to be the NATO T lights in the middle of the airfield. However, when they came to the hover they were somewhat shocked to find they were actually looking at the "Welcome to RAF Upavon" sign on the main road outside the guardroom and had unwittingly flown between two hangars to get there!
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 16:47
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Hi Hh, our fathers knew each other well in Oman, your Dad stayed with us on a number of occasions going to/coming back from Home. He made quite an impression on me, and I enjoyed being in his company. I remember going to the range at Thumrait and watching your Dad and his 6 squadron mates bombing and rocketing targets followed by the almost obligatory low passes. Dropped off at the accom afterwards, I would sneak into the mess later and sit listening to the stories of daring doos, Cold War aviating, close calls and all the other talk that was exciting for a young aviation mad kid.
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 17:40
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Originally Posted by Wholigan View Post

Can you PM me your email.

Couple of people want to send you something direct and they’re not on PPRuNe.

[email protected]

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Old 21st Aug 2018, 18:01
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Just had a look in my logbook and I see that I had two of my early trips at Tern Hill with Dick - April 68 - one IF and the second Ex 7 ... ? Nothing further after that so he must have moved on to Pumas soon after? Last, and abiding memory of Dick was his flying boots!! He brought a Puma up to TH to demo this 'modern marvel' to we workers with the Whirlwind and 'Clockwork Mouse'. The 'piece de resistance' was the full power vertical climb with feet off the pedals - proved with raised boots clearly visible through the lower panels.
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Old 22nd Aug 2018, 11:56
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well remember Bang out Bill on II(AC) Laarbruch (the scene of two of his three ejections) Great character. In the early Jag days, boss 'Sandy' issued an edict that II (AC) badges were the only ones permitted and fitted on the sleeve (right?) of the flying suit. Much to the annoyance of many of the newly formed Sqn.

Bill asked me to help out with putting his badge on his sleeve and, for a bottle of dujardin and coupons for 20 litres of super, I was coerced into putting all his other (numerous) badges on his other sleeve, completely filling it!

Oh, how we laughed! 😁

Happy days!
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