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-   -   Farewell Danny42C (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/615374-farewell-danny42c.html)

Geriaviator 13th Nov 2018 11:09

Farewell Danny42C


It is with great sadness we announce that our much loved senior crewman Danny42C passed away peacefully early this morning at his home in Middlesborough, where he has been cared for by his devoted daughter Mary.

Danny began posting in 2012 with his enthralling and witty stories of training in Florida, operating the Vengeance dive bomber in Burma, and postwar life after rejoining the RAF.

Sorry I’m in Lanzarote at the moment with limited records but I shall pay full tribute to Danny when I return next week.

MPN11 13th Nov 2018 11:27


Dennis O’Leary, 10 Nov 21 - 13 Nov 18.

Flt Lt Dennis O’Leary was a wartime graduate of the Arnold Scheme, training RAF pilots in the USA, and after the War rejoined the RAF as a pilot and, subsequently, as an Air Traffic Controller.

He joined the RAF VR in December 1940, and progressed through the system to participate in the Arnold Scheme for Pilot Training in the USA in 1942. Graduating as a Sergeant Pilot, he was one of a very few who operated Vultee Vengeance dive-bombers against Japanese forces in Burma with No. 110 Sqn. RAF and, briefly, No. 8 Sqn. Indian Air Force (IAF). Eventually commissioned in 1943, he continued flying the Vengeance until VJ-Day and beyond on ’Special Tasks’, having been promoted to a/sqn ldr in May 1945

Post-War, after briefly returning to his pre-War employment in the Civil Service, he rejoined the RAF in 1949 and underwent Refresher Flying and conversion to jet aircraft. With No. 20 Sqn, he flew a variety of aircraft in various roles, adding Spitfire, Meteor, Vampire and several other types to his log-book. For a time he was Adjutant of a RAuxAF Fighter Control Unit at RAF Thornaby, before finally handing in his goggles on medical grounds and transferring to Air Traffic Control. He attended No. 42 Joint ATC Course in 1955, later serving at RAF Stations at Strubby, Thorney Island, Geilenkirchen, Linton-on-Ouse and Leeming, and including a tour as an Instructor at the Central Air Traffic Control School at Shawbury from 1964-1967. On leaving the RAF in 1972, he worked for HMRC as a VAT Inspector.

In his later years he was a major contributor to a Forum Thread on PPRuNe, starting at Post 2262 on 27 Jan 2012, and over time took an enthralled audience through his Service life. His wonderfully detailed vivid recollections, and always informative narrations, became legendary, and he remained charming, witty and lucid to the last.


Dennis O’Leary died peacefully at home, cared for by his daughter Mary, just 3 days after his 97th birthday.

MPN11 13th Nov 2018 11:38

Farewell Danny42C
I had been fearing the worst for several days, in view of his prolonged [and unusual] silence on the Forum. His last post here was on 4 November 2018, as ever combining humour, politeness and positivity.

Invidious to name names, so thank you all for the concern, good wishes and sympathy heaped on me and my Mary (she is, literally, my "Life Support Machine").

Must be costing the NHS an arm and a leg to keep me alive. That being so, I say again "Dum spiro, scribo", and intend to be with you a while yet.

Life in old dog yet ! ........Danny.
The lack of his acknowledgement of his 97th birthday wishes on the "Pilots Brevet" thread 3 days ago was so uncharacteristic that alarm bells were ringing loudly.

Dear Danny, you will be sorely missed. You would undoubtedly be embarrassed to be described as one of the greats, and yet in your quiet way you achieved that. Rest easy in your new basha 'up there', old chum.

My deepest sympathy and respect to his Devoted Daughter, Mary, and condolences to all Danny's family. You, like us, have lost a great character. And despite the sadness, at least God gave him 97 earthly years to be with us, which we can all treasure.

roving 13th Nov 2018 11:47

Danny. thank you for sharing your rich and varied life with us. You will be greatly missed but never forgotten here.

John Eacott 13th Nov 2018 11:54

My last contact with him only four days ago: I was so hoping to talk to him.

Blue skies, Dennis


But I'm going through a bad patch now, so thank you for your concern for my wellbeing. But I cannot take any more on for the time being.

When (if ?) things get better, I'l contact you again.

Cheers ! Dennis (aka Danny42)

Traffic_Is_Er_Was 13th Nov 2018 11:54


junior.VH-LFA 13th Nov 2018 11:56

I loved reading his insights into another time; a fantastic reminder of the history our organisations have and the quality of people who have made them what they are.

Blue skies sir.

Ddraig Goch 13th Nov 2018 12:06

Can I offer my deepest condolences to Danny's family, friends and those on this thread of threads. I've followed this thread form the beginning and through it I have met many wonderful men, women and followed their stories. Danny has been one of the two cornerstones of the thread. His insight into a life many of us never experienced, thankfully, has informed and encouraged us to learn more.
The crew room will not seem the same without you Danny.

Ian Burgess-Barber 13th Nov 2018 12:17

Sad. Sad. Inevitable - yet so sad.

Thank you Danny for your wonderful memories.
Thank you for writing so eloquently, with Hibernian literary flourish and a welcome peppering of wit.
Thank you for your service.

Daughter Mary, thank you for your care of the 'auld' warrior, we (and he) appreciated your devotion. My veteran mother passed away in April - it is still raw - so please accept sincere condolences from me.

We will remember them.

Ian BB

Treble one 13th Nov 2018 12:29

Danny 42C
Very Sad to hear-a fabulous man, His thread is an all time classic.

Deepest condolences to all his family and friends.

glad rag 13th Nov 2018 12:30

How can you fully sumate a life such as that ....I certainly cannot.

Thank you Danny Rest in Peace.

NickB 13th Nov 2018 12:53

Very sad to hear this - RIP Danny42C

Roadster280 13th Nov 2018 12:58

A gentleman. RIP.

BEagle 13th Nov 2018 13:17

Very sad indeed. RIP Danny42C. Your well-written posts provided immense enjoyment to many and an insight into bygone times recalled with astonishing clarity.

You will be very sadly missed.

Icare9 13th Nov 2018 13:26

Farewell to an indomitable spirit.
Another of that remarkable generation takes to the skies.
Concern had been growing, but confirmation is the worst news for a while.
You will be missed by all and the crew room is rather subdued today.

ian16th 13th Nov 2018 13:36

RIP Danny.

Fareastdriver 13th Nov 2018 13:54

You know it has to come to pass but when it does it hurts even more.

Save a place for me.

RIP Danny

ORAC 13th Nov 2018 14:00

Now cracks a noble heart.
Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

Archimedes 13th Nov 2018 14:08

Although what my late uncle called ‘departure for Angels unspecified’ is inevitable for us all, it doesn’t make the news any less sad.

And while Danny may have been, in his own words, costing the NHS an arm and a leg, in the great balance sheet, he was still massively in credit.

Ad Astra, Danny. Rest well.

ivor toolbox 13th Nov 2018 14:24

This was his recent post in the Caption Competition thread.


Only ever knew him from his posts :(
another of the greatest generation gone.


Vzlet 13th Nov 2018 14:28

Danny was quite uncommonly generous in sharing his life experiences, wisdom, and wit with us. A rare soul indeed, and I'm grateful that he chose to spend time in this forum. I hope that as a group, we provided him with even a small fraction of the enjoyment and camaraderie he brought to us.
Farewell, Danny.

Null Orifice 13th Nov 2018 14:53

Farewell Danny. Thanks for your entertaining and informative posts.
Blue skies, Sir.

Shack37 13th Nov 2018 15:03

Farewell Danny42, thank you, have a much deserved Rest in Peace..
One can only imagine the reunión up there.
Per Ardua

pzu 13th Nov 2018 15:20

Farewell Danny - RIP, condolences to Mary and family

PZU - Out of Africa (Retired)

My late father, Ken Crossley (1921 - 2001) was on 608 Squadron as ATCO then SATCO 1950 - 1953, checked with Danny but asadly he couldn’t recall him

Pontius Navigator 13th Nov 2018 15:28

Danny, this place will be poorer without your presence. Thank you for all you have done. Now you join your wife, please rest in peace.

ExAscoteer 13th Nov 2018 15:31

Farewell Danny. RIP.

Kiltrash 13th Nov 2018 15:48

Farewell Danny. Never knew you but feel I have lost a true friend and gent

langleybaston 13th Nov 2018 16:09

A good reputation endureth for ever.


Brian 48nav 13th Nov 2018 16:14


Several of my friends and both of my sons who are in the 'business', one as a former RAF pilot and now with Airbus the other as a NATS ATCO, have questioned why I have visited PPRuNe most days. I tell them it is because of people like you, from whom I have learnt so much - both the wisdom you always displayed and the tales of your interesting life and career.

Thank you so much Danny for the pleasure you have given so many of us, who read your posts.



Onceapilot 13th Nov 2018 16:25

Very sad news. I have read Danny's posts and recollections with great pleasure. His contribution to the RAF and his country was considerable. Well done Sir!


PPRuNe Towers 13th Nov 2018 16:26

One of the most treasured posters in the history of this site. I truly hope Mary can get to see the appreciation and respect we held for her father.


JAVELINBOY 13th Nov 2018 16:33

Sad news indeed, thanks for the many interesting posts you made Sir, you will be missed by all who frequent this place and remembered forever.
Condolences to all of your family.

denachtenmai 13th Nov 2018 16:45

RIP Danny, thankyou for everything that you did for us, we are truly grateful.

ValMORNA 13th Nov 2018 16:45

In common with every other member I feel I have lost a friend as well as a sublime raconteur with Danny's passing.

RIP, Sir.

RFCC 13th Nov 2018 17:58

RIP Danny. Farewell.

ACW342 13th Nov 2018 18:03

Danny, I took your advice.



T28B 13th Nov 2018 18:04

Thank you Danny, and farewell.
Where shall we find such men?

Chugalug2 13th Nov 2018 18:48

Such sad news. My condolences to his family, to his much loved and loving daughter Mary who was his comfort to the end. To say that Danny will be missed is a massive understatement, he was an inspiration to all who read his posts; witty and authoritative yet always self effacing as befitted his generation. He took to this medium as a duck to water, though more than once at the start he complained that the PPRuNe dog ate his posts, forcing him to start over! He knew that if he didn't tell his story here it would be lost to us. Now we are the better informed about the OP; from initial jabs at Lords, via Pilot Training in the USA, to dive bombing in Burma, but we are still all the poorer for his passing. His memorial on PPRuNe will be the WWII Pilot Brevet thread started over 10 years ago by cliffnemo, the mantle being handed on in turn by others until passed to Danny. Now they are all gone, but their stories remain with us. We will remember them.
Fly safe dear Danny, we salute you.

cngaero 13th Nov 2018 18:59

I'm so sad to hear the news of Danny's passing.
God speed on your final sortie and Thank You for sharing your wonderful stories with us.

Art E. Fischler-Reisen 13th Nov 2018 19:27

RIP Danny. I feel like I've lost an old friend, although we never met.

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