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Pilots Honoured

Old 6th Nov 2003, 04:03
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Thumbs up Pilots Honoured

I thought fellow Pruners might be interested to know that pilots honoured by the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators at the Banquet at the Guildhall last night included:

The Guild Award of Honour
Awarded on rare occasions to individuals who have made an oustanding lifetime contribution to aviation

Sqn Ldr Neville Duke, DSO,OBE,DFC**,AFC,MC(Czech),FRAeS, RAF(Ret'd)
"For his unique and incomparable record as a RAF fighter pilot and for his outstanding contribution to British aviation in the investigation of high-speed flight and the development of the Hunter."


What a career!
His first 'Kill' (Me109 over Dunkirk) was not long after receiving his wings and he then went to the Middle East where he stayed until almost the end of the war flying Spitfires, Tomahawks and Kittyhawks, In those three years he became the top scoring Allied pilot in that Theatre (28 confirmed, 3 probables and 5 damaged) and was awarded the DSO and DFC with two bars all by the age of 23.
Posted to Hawkers as an RAF test pilot 1945, graduated from the ETPS in 1946 and joined the RAF High Speed Flight which set the world speed record if a Meteor 4 the same year. He was awarded the AFC in 1948 before becoming a civilian test pilot with Hawker where he test flew production Furies and Tempests and the first Hawker jet, the prototype P1040, and set several world records on international Fury delivery flights.
He flew the first flight of the Hunter (WB 188) in 1951, led the test flying programme of the RAF's first supersonic aircraft and in 1953, again in WB 188 now modified with reheat, set a low altitude world speed of 727 mph. He was Chief Test Pilot of Hawkers from 1951 until he retired in 1956.

Derry and Richards Memorial Medal
Awarded to a test pilot, for experimental or development flying on British or collaborative civil or militiary aircraft. Such flying, over a period of time, will have involved an outstanding contribution to the flight development of a major aircraft project or projects to the advancement of the art and science of aviation.

Gordon G.(Jock) Reid, FRAeS
"For his outstanding contribution to development flying during a renowned test-flying career."

In the RAF, he was a Lightning pilot, QFI on Gnats, test pilot at the A&AEE assessing and enhancing fighters and tutor at ETPS. Joined the CAA in 1982 as a certification test pilot, Chief Test Pilot from 1995 until retirement in 2003. Worked on development and international civil airworthiness certification of the ATP, Jetstream, BAe 146 and Avro RJ.
Without his enthusiasm and commitment Concorde might not have returned to service after being grounded in 2000, its reputation as one of the finest technological achievements in aviation tarnished forever.

The most moving event was the award of Master Air Pilot to:
Diana Barnato-Walker MBE
Lettice Curtis MA, FRAeS
Maureen de Popp.

The 700 people present rose to their feet as three little old ladies in their mid 80's walked slowly forward to receive their awards. They were members of the wartime Air Transport Auxiliary and between them had flown more than a 100 types from fighters to four-engined bombers. They received the longest standing ovation of the evening.

Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 6th Nov 2003 at 05:29.
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Old 6th Nov 2003, 06:15
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What a night that must have been.

Right and proper awards to some of this country's finest.
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Old 6th Nov 2003, 08:31
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Awards to helicopter crews are reported in the Rotorheads Forum.
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Old 6th Nov 2003, 12:45
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Flying Lawyer
<<The most moving event was the award of Master Air Pilot to:
Diana Barnato-Walker MBE
Lettice Curtis MA, FRAeS
Maureen de Popp.
The 700 people present rose to their feet as three little old ladies in their mid 80's walked slowly forward to receive their awards. They were members of the wartime Air Transport Auxiliary and between them had flown more than a 100 types from fighters to four-engined bombers. They received the longest standing ovation of the evening.>>

I was fortunate to meet Diana at a Lions dinner in Crawley about 5 years ago. A truly wonderful women to talk to and a signed copy of her book is a most treasured possession. God bless them.

Last edited by ZFT; 6th Nov 2003 at 14:18.
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Old 6th Nov 2003, 16:55
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The helo awards mentioned in the Rotorheads forum are worth reading.
Outstanding bravery by SAR crews.
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