DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY DUNCAN SIMPSON

simpson(17)Duncan Simpson’s name will be forever linked to the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the vertical and short take off and landing (V/STOL) ground attack aircraft.  A former RAF fighter pilot he was involved in testing the Hawker Hunter before joining the V/STOL programme in  its earliest days when he flew the P.1127 and then the Kestrel.  Later, as the chief test pilot, he shepherded the Hawk advanced training aircraft from the drawing board, made its first flight and saw it into service. It has been the mount of the RAF’s Red Arrows and continues to be in RAF service after 40 years.  He was awarded the OBE and many other prestigious awards for his services as a test pilot.

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DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY CAPTAIN PHILIP BRENTNALL

Brentnall Crew 218 sqnPhilip Brentnall led a small force of Stirling bombers on the eve of D-Day.  Their task was to fly a complicated pattern whilst dispersing ‘window’ to give the impression that a fleet of ships was sailing towards the Pas de Calais whilst the real invasion force was approaching Normandy.  The ‘ghost fleet’ was successful and Brentnall received the DFC. Post war he had a long career with BOAC and then British Airways where he developed innovative ideas for pilot training eventually rising to be BA’s Fleet Training Manger.

In the photograph of his crew, Brentnall is in the cockpit of their Lancaster

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DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY SQUADRON LEADER GEOFF ROTHWELL

Rothwell.JPGSquadron Leader Geoff Rothwell was the pilot of a Stirling and had just dropped two SOE Dutch agents when his aircraft hit a balloon cable and he crash landed on Texel Island.  He was captured and spent the last year of the war as a POW.  It had been his 71st operation having previously completed bombing tours on Wellingtons and Stirlings.  He was twice awarded the DFC.

In the crew photograph he is third from right.

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DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY AIR VICE-MARSHAL DAVID EMMERSON

Emmerson 1985jpg copyAVM Emmerson was one of the RAF’s most experienced maritime patrol airmen when he was appointed to command the Nimrod Mark 2 detachment sent to Ascension Island to fly operations during the Falkland’s War of 1982.  He flew ten long-range sorties in support of the Task Force and to gather intelligence.  He was awarded an AFC.  His distinguished career included commanding No. 206 Squadron and RAF Kinloss in Scotland and serving as the Chief of Staff of No. 18 (Maritime) Group.

In the photograph he is the Reviewing Officer at RAF Swinderby

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DAILY TELEGRAPH OBITUARY – SQUADRON LEADER FRANCISZEK KORNICKI

Kornicki pilotKornicki had recently graduated from the Polish Air Force Academy when the Germans invaded his homeland.  With others he escaped to France via Romania only to have to flee again in June 1940 when he sailed for England.  He joined a Polish Spitfire squadron and rose to become the commanding officer of No. 317 Squadron.  He led many sweeps over northern France and was awarded Poland’s highest decoration. the Virtuti Militari.  He remained in the RAF and became a catering officer and retired in 1972.  He became a national celebrity last year when he was voted ‘the People’s Spitfire Pilot’ in a poll launched by the RAF Museum.

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DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY JOY LOFTHOUSE

Joy Lofthouse WWII copyJoy Lofthouse was one of the last two surviving ‘Spitfire Girls’ of the wartime Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA).   Together with her elder sister Yvonne, she joined the ATA in late 1943 and after training as a pilot went on to deliver single-engine fighters to the Fleet Air Arm in Scotland and to the RAF in the south of England.  Her favourite was the Spitfire and she delivered 50 of them to squadrons.  In the last period of her life she became well known and was immensely popular appearing at many functions and attending air shows.

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DAILY TELEGRAPH – OBITUARY AIR VICE-MARSHAL TED HAWKINS

AVM D E (Ted) Hawkins copyAVM Ted Hawkins was twice awarded the DFC as the captain of a Catalina flying boat.  First for a top-secret reconnaissance mission to the High Arctic and Spitsbergen.  The second was awarded for sinking an Italian U-boat in the Mediterranean.  He served as a squadron commander on Shackletons, commanded RAF Tengah in Singapore during the the Indonesian Confrontation and RAF Lyneham.  He was the Senior Air Staff Officer of RAF Strike Command.  He was appointed CB and CBE.

For full obituary click HERE