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MB_Avro_UK
08-10-2007, 04:41 PM
Hi all,

I meet up weekly with an MB Squad mate at a 'pub in Barnet north London. We 'chew the cud' and discuss politics and history.

Last night a very elderly guy walked in and seated himself at the bar. He was wearing a blazer (jacket) with a military breast badge.

I went to the bar to order a couple of pints of 'London Pride' and saw that his breast badge was 'RAF Bomber Command'.

I asked him about his service with the RAF nd he replied that he was the oldest surviving member of Bomber Command. He served as a Flight Engineer between 1937 and 1946. He flew in Vickers Wellesleys before WW2.
http://www.britishaircraft.co.uk/aircraftpage.php?ID=56

He survived two crash landings in this type when they had problems with the undercarriage.

His wartime service was in Burma flying Wellingtons against the Japanese. He never drank pure water but only chlorinated for 3 years.He also supported the Chindits.

He showed me four medals that he carried with him in his pocket. One was the Burma Star. He also had a picture of himself in a Wellesley.

He is now aged 92 and told me that he was born in the same year as Frank Sinatra.I asked if he could sing as well as Sinatra and he gave a chuckle http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

He had other pictures with him of a woman that I only glimpsed but did not see. I offered to buy him a beer but he declined.

When he left I spoke to the barman about this guy. The barman said that this guy had only been coming here since his wife died after 62 years of marriage.

I shook his hand before he left. He walked out on his own into the night.

His name is Joe Dodds. (My spelling may not be perfect but I think its accurate).

I'll visit again over the weekend and with luck maybe get a picture. But then again...would he want his picture taken?

He was a modest and genuine guy to talk to. I was impressed.


Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

MB_Avro_UK
08-10-2007, 04:41 PM
Hi all,

I meet up weekly with an MB Squad mate at a 'pub in Barnet north London. We 'chew the cud' and discuss politics and history.

Last night a very elderly guy walked in and seated himself at the bar. He was wearing a blazer (jacket) with a military breast badge.

I went to the bar to order a couple of pints of 'London Pride' and saw that his breast badge was 'RAF Bomber Command'.

I asked him about his service with the RAF nd he replied that he was the oldest surviving member of Bomber Command. He served as a Flight Engineer between 1937 and 1946. He flew in Vickers Wellesleys before WW2.
http://www.britishaircraft.co.uk/aircraftpage.php?ID=56

He survived two crash landings in this type when they had problems with the undercarriage.

His wartime service was in Burma flying Wellingtons against the Japanese. He never drank pure water but only chlorinated for 3 years.He also supported the Chindits.

He showed me four medals that he carried with him in his pocket. One was the Burma Star. He also had a picture of himself in a Wellesley.

He is now aged 92 and told me that he was born in the same year as Frank Sinatra.I asked if he could sing as well as Sinatra and he gave a chuckle http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

He had other pictures with him of a woman that I only glimpsed but did not see. I offered to buy him a beer but he declined.

When he left I spoke to the barman about this guy. The barman said that this guy had only been coming here since his wife died after 62 years of marriage.

I shook his hand before he left. He walked out on his own into the night.

His name is Joe Dodds. (My spelling may not be perfect but I think its accurate).

I'll visit again over the weekend and with luck maybe get a picture. But then again...would he want his picture taken?

He was a modest and genuine guy to talk to. I was impressed.


Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

B16Enk
08-10-2007, 05:01 PM
Nice, thanks for sharing this m8.

These guys are getting fewer, whichever side they were on, and all tell a story that should never be forgotten.

It is great that at 92 he met you and felt your genuine interest, I would like to think his walk home 'into the night' was with a little more of a spring in his step knowing that what he had done is still appreciated.

I for one would love to immortalise his story, but they can shy heroes.
Some have written their tales for us to put on our site, and have been pleased to be recognised.

leitmotiv
08-10-2007, 05:02 PM
Miserably, this kind of encounter is going to be impossible before long.

One extremely drunken evening in '75 or '76, I was drinking after hours in our favorite after hours drinking establishment---a hotel somewhere in Bloomsbury whose name I can't recall. We were well oiled and I staggered up to the bar for more pints. There I somehow got into a very animated conversation with a gent about 50ish who had been in the Royal Navy during the war. He was stoutish, ruddy, and very jolly. In London on a business trip, I think. He told me he was on the Murmansk run and I was aghast. I was more aghast when he told me he did it on a woebegone U.S. Lend-Lease "four-piper" WWI-era destroyer! He said it was a ghastly piece of junk, spouting leaks everywhere, breaking down, and making the crew miserable. Rolled like a drunken sailor coming off leave. The captain, he said, was a Naval Reserve Lieutenant who was seasick the whole time. When they pulled into Scapa Flow for liberty, they were moored next to a spanking new U.S. destroyer and its tender. He said the British sailors were so poorly paid they could hardly afford to buy anything from the NAAFI store on their tender, but they saw Yanks coming down from their tender loaded to the gunwhales with cartons of cigarettes, candy, radios, and other stuff. He wasn't out to get me (I'm a Yank). He just told it as it was. So we got royally squiffed, and 30 years after the war I bought his pints to make up for having to watch all those flush Yanks up in Scapa.

MB_Avro_UK
08-10-2007, 05:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
Miserably, this kind of encounter is going to be impossible before long.

One extremely drunken evening in '75 or '76, I was drinking after hours in our favorite after hours drinking establishment---a hotel somewhere in Bloomsbury whose name I can't recall. We were well oiled and I staggered up to the bar for more pints. There I somehow got into a very animated conversation with a gent about 50ish who had been in the Royal Navy during the war. He was stoutish, ruddy, and very jolly. In London on a business trip, I think. He told me he was on the Murmansk run and I was aghast. I was more aghast when he told me he did it on a woebegone U.S. Lend-Lease "four-piper" WWI-era destroyer! He said it was a ghastly piece of junk, spouting leaks everywhere, breaking down, and making the crew miserable. Rolled like a drunken sailor coming off leave. The captain, he said, was a Naval Reserve Lieutenant who was seasick the whole time. When they pulled into Scapa Flow for liberty, they were moored next to a spanking new U.S. destroyer and its tender. He said the British sailors were so poorly paid they could hardly afford to buy anything from the NAAFI store on their tender, but they saw Yanks coming down from their tender loaded to the gunwhales with cartons of cigarettes, candy, radios, and other stuff. He wasn't out to get me (I'm a Yank). He just told it as it was. So we got royally squiffed, and 30 years after the war I bought his pints to make up for having to watch all those flush Yanks up in Scapa. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hey leitmotiv,

This was my situation. Out of the blue I met this guy. You are right to say that the chances of meeting guys like this are diminishing year by year.

But something amazed me...he was mentally as sharp as a razor. And I think that he identified me as someone who had a genuine interest. I was able to discuss these aircraft with him.

He also flew in Whitleys but I did not have the time to discuss in detail with him http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

He also said that he never met a Japanese soldier during his three years but said that he was glad as they did not take prisoners.

But he has no animosity today against the Japanese.

To be honest, I felt as though I had met a ghost from the past and was priveleged to do so.

Puts this Sim into context IMHO.

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
08-10-2007, 06:06 PM
You ought to ask him if you can record his memories of flying in the Wellesleys, Whitleys, and Wimpeys! I'd be interested in hearing everything he has to say. Wish I was still in the UK, dammit! The father of an ex-girlfriend of mine, Frank Woodruff Buckles, is the last ambulatory U.S. WWI veteran. He is 106, has been in the news a lot lately. Memory sharp as a tack. It's amazing. If I make it to 80, I'll be lucky if I can remember my name and to zip up my fly.

triad773
08-10-2007, 06:14 PM
Nice- it seems the sort of craft that LeBillFish was wanting in the other thread about pre-WWII designs.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/42/Vickers_Wellesley.jpg

MB_Avro_UK
08-10-2007, 06:15 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by leitmotiv:
You ought to ask him if you can record his memories of flying in the Wellesleys, Whitleys, and Wimpeys! I'd be interested in hearing everything he has to say. Wish I was still in the UK, dammit! The father of an ex-girlfriend of mine, Frank Woodruff Buckles, is the last ambulatory U.S. WWI veteran. He is 106, has been in the news a lot lately. Memory sharp as a tack. It's amazing. If I make it to 80, I'll be lucky if I can remember my name and to zip up my fly. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'll do my best. Watch this space. Age 106 gives us all hope http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
08-10-2007, 06:35 PM
I'll be watching---good work, MBA!

Urufu_Shinjiro
08-10-2007, 07:15 PM
I once met a guy in the gas station I was working in at the time. I saw he had a flight jacket on (could tell it was the real deal) and asked him if he flew in the war. He said yes, flew P-51's (he pointed to the p-51 pin on his hat). I told him I was a warbird nut and we started talking. Said he was shot down twice but never hurt. I told him about the game and he seemed real impressed, if fact he said he bet most of us playing the game were better than the rookies coming in! I told him I liked P-38's and he said there were a few 38's in his squad, he said he envied those guys cause they could lose an engine. He said the fastest he'd gone was 500 indicated diving after a Messerschmitt (didn't specify what type). Obviously not much time to talk while in a gas station but it was a blast. When he left I told him I wanted to shake his hand and thank him for what he did, he said "no, I want to shake your hand, one pilot to another", how cool is that!

T_O_A_D
08-10-2007, 07:29 PM
Super Luck!!!

I just bookmarked this one.

B16Enk
08-11-2007, 05:24 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Urufu_Shinjiro:.... When he left I told him I wanted to shake his hand and thank him for what he did, he said "no, I want to shake your hand, one pilot to another", how cool is that! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very cool and typical of the vets I know of.