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jensenpark
05-20-2007, 07:11 PM
Found out today that George "Lefty" Whitman passed away a few weeks back in Winnipeg.

http://www.hawkertempest.se/whitman.htm

I was fortunate enough to meet Lefty though another vet and had several enjoyable lunches with him in Victoria.
Lefty came to Canada to join the RCAF early in the war in order to fight the Nazi's - and never went back home - moving back to Canada after the war and never leaving. He served in 3 Squad. Lefty shared a story with a smile in his eye of how US Military Police showed up at his base to take him to a US base to join the USAF - and how he fled and hid. I suspect it was for reasons other than what he told us.
Lefty, even in his advanced years, never lost his edge or sense of fun. Shared many great stories of his adventures - including flying Ernst Hemingway on his lap in a Spit over the English Channel, knocking down a Ju88 and many V1's.
Lefty apparently was the first to claim a air to air kill in a Tempest - and the first to ditch in a Typhoon (after single attacking a German destroyer single-handed after his wingman flew off.
I haven't been able to ascertain his official score - but he told me once it was 15 air to air, and 15 V1s.
He flew everything from Hurris at the start to P51's at the end - and was one of the evaluation pilots test flying captured German planes.
He told me the Dora was the best he flew - with the Tempest V was a close second. He always thought the German planes were bettter engineered and better thought out.
He hated machine guns...he always said "give me a cannon" - punching the air in exclamation.
He was awarded the Order of Canada, among many other awards for his contributions to Canada and the war effort.

Great guy - sad he is gone - but glad I had the chance to get to know a legend.

jensenpark
05-20-2007, 07:11 PM
Found out today that George "Lefty" Whitman passed away a few weeks back in Winnipeg.

http://www.hawkertempest.se/whitman.htm

I was fortunate enough to meet Lefty though another vet and had several enjoyable lunches with him in Victoria.
Lefty came to Canada to join the RCAF early in the war in order to fight the Nazi's - and never went back home - moving back to Canada after the war and never leaving. He served in 3 Squad. Lefty shared a story with a smile in his eye of how US Military Police showed up at his base to take him to a US base to join the USAF - and how he fled and hid. I suspect it was for reasons other than what he told us.
Lefty, even in his advanced years, never lost his edge or sense of fun. Shared many great stories of his adventures - including flying Ernst Hemingway on his lap in a Spit over the English Channel, knocking down a Ju88 and many V1's.
Lefty apparently was the first to claim a air to air kill in a Tempest - and the first to ditch in a Typhoon (after single attacking a German destroyer single-handed after his wingman flew off.
I haven't been able to ascertain his official score - but he told me once it was 15 air to air, and 15 V1s.
He flew everything from Hurris at the start to P51's at the end - and was one of the evaluation pilots test flying captured German planes.
He told me the Dora was the best he flew - with the Tempest V was a close second. He always thought the German planes were bettter engineered and better thought out.
He hated machine guns...he always said "give me a cannon" - punching the air in exclamation.
He was awarded the Order of Canada, among many other awards for his contributions to Canada and the war effort.

Great guy - sad he is gone - but glad I had the chance to get to know a legend.

BloodyBucket
05-20-2007, 07:28 PM
Thanks for telling that story. I know now how my grandfather must have felt when the Civil War vets were all passing. Now it's my turn to watch the survivors of my father's war fade away. One day, my boys will note the passing of the OIF vets, and think of me...I know it's unlikely, but I hope we run out of conflicts for people to be veterans of. I don't wish it on my kids, even if that terrible cauldron gives us remarkable men like "Lefty".

BillyTheKid_22
05-20-2007, 07:36 PM
Cool!! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Very Good!! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Zeus-cat
05-20-2007, 07:39 PM
Thanks for sharing.

My father fought in World War II (artillery), but he never talked to me about it.

Bearcat99
05-20-2007, 08:11 PM
~!S!~

BrotherVoodoo
05-20-2007, 09:39 PM
S! Sir, RIP

Hanglands
05-21-2007, 02:57 AM
~S~

John_Wayne_
05-21-2007, 03:45 AM
~S!~

Ernst_Rohr
05-21-2007, 07:36 AM
/S! RIP Lefty, job well done.

SithSpeeder
05-21-2007, 08:45 AM
S! and walk with God, Lefty.

* _54th_Speeder *