1. #1
    MB_Avro_UK's Avatar Senior Member
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    Hi all,

    I recently had the pleasure of interviewing a WW2 Royal Navy Gladiator pilot. He is aware of the il2 simulator from within his veteran's community.

    He is not an online player of course but has seen screenshots and is aware of our interest.His name is Harry and I hope to post a pic of him soon with his Log Book.

    He gave me an account of a mission that he flew from a Royal Navy carrier during the 1940 Norwegian campaign. I have taken the liberty of recreating that incident offline and posting pics here.

    I have his full approval and he has seen the product.

    The incident took place early in the morning and he was the 'Duty pilot'. The carrier was close to the north Norweigan coast and no enemy activity was expected.

    At about 10.00 he received order from the Captain to take off and head ENE towards possible contacts.



    He remembers feeling a bit alone as he headed towards the contacts but his duty prevailed. He admitted that he believed the contact to be a false report as no enemy activity was expected.



    But having crossed the Norweigan coast he spotted two aircraft that he recognised as Ju 88s. These aircraft were often confused with RAF Blenheims but he knew that there were no Blenheims operating in this area.



    Now, he was in an unexpected situation. How many of the enemy? What types? Should he retreat and gather reinforcements?

    But he decided to continue his attack.





    He destroyed a Ju 88 and the crew bailed out. This was his first kill or as they prefered to say in the Royal Navy...his first score as in cricket!

    Harry spotted another 'blighter' to use his terminology and went in to attack...





    Things were getting rather interesting...



    Time to peel off..




    And good luck...hope you all make it...




    Things became a bit dicey when I was hit by the flack !!





    Harry refers to this as his 'Sunshine Roof'..




    He remembers to this day being 'chased' by flack!




    His sight of the Royal Navy carrier in his words was as welcome as a pot of tea on a cold winter morning...or maybe a tot of Royal Navy rum





    Landing was going to be the tough part...Swiss Cheese wings and fuselage...and to make matters worse...his wallet was shot through





    Harry's luck ran out...







    But he survives today

    After 'landing' his Gladiator the ship's Captain called him to Wardroom for a debrief.

    The Captain stated that the Damage Modelling of the Gladiator would at the turn of the next Century be the best for any computor flight simulator.

    Harry did not understand the Captain's prediction at that time....


    Best Regards,
    MB_Avro.
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  2. #2
    Cool! Thanks and a big AHOY to your FAA pilot.
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  3. #3
    Jediteo's Avatar Senior Member
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    Very good job there Avro, a very good read indeed.
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  4. #4
    Gladtastic! A top-notch rollicking adventure. Please ask Harry for some more.
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  5. #5
    MB_Avro_UK's Avatar Senior Member
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    Good Evening Low_Flyer,

    There are other extracts from his Log Books which I could illustrate. But Harry is not sure if the efforts of the Fleet Air Arm are appreciated.

    He mentions that the Fleet Air Arm (a few Swordfish torpedo biplanes) destroyed the Italian Mediterranean fleet at Taranto in November 1940.

    And that the Japanese did the same thing at Pearl Harbor a year later.

    To be honest, in his twilight years he feels forgotten by the British public.

    A good friend of his was involved in the St. Nazaire raid..

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Nazaire_Raid

    He says that it would have been a great film but that there is no English financial support for war films as they are 'Empirialistic'.

    Best Regards,
    MB_Avro.
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  6. #6
    Hi, Avro.

    Several years ago I interviewed some ex-commando's who did St Nazaire. They were the most unassuming guys you could wish to meet. Equating these lovely old gentlemen with some of the things they did was a bit of a challenge at first. One of them told me he could see it was all going 'tits up' in St Nazaire, so he decided to walk to Spain. The cafes on the way were often full of other Commando's with the same idea, in various items of mixed civillian clothing and British uniform, openly smoking packets of British cigarettes - to the consternation of the locals.

    His friend came over part-way through this tale and asked "Is that bloody amatuer telling you how he walked to Spain?"

    "Why yes." I replied, "Why amatuer?"

    "I stole a bicycle. A lot quicker." He said in a fine West-country burr, and wandered off to the bar.
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  7. #7
    MB_Avro_UK's Avatar Senior Member
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    Hi Low_Flyer,

    You have hit the nail on the head.

    These guys are a generation apart and very modest to the extreme.

    I'm not sure what the answer is as to the future...

    Best Regards,
    MB_Avro.
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  8. #8
    Great story, Avro, thanks for sharing! And I agree, the Gladiator has some of the most detailed and coolest damage models. Sometimes I'll fly over a flak battery just to see what the inside of my wing looks like.

    Originally posted by Low_Flyer_MkIX:
    Hi, Avro.

    Several years ago I interviewed some ex-commando's who did St Nazaire. They were the most unassuming guys you could wish to meet. Equating these lovely old gentlemen with some of the things they did was a bit of a challenge at first. One of them told me he could see it was all going 'tits up' in St Nazaire, so he decided to walk to Spain. The cafes on the way were often full of other Commando's with the same idea, in various items of mixed civillian clothing and British uniform, openly smoking packets of British cigarettes - to the consternation of the locals.

    His friend came over part-way through this tale and asked "Is that bloody amatuer telling you how he walked to Spain?"

    "Why yes." I replied, "Why amatuer?"

    "I stole a bicycle. A lot quicker." He said in a fine West-country burr, and wandered off to the bar.
    Haha, that made me chuckle. Amateur indeed!

    Seems like most veterans you meet don't consider themselves heroes, just people who did what they had to do. But then I suppose that's what the definition of a hero is - Someone who just does their job, no matter the risks.
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  9. #9
    Howdy!! You are VERY COOL!!



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  10. #10
    MB_Avro_UK's Avatar Senior Member
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    Thanks Billy But Harry was cool..

    Best Regards,
    MB_Avro.
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