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Last Battle of Britain pilot dies

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Ohiophinphan, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20040676

    I thought of adding this to the Spitfire discovery thread but thought this man deserved his own thread. Flt Lt William Walker flew Spits with the famed 616 squadron. He is the last British pilot who flew in the Battle of Britain and embodied Churchill's remarks, "Never have so many owed so much to so few."
     
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  2. CrunchTime

    CrunchTime Administrator Retired Administrator

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    He lived to ripe old age .Fortunately there are some very good documentaries of the pilots who survived until old age .Some who still remembered how to fly those magnificent machines.I never miss a WW2 documentary .That age goes now into the history books since there are no more living witnesses.
     
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  3. FanMarino

    FanMarino Season Ticket Holder

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    ???? Where did you hear that there are no more Battle Of Britain pilots? That's wrong. William Walker was the 'oldest' to pass away not the last. There are still a few of the 'Few' remaining. Geoffrey Wellum to name but one
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Wellum
     
  4. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    Just quoting the BBC. I thought they would know?

    Its taken you two years to notice and correct this?
     
  5. FanMarino

    FanMarino Season Ticket Holder

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    No..You misread it. ;-) I do not come on here to learn my history regarding British or U.S WW2. Ive studied it for 35yrs starting with my Great Great Uncle who fought in the WW1 trenches, my Grandad who fought in North Africa in WW2 and myself serving in the Infantry so pls forgive me for not correcting it. I come on here for Dolphins and thats it but i happened to peruse the site so pls forgive me. sorry :up: Its ok..you can say thanks for the heads up and factual, informative info instead of your numpty, sarcastic reply. p.s It doesnt matter whether i read that factually wrong post 2yrs ago or yesterday. Its wrong hence...ive corrected that faux pas. i have shoved my face into alot of RAF and Battle Of Britain books. Hope ive helped. You are 61? I respect that also but it does not excuse a wise *** comment. I would actually expect more decorum and civility. Oh well. Please elaborate if you are also a historian as i love to talk to the older generation especially WW1 OR 2. Ive served in the Infantry as has my family hence my interest. Hope you are well Ohio. Regards.
     
  6. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    And you misread me, imputing sarcasm into my answer. I assure you, my response was one of surprise that you would bump a two year old thread. You are correct, I misread eldest as last. I was clearly wrong. Thank you. However, I didn't impute motive to you and ask you not to impute motive to me, that's all.

    The difficulty in reading only written material is that you bring your own sense of "voice" to it. That may or may not be correct. In this case, I would suggest yours was not. If you were offended, I am sorry. No offense, just surprise, was intended.

    At 61, I was born in late 1952 and thus missed the world wars. My Dad served on a destroyer in WW 2 though he saw no action. One relative was at Kasserine and Monte Cassino and another in the Philippines. I have spoken with hundreds of vets of all the eras and have conducted some oral history interviews for colleges and historical societies to keep their story alive. Some particular favorites were a WW1 submariner and later Yangtze River Patrol CPO, a member of Merrill's Marauders, a Dauntless pilot from Midway, and Hindenburg's driver in both wars. My personal library of WW 2 history is over 400 books, mostly focusing on the Navy in the Pacific though generally covering the entire war.

    Thanks for your interest. I would hope in the future you would read material, especially mine, without deciding motives.
     
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  7. MrClean

    MrClean Inglourious Basterd Club Member

    Two of my most favorite topics in regards to WW2. Those interviews would be interesting to me. Was the Dauntless pilot, Navy flying off one of our carriers, or a Marine pilot flying off Midway Island? The Marine pilots weren't well trained with the Dauntless yet, and did not really have an effect in the outcome. The Navy pilots flying what was the best dive bomber of WW2, are the ones who sunk 3 Jap carriers in 6 minutes and the 4th one a short while later. That feat alone is what makes the Dauntless my favorite plane of WW2 in the Pacific and tied with the B17 as favorite overall. The Dauntless sunk more Jap cargo tonnage of any plane in the war, and even though it was a scout plane/dive bomber, it was heavily armored, and armed with two forward 50s and a 30 cal to the rear, and had a net positive outcome in head to head encounters with Jap airplanes.

    What the Marauders did was IMO the most impressive feat by US ground soldiers of anything in WW2. I met a rancher in Wyoming once, who was a mule skinner with the Marauders. I was young then though, and while I knew enough about their story to be somewhat in awe, I did not take the time, to really engage him in a long conversation.
     
  8. Ohiophinphan

    Ohiophinphan Chaplain Staff Member Luxury Box

    The SBD pilot was Earl Gallaher, CO of Scouting 6, off Enterprise. He was the uncle of one of the fellows who was an advisor to the youth program. I did his funeral in DC. The Merrill's Marauders fellow was the last surviving member of the medical detachment. He had been a medic/hospital orderly with them. When they were finally evacuated, he told me he was one of a hand full who were fit for further duty. They were a very sick group.
     
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