Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 23, 2019 21:03:23 GMT 12
Earlier this week Bevan Dewes and I stayed a night with Don and Robyn Subritzky on a little road trip we did, and it was great to see the progress that Steve Subritzky has been making with his stunning Vincent restoration. The spats are now restored and fitted,and they look really terrific.
And just now I got a message from Steve's wife Lorna saying that Steve fitted the chin cowl today too. Brilliant! She sent this photo:
Hi My father flew Vickers Vildebeestes in RAF 36 squadron in 1941/2 as an RAAF WAG, often with RNZAF pilots who he kept in contact with He was shot down in the Endau raid and survived to father me after some time on the railway I have long had an interest in the Vildebeeste/Vincents and the lack of military intelligence surrounding their deployment
When the virus settles I would be keen to visit NZ and view the restoration
I hope somebody else can help with arranging something with you to enable an overdue viewing of the mighty Vildebeest/Vincent. I found it very interesting that an RAF tradesman who served with 36 and 100 Squadrons at Singapore in 1941/42 called Frank Munger had RNZAF associations. Cannot recall the details at moment, but think he managed to escape Singapore in the nick of time, and subsequently ended up in New Zealand, and served for maybe 18 months with RNZAF on attachment (as did about 50 other RAF refugees from Singapore) - He might even have worked on RNZAF Vildebeests, but cannot say for certain. The interesting thing about Frank was that he survived these experiences and returned to his home in the UK, and eventually became a technical illustrator in civil life. One of his later drawings was a masterful "cutaway" of a Vickers Vildebeest, and this was subsequently published by (I think) the "Aeroplane" magazine, perhaps in 1990s. He dedicated this drawing to all his old mates with 36 and 100 Squadrons, and also to his RNZAF wartime comrades. You may even have a copy of his drawing in your collection! David D
Post by Dave Homewood on May 9, 2020 11:36:43 GMT 12
I have sent you an email DavidK.
I have spoken with three Kiwi pilots who took part in and survived the Endau Raid - Ron Reid from No. 36 Squadron, Colin Gardner from No. 100 Squadron, and Geoff Fisken from No. 243 Squadron escorting in a Buffalo.
Everyone who took part should be better acknowledged and some of them should have been awarded medals in my opinion but they were seemingly totally overlooked for this brave and desperate action. Around the same time Swordfish attacked a German fleet in the English Channel and it too was a failure but a VC was awarded to the leader and they are forever immortalised.
Do you have your father's flying logbook? Did he ever fly with Ron Reid?
I think you know that that is indeed the picture I had in mind. The only reservations I have with this drawing is the propeller (which looks rather too spindly to my eye) and the pilot's windscreen, which looks too low and wide. However it is almost certainly the best impression of the Vilde/Vincent family ever produced, and cannot fault any of the "key" descriptions. I think he must have enjoyed completing this drawing and derived great satisfaction from doing so. Am guessing he is no longer with us, but would love to be proved wrong. David D Sadly I was correct; Frank died in UK in June, 2010, and according to his obituary (The Guardian) he did indeed serve with the RNZAF (attached), servicing our P-40s in the Solomons before being sent back "home". He was invalided out of the RAF with TB in late 1944, and was eventually on the staff of "Flight" magazine. No doubt got a mention in the "new" Aeroplane on his death.