Aviator

  • Fall, Joseph Stewart Temple

     Flt-Lt Joseph (aka John) Stewart Temple Fall DFC AFC

     

    in 1916 when a Flt Sub-Lt, RN

     

    photo: 1920

     

    b. 17 Nov 1895 in Cowichan, Vancouver B.C. Canada

    WWI ace with the RNAS (36 victories, making him the 7th-highest scoring Canadian); he stayed in the RAF from its inception in 1918 until he retired in 1945 as a Group Captain.

    d. 1988.

  • Fawcett, Thomas Constantine

     Mr Thomas Constantine Fawcett

     

    photo: 1930, aged 32

     

    A Engineer from County Durham

     

  • Ferguson, Austin Bruce

     Mr Austin Bruce Ferguson

     

    photo: 1927, aged 29

     
     A Stockbroker from Surrey

     

     

  • Fielden, Earl Bateman

     Capt. Earl Bateman 'Safety First' Fielden

     EB Safety First Feilden  via Phillip Jones

     
     

    b. 14 Oct 1899, Shipley, Yorks

    May 1938: "Cdr. E. B. Fielden, of British Airways, has now flown over 100,000 passengers without so much as bruising the very tenderest of them. A lot of his flying was done in the early joy-ride days, operating from small fields, and when chief pilot to Sir Alan Cobham's circus he once took up 768 people in a day. "

    Just shows you can't believe all you read: August 25, 1933, "TWO MEN TRAPPED WHEN 'PUANE CRASHES. Pilot Jumps Clear In Time. Three airmen had remarkable escapes when an aeroplane crashed in arriving from Kidderminster for the Scunthorpe (Lincolnshire) hospital air pageant (BHAP) at Ashby yesterday. They were: Captain E. B. Fielden. of the Royal Club, London, the pilot; Mr Clifford Jones, of Blackwood; and Mr Frederick La Croix, Finchley, London. They were taken to Scunthorpe Hospital, but Captain Fielden was not detained.

    The aeroplane was about to land when it got into difficulties and crashed into a field of sugar beet near the ground where the pageant was held.  In striking the ground the 'plane toppled over but Captain Fielden managed to jump out. Mr Jones and La Croix were trapped in the cabin, but were soon rescued by Captain Fielden and officials who rushed from the pageant ground. On inquiry at the hospital early this morning it was stated that neither of the men who were detained appeared to be very seriously injured.

    Captain Fielden had a narrow escape in September, 1931. when an air liner, of which was the pilot, crashed in flames near Moortown Golf Course in the east Riding of Yorkshire. "

    He later 'transferred' to the British Hospitals Air Pageant, (a rival organisation which Alan Cobham regarded as rather a scam), together with Charles W. A. Scott, the Hon. Mrs. Victor Bruce, Pauline Gower. Dorothy Spicer, Capt. R. H. (All-weather) Mclntosh, Capt. Phillips, Capt. Rollason, Flt-Lt. J. B. W. Pugh. Flight-Lieut. A. G. Hill and Col. FitzMaurice, who was the first to fly the Atlantic from east to west.

    Later a Wing Commander in WWII; DFC in 1944 for having been responsible for the movements of loaded transports during the Wingate airborne invasion of Burma.

    His son, Aircraftman 2nd Class Stanley Earl Spensley Fielden (RAFVR) was killed 8 Mar 1943, age 18.

    d. Feb 1985 in Exeter

     

  • Fielden, Edward Hedley

     Flt-Lt (Sir) Edward Hedley Fielden KCVO CB DFC AFC

     

     
     

    'Mouse', b. 1903. Prince of Wales' (i.e. Edward VII's) pilot, later Captain of the King's (and Queen's) Flights until 1962.

    DFC, 1943: "This officer has flown on various operational missions, some of a most hazardous nature. He has displayed a high standard of operational efficiency, setting an example which has contributed materially to the high morale of the air crews under his command. His great organising ability has proved a valuable asset.”

    Edward Fielden (RAF officer) - Wikipedia

    d. 1976

     

  • Findlay, Maxwell Hutcheon

     Capt Maxwell Hutcheon 'Max' Findlay

     

    photo: 1918, when a Captain in the RAF, aged 20

     

    d. 1st October 1936, in the Schlesinger England-Johannesburg Race; the Airspeed AS.6J Envoy 3 G-AENA 'Gabrielle' struck trees after take-off and crashed at Abercorn, Rhodesia, killing Max Findlay and wireless operator A H Morgan.

    The unclaimed prize money from the race  - £6,000 out of the £10,000 total fund - went to the families of those who had died; £2,000 each to Mrs. Max Findlay and Mrs. A. H. Morgan, and £2,000 placed in trust for the child of Capt. Findlay.

     

  • Flynn, John J

      Capt John James? ('Paddy') Flynn

     

     

     August 1930, Flight: "The most interesting news item at Croydon this week centres round Mr J. J. Flynn. He is one of the most modest of good fellows and whilst others strut into the glare of publicity he retires, knowing that it is the doing of a job which matters, not the talking about it. It is six months since he joined Imperial Airways and after the usual probationary period as second pilot and a spell on inland services he "passed out" on Argosys  last Wednesday. The following morning he took out the 8 a.m. service to Paris and did the trip in 96 min., an extraordinarily good time for this type of machine. We understand that it is two years since Capt. Willcockson did the journey in 105 min., the next best time.

    'Paddy' Flynn has had an adventurous career and many have made themselves into newspaper heroes by achieving much less. His first appearance at Croydon was as a joyride pilot for Surrey Flying Services in 1924. But it seems that that was only because the shouting and fighting in his native land had died down. For after his war service with R.F.C. and R.A.F.  in France, he returned to Ireland in 1920 as second in command of the Free State Air Force with the rank of Commandant. He left Surrey Flying Services when N.F.S. started up last year, but saw more chances with the Desoutter Aircraft Co., whose first test pilot he was. Here he did some very good work in all weathers—the more adverse the conditions the more cheerful he becomes. That firm parted with him regretfully when Imperial Airways called early in the spring. His flying time is over five thousand hours, and who has carried something like thirty-one thousand passengers"

     

    10 May 1939 "The pilot who was killed, with a woman passenger, in a collision between two aeroplanes at Horne, near Horley, Surrrey on Monday [8 May], was identified yesterday as Captain J. J. Flynn, of South Croydon, who was formerly an Imperial Airways pilot. He was flying a liner which crashed in France in 1930 and lost a leg as a result of the accident. Miss Aurora Tasselli, the dead girl, was 19 and lived in Rayners Lane."

    from the Irish Press: "Paddy was a native of Doocastle, Balllymote, Co. Sligo, and played a big part in fighting against the Black and Tans in that area.

    Aged 44, he helped to form the the Irish Free State Air Force and was for a time Commandant in the force at Baldonnel. Later he resigned and went to England, where he became an Imperial Airways pilot.

    It was he who piloted the air liner 'City of Washington' [G-EBIX] which crashed in France in 1930. Four people were killed and Captain Flynn hurt his spine and also had his left leg amputated. For three years he was in and out of hospitals and had 19 operations.

    'The loss of his leg did not keep him from flying', a friend of Captain Flynn's told an Irish Press representative yesterday, 'and he showed the authorities that he was as good a flyer with one leg as the average pilot is with two. He renewed his licence and was, I think, the only one-legged flyer in England.

    'He was a man of great daring and courage, and never let bad luck daunt him.'

    Capt Flynn was in the British Flying Corps during the Great War. His brother, Mr Dan Flynn, of Palmertson, Dublin, is secretary of the Fianna Fail Cumann there, and is also secretary of D Company, Old I.R.A."

    In 1936 Paddy was a director of a company called Atlas Air Services, and then in 1937 formed his own flying club:

    "PADDY FLYNN FLYING CLUB LTD. Private company, registered July. Capital, £1,000 in 1,000 shares of £1. Objects: To carry on the business of instructors in aviation, aerial navigation, aerial and ground signalling, dealers in and importers and exporters of aircraft and aircraft engines, etc. The directors are  John J. Flynn, air pilot, Merrock S. C. Hyams, air pilot, Muriel Montgomery. "

    Miss Tasselli was his pupil. Flying an aircraft from the Redhill Flying Club, they collided with Hawker Hart K5800 flown by Sgt Stuart Smith.

    "Miss Tasselli was keen on her new hobby of flying. Her father, who was born in Italy, has a tailor's business in Manchester. Mrs C. Tasselli, her mother, an Englishwoman, told a reporter to-day:— 'She had only been up in the air four times. She joined the Civil Guard a few weeks ago after waiting to do so for several months, I never wanted her to go in the air because I think it is a man's job, but she was a rather venturesome and self-willed young lady and would not listen to my advice.'

    'Flight' said "it was with very genuine regret that a large number of his friends at Croydon heard of the sad death of poor Paddy Flynn, who was as game a sportsman and as likeable a fellow as ever flew."

     

  • Fontes, Luis Goncelvis

     Mr Luis Goncelvis Fontes

      1934, aged 21

     ata_luis_fontes_1938.jpg  1938
     

    b. 26 December 1912; brother of Ruth [the family were from Brazil, although he and Ruth were both born in London].

    Racing driver, winning the Le Mans 24 hour race in a Lagonda with John Hindmarsh, a test pilot, in 1935, as well as the Manx Grand Prix and a number of lesser events. (The Lagonda can now be seen in the Netherlands National Motor Museum).

     

    Monday 02 December 1935 - "RACING MOTORIST SENT TO PRISON

    Judge and a Case of “Wicked Recklessness

    LICENCE SUSPENDED FOR 10 YEARS

    Luis Fontes, the 22-year-old racing motorist, was sentenced to three years’ penal servitude, his licence was suspended for ten years from the date of his release, and he was ordered to pay the costs of the prosecution at both the police court and the assizes by Mr. Justice Du Parcq at Warwick Assizes on Saturday.

    He was charged with the manslaughter of Reginald Francis Mordike at Coleshill 6th October. The Judge said that it was the worst case he had ever known. When he considered what Fontes did on the day of the tragedy it appeared to him to plain that was not a question of whom he was likely to injure or kill, but how many he would injure or kill. He behaved with wicked recklessness, for which the only excuse that could offered was that he was drunk. The Judge added that if he had not thought that Fontes was drunk he would say that the case was almost as black as murder, for any reasonable person behaving as Fontes behaved would have known it was almost inevitable that someone would be killed. He considered that Fontes had been treated in regard to certain other motoring offences with deplorable leniency.

    SENTENCES OF PENAL SERVITUDE

    Fontes was defended by Sir Henry Curtis Bennett, K.C., and Mr. Arthur Ward, and pleaded guilty.

    There had been evidence at different points that he was driving his motor car at recklessly high speed and he was on number of occasions completely on the wrong side of the road; that he drove with complete disregard of the safety of other users; that, finally, he was under the influence of drink to such extent as not to be able to have full control of the car. Mr. Marshall mentioned how a man, recognised as Fontes, went to the house of a gardener at Castle Gardens, smashed a panel in the door of his house, went upstairs and lay on his bed. Witnesses w'ho saw him formed the opinion that he was under the influence of drink. It was alleged that Fontes was racing with another car, and at a cross-roads an AA patrol man had to jump out of the way. Further along another car was forced to go on the grass verge, and behind this car were two motor cyclists one of whom Mordike, the man who was killed.

    The motor cyclists were travelling about 15 miles an hour, three feet from their proper side of the road. Fontes’s car, travelling at a very fast speed, collided head-on with and knocked him off his machine.

    DID NOT STOP

    Neither Fontes’s car nor the other car stopped, but further on they were held up in traffic. Then Fontes drove to a garage and told a garage man to put right his front tyre, which was deflated. Fontes did not get out of the car, but sat back in the seat and switched on the wireless. He was droswy and did not realise what was going on around him. Subsequently doctors certified him as being under the influence of drink. To a police officer he said, I struck the motor cyclist, the motor cyclist struck me, it is fifty-fity. It serves the cyclist right.” Drink was found in the car. The motor cyclist died the next day.

    Police-Superintendent Horsman told the judge that Fontes’s father died when he was young and Fontes inherited, at 21, a considerable fortune. He received a good education, and from 1932 to 1934 he took a course in automobile repair work. Since then be had been engaged, with some success, motor racing. There was a number of convictions against him, four being for careless driving, and one for dangerous driving. while there were several for minor offences."

    Operated a speedboat firm in Torquay.

     

    Owned:

    1935 Miles Hawk Speed Six G-ADGP G-ADGP Miles Hawk Speed Six Luis Fontes 3

    and

    1938 B A Eagle 2 G-AFKH G AFKH Tommy Rose 0129 0039

    luis and ruth fontes

    with his sister Ruth, King's Cup 1935


    Killed in WWII: 12th October 1940, when a First Officer with the Air Transport Auxiliary; his Wellington stalled and crashed following engine failure. Buried Mapledurham, Oxfordshire

    see also Fontes, Luis Goncelvis (ata-ferry-pilots.org)

     

  • Fontes, Ruth

     Miss Ruth Fontes

      1933, aged 22

     

    Luis' elder sister

    b. 10 March 1911 in London, married Dr Norman Howard-Jones in June 1936.

    Her Miles M.2U Hawk Speed Six G-ADOD, was 'built around her', was called 'Jabbawocky' and later competed in the 1936 Schlesinger Race to Johannesburg.

    Her grand-daughter told me "Ruth and my grandfather Norman divorced and I do not think she remarried. They had 3 children, a girl and 2 boys. Norman would later receive an OBE for his work for WHO - I think he was part of the founding team.  

    Ruth and Luis' enormous fortune came from their father, Alfonso Goncalves Fontes, whose origins lay in Brazil.  He had made it during the Brazilian rubber boom and then in real estate in the area of Rio de Janiero and had then settled in England at the age of about 40. He died in around 1933.

    The ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn was Ruth and Luis half sister."

     

    d. 1969 in Islington

     

  • Foot, Ernest Leslie

     Lt Ernest Leslie Foot MC

     

    photo: 1915, aged 20

     
     

    b. 19 May 1895 in Pulborough, Sussex

    WWI ace (5 victories), awarded the Military Cross for 'conspicuous skill and gallantry'.


    G-EAVP Bristol M1

    d. 23 June 1923 when the Bristol M.1D G-EAVP (which flew in both the Aerial Derby and the King's Cup in 1922) lost a wing and crashed near Chertsey.

     

  • Forbes-Sempill, William (Lord Semphill)

    William Forbes-Sempill, 19th Lord Sempill AFC

      1930

     

     

    Ah... yes... the aviation pioneer, chairman of the Royal Aeronautical Society, right-wing sympathiser and occasional spy (for the Japanese), who was motivated by his 'impetuous character, obstinacy, and flawed judgement', rather than money.

    William Forbes-Sempill, 19th Lord Sempill - Wikipedia

     

     

  • Forestier-Walker, Dring Lester

     Mr Dring Lester Forestier-Walker

     

     

     b. c.1900

    1921 was his only Aerial Derby, and he crashed the Sopwith Pup (which he presumably borrowed from its owner Mr Rickards) at Hendon. There is a rumour that he may have been drunk.

    The aircraft survived, however (or at least its fuselage did) and is under long-term restoration at RNAS Yeovilton.

    d. Dec 1968 in Aylesbury.

     

  • Foy, Frederick Victor Walter

    Frederick Victor Walter Foy

     

     

    Imperial Airways from October 1929

     

    b. Wilburton 10 Jul 1900

    based Heliopolis, Egypt

    Awarded Master Pilot's Certificate in 1935

    Promoted to Senior Master in October 1938

     

  • Franklyn, Arthur

     Mr Arthur Franklyn

     

    photo: 1930, aged 23

     
     

    A speedway racer in Manchester in 1929-31 (see also Jack Ormston) who was briefly the 'King of the White City'. Retired from speedway and took up a commission with the RAF.

    d.1983 in Ipswich, Suffolk

     

  • Gardner, Charles Exton

     Mr Charles Exton Gardner

       1931, aged 25

     

     Aeronautical engineer 'with his own aerodrome at home in Surrey'. Always nice to have.

    "Flew to India [in 1936] to compete in the Viceroy's Cup Race"

  • Gathergood, Gerald William

     Capt Gerald William Gathergood

      1916, aged 21, when a Lieut in the 16th Durham Light Infantry

     
     

    b. 15 June 1895 in Tilney St Lawrence, Norfolk

    WWI pilot. His flying was described thus: "he always threw all machines about the sky in a most alarming manner".

    Became a dental surgeon, married Peggy Thompson in 1930, played golf and...

    d. 21 May 1966 aged 70

     

  • Gault, Andrew Hamilton

     Lieut-Col Andrew Hamilton Gault D.S.O.

      1929, aged 47

     
     

    An English-born Canadian who served in the Boer War and then founded a regiment - Princess Patricia's Own Canadian Light Infantry - with his own money in 1914. Recruiting was brisk: ten days later the regiment was 1,098 strong. He became its third commanding officer, but was wounded several times and lost his left leg. On May 7th, 1915 they were 635; by the end of the following day they numbered 150. Andrew was one of only two of its officers to survive WWI.

    In 1920 his fiancée, a Mrs Kathleen Blackader, died when the car he was driving skidded and overturned; she was trapped underneath and he was unable to free her. Her daughter Margaret later became his ward.

    In 1922 he 'quietly' married Dorothy Blanche Shuckburgh, and they settled at Hatch Court, Taunton. His military record stood him in good stead when he tried for election as an Unionist (i.e. Conservative) M.P., but he narrowly failed to overturn a near-3,000 Liberal majority in 1923. He was back the following year, however, this time successfully, and was Taunton's M.P. until 1935 - serving on various committees and much involved in local politics: President of the 'Society of Somerset Folk', and he regularly gave a cup for the 'best fat beast' in the Taunton Christmas Show.

    He and Dorothy flew to Germany in 1933 as members of a party making a holiday tour, and met (speaking of fat beasts) Herman Goering and Adolf Hitler. [Lynsdey Everard, A E Borton and Mrs and Mrs Runciman were also on this tour].

    d. 28th November 1958 in Montreal, aged 76.

    Hamilton Gault - Wikipedia

     

  • Gault, Dorothy Blanche Hamilton

     Dorothy Blanche Hamilton Gault

       Lady G-AAGA

     

     Dorothy Shuckburgh as was, Andrew's (q.v.) second wife.

    "An owner-pilot, Mrs Hamilton Gault, has with her husband travelled England and the Continent for four years in a Moth rejoicing in the registration letters 'G-AAGA'.

    She is an example of the practical lady pilot whose aeroplane is used, when weather permits, for all travelling in England and abroad. Once a week or more, in summer, she flies to London and back to her home in Somerset.

    She is, however, forced to use the aerodrome at Yeovil - some distance from her home - owing to the lack of landing grounds in the Somerset Hills, which keeps a number of air-minded people in the county from taking up flying."

    Dorothy died in 1972, at Hatch Court

     

  • Geijsendorpher, Gerrit Johannis

     Gerrit Johannis Geijsendorpher

     

     
     

     Born 1st April, 1892 in Sliedrecht

    Like Koene Dirk Parmentier, Gerrit also died in an accident in KLM service. On 26 January 1947 his Douglas DC-3 crashed shortly after takeoff from Kastrup Copenhagen Airport in Denmark, killing all 22 on board.

    Among the victims were the Swedish prince Gustav Adolph and the American singer Grace Moore.

     

  • Gibbons, Frank George

     Flt-Lt Frank George Gibbons

      1918, when a 2nd Liet, aged 19

      1930, aged 31

    from Peterborough; WWI air ace (14 victories); killed in May 1932, flying into a tree during the Morning Post (Heston) air race.

    1932: "The tragic loss of Fit. Lt. Frank George Gibbons during the race organised by the Morning Post on Saturday, May 21, was one which came as a shock to his many friends. It would appear fairly certain that his death was due to his colliding with a tree while looking at his maps inside the cockpit, and was in no way caused by any defect in the "Spartan" three-seater he was flying at the time. He was a particularly likeable character, besides being an outstanding expert as a pilot.

    He was one of those people about whom one never heard any gossip, and his likeable character is shown by the fact that although he was the best of companions at the kind of party which usually finishes an air meeting, he was equally at home spending an afternoon playing with young children.

    He first joined the R.F.C. in June, 1917, as an air mechanic (cadet), and gained his commission in November of the same year. He was gazetted as a Fit. Lt. on June 1, 1926, and won the D.F.C. for services in the field.

    Not only was he a very fine pilot of land aircraft, but also of flying boats. On January 5, 1931, he went to Calshot, and from there he was posted to No. 204 Flying Boat Squadron at Mountbatten, Plymouth, of which he was a member at the time of his death.

    He was a brilliant navigator, and this form of race was one in which he was particularly interested. It is perhaps, therefore, some consolation to feel that if he himself could have had the choice, he would have undoubtedly have chosen to die when flying "flat-out" during such a race, in the manner he did.

    The funeral took place at Ipswich on Wednesday, May 25. He was 33 years of age and unmarried."

     

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