Capt Howard John Thomas Saint


photo: 1915, aged 22, when a Flt Sub-Lt in the RNAS



b. 23 Jan 1893 in Ruabon, N Wales

RNAS in WWI (June 1916).

Joined the Aircraft Manufacturing Company after WWI, and  was the first pilot then licensed by the Air Ministry.

He conducted the very first flight after the ban on civilian flying was raised on May 1, 1919, taking off from Hounslow before dawn in a D.H.9, with a parcel of Daily Mails, heading for Bournemouth. Unfortunately, "fog was encountered in the neighbourhood of Portsmouth, and a forced landing on the Portsdown Hills resulted in the machine being wrecked and the pilot, Capt. H. J. Saint, D.S.C., and passenger, Capt. D. Greig, being injured."

Rejoined the RAF in March 1922, and (as F/O Saint) competed in a handicap race at the RAF Pageant later that year.

In 1927, he became chief test pilot for Gloster. He had a narrow escape in 1933; "The Breda monoplane on which has been fitted the Ugo Antoni variable-camber wing crashed on Chosen Hill, Churchdown, near Gloucester, on Friday last. Mr. H. J. Saint, Gloster's chief test pilot, had taken the machine up in very bumpy weather, and a couple of minutes afterwards wing flutter developed, a portion of the port aileron came adrift and the machine sideslipped into some trees, Mr. Saint escaping with minor injuries." 

Married twice, September 1918 (divorced August 1934) and in 1936.

Retired to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and died there in Sept 1976.


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