Tuesday, March 26, 2024

A feel-good moment more than 80 years in the making


Courtesy of James Higham at Nourishing Obscurity, I came across this touching video.  It seems there's only one surviving airworthy Hawker Hurricane fighter from the Battle of Britain in 1940.  The mechanic who worked on that aircraft during the Battle is still alive, at 102 years of age, and was recently reunited with the plane.

A WWII RAF veteran had the chance to fly alongside the aircraft he helped maintain during the heroic Battle of Britain in 1940.

Jeff Brereton, who celebrated his 102nd birthday earlier this year, took to the air in BE505, the world’s only two seat Hurricane, with R4118, the only remaining airworthy Mk 1 Hurricane to have taken part in the Battle of Britain, and the aircraft Jeff worked on, flying alongside.

Jeff, who lives in Evesham, Worcestershire, said: “I have great memories of the plane. Of all the aircraft I dealt with, that was the one that stuck in my mind. It was unbelievable to be able to see that aircraft again, that it had survived.”

There's more at the link.

Here's a video report, including mid-air images.

I found the story particularly moving because my father was also an aircraft mechanic during the Battle of Britain.  I wrote about his World War II service some years ago.

It's nice to come across a good news story like this in our turbulent, not-so-good world.



jerseygirlangie said...

The Hurricane is the Mary Ann equivalent to the Spitfire's Ginger .
( And everyone ends up loving Mary Ann ! )

And here's a nice TV appearance of the Hurricane :


rickr said...

Phenomenal! Can we imagine how this lion felt on that flight? Honors, Mr. Brereton!

Tree Mike said...

I'm a WWll air war nerd since I figured out, in 7th grade, that reading was great, if you were reading about something that grabbed your imagination. 7th grade was 1963.
At 73, I'm still very taken by the amazing accomplishments of the designers, engineers, builders, maintenance crews and of course the pilots in their amazing flying machines. The wooden Hurricane was something of an under appreciated bird. I seem to recall it shot down more enemy aircraft than the Spitfire, could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

What are the odds. The last Hurricane reunited with a contender for last veteran of the aerial Battle of Britain.

Will said...

it shot down more during the Battle of Britain. ISTR that there were about twice as many Hurricanes as Spitfires at that early point. When both were in the same sky, the Spits were normally directed to deal with the enemy fighters, and the Hurricanes focused on the bombers.

The Hurricanes were something of a composite construction, with a metal framework with some wood and fabric components. IIRC, the cost was about half of the Spit, which is why they were so widely employed. Production ended by '44, as the design couldn't be pushed any further, performance wise.

Anonymous said...

Amen to THAT!
Our world is filled with so many disgusting distractions, this one is quite welcome. Thanks for sharing!

Tree Mike said...

Will, thanks for the brain jog!