Author Topic: Geoffrey Wellum  (Read 2366 times)

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Offline PaulH2015

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Geoffrey Wellum
« on: July 20, 2018, 11:27:58 AM »
Died on Wednesday shortly before his 97th birthday.  As well as being one of the heroes of the Battle of Britain - the youngest pilot, and the defence of Malta, he had a great way with words.  My wife bought me his memoir First Light some years ago, I simply couldn't put it down, and have re-read it several times since.  His description of searching for a Bomber over the North Sea in almost zero visibility, and being guided by radar back to base at night at the very edge of radio range, and flying off a carrier at the very limit of what was possible are simply astonishing.  But by far the most evocative section for me is the description of his first flight in a Spitfire.  That was what started me looking into 2-seat Spitfires, before 'paying passengers' were accepted, which seemed an impossible dream.  But now it's a reality, and with good weather and serviceability, I should be getting mine next week.

Of the many obituaries online The Independant's is one of the better ones it includes sections of an interview he gave them when his book was published in 2002 - https://tinyurl.com/ychk85ba

Even if you have seen the BBC film of the same name (also on YouTube), I can't recommend the book highly enough.

Offline dee

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Re: Geoffrey Wellum
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2018, 03:58:20 PM »
Thanks for this, will look into reading about him!
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Offline planenut

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Re: Geoffrey Wellum
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2018, 07:52:31 PM »
Died on Wednesday shortly before his 97th birthday.  As well as being one of the heroes of the Battle of Britain - the youngest pilot, and the defence of Malta, he had a great way with words.  My wife bought me his memoir First Light some years ago, I simply couldn't put it down, and have re-read it several times since.  His description of searching for a Bomber over the North Sea in almost zero visibility, and being guided by radar back to base at night at the very edge of radio range, and flying off a carrier at the very limit of what was possible are simply astonishing.  But by far the most evocative section for me is the description of his first flight in a Spitfire.  That was what started me looking into 2-seat Spitfires, before 'paying passengers' were accepted, which seemed an impossible dream.  But now it's a reality, and with good weather and serviceability, I should be getting mine next week.
..............
Even if you have seen the BBC film of the same name (also on YouTube), I can't recommend the book highly enough.

Certainly an inspirational guy, who lived to a good age and being still well on the ball, a great narrator.

Enjoy your flight - Duxford I hope?
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Offline PaulH2015

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Re: Geoffrey Wellum
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2018, 12:48:47 PM »

Enjoy your flight - Duxford I hope?

Yes, Duxford - weather permitting!  Ironically the place where Wellum first flew a Spitfire.