Saturday, May 18, 2024

Flying under Bridges, For Fun

April 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Prose

The writing assignment for 24th Aug. would enable me to get ahead of my tasks,so i began to give it some thought. This s ent my butterfly mind wandering, task forgotten, i delved into researching stories of Wartime Pilots flying under bridges.

I began with a familiar one from my days of living in the lovely county of Hampshire, near the county town of Winchester. “Spitfire Bridge” local legend claimed it was named after a Spitfire Pilot flew his plane under it with only inches to spare al l around. Well what dare devil pilot could refuse such a project. The bridge at the time was over a sinle lane road, now dismantled and rebuilt to give axcess to a new motorway.

Imagine my surprise to having the true story revealed, the plane was not a Spitfire, but a Canadian Tomahawke, piloted by P/O George Roberts, of 400 City of Toronto Squadron, Royal Canadian Airforce, who were based at Odiham Hampshire.U.K.

The date 19th. Oct. 1941.

Pilot Officer Roberts was apparently returning from workshops in Eastleigh, having had his plane fitted with new exhaust clampers .

So just for the hell of it, and to complete a dare from his fellow pilots,

a beautiful day, so why not liven things up a bit and fly under the bridge, so he did.!!.

His plane was slightly scratched in the operation, so the pilot was duly reprimanded, and suffered one years loss of promotion.

So once again history has it all wrong, Spitfire Bridge, should have been named Tomahawke Bridge.

My reaction to all this “Why was P/O George Roberts not promoted on the spot, Squadron leader sounds about right, and a plaque raised in his memory”?

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