Bader.... And Hodgkinson

Bader.... And Hodgkinson

Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

June 15th, 2007, 10:19 am #1

Talking of Bader (as there was in a recent posting) does anyone have any information on Pilot Officer C S Hodgkinson? He also lost both legs in a pre-war flying accident in the RAF but unlike Bader he was not fooling around.

Hodgkinson had a flying accident whilst on a night flying execise and spent 18 months in hospital before returning as an operations officer at a Naval Air Station. He later transferred to the RAF and gained his wings in 1943. He flew with 500 'County of Kent' Squadron for about a year before being shot down in April 1944 and made POW.

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Joined: August 23rd, 2004, 12:40 am

June 15th, 2007, 2:51 pm #2

Bader wasn't fooling around at the time he lost his legs- he was displaying another human trait- pique! He was pissed off at being goaded into giving a display of aerobatics, and let his temper overrule his better judgement. One major rule in flying is not to do that. Had he just been "fooling around", he would have been more relaxed and at one with his machine, and most likely have waited for more airspeed and altitude to show off... And had he still had the previous aircraft type he had flown, he more likely would have not had the accident- they were much more forgiving of such maneuvers... But then again, had he not lost his legs and been discharged, he would have probably been a Group Captain by the start of the war, and really would not hve shown as he did, being higher up the food chain!

Robbie
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Joined: January 14th, 2003, 2:48 pm

June 18th, 2007, 9:31 pm #3

......Bader was not happy at these high brow aerial functions.....Sad but true of RAF (RAAF) 452 Squadron's Bluey Truscott, who was in a roll-for-fun, when the wingtip of his P-40 Kittyhawk hit the ocean and slammed him into the water.....Truscott died one year after his good friend, Paddy Finucane, was lost in the channel in July, 1942. 1942 was not a good year for the RAF, losing Finucane, and having Bader and Stanford Tuck both shot down and imprisoned.....I'm certain there is a book out there entitled "Great Pilot-Stupid Stunt".

'ave a nice one...
Cheers.
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Joined: February 28th, 2004, 3:00 pm

June 18th, 2007, 11:41 pm #4

Didn't 'Cobber' Kain also die doin low rolls in France? Or am I thinking of someone else?

I was at Duxford a few years ago when the P-38 hit the runway and exploded after doing rolls at about 200ft, the pilot 'Hoof' Proudfoot being killed. Apparently the wartime manual for the aircraft advised not to do it under 10,000 ft.
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Joined: August 23rd, 2004, 12:40 am

June 19th, 2007, 12:35 am #5

Yes- Flying Officer E.J. "Cobber" Kain, D.S.O. R.A.F.N.Z., of Fighter Squadron 73, R.A.F., was killed in an off duty accident- another who was acting away from his norm... Probably would have been a high scorer in the Battle of Britain had he survived the Battle of France(Battle?) "Squadrons Up! A firsthand Story of the R.A.F." by Noel Monks(War Correspondent, London "Daily Mail" starts out telling of that day- 7 June 1940 near Blois. Cobber was about to return home on a Maggie, when he saw his Hurricane, and decided for one last beat up prior to returning to England for "Special Duties". He did one pass inverted at about 20 feet, and then zoomed to 1500, came back down, did two complete rolls, and started into a third when his port wing had a wing strike. He was 22..

Very interesting book...
Robbie
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Joined: July 6th, 2005, 12:04 pm

June 19th, 2007, 3:30 pm #6

......Bader was not happy at these high brow aerial functions.....Sad but true of RAF (RAAF) 452 Squadron's Bluey Truscott, who was in a roll-for-fun, when the wingtip of his P-40 Kittyhawk hit the ocean and slammed him into the water.....Truscott died one year after his good friend, Paddy Finucane, was lost in the channel in July, 1942. 1942 was not a good year for the RAF, losing Finucane, and having Bader and Stanford Tuck both shot down and imprisoned.....I'm certain there is a book out there entitled "Great Pilot-Stupid Stunt".

'ave a nice one...
Cheers.
Douglas Bader was shot down in August of 1941. It was a bad month because within a week of one another, they also lost Eric Lock.

On the subject of DB, while he was a great man in many respects, I do find it odd that his name is so synonymous with the Battle of Britain when so many others had higher scores and were frankly better pilots. Sheer personality says it all I suppose. 'Sawn-Off' Lockie was the leading British ace of the battle (and in my opinion the leading ace of the battle period) and few know who he is. In my humble opinion Bader shouldn't have been allowed to play any part in the 'Big Wing' controversy given his rank, and it's always been said he played a part in the national shame of dumping Dowding and Parks. Leigh-Mallory was something of an ass-hat from what I've heard and read.
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Joined: August 23rd, 2004, 12:40 am

June 19th, 2007, 9:43 pm #7

DB is pretty much synonymous with B.o.B. (In my opinion) mainly because the press often spotlit him as th legless pilot, and this got his name in front of everyone, often. He always a very strong personality!

As to the "Big Wing", a bit of it was his experimentation- he seemed to have an "if a pinch is good, a bucketful is better" attitude, and being DB, played his card as strongly as he ould... He proposed the idea to L-M, who agreed with his reasoning, and it went on from there. Michael G.Burns' book, "Bader The Man and his Men" has a good bit on the concept...

Robbie
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