David N. Galpin Gp Capt (Ret'd) - 10 Sqn VC10 navigator Jan 1967 - Oct 1969
David was born in Portsmouth in April 1929 and sadly passed away on 26 August 2017 at his home in Chippenham, Wilts. Our condolences go to his wife Brenda and their three children Nickie, Chris and Roger.
A Memorial/ Thanksgiving Service was held at St Michael's Church, Lyneham on 14 September.
David was a navigator who served as a Flight Commander on 10 Sqn when it was newly formed equipped with the VC10 aircraft. - (see dates below) He was particularly proud to have served on the Squadron, and loved flying on such a lovely aircraft. He was further delighted to have been at Brize Norton in September 2013 to witness the last VC10 flight.
David was a member of 10 Sqn Association and we are honoured and grateful to his family that they have specifically asked for us to be informed of this sad news.
David Galpin & daughter Nickie Evans, in September 2013
(Thanks to go to David's son-in-law, Sqn Ldr Tony Evans (Retd) for providing David's personal details below)
David Galpin: Personal Life & Career Details:
Attended the Royal Grammar School Guildford and joined the Royal Air Force in 1947 direct entry from school.
Professional Qualifications: Graduate RAF Staff College, Air Warfare College and Specialist Navigator Course. Member of Royal Institute of Navigation. Bachelor of Arts OU
Initial Training as a Navigator carried out at Thornhill, Rhodesia from 12 Apr 1948- 6 Sep 1949 & commissioned on return in Dec 1949.
Posted to 235 Sunderland OCU Calshot 27 Mar 1950 - Sep 1950 & later that yearp osted to 209 Sqn Sunderlands in Seletar, Singapore 4 Oct 1950
Flew operational sorties from Iwakuni Japan flying over the Yellow Sea in support on UN forces during the Korean War. Awarded a Mention in Dispatches to his Korean War medal.
Became Senior Navigator on 209 Squadron. He was also involved in flying around the Indian Ocean carrying British government officials looking for a suitable place to build an airfield, eventually choosing Gan.
Returned to UK and posted as Navigator Instructor RAF Shawbury 4 Nov 1953 and attended Specialist Navigator Course RAF Manby 22 Aug 1955
Posted in Jul 1956, on Ground Tour, to A and AEE Boscombe Down writing Navigator Training Manuals. However, managed to fly, and record in his logbook, on a number of aircraft including: Meteor, Javelin, Comet, Ashton, Beverly, Victor, Vulcan and Valiant. David was also was the navigator on the delivery flight of the last Beaufighter RD 761 from Boscombe Down to Seletar in Mar 1959.
Posted to 242 Hastings OCU RAF Dishforth 18 Aug 1959 -22 Dec 1959 & joined 36 Sqn Hastings RAF Colerne 10 Jan 1960 - 8 Jan 1961
Posted RAF Staff College Bracknell 9 Jan 1961-22 Feb 1962
Exchange posting to USAF, Alaskan Air Command Elmandorf AFB Alaska 10 Mar 62 -28 Mar 1964. Staff appointment dealing with policy on navigational training, radio aids and liaison with the FAA. He did manage to fly and did a number of flights around Alaska and to bases along the Aleutian chain to Shemya (the nearest point to Russia) on C54 and C47 aircraft. On one notable flight they carried out a Search and Rescue mission for a group of missing Eskimos missing on an ice floe, successfully locating them.
His tour also proved to be very interesting in other aspects. He and his family were there during the Cuban Missile Crisis and being so close to Russia became familiar with Nuclear Fallout Drills during a very tense period. JF Kennedy was shot during their time there.
At the end of his tour on the day before they were due to come home the Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 struck. The hotel they were staying in was badly shaken and for a time their son became separated from them before being led to safety by another hotel guest.
On return posted on Staff tour to RAF Transport Command, Upavon overseeing map and chart requirements and flight manuals. 22 Jun 1964 - 15 Jan 1967
Flight Commander tour on the newly formed 10 Sqn on VC10s RAF Brize Norton 16 Jan 1967-14 Oct 1969
Staff tour MOD 15 Oct 1969- 28 Dec 1970
Posted 242 OCU Hercules RAF Thorney Island 21 Sep 1970 - 28 Dec1970
Officer Commanding No 30 Squadron RAF Fairford/RAF Lyneham 1 Jan 1971-28 Mar 1973. during the Indo-Pakistan conflict he was sent to Masirah as Detachment Commander overseeing the safe evacuation of British Civilians from Karachi, Islamabad and Dacca.
Attended Air Warfare Course Manby 25 Jun1973 - 8 Dec1973
MOD tour 17 Dec 1973 - 25 Oct 1976
Station Commander RAF Fylingdales 27 May 1977-3 Aug 1979. He particularly enjoyed his time at Fylingdales. The married quarters were in Whitby and his family loved the local area. He was especially proud that, during the Cold War and considering the importance of the role, the BMEWS site never let the country down. There was always a ‘golf’ ball operational.
Final tours at MOD on the Intelligence staff before retirement in 1983.
as Officer Commanding RAF Fylingdales 1977 - 1979
Gp Capt David N. Galpin
On retirement David and his family settled in Whitby, having previously bought an old married quarter. He and his wife became very much involved in the local community: he became a civilian instructor with the local ATC Sqn, voluntary work for SSAFA and RAFA, volunteered at the Captain Cook Museum before becoming the Curator. And as keen golfers he and his wife were very much involved with Whitby Golf Club holding various offices within the club.
Mick sadly died on 22 May after a long illness bravely fought.
The funeral was held on 15 June at St Mildred's Church, Preston, Nr Canterbury.
Mick joined the RAF as a Flight Cadet at the RAF College Cranwell (93 Entry) and trained as a pilot. He finished his service in the RAF following the 1st Gulf War after a short ground tour at Marham. He joined 216 Sqn Tristars at Brize Norton as one of its first crews in the 1980s following his tours on 10 Sqn as a flight commander and VIP captain flying the VC10. Mike was much liked and admired by all who flew with him.
Section of a cartoon depicting the 'Execs' of 10 Sqn in the early 1980s
when Sqn Ldr Dobson was a flight commander
After leaving the RAF he worked for the CAA based at Gatwick after a move from Lechlade, Glos to Kent and took early retirement from Flight Crew Licencing in 2010.
Although he was not an Association member we of course send our condolences to his wife Jane as those who knew them both have fond memories of their time on the Squadron where Mick was held in such high regard.
William L. (Tommy) Thompson (1927 – 2017) 10 Sqn Victor Co-pilot at Cottesmore Nov 1960 – Apr 1963
Born in Gateshead in March 1927 and after a life was devoted to flying with a passion that continued even after retirement, Tommy Thompson sadly passed away away on 28 May 2017 in York. So as not to confuse his name with others so blessed, we are grateful to his son Chris for the following details of his father’s career which started in the RAF in 1944 during WW2.
Prior to joining 10 Squadron at Cottesmore in November 1960 as a Victor B1 co-pilot Tommy’s previous flying experience had all been on single-seat fighters and as a QFI. A 'punishment' ground tour coincided with the 1957 Defence White Paper (no more manned fighters), so he orchestrated a return to flying by joining the V-Force.
His eventful tour on 10 Sqn as Keith Bichard's co-pilot included the Farnborough Air Display 1961, Battle of Britain Day displays in 1962 and a well-known diversion to Wittering on 19 December 1961 when a failure of the Victor's starboard undercarriage to lower resulted in the aircraft coming to rest on the grass with minimal damage.
Wittering December 1961
However, Tommy's most often recalled recollections of his 10 Sqn tour were the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 when the Squadron was on full alert readiness with its nuclear deterrents and the Victor sliding on the ice at Cottesmore while taxying during an exercise with the weapon onboard.
Tommy Thompson (centre) & Victor B1 crew
After his Victor captain’s course he was posted to 57 Sqn at Honington where he resumed QFI duties, displaying the Victor at all the 1964 Battle of Britain Displays and captaining the last crew ever to drop Britain's biggest ever bomb load comprising 35 x 1,000lb bombs, being the only crew ever to successfully drop such a load in a 'stick'. Once the Victor converted to the tanker role, Tommy served as an instructor on it until 1974, when he moved to the Canberra. A tour flying Meteors as the close formation 'shepherd' to unmanned aircraft from RAE Llanbedr preceded his final tour as a simulator instructor on the Hawk at RAF Valley. Tommy retired to North Yorkshire in 1987 after 43 years' RAF service.
Tommy's RAF Career:
Non-Flying Duties (Engine Fitter): 1944-47 48th Entry, No 1 SoTT, RAF Halton
1947-48 No 4 SoTT, RAF St Athan, 1948 RAF Topcliffe (Modification Bay - Wellington, Anson)
Flying Duties (Pilot):
1949 6 FTS, RAF Ternhill (Prentice, Harvard)
1950 203 AFS, RAF Driffield, 226 OCU RAF Stradishall (Meteor T7, Vampire F1)
1950-53 67 Sqn, RAF Gutersloh, Wildenrath (Vampire FB5)
1953-55 19 Sqn, RAF Church Fenton (Meteor F8)
1955 CFS 'B', RAF South Cerney (Provost)
1955 CFS 'A', RAF Little Rissington (Vampire T11)
1955-57 4 FTS, RAF Middleton St George, RAF Worksop (Vampire T11 plus 19 Sqn for Hunter F6)
1957-60 HQ FTC (Meteor, Vampire, Balliol, Provost, Anson)
1960-63 10 Sqn, RAF Cottesmore (Victor B1)
1963-66 57 Sqn, RAF Honington (Victor B1A)
1966-67 214 Sqn, RAF Marham (Victor B(K)1a)
1967-70 Tanker Trg Flt, RAF Marham (Victor)
1970-74 232 OCU (Simulator) (Victor)
1975 85 Sqn, RAF West Raynham (Canberra B2, T4, T19)
1976-78 100 Sqn, RAF Marham (Canberra B2, T4, E15, T19)
1978-82 Royal Aircraft Establishment Llanbedr (Canberra (mod), Meteor T7, NF11.5, D16, Devon/Dove)
1983 RAF Leeming
1983-87 4 FTS, RAF Valley (Simulator - Hawk T1)
A little more about him may be read here:
V-Force: Victors in Malaya » Finest Hour Warbirds
Tommy’s son Chris also adds:
My Father maintained his passion for aviation in retirement by designing and building radio controlled model aeroplanes. Since my Mother's death in 2010, he flew regularly with me, including accompanying me to the Berlin Airshows in 2012 and 2014 in my CAP10 aerobatic machine, where he supervised my displays from the commentator’s stand. He last features in my logbook in August 2016 in a Tiger Moth, aged 89: (see pic below)
A full life well led; Tommy was still out-sharping son Chris in the air until late last year.
At the interment of ashes and memorial service, held at St Gregory's Minster,
Kirkdale near Kirkbymoorside, North Yorks on 11 August 2017
a 100 Sqn Hawk aircraft overflew the setting whilst on a routine training sortie.
The Hawk was the last aircraft Tommy had flown whilst also on 100 Sqn.
RIP Tommy Thompson
John Potter Post WW2 RAF Fitter & Honorary 10 Sqn Assoc Member
We announce the recent death in January 2017 of Mr John Potter of Bersted, near Bognor Regis, West Sussex.
John was made an Honorary Association member for his involvement with those former Association members who had advised the Yorkshire Air Museum in their project to restore their Halifax exhibit. He was also the donor of the two Handley Page Hastings wings that had been stored in a disused railway tunnel at Singleton, nr Chichester, and which were utilised during the rebuild of the YAMs Halifax at Elvington.
John's funeral was held at North Bersted church on 9 February 2017.
Click 'Read More' on the right-side blue icon for more details about the Yorkshire Air Museum Halifax restoration and John Potter's involvement.
As an Air Cadet during WW2 John Potter had a ringside seat for the Battle of Britain and everything that followed. He had a vast array of war stories to tell including dragging a young Polish Sgt pilot out of the rather bent remains of a Hurricane that had dropped short of Tangmere. His RAF service was as a Fitter in the immediate post war period, mostly on coastal Beaufighters at Thorney Island and St Eval. Although sorely tempted to stay on in the Service after doing his time, John was obligated to return in order to help run the family business which involved logging in the East Dean & Singleton woods, long distance haulage and general engineering work buying & selling WD surplus heavy trucks etc - plus the odd tank landing craft! Interestingly, John did quite a lot of work for a Doug Arnold who was one of the first people - if not THE first - to recognise the potential value of restored Spitfires etc.Their storage needs were met by renting the disused railway tunnel at Singleton, hence the Hastings wings which it is believed to have come from a scrap machine that forlornly sat at Tangmere for a number of years. Someone, somewhere connected with YAM heard about those wings and John agreed to sell them for the same amount he had originally paid, without taking inflation into account. In turn, this saw him invited to YAM and in due course honorary membership of the 10 Sqn Assoc. The death of his wife around 2007/8 this rather curtailed his travelling thereafter.
Over the years, a publication entitled 'has recorded most airframes that have ended up abandoned on airfields or displayed in museums. This book records that Hastings, TG603 was written off at Luqa, Malta circa 1953 when it veered off the runway. It was later shipped back to the UK to become an Army instructional airframe and presumably was moved to Tangmere in the Army 22 Air Dispatch Sqn move to there. Clearly, the wing sections that John sold to YAM must have come from one of both of these aircraft.