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.