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.
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 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.
My business has a standing 15% Forces Discount but will also help worthy individuals and may be interested in supporting specific events: http://www.finesthourwarbirds.co.uk/index.php/about-us/
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.