My WW2 RAF Friend - Update

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seamusjft

Member
Dec 16, 2012
190
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Some of you may remember last month i made a freind while out at my local park. We started chatting purely because we both were enjoying a pipe. He's got a couple of years on me. Im 34 and he's 96 but we have struck up a great friendship and he is so damn interesting. Some of you guys on here asked me to post any updates so here i go!
unfortunately, Richard (Dick) has been cut off from allot since his wife died when they were in their 60s. Bless him he'd been "making do" with a tobacco he didn't particularly enjoy and his pipe collection had slowly let him down until he was left with one pipe for the last decade or so. And he likes a smoke does the ole boy! I think the only time i've seen him without a bowl on the go is when food was ready and when he met my son. So one of the first things we got to was introducing him to the internet and some instant PAD and TAD!H went wild like a kid in a sweet shop! Imagine it - you've been smoking second rate tobacco in a pipe thats had its day for ten years then all of a sudden the worlds you oyster!- He now has a cellar and collection of smokers that I'm extremely envious of lol!I refused to accept anything from him, despite his persuasive efforts. That a'int what I'm about. Helping someone who without his service i could be living a very different life, i s pay off enough for me. I did however accept the basket churchwarden on my birthday. I was told not to offend.
Im absolutely privileged. Not only to have such an interesting man to smoke with. Dick has given me his journal from his Navy service and RAF service from 1933 to 1957. He served in the 2nd world war and continued to serve until he was 41 flying and fighting in the Korean war, Algerian conflicts and many other postings mainly protecting the British Empire at the time. What a damn Hero!He has piloted Air speed oxfords, DH98 Mosquito, Lancaster bomber, the legendary spitfire and a Hawker Typhoon in ww2. (thats at a glance!)A Dehaverland Vampire in Korean warfare where apparently the british were not deployed at the time. And co_piloted an American Boeing super fortress under temporary orders from the american airfare. When an american pilots girlfriend was in labour dick pleaded a case to His superiors and to the americans to let him use the down time he was on to cover for the soon to be pilot dad. The man flew for the USA in English uniform!
I just cant wait to read these journals properly. Obviously i've only scratched the surface here. There's another 20 years of his career where he saw more conflict, promotions, new aircraft, tested insane prototypes that never made it, made friends in every continent, married into a mixed race marriage at a time less tolerant........
I guess when you have been around 96 years your life really is epic. I take 4 or so meals round a week now and we spend a couple of hours smoking and chatting and its great! I worried i was intruding a bit when i took my 4yr old round to meet him but this week he asked "you have oliver this weekend, when will you be bringing him round?" which is really nice cos my Dad and My ex wife's Dad are both Alcoholics and not around for him. A fantastic elderly figure to have in my sons life as far as I'm concerned. We go down the pub every thursday and enjoy a pint a bowl (of course) and a game of cards. An I help him into town for a bit of shopping and such like. I have to say I'm a bit proud of myself. I can see the companionship has picked him up since i first met him and he has more to offer me than i him.
If anything I've waffled on about has pricked an interest then have a read when i update in a week or so. Ive been given permission to share the diaries to an extent. Obviously there is private stuff for my yes only but the main content of WW2 i'll do my best to make an interesting post.


 

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spartan

Preferred Member
Aug 14, 2011
2,964
1
Wow, That's pretty badass. I'm surprized at 96 he's still active and going out on the town for a pint and a bowl.
THAT'S AWESOME.
Hopefully he lives another 20 years to see his cellar really shine!
Thanks for the update.

 

cynyr

Preferred Member
Feb 12, 2012
607
0
Tennessee
Cherish this treasure! Send him my sincere thanks for his service.
Those RAF (and RFC) guys were my heroes growing up, I devoured the books and built the models and dreamed of those days when I ought to have been applying myself.
You are blessed to have him, and he is blessed to have your help.

 

flmason

Preferred Member
Oct 8, 2012
1,131
1
It is special that both you and your son have a new friend and role model. Lots of times younger people ignore the elderly. It is much better to talk to them and learn from their past experiences as well as too help them learn new things like the internet etc.
When I was 16, I had an elderly neighbor who was in his late 70's at the time. I went over one day to ask for help in math. He would have the answer in his head or from his slide rule before I could even remove my calculator from its case.

 

scottishjohn

Member
Dec 17, 2012
101
0
Broomfield, Colorado
Sean,

I envy your connection with this man. So often we ignor the "old folks" and in doing so we potentially miss out on a lot of "life's gold". How much I would give to be able to spend time with my grandparents now that I am old enough to appreciate all that they could share with me. I now have several friends that are senior to me by several years, and I treasure their company. You are fortunate in Knowing this man, and you are wise enough to know that a friend like this can be a treasure.

 

twangthang

Senior Member
Sep 15, 2012
354
23
Thank you for your sharing of your time with Dick with us. I hope you tell him how there are fellow brothers of the briar who are very intetested to hear his story.

Appreciate the good friend you have made. I am sure he appreciates your friendship.

 

tbradsim1

Preferred Member
Jan 14, 2012
7,683
859
Sean, I treasure this story, as you grow old you start feeling useless, I don"t believe you will ever know how much you are giveing this man till you get old, Way to go old chap, The old cajun

 

fnord

Preferred Member
Dec 28, 2011
2,748
1
Topeka, KS
Sean:
I promise you that Dick is getting as much out of this relationship as you are.
But what's even more important is that the two of you have found grace in each other.
Fnord

 

papipeguy

Preferred Member
Jul 31, 2010
15,799
9
Bethlehem, Pa.
It's beautiful thing you have going. Enjoy your time together. It's also a great lesson for your son. I hope he treasures the moments as well.

 
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