In perusing the file of Flight Sergeant Edward Blair Paul Stone (RCAF , twice mentioned in dispatches, 1945-1946) I discovered the following 1951 incident involving a No.247 Squadron aircraft at Odiham which may interest others:

On 18 October 1951, G/C H.J. Maguire (Commanding Officer, Station Odiham) addressed a letter to the Commanding Officer, No.421 Squadron, concerning Sergeant E.B. Stone, as follows:

“1. Further to the report submitted by you concerning the incident on October 3rd last during Exercise “Pinnacle” when the above-mentioned NCO of your unit, by a commendable display of initiative and quick action saved another unit’s Vampire Aircraft from damage by fire. I have to add that I have investigated the occurrence with the unit commander concerned.

“2. There is no doubt that the facts were substantially as stated, and that Sergeant Stone’s alertness and initiative saved the aircraft and preserved the Station’s reputation for freedom from accidents. In the circumstances prevailing at the time, that is, during an operational wing take-off, his action is particularly meritorious.

“3. I would like my appreciation of Sergeant Stone’s action to be placed on record.”

This was accompanied by two statements, undated, as follows:

“I am 21211 Sergeant E.B. Stone, Aero Engine Technician, a member of 421 (F) Squadron stationed at RAF Odiham, Hants. At approximately 1120 hours Wednesday 3 October 1951, I was at number 2 Dispersal when I saw a fire of considerable size burning under the tail of a 247 Squadron aircraft near No.1 Dispersal about 250 yards distant. In view of the fact that no action was being taken to extinguish the fire, I immediately started to run across the field to the aircraft. When halfway, I saw the aircraft move ahead a few feet and stop. This action brought the tailplane immediately over the fire which was now burning fiercely. I increased my speed and on reaching the aircraft shouted instructions to the RAF airmen present to push on the aircraft, and signalled the pilot to open the throttle wide in order to move the aircraft forward. A fire extinguisher was brought into action. The aircraft was moved forward clear of the flames and the fire was extinguished. The pilot was signalled to stop the engine to permit an inspection of the tail plane. The tail plane was found to be badly scorched and the pilot was advised that Vampire VZ222 was unserviceable. [signed 21211 Sergeant B. Stone, RCAF].”

“The above noted incident was observed by numerous personnel of 421 Squadron. Undoubtedly the quick action taken by Sergeant Stone to move the 247 Squadron aircraft clear of the fire saved Vampire VZ222 from very serious damage. Until Sergeant Stone arrived on the scene the situation obviously was not under control,. Sergeant Stone immediately assumed command of the RAF ground crew present and directed the removal of the aircraft to a position of safety clear of the fire area. It is considered that Sergeant Stone displayed commendable initiative which resulted in saving an operational aircraft from possible destruction from fire, and that he merits some official recognition for his fine performance.” [S/L G.R. Denison, Chief Technical Officer, 421 Fighter Squadron, RCAF].