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Thread: Pre-War baleout - Trying to match a description to an incident

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    Default Pre-War baleout - Trying to match a description to an incident

    From Parachutes in peace and war
    by A.M.Low 1942

    "Some years ago an R.A.F. pilot practising over the Egyptian desert found that he could not get out of a spin. He had eventually to jump and, possibly because the plane was following him down very fast, when the pilot parachute was released it caught in the tail. The pilot might have been dragged down to earth at great speed in the trail of the plane, but fortunately the shock put on the pilot parachute shrouds when the main parachute
    opened was sufficient to break the silken cords. The pilot parachute was left on the tail of the plane and the main,
    parachute, undamaged, carried the pilot safely to earth. Once the main parachute has filled with air, the pilot parachute serves no further purpose and its loss therefore is of no importance"

    This may refer to one of the following two incidents

    May 19, 1938 F/O Humphrey Desmond Cooke RAF K8050 Ismailia, Egypt Gladiator RAF 33 Sqn. Abandoned in spin. 1940

    August 2, 1938 P/O Harold James Marley RAF K8034 Ismailia, Egypt Gladiator RAF 33 Sqn. Abandoned in spin at night 1940

    Both of which were abandoned in a spin - I suspect if it is one of these it may have been Cooke as the description does not mention night, which surely it would have made the story more 'exciting' to tell

    However, I am a bit concerned by the 'some years ago' which to me may indicate more than 3 or 4 before book written . If so I cannot find another Egypt bale out to match...

    I am secretly hoping it may be my missing Charles Slee incident from 1935 (who may have been in Egypt at the time) but I was wondering if anyone could confirm the Cooke and Marley incidents to the description provided..

    thanks Paul

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    Hi Paul,

    I don't have anything to add to Cooke and Marley, however I'm currently going through my Gladiator files so if I turn up anything new I'll let you know.

    Alex

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    Alex

    Thanks anything will help - More sure that if this incident is 33 Sqn has to be Humphrey Desmond Cooke on May 19, 1938 as 33 Sqn only moved to Egypt in October 1935 as a result of the Abyssinian crisis, prior to that UK based.

    Anyway, if it Cooke's (who was KIA as W/C with 206 Sqn 26/06/1942 in Hudson AM606 'M') then it adds to story of his bale out

    Slees incident (if in Middle East) was in August 1935

    Paul

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