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Thread: Flt/lt Harold Herbert Edwin Patrick 'Bladder' Cairns DFC (46969) ex #515873

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    Default Flt/lt Harold Herbert Edwin Patrick 'Bladder' Cairns DFC (46969) ex #515873

    has anyone got anything of his Nav/Obs early career? he was later G/C Edwards VC Nav on 105 Sqn. His brother was Flight Lieut. Thomas Henry Joseph Cairns, D.F.M., No. 88 Squadron. After the war Harold Cairns ran the Swan pub in Monks Eleigh

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    Paul,

    We have the following from Hughie Edwards' biographer, Arthur Hoyle DFC:

    "While waiting for F/O Quinn's* retraining to be completed, Hughie began to operate with P/O Pat (Tubby) Cairns who had joined the squadron from 5 Group and had been a wireless tradesman before changing to aircrew. He met Hughie's requirement for a navigator - not interested in scientific navigation but possessed of the rudiments of the science, native cunning, intuition, quick thinking and, above all, the ability to quickly read a map well under the pressure of low level flight. The two made an excellent team."

    Hughie Edwards V.C.:The Fortunate Airman.
    Hoyle,Arthur DFC.
    Loftus (Canberra):A.M.H.P.,2000.
    p.86.

    * F/O Gerald Douglas Pryor QUINN DFM.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 3rd February 2014 at 11:28.

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    Col


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    the "had been a wireless tradesman before changing to aircrew" in interesting I am trying to see if he was with 38 Sqn in 1939 - If so he may be the ID of "AC1 H Cairns" who bailed out of Wellington L4235 on August 8, 1939 -


    Paul

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    Coming back to this, it appears that Harold Herbert Edwin Patrick Cairns died in Palmerston North, New Zealand on 14 Sep 1983

    Air 14-47 has a request from Air Ministry via 3 Group for info on crew od 8.8.39 Wellington L4235 from 38 Sqn

    RAF Station Marham replied on 19th May 1940 that "it is regretted that a detailed report in respect of A.C.I Cairns cannot be submitted, as his present whereabouts are not known"

    Also sadly no Service Number mentioned,. but we now know he left 38 Sqn Between August 1939 and May 19th 1940

    Though it confirms some of the crew positions on L4235

    as

    Sgt John Edward Gibbs Pilot on aircraft on Night Home Defence Exercises
    Hubert John Parker a W/Op
    Sgt Ronald James Plumbridge Warren


    So still looking for a H Cairns who was on Wellington L4235 on August 8, 1939 -

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    Gp Capt H I Edwards, VC, etc, was Staish at Wattisham when I were nobbut a gash, low-level, NSA Met Asst in the early 50’s. He had a ‘gammy’ leg. Wattisham was, then, full of shiny new Hunters, flown by shiny new fighter pilots. They (the a/c) were to be exhibited to the worlds press – or, at least, those bits of it who could actually find Wattisham. A Meteor NF14 was to be used as a camera a/c. The pilot – one Joe Halkiew – ran short of gravy on the way back from one filming sortie. He espied a long stretch of green with big buildings near to it. This must, he surmised, be an airfield. However, it turned out to be finishing straight at Newmarket Racecourse. Eventually this a/c was checked over and it was decided to fly it out. The pilot for this escapade was your H I Edwards!!
    I won’t detain you further when, on a subsequent occasion, Staish’s boxer dog sat on the newly (white) painted steps up to the old ATC twr (pre-AOCs!). Those of you who have never seen a boxer dog with brilliant white ghoolies have never lived!!
    OK – I’ll go before I get chucked out!!
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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