Tuesday, 11 June 2013

RIP Fred Panton

[Again, not the post I was planning to make.]

It should be pretty obvious to most of you by now that I have a soft spot for that big four-Merlin engined beast, the Lancaster bomber, and a heck of a lot of respect for the men of RAF Bomber Command.

I'm therefore saddened to note the passing of Fed Panton, one of the two brothers who set up the East Kirkby Aviation Heritage Centre, home of "Just Jane", one of the few surviving Lancaster bombers in the world. The centre was set up as a tribute to Fred's brother Chris, who was killed during the Nuremberg raid (30-31/3/44) while Flight Engineer aboard a Halifax of 433 squadron. He was only 19. (And it's a trifle ironic that this comes up the day after my previous post.)

There are plans afoot to return "Just Jane" to flight. I will be contributing, by joining the supporters' association: as a tribute to Fred's determination, Chris' sacrifice and that of 55,000 others, and a means to get a grand old lady in the air again for the enjoyment of many people, I can't think of a better one.

In the meantime, here's a video I shot a few years ago of "Just Jane" taxying. I recommend a good pair of headphones, or speakers with lots of bass, and turn it up.


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