(Last updated: 06.04.12)
The following are people I've met along the way that have a close link with my research into 206 Squadron during WWII. Click their photograph for their story...
Howard Bass by me (2007) Ken's brother
Derek Straw (2007)
Robert Stitt (2008)
(My Great Uncle)
I never really knew my great uncle Howard until I started this project back in June 2003, up until that point I had heard that he was a sports writer focusing mainly on ice skating but knew little more. After chatting to Gran I established Howard's home address and wrote to him requesting a photograph and some details about his brother Ken. He promptly replied with an interesting letter and the following enclosed photograph...
Oct 1921 - Oct 2007
I kept in touch with him from that point onwards and made my first visit to his home in Enfield in early 2004. We sat for hours chatting away, initially about Ken's time in the RAF. Howard had hundreds of fascinating stories of his times spent around the world at Olympic events, skating championships and gave many more interesting accounts from his life. We exchanged postcards from time to time and managed a few more Enfield visits after that, each time with a new set of stories equally as interesting as the last, and with him always insistent on buying lunch (roast chicken dinner). Great uncle Howard along with Gran was someone that I felt I had a close bond with, especially with the link to Ken, I will treasure those times spent together forever.
Sadly Howard passed away on the 30th October 2007, 2 days after his 86th birthday, I shall miss him dearly and often wish I had met him earlier in life. Nevertheless I'm glad we had time together in his last few years.
He never really wanted his photograph displayed on the internet when he was alive but I'm sure he won't mind these now he's passed away
(206 Squadron Association Secretary)
I first came into contact with Derek when he left a message on the sites Guest Book back in August 2006. Derek is the current Secretary of the 206 Squadron Association and he was interested in the story of Ken. Derek himself was in Coastal Command back in 1963 and completed 3 tours of duty in 206 Squadron as a Squadron Navigator then Navigation Leader.
Robert first contacted me in July 2006 after finding the website whilst he was conducting some research into Flying Fortresses in Coastal Command during WWII. Since that first contact Robert has proved invaluable, specifically in providing the detail on the Flying Fortresses and the validation of much of the content. I have also been able to contribute to his latest work with a few photographs from my collection of Ken's (Grandad), these are now published in his new book below.
Robert has spent much of his time on the creation of a book based on the history of the Boeing B-17 Fortress with RAF Coastal Command, his book was released in June 2010 and is available as follows:
Roger Wallsgrove, 36 Ver Road, Redbourn, Herts AL3 7PE, UK
online at Mushroom Model Publishing http://www.mmpbooks.biz/mmp/
by phoning Roger Wallsgrove at 01730 300795
Boeing B-17 Fortress in RAF Coastal Command Service
Robert has provided me with a short biography as I wanted to include him in this section...
Robert Stitt: 27.01.2008
Robert's earliest aviation memories are of his 'plane-spotting' days around Heathrow, Gatwick and Biggin Hill in the South-East of England during the 1960s, punctuated each September by an excursion to the incomparable Farnborough Airshow. An apprenticeship with Hawker Siddeley at Brough in Yorkshire followed - working on Buccaneers, Tridents and Harriers - and after moving to Canada, Robert spent ten years in the specialty aviation industry, working with Douglas A-26 Invaders, Douglas DC-6s and Grumman S-2 Trackers. During this period he began researching and writing aviation history, focusing initially on specialty aviation aircraft used in forest fire control and aerial survey. This added de Havilland Mosquitos, Lockheed P-38 Lightnings and Avro Ansons to the types already listed and resulted in a writing partnership with an Argentine enthusiast that produced comprehensive essays on a variety rarely-covered topics. The articles appeared in the British aviation history journal, AIR Enthusiast. His current project is a book detailing the history of the Fortress in service with RAF Coastal Command, it's due to be published Spring 2010.
In November 2010 Robert supplied me with a Fortress print of FK195 'L'. The illustrator is the renowed aviation artist Juantia Franzi, her website can be found at the following address:
online at: http://aeroillustrations.com