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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 21-02-2012 08:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Astronaut John Glenn marks 50 years since first orbit

Former astronaut and Senator John Glenn celebrated the 50th anniversary of his Earth orbit by chatting with the crew on the International Space Station.
Mr Glenn, 90, was the first American to orbit the Earth, and later became the oldest person to travel in space.
The conversation was part of a larger forum on Nasa's future held at Ohio State University.

Mr Glenn is only one of two surviving Mercury astronauts, who were the first in the country's space programme.
"I'm talking to you perfectly," Mr Glenn said, speaking to Commander Dan Burbank and two flight engineers on board the station. "It's just amazing to talk to you back and forth."

Mr Glenn piloted Friendship 7 into orbit on 20 February 1962. He circled the globe three times in five hours.
In his political career, he served in the US Senate for 24 years, retiring in 1999, and made a bid for president.

During a conversation lasting nearly 20 minutes, the former Ohio senator and space station crew discussed the ongoing research on the station.
More than 100 experiments are currently being carried out on board.

Nasa administrator Charles Bolden asked the astronauts which experiment Mr Glenn would be charge of on the current space station.
Cmdr Burbank suggested research on the station's "regenerative environmental control systems".
"That's a fancy word for our toilet," Don Pettit, a flight engineer admitted. "He wants to put Senator Glenn busy fixing the plumbing up here."
"Exactly what I thought I would get assigned to," Mr Glenn said. Cool

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17107817
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 06-03-2012 22:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zeebrugge Herald of Free Enterprise disaster survivor still grieves

A survivor of the Herald of Free Enterprise capsizing still mourns the loss of friends on board, 25 years on.
Simon Osborne and seven of his friends were returning from a day trip to Belgium when the ferry capsized.
He was trapped inside the ship and managed to survive the disaster, which claimed the lives of two friends.

The ferry had left the Belgian port of Zeebrugge 30 minutes before, with 545 people on board for the crossing to Dover.
Mr Osborne, then 19, was queuing at the perfume counter when the ship jolted quite violently. Within a few seconds there was another more severe jolt.

"The ship literally tipped over as if you were knocking over a glass of water - it seemed that quick," Mr Osborne recalls.

It was just before 19:00 on 6 March, 1987.
The bow doors had been left open when the ship left port, and water started to flood her car decks, making the vessel unstable.
In spite of capsizing in shallow water only 100 yards (91m) from the shore, 193 people lost their lives aboard the Townsend Thoresen ferry that night.
Survivors said it took between 45 seconds and one minute for the ship to turn over and come to rest on a sandbank on its side.

Mr Osborne described the scene onboard as the ship went over.
"It was a scene of unbelievable terror," he said. "There were people, chairs, tables and litter bins the contents of the perfume counter just raining down."
"I found myself rooted to the spot in sheer terror and disbelief at what was happening."

Mr Osborne had become trapped in the lounge area of the ship. Quickly realising those around him were dying of hypothermia in the icy-cold water, he knew that if he was going to survive, he needed to get to a part of the ship where he could be rescued.
"I floated up with the water, in the dark, and thought for a few minutes that I was going to drown, that I was going to perish there in the ship," he said.

He made his way to below one of the broken windows, through the debris and bodies floating in the water.
By that time, there were rescue teams with divers onboard, and he was quickly put in a harness and winched onto the side of the ferry.

The coroner's inquest into the capsizing returned verdicts of unlawful killing.
After a public inquiry into the disaster, Lord Justice Sheen published a report, which identified a "disease of sloppiness" and negligence at every level of the Townsend Thoresen hierarchy.

"At the time I was consumed with rage, and I wanted someone to be brought to book for this," Mr Osborne said.
"At the end of the day there was a problem there and the disaster could have been avoided if the procedures had been there."

The Crown Prosecution Service charged the company, which had since become P&O European Ferries, with corporate manslaughter in 1989, but the case collapsed because of insufficient evidence.

More than 30 people were later recognised in the New Year Honours list for their roles in saving the estimated 350 people who were rescued.
The George Medal was awarded to head waiter, Michael Skippen, who died trying to get passengers to safety and to Andrew Parker, who formed a human bridge to allow others to cross to safety.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-17260649

Something I remember quite well, as I was sailing on that coast that year, and the capsized ship was visible for quite some time before the wreck was finally cleared away.
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PostPosted: 11-03-2012 07:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Japan to mark quake and tsunami anniversary

Japan is marking the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck the north-eastern coast, killing thousands.
The magnitude 9.0 quake, the most powerful since records began, also triggered a serious nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Thousands of people were evacuated as radiation leaked from the plant.

There were memorial services, and a minute's silence was observed at the exact moment the quake hit.
The main memorial ceremony was held at Tokyo's National Theatre. It was attended by Japan's Emperor Akihito and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
The 78-year-old emperor had heart surgery three weeks ago. He was scheduled to attend 20 minutes of the hour-long ceremony with Empress Michiko.

Warning sirens sounded across the north-east of the country on Sunday at the precise time the quake struck. Bells and prayers also reverberated across the country as the minute of silence was observed.
Japan's Kyodo news agency also reported that some trains in and around Tokyo would stop to mark the moment.

The earthquake hit at 14:46 local time about 400km (250 miles) north-east of Tokyo on 11 March 2011.

Shortly after the quake, an immense surge of water enveloped the north-eastern coast as a tsunami swept cars, ships, and buildings away, crushing coastal communities.
The twin natural disasters claimed more than 15,800 lives, and more than 3,000 people remain unaccounted for.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17326084
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PostPosted: 11-03-2012 19:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy 10th birthday to BBC 6 Music!

Click on the Lamacq's 6 Music Family Tree here for a fun animation:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/
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PostPosted: 20-03-2012 08:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diamond Jubilee: The Queen to address Parliament

The Queen is to address both Houses of Parliament on Tuesday to mark her 60 years on the throne.
She will speak to an audience of party leaders, MPs, peers and dignitaries in Westminster Hall before unveiling a stained glassed window specially commissioned for the Diamond Jubilee.

Events to mark the Queen's 60-year reign began in February.
Celebrations for the Diamond Jubilee will come to a head in June during a four-day series of events.

In her speech, the Queen will respond to tributes made to her in both Houses of Parliament earlier this month.
These "humble addresses" will be officially presented to her by Commons Speaker John Bercow and Lords Speaker Baroness D'Souza.
David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband - as well as former prime ministers - will be among those in attendance.

The tradition of both houses of Parliament making addresses to the monarch and the sovereign replying dates back to the 16th Century.
Such events have been staged in Westminster Hall since George V's Silver Jubilee in 1935.

To mark the occasion, the Queen will be presented with the specially commissioned stained glass window as a gift by members of both Houses of Parliament.
The window, which consists of up 1,500 pieces of glass, has been paid for personally by members of both Houses and designed by British artist John Reyntiens.

The Queen began her Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK in Leicester earlier this month.
Few people are accorded the honour of addressing both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall. Among those to have done so in recent times include US President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI.

The Queen addressed Parliament in 1977 and 2002 when she marked her Silver and Golden Jubilees respectively.
She also opens Parliament every year, delivering a speech outlining the government's legislative agenda.
The Queen's Speech will take place this year in early May, a change from its normal date in the autumn following changes to the parliamentary calendar by the coalition government.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17438874
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PostPosted: 25-03-2012 07:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remembering St Nazaire
7:00am Sunday 25th March 2012 in Falmouth/Penryn

TODAY Falmouth will remember the heroes of St Nazaire, 70 years on from the famous raid.

On March 26, 1942, more than 600 men sailed from Falmouth in a flotilla of three destroyers and 16 smaller boats, including the HMS Campbeltown, which had been packed with explosives.
The Campbeltown was then rammed into the gates of the dry docks in the French town, the largest docks on the Atlantic coast at the time.

After heavy fighting saw commandos taking out strategic targets in the docks area, the Campbeltown exploded, taking the port out of action for the rest of the war.
Only 228 men returned from the raid, with 169 killed and 215 captured by the Germans.
The operation has become known as the ‘Greatest Raid of All’.

On Sunday, only one surviving veteran, Bill Bannister, will attend the annual St Nazaire service in Falmouth, and will lay the wreath of remembrance during the service on the Prince of Wales pier.

Here, Mr Bannister recalls the days leading up to the raid, and the terrifying few hours they spent under heavy fire in St Nazaire itself; “We were told there was to be a big commando raid on St Nazaire docks in France and we were to take part. There was a very large dry dock there that could dock the biggest German warships plus the U-boat pens...

[etc]

Sunday’s service will see a parade gather at The Moor from 10.45am before heading to the Prince of Wales pier for a service at 11am.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/fpfalmouth/9608329.Remembering_St_Nazaire/
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PostPosted: 30-03-2012 07:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

A follow-up story:

Moving St Nazaire letter sparks search
7:30am Friday 30th March 2012 in Falmouth/Penryn

As veterans marked the 70th anniversary of the famous St Nazaire raid during the Second World War, a chance find in a Helston charity shop has given a fascinating glimpse back into the past.

As part of his research into his family tree, Stephen Abraham, from Jubilee Terrace in Helston, has been collecting books on local history.
Last week he picked up Return to St Nazaire in the Oxfam’s Meneage Street branch. The red-covered brochure details the daring raid on the French harbour in 1942 – when more than 600 men sailed from Falmouth in flotilla of three destroyers and 16 smaller boats, including the HMS Campbeltown that had been packed with explosives – and lists the heroic men who lost their lives in pursuit of freedom.

Even more fascinating, however, was the folded side of A4 paper, which contained a letter to a grieving relative of one of the men who made the ultimate sacrifice.
On St Nazaire Society headed paper and addressed to “Mrs Collier”, it reads: “Will you please accept this copy of the brochure, which has been prepared to commemorate the Return to St Nazaire in August 1947.
“From the time we returned to the spot where we fought, it has been the wish of the members of the [St Nazaire] Society that this brochure should be passed to each of the next-of-kin of our members who did not return, in memory of their supreme sacrifice.
“It is fitting, I think, that we send this brochure to you at this season of the year and we ask that you will accept it as a small token of the pride and comradeship we have for those who feel, and our lasting admiration for you who have borne that loss.”

The letter appears to be signed by Lieutenant Colonel Augustus Charles Newman VC, who was in charge of the military forces during the raid and ensured the operation was a success before being taken prisoner.

After carrying out some more research, Mr Abraham has discovered that the letter was written to a relative of Lieutenant Thomas Alexander Mackay Collier, who was aged 30 at the time of his death.
Lt Collier was with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves and is buried at the Les Moutiers-En-Retz communal cemetery in France, in grave one.
He had successfully manoeuvred his boat, ML457, into the basin – making it the only one of six boats scheduled to land commandoes to actually succeed – but later lost his life. He was awarded the single bronze oak leaf emblem to denote his mention in Despatches.

Mr Abraham is now keen to learn whether Lieutenant Collier was from the local area and look further into his history.
He is also eager for the brochure not to “end up languishing in a charity shop again,” adding: “What I’d like more than anything is for a local museum or somewhere like that to keep it, to make sure it is looked after. People like that should be remembered.”

Mr Abraham attended Sunday’s service in Falmouth to mark the 70th anniversary of the raid and was delighted when the brochure was signed by the remaining surviving veteran of the raid, Bill Bannister, and the town’s mayor Geoffrey Evans.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/fpfalmouth/9618101.Moving_St_Nazaire_letter_sparks_search/
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PostPosted: 09-04-2012 08:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very long article:

The few who reached for the sky
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Royal Flying Corps. It was the product of a handful of brave and far-sighted individuals, reports James Holland.
By James Holland
11:38PM BST 08 Apr 2012

[...]

This Friday marks the centenary of the Royal Flying Corps, the fledgling force [...] that developed into the Royal Air Force. And if the servicemen recently made redundant by the Ministry of Defence are angry – as this newspaper reports today – that they will still be eligible to be called up at any time in the next two decades, they should spare a thought for their predecessors.

The planes they flew were made of wood and wire struts, covered with Irish linen and dope, all of which were horribly flammable. Although parachutes were being developed, they were not given to pilots, because it was felt that the temptation to jump out rather than stay and fight would be too great. Shocked When Major Hugh Dowding, a squadron commander (and future Air Chief Marshal), complained about this, he was promptly sent home by General “Boom” Trenchard, who became the RAF’s first commander.

The slaughter in the tenches is well-known, but the war in the air was equally brutal, which was why even the very best more often than not came to untimely ends. Leading aces such as Albert Ball and Mick Mannock were killed as much by their own exhaustion as by enemy bullets. It required phenomenal bravery, skill and concentration to go into combat.

Every time a pilot got into his plane, he faced a potentially horrific death. Such was the demand for pilots that more and more men arrived with insufficient training and paid the price; all told, nearly 9,500 died.

Yet if the treatment of pilots left something to be desired, it was not entirely surprising. That the Royal Flying Corps was able to send any aircraft to war was something of a miracle, and largely down to a handful of pioneers – engineers, adventurers and men of vision, mostly operating through private enterprise rather than through government backing. Their motto, which the RAF continues to use, was “per ardua ad astra”: “through adversity to the stars”. The phrase came not from antiquity but rather The People of the Mist, an adventure yarn by Rider Haggard. Whether George V knew that when he gave it his blessing, it was curiously appropriate. Rider Haggard’s heroes are adventurous, patriotic, and recklessly brave – rather like the pioneers who founded the RFC in the years running up to the outbreak of war.

The BE 2, the staple biplane with which Britain went to war, was typical of this spirit of enterprise. Working at a balloon factory in Farnborough, designer Geoffrey de Havilland was refused funding for a new aircraft, but was given the necessary resources to repair a French aircraft. Starting almost from scratch, he took the opportunity to create his own craft. Another pioneer was Tommy Sopwith, who began building his first aircraft in a rough wooden shed because he couldn’t afford to rent a proper workshop. With just five men to help him, he flew it out of the shed himself once it was done.

Sopwith, like most other aircraft designers, was a member of the Royal Aero Club, based at Brooklands in Surrey. Here, ideas were shared and discussed, and the first form of a pilot’s licence issued. These men risked not only their livelihoods but also their lives, as they experimented with and refined their machines.

Even within the military, those who saw the potential of flight were few. The Army had used balloons for reconnaissance in the Sudan and during the Boer War, but it was left to a handful of converts and privately taught pilots to make the case for air power. Two such men were Brigadier-General David Henderson and Major Frederick Sykes. Both had served in the Boer War, and taught themselves to fly in their own time. Both passionately believed in the importance of effective reconnaissance, and that this could be best achieved with aircraft.

By the end of 1911, with a European war looming and the years of experimentation beginning to bear fruit, the Government finally formed a committee to consider the development of aerial navigation for naval and military purposes. A series of recommendations were put forward, which amounted to the formation of a new service, to be called the Royal Flying Corps. It was to have a naval and military (army) wing and a central flying school, and its own aircraft factory and permanent advisory committee. On April 13 [2012], the Royal Flying Corps came into being.

Within the committee, it was three men – Henderson, Sykes, and Major Duncan McInnes – who were largely responsible for the recommendations. It was they who decided that the tactical unit should be a squadron, based around three flights, 12 aircraft and 24 pilots, rather than the French “escadrille” of six planes; it was felt that this was the right size to induce team spirit. They also decreed that left and right should be port and starboard, in a nod to the Navy; that those in the ranks should be called “airmen”; and that pilots should be officers, largely so that they could not only fly together but live together, too. Even to this day, officers and NCOs mess separately.

By the outbreak of war, there were seven squadrons, which were soon on the way to France, and the ethos of the RFC was firmly established.

[...]

By the war’s end, Britain had more than 5,000 pilots, and the RFC had become an independent service, now renamed the Royal Air Force.

[...]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9193759/The-few-who-reached-for-the-sky.html
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PostPosted: 09-04-2012 09:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ford Cortina: The Complete History
A new book celebrates the Ford Cortina on its 50th anniversary.
By Paul Hudson
6:30AM BST 08 Apr 2012

Perfectly timed for the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Mk1 Cortina, this thoroughly researched book charts the design and development of all five generations of the car that was a best seller for more than 20 years. The final incarnation was superseded only by the Sierra, which also merits a chapter due to its reliance on proven Cortina drivetrains.

Interviews with Ford engineers and designers provide a background to the family favourite, all backed up by period photography. There are chapters on motorsport – in particular the seminal Lotus-Cortinas – as well as entertaining appendices on production figures, Cortina-based kit cars and even the Cortina in song.

Ford Cortina: The Complete History costs £35 from the Haynes website.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/caraccessories/9181204/Ford-Cortina-The-Complete-History.html
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PostPosted: 19-04-2012 08:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few weeks early:

San Francisco: peace and love and the bridge they said could not be built
The Golden Gate Bridge is 75 years old and the people of San Francisco are preparing to celebrate their link to another California.
By Bee Rowlatt
3:27PM BST 18 Apr 2012

San Francisco is the city of peace and love. But don't mess with their bridge. "My son says there's only one thing that would make him go to war: if someone attacked the Golden Gate Bridge," says one resident. They love it, they fetishise it, some even tattoo it on their bodies. It's not the city's only bridge, though; what about the Bay Bridge, I ask. The reply is something between a laugh and a snort. That question doesn't merit an answer made out of words.

Every year visitors come and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, marvelling at its height, its curves, its thrust from the depths of the city skyline right into the mountains on the other side. This year there's even more reason to be here: it's the bridge's 75th birthday.

Joseph Strauss, the chief engineer, spent years battling for his vision of the bridge they said could not be built. It required a feat of engineering to cross the two-mile strait of fierce tides and currents, strong winds and regular blinding fog. What was then the world's longest suspension bridge opened to the public on May 27 1937, and the love affair began.

Campaign HQ for the big party is a trailer overlooking the bridge's south side. Mary Currie, head of public affairs for the bridge district, takes endless calls amid boxes, heaps of documents, DVDs and photographs. "We want the whole community celebrating," she says. "We've got events and tributes the whole year long."

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/northamerica/usa/sanfrancisco/9211737/San-Francisco-peace-and-love-and-the-bridge-they-said-could-not-be-built.html
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PostPosted: 12-05-2012 21:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandwich celebrates 250th anniversary of the sandwich

When John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, ordered beef served between slices of bread about 250 years ago he probably did not think his request would become a global convenience meal.
The story goes that the Earl asked for the particular serving so that he could eat while continuing to play cards and his friends asked "to have the same as Sandwich", according to the British Sandwich Association.

The first written record of the sandwich was in 1762 and the Kent town of Sandwich, which is the earldom of the Montagu family, is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the meal.

Sir Edward Montagu, a prominent naval commander, became the first Earl of Sandwich when he was offered a peerage in 1660.

Steve Laslett, one of the organisers of the Sandwich Celebration Festival, said Sir Edward Montagu chose the title because "at the time Sandwich was the premier sea port in England".
"When he was offered the earldom he could have chosen Portsmouth but he chose Sandwich - today we could be eating a Portsmouth."

Mr Laslett added: "The fourth Earl was a complex character.
"He's First Lord of the Admiralty three times but he was a bit of a lad and he did stay up all night playing cards on many occasions."

Foodsmith Sam Bompas said the Earl of Sandwich was eating with his fingers "when cutlery was de rigueur".
"Eating of record at the time was service á la française where all the food went on the table at the same time and there was an elaborate ritual of carving, aided by troops of servants," said Mr Bompas.
"What you have with the sandwich is the shock of informality. He was a daring man to eat in such a way coming from his social background."

Mr Bompas added that he found it odd that the sandwich did not exist before the Earl of Sandwich ordered meat between slices of bread.
"Other people were probably eating in that way anyway but they were people who weren't written about," he said.
'It's bizarre'

Over the weekend the east Kent town hosts sandwich-making competitions and re-enactments of the moment the fourth Earl of Sandwich asked for the food in bread.

Sandwich Celebration Festival organiser Mandy Wilkins said it had had interest from around the world, including America, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, France and Russia.
Ms Wilkins said: "The sandwich is a global food and Sandwich, our town, is just a little town full of medieval buildings.
"It's bizarre that such an important food item should be named after us."

On Sunday the 11th Earl of Sandwich, who shares his name with the fourth Earl after which the sandwich is said to be named, hosts a lunch in Sandwich.
John Montagu said: "I am delighted to wish a happy 250th birthday to the sandwich. Very Happy
"My ancestor, the 4th Earl, could never have imagined that his simple invention would spawn a multi-billion dollar industry, employing hundreds of thousands of people in this country."

According to the British Sandwich Association the industry employs more than 300,000 people in the UK and has a commercial value of over £6bn.

Mr Montagu added: "My favourite sandwich is a traditional one: roast beef and hot horseradish on freshly baked bread."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-18010424

Mmmm, I feel hungry now!
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PostPosted: 12-05-2012 22:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prefer baguettes' myself.
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PostPosted: 12-05-2012 22:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramonmercado wrote:
Prefer baguettes' myself.

I've had many a sandwich made with a baguette. The type of bread doesn't really matter.

I don't suppose Sir Edward Montagu's sandwiches were made with Tesco's medium sliced wholemeal. Very Happy
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PostPosted: 11-06-2012 06:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Falmouth hero pilot remembered
12:10pm Sunday 10th June 2012
By Greg Fountain, Reporter/Photographer

A Falmouth volunteer pilot, who destroyed an enemy aircraft before crash landing into the sea off of North Cornwall 70 years ago on Thursday, was remembered this week.

Pilot Officer Albert Brenton “Len” Harvey was forced to ditch his black-painted Beaufighter seven miles off of Trevose Head, enduring five hours in the freezing night-time waters before he and his observer made it back to safety.

The Beaufighter – a type of long-range heavy fighter used by the British during World War Two - had been crippled by a dogfight with an enemy Junkers Ju 88, but despite heavy damage pilot Harvey pressed home his attack and successfully brought down the German bomber.

Shuddering and spewing oil, the stricken Beaufighter dropped an engine and cartwheeled into the Atlantic, taking Harvey and his observer, Bernard Wicksteed, with it.
Miraculously, the pair survived the impact and with only a single one-man emergency dinghy between them, struggled back to shore.
Harvey swam a great chunk of the distance and when Wicksteed could go no further, the pilot swam alongside the inflatable – steering it to shore while the observer collapsed on board from exhaustion.

Once ashore, at what is believed to be Bassett’s Cove, Harvey managed to scale the sheer cliffs near Hell’s Mouth and went to fetch help from a local farmhouse.

For his efforts he was immediately awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) by King George VI, which recognises valour under fire and is second only to the Victoria Cross as a military decoration.

Harvey died long after the war had ended, on February 28, 1981 at home in Falmouth.
His son, Peter Harvey, now lives in Penryn and is rightly proud of his hero father – who worked in a tobacco and gun shop on Market Strand during the day and would cycle the 18 miles to Predannack Airfield every evening to fight the Luftwaffe. Shocked

Peter said: “My father was very secretive. He never said anything about it – his medals were in the boxes and they were never on display.
“He and his navigator were the first two to ever survive a crash in a Beaufighter. Within a week he was awarded an immediate DSO and the navigator a DSC [Distinguished Service Cross].”

Pilot Officer Harvey was also made a member of the “Goldfish Club” – a worldwide association of people who have crashed over water and owe their lives to a life jacket, dinghy or other inflatable device.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/fpfalmouth/9745480.Falmouth_hero_pilot_remembered/

Predannack airfield is on the Lizard, south of Mullion. First time I've heard this story. Well done, 'Len' Harvey!
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PostPosted: 12-06-2012 06:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alcatraz escape still surprises, 50 years on
By Alastair Leithead, BBC News, Los Angeles

Those who ran Alcatraz liked to say nobody ever escaped alive.
But that hasn't stopped US marshals from continuing the search for three men who made it off the island 50 years ago. According to the official version, Frank Morris, and the brothers John and Clarence Anglin were presumed drowned in the cold and choppy waters of San Francisco Bay.

There are plenty of people who think they did make it ashore and have been in hiding ever since.
Rumour had it they would return to the prison turned tourist spot on the 50th anniversary of their escape. Although it's not certain where the urban myth began, US Marshal Michael Dyke spent the day on the island anyway, just in case.

Most prisoners who tried to flee "The Rock", as it became known, were captured or killed or drowned.
But this was one of the most daring and intricate escapes in the notorious prison's history - involving spoons, papier-mache heads and rubber raincoats.

It began by digging away at the concrete around the air vents in their cells with spoons and a drill-like device fashioned from a vacuum cleaner.
Accordion practice muffled the sound of the drilling, and cardboard was carefully used to cover each hole as it grew. Soap became a substitute for removed rivets.
When the time came, they squeezed through into a utility corridor and headed for the roof.

Guards doing their rounds periodically checked on the faces of their prisoners. The three escapees appeared to be sleeping soundly, the guards were unaware they were papier-mache heads with real hair, harvested from the prison barber shop. Shocked

The three made it up to the roof, and despite the searchlights, headed over high barbed-wire fences.
At a watchtower blind spot they used improvised bellows to inflate a raft fashioned from rubber raincoats.

A fourth member of the gang had been unable to remove his air vent quickly enough, and by the time he broke through, the others had already cast off into San Francisco Bay - to their deaths or to freedom - depending on what you believe.
Remnants of the raft were found washed up on a nearby island, but the men were never seen again.

"I think there's a good possibility that they survived," US Marshal Michael Dyke says.

"It's hard to say. We have to keep the case open since no bodies have been found, but about a month after they escaped in July 1962 a Norwegian freighter saw a body floating in the ocean 15 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.
"He had on prison clothes - a navy pea coat and a light pair of trousers - similar to what prisoners wore. There were no other missing people during that time period."

He thinks that may have been the body of Frank Morris, believing the Anglin brothers would have looked after each other.
But the uncertainty over their fate created a legend. Books and documentaries continued to question whether they drowned, or in fact made it to shore. Clint Eastwood played Frank Morris in the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz.
One TV show re-enacted the escape in similar conditions and concluded they could have survived.

"I still receive leads once in a while regarding the case and there are still active warrants," said Mr Dyke says. He has personally been investigating for almost 10 years.
"Because it's an open case we have to go looking for them. Most leads aren't really that good or credible. Generally 99 percent aren't true."

But along with a few relatives of the missing men, he went to the island for the day prepared to make an arrest if necessary on the 50th anniversary.
"Rumours start somewhere and nobody knows where they come from. There's always a legend, but I don't think it's going to happen."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18404134

About the only other Alcatraz stuff we have here is this:

Italian swims from Alcatraz with hands, feet bound
Fri 6 August, 2004

http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=424405#424405
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