Herald - Issue 450

Page 24 • The HERALD • 7th December 2023 v INDEPENDENT, LOCAL AND PROUD v M. C. HALL LTD 4 Carpentry 4 Fencing 4 Decoration 4 Extensions 4 Kitchens 4 Loft Conversions 4 Bathrooms 4 New Build First Rate Building & Carpentry Work Start to Finish Service • References Available • Fully Insured • 1 year guarantee Free Quotations and Friendly Advice Given Contact: mchall126@btinternet.com or call 023 8089 8456 or 07976 937941 Website: www.mchallltd.co.uk PJ-T DOUBLE GLAZING REPAIRS • Misted Units • Locks • Handles • Hinges • Door Adjustments/Repair • Cat Flaps Paul Jackson-Turner 07708 620910 pjtrepairs65@yahoo.com uPVC & Aluminium Free Quotes Fully Insured EXPERT DOMESTICS APPLIANCE SERVICES Sales and Repairs to All Makes and Models 169-171 LONG LANE, HOLBURY • TEL (023) 8089 0054 POSSIBLY THE ONLY INDEPENDENT MAIN DEALER IN THE NEW FOREST For Bosch, Belling, Britannia, Candy, Ebac, Hotpoint, Hoover, Indesit, Ice King, LG, LEC, Liebherr, Miele, Neff, Sebo, Siemens, Stoves, Whirlpool, Zanussi and more... Free Standing & Built In Sales Centre Over 300 appliances in stock www.expertdomestics.co.uk Flying Boats on Southampton Water… by Richard Hodgkinson My father, “Vic” Hodgkinson, grew up in Sydney, Australia in the era of the famous pioneering aviators Charles Kingsford Smith, Amelia Earheart, Francis Chichester and Bert Hinkler, and decided that aviation was to be his life. On leaving school he enrolled on a night school course on aircra construction at Sydney Technical College. In 1937 he joined the Royal Australian Air Force as a storekeeper and in 1939 was o ered a place on a ying course. is was unusual as ying courses were usually o ered to the sons of professional people such as solicitors, accountants and doctors… his father was a sign writer. Later that year he was sent to the UK with other aircrews to take delivery of nine Short Sunderland ying boats and y them back to Australia. Having completed their training at RAF Calshot, 10 Squadron RAAF was formed and, as the Paci c was then peaceful, the Australian government o ered the squadron to the UK war e ort, undertaking to pay their operational costs. ey joined Coastal Command and operated from RAF Mount Batten (Plymouth), RAF Pembroke Dock (Wales) and RAF Oban (Scotland), ying over the Atlantic searching for and attacking Axis submarines and shipping, and protecting convoys. During this period, he ew Lord Lloyd to Bordeaux as part of the e ort to unsuccessfully persuade the French to continue ghting, succeeded in defeating a faster and more heavily armed Focke Wulf Condor, rescued the 21 crew from the torpedoed ship “Stangrant” and ew spare parts, ammunition and dignitaries to Egypt via to y Sunderlands, Martin Mariners, Catalinas and (ex-Dutch) Dornier Do 24s in a transport role… the RAF also ew ex-Norwegian Heinkel He 115 oatplanes from Hythe for the S.O.E. In 1946, with the Paci c war ended, he had reached the rank of Wing Commander and been awarded the DFC. e military was scaling down rapidly and he was o ered a desk job but still wanted to y. B.O.A.C. were advertising for experienced ying boat pilots to y from Southampton Water to Australia, Africa and Japan. He applied, was successful and returned to England with his wife and son and lived in Dibden Purlieu. With the end of ying boat services, he remained with B.O.A.C., moved to Lymington and went on to y the Canadair “Argonaut”, de Havilland Comet, Bristol Britannia and Boeing 707. In 1971 he retired from ying with over 19,000 ying hours in his log books, contributed to many marine aviation books and spent many happy hours refurbishing the Short Sandringham, “Beachcomber”, in Southampton’s Solent Sky Museum, where he is commemorated. His family continue the aviation tradition, working for BA and his two grandsons are both pilots… for BA and the RAF. In 2010 he passed away and is interred in St. omas’s churchyard in Lymington… look for the grave marker with the Catalina ying boat! (Lymington was also the home of Admiral Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet to Australia and rst Governor of New South Wales.) In his “retirement” he wrote about his RAAF life, and amassed several albums of aviation photographs, which will be published in March 2024 as “My Flying Boat War” by Pen and Sword. All royalties will go to Solent Sky and Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust. On Friday 19th January, using his photographs, I will be presenting an account of his ying life to e New Forest & Hampshire Wartime Association, at 7.15pm at East Boldre Village Hall. For tickets, please visit: n wa.org in the rst week of January 2024. Gibraltar and Malta. He survived his Sunderland crashing in the Irish sea only to be rescued by the crew of the coaster Busiris, which had been bombed in the English Channel the week before with a 550lb unexploded bomb remaining on the deck! Not recognising the uniforms and believing that they had captured Germans, the crew pointed loaded ri es at the ve survivors… the airmen soon persuaded them otherwise with their best Australian invective! In 1942 he was recalled to Australia with his new bride to serve in RAAF 20 Squadron, flying Catalinas, attacking the Japanese, searching for their ships and supporting the Coast Watchers. He was then promoted to Chief Flying Instructor, before joining 40 Squadron “Vic” at the controls of a Short Sunderland… the aircraft had cooking facilities and bunk beds A Short Singapore taking off from RAF Calshot in 1940