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Battle of Britain Hero Dies
scotsman ^

Posted on 06/28/2005 12:31:35 PM PDT by scotslad

A Second World War fighter pilot who saved Buckingham Palace from a direct hit has died at the age of 90, it was announced today.

Sergeant Ray Holmes saved the palace when a German Dornier bomber lined up to attack it on September 15, 1940.

Mr Holmes, from Wirral, Merseyside, spotted the Dornier making its approach but had run out of ammunition.

So the pilot from 504 Squadron used his Hurricane to slice through the tail of the intruder.

He then parachuted to safety, while his plane crashed into Buckingham Palace Road and the German bomber plunged into part of Victoria station.

Last year, archaeologists unearthed parts of Sgt Holmes’s fighter plane for a TV documentary about his exploits.

During the live channel five TV show, Fighter Plane Dig, the plane’s engine was recovered and later exhibited at the Imperial War Museum.

Mr Holmes died yesterday morning at Hoylake Cottage Hospital in Wirral following a two-year battle with cancer.

His wife, Anne, 61, described her husband as “awe-inspiring” and said he would be sadly missed.

Following his death, tributes poured in for the Battle of Britain hero, including one from the Queen.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “The Queen was very sad to hear of the death of Ray Holmes, given his role in the valiant defence of London during World War II.”

Flags were flying at half-mast in his honour in Wirral, where he lived for most of his life.

Steve Maddox, chief executive of Wirral Borough Council, said: “Last year the council had the honour of bestowing the Freedom of the Borough on this very special person.

“It is the greatest honour which a local authority can bestow on one of its residents.

“I can think of no-one upon whom this honour could have been more fittingly bestowed.”

Mr Holmes, whose nickname was Arty, continued to fly throughout the war, becoming an instructor teaching Russians how to fly Hurricanes.

He later moved into photo-reconnaissance, taking pictures from 30,000ft over Germany of locations such as Berlin and Hitler’s hideout at Berchtesgaden.

He ended the war flying as the King’ Messenger, delivering mail for Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

After he saw the end of active service, he returned to his native Wirral where he worked as a journalist.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: battleofbritain; buckinghampalace; hero; rayholmes

1 posted on 06/28/2005 12:31:37 PM PDT by scotslad
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To: scotslad

We're losing heros every day. At least he got a good news-obit in the Scotsman.


2 posted on 06/28/2005 12:33:10 PM PDT by SittinYonder (Tancredo and I wanna know what you believe)
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To: scotslad
There was a time when jornalists were heros.

he worked as a journalist

3 posted on 06/28/2005 12:35:37 PM PDT by DManA
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To: scotslad

"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

Sir Winston Churchill


4 posted on 06/28/2005 12:38:38 PM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: scotslad
So the pilot from 504 Squadron used his Hurricane to slice through the tail of the intruder. He then parachuted to safety, while his plane crashed into Buckingham Palace Road and the German bomber plunged into part of Victoria station.

Wow! God bless him!

5 posted on 06/28/2005 12:40:04 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Benedicere cor tuo! Quomodo cogis comas tuas sic videri?)
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To: scotslad

He later moved into photo-reconnaissance, taking pictures from 30,000ft over Germany of locations such as Berlin and Hitler’s hideout at Berchtesgaden.

----


An Original Eye in the Sky :)

RIP Arly



6 posted on 06/28/2005 12:40:24 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... "To remain silent when they should protest makes cowards of men." -- THOMAS JEFFERSON)
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To: scotslad

"His wife, Anne, 61"

Wow....


7 posted on 06/28/2005 12:41:34 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland
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oops, not Arly..

RIP Arty

8 posted on 06/28/2005 12:42:44 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... "To remain silent when they should protest makes cowards of men." -- THOMAS JEFFERSON)
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To: scotslad
A Second World War fighter pilot who saved Buckingham Palace from a direct hit has died at the age of 90, it was announced today...His wife, Anne, 61, described her husband as “awe-inspiring” and said he would be sadly missed.

Now that's what I'm talkin' about.
9 posted on 06/28/2005 12:42:47 PM PDT by dsmatuska
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To: scotslad
A Second World War fighter pilot who saved Buckingham Palace from a direct hit has died at the age of 90,

His wife, Anne, 61,

A cradle robber, he was. :^)

RIP, Hero.

10 posted on 06/28/2005 12:43:38 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows ("Canada is the answer to a question that nobody bothered to ask." --Stand W)
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To: HereInTheHeartland

I notice that, too. Fighter pilots....


11 posted on 06/28/2005 12:44:19 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: scotslad

God bless such a heroic and valiant defender!


12 posted on 06/28/2005 12:44:28 PM PDT by TChris ("You tweachewous miscweant!" -- Elmer Fudd)
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To: HereInTheHeartland
Obvious not completely out of ammo
13 posted on 06/28/2005 12:44:55 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: scotslad
His wife, Anne, 61,

The difference between Christian warriors and muslim ones is we get our digs in and this world so that we can live a pure life afterwards. They bugger each other down here, and pray that some day that might have sex with a woman after they die.

14 posted on 06/28/2005 12:45:20 PM PDT by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: scotslad

www.bbm.org.uk/ images/holmes-1b.jpg

The only pic I could find.

15 posted on 06/28/2005 12:48:36 PM PDT by jrushing (Democrats=National Socialist Workers Party)
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To: ncountylee

This is still my favorite WWII cartoon.

16 posted on 06/28/2005 12:49:01 PM PDT by dfwgator (Congratulations Longhorns.)
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To: scotslad

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2002/queen.mum/stories/feature.war/

The late "Queen Mum" on the subject:


"While surveying the damage she famously said: 'I'm glad we have been bombed; I feel I can look the East End in the face.'

"She had resisted calls for herself and her two teen-age daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, to flee London for the safety of North America.

"'The children will not leave unless I do,' various sources have reported her as saying. 'I shall not leave unless their father does, and the king will not leave the country in any circumstances whatever.'"


17 posted on 06/28/2005 12:54:28 PM PDT by Graymatter
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To: scotslad

I saw that special recently and he was a remarkable man. Thank God that we had him and his kind.


18 posted on 06/28/2005 1:02:35 PM PDT by Redleg Duke (Getting old sucks, but it is the only viable option!)
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To: SittinYonder
Compare "Arty" with the old tart on a nearby obit thread who sold England out as a spy for the Russians.

Doubt she'll be going to the same place as this hero.

19 posted on 06/28/2005 1:07:00 PM PDT by paddles
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To: paddles

My exact same thought when I read the story about her. I thought it was funny that the two stories were posted one right after the other.


20 posted on 06/28/2005 1:12:19 PM PDT by SittinYonder (Tancredo and I wanna know what you believe)
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To: scotslad

Wow, Sounds like this Hero got a 65 year bonus life.


21 posted on 06/28/2005 1:19:19 PM PDT by cyclotic (Cub Scouts-Teach 'em young to be men, and politically incorrect in the process)
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To: Tax-chick
So the pilot from 504 Squadron used his Hurricane to slice through the tail of the intruder. He then parachuted to safety, while his plane crashed into Buckingham Palace Road and the German bomber plunged into part of Victoria station.

That is the type of thing a REAL hero does - quite unlike the foolish trivial everyday items so often touted presently as making "charlie soandso is a true hero".

22 posted on 06/28/2005 1:20:45 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: scotslad
God bless the brave lads of the RAF.

"Never were so many indebted to so few," as Churchill said.

Anybody else here watch the British produced TV series about the RAF, "Piece of Cake"?

I loved that program but oddly my in-laws, who lived through WWII, didn't like it.

23 posted on 06/28/2005 1:24:49 PM PDT by gingersnaps
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To: scotslad
He later moved into photo-reconnaissance, taking pictures from 30,000ft over Germany of locations such as Berlin and Hitler’s hideout at Berchtesgaden.

Equally heroic, IMHO. Most of those planes were unarmed. The great French author and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery died on one such mission.

24 posted on 06/28/2005 1:27:39 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: scotslad

I saw a documentary about this not long ago on the History Channel. A historian actually closed down the London streets and dug up the plane Sgt. Holmes was flying. They dug right under a busy intersection and found parts of the plane and engine. Sgt. Holmes was there for a ceremony when they found the pieces. It was very interesting.

Rest in Peace, Sgt. Holmes.


25 posted on 06/28/2005 1:41:37 PM PDT by day10 (Rules cannot substitute for character.)
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To: gingersnaps

Very good show but the book is better. Derek Robinson, I think it was. He also continued the story, telling the tale of the British aerial fighting against the Italians and Germans in WW2.

I had relatives of that vintage who read them and none were lukewarm. Either loved it or hated it. No middle ground...


26 posted on 06/28/2005 1:45:49 PM PDT by Androcles (All your typos are belong to us)
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To: Androcles
I had relatives of that vintage who read them and none were lukewarm. Either loved it or hated it. No middle ground...

I wonder why? I couldn't figure it out with my in-laws. Maybe they just didn't like anything they could characterize as "glorifying the military" -- they ARE leftists after all.

But even leftists supposedly wanted to see Hitler defeated ( or did they? Come to think of it, they didn't mind Hitler so much when he was aligned with Stalin...)

27 posted on 06/28/2005 1:57:46 PM PDT by gingersnaps
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To: scotslad

From the recent video documentary:

Ray Holmes is reunited with his Hawker Hurricane's control yoke, which he last held in his hands some 64 years ago.

Pretty neat archaeological dig - they used ground-penetrating radar gear to locate the remains of the aircraft (based on pictures which showed the original crash site). Too bad there was so little remaining of that Rolls-Royce Merlin.

28 posted on 06/28/2005 2:06:45 PM PDT by Charles Martel
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To: scotslad
Mr Holmes, from Wirral, Merseyside, spotted the Dornier making its approach but had run out of ammunition.

So the pilot from 504 Squadron used his Hurricane to slice through the tail of the intruder.

He then parachuted to safety, while his plane crashed into Buckingham Palace Road and the German bomber plunged into part of Victoria station.

Wow!! That's just ******* amazing! God rest this man's soul.

29 posted on 06/28/2005 2:19:43 PM PDT by Textide
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To: Androcles
Very good show but the book is better. Derek Robinson, I think it was.

I remember seeing part of it on TV and thought it was pretty good.

Just found the book at Amazon and it's now on its way to me.

30 posted on 06/28/2005 4:10:50 PM PDT by RJL
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To: gingersnaps
No, it was quite strange. All were conservative. I suspect at least one of them was of the older generation who preferred quite jingoistic/patriotic versions where our boys are always perfect and unalloyed with anything which might diminish them whereas Piece of Cake was quite realistic in its themes right down to an accidnetal strafing of a refugee column.

Personally, I thought that was why the books worked - it showed normal folk rising to a challenge, making mistakes and overcoming them as they proved themselves. Even the Axis characters were treated fairly too (I hate books like Tom Clancy novels where the characters from the enmy side are almost always caricatures and stereotypes)...

Anyway, I'd better do some work. Cheers!

31 posted on 06/28/2005 4:11:55 PM PDT by Androcles (All your typos are belong to us)
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To: scotslad

WOW! Just WOW!


32 posted on 06/28/2005 4:15:07 PM PDT by Let's Roll ( "Congressmen who ... undermine the military ... should be arrested, exiled or hanged" - A. Lincoln)
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