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The story of a pilot

Smithy

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Great stuff Søren, and thanks for posting that. Isn't it great with the net how you can get in touch with people that you wouldn't have had a hope of in previous times? One good thing about the march of technology :)

I hope you have more pics and info about Zulu coming.
 

Spitfire

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You are so right, Tim - the internet is good for something.
Please allowe me to quote what Nathan lewis - his grandson had to say about "Zulu" - Albert G Lewis:

“I knew and loved him until he passed away when I was 8 years of age.
My memory of him is of a deeply humble man, who was very spiritual on his out look on life, he truly loved his fellow man. As a young boy who would watch the battle of Britain movie and held grampy in some kind of awe, I vividly remember telling him that he was my hero after hearing from my father and uncles about his exploits. When grampy asked why and I told him because of his being an ace fighter pilot he looked at me and told me quietly that he was no hero, he was just one of many people who had a job to do and a duty to serve those that couldn't help themselves.
His later life was always marked by how he served others, he seemed driven by a need to give all he had to helping others.”
 

Smithy

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Spitfire said:
he looked at me and told me quietly that he was no hero, he was just one of many people who had a job to do and a duty to serve those that couldn't help themselves.

Now how's that for modesty! What a truly wonderful fellow and one who (even apart from his military service) tried to do so much for others.

:eusa_clap
 

Spitfire

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IMG.jpg


Found this one with Lewis standing as number 3 from left - with fellow pilots from 249 Squadron. Could be September 1940.
 

Smithy

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It is indeed September 1940 Søren and at North Weald. This is one of a series of photos which were taken. The more seen version taken just after this where they are walking towards the camera was made famous after being used for the front of the official Air Ministry account of the Battle of Britain.

Lovely shot.
 

Spitfire

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Absolutely a great shot. It must be from the same photosession as the one in my first post in this thread.
I also like the varity in the uniforms, boots and irvins. Gives a good image of the different - and very personal - styles.
Observe that Lewis has his topbutton undone!
 

Smithy

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Spitfire said:
It must be from the same photosession as the one in my first post in this thread.

That's the one Søren. Sorry, I'd forgotten you'd already posted it on the first page of the thread.

As an aside the photographer took a number of individual portraits during this shoot. I can't remember seeing one of Lewis but there is a brilliant one of George Barclay which was eventually used on the cover of his diaries (and I used it as an avatar a couple of years back ;) ).
 

Smithy

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Brilliant photos. Especially liked the one of the chaps relaxing in the mess with an ale and the paper.

Keep 'em coming Spitfire!
 

'Wingco'

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A fantastic read & amazing posts

I've just joined this forum & the RAF is 'my thing', Lewis was a fantastic pilot & I am lucky enough to live in Kent where we have fantastic museums like Hawkinge which keep the memory of these brave pilots alive. The 70th anniversary year is going to be special as at least a few of the distinguished gentleman are still with us I have met Bob Doe, Peter Ayerst and Jimmie Corbyn over the past few years & have the signed books to prove it.

615 County of Surrey squadron is a special interest as the family have maintained Pilot Officer Mudies grave (shot down over Dover harbour 14th July 1940) for 20+ years If anyone ever comes across a picture of him or relative reads this! many would like to know as he is one of the few of the few! with no known photograph which is sad.

Anyway thanks everyone for a great read I should have been working!
 

Spitfire

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I have some more information from Lewis on the last day in France from the book: Twelve days in may.
I tried to edit them into the origianl story at the top, but it was impossible. So here it is:

Monday 20 May, 1940 Lewis flew back to England in one of the only 3 Hurricanes still usable from 85th Squadron:

“It was obvious that we were being kicked out of France and those of us who were not wounded were told we had to make our way home to England.
Bofors guns were being turned on practically new Hurricanes to destoy them and make them unfit for use by the enemy.
We came under attack by 109s which strafed rows of aircraft standing out in the open.
I eventually found one Hurricane which, apart from a few bullet holes, seemed OK. We started her up and I was soon heading out over the Channel towards England.
Landed at Gatwick and on to Northolt.
 

Smithy

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Spitfire said:
I have some more information from Lewis on the last day in France from the book: Twelve days in may.

Good to see you picked up the book Søren, it's a great read. I think you'll enjoy it!
 

Spitfire

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Smithy said:
Good to see you picked up the book Søren, it's a great read. I think you'll enjoy it!

Yes - thanks for the recommendation, Tim.
It's waiting for the easter hollidays - looking so much forward to dig in.:)
(Just had a sneakview on the Lewis-bits)
 

Smithy

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Spitfire said:
Just managed to get my hands on a copy of the LIFE magazine from 1941, which features the story of Lewis.
:)

You'll be very happy with that Søren I bet!

Did you get anymore photos and whathaveyou from Zulu's grandson?
 

Spitfire

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Smithy said:
You'll be very happy with that Søren I bet!

Did you get anymore photos and whathaveyou from Zulu's grandson?

Unfortunately not.
I had contact with one of his sons, a daughter and the grandson. Only the grandson send me some links to pictures, I allready knew the existence of.

But the search goes on - I have just ordered this new book written by Neil, who flew with Lewis in 249 sq. There might be something there.
 

Smithy

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Spitfire said:
Unfortunately not.
I had contact with one of his sons, a daughter and the grandson. Only the grandson send me some links to pictures, I allready knew the existence of.

But the search goes on - I have just ordered this new book written by Neil, who flew with Lewis in 249 sq. There might be something there.

That's not the new edition of "Gun Button to Fire" is it? The reason why I ask is that you've got "A Fighter in My Sights" and it's essentially the same book (actually it's got more than this new edition I believe).
 

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