PRESS RELEASE 17th JULY 2014
A Tiger Moth meets the family of its wartime pilot
A Tiger Moth in which a night-fighter pilot, Bryan Wild, learned to fly in 1940 will be flying overhead at the Pre-War Prescott hill climb event near Cheltenham on Saturday, 19th July 2014, watched by some of Bryan’s family, including his daughter, Elizabeth Halls. Moreover, the day before, Elizabeth will have a close-up meeting the Tiger Moth and its present owner-pilot, Paul Harvey. She will be driving her 1935 Singer Le Mans sports car, an almost identical model to one her father owned and loved in the 1940s. A book of his memoirs, ‘Flying Blind: The Story of a Night-Fighter Pilot’, is to be published by Fonthill Media at the end of August this year. Bryan Wild died aged 90 in 2012.
She bought the Singer earlier this year because of its similarity to her father’s earlier car. Its numberplate, CHU 944, recalls the year in which he bought his car, 1944, and his favourite wartime song, the Chattanooga Choo Choo. In ‘Chattie’, as she is now called, Elizabeth will be visiting all 60 of the UK mainland airfields where Flt Lt Bryan Wild landed during the war, both in his memory and in aid of the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Her commemorative tour celebrates the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, and will finish in the Autumn of 2015.
The Tiger Moth (G-AFWI/BB814), first appears in Bryan Wild’s log book on 11th November 1940, practising the power approach and landing, sideslipping and steep turns. He made 8 flights in it altogether. The aircraft went on to be the lead Navy Tiger Moth in the Britannia Flight in the 1960s, and Flight Commander McKeown flew her onto HMS Hermes: the last biplane ever to operate from a Royal Navy aircraft carrier.
Elizabeth Halls is supremely grateful to Ian Grace of Pre-war Prescott for inviting her and ‘Chattie’ as VIP guests to Pre-War Prescott, for tracing her father’s Tiger Moth and enabling this momentous meeting. Pre-War Prescott supports the RAF Charitable Trust, and it is hoped that, weather permitting, the appearance of this historic aircraft at this event will help raise funds for the two RAF charities.
For more information see www.prewarprescott.com or to find out more about the Where They Served commemorative airfields tour project contact Elizabeth Halls on 07795 324 575