BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

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BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#1 Post by CharlieOneSix » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:42 pm

This programme may be of interest to some. Hopefully it's not just limited to Scotland.

I had only heard of Squadron Commander Dunning before in respect of the Furious trials.
Squadron Commander Dunning

BBC4 Preview
A hundred years ago, with German U-boats and battleships terrorising Allied shipping and zeppelins bombing Britain's towns and cities, Ulster-Scots teenager Jack McCleery was one of 12 young men tasked with a deadly mission on board the navy's 'mystery ship'. In Captain Jack and the Furious Few, David Hayman reveals the story of the test pilots of the world's first aircraft carrier, HMS Furious. The top guns of their day, their secret mission would revolutionise warfare.

A gifted pilot, Jack McCleery was head-hunted by the navy after just nine months of intensive flight training. He was posted to the newly commissioned HMS Furious in 1917, where he would serve for two years as part of an elite squadron of test pilots.

Their mission was to land a wheeled plane on the deck of a moving vessel in order to develop and test the techniques and technology that would convert the Furious into the world's first dedicated aircraft carrier, capable of launching a strategic air attack on Britain's enemies - but nothing like this had ever been attempted before.

Flying from the deck of HMS Furious, the bravery and sacrifice of those 12 Royal Navy test pilots would change the course of warfare forever. Jack McCleery's diaries, letters and personal archive of sketches and previously unseen photographs are a unique record of that extraordinary period in his own life, and in the history of aviation.
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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#2 Post by Cacophonix » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:05 pm

CharlieOneSix wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:42 pm
This programme may be of interest to some. Hopefully it's not just limited to Scotland.

I had only heard of Squadron Commander Dunning before in respect of the Furious trials.
Squadron Commander Dunning

BBC4 Preview
A hundred years ago, with German U-boats and battleships terrorising Allied shipping and zeppelins bombing Britain's towns and cities, Ulster-Scots teenager Jack McCleery was one of 12 young men tasked with a deadly mission on board the navy's 'mystery ship'. In Captain Jack and the Furious Few, David Hayman reveals the story of the test pilots of the world's first aircraft carrier, HMS Furious. The top guns of their day, their secret mission would revolutionise warfare.

A gifted pilot, Jack McCleery was head-hunted by the navy after just nine months of intensive flight training. He was posted to the newly commissioned HMS Furious in 1917, where he would serve for two years as part of an elite squadron of test pilots.

Their mission was to land a wheeled plane on the deck of a moving vessel in order to develop and test the techniques and technology that would convert the Furious into the world's first dedicated aircraft carrier, capable of launching a strategic air attack on Britain's enemies - but nothing like this had ever been attempted before.

Flying from the deck of HMS Furious, the bravery and sacrifice of those 12 Royal Navy test pilots would change the course of warfare forever. Jack McCleery's diaries, letters and personal archive of sketches and previously unseen photographs are a unique record of that extraordinary period in his own life, and in the history of aviation.
What an extraordinary man and history and South African born (Johannesburg) too. Thanks for posting C16 and will look out for the programme.




https://samilhistory.com/tag/edwin-harris-dunning/


He is buried not too far from where I live in the UK and there is a memorial to him on the Orkneys.

97156661_mediaitem97156660.jpg
97156661_mediaitem97156660.jpg (78.01 KiB) Viewed 247 times
In Conclusion

As is typical to South Africa’s lack of recognition to countrymen who attained greatness serving in the ‘hated’ British forces (as was the case with the old National Party) or in the case of the ‘colonial’ forces (as is the current case with the ANC), even if the feat was an international aviation milestone. So it passed unnoticed and no such flybys, plaque unveilings, awards, centenary mark or national salutes were given to our pioneering hero in South Africa – and that’s more tragic than the tragedy itself.
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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#3 Post by Cacophonix » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:22 pm

Some more about Jack McCleery.
Captain Jack McCleery RNAS, RAF
First World War and Second World War

McCleery was born in Belfast in 1898. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1916, as a Probationary Flight Officer. In his first 10 months he flew more than a dozen landplanes, seaplanes and flying boats and gained his wings as a Flight Sub-Lieutenant.

He was an exceptional pilot and in July 1917 he became one of the world’s first pilots to operate from an aircraft carrier. Serving on-board the Royal Navy's HMS Furious, nicknamed the ‘Hush-Hush’, McCleery flew Short 184 seaplanes and Sopwith 1½ Strutters from the flight deck.

In 1918, McCleery was part of the support element for the Tondern raid; an attack on German Zeppelin hangars. This was the first successful carrier air strike in history.

As a test pilot McCleery conducted a series of dangerous and experimental deck landings and was a pioneer in the early days of naval aviation.

McCleery took part in more than a dozen operations in the North Sea, undertaking reconnaissance missions off the coast of Denmark. Aircraft carrier operations being in their infancy meant that pilots often landed in the sea to be picked up by waiting destroyers.

He was promoted to Captain in the RAF, retiring in 1969 and died in 1983.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-northe ... -one-pilot

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How the RFC rejected Jack and got "Teddy Grant"

#4 Post by Cacophonix » Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:34 pm

18 October 1916 – “Teddy Grant”

Such is the demand for pilots that both services continue to recruit heavily.

Jack McCleery
Today, 18 year old Jack McCleery from Belfast was interviewed at the Admiralty in London for a position as a Probationary Flight Lieutenant. He had previuosly been rejected by the RFC. He then set off for home but by the time he reached Liverpool, he received a telegram that he had been selected and he immediately set off again for London.

In contrast the RFC secured the services of Tryggve Gran, a Norwegian explorer who had served as the skiing instructor on Scott’s fateful mission to the South Pole in 1912.

On his return voyage, Gran met the Irish aviator Robert Loraine, and immediately took an interest in aviation. Gran became a skilled pilot at Louis Blériot’s aviation school in Paris, and on 30 July 1914, Gran became the first pilot to cross the North Sea. Taking off in his Blériot XI-2 monoplane from Cruden Bay, Scotland, Gran landed 4 hours 10 minutes later at Jæren, near Stavanger, Norway, after a flight of 320 miles.

On the outbreak of war he attempted to join the RFC but was rejected on account of Norway’s neutrality. He finally got his way today as he persuaded the Norwegian Ministry of Defence to let him join the RFC. To preserve the illusion of neutrality, he was commissioned as “Teddy Grant” – and marked as a Canadian.
https://airwar19141918.wordpress.com/20 ... ddy-grant/

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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#5 Post by Cacophonix » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:10 pm

See pages 49 to 59 for more tell of McCleery et al.

http://www.npl.co.uk/upload/pdf/to-the- ... heroes.pdf

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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#6 Post by CharlieOneSix » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:30 pm

A fascinating programme which was well worth watching.. As ever, David Hayman made a superb narrator.
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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#7 Post by Cacophonix » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:46 pm

"These things don't look half as interesting as Captain W E Johns and Biggles"...

McCleery's son as child looking at photos of his father's aircraft!

Missed it last night but watched on iPlayer over lunch...

Superb. A must for anybody who has ever heard the wind whisper over a wing.

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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#8 Post by Undried Plum » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:11 pm

I haven't got a telly or a TV licence so I'm banned from the iPlayer thingy.

Occasionaly, just occasionally, I regret my inaccassibility to those very rare progs that are worth watching.

I shall find a workaround for this one.

His grandson, I think, was a member of a my former Flying Club. He owned a couple of successful shops in Southern Fife and I remember that he, the grandson, bought a spiffing new aeroplane from what he called Airospattle. I flew with him on the delivery flight as the weather was going to be crap and my IR was necessary for the paperwork.

I shall now go and find out how to hack the iPlayer thing. I'm not going outside, but I may be some time.

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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#9 Post by Cacophonix » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:30 pm

I salute you Plum for your austere dismissal of the box, good stuff comes on so rarely these days. Are you a fan of Radio 4 perchance, there was a very good ferry pilot series on that frequency relatively recently ?

This might be helpful in your iPlayer quest

https://www.techadvisor.co.uk/how-to/en ... d-3512135/

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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#10 Post by Undried Plum » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:25 pm

Cacophonix wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:30 pm
your austere dismissal of the box
Not austere at all. My quality of life improved massively when I took the telly (it was a currently fashionable CRT, so that may tell you how long ago it was) to the tip and subsequently wrote increasingly rude stuff to the TV Licencing cnuts when they biannually demanded money with menaces. Fukkem, fundamentally.

Are you a fan of Radio 4 perchance

Way beyond that, I'm an addict. No tv or dog licence required for that, so I'm clean.


You can register for an account for free, but you'll need to give your date of birth, gender, and email address, along with a valid UK postcode

Wow! Just Wow!

So I can legally do the iPlayer thing?

I didn't know that. I shall do dat ting.

I'm indoors now. I may be some time.

Thankyou.

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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#11 Post by Undried Plum » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:19 pm

Thankyou, C16 for bringing this wonderful film to our/my attention.

A very special thankyou ^:)^ to Caco for clueing me in on the legal way to watch Beeb iPlayer documentaries. Much Rioja Gran Reserve is being guzzled while watching some real pearls. Thankyou thankyou. :YMHUG:

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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#12 Post by Cacophonix » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:35 pm

Undried Plum wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:19 pm
Thankyou, C16 for bringing this wonderful film to our/my attention.

A very special thankyou ^:)^ to Caco for clueing me in on the legal way to watch Beeb iPlayer documentaries. Much Rioja Gran Reserve is being guzzled while watching some real pearls. Thankyou thankyou. :YMHUG:

I am glad you got watch the documentary Undried Plum. I must admit I watched it again tonight.. What extraordinarily brave men they were. The footage of Scapa Flow was superb I got to fly over there last year and it was most interesting to see the shapes on the sea floor of some of the wrecks there. I would love to retire to one of the islands up there if they will have me. :)

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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#13 Post by Undried Plum » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:59 pm

I flew over there a few years ago, on a very calm day, and there was a very clear oil slick from HMS Royal Oak. A bit eerie to see such a present reminder of what happened so long ago.

I've got lots to tell about the creation of the Flotta terminal, but that'll have to wait until I can find a link to a semi-fictional video on the subject.

Ricardo is yer man for that place.

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Re: BBC4 2200 7 Nov - Captain Jack and the Furious Few

#14 Post by CharlieOneSix » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:50 pm

Glad you enjoyed the programme Mr Plum. Your mention of Flotta has triggered a memory that I will put on Rotary Nostalgia idc.
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