Comment on Bud Badley Redux Post

I got this comment.

If anyone can help, just add a comment.

I wonder if it’s possible to identify other 23 Squadron members in this photo?

One day in the early 1990’s a former Pathfinder Mosquito navigator called Brian “Paddy” Burke told me that he flew beside Geoffrey de Havilland Jnr at a display in front of Air Ministry ‘big wigs’ during the plane’s development. He explained that there were question marks about the aircraft’s ability to perform on one engine. Brian told me that de Havilland briefed him prior to the flight that on his, de Havilland’s, signal Brian was to cut the power to one engine. Brian went on to explain that de Havilland then proceeded to roll the aircraft on its remaining engine. Over 50 years on, Brian’s admiration for de Havilland’s flying skills was palpable as he recalled that day. Brian later married and lived in Co. Down, N Ireland. He and his wife had no children. He died in 1994. Though he was far too modest a man to say so himself, I can only assume that Brian was highly thought of as a navigator if de Havilland chose him to fly with him that day.

I’d often remembered that story and I was naturally amazed to see footage on the recent documentary “The Plane That saved Britain” of a prototype Mosquito in November 1940 rolling on one engine at a demonstration in front of officials. I have absolutely no doubt that this was the flight Brian had described to me. I didn’t know Brian very well, and I don’t know which Squadron(s) he may have served with, but looking closely at the 23 Squadron photograph used in the documentary and on this site, it seems at least very possible that he is the man standing second from the right, middle row. I wonder does anyone out there know?

Ciaran O’Reilly,


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