Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
In A Tiger Moth Over Kent, UK On the morning of March 14th, 2006 George Egan and Glen Gaudet travelled with WWII veteran Eric May from Maidstone, Kent, to Lashenden Airfield (EGKH), commonly known as Headcorn, for a unique opportunity during their trip to the UK. Eric May was a Telegraphist Air Gunner during the Second World War, trained at No. 1 Naval Air Gunnery School at East Camp in Yarmouth in 1944. He has been back to Yarmouth to visit the East Camp sites and has also attended two performances of the Wartime Heritage Association's Time To Remember stage shows. Over the past few years he has become a friend of the Association and is an honorary board member. Eric May was taking Egan and Gaudet to Headcorn to meet with his son, Peter, for the chance to take a short flight in a 1933 Tiger Moth. The Tiger was still painted in its original 1933 color scheme of maroon and silver and has accumulated over 13000 hours of flying time throughout its long life. This particular Tiger Moth, the G-ACDC, has a unique provenance in that it was the third DH82a Tiger Moth ever to be built and the oldest still flying. The G-ACDC was registered February 6th, 1933; just celebrating its seventy-third birthday February 2006. It was a cold, grey and windy morning and the weather put the flights in jeopardy (not to mention the flat tire on the way to Headcorn which was quickly fixed by the May-Egan-Gaudet team – Fleet Air Arm air mechanics in training!). Finally the control centre and pilot Peter May decided the weather was manageable and that take-off was "a go". Egan and Gaudet spent approximately thirty minutes each in the Tiger Moth from take-off to landing with Peter May. They both went up separately in the two-seater Tiger. Flying at 1000 feet, they were able to clearly make-out the Town of Maidstone and neighbouring towns and villages, the M20 highway, the train tracks and even Leeds Castle; known as the prettiest Castle in England. Although it is impossible to re-create the experience of war for those who have never lived it, the flights provided thrilling insight into what it was like to fly in an open-cockpit aircraft. The airfield itself also has an interesting history with a connection to Canada. On the 6th August 1943 127 Wing Royal Canadian Air Force (comprising of 403 and 421 Squadrons flying Spitfire IXb's under the command of Wing Commander 'Johnny Johnson') moved to Headcorn from RAF Kenley. The Canadians then moved on at the end of August 1943. The airfield briefly provided a base for US Air Force units during WWII as well. Tiger Moth's were widely used by Allied forces both before and during WWII as trainers. Many Tiger Moths were commonly used across Canada to train pilots under the BCATP (British Commonwealth Air Training Plan). These biplanes made a significant contribution in pilot training.
Return to Story Archive George Egan, Pilot Peter May and Glen Gaudet March 14, 2006 at Headcorn Tiggy G-ACDC in the 1930's in Shoreham, West Sussex, UK
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George Egan, Peter May and Glen Gaudet
"Tiggy" G-ACDC
In A Tiger Moth Over Kent