The Bear Facts
About the men who signed Winkle :
Capital Eric 'Winkle' Brown - after flying in combat as a Naval Pilot, he was responsible for test-flying most of the captured German Aircraft during WW11, making the first ever jet landing on an aircraft carrier. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having flown more types of aircraft than any pilot in history (487), he is regarded as one of the greatest test pilots of all time.
Flying Officer Frank Wheeler - posted to 174 Typhoon Squadron at Westhampnett, his first operation was to escort the Mosquitos taking part in 'Operation Jericho', the Amiens Jailbreak. He took part in the operations around the Falaise Gap and flew with the squadron until the end of the war, completing 1123 ops.
Pilot Officer Stefan Ryll AFM - having trained as a pilot he went onto Operations with 306 Squadron in 1943 flying both Spitfires and Hurricanes. In April 1944 he then flew Mustangs on Bomber escorts including the final raid of the war in Europe on the famous trip to Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.
Flight Lieutenant Kurt Taussig - aged 15, he was sent by his parents from Czechoslovakia to England in 1939 to escape the Nazi persecution of the Jews. At 18 he joined the RAF and was posted to 225 Squadron flying Hurricanes and Spitfires on Tactical & Artillery Reconnaissance duties.
Warrant Officer Jack Hodges DFC - initially flying Spitfires on photo reconnaissance, he was posted to 175 Squadron and later 174 Squadron 2nd Tactical Airforce, flying Typhoons during 1944/45 and was awarded the DFC for attacking a German Armoured Division.
A Teddy Bear full of provenance....
Gino Bear x