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Thread: Jeff Hawke

  1. #1
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    Jeff Hawke

    What ever became of the big Englishman? Is he still alive and flying, or did he pass on, and how? I recall reading of his adventures with Martin Caidin flying warbirds from Martin's books, some incredible stuff...always wondered what ever became of him....

    Mark

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    I think he ended up in a Piper Aztec at the bottom of the Med. in very strange circumstances.

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    John Hawke...

    Very likable but an absolute rogue.

    One of Aviation's 'real' characters.

    RIP

    Mark

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    Jeff Hawke nearly killed me! I flew with him in a B-25 Mitchell at Mildenhall Air Show in May 1978, immediately following the filming of "Hanover Street". This B-25 was poorly maintained and he proceeded to do stall turns and steep dives in it, scaring the life out of me!
    Adrian

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    I've heard many fascinating stories of this guy from a guy who worked with him for a lot of years, never ceases to amaze me how he got away with the things he did at times.

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    The lesson being to be very careful who you fly with. Gung ho pilots only kill themselves once, don't be aboard for that ride.

    (Though Jeff seemed to have a slightly odd guardian angel, as well as a lot of flying skill, albeit with a liberal attitude to money maintaiance and morals.)

    There was a thread on PPrune a while back too.

    Cheers
    James K

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    AlbertR you are not alone...

    Quote Originally Posted by ALBERT ROSS
    Jeff Hawke nearly killed me! I flew with him in a B-25 Mitchell at Mildenhall Air Show in May 1978, immediately following the filming of "Hanover Street". This B-25 was poorly maintained and he proceeded to do stall turns and steep dives in it, scaring the life out of me!
    I took the kind offer of a RH seat in one of the B-25 formation take off shots for 'Hanover Street'. Despite 'some disquiet' from the engine on my side, we pressed on with the take off to the point when the aircraft ahead call an abort and shut the throttle... and we were obliged to also. The popping and banging was from the intake manifold which seemed to have blown some of the ignition system 'through' the cowlings. The fire brigade got it out without too much fuss but witnesses advised we were trailing great plumes of flame/smoke with each pop and bang.

    Mark

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    If you were writing a book about 'Jeff' Hawke...

    ... there is certainly room for a chapter entitled - 'Abandoned B-25's and spares holdings around the world'.

    Mark

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    Would the next chapter then have anything to do with abandoned DC3's???

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    Did anyone see the documentery 'Mitchell's do fly in IMC' talk about marginal!!

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    Yup.

    The 'Old' and 'Bold Pilot' thing has seldom been more vividly illustrated.

    Moggy
    "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark12
    I took the kind offer of a RH seat in one of the B-25 formation take off shots for 'Hanover Street'. Despite 'some disquiet' from the engine on my side, we pressed on with the take off to the point when the aircraft ahead call an abort and shut the throttle... and we were obliged to also. The popping and banging was from the intake manifold which seemed to have blown some of the ignition system 'through' the cowlings. The fire brigade got it out without too much fuss but witnesses advised we were trailing great plumes of flame/smoke with each pop and bang.

    Mark
    I had exactly the same experience and flew in "Gorgeous Georgeann" piloted by an American named Eric Lorentzen during the filming out of Little Rissington and also experienced the cylinders 'missing'. It was made even worse when we got hit (literally!) by mock mortar fire! Jeff Hawke was on the ground, directing at the time.
    Adrian

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    Happy daze.



    "Jeff" Hawke standing at left rear.

    Mark
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark12


    "Jeff" Hawke standing at left rear.

    Mark
    Hmmmm......hope the fashion police are not browsing this forum.... ..mind you flares are back in....or so I'm told by those far trendier than I'll ever be

    Can anyone tell me anything about 'Jeff' Hawke's RAF service...?
    I know he left the RAF just after the filming of 633 Sqn as the film company let him have use of one Mossie's to fly to Wattisham(I think?) for his demob party.... Apparently, the beat up he did was talked about for years...
    I was with it all the way until letting the brakes off..........

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark12
    ... there is certainly room for a chapter entitled - 'Abandoned B-25's and spares holdings around the world'.

    Mark
    I took the following photos at Coventry around 1990, I just could not believe how they had let the B25 NL9494Z deteriorate, after all it was airworthy only a few years earlier as 'Gorgeous George Ann'. I was told at the time that the collection was under some sort of administration.

    I think the WW1 replicas were used in the film Gunbus, the last I heard Peter Smith had these down at Hawkinge. The T6 was a prop from 'Empire of the Sun'.

    A long lost acquaintace of mine used to be one of Hawke's crew members on the JU 52, I can vaguely remember being told of similar exploits with the JU. From memory, Hawke left that aircraft in a field in Germany after a forced landing or aborted take off?

    Septic.
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    Last edited by Septic; 18th August 2004 at 23:30.
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    Hi Septic,
    i have some very similar pics that i took at about the same time, and ome of the JU52 that was in sand / mottled green camo. is that the Ju you refer to?
    cheers.
    Greg
    Last edited by landyman; 21st August 2004 at 20:54.

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    Quote Originally Posted by landyman
    Hi Septic,
    i have some very similar pics that i took at about the same time, and ome of the JU52 that was in sand / mottled brown camo. is that the Ju you refer to?
    cheers.
    Greg
    I only remember seeing it fly in the overall green colours/yellow cowlings, but I can vaugely recall that it was repainted.

    Septic.
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    cheers for the info Septic, unfortunatly my computer scanner is u/s (they tend to stop working after one of the kids stands on them ) otherwise i would put the pics on here. when i was there there were some french(?) spotter type aircraft on the other side of the hangar along with a couple of american cars, if you saw them have you any idea what the aircraft were? i didn't get a good look at or pics of these due to running out of time.
    cheers.
    Greg

  19. #19
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    Jeff Hawke. Now there's a guy I wish I could have have met. My first introduction to this guy's exploits with aircraft was a photo in Air Classics from Biggin Hill 1979, where he mowed the lawn with B-25 N9115C. According to the author (O'Leary?) it seemed to be "a how low can you go" contest between the 25, Don Bullock's A-26, and the Euroworld B-17! I then got the "Mitchells do fly in IMC" video, and thought, whoa, this guy does it his own way! I later found out that he "delivered " A-26s to Portugal amongst others! I querried in another tread on another forum about this guy, as I'd like to find out more about him. Just as a note to the "autumn collection photo" from Mark12, the photo also shows: guy next to Hawke is unknown, then Mike Wright w/cap and glasses. Eric Lorentzen (who had race Sea Fury Critical Mass built), Bill Muszala (brother of Pacific Fighters John Muszala) who later worked for Evergreen (still does?). The guy sitting with a hat was named Bill Baldwin. I recognize these from the Mitchells do..... tape. Mike Wright and Bill Muszala flew N7681C across the pond, while Bill Baldwin flew N9455Z "Tokyo Express" with a couple from Colorado. Lorentzen flew first with Hawke in N86427, then transferred to N9494Z "Laden Maiden" when they got a shortage of pilots. I remember visiting P-51 owner Lee Schaller who owned N86427 before Hawke, and told him of the flight across the Atlantic. He just looked at me and remarked that that B-25 was basically not fit for flight when he sold it. Guess that just made it more interesting for these "aerial pirates"! I was told on another forum back in time that N9494Z was at Sandtoft in a derelict state. Is it still there? This was my favourite 25 back in the early 1980's! Which forum did you mention JDK? Photos of the Hanover Street B-25s can be found here: http://www.rob.clubkawasaki.com/listing2.htm
    Keep the stories coming. I find it very interesting to hear about some of these guys exploits, I love the planes, but without the people involved, there really wouldnt be a story!

    T J Johansen
    Oslo, NORWAY

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by T J Johansen
    Keep the stories coming. I find it very interesting to hear about some of these guys exploits, I love the planes, but without the people involved, there really wouldnt be a story!
    Couldn't agree more, and these 'blast from the past' photos are a fasinating insight into the formative years of the 'warbird' community.
    Top stuff.....
    I was with it all the way until letting the brakes off..........

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebird
    Couldn't agree more, and these 'blast from the past' photos are a fascinating insight into the formative years of the 'warbird' community.
    Top stuff.....
    ..let alone a chance to cringe at the sartorial and coiffure statements of the time.

    Mark

    ps That is a life vest - not the latest from Carnaby Street.
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    Hi TJ et al.

    It was PPrune (http://www.pprune.org.uk) and if you seach for 'Hawke' or 'John 'Jeff' Hawke - Adventurer' it should come up from the 'Aviation History & Nostalgia' Forum.

    IIRC, it was Hawke who tried to get Messerschmitt Me109G Black 6 airworthy for the Battle of Britain film (or around that time) partly by bunging all the instraments and fitting stuff such as a Meatbox throttle (?!?) instead of the Messerschmitt unit. It all went pearshaped, and the project was abandoned, but I heard Russ Snadden cursing the 'work' that had been done and needed to be 'undone.'

    Hawke also ferried a Meteor F.11 (TT.20) to the USA, and aparently 'arrived in the middle of an airshow' but some of those details were scanty.

    Certainly a larger than life charecter. Buying Hawke's survival suit is one of the IMC highlights!

    Cheers
    James K

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    Jeff Hawke's TB-25N 'Miami Clipper' N86427 taken at the 1978 Mildenhall Show.The aircraft was abandoned a year later at Malaga Spain when it damaged a wing during low flying!In 1985 it was rescued by the Museo del Aire and is now on display at Cuarto Vientos,Madrid.
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    So,was he good for the warbird community or bad?,
    Reading on here it seems that he left more aircraft in an un airworthy condition than in an airworthy condition.This has to be balanced by the fact that restoration and conservation wasn't high in everybodies minds in the 60'70's, the B o B film seemed to stir things up in that deptartment.
    I am assuming that Public funding was'nt around as in major museums then as is now so privately running old planes probably was'nt economically viable[if it is now,i doubt it] so flying them until they broke was the norm.
    Your thoughts on his impact on the warbird scene will be interesting to read

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    Jeff Hawke flying the B-17 at Barton in1979
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    Great pic, Cestrian.

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    I'm sure there was some mention of him in "Birth of a Spitfire", to do with the Zero mock-ups for "Empire of the Sun"
    There is nothing to fear but fear itself. And spiders. F**k spiders.

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    If I'm not mistaken the Zero replica ended up with Aces High dumped behind one of their hangers before being rescued and taken to Bruntingthorpe for restoration.

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    Hey Cestrian. Great photos of the 25 and the Fort. Looks like Hawke had been a gardner while as a youngster and loved mowing lawns. What I'd like to know is if there is anyone out there that might have video footage of these displays from the late 70's and early 80's? I know that I would kill for the chance to see some of that stuff. In fact if you need your mother-in-law dealt with, I'll take airshow videos in part payment. As for the deal with the survival suit Hawke got in the film, why not buy large? That way, if you crash and need to stay warm, you can share the space with another soul, preferably someone with long, blond hair and a cute smile. Please, keep the B-25 photos coming. did anyone shoot photos of them at Luton before they got the movie make-up?

    T J Johansen

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    Quote Originally Posted by cestrian
    Jeff Hawke's TB-25N 'Miami Clipper' N86427 taken at the 1978 Mildenhall Show.The aircraft was abandoned a year later at Malaga Spain when it damaged a wing during low flying!In 1985 it was rescued by the Museo del Aire and is now on display at Cuarto Vientos,Madrid.
    Here is the same aircraft on the same day over Mildehall in August 1978 , shot from the tail turret of "Sally B". That's me in the white shirt in the nose, during that horrendously scary flight with Jeff Hawke!!
    Adrian

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