A Passion for Flying: 8,000 hours of RAF Flying by Tom Eeles

By Tom Eeles

The tale of crew Captain Tom Eeles who served within the RAF for forty four years and totalled over 8000 hours of flying in twenty-eight diverse airplane kinds. Tom entered RAF collage Cranwell in 1961, he received his RAF wings in 1963.

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Captain Nicholas Balaskas faced me across a desk in a forbidding office on Lekkas Street which displayed the blazing phoenix: the compulsory logo and insignia of the dictatorship. At the British embassy, which was then run by a genial old diplomat whose son had been with me at Balliol, I had to sit 26 through a lunch where a reactionary creep of a Labour MP named Francis Noel-Baker gave a lecture about the virtues of the junta and (the first but not the last time I was ever to hear these two arguments in combination) both denied that it tortured its prisoners while asserting that it would be quite justified if it did do so!

I proposed stepping into the Queen’s Lane coffee house. I don’t remember how it went: I was in Oxford to keep some pressing political and sexual engagements that seemed important at the time. The man seemed nice enough, if a bit wispy, and had an engaging grin. He was called Timothy Bryan, which I also remember thinking was a wispy name. I felt no premonition. But next time I saw her, my mother was very anxious to know what I thought of him. I said, becoming dimly but eventually alert, that he seemed fine.

The English army had just won the war. — The Beatles: Sergeant Pepper : “A Day in the Life” N A N C I E N T P I E C E of Judaic commentary holds that the liver is the organ that best represents the relationship between parents and child: it is the heaviest of all the viscera and accordingly the most appropriate bit of one’s guts. Only two of the six hundred and thirteen Jewish commandments, or prohibitions, offer any reward for compliance and both are parental: the first is in the original Decalogue when those who “honor thy father and thy mother” are assured that this will increase their days in the promised or stolen Canaanite land that is about to be given them, and the second involves some convoluted piece of quasi-reasoning whereby a bird’s egg can be taken by a hungry Jew as long as the poor mother bird isn’t there to witness the depredation.

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