Eric Winkle Brown's Lost Rare Interviews. Tape One

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Eric Winkle Brown's Lost Rare Interviews. Tape One

View: https://youtu.be/L3UP9d2D9_Q

I was fortunate to know Eric and Lynn pretty well. We exchanged visits Over Here and Over There in the 80s. Always enjoyed that marvelous Edinburrrrah accent, and Eric's letters were written in an elegant cursive.

During their Arizona visit I gave a tour of the late-great Champlin Fighter Museum. We entered the WW II hangar and Eric immediately saw the Wildcat. he spread his arms wide. "Ah, the love of my life."

Ambient temp dropped 10 degrees.

Eric, with finely-tuned fighter-test pilot instincts, immediately nudged Lynn. "Except you my dear."

She shot him a sideways glance. "Nice recovery..."
 
I'm afraid a lot of what Brown has to say is bollocks. He was an orphan who was adopted having been born in the Salvation Army's Mothers' Hospital in Hackney to a single mother, nor was his adopting father a pilot in the RFC, he was in the RFC but in an unknown ground support role, after the war he became a tailor and sweet shop owner.

His story that he has dined out on for many a year about the X-1 being saved by adoption of the M.52 "flying tail" is also bollox. The only changes to the tail after encountering problems approaching Mach 1 was to replace the stabiliser trim motor with a faster acting/more powerful motor.

His claim that the US never flew the Me 163 is likewise wrong, they did as a glider towed by a B-29.

A reporter interviewed him three years before his passing and asked him about his time flying for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, she wrote "I raised the subject with him and there was a silence – it was the only time I saw him seem uncomfortable". Uncomfortable I bet, because I bet it was another of his fabrications and his passport lacks evidence of visa/stamps.

I very much doubt his flying with Udet as a youth is a legitimate claim as his passport again lacks the necessary visa/stamps.

He seems to have a great problem with his lowly birth and had ambitions to gain entry into the upper levels of the prevailing British class system, hence the manufactured history.

The recent book "Winkle" by Paul Beaver documents portions of the above, Brown wouldn't permit the book to be published until after his death, the fibs he told through out his life he obviously didn't want to explain. Anything Brown claims I'd want attending proof.

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I'm afraid a lot of what Brown has to say is bollocks. He was an orphan who was adopted having been born in the Salvation Army's Mothers' Hospital in Hackney to a single mother, nor was his adopting father a pilot in the RFC, he was in the RFC but in an unknown ground support role, after the war he became a tailor and sweet shop owner.

His story that he has dined out on for many a year about the X-1 being saved by adoption of the M.52 "flying tail" is also bollox. The only changes to the tail after encountering problems approaching Mach 1 was to replace the stabiliser trim motor with a faster acting/more powerful motor.

His claim that the US never flew the Me 163 is likewise wrong, they did as a glider towed by a B-29.

A reporter interviewed him three years before his passing and asked him about his time flying for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, she wrote "I raised the subject with him and there was a silence – it was the only time I saw him seem uncomfortable". Uncomfortable I bet, because I bet it was another of his fabrications and his passport lacks evidence of visa/stamps.

I very much doubt his flying with Udet as a youth is a legitimate claim as his passport again lacks the necessary visa/stamps.

He seems to have a great problem with his lowly birth and had ambitions to gain entry into the upper levels of the prevailing British class system, hence the manufactured history.

The recent book "Winkle" by Paul Beaver documents portions of the above, Brown wouldn't permit the book to be published until after his death, the fibs he told through out his life he obviously didn't want to explain. Anything Brown claims I'd want attending proof.

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did you ever see his personal photo album?
Just out of curiosity...
There might be interesting images,
 

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Hardly call those interesting I'm afraid, now if they were of Browns attack on the Bf 109 or shooting down the two Fiat BR.20 as he claims in the Spanish Civil War, or any photo of him in Spain during the period, his biographer who had full access to Brown's photos/papers has been unable to provide evidence to back up his Spain claims, or with Udet during his school boy flight, they certainly would be of interest.
 
I see. Assuming that not everything he recalled is correct, can you please list five of his greatest accomplishments that you can confirm, and without being sarcastic?
Just so you know, I spent afternoons in the middle of Texas with the likes of Hoot Gibson (just to name one), yet I have not a single photo with him.
Does that mean I never met him?
I had the good fortune of spending weeks with the Lancia Martini Rally team when Biasion won championships, I was his passenger on a Lancia Delta Integrale when the Italian police allowed us to be the only car on the Appenino highway that was covered in fresh snow and had not been clean yet, so I had my taste of why driving with a world Champion feels like.
I have no videos, or photos to prove that.
Why?
Obviously, because smartphones did not exist, nor I had a camera or a video camera, and quite frankly, even if I did, I would have been too embarrassed to ask to take a photo.
You know, some people are just like that...
do you think I just made that up because I have no photographic evidence?
I could easily go on, if necessary.
I am not necessarily implying that you are wrong, but I question that the only proof has to be tangible, and evidential.
Did Gabreski shoot down more aircraft than reported, or did Charles Lindbergh help aviators, despite not having paper evidence?
How about Robin Olds, do you dispute his account of events? Was he really being confrontational toward President Johnson, since we do not have hard evidence, or was he just making that up?
 
A 5-word response?
It's all that is necessary.
I am not necessarily implying that you are wrong, but I question that the only proof has to be tangible, and evidential
In Brown's case so much of what he has said is false and easily provable, his book on the M.52 is replete with false information, his youth and adopting Father being a pilot in the RFC and taking him flying are but one, so ergo, anything he has said stands for close examination. Why do you think he would not let Beaver publish his book until after his death? Couldn't possibly be that his false stories would see the light of day could it?

That aside, an accomplished pilot, he had absolutely no need to guild the lily, which now detracts from his legacy.
 
It's all that is necessary.

In Brown's case so much of what he has said is false and easily provable, his book on the M.52 is replete with false information, his youth and adopting Father being a pilot in the RFC and taking him flying are but one, so ergo, anything he has said stands for close examination. Why do you think he would not let Beaver publish his book until after his death? Couldn't possibly be that his false stories would see the light of day could it?

That aside, an accomplished pilot, he had absolutely no need to guild the lily, which now detracts from his legacy.
Just for the sake of clarity, you make assumptions (ergo), and your attempt to discredit him also included a lack of proof, which also falls in the realm of assumptions.
Assuming that you are not his disgruntled personal assistant, I seriously doubt you were present at the time, and your knowledge of (just an example) the M.52 story is based on extremely limited reports, and probably also biased. Why biased? Because history is full of those as well.
It seems that you tend to sanctify one side and demonize another, and that is not an objective way to look at things, as you are obviously biased for reasons I still do not quite understand.
My stand, trying to be as objective as I can be, is to have a critical approach to all sides.
Do I 100% believe the M.52 story? Absolutely not, but I am eager to understand, whereas you are just eager to take a stand, despite the fact that we will probably never know the truth.
There is an interesting story about an Italian icon named Enrico Mattei.
He disrupted the way big oil companies did business and had a clear vision for Italy.
He probably was, at the time, the most powerful person in Italy.
Mattei died in a plane accident, his aircraft exploded (and it took decades to finally prove that). He traveled with two aircraft, because of fears of being killed, and chose his plane at the last minute, but needless to say, on that fatal day, one of the two jets had been grounded for a mysterious malfunction.
He has obviously been killed (the C4 explosive is the proof), and it is kind of obvious who benefitted from his death, but to this day we do not know what really happened.
What we know is that the U.S. government was spreading false reports about his past, reports that were declassified with Kennedy's papers not long ago.
We also know who wanted him dead, yet we have no proof and little documentation.
If I had to make assumptions, like you seem to do a lot, but also have limited access to proper documentation, I would be inclined to blame a specific country for the murder, but I still like to keep an open mind.
To keep it in the aviation realm, there is also another very Italian mystery with international implications.
I am talking about the Itavia commercial aircraft that was shot down over Ustica, Italy.
To this day we know for sure that the accident is riddled with suicides, and an immense amount of lies on behalf of the French, Italian, and U.S. governments.
I cannot come to a definitive conclusion, but I know that Canada went as far as making an Air Crash Investigation episode that is just a complete smoke screen.
Given that, there were U.S. carriers in the area that at first denied being there until a photo surfaced, but then claimed they turned their radars off because there was a soccer game, and they would have disrupted the TV signal, and many, many other comical stories, you could come to an easy conclusion of what really happened, yet the story is much more complex, and I have no certainty at all, because of a lack of proper documents, and the destruction of many more, but also the death of key witnesses, including pilots of the Frecce Tricolore that perished in an infamous accident during an exhibition in Germany, days before their testimony.
What I am trying to say is that governments can go to an impressive extent to make things disappear, or to promote a false story.
Post-9/11 is one of the most egregious examples of that, and just for a change, false articles about the Niger Uranium were planted in an Italian newspaper, and used as proof against Saddam Hussein.
As most people today know, it was all made up, and it involved several countries and the highest levels of government. Proofs, AKA planted stories with a purpose, stories that made the majority of the U.S. citizens believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11!
If governments can go to such extent to produce false narratives, imagine what little effort it would require to do the same in other instances, especially considering the context, and the importance of establishing a superiority against other countries. The space program also comes to mind, as there were no problems employing Germans who built rockets using slaves in Nazi Germany, as long as the Soviets would be beaten.
Just food for thought.
I still love (proudly) to have doubts, but I am glad you are lucky enough to have absolute certainties, even if they are partially based on assumptions.
 
It's all that is necessary.

In Brown's case so much of what he has said is false and easily provable, his book on the M.52 is replete with false information, his youth and adopting Father being a pilot in the RFC and taking him flying are but one, so ergo, anything he has said stands for close examination. Why do you think he would not let Beaver publish his book until after his death? Couldn't possibly be that his false stories would see the light of day could it?

That aside, an accomplished pilot, he had absolutely no need to guild the lily, which now detracts from his legacy.
 
also included a lack of proof
Read the book, loaded with information, and obviously you haven't read his M.52 book so your in absolutely no position to draw any conclusion, end of discussion.

Sorry about the post above, this site doesn't have a delete function?
 
Read the book, loaded with information, and obviously you haven't read his M.52 book so your in absolutely no position to draw any conclusion, end of discussion.

Sorry about the post above, this site doesn't have a delete function?

Seven years is rather stretching it to wait "until after he`d died before publishing it", thats quite a claim and I`d say warrants evidence.

What was the author of the book doing for seven years ? Not like he was re-interviewing winkle...

As for him getting stuff wrong on that aircraft programme, I am told that is indeed the case. But where are these other test pilots
who got everthing right ? I`m not sure I`ve ever heard a nice word said about Yeager, other than respect for his piloting.
 
Seven years is rather stretching it to wait "until after he`d died before publishing it", thats quite a claim and I`d say warrants evidence.

What was the author of the book doing for seven years ? Not like he was re-interviewing winkle...

As for him getting stuff wrong on that aircraft programme, I am told that is indeed the case. But where are these other test pilots
who got everthing right ? I`m not sure I`ve ever heard a nice word said about Yeager, other than respect for his piloting.
that's an interesting consideration.
 
Read the book, loaded with information, and obviously you haven't read his M.52 book so your in absolutely no position to draw any conclusion, end of discussion.

Sorry about the post above, this site doesn't have a delete function?
I am not necessarily drawing conclusions unless you are not reading my comments, but I am rather perplexed at how conclusive you are.
The absence of doubts always scares me a bit, unless of course, you were present at the time, or for example if there was a good amount of documentation, which is not the case.
You also dispute his story for lack of photographic evidence, which is clearly a biased position.
Perhaps you are one of those folks who think that Hitler did not die at the time because there wasn't a film proving it.
 
Seven years is rather stretching it to wait "until after he`d died before publishing it", thats quite a claim and I`d say warrants evidence.

What was the author of the book doing for seven years ? Not like he was re-interviewing winkle...

As for him getting stuff wrong on that aircraft programme, I am told that is indeed the case. But where are these other test pilots
who got everthing right ? I`m not sure I`ve ever heard a nice word said about Yeager, other than respect for his piloting.
Calum - I understand the comments about Yeager. When I first joined this site and expressed a favorable opinion of him, I was immediately 'jumped on' by Joe and Dan Case and IIRC 'the Adler', Chris..

I can tell you from first hand knowledge that over the 60+ years that I knew him, that I obseved at least three Yeager's.

The one I remember the most was from 1953 through 89/90. Bright, strong ego, great sense of humor, what I would describe as a 'typical fighter pilot'. He would never be confused as someone who lacked an opinion, was an excellent wing and clays shooter, and always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye. He sent me autographed copies of Yeager and Press On - I laughingly gave him an autographed copy of my Angels, Bulldogs and Dragons.

That was before Glennis passed.

He was unconsolable and pulled back from even his close friends (I was not a 'close friend' but my father was pretty close), but not what he turned into when he started hanging out with, then married, Victoria. When I saw him several times at Safari Club conventions between 1999 and 2010 he was definitely distant - don't know why and I didn't press the matter. I tend to remember him as a shooting buddy when he came to Dallas, or the occcasional odd Charity quail hunts in the 80's

So, for the moment you can chalk me up for at least several good words, and I would add that even when he and Bud Anderson parted ways, that the 'General' (replacing 'Chuck', post Victoria) was always close to many of his 357th and Edwards test pilots - and particularly Johnny Sublett.

I don't mean this as a rebuttal so much as I wanted to say, 'it wasn't always that way'.
 
What was the author of the book doing for seven years ? Not like he was re-interviewing winkle...
Callum, Without going back to my notes the author had known Brown personally and was friends with him for a period of some forty years, he only started putting the book together after Brown had passed. I had contact with the author at the very start of his penning the bio.

With respect to Yeager you won't see written in any history, even NASA's, that he was not the first choice for the USAAC X-1 supersonic attempt.
 

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