207 SQUADRON ROYAL AIR FORCE HISTORY
AVM David Dick CB CBE AFC MA FRAeS RAF(Retd)
The following announcement appeared in The Times on Friday 6th August 1999:
"DICK - Air Vice Marshal Alan David died peacefully at home on 3rd August. Private cremation (family only). No flowers please. Donations if wished to RAF Benevolent Fund. Memorial Service to be announced later."
David was President and Chairman of the 207 Squadron Association. He was OC 207 Squadron at Marham 1963-64.
Earlier in 1999 he was looking forward to our reunion in September at Derby, when the focus was to be on the newly published history of 207 Squadron. Following the successful establishment of memorials at all the sites from which the Squadron suffered losses during and after WWII, the history represented perhaps the last major venture for the Association. In all these David played a vital and active part. He also filled a similar role in his wartime 30 Squadron.
Our thoughts are with Ann and their children.
The following obituary, copyright the Daily Telegraph, appeared in that newspaper on Saturday 14th August.
AIR VICE-MARSHAL DAVID DICK
RAF test pilot who carried on tape-recording
an assessment as his delta-wing jet
plummeted to earth in an irrecoverable spin
"AIR VICE-MARSHAL DAVID DICK, the test pilot who has died aged 75, survived an irrecoverable spin while testing the world's first twin-jet delta-wing fighter.
On December 8 1955, Dick was testing a Gloster Javelin at the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A & AEE), Boscombe Down. He had completed three normal spins when, before returning to base, he decided to explore the Javelin's buffet boundary.
At 40,000 ft the aircraft entered an unusual spin, and Dick realised he was in serious trouble. Even so, as he lost control and the jet spun earthwards over the Isle of Wight, Dick continued to monitor its performance. Calmly and methodically he gave relevant information to a wire recorder. He did not eject until he reached 8,000 ft.
Dick in 1975, Commandant of the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment, Boscombe Down
Dick's report, supported by the recording, was of immeasurable value. Air Commodore R A Ramsey, then commanding A & AEE wrote: "By his coolness under extremely hazardous conditions and by delaying his abandonment of this aircraft, much valuable information was obtained.
"The detail and accuracy of Squadron Leader Dick's report has contributed greatly to a clearer understanding of the spinning characteristics of the delta plan form."
Alan David Dick was born on January 7 1924 at Lahore, where his father, Brigadier Alan McDonald Dick, was a member of the Indian Medical Service. Young David was educated at Fettes and then locally at Aitchison College, Lahore, from where he enlisted in 1942.
Commissioned as a pilot officer after training in India, Dick joined No 684, a de Havilland Mosquito long-range photographic-reconnaissance squadron covering Burma, Siam and Malaya. Moving in July 1944 to No 30 Squadron, equipped with Republic Thunderbolts, he flew intensively in close support of the 14th Army as "Uncle Bill" Slim defeated the Japanese in Burma.
Dick was released in 1946, having served briefly with No 595, a Spitfire squadron. He went up to King's College, Cambridge, to read Mechanical Sciences, after which he took a permanent RAF commission in 1950.
After instructing on Gloster Meteor jets at the Central Flying School, Dick was selected for the Empire test pilots school, earning the coveted "tp" after his name.
Following spells on "Bloodhound" surface-to-air trials at North Coates and the RAF Staff College, Andover, Dick received command at Marham of No 207, a Valiant nuclear deterrent squadron. The squadron was assigned to Supreme Allied Command Europe on Quick Reaction Alert duties, entailing readiness for immediate dispatch to Cold War targets.
Dick returned to Boscombe Down as Superintendent of Flying in 1964, moving on to HQ Strike Command in 1968. He became Deputy Director Air Plans at the MoD in 1971, and then Director Operational Requirements.
In 1974, Dick returned to Boscombe Down as Commandant. His last appointment was again in Whitehall, as Deputy Controller Aircraft. He retired in 1979.
Dick was awarded an AFC in 1957. He was appointed CBE in 1968 and CB in 1978. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1975.
David Dick married, in 1951, Ann Napier Jeffcoat; they had two sons and two daughters."
Memorial Service for AVM David Dick
His wartime squadron, 30 Squadron, of which David was also President, organised a Memorial Service which was held at at Lyneham Parish Church on Saturday, 8th April 2000.
It coincided with 30 Squadron's Annual Reunion in their 85th Anniversary Year.
A full report appears in the May 2000 newsletter with appreciations of David given by the Chairmen of the 207 and the 30 Squadron Associations.
We have expressed our thanks to 30 Squadron RAF Association for the splendid occasion they made of this celebration of David's life.
We hope that our connection will not be lost with his passing.