Quiz Time (43)

What kind of aeroplane did Laurence Olivier crash twice before he was begged to leave the RAF and direct, instead, as a war propaganda film, Henry V?

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  1. He flew a Westland Lysander but I don’t know if he crashed it.

  2. The Lysander or the Swordfish!!

  3. Sopworth Camel.

  4. A Swordfish, or two. As a pilot he made a good actor.

  5. Percival Proctor

  6. I’m not sure if Olivier was ever in the RAF (except when playing Air Marshall, Sir Hugh Dowling in the 1969 film, The Battle of Britain). Fleet Air Arm?

  7. Hmmm? Sunderland = Coastal Command = RAF.

    • Olivier was a reserve lieutenant in the RAN attached to the Fleet Air Arm. We just have to find out what make of planes they flew and/or trained in.

      • Well if Bob says Sunderland it would have to be RAF as Fleet Air Arm does not appear to have flown them, Roberto. However, large numbers of FAA. pilots were seconded to thr RAF during the BOB, so perhaps Olivier was in both.

  8. I actually think I know this one without having to look it up.

    Swordfish - biplane open cockpit torpedo bomber.

    Difficult to fly; easy to shoot down.

    A former colleague, now gone to the great aircraft carrier in the sky, was also a Swordfish pilot and he mentioned his aviation connection with SLO.

    I think the earlier poster about Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm is correct, perhaps not Royal Airforce.

  9. On a similar theme, the swashbuckling cricketer Keith Miller was a fighter pilot in WWII.

    His misbehaviour record was very bad, but after offences which would see anyone else in the brig, his superiors forced him to . . . play cricket (!) for their team.

    Asked about pressure : “No such thing as pressure playing cricket; pressure is a Messerschmidt up your arse!”

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