This morning I received a letter from Mavis Hall, wife of Desmond Hall. She was passing on the sad news that Des passed away, peacefully, in his sleep on 23 April 2017. She said that Des loved reading TABS, cover to cover, but that his quality of life was deteriorating. She thinks that he felt it was time to make his exit and that he planned it well - Mavis said she was in hospital with pneumonia at the time, so wasn't around to talk him out of it! Mavis asked that I/we raise a glass to Des sometime, as he would like that and to pass on her regards to those who remember her and Des. "They were such happy times" We most certainly will Mavis, as usual, at the Reunion in September.
The following is paraphrased from an email I received earlier from Air Cdre Spike Milligan, who knew Des well:
Air Vice Marshall Des Hall CB CMG CBE AFC was a Flt Cdr on IX Canberras at Binbrook in the 1950s, when Sqn Ldr George Bastard was OC IX(B) Sqn. His DoB was 3 June 1925, and he joined the RAF in WW2 by fabricating his age. At the end of WW2 in 1945, he was just 20 and had earned a load of campaign medals, including the Burma Star. He got found out when he, as an Air Cdre, received his retirement papers, and then confessed. Instead of a bollocking, he got promoted to AVM and posted to the BHC in Canberra, from whence he finally retired!
He was a great guy, and we served together at Gaydon (Valiants) and Marham (Victors). When he was Stn Cdr Waddington, he flew a Vulcan to visit us on IX Sqn at Akrotiri on 3 Mar 1972. We had a photo taken in front of the Tirpitz bulkhead and he and I are members of the select group who did all three 'V' aircraft. He was always highly enthusiastic about IX(B) Sqn, and was very popular.
Rest in Peace Sir