Our Oldest Veteran Celebrates his 100th Birthday

Today saw the 100th birthday of Freddie Nicoll DFC, the oldest veteran of the Squadron and one of the two last surviving pilots from 6 Squadrons campaigns of world war 2, flying Hurricane IVs in Italy and Yugoslavia between 1944 and 1945.

While originally it was hoped that the Typhoon Squadron could supply a flypast, operational commitments prevented such planning. However, the 6 Sqn Association worked though contacts to see if a possible flypast from other Air Force or squadron links could be arranged. Fortunately, Phil O Dell was approached and accepted the challenge of enquiring if his current employer, Rolls Royce could help. The same was asked of another ex 6 Sqn pilot from his current unit at Valley. Rolls Royce and Valley jumped on board straight away and with RAF Spadeadam providing a guard of honour, plans for the day were made. Sadly, the imminent implementation of the national lockdown looked likely to scupper the  plans. However, the family, Rolls Royce and the personnel from Spadeadam and Valley were not to beaten. Plans were moved forward 24 hours.

Freddie was given the guard of honour by RAF Spadeadam personnel and had a personal flypast by the Rolls Royce owned Spitfire PRXIX, flown by Chris Hadlow (ex 6 Sqn XO) and a Merlin powered Mustang. Freddie was a bit overwhelmed by the flypast, as he was completely unaware of its planning. Unfortunately, the Hawk from Valley was unserviceable, but a subsequent Hawk was able to do a flypast for the area later in the afternoon.

Having received the important card from Her Majesty the Queen, Freddie also received a card from the Chief of the Air Staff ACM Sir Mike Wigston and a hand drawn card by Mike Rondot, which had been commissioned by No 6 Squadron.

Thanks to the Personnel from Spadeadam, Alistair Williams of Rolls Royce and Jim from Valley for their work in putting together a fitting show for one of our special veterans.

Freddies Birthday Flyover with 1 x Spitfire and 1 x Mustang on 4th November 2020 at Wetheral
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