M.104 Flight Captain  Douglas Keith Fairweather 
flag scotland b. 25 Oct 1890, Glasgow  11 Sep 1939 [* 11 Jun 1940 as pilot] to Apr-44 


  

ata douglas fairweather 1928 

1928

     

 

  (Mother Margaret, née Eureka)

Educated in Glasgow and Berlin; FCIPA, MIESS.

Chief Petty Officer in the RNVR, 1915-19

prev. Assistant Air Attache in the Hague

A Chartered Patent Agent - Cruikshank and Fairweather, 86, St Vincent St, Glasgow, with offices in London and Manchester.

prev exp. 1456 hrs. Owned Leopard Moth G-ACXH

* When Douglas took his test at CFS Upavon on 25 September 1939, he was graded 'D' [Douglas was rather overweight ...] and therefore 'unsuitable for ferry work'. His contract with ATA was therefore cancelled on the 1st November, and it took them until the following June to set up their Air Movements Flight and re-start his ATA career as its first C.O..

Douglas wrote to the ATA on 3 Jun 1940: "I think I am due you a line to thank you for keeping the Chester job open until Thursday on my account. The job which you offered is not only tempting but would prove to be more pleasurable than any other now in sight, particularly in view of the possibility that I might not be grounded completely.

If the worst happens, I propose to train down to about 15 stone, so as to fit the RAF harness and go back to try my luck with Squadron Ldr. Cox at Upavaon. I have only to drop a pound a day to be ready for Cox in August, or for the Derby in 1945."


Early days at White Waltham, Anson taxi pilots - Ronny Malcolm (M140), Douglas Fairweather (M104), Jim Kempster and Harry Ellis (M139)  (Brief Glory)

He was off sick for 4 months in 1941 and had to have an orchidectomy; when he was recovering, Gerard d'Erlanger (Head of ATA) wrote to him: "It was nice to hear from you and I am glad that the surgeon is satisfied with your progress. Perhaps he has made a new man of you which will be cause for rejoicing all round".

Took command of 4b Ferry Pool, Prestwick, from November 1941 to August 1942.

"An excellent pilot and a most hard working officer who has never spared himself in the slightest. He has served me with absolute loyalty. He has a strong, somewhat excitable, character and a good heart. He has great influence, particularly with the American pilots whom he handles well. He is quite unorthodox and generally seems to get his results in a somewhat disorderly manner."

Not everyone appreciated Douglas' sense of humour; his C.O. MWS Boucher reported on 19 May 1942: "I have today reprimanded Capt Fairweather for 'conduct prejudicial to the interests of the ATA' despite his good qualities... I have been influenced by numerous instances of petty indiscipline which although small in themselves cannot be permitted to accumulate unchecked by official censure. I have handed to Capt Fairweather a list of his typical shortcomings and discussed the matter with him in detail."


janes anson

d. 3 Apr 1944 (Died in ATA Service) - Anson N4895 lost in Irish Sea on ambulance flight White Waltham to Prestwick to pick up patient (with Nurse Kershaw). His body was washed up on the west coast of Scotland on the 22nd April.

"I was most distressed to learn that Douglas Fairweather was missing... He was such a great personality that his loss will seem a personal tragedy to many - as it does to me. I will of course write to his wife [Margie Fairweather q.v., who herself died a few weeks later]. How sad that he never saw the long awaited baby. My sincerest sympathy in the loss of such an old associate, such a fine pilot, and such a lovable character." Jack Keeling.


 

 Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey

 

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