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Left to right: Hans-Günter Appel; Inge Appel; Oberst Axel Pohlmann; Elizabeth Lack; Ernie Lack.
Friday 26th August 2005

This is the story from Ernie Linke written for his Grand-children, about a surprise visit back to Jever:

"Hans-Günter Appel is Granny's cousin, whom we met again at the Felix von Johnn Marteville Family Day in the summer.   He was interested in what I used to do when I was flying and is himself a pilot, flying Pipers, Cessnas and so on.   He asked me if I would like to visit Jever again and then arranged for me to come with him in a Cessna and land at Jever near Wilhelmshaven in north Germany.   What he didn't tell me at the beginning was that he had arranged for me and Granny to be interviewed there by the local press.

The result was staggering.   Hans-Günter, his wife Inge, Granny and I flew into Jever on a sunny summer Friday morning to attend the 'Finale' which had been arranged by the Luftwaffe to celebrate the imminent closure of this famous German Airfield.   We were among the VIPs invited; indeed I was introduced as the V.I.P. being the oldest pilot present who had ever flown at Jever, and being listed in a local newspaper even before the "zahlreiche prominente Gäste aus Militär, Politik und Verwaltung...."   It was truly overwhelming and a great honour to be welcomed in this manner; I was so sorry that my friend and fellow pilot from those days George Beaton, was unable to attend together with his wife Mary.

Quite apart from the official Jubel & Trubel, Granny and I derived huge pleasure from being able to wander around Jever town, finding the baker and the butcher and the hotel which we knew so well way back in '52/'53.   We spoke with the son of the butcher whom we had known and who has in the meantime died.   The son is often in Scotland hunting deer and pheasant; he spoke of Caithness and Thurso and Perth.   Inge also knows a chap Hans Böhringer who was the hairdresser at the airfield when I was there, so of course we toddled off to see him, by prior arrangement with Inge and had the most incredible chat together.   Hans knows all the same wild stories that we know, how we pilots got sunburnt bathing in the nude on Sylt, how Group Captain George Ffoulkes Powell-Sheddon stuttered and how his wife Dianne used to tell him (Hans) how nervous she was when her husband was going out to fly.   [Because he stuttered he would "twitch" with his hand on the handbrake during landing - and burst both tyres of his Vampire on touchdown!]   And yes - he did remember cutting my hair too.

It was a simply wonderful day.   The Great Adventure continues - even at the age of eighty-one."   (Thanks to Ernie Lack.)
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