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Edward 'Ted' Veal

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by GRW, May 22, 2021.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
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    Stirling, Scotland
    "Ted Veal, who has died in his 100th year, was a radio operator and rear gunner in the Royal Air Force during the second World War and, by dint of his great age, was one of the last of the generation which rose to the challenge of defeating Nazism.
    War was “bloody mad”, he told this newspaper’s Ronan McGreevy while, aged 93, taking a roller coaster ride in Tayto Park, Co Meath, “but this one had to be done”. The thrill of the amusement park ride was “absolutely brilliant” he said, adding the advice, perhaps aimed at younger readers, that “as long as you yell as you go, you’ll be alright”.
    English-born, he made Ireland his home for over 50 years and in recent decades was a well-known, and much loved, member of the community in Wicklow town.
    Edward Veal was born in London in October 1921 within the sound of the bells of St Mary-le-Bow church in Cheapside, a claim that permitted him to assert a Cockney heritage. His parents were Sidney Veal and his wife, Rose. The couple also had two daughters.
    Sidney Veal’s prime years were spent in the British Army, seeing service in the Boer War, at the Khyber Pass and in the first World War, for which he received the Mons Star. After the war, Veal senior worked for London Bus.
    The Younger Veal was sent to school in Tooting but he left in his early teens and became an office boy. It was perhaps not surprising given his father’s combat-laden army career, that when war loomed again, Ted Veal opted for the Royal Air Force.
    It was during a night raid over Italy, just four days before the D-Day landings of June 1944, that Veal almost lost his life. Flying as rear gunner on a US-built Baltimore light bomber, with a pilot and two other crew members, one engine failed on the outward run from England, the second dying as they turned for home.
    Pilot Flight Lieutenant Peter Hill (only son of Air Chief Marshal Sir Roderic Maxwell Hill, commander-in-chief of RAF Fighter Command, who was aged 25 and was married with a baby daughter) ordered his crew to bail but Veal, from his position in the rear of the plane, was the only one able to parachute to safety as the plane spun out of control and crashed into the Abruzzi Apennine mountains killing all the others."

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  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    Sad story but so many are....

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