Nigel Rose R.I.P Battle of Britain pilot (602 Sqn)
Sun Sep 10, 2017 21:53

Nigel Rose Rest in peace. I am sad at the news of the passing of another of The Few-a Battle of Britain hero:Nigel Rose of 602 Spitfire Squadron in 1940. My condolences to his family and friends. I met Nigel over several years at different events and found him the most delightful man to speak to, full of fun and he lit up a room, never one to talk much of his own deeds but loved remembering his friends who he fought alongside during the Battle of Britain with 602 Spitfire Squadron. I wrote the following some years ago about this remarkable man:Nigel Rose is another pilot who you meet at events and the friendly, polite, light-heated gentleman is the first impression. Only by knowing him better, or looking at combat reports, watching his interviews or reading passages he has written for books like Lions Rampant,(602 Squadron history ) Spitfire Ace or others, do you see how much he was also a successful Spitfire pilot, helping to save Britain in 1940 as one of The Few.

Here are some reminders of this remarkable Spitfire pilot- Squadron Leader Nigel Rose of 602 Squadron RAF in the Battle of Britain of 1940:

Spitfire Ace is a book and TV series, It breaks up the flying sequences and training sessions by documentaries at different stages of the battle and interviews in later days with Nigel Rose (And is also included in the book) as one of the main speakers along with Bob Doe, Alan Wright, George Grumpy Unwin, Geoff Wellum, Joe Roddis and a few others. Here it is in four episodes on YouTube, possibly elsewhere also: Nigel also speaks reading his letters to his beloved Mum and dad in this episode besides earlier and in other episodes too.

Nigel is also in many other interviews for tv and film documentaries, too numerous to mention but here are some that I found, but did not know of, for example:Published on 10 Sep 2013
An RAF Benevolent Fund interview with Battle of Britain veteran Nigel Rose.

Squadron Leader Nigel Rose talks about his Spitfire being hit during the Battle of Britain=

Nigel Rose on what is was like to fly the Spitfire during the Battle of Britain=

Squadron Leader Nigel Rose on the Battle of Britain=

Some more useful links about Nigel:

He was successful against the enemy intent on bombing civilians in the mass raids and their escorts shooting down at least 3 including one shared, all in 1940.Nigel Rose joined 602 Squadron at Drem . Over the next few months he claimed a Bf 110 destroyed and he shared a Bf 110. He was injured but returned to flying a month later and claimed a Bf 109 destroyed on the 29th October.
He was posted to 54 Squadron at Hornchurch in September 1941. Tour expired, he went to 57 OTU, Hawarden on 12th November, as an instructor. Rose was sent to CFS, Hullavington on 11th November 1942 for a course, returning to 57 OTU, then at Eshott in February 1943. The following June he went to CGS, Sutton Bridge on for a gunnery instructor's course and returned to 57 OTU in July.
Rose was posted to 15 APC, Peterhead on 10th January 1944, moving later to 14 APC, Ayr. He went to the Middle East on 1st July, to BGS, El Ballah. Rose returned to the UK in late May 1945 for a gunnery instructor's course at CGS, Catfoss. He went back to El Ballah in July but returned again to the UK in December and was released from the RAF in February 1946, as a Squadron Leader.
Nigel Rose qualified as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor in June 1948.

Nigel describes air fighting:
"There was a terrific battle going on when we arrived"

10 September 2013
Spitfire pilot and Battle of Britain veteran Squadron Leader Nigel Rose tells us about his first real sight of the Battle of Britain when 602 Squadron moved down from Drem in Scotland in August 1940.

Spitfire pilot and Battle of Britain veteran Nigel Rose, tells us about one of his closest shaves in the Battle.602 Squadron were in the thick of the action in south east England in August and September 1940. Wave upon wave of Luftwaffe aircraft poured across the Channel, attacking first of all the RAF’s capability to fight back before targeting Britain’s towns and cities in a campaign that would last until the following spring. In this excerpt from the interview, Rose explains how he was hit, yet managed to bring his Spitfire under control and land it safely."I'd been chasing a [Messerschmitt] 109 and I’d thought I’d done some damage and got some smoke out of him but I’d failed to notice that when the [Messerschmitt] 110s had been attacked they got themselves into a protective circle so that they were chasing each other’s tails. "And that was quite a benefit for them so if someone was chasing the person in front of him, he could go for the person who was doing the chasing and that’s exactly what happened in my case.
"I forgot to look for the person who was second in the row and there was a hell of a bang and a crash and the cockpit got in an awful mess and I found that the aircraft was suddenly nosing down towards the sea, which was a long way away – I was at around 16,000 feet at the time, but it was going down fairly rapidly – and I thought that I'd better start preparing to ditch.
"So I undid my belt and the straps that lock you in and started to think about getting my feet up off the pedals and into a place where I could lever myself out into the sea.
"But when I got down to around 8,000 feet or something like that, I suddenly found to my surprise that the aircraft was coming out of its dive and the German chap had pushed off home to tea and so I started to ease it out – and I was only about three or four miles off the coast by then.
"When I got there [to the airfield at Westhampnett] I managed to get it into a circuit. I eased it down very gently just over the hedge – because in smashing the cockpit, it had ruined the air bottle which fed the brakes and the flaps, and they were out of order, and quite a lot of the instruments too had the glass cracked.
"I had to be very ginger about getting it down onto the grass, but I managed it eventually and stopped not far from the hedge ... in no time at all the bowser came up to refuel and the ambulance came along to cope with my arm, which had been shot up a bit.'
In fact, Rose was on sick leave for a couple of weeks while his arm healed, but was soon up in the air again, ready to face the massed ranks of German aircraft once more.
Thanks to the efforts of pilots like Nigel Rose, the Luftwaffe stopped daytime raids after 15 September (now called Battle of Britain Day) and turned instead to nighttime raids – one battle was being won but the Blitz had only just begun.

Nigel Rose -
The Spitfire was "something out of this world"
16 June 2015

In an exclusive interview with the RAF Benevolent Fund, Spitfire pilot and Battle of Britain veteran Squadron Leader Nigel Rose reveals his feelings about flying the Spitfire.
Nigel Rose-
"We were issued with revolvers and about 15 rounds"
10 June 2015

Battle of Britain veteran Squadron Leader Nigel Rose recalls the atmosphere in Britain following the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk in June 1940.
Battle of Britain veteran Nigel Rose-
"There was a hell of a bang and a crash"
8 June 2015

Spitfire pilot and Battle of Britain veteran Nigel Rose, tells us about one of his closest shaves in the Battle.
Battle of Britain veteran Nigel Rose-
"There was a terrific battle going on when we arrived"
2 June 2015

In a special interview with Spitfire pilot and Battle of Britain veteran Squadron Leader Nigel Rose, he tells us about his first real sight of the Battle of Britain when 602 Squadron moved down from Drem in Scotland in August 1940.

Nigel Rose` daughter was a well known author and featured him in a book she published a while ago based on his story.

A good account of him also can be found in the book:Lion`s Rampant (602 Squadron in the Battle of Britain).

Nigel, like all of the Few, deserve our memory at this time, just 77 years ago since the hardest fighting in the Battle of Britain-Mid August to Mid September 1940.

May he rest in peace-never forgotten for his part in our history and the saving of Britain.

Paul Davies

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