Test pilot logbooks sought

AVIATION enthusiasts are desperately seeking the logbooks of test pilot and former Grand Hotel owner Tommy Rose.

King’s Cup race winner and aviation test pilot Tommy Rose. 1268399
King’s Cup race winner and aviation test pilot Tommy Rose. 1268399

AVIATION enthusiasts are desperately seeking the logbooks of test pilot and former Grand Hotel owner Tommy Rose.

Mr Rose gained a Distinguished Flying Cross medal for his efforts on the Western Front as a pilot during the First World War.

He also distinguished himself in air racing, winning the King’s Cup race before becoming a test pilot for Miles Aircraft.

In 1948 he retired to Alderney and bought the Grand Hotel. He was a member of the States from 1955 to 1963 and held the honour of vice-president from 1966 to 1968.

Aviation and aircraft historians Josh Spoor and Peter Amos have called on residents to check their attics in a bid to locate the missing logbooks.

Alderney Museum already holds some photos, medals and a cup won by Mr Rose, but Mr Spoor said his logbook would mean far more. ‘I think he is not such a well known aviator as, say, Amy Johnson but when you consider what he actually achieved in his life he was, in my view, one of the greatest aviators ever,’ said Mr Spoor. ‘If you look at his achievements in the early 30s, his King’s Cup racing, and then to become a test pilot, what he achieved was remarkable.

‘But not one of Tommy Rose’s logbooks has come to light. Just to see one of them would be bigger than winning the lottery. To have definitive dates showing when he flew and what he flew, that would be amazing.’

It is thought that Mr Rose learned to fly with 64 Squadron on the Western Front. He was credited with 12 enemy machines downed and his citation for his Distinguished Flying Cross records that ‘this officer has accounted for nine enemy machines during recent operations. Possessing in a marked degree the real offensive spirit, he sets a notable example to the other pilots of his squadron by his utter disregard of personal danger’.