Uncle Ray

Apr 01, 2019
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This is the tale of “Uncle Ray” , I believe it to be true, but I have nothing other than word of mouth to support it. Ray was a family friend rather than a true Uncle.
 
Ray was the son of a “Lady of the night” Ray was raised by an “Auntie”, financial support came from a wealthy well connected member of high society, his father? Who knows. When at university Ray was in a group of male students who realised that one of their group was preying on the ladies. Today we call that preying “date rape”. This group decided that enough was enough and it was time to “fix” the bastard, it was decided that only one person was required to conduct the “operation” and Ray drew the short straw, some, myself included, would say he was the lucky one. After the deed was committed the shit hit the fan and Ray was the fall guy.

Ray was then “requested” to leave university, and the “event” was hushed up! Ray was then approached by a member of British Intelligence, who may have been connected to his unknown father.  Ray was recruited and sent to Italy where he photographed Italian navel facilities. Young and inexperienced, Ray was quickly caught, integrated, beaten up and kicked out of Italy. His handlers were not pleased, now his next task was to worm his way into the German Armaments Industry. Ray succeeded in seducing the wife or mistress of one of the Krupps family. Ray told me she was “Young and frisky and her husband, although rich, was getting soft and slow”. This was living very dangerously, at one point in fear of his life his “girl” gave him a handgun, a Dutch police issue semi auto, in case he had to shoot his way out of Germany. How had she obtained this gun? By now Ray was highly suspect not only because of his womanising but also of spying. Ray escaped, just in time as with no shooting he made his way to the British embassy in Spain. The British ambassador was not impressed to find Ray sleeping in his office with his feet on his desk and a FN 1922 in his hand, when he came to work in the morning. All you need, as I also learnt much later in life, in these circumstances is the right telephone number for the the upset party to call.  A call was made and all was good, Ray was smuggled out of Spain and shipped to the UK.

Ray’s handlers were not pleased as now he had blown his cover in both Italy and Germany. The conversation went something as follows: “OK, you are no longer any use to us as your cover is blown, you know war is coming, it is just a matter of time so we will give you an introduction into one of the services. Ray chose the RAF.

Now the “tale” gets a little vague and unsupported. Ray was certainly a qualified fighter pilot before WWII broke out, I think he must have been a Pilot Office not a Sgt pilot, Ray “claims” to have flown a lot of the RAF “Glamorous” fighters, including the Hurricane, Spitfire and Mosquito, among others. I remember once asking him: If he had to “mix it with the Luftwaffe” what would be the plane of his choice?, I was surprised at the time when he said the Mosquito, but quickly added as long as we were above 10,000 ft. (If I remember the altitude correctly) By wars end Ray was an acting Wing Commander stationed in Germany. In either Pierre Glosterman’s book “The Big Show” or another book by an author I cannot remember right now, they reference a Wing Commander Shaw, was this Ray? I can not be certain. At this stage of the war Ray had a run in with some SS POW and Ray’s treatment seemed to me, at the time he told me, to be ruthless, now I have a better understanding why he would have behaved like that. His action certainly earned him the respect of his troops, a mixture of RAF and Army at this stage of the war.

At the end of the war Ray was stationed in or close to Berlin. They were having trouble with the Ruskies, Allied  servicemen were disappearing and random rifle shots into their quarters were normal. One day Ray was going to visit his “Popsi” (His exact words) he was in RAF uniform but wearing a rain coat with his hat tucked inside his rain coat. He was walking alone in a bombed out “no go” area, two Ruskies were walking towards him swinging lengths of 2x4, Ray crossed the road, the Ruskies crossed the road, Ray crossed back, so did the Ruskies, all the time they were getting closer. The die was cast and at point blank range Ray fired one round from his FN 1922, he had been holding her in his rain coat pocket, he hit one Ruskie dead center, he dropped quote: “Like a sack of shit” and started screaming,  his mate ran off and Ray carried on to his “Popsie” who had her blank market friends drop the dead Ruskie in a cannal.

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Ray was an ugly looking son of a b**** as he had smashed his face into at least one instrument panel on a crash landing, he was a proud member of the Caterpillar club. (A silk worm badge for those who had bailed out) With hind site I wish I had picked his brain a lot more. He had certainly seen some action and had his share of adventures!

At the end of the war Ray kept his RAF issue Smith & Wesson .38 S&W revolver and his prized FN 1922. He had done some wheeling and dealing and his S&W was a 6-inch blued model which was not the normal issue as the normal issue was a 4 inch parkerized model. After Pat and I had visited him in London, I guess this was sometime in the seventies, I had pried his S&W revolver out of his hands, I proudly traveled through the London Tube system with his OT gun in my jacket pocket back to our hotel and then on to our cottage in Norfolk. OT was our word for “Off ticket” meaning an unregistered, an illegal firearm. Foolishly I later traded this S&W revolver for some custom leather work (Shoulder holster for a Hi-Power) that I desperately needed. Years later, after I had immigrated to Canada my Mum tipped me off that as Ray was getting on in years and he was going to ditch the FN. I got in touch with Ray and using my old UK contacts I got his FN legitimized and exported to Canada where I later collected it from the the local RCMP.  I have shot it on occasions, but it is now kept secure in my safe, it will eventually be passed on to my son Matt. If only she could talk, how many hours had she flown tucked into a flying boot in a RAF fighter plane or lay under the pillow of a German lady while she “entertained” her British boyfriend.

I have the FN 1922 beside me as I type this, but alas no flying boot to tuck her into, or a Mossie armed and ticking over on the run way, or am I crazy to think that the Mossie would be preferable to tucking her under the pillow while I cuddle another man’s women, no that decision comes easy to me, as I can hear the mighty Merlin’s calling and what adventure they could take me to, would I sore with the eagles or crash horribly in flames? but sadly all I can do is dream.

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It is a shame life is so short, I have a lot of catching up to do.

Keep your powder dry, 
Mr. Wolverine

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