Published on July 22nd, 2022 | by Mark Dwyer


Squawk 7000 – The sight, sound and smell of his office – celebrating the life of a 103-year-old veteran

Earlier today the Irish Air Corps celebrated a special centenary Veterans’ Day in Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel. As part of the event the Royal Air Force ‘Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’, accompanied by the Irish aerobatic display team ‘The Silver Swallows’, flew in formation across Dublin City and landed at Casement Aerodrome. 

The VVIP guest for the event was a proud Irish man, Group Captain (Retired) John ‘Paddy’ Hemingway (Distinguished Flying Cross), ​a Battle of Britain Pilot who flew with distinction during World War 2. In Casement Aerodrome, John was reunited with a Hurricane Aircraft, the same type he flew in WW2. On its arrival, the Hurricane came to a stop and powered up its engines so that the wartime pilot could see, hear and smell what he called his ‘office’ throughout WW2. John is a resident of South Co. Dublin and celebrated his 103rd birthday this week.

The Chief of Staff of the Irish Defence Forces, Lieutenant General Seán Clancy and Royal Air Forces Deputy Commander Operations Sir Rich Knighton and General Officer Commanding the Irish Air Corps, Brigadier General Rory O’Connor were in attendance along with a range of other invited guests and veterans. We hear from the BBMF Crew and the IAC Silver Swallows.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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