666 Squadron - Ginger

Section for Ginger discussions

666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Inactive User 149 » 19 Dec 2013, 10:33

If Ginger had not met Biggles before the war but had been posted to 666 Squadron when it was formed would he have stood out and become friends with Biggles?
Last edited by Anonymous on 19 Dec 2013, 12:29, edited 1 time in total.
Inactive User 149
-
 
Posts: 859
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 18:27

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Kismet » 19 Dec 2013, 12:00

No. He impressed Biggles and Algy with his knowledge and actions in specific circumstances and amused them with his youthful enthusiasms. If they met him as an adult, I expect they would be impressed by his flying ability and feel he was a likeable and hardworking officer, but the things that made Ginger special to them would not have occurred and would not be able to occur.

Interestingly, I think they would have bonded with Bertie wherever they came across him, if the acquaintance was long enough.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
User avatar
Kismet
Air vice marshal
Air vice marshal
 
Posts: 26020
Images: 118
Joined: 28 Aug 2013, 21:10
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Reading last: fantasy on Kindle Unlimited
Reading now: Patricia Wentworth
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Tracer » 19 Dec 2013, 13:18

There's something very bondable about Bertie :P

I think Ginger would have succeeded at whatever he did because he was such a strong person mentally. It was pure luck he got into good company instead of bad, but he was so set on being a pilot he'd have been one somehow, somewhere. And he was a really loyal friend.
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
Tracer
Squadron leader
Squadron leader
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: 12 Dec 2013, 19:59

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Inactive User 149 » 19 Dec 2013, 13:28

Yes and Biggles would have been absolutely lost without Ginger in 666 Squadron. With Algy being second in command they could not fly together and Biggles kept Ginger with him a lot of the time. In Borneo Ginger saved the whole Squadron by using his own initiative and I am sure Biggles would have appreciated it even if he had not known him as a child. I think Ginger would have stood out in the Squadron but I do agree that it is unlikely that Biggles would have made a "friend" of a junior officer - he might however have taken him on some missions when he realised how good he was.
Inactive User 149
-
 
Posts: 859
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 18:27

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby kylie_koyote » 19 Dec 2013, 16:00

Ginger must've had to walk a very fine line in the early days of 666 - he didn't want the other lads to see him as getting special treatment/favoritism, or accuse him of being Biggles' and Algy's "pet". (I'm sure Algy had somewhat of a similar problem, but being older and more experienced it was likely less pronounced.)

In "Charter Pilot" Biggles sticks up for Ginger when the other pilots doubt the veracity of his stories, and in "Fails to Return", he's the first one that Algy confides in about being promoted to squadron leader in Biggles' absence.

I doubt if Biggles had met Ginger after the start of the war that he would feel as paternal/protective of him as he does. Of course Biggles would appreciate him for being a stellar pilot and a good officer, but he wouldn't have the same relationship with him as he does.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
User avatar
kylie_koyote
Air commodore
Air commodore
 
Posts: 12116
Images: 475
Joined: 06 Dec 2013, 19:32
Location: Northeast USA
Reading last: Tumult in the Clouds
Reading now: Time & Chance
Reading next: so many choices...
My top chap: Ginger
Aircraft: Spitfire

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Inactive User 149 » 19 Dec 2013, 16:10

Yes I agree that Biggles would not be as protective of Ginger if he had met him as a man. In the early books their relationship is quite intimate. In Junlge Biggles puts ointment on Ginger's bites and he is always looking out for him and trying to protect him. I do agree it would be very difficult for Ginger in the early days of 666. The only time he really says anything (apart from Charter Pilot) is in Sweeps the Desert when he says "I would not let the CO hear you talking like that". I think Ginger's personality carries him through. In Spitfire Parade he joins in with whatever the others are doing.
Inactive User 149
-
 
Posts: 859
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 18:27

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby kylie_koyote » 27 Dec 2013, 19:16

I've been rereading "Spitfire Parade" and I've gotten to the chapter where Ginger shows off and gets in trouble with Bitmore. Bitmore places Ginger under "open arrest". What exactly does that mean? In "sweeps" Biggles threatens to put him under "close arrest". What's the difference?

Also, Algy sends Ginger to report to Toddy about his arrest. Presumably Biggles finds out about this, although what conversation Biggles has with Ginger is left to our imagination.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
User avatar
kylie_koyote
Air commodore
Air commodore
 
Posts: 12116
Images: 475
Joined: 06 Dec 2013, 19:32
Location: Northeast USA
Reading last: Tumult in the Clouds
Reading now: Time & Chance
Reading next: so many choices...
My top chap: Ginger
Aircraft: Spitfire

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Fairblue » 27 Dec 2013, 19:50

kylie_koyote wrote:I've been rereading "Spitfire Parade" and I've gotten to the chapter where Ginger shows off and gets in trouble with Bitmore. Bitmore places Ginger under "open arrest". What exactly does that mean? In "sweeps" Biggles threatens to put him under "close arrest". What's the difference?

Also, Algy sends Ginger to report to Toddy about his arrest. Presumably Biggles finds out about this, although what conversation Biggles has with Ginger is left to our imagination.

Broadly speaking, 'close arrest' means he is confined under guard. In barracks or on a duty station this would be in a guardhouse with sentries on duty at all times, but on field operations e.g. in 'Sweeps the Desert' (if Biggles had actually done it) it could have been any building designated for the purpose 'tent' etc, and there would have been a guard outside at all times. His meals would likely have been brought to him, although under field conditions he would probably have been allowed under escort to attend to ablutions etc.

Open arrest means he would have been confined to barracks but not under guard.

Generally 'open arrest' was for relatively minor or technical offences for which punishment could be expected. Close arrest was for more serious offences, which covers Ginger disobeying Biggles orders about moving about without a water bottle. It is testament to Biggles leadership that he seldom, if ever had to resort to such lengths, but in wartime disobeying a direct order was serious. In fact, technically, as well as disobeying an order, Ginger could have been also charged with 'rendering himself unfit for duty, through his own negligence'. I can imagine Bitmore throwing that one in for good measure.
Hope this explantion helps, kk. :D
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes
User avatar
Fairblue
Air marshal
Air marshal
 
Posts: 29561
Images: 119
Joined: 21 Apr 2013, 11:05
Location: Up North
Reading now: War in a Stringbag - Charles Lamb
Reading next: Depends on my mood
My top chap: Bertie - who else?
Starsign: Leo
Aircraft: Spitfire

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby SaintedAunt » 28 Dec 2013, 10:20

Fairblue wrote:It is testament to Biggles leadership that he seldom, if ever had to resort to such lengths...

And the other thing about Biggles' leadership is that once he had had his say, he moved on. He never wasted time in recriminations - not sure if 'recriminations' is the right word - but you probably know what I mean :roll:
The corners of Biggles' mouth twitched. "It's a sad thing to grow old without learning a thing or two." [Biggles Hunts Big Game]
User avatar
SaintedAunt
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 5088
Images: 69
Joined: 21 Apr 2013, 17:35
Location: East Suffolk Coastal
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn
Aircraft: Sopwith Camel

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Tracer » 28 Dec 2013, 11:34

SaintedAunt wrote:
Fairblue wrote:It is testament to Biggles leadership that he seldom, if ever had to resort to such lengths...

And the other thing about Biggles' leadership is that once he had had his say, he moved on. He never wasted time in recriminations - not sure if 'recriminations' is the right word - but you probably know what I mean :roll:



Yes: it's said, it's done and dusted, and no grudges held. True leadership. Though a good commander always remembers - they have to know everyone's weaknesses as well as their strengths - past errors don't get resuscitated at every opportunity.
pilots who had done a long tour and had that thousand-yard stare W. E. Johns
Tracer
Squadron leader
Squadron leader
 
Posts: 2327
Joined: 12 Dec 2013, 19:59

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Inactive User 149 » 02 Jan 2014, 10:41

Biggles would be very well aware of Ginger's failings. Lack of discipline and acting on his own initiative without much thought for the consequences being two of them as witnessed later in Sweeps the Desert when he shot Biggles down over the enemy aerodrome :o
Inactive User 149
-
 
Posts: 859
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 18:27

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Purple Pigeon » 02 Jan 2014, 20:45

I don't think it would have been a good idea for Ginger to stop and reflect every time he encountered an enemy plane that Biggles might in fact be flying it!
Purple Pigeon
Flying officer
Flying officer
 
Posts: 301
Joined: 26 Apr 2013, 09:50

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby SaintedAunt » 02 Jan 2014, 23:45

Purple Pigeon wrote:I don't think it would have been a good idea for Ginger to stop and reflect every time he encountered an enemy plane that Biggles might in fact be flying it!

:lol:
The corners of Biggles' mouth twitched. "It's a sad thing to grow old without learning a thing or two." [Biggles Hunts Big Game]
User avatar
SaintedAunt
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 5088
Images: 69
Joined: 21 Apr 2013, 17:35
Location: East Suffolk Coastal
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn
Aircraft: Sopwith Camel

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Spitfire666 » 03 Jan 2014, 10:42

SaintedAunt wrote:
Purple Pigeon wrote:I don't think it would have been a good idea for Ginger to stop and reflect every time he encountered an enemy plane that Biggles might in fact be flying it!

:lol:

Only when it does not shoot back, maybe. :D
If there's one thing certain in this uncertain world it is that Algy won't go home without us.

http://wejas.org.uk
User avatar
Spitfire666
Site Orderly
Site Orderly
 
Posts: 3192
Images: 37
Joined: 18 Apr 2013, 12:45
Location: London

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby SaintedAunt » 03 Jan 2014, 12:14

Spitfire666 wrote:
Purple Pigeon wrote:I don't think it would have been a good idea for Ginger to stop and reflect every time he encountered an enemy plane that Biggles might in fact be flying it!

Only when it does not shoot back, maybe. :D

Well said, S666 :jollygood:
The corners of Biggles' mouth twitched. "It's a sad thing to grow old without learning a thing or two." [Biggles Hunts Big Game]
User avatar
SaintedAunt
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 5088
Images: 69
Joined: 21 Apr 2013, 17:35
Location: East Suffolk Coastal
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn
Aircraft: Sopwith Camel

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Inactive User 149 » 03 Jan 2014, 12:21

I certainly think it is highly likely that Ginger would have been posted to 666 along with the other officers who did not take well to discipline. Ginger always used his own initiative but he should have thought things through a bit more before he acted.
Inactive User 149
-
 
Posts: 859
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 18:27

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Purple Pigeon » 03 Jan 2014, 13:06

Jenny Rob wrote:I certainly think it is highly likely that Ginger would have been posted to 666 along with the other officers who did not take well to discipline. Ginger always used his own initiative but he should have thought things through a bit more before he acted.


Actually apart from Black Peril I think Ginger is quite obedient. As far as I can recall in the pre-war books the only time he deliberately disobeys direct orders is when he is trying to save Biggles or Algy (eg&Co, Secret Agent) or when he is in danger/panicking (eg abandoning the boat in Air Commodore). In Africa he is described as well-trained!

In WWII he can be insubordinate when Biggles' life is in danger (and a good thing too!) but apart from the one lapse with the waterbottle in Sweeps the Desert (and there were mitigating circumstances there) and the story with Bitmore (which is actually a rewrite of an 'Algy WWI story) he has impeccable discipline.

And lets face it whenever Ginger uses his own initiative it nearly always turns out for the best! :D
Purple Pigeon
Flying officer
Flying officer
 
Posts: 301
Joined: 26 Apr 2013, 09:50

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Inactive User 149 » 03 Jan 2014, 13:15

Yes Ginger's motives are always for the best. I hate that story in Spitfire Parade it is absolutely stupid. In Flies North which was set a couple of years prior to Spitfire Parade Ginger saves Biggles, Algy and Wilks at the last minute when he has used his own initiative to escape, found all the evidence to convict the baddies and brought it back just in time. Wilks would never ever consider putting Ginger on a charge after that - he might have had a quiet word with Biggles but no more and to expect us to believe that Algy and Bertie would behave like that (and find it funny) is just ridiculous. Algy was a senior Flight Commander and Second in Charge of a fighter squadron not a teenage Flying Officer.
Inactive User 149
-
 
Posts: 859
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 18:27

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby SaintedAunt » 03 Jan 2014, 13:39

I agree wholeheartedly. The 'Bitmore' story was fine in the light-hearted genre of some of the WWI stories but it didn't transfer to WWII.
The corners of Biggles' mouth twitched. "It's a sad thing to grow old without learning a thing or two." [Biggles Hunts Big Game]
User avatar
SaintedAunt
Wing commander
Wing commander
 
Posts: 5088
Images: 69
Joined: 21 Apr 2013, 17:35
Location: East Suffolk Coastal
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn
Aircraft: Sopwith Camel

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Kismet » 03 Jan 2014, 13:54

SaintedAunt wrote:I agree wholeheartedly. The 'Bitmore' story was fine in the light-hearted genre of some of the WWI stories but it didn't transfer to WWII.


I concur. I liked Spitfire Parade until I read the original stories, and now it's a book I really struggle with - probably my least favourite.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
User avatar
Kismet
Air vice marshal
Air vice marshal
 
Posts: 26020
Images: 118
Joined: 28 Aug 2013, 21:10
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Reading last: fantasy on Kindle Unlimited
Reading now: Patricia Wentworth
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby kylie_koyote » 03 Jan 2014, 15:59

Kismet wrote:
SaintedAunt wrote:I agree wholeheartedly. The 'Bitmore' story was fine in the light-hearted genre of some of the WWI stories but it didn't transfer to WWII.


I concur. I liked Spitfire Parade until I read the original stories, and now it's a book I really struggle with - probably my least favourite.


I believe WEJ was under pressure to produce some stories quickly to help the war effort / propaganda, so he just re-used a lot of the WW1 stories, but they don't really fit the characters any more. Algy would've been in his early 40s, and Ginger's airshow is totally contrary to his usual behavior.

In the beginning Biggles says to Algy and Ginger "Don't call me Biggles, at least not in front of the others." This doesn't seem to last very long though.

My favorite part of the whole book is the pig that they paint the RAF rings on. That's adorable and hilarious. I wonder if they actually ate her for Christmas though - I certainly couldn't.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."
User avatar
kylie_koyote
Air commodore
Air commodore
 
Posts: 12116
Images: 475
Joined: 06 Dec 2013, 19:32
Location: Northeast USA
Reading last: Tumult in the Clouds
Reading now: Time & Chance
Reading next: so many choices...
My top chap: Ginger
Aircraft: Spitfire

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Inactive User 149 » 03 Jan 2014, 16:07

I am sure they did not - Henry would not have let them. I too like that story. I think Ginger does very well trying to help Henry, watching him with "curiosity and compassion" when he is with Annie and then steering Tug away from Henry. I like the fact that Biggles trusted him to speak to Henry rather than doing anything official.
Inactive User 149
-
 
Posts: 859
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 18:27

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Kismet » 08 Jan 2014, 14:22

Purple Pigeon wrote:
Jenny Rob wrote:I certainly think it is highly likely that Ginger would have been posted to 666 along with the other officers who did not take well to discipline. Ginger always used his own initiative but he should have thought things through a bit more before he acted.


Actually apart from Black Peril I think Ginger is quite obedient. As far as I can recall in the pre-war books the only time he deliberately disobeys direct orders is when he is trying to save Biggles or Algy (eg&Co, Secret Agent) or when he is in danger/panicking (eg abandoning the boat in Air Commodore). In Africa he is described as well-trained!

In WWII he can be insubordinate when Biggles' life is in danger (and a good thing too!) but apart from the one lapse with the waterbottle in Sweeps the Desert (and there were mitigating circumstances there) and the story with Bitmore (which is actually a rewrite of an 'Algy WWI story) he has impeccable discipline.

And lets face it whenever Ginger uses his own initiative it nearly always turns out for the best! :D


I've been thinking about this, and I'm not sure that Ginger would have been posted to 666 if he hadn't come with Biggles and Algy. He does take well to discipline - if anything Biggles and Algy overtrain him in obedience and he uses his initiative less and less as the books go on. By the Noble Lord he is very cautious about breaking the Air Regulations - but luckily Bertie is flying so the story progresses.
'Major Bigglesworth' said Von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'
User avatar
Kismet
Air vice marshal
Air vice marshal
 
Posts: 26020
Images: 118
Joined: 28 Aug 2013, 21:10
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
Reading last: fantasy on Kindle Unlimited
Reading now: Patricia Wentworth
My top chap: Biggles
Starsign: Capricorn

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Fairblue » 08 Jan 2014, 14:39

What you have to bear in mind is that had Ginger not fell in with Biggles and Algy his road to being an RAF officer would have been a lot more difficult because of his background. It would have been expensive to learn to fly and if he did achieve it he would, in all probability, have ended up as a Sergeant- pilot. We are very lucky today that all the social barriers to holding a commission have been removed. Ginger's tenacity might have got him through, though, you never know. 8-)
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes
User avatar
Fairblue
Air marshal
Air marshal
 
Posts: 29561
Images: 119
Joined: 21 Apr 2013, 11:05
Location: Up North
Reading now: War in a Stringbag - Charles Lamb
Reading next: Depends on my mood
My top chap: Bertie - who else?
Starsign: Leo
Aircraft: Spitfire

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Purple Pigeon » 08 Jan 2014, 20:39

If Ferocity Ferris managed to get his commission because of his sheer flying ability, I'm sure Ginger could have done likewise!
Purple Pigeon
Flying officer
Flying officer
 
Posts: 301
Joined: 26 Apr 2013, 09:50

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby The Professor » 08 Jan 2014, 20:48

Fairblue wrote:he would, in all probability, have ended up as a Sergeant- pilot. We are very lucky today that all the social barriers to holding a commission have been removed.


I still bet the majority of those who pass through Sandhurst now have done so through their school CCF and university's J/OTC. If you are comissioned in the air force, we were told it is customary to only hold a probationary period at the rank of Pilot Officer (or 2nd Lieutenant in the army) if you have a university degree, but a longer period without. I was a bit surprised myself, but the majority of those who worked in the CCF when I was there had once served as enlisted personnel and said the system worked that way. The officer in most cases, we were told, learns less of a trade: his (or indeed her) skill is to command. Several people I knew who later joined the army or are planning to said they would prefer to be an enlisted man, whether it's to pick up a trade for civilian life or to simply lessen responsibility. I plan to join the army myself if I can get the right physical (and indeed mental) build, but I don't know if I'd like to be responsible for twenty-four soldiers, (or a million-pound aircraft for that matter)...

Anyway, the 44 week selection process is a damned hard challenge to face whatever your social class, and it's certainly daunting for anyone who wants to attempt it. A 70km (43-mile) trek in 36 hours isn't easy for most. Perhaps it's a failing in the education system that the more traditional public schools tend to be more brutal in terms of workload and physicality and would most probably forge somebody more prepared for the challenge. I suppose it's just that those, in England anyway, who are more likely to become officers are those who really work at it from thirteen up.
You poor prune!
User avatar
The Professor
Flying officer
Flying officer
 
Posts: 473
Joined: 30 May 2013, 00:41
Location: British Northern Wumbubuland
Reading last: The Cruel Sea
Reading now: Biggles in Spain
Reading next: Biggles Defies the Swastika
My top chap: 'Gimlet' King
Aircraft: Short Sunderland

Re: 666 Squadron - Ginger

Postby Inactive User 149 » 09 Jan 2014, 10:33

Well said Purple Pigeon - I think Ginger would have made a success in the Air Force in one way or another. He was still very young in Borneo when he used his own initiative and saved the whole Squadron.
Inactive User 149
-
 
Posts: 859
Joined: 01 Jul 2014, 18:27


Return to Ginger

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron