Lest We Forget
No one knew as they celebrated the arrival of baby Duncan Currie the impact and significance this wee boy would have as he grew into adulthood. The year was 1923.
During his school years, Duncan became a member of the Air Training Corps and captivated by the dream of becoming a pilot, he left school in 1937 to attend the RAF training school in Waddington.
Having completed his basic training in flying Lancaster Bombers, when the war began, Duncan flew 45 flights to France and he recalls, “3 of these flights did not make their targets as they were shot at and had to turn back. These were frightening times but we arrived home safely.”
In 1943, Duncan was chosen to become part of the Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, which would later on become referred to as ‘The Dambusters’.
Following 8 weeks of highly classified training, the specialist unit flew out on the night of May 16/17 to target 3 dams in the Rhur Valley. Duncan’s wife, Mary shared “Duncan always said the same thing when he was asked about being a pilot in the war and The Dambusters. He’d say ‘Anyone who wasn’t feart was a liar!’”.
As one of the unhurt survivors of the highly acclaimed mission, Duncan also flew missions on Operation Manna, which dropped tons of food into the unliberated and famine struck areas of Holland towards the end of the war.
Having completed 7 years as an RAF pilot, he returned to Largs as a Flight Lieutenant. There, Duncan became a founding member of the RNLI station and eventually he bought a newspaper shop where he worked until he retired.
In 2013, having developed Parkinson’s Disease, Duncan decided it was time for him to go into residential care. Supported by his doctor, he chose to move to CrossReach’s South Beach House as his minister highly recommended the home.
Duncan describes that move as having been very good. He noted he enjoys the activities, food, visits from family and friends and the support in keeping up with his interests in the RAF. “I want for nothing”, he smiled.
On the 4th of September 2016, RAF veteran Duncan was honoured during the Battle of Britain Memorial flight at the Largs Viking Festival. At the end of the fly-by, the Lancaster Bomber tipped its wing to Duncan as a mark of respect.
Today, we want to thank Duncan for his bravery and to remember all that the countless others did to protect our freedom – Lest We Forget
[originally posted 10/11/2016]
We are saddened by the passing of Flt Lt Duncan McNair Currie in January 2019.
We are privileged to have had the opportunity to support this remarkable man in one of our care homes, South Beach House in Ardrossan and our thoughts and condolences are with Mr Currie’s family.