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Robin's "Vic" page - Memories of VIC PIERCEY, who worked for EASAMS

Updated 2000 BST UK Time ( 1900z GMT/UT/GPS Time ) Thursday 29th June 2023. UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

Introduction by Robin lovelock

Robin at Vic Piercey's Funeral Vic Piercey Vic Piercey worked with me at EASAMS : I was there from 1981 until 1994. In the early 1980s he worked on the UKAIR Study and within my little Air Command & Control Group. I also visited Vic at his home in Claygate until quite recently. I realised then what interesting stories he had to tell, such as from about 1980, when he was working in Iran, on an Air Defence Radar system, and then how he helped guys from there, when the regime changed.

BUT, it was only when we got the invitation to the funeral that we realised he had almost made 102 ! BUT even more importantly, his remarkable RAF career, from 1937, through the whole of World War II - thanks to those lovely words below, from his son, Mike.


Let me highlight below a few points, that "pushed buttons" on me - and probably a few others, including Ex-EASAMS Guys . e.g. joined the RAF in January 1937 ! Working for UK MOD in 1960 and later ?

  • * January 1937 RAF technical apprentice specialising in wireless communications.
  • * September 1939 - War declared - posted to RAF Devonport - took up pipe smoking :-)
  • * October 1939 - over 18 - posted to RAF HQ near Paris - French Connections :-)
  • * June 1940 - Germans attacked France through Belgium and Holland - returns, but not brother Jack.
  • * 6 months at Northwood then 252 Beaufighter squadron - many missions as wireless operator.
  • * Malta 3 months; Egypt in support of the 8th army; Libya. (Robin's Uncle Ern was in 8th Army).
  • * Keeping Chickens like "Mrs Macgregor" - so did Robin's dad, Len Lovelock :-)
  • * spring 1943 posted to India: training Indian air force near Bombay.
  • * job boring so .. the Chindits, a special forces group trained in jungle warfare .. 5 days Burmese jungle.
  • * 1944 .. Indian Hurricane squadron in Kohat near the North West Frontier.
  • * Spring 1945 .. returns home in time for VE Day ( Victory in Europe ).
  • * 15th September 1945 - Marries... in Ealing.. Honeymoon in Ross on Wye -> Southend. West Drayton.
  • * 1950 3 year RAF posting to Negombo in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) with young family - flying Meteors.
  • * June 1953 - Air Ministry in London... Claygate.
  • * 1957 - Germany as Chief Technical Officer at an Air Defence radar station near Oldenburg.
  • * 1959 - "Squadron Leader Piercey was leading a band of naturists in defying the Italian Police :-)
  • * May 1960 Vic posted back to MOD in London. 16th July 1965 move to Claygate.
  • * Any EASAMS Guys, or others, know when Vic started work at EASAMS ? When EASAMS started in 1966 ?
white strip Robin is grateful to Mike for emailing the text that follows below: Mike's part of the Eulogy. Maybe, in due course, we can add relevant pictures.

Dads Life Celebration Speech - Read by Vic Piercey's son Mike

Dad had a very long, and as he frequently liked to remark, happy life. He always liked to tell stories from his past whenever there was a ready audience so I thought I would recount some of them to you.

Dad was born in Hounslow on 14th July 1921, the second son of John and May Piercey. He had an older brother Jack, a younger brother Roy and a sister Marjorie who was the baby of the family being some 10 years younger than Dad. Marjorie is with us today having made the long journey from Norfolk. Dads father joined the army at the outset of the First World war as a volunteer and was one of a lucky few to survive to its end in 1918. He was provided with a council house for ex-servicemen in St Aubyns road Hounslow and it was here that the family resided during Dads early childhood.

In 1932 Dads father bought a newly built house in Hanworth road which the family all moved into with their new sister. In the same year Dad started senior school at Spring Grove Central where he stayed until he was 15 and was School Captain. Jack had already joined the RAF in 1930 as a technical apprentice and it was while on a visit to see him at Halton, when viewing all the workshops, equipment and airplanes, that Dad decided the RAF was for him. In 1936 he took the RAF entrance exam and was accepted in January 1937 as a technical apprentice specialising in wireless communications.

In August 1939, while on leave at home, he went to a friends 19th birthday celebration and there he met Mum. She obviously made an impression for hemanaged to meet up with her on many future occasions.

In September 1939 war was declared and Dad’s apprenticeship came to an end and he was posted to RAF Devonport. It was while there he and a friend decided to take up pipe smoking. Having purchased a sixpence pipe from Woolworths together with tobacco and matches they sat on the Ho trying to light their pipes. An old chap walking by said ‘that’s what I like to see young men smoking pipes’. They weren’t sure whether he was sincere or joking as all they had to show was a large pile of spent matches. Needless to say Dad persevered and was still smoking his pipe right to the end often filling the lounge with clouds of smoke.

In October 1939, as he was over 18, Dad was posted to RAF HQ near Paris at very short notice, he only had time to phone home to tell the family where he was going before getting on a plane at Heston airdrome. It was during this time that he took a days leave go to Paris sight-seeing, where eventually he ended up in the Forces club. Here an event took place that he would in future relate to anyone with a French accent. The last time I heard him tell it was in Kingston hospital when attending for minor surgery. One of the theatre staff was French and Dad immediately asked him if he knew of Josephine Baker . “But of course he replied she was a very famous singer and dancer” whereon Dad told him how in Paris in 1939 he had danced with her at the Forces club. He added as an aside to me that the dance did not last long as he kept on treading on her feet

In June 1940 the Germans attacked France through Belgium and Holland. Dad was attached to a unit that had been sent to assess the state of Fighter Commands airfields around Paris and those further to the south. They were totally unaware that the French army had collapsed and that the British Expeditionary Force had retreated and was being evacuated from Dunkirk. It was only by chance when stopping at a cafe for food they heard on French radio that the Germans had entered Paris. Their C.O. decided to proceed south to Bordeaux where they had been told a cargo ship was stopping to pick up any stragglers. They only just managed to connect up with the ship which was about to leave harbour and landed back at Milford Haven two days later. When Dad phoned home to say he was safe in the UK his mother nearly fainted as both he and Jack had been posted as missing in action. Unfortunately Jack did not return. It was believed that his plane had been shot down following a raid on Norway but no trace of it was ever found.

Dad spent the next 6 months at RAF Northwood and was able to spend time with Mum renewing their friendship. He was then posted to 252 Beaufighter squadron, with whom Dad flew on many missions as wireless operator. The squadron was sent to Malta for 3 months and then to Egypt in support of the 8th army, moving to a number of different locations in Egypt and Libya over the next two years, reflecting the ebb and flow of the desert war. Due to the continual movement living and working conditions were very basic and largely based in tents. Food was mainly corned beef or some soya based preparation which the men had to cook for themselves.

Dad was always on the lookout for something to supplement their diet so was quite excited when one of the team acquired a small chick. Unfortunately it turned out to be a cockerel and was named Mr MacGregor by the men. Dad bought a small hen, which was duly called Mrs MacGregor. The two settled well together and Dad built a hutch with a nesting place for them to live in. He was rewarded by Mrs MacGregor producing an egg each day which he had for his breakfast. As the squadron moved around Egypt Mrs. Macgregor was transported, with any eggs, by Beaufighter to the next airfield. Dad thought he should have entered her into the Guinness Book of Records as no other chicken had been flown around by a warplane before.

In spring 1943 Dad was posted to India much to his regret as he had enjoyed his time with 252 squadron and rated it one of the best. He joined up with the Indian air force near Bombay where he was sent to train the Indian wireless operators. Life here was much more civilised than in the desert and Dad was able to enjoy a good social life. Unfortunately he found the job boring so when the opportunity arose he volunteered to join the Chindits, a special forces group trained in jungle warfare. He undertook the training and then went on a five day trek in the Burmese jungle as an exercise. However this was as far as he went as in mid 1944 the RAF posted him to an Indian Hurricane squadron in Kohat near the North West Frontier. He enjoyed his stay with this squadron, and did so well that he was encouraged to apply for officer training. In spring 1945 he was told much to his surprise that he would be repatriated to the UK and eventually arrived by a troop ship at Liverpool docks in time for VE Day. To Dads disgust they were unable to get ashore as the dockers had taken the day off to celebrate!

Dad returned home to a great reception from his family and Mum who joined the family to meet him. Dad and Mum renewed their relationship and Dad duly proposed. They fixed the wedding for the 15th September 1945 at St Marys Church Ealing followed by a honeymoon at Ross on Wye. However the RAF intervened again as his application for a commission had been accepted and Dad was put on a Commissioning course on 19th September. They had to settle for a short honeymoon in Southend! On being commissioned Dad was posted to West Drayton and due to the lack of affordable accommodation they moved into a flat that his parents created upstairs at their house in Hanworth Road and Dad commuted to work. In September 1947 Mum gave birth to me and then in September 1950 to Paula. In late 1950 Dad was posted to Negombo in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) for a three year tour and flew out to take up his position and to find accommodation for the family. After some searching he found a house to rent and was able to have the family embark by troopship from Liverpool in February 1951. On the journey the ship hit a major storm in the Bay of Biscay and its engines failed so an SOS was sent out. There followed the most worrying time for Mum as she was looking after Paula and I in our little cabin with no knowledge of what was happening to the ship . My only recollection is of lying in my bunk watching Paula in her cot moving from side to side in the cabin as the ship rolled in the heavy seas. Luckily the engineers eventually got the engines going and we continued on our way.

Dad had rented a house whose back garden backed onto the beach so while the house was very basic we all had a very enjoyable time including much swimming in the sea. Unexpectedly Dad was posted to Tengah in Singapore on an exchange posting and we all took ship together for the 2 week voyage. We were met there by friends Mum had made (and kept for the rest of their lives) on the journey out to Ceylon who helped us settle in to life on an RAF camp. The accommodation was a large modern bungalow, a complete contrast to that in Negombo. Mum and Dad enjoyed the social life on the camp and Dad had an interesting job supporting the squadron flying Meteors. In June 1953 we returned by ship to the UK and Dad was posted to the Air Ministry in London so we moved back into Hanworth Road for the next 3 years. During this time Dads mother persuaded his father to buy a small grocery business in Station Road Claygate. Dad decided to buy Hanworth Road from his father and this became our home for the next 12 years.

In September 1957 Dad was posted to Germany as Chief Technical Officer at an Air Defence radar station near Oldenburg and Mum and Paula followed once he had found accommodation for them. I went to live with my grandparents in Station Road as I needed to take the 11+ and then in September 1959 I went to boarding school in Suffolk. I flew to Germany in the school holidays the highlight of which each year was a months holiday camping at Lake Garda in Italy. On the last holiday at Lake Garda Dad hit the newspaper headlines. The campsite owners were having trouble with the local police who would not renew their licence. The police told the campers to leave the site but Dad and his friends persuaded the other campers to ignore the police and stay. A local newspaper reporter picked up the story and interviewed Dad. On our return to Germany we were shown a report in the Daily Express on how Squadron Leader Piercey was leading a band of naturists in defying the Italian police who were trying to close the campsite. The translation from Italian to English left something to be desired.

In May 1960 Dad was posted back to MOD in London and they resumed living at Hanworth Road. Dad and Mum became disenchanted with Hounslow mainly due to the continual noise of the planes taking off and landing at Heathrow and decided to buy a new build house in Claygate. On the 16th July 1965 they moved into 3 Homestead Gardens where they lived ever since. Dad experienced in his first forty years of life than most people do in their lifetimes.

Below is the redacted invitation to Vic's funeral, that Robin sent out to some of Vic's ex-EASAMS friends. It can be removed, but it does at least give a "RAF flavour", and some key facts such as those key dates: Born 14th July 1921; Died 27th May 2023; Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday 27th June 2023. Sleep Well Vic.

Vic Piercey - Funeral

Sorry about that visiting card, with "Retired, Too busy for paid work", but I'm sure Vic will be smiling. Sleep Well Vic :-)

Who has visited this "Vic" page ?

Robin Lovelock From Robin: It's very convenient for me, that there are so few visitors to this page: just those given the link. See map and words near end of my Home page ;-)

Visit Counter after reply to Microtransat Group The visit counters may give a rough indication on who else is visiting, or has visited, this page. I don't hide or disguise my visits, but they may appear as "Ascot", or miles away, like "Lightwater" or even "Southend-on-Sea, England" (on my Lounge PC), or "High Wycombe" or "West-Drayton, England" ( on the Study PC). Positions may not be accurate, but times are. These may change at any time, without control by me. e.g. if we have a power cut, or I reboot a router. So, you may see if I'm "working" in the Study, or "relaxing" in Lounge :-)

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The video on the right shows several guys visiting my Covid19 page , shortly after I posted the link to the Microtransat forum, linked from the Snoopy Robot Boat page.

That's right - Hobby activity and Charitable Causes, rather than earning money. Us Grumpy old men sometimes find that, "there are just not enough hours in the day" ;-)

© 1947-2023 Robin Lovelock ( and Mike Piercey ).

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