Many of you will have seen the Spitfire hanging in mid air at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. Some of you will have looked at the associated photograph of young pilots at the end the second World War. Just a few of you may have recognised one of that group as Jack Forrest, long term resident of Battery Point, Lochgoilhead. Jack flew that very plane as part of 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron.
Jack and Margaret Forrest had a home in Lochgoilhead for over 40 years firstly at Creaganiver but later across the road at Battery Point. Ten years ago, advancing years persuaded them to move to Inchmarlo Retirement Village at Banchory on Deeside where they quickly and happily settled.
Margaret played a big part in Lochgoilhead village life but was also honoured as a Dame of the Order of St John for her work with that charity in Glasgow. Jack was a founder member of the Lochgoilhead Rifle Club and was instrumental in organising the purchase the Rifle Range from the Forestry Commission.
In an unexpected turn of events, the French government has announced that it wishes to recognise all surviving D-Day veterans by awarding them the Legion of Honour. Jack had joined the Royal Air Force in 1940, aged just 19. On the day of the D-Day landings he was in the air protecting the invasion force as a Warrant Officer aged 22. He is now proud to be appointed to the rank of “Chevalier in the national order of the Legion of Honour”.
￼￼Jack flew Spitfire LA198 in 1949 After the War, 602 squadron was reformed as an auxiliary squadron. They were briefly called up during the Korean War and shortly after that Jack Forrest took over as Squadron Leader.
We are pleased to congratulate Jack on his honour and to remember Jack and Margaret, two great friends of this village who, now both well into their 90s, still stay in touch through the Wee Goil and their old friends.
RAF Pilots past and present swap Typhoon Spitfire tales. Jack being treated to a guided tour at RAF Leuchars for a first hand look at RAF modern day capabilities in November 2013