Edward "Jumbo" Gracie, WW2 Malta pilot; Ordinary Signalman DA Bond HMS Dasher
January 17, 2010
Dear Mr Gregory,
Looking for anything about Edward 'Jumbo' Gracie and Malta I found your website. Tried unsuccessfully to direct my son to the reference I'd found, but failed, so assume the site has been updated since December 26th 2009.
My son had been to Malta on business, and said he thought it was a dull place, and I was hoping to show him that Malta's history is quite amazing.
Here's a little bit of human interest background about Edward "Jumbo" Gracie that you won't have heard before. My mother was part of a big family in Dorking, Surrey, and a boy who was always in their house was "Ted" Gracie. I think my mother said he was an only child, and so he became "adopted" into the bigger family living nearby. The family thought he "fancied" my aunt but was too shy to ask her out! During the war, my mother and I went back to live with my grandparents, and when he was on leave "Ted" came and visited. My mother recalled how she asked him how did he feel before he was going to fly, and he answered "Evelyn, every single time before I fly, I am physically sick".
Another thing that interested me from reading your website, was that he flew with 56 Squadron. My husband commanded 56 Squadron when they flew Phantoms, and we never knew that my family's friend had been part of the
You mention that he was an interesting pilot, but I haven't been able to find out much from the Internet, so I was very interested to see what you had found out.
On quite another subject, my mother's brother was part of the crew that lost their lives on HMS Dasher. The family were not told anything about what happened, and my grandmother went to her grave not knowing what had happened to her son. He was Ordinary Signalman DA Bond C/JX344711. He must have known "Ted" Gracie well.
I hope you receive this, the website link doesn't work for me.
Thank you for your comments.
The Link to the manuscript from the Malta pilot is here.
The site link for the Malta piece on AHOY is here.
Hopefully they will work for you.