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Woman Recreates Grandpa's 1942 Photo

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

An Australian woman got the ride, and the photo opportunity, of a lifetime after discovering that her grandfather’s World War II plane - a Hawker Hurricane - had been restored. So, she flew 9,000 miles to make it happen.

A restored Hawker Hurricane
Hawker Hurricane | Wikipedia

Courtney Dohnt was never able to meet her Australian grandfather who fought alongside the Brits and Allied Forces, flying in a Hawker Hurricane. The plane - called Pegs after his beloved wife Peggy - was shot down during a raid in German-occupied France in 1942. Her grandfather, Charles Bryce Watson, survived, but passed away twenty years before Courtney was born.

His stories lived on through Courtney’s family, and a photo of him alongside the plane had a prominent place in their home Down Under. Then, as luck would have it, they heard about the Hawker Hurricane being restored in Berkshire, England and got in touch in a bid to learn more about the plane.

They were astonished when they discovered restorers had even used the ‘Pegs’ tag on the paintwork, along with the kangaroo logo from his original model.

“I was so excited when I heard about the plane. I jumped at the chance to see it,” said the 38-year-old. “That picture was on our wall at home as I grew up so this experience hit me like a ton of bricks.”

She only expected to be able to view the plane and and recreate the photo, but when she got there, to her amazement, they offered to take her up in Pegs 2.0. “I got to not only see but fly in my grandfather’s RAF plane - how many people get the chance to do that?!”

Charles was part of RAF Squadron No 174, based at RAF Manston, Kent.



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