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Thomas J. Macfadyen

1945 - 2020

Photo below: Circa 1969 by Stuart Sim.

Some comments from life long friend Douglas Rough: Douglas had known Tom since 1956.

Tom and I have known each other the saying goes... "Pontius was a Pilate".

Of course he could be crabbit old "so and so" but, without exception, he was the best and finest aviation researcher that it has ever been my honour and privilege to know.

He was meticulous and his background to Scotland-associated military aviation was second-to-none. In February this year he, Derek Wands and myself...but mainly Tom...had just put the finishing touches to one of the hardest pieces of research ever done associated with "Wings Over Glasgow" and Renfrew Airport on the subject "RCAF/SAL at Renfrew 1954-1960" covering the complete movement details of every individual Sabre, CF-100, T-33-AN and C-45 to pass through the workshops at Renfrew. To that add the German, Greek and Turkish Sabres making a total of nearly 600 aircraft. Total co-operation from the Canadian Authorities both in data and photographs plus local enthusiasts from the 1950s+ era (eg Neil Aird) ensured that a meticulous piece of research had been completed to an exceptionally high standard. This coming winter it was all being pulled together and collectively it made a nonsense of anything previously published anywhere...including in Canada, Germany...and the UK.

To that add his exceptional knowledge of Scottish Aviation Ltd and particularly their deep involvement in Tom's great love, the Douglas DC-3/C-47 Dakota and there you have it. A quite exceptional man. There are some aviation researchers in Scotland with letters after their name (and posh prefixes) who purport to be top class researchers and writers but none match up to the abilities of the actual and latent talent of....Tom.

Not just a sad loss...but a catastrophic one.

It takes a lot to to move a crusty old bugger like me, but this news has flattened me...or as they used to say in Glasgow "put ma gas on a peep!".

Unfortunately, it is true to say that if only Tom had put even a quarter of his knowledge on paper in books and articles we'd all be so much the richer......but it was the diggin' an' sniffin' oot the gen that he he really do I.

We were in touch very recently and he was eagerly looking forward to the next BARG DVD coming out soon (DVD 1 1957-1981). In that era he'd supplied "oodles" of information and was really chuffed about seeing it permanently preserved for posterity on disc. Unfortunately, he has passed away just a couple of weeks from fruition.