Flt Lt Jim “Zeberdee” Grey

We have just heard from the daughter of Flt Lt Jim Grey that he died on September 15th 2009 aged 86.

He had 3 tours as a 24 Squadron pilot during his RAF career;
1) at Colerne on Hastings from 1959 – 1962
2) at Colerne on Hastings from 1964 – 1967
3) at Lyneham on Hercules from 1968 – 1971

He was nicknamed ‘Zebedee’ because of his moustache, and the popularity of Magic Roundabout at the time. When his tour finished in 1971 he was 48 and had reached the limit of his flying career so he left the RAF and took up various other jobs and interests before retiring to Northumberland with his wife Joan, who died earlier this year.


One Response to “Flt Lt Jim “Zeberdee” Grey”

  1. Nev Cooper Says:

    27th Nov 2009


    Always inevitably a very sad thing to hear about, but at 86 that was a pretty good run hey Zeb? (and would hope to give ME another 10 years ‘airborne’ if I am as lucky).

    I flew with him very regularly as his MAEO on many ‘Caribbean Trainers’ from Colerne in the mid 1960’s (following my return from my tour on F.E.C.S at Changi on the VIP Hastings – WJ325).

    One I see from my logbook was quite ‘eventful’ and reads in 1967:

    MAY 16TH –
    Hastings 334 SEAWELL – VIGIE – PIARCO (Hit terminal building) 1-20 Day

    This refers that while taxiing into the ‘gate’ at Piarco (Trinidad) and having to swing to Port quite hard, the starboard wing tip took the metal balustrade right off the single storey spectators roof top gallery. It transpired that there was indeed a BOAC marshaller there on the starboard side, indicating with two arms held aloft, that the wing tip WAS going to pass clear………But alas, he was wrong. But never mind the international airport terminal building…..It didn’t do OUR wing tip any good either…..to say the least. Thank goodness also that MY little window to the world was on the other (PORT) side.

    Yet another time closer to home (In fact AT Colerne).


    Nov 28th – Hastings 621 – CPT – Landed Fosse Way — 40mins Day

    This day we had a pretty strong crosswind component from the South on R/W25 (for a tail-dragger Hastings doing Co-pilot rollers anyway). By the time ‘Zeb’ had straightened it up, and tried unsuccessfully to pass ‘control’ back to the young ‘Co Joe’……we were approaching the traffic lights on the Fosse Way all too rapidly. “Zeb’ called for an ABORT ABORT of course….but it was a little too late……we crossed the Fosse Way (by then slowly at about 10/15 Kts)…..and finished up in the ploughed field the other side, coming to a final gentle halt halfway to the wheel axles…(and then got my nice shiny black toe-capped shoes very muddy indeed while walking back onto the Fosse Way)…… 😦 😦

    NOTE: The driver in a car halted at the traffic lights was as white as a sheet lying across the bonnet of his car when we eventually walk back onto the Fosse Way. He was heard muttering loudly, “I’m never coming this b….y way EVER again”.

    GREAT TIMES (All the OTHER times anyway)……….Thank you Zeb.

    Please pass my condolences on to his daughter Dave.

    Kind Regards,


    PS: I STILL have to this day a very nice coat-hanger from the Castle Harbour Hotel in Bermuda with Zeb’s name written quite clearly on it still Dave, in my wardrobe. If she would like it, I would be prepared to let it go….although it does remind me of him (and bring a smile to my face many times) when getting changed to go out, etc?

    There is another there also which says it: “Belongs to Flt/Lt Geoff Berryman” (the Nav)….But that’s another story.

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