Life
Woman finds exact replica of late grandfather’s WWII plane and honors him in a special way
Charles Bryce Watson, the woman's Aussie grandfather, fought alongside the Brits and Allied Forces and even flew a plane in his military years.
Caryl Jane Espiritu
11.08.22

Courtney Dohnt, an Australian woman, never met her grandfather, but she knew he fought in WWII.

Pexels - Pixabay
Source:
Pexels - Pixabay

Charles Bryce Watson, the woman’s Aussie grandfather, fought alongside the Brits and Allied Forces and even flew a plane in his military years.

The plane he had was a Hawker Hurricane, also named Pegs, inspired by her grandmother named Peggy.

Unfortunately, the plane was shot and it went down in 1942.

Charlie survived the tragedy, but he died twenty years before Courtney was born.

Facebook - RAF Association
Source:
Facebook - RAF Association

Despite not actually meeting her grandpa, Courtney knew all about him through the stories she heard in their family.

A photo of Charlie is posted on the family home’s walls for the longest time, and Courtney always wondered about the cool man who was standing beside an imposing Hawker Hurricane, looking confident and happy with where he was at the moment.

Pexels - Vlad Chetan
Source:
Pexels - Vlad Chetan

Since her younger years, Courtney has been aware of her grandfather’s contribution during wartime, and she remains to be in awe of his incredible achievements.

He may not have met him, but hearing about the stories in their family made it feel like she knew him personally, too.

The family heard about the restoration of Charlie’s plane.

Facebook - RAF Association
Source:
Facebook - RAF Association

Courtney and her family were made aware that the Hawker Hurricane flown by their patriarch was being stored in Berkshire, England.

They did not waste any time and looked for ways to know more about it.

When they saw the restored plane, the family was surprised that the people who did the restoration also kept the name “Pegs” and the kangaroo logo that was also placed on the plane’s original model.

The plane looked exactly like the one in their grandfather’s photo.

Looking at the plane from the photo made Courtney and her family feel as if they were seeing another moment in time.

The build and even the design of the fighter plane resembled Charlie’s plane completely.

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

YouTube Screenshot - SWNS
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - SWNS

Courtney flew across 9,000 miles to the UK to see the plane in person.

The 38-year-old woman decided to finally go to the UK and see the replica, which now flies as part of the commemorative flights.

Upon her arrival, she immediately recreated her grandfather’s photo which hung on their Australian home’s wall.

“It was so overwhelming to be able to see that plane, with ‘Pegs’ painted on the side for my grandmother, just like in the photo of Charles.”

Hurricane Heritage, the restoration company, was excited to meet Courtney.

The people at Hurrican Heritage shared with Courtney that they opted to keep the boxing kangaroo logo to honor the Australian background of the plane.

The plane flew out of Manston in northeast Kent and was part of the RAF Squadron no. 174.

YouTube Screenshot - SWNS
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - SWNS

Her wish was only to take a recreated photo beside the plane, but she got more than she expected.

She was invited to ride on the plane, too! It was a chance that she instantly grabbed.

“A pilot flew me out, and a spitfire pilot even flew out with us in formation. He flew beside us like cat and mouse. We were doing barrel rolls, loops and going upside down!” Courtney excitedly shared.

The experience was definitely an exhilarating one for the woman.

See how she honored her late grandfather in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Caryl Jane Espiritu
hi@sbly.com
Caryl Jane Espiritu is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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