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Defence mechanism against getting too emotional


Finally getting commissioned
Ken Adam Artist
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I was still not commissioned, so I was really getting pissed off by this time, you know. And I had a fantastic group commander, who was called – we called him Scotty – he was Group Captain Scott, a New Zealander, and I often used to fly No 2 to him, and I said to him, 'Scotty, if I don't get my commission this time, I want to be transferred to a Coastal Command Squadron with Sunderland flying-boats where they get eggs and bacon for breakfast!' And so he said, 'I couldn't agree more'. And he had a friend, a tennis partner, who was Sir Anthony Eden, Foreign Minister at the time, and through Eden and various other things I finally was commissioned, I think in October '44, and then had to go back to England because I had a double hernia and had to have an operation. And after the operation I rejoined the squadron which was in about February of '45.

Sir Kenneth Adam (1921-2016), OBE, born Klaus Hugo Adam, was a production designer famous for his set designs for the James Bond films of the 1960s and 1970s. Initially, he trained as an architect in London, but in October 1943, he became one of only two German-born fighter pilots to fly with the RAF in wartime. He joined 609 Squadron where he flew the Hawker Typhoon fighter bomber. After the war, he entered the film industry, initially as a draughtsman on This Was a Woman. His portfolio of work includes Barry Lyndon and The Madness of King George; he won an Oscar for both films. Having a close relationship with Stanley Kubrick, he also designed the set for the iconic war room in Dr Strangelove. Sir Ken Adam was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: UK, 1945, Anthony Eden

Duration: 1 minute, 33 seconds

Date story recorded: December 2010 and January 2011

Date story went live: 15 August 2011