Guess who is this?

I was thinking it might be Matthew Webb, who swum the English Channel a couple of times, and died while trying to swim across the Niagara River down from the falls--but I looked him up on Google, and it wasn't him. Soooo, I'm thinking he might have something to do with the Ringling Bros Circus, ie weightlifter, but I don't know the fellow's name...:confused:

Clue: he was an ancestor of mine and I have mentioned him before in a post.
(Another clue, of course, is his uniform - I nearly posted a photo of him in civilian clothing but that might have made it too difficult).

Clue: he was an ancestor of mine and I have mentioned him before in a post.
(Another clue, of course, is his uniform - I nearly posted a photo of him in civilian clothing but that might have made it too difficult).

is that a postman uniform? :confused:
I have no idea who Terry Spencer is, but he's almost certainly not an ancestor of mine.
terry spencer

HE was a Battle of Britain legend and acclaimed photographer who won countless honours, a unique place in pop history and even a world record.
Terry Spencer - one of the nation's most remarkable daredevil heroes - was being mourned yesterday after dying at the age of 90.

And the adventures and audacious feats that spanned his long life seem too far-fetched even for a Hollywood movie script. He would certainly put screen idols James Bond and Jason Bourne to shame.

Incredibly, during the Second World War he put his life on the line time after time when he worked out how to destroy German doodlebug flying bombs in flight by nudging them with his wingtip, earning the nickname "Tip it in Terry".

But it did not always go his way. He was shot down in action twice and ended up in Hitler's prison camps.

True to form, he managed to escape the first time and, second time round, he was liberated.

He even took part in secret CIA missions, as well as dicing with death in a diamond smuggling operation.

After a stint as a war photographer exposing the horrors of Vietnam and conflicts in Africa, he went on to chronicle The Beatles' rise to fame with a series of unique and intimate images.

His birth in Bedford during a Zeppelin airship raid by the Germans in 1918 was an early sign of the drama that would follow him through life.

The dashing, blue-eyed bachelor joined the Army at the outbreak of the Second World War. He had gained an engineering degree but dreamed of becoming an RAF pilot.

He was posted to a squadron flying American P51 Mustangs, then the fastest fighters in the world, on death-defying raids into enemy territory.

Flying just ten feet off the ground to avoid German radar, he sped deep into France, Germany and other occupied countries attacking enemy trains, boats and military convoys.

In his published memoirs, Living Dangerously, he described how he strafed a bus packed with German soldiers near Lille in France.

He wrote: "I remember smiling as we watched bodies hurtling out through doors and windows, cartwheeling through the air as our bullets ripped into them.

"We felt totally isolated in our cockpits and did not experience any of the horrors of blood or screams. We were too busy flying at 300 miles an hour a few feet from the ground to feel any emotions about the misery we had just wrought."

Wing it ... a Spitfire clips a doodlebug
It did not take long for him to be transferred to Spitfires, in 1943, and promotion to squadron commander of 41 Squadron.

Weeks after flying D-Day combat missions over the Channel, his elite squadron was assigned to take on Hitler's latest secret weapon - the V1 doodlebug flying bomb.

Incredibly, Terry devised a technique of forcing the rockets to crash by gently clipping them with his plane's wingtip during flight, sending the internal gyroscope off-kilter and rendering them harmless.


He went on to down a record eight V1s during the war but was shot down and captured in February 1945 while strafing targets near Munster. He was taken to a German interrogation centre but escaped during the chaos of an Allied bombing raid and stole a motorbike and petrol to reach the American front line.

But his most remarkable escape came two months later when he was shot down again by a German destroyer while flying 30ft above the Baltic Sea.

His Spitfire was torn in two and, as he was catapulted into the air, badly burned, his parachute opened and saved his life. It won him a Guinness world record for surviving the lowest parachute jump ever.

He was captured in the water and liberated from a prison camp shortly before the end of the war, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross.

There was no respite after the war. In 1946 a South African tycoon hired him to fly a single-engine plane 6,000 miles to South Africa with no radio, dinghy or emergency supplies.

It was only much later that he discovered he had been smuggling diamonds secretly stashed under the front seat.

Suave ... Terry in the Sixties
He managed to find time for a personal life, marrying stunning London stage and screen actress Lesley Brook in 1947.

After mastering the camera with an aerial photography business in South Africa, Terry landed a job as a photo-journalist on the world-famous Life magazine.

He covered the infamous Sharpeville massacre in South Africa in 1960 and later described capturing on camera acts of "indescribable horror" in Vietnam.

On another assignment he posed as a French photographer to befriend Indonesia's President Sukarno at a time when Life magazine was banned there.

The leader invited him to lavish parties and even provided him with a stunning Indonesian companion during his stay.

But his cover was blown and the US embassy had to airlift him out of the country as he was about to be arrested.

Terry recalled how he once turned down an assignment in Nigeria to photograph the Sultan of Kano's harem, wiring back: "Only a woman photographer can enter harem, or possibly a eunuch. Not even for Life am I prepared to make sacrifice necessary for the latter."

Iconic ... Terry photographs Katharine Hepburn
On another Life assignment he accompanied agents on a covert CIA operation in Cuba to pick up two Soviet defectors ready to pass on atomic secrets during the missile crisis.

After landing in a small boat, some of the group were sent inland to make contact but were never seen again. It is believed they were executed by Fidel Castro's forces.

Terry's next big break came when he returned to Britain and his 13-year-old daughter Cara begged him to photograph a then little-known group called The Beatles.

With the group unheard of in the US, his editors at Life magazine were unconvinced.

But they grudgingly relented when Terry tracked down the Fab Four at the Winter Gardens, Bournemouth, and persuaded them to let him travel with them for four months.

He dined with them in cheap cafes, snapped away as they rehearsed and built up a catalogue of 5,000 revealing photos as they rose to fame.

Music legends ... Terry captures The Beatles
In January 1964 Life published a feature on John, Paul, George and Ringo, giving them precious exposure just before they launched the triumphant tour of the States.

Thirty years later, lost negatives showing them on stage, backstage, posing in front of mirrors, partying and larking about resurfaced and were sold at auction by Sotheby's.

The archive remains a unique behind-the-scenes portrait of the band just as Beatlemania began to unfold.


Terry recalled: "They really hadn't taken in what was happening to them. Backstage, of course, they were just normal human beings and apparently entirely unaffected by the overwhelming reception they were getting.

Portrait ... Terry photographs Bob Dylan
"To begin with they did resent my presence, I think, because they felt I was intruding on their privacy.

"But after a while I just became part of the furniture and in the end they really didn't know the camera was clicking."

As the Sixties progressed, he photographed other legendary musicians including Bob Dylan, screen stars including the iconic Katharine Hepburn, artist Francis Bacon, society celebrities and politicians.

Yet, despite his death-defying feats of bravery, he later said: "The only time I was ever hurt was when I was attacked by Paul McCartney after I discovered his hideaway in Scotland."

Terry's flamboyant style and taste for drama continued until his dying days.
I'm related to neither Spencer nor Bader.
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Another clue, he was later knighted for a famous flight (between the wars).
No, and no.
He and I have the same surname, but spelt differently (due to a family feud).