Memory of Alex Henshaw

Spitfire Site

Click on the image to enlarge As famous air-racer and holder of a London-Cape Town record, Alex Henshaw was a celebrity already before World ...


Click on the image to enlarge

As famous air-racer and holder of a London-Cape Town record, Alex Henshaw was a celebrity already before World War II. However, he is best remembered today as chief production test pilot for the Castle Bromwich Spitfire factory. In this role, he probably test-flew more Spitfires than anyone else. His aerobatics at ground level were legendary. Also, he was lucky to survive many forced landings and a catastrophic crash in the course of his work.

Alex died on 24 February 2007. Presented here is the commemorative card with his photo in the Spitfire cockpit – at CBAF and 60 years later, in a preserved Spitfire. Signed by himself and kept as memorabilia by Mr. Steve McGregor from Australia.
[Steve McGregor]

3 Comments

By Michael P. Jungers  |  2010-05-15 at 17:25  |  permalink

I have his book SIGH FOR A MERLIN,Testing The Spitfire. I Purchased the book at London Heathrow Airport 11Jun 1979….A EXCITING read.

By Michael McCleave MBE  |  2014-10-19 at 07:29  |  permalink

I have just finished reading Sigh for a Merlin by Alex Henshaw. A must read for all aviation enthusiasts. He was one of the many heroes of that time and we owe a debt of gratitude to that generation so we can live and enjoy our way of life and freedom.

By Paula Bryars  |  2017-11-16 at 11:20  |  permalink

My father, Bill Wood, worked with Alex Henshaw at Castle Bromwich in WWII. Dad was the AID man, who had to ensure that aircraft were in airworthy condition before they flew. CB had a two-seater Spitfire and Henshaw sometimes gave my father a lift to Cosford in it. On one occasion, Henshaw took the Spitfire before the compass had been correctly set. Henshaw was known for frightening the workers – flying low over their heads when they were leaving work at the Dunlop – and he also flew along Corporation Street. He wasn’t universally popular! Dad got on well with him. Once they stopped to pick mushrooms! Dad was asked by Birmingham Reference Library if he could go in to the library to identify some of their photos of CBAF, which he did, but sadly he died before he was able to complete the task.

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