RAF Memories

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4mastacker
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Re: RAF Memories

#81 Post by 4mastacker » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:57 pm

A stacker's tale.

Fairford '74. Shiney fleet temporarily detached there due to Brize's runway being re-surfaced. Yours truly in charge of one of the petrol pump attendants shifts which travelled over to Fairford every day.

The night before my shift was due to start, the off-coming day-shift man said it might be prudent to check the dip tapes on the main storage tanks as it appeared to be mis-reading - quite a common occurrence due to the age of the kit which was installed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1952 - after a cross-base fuel transfer. "How much of an error?" I asked. "It's reading about 97,000 gallons down on what it should be" was the reply. "The tape's probably sticking so give it a clout when you do your morning dip" - there was a big metal spanner kept in the tank's dip hatch ready for such occasions.

5.30 am the following morning my shift were gathering in the POL office at Brize waiting for the transport to Fairford when the phone rang. T'was a very anxious sounding OC POL* - "Get your @r$e$ over to Fairford NOW and bring every bit of spillage kit you can find".

The previous day, our man had been attempting to transfer F34 between the main tanks (over by Kempsford) and a hydrant tank on the northern loop taxiway when the pressure in the pipeline had dropped. Instead of switching off and checking for a reason, he had switched on a second set of pumps to boost the pressure. This went on for best part of 90 minutes until the man at the receiving hydrant asked when was he going to start pumping. The fuel had been erupting out of a valve pit but "Nobody seen a thing , guv".

The cross-base pipeline had burst near to Welford village and the best part of 100,000 gallons of F34 had flowed into a ditch which lead to the Thames at Lechlade, poisoning a few cows on the way. Cue a big mahoosive panic by all sorts of agencies as Oxford draws its water from a pumping station at Lechlade - Questions asked in The House, visits by MPs, senior officers and civil servants, Board of Inquiry, DoE/PSA man sent into wilderness, our man had a career-ending interview and yours truly spent three days and nights skimming F34 from the Thames. During our final night we faced the wrath of a local resident who was furious that we "had buggered up the May fly hatch and ruined the trout fishing" - got to get the priorities right.

The dip tape, for once, was giving an accurate reading although due to PSA's lack of maintenance on the system we actually recovered over 112,000 gallons of fairly useable kero from the airfield's fuel traps.


* The OC POL was still a Flt Lt when we next met about 20 years later.
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Re: RAF Memories

#82 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:18 pm

the Rocks were setting up the station bonfire
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!


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Re: RAF Memories

#83 Post by 4mastacker » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:56 pm

Fox3WheresMyBanana wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:18 pm
the Rocks were setting up the station bonfire
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!



JJS2218.jpg
If by "the Rocks" you include the Firemen (who were part of the same Trade Group) then definitely a big "Nooooo" applies if the station bonfire at a certain RAFG station is anything to go by when a "Can we have a little something to get it to burn?" resulted in official letters and an article in "Air Clues" strongly warning against the use of AVPIN for such occasions.
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Re: RAF Memories

#84 Post by ricardian » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:16 pm

A film from the 1960s showing how things were in my day as a Telegraphist; and I was part of 38 Gp for a while although that became a detachment to the army for 2 years.
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Re: RAF Memories

#85 Post by ricardian » Mon Apr 22, 2019 9:46 am

I am a Veteran.... I've swept hangars, cleaned ovens, peeled potatoes, mopped shitters, polished, bulled, dusted, litter picked the universe, painted grass green, rocks white, & polished dustbins.
I've been charged, jiffed and buggered about, fun starts, fun stops, paraded for the parade before the parade, marched up and down and back again, have a slight fetish to CS Gas, got on the bus, got off the bus, stagged on, knocked off, had remedial PT, endured beastings, jankers, long waits, attitude adjustments, spun dits, pulled up sandbags, swung lanterns, played clag and spoof, and lost at both, done 'Grab-A-Granny' in the NAAFI Bop, corridor British bulldog, corridor rugby, hangar footy, hangar cricket, speak fluent abbreviation and acronym, F1250, FMT600, F252, F1380, Compo, SOPs, AMW, MAMF, BAMF, MAMS, CYA, DILLIGAF, UFTBO, CREFF, bevy, breakfast club, gunfire, walk of shame, swore like a b*st*rd, left the soldiering to the soldiers, but loved all that came with it.
My trade was my life (well, it was for twelve years 1961-73) and those that stood with me were, are, and always will be, my family.
Proud to have been an RAF Hairy Arsed Telegraphist and serve my Country in Her Majesty’s Royal Air Force 🛫
"I HAVE NO Sausage Rolls, Pork Pies, OR NAAFI Sandwiches IN MY POSSESSION SERGEANT!"
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Re: RAF Memories

#86 Post by Alisoncc » Mon Apr 22, 2019 4:07 pm

I, too, am proud to wear one of these Ric. Will go out of my way to assist anyone wearing the same. They are all family. The pay was crap, often the work was sh*t, but there was a sense of doing the right thing for Queen and Country.

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Re: RAF Memories

#87 Post by Pontius Navigator » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:03 pm

After we were warned not to display our Service identity I was driving home in uniform when I saw this car with wife and kids broken down in Gainsborough. There were RAF clues so I stopped and helped her find a phone to ring hubby at Waddo for help.

As you say, family.

Similarly, back for in UK on a ranger, went home for weekend but could not get back to Scampton because of a rail strike. Got as far as Nottingham. Rang Newton and got MT to pick me up. Spotted an airmen similarly caught.

At Newton saw him sorted for transit and went to the Mess. Pleasantly interrogated by stn cdr and made welcome. Following day, MT summoned from Scampton picked us both up. I am sure we were not entitled but no questions asked. It was not as if I was based at Scampton, just in UK for the w/e.

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Re: RAF Memories

#88 Post by ian16th » Tue Jun 25, 2019 2:52 pm

Memories of an Exercise Sunspot, Sept/Oct 1959. RAF Luqa.

Doing some garage cleaning out and came across this:
IMG_20190625_0001.jpg
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IMG_20190625_0002.jpg
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SWMBO was not amused [-X
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Re: RAF Memories

#89 Post by ian16th » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:21 pm

Remember when............

We would proudly wear a Sqdn/Unit badge on our civilian jacket?
214 Sqdn.jpg
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Re: RAF Memories

#90 Post by ian16th » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:28 pm

The French Air Force guys wore Sqdn badges on the left breast pocket of their uniforms.

While I was at Air Base 115 Orange-Caritat we were friendly with and used the crew room of Escadron de Chasse 2/5 and we used to swap our Unit badges with them.

I received one of these:
2-5 Escadron.jpg
as a swap for one of these:
RAFLP.jpg
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Re: RAF Memories

#91 Post by Pontius Navigator » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:38 pm

There was a time when RAF aircrew also wore a sqn patch on left breast pocket and the current sqn patch on the right sleeve.

Then sqn and stn cdrs decided the crews should wear just one. Then unofficial patches, 1,000 hours this or Phantom Ghost badges started to appear. There was a time when V-Force pilots would buy US leather name badges. The rear crew couldn't as the supplier did not have a rear crew design.

Then name badges became a standard black with white border and name. Then I remember one with a tartan background. Other sqns followed with a bespoke design. Next the olive and black or sand and black.

Don't know how official these 'standards' are.

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Re: RAF Memories

#92 Post by Fox3WheresMyBanana » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:54 pm

The standard mid-80s was name & brevet (usually combined on left breast, but some Bosses were of the opinion that the Queen hadn't given you your name, so it was brevet left breast and name tag right breast), sqn crest (right sleeve)(if entitled - FJ units reserved this for Combat Ready crews), one aircraft/unit badge (left sleeve), one role badge (e.g. TLP, QWI, Falklands) (lower right front). This was actually made official at some point, and was observed. It was not done to wear badges from previous units/aircraft, except TLP. All FJ units I was on had joke names for parties, so that miscreants could not be identified by the PMC, etc. On 65 Sqn we had 40 different spellings of the Boss's name, since he would get the boll*cking from the Staish anyway. Many had their nicknames on their name badge, and one could serve for an entire tour without ever knowing what their real name was. Airshows were a law unto themselves, with much swapping of flight suits so you had no idea even which nationality someone was. I wish I could remember more but...


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