Seeing the photo of Mick Slorance Joe Kendrick etc eating at Little Ariff's at the end of Operation Limejug brings back great memories. It was 43(F) very first det and also a first Sqdn det for many members of the ground crew. My favourite moment was when we got back I was summoned by our Sqdn Adj (Tony Bell a real gentleman) and I believe another Sgt, Bert Collie for not paying our Mess Bills before leaving Malta for Cyprus. I tried to explain to Tony that being told about 9pm to pack your bags, get your lineys, jump on a Herc and set up a flight line to recieve some Tooms at daybreak because the ARK ROYAL and the rest of the naval fleet that we were supposed to be defending had moved on to the other side of the Med Mess Bills were the last thing on anybodys mind. I think we had to send a postal order for about 4/6d. I know Bert and I scrounged a tractor when we got to Akrotiri borrowing and perloining bits of kit to set the line up. Who could forget that ramshackle pair of trailers on G dispersal which served as an office and a stores hut.
The highlight was the end of Detachment "do" were the Sqdn plus the "Klingons" went for the kebab meal, drank all the coceneli followed by a whipround the next day to pay for all the booze we drank. Six memorable weeks.
Do you remember John on the same Detachment the whole Squadron redeployed from Malta to Cyprus leaving behind one sick FG1 requiring an engine change.
On arrival at Akrotiri our Managers nominated an engine cx. team, tool kits etc. and off they went back to Malta the next morning, I suppose they were grateful that they got one night in Cyprus!
You'll also remember how we were billeted all over the place, some at Safi, others at Halfar and some even at Luqa, good fun though and nice to have 11Sqn there with us.Who was looking after the Air Defence back at Leuchars?
AKROTIRI 111sqn were at the final **** up, all the groundcrew and aircrew half cut in the yachting club. Everyone skint and the Wing commander (Reid I think,1980)announces the Italians have closed the airspace and we're staying for an extra 2 weeks and doing night flying! Ground crew and aircrew reck the yachting club, go back reck the pen club and the coppers cannot get many drunks throwing tiles, off the roof. Wing commander has to plead with us all and eventually they come down, what a leader what timing!
Feb 29, 2008 - 2:38AM
Re: Detachment Moments
George if you also rember on that detachment we were into the second week when the usual afternoon beach run was cancelled by W/Cmmdr read and the Sengo, Sqdn/Ldr Bell. When I asked the Sengo the next day what had happened to the bus I was informed that there was a fuel conservation on and it had been decided that 111 would do their bit by cancelling the afternoon beach run which I will point out was for the groundcrew. The pilots and navs had two minibuses to run around in!! I then pointed out to the Sengo that the Lineys were up at 5am in the morning and by the time shift change came at 12 they were all ready for their lunch, down to the beach,a couple of beers, a swim and they were a happy bunch I then gave him the alternative, an afteroon boozing in the Pen Club, a game of cards in the afternoon (the CO did not like gambling) a couple of fire extingushers being set of in the name of "high jinks" and probably a bit more mayhem. Lo and behold the next day the bus was reinstated and evrything was back to normal. I remember that extra week. All the Lightnings were leaking like sieves, the Victor tankers were held up by the Italians, it was a wonder we all got back on the seventh week. 111 was not my favourite Sqdn with Read in charge
I was one of those unlucky bods who returned to Malta to replace the engine ,once we had done that, not easy believe me,and sent the toom back to Cyprus,
we then had to hitch a lift back to leuchars
with a spey engine , can you remember how long a engine was, complete with after burner and all wrapped up in a bag ,every day we went to the airport and was told not today boys come back tomorrow,we received our daily allowance from the impress and went out to spend it .
we finally got a lift off a passing hercules on the proviso we unloaded him at lossiemouth ,lol
oh happy days
Having just received Brian Crofts entry for the "club", I will always remember the said person "falling asleep in his spaghetti in the mess when confronted by the most boring man in the world (a certain Fairy NCO at the time who I wont name as it is always a bit embarrassing) Bored to death Brian stayed face down in the tomato sauce for at least 5 mins, the boring Cpl being completely oblivious to the reason!! Priceless - nice to hear from you Brian!
Brian, I was in ASF at Coningsby, 78 to 84, and there was a fairy called Chris Eaves, and men were known to go into a coma in the midst of any conversation involving him......
Oct 24, 2010 - 9:05AM
Re: Detachment Moments
Akrotiri in either '84 or '85 we had a really good bondhu burn going outside the blocks behind the mess and Pen club. The Snowdrops turned up, told us to put the fire out and go to bed but.....Mal Horton aka "Reggie The Dog" had other ideas. He manned the fire hose and squirted the snowdrops and ran away shouting "At least I'm a real corporal!" before spending the night in the lock-up.
Anyone still got the "Reggie is innocent!" T-shirt?
If so please photograph and scan it and send it in to remind us.
Great work Mal!!
Frankie Barrow posted the 29(F)Sqn T-shirts on the site, including the Bravo Team shirt from '84. He asks if anyone can remember the name of the junior pilot on the sqn who,on consecutive days,managed to land "Brakes on" and then dump his drag chute on landing causing the poor Toom to perform a pirouette on the runway (if my memory serves me right)almost causing a senior Nav to eject!
I may have worked it out. I think it was Fg Off Steve Howard. He later became the 228 OCU Phantom FGR2 display pilot in 1990 with Nige Marks in the back seat! The Boss never saw that talent in him.
I hadn't joined 43 at the time of limejug I was still a C130 sooty.
However I do recall a month long trip to Luqa to demonstrate our 24hr capping capability.
Joe Harvey in charge of the advanced party didn't bother to take wing locks, aircrew left wings folded. Main party arived after missing two nights sleep, Belfast struck by lightening (real lightening not 23sqn variety) landing in thunderstorm. One aircraft on line with outer wing resting on fuselage another suffering damage after a section of hangar roof landed on it. Capping went ok and we broke some serviceabilty records even though we had to scrounge bits off the Ark Royal to keep us going. Air traffic tottie bugled during a rear seat jolly missed the bag and reputedly asked if she could have a another trip. Don't recall getting a mess bill from Luqa on that trip.
'84 or '85 (they were blurry years!) a busload of 29(F)Sqn groundcrew turned up at the Carlsberg Brewery near Nicosia for a p*ss up at a brewery, only to find that it was closed due to a public holiday!
We did ,however, manage to convince one of the duty staff to feed us beer and show us around the place then load us up with crates for the trip back to Akkers. A great day was had by all in the end.
Same thing happened in Aalborg Brian. A Tuborg brewery trip when the brewery was closed for a public holiday. Again, they just stuck us in a room and fed us beer. Brilliant. The town took some hammer later on as well.
Luqa Malta, sitting supping ina local bar when some of dom Mintoffs bully boys burst in armed with shotguns...exit we linies...not quite THAT brave! Hot sweaty nights down 'The Gut' playing with the ladies of the night, watching a well known plumber chief on hands and knees making his way up the Gut oblivious to the world; drinks prices trebling just cos the Navy arrive, catching a well known 111 sqdn sooty having a hand job under a table in one of the bars!! early mornings with hang overs on the line, sniffing the O2 doing the gases, watching the U2 doing its crew in, and that take off!! Nights up Troudos in Platres, lazy days at Paphos in the early 70's before the tourists ruined it, Nisi beach when it was quiet and had no hotels,. Brandy sours, Keo beer, and what was the name of that nats wee the maltese called beer? Farsons I think.....its and age thing. Waiting for the big white gozomee bird to come, running out of money on our FLM wage with two weeks to go, diving in Malta and Cyprus, sunburn, constant headaches,.
Hello Paul... the Maltese `Nats wee` was Hop Leaf and Cisk.... I think one was male wee and the other was the female version !!!
Mar 27, 2012 - 7:13PM
Re: Detachment Moments
Do you remember the drunk German with a sense of humour?
After challenging you to sink a pint quickest, and losing, staggering out of the Door, with these words:
Next time we have a war you lot stay out of it!
I must admit I cant actually remeber it, but then I seem to remember I was normally wasted after any work we actually did on that detatchment. I also got a bill for John Kings matress in Sgts Mess: much to his embarassment when Chf Clerk in middle of Leuchars PSF said "Sgt King we have a bill for your matress". He was spitting feathers when he got back to the hangar!!