British aircraftman and officer served with Royal Air Force in GB, 1961-1963; officer served with No 249 (Gold Coast) Squadron in Cyprus and Malaysia during Indonesian Confrontation, 1963-1966; served with Royal Air Force attached to Royal Navy in GB, 1966-1967; served with Royal Air Force attached to 800 Naval Air Squadron aboard HMS Eagle in various places, 1967-1968; served with Royal Air Force attached to Royal Navy in GB, 1968-1971; served with Royal Air Force in GB and West Germany, 1971-1977; served with No 12 Sqdn in GB, 1978-1981; officer with National Defence College in Latimer, GB, 1981; staff officer served with Headquarters Allied Air Forces Southern Europe NATO in West Germany, 1981-1982; officer served with Royal Air Force in GB, 1982-1983; served with No 15 (Tornado) Sqdn in West Germany, 1983-1986; staff officer served with RAF Staff College, Bracknell, in GB, 1986-1989; served with Ministry of Defence in GB, 1986-1989; officer served with Defence and Overseas Secretariat, Cabinet Office, in GB, 1989-1995; served with Defence Export Services Organisation in GB, 1995-1997
REEL 1 Background in Fordingbridge and Gosport, GB, 1943-1961: family; education; background to and process of joining Royal Air Force including selection tests at RAF Hornchurch; membership of Air Training Corps; end of education; civilian work; details of Outward Bound course attended; posting to No 1 Initial Training Wing at South Cerney. Aspects of period as aircraftman and officer with Royal Air Force in GB, 5/1961-7/1963: details of airbase; accommodation; pattern of training; discipline; background of recruits; cleaning of barrack room and inspections; drill; change of accommodation; leisure activities; visit home; exercises including in Wales; reason for repeating course. REEL 2 Continues: rank following initial training wing; posting to No 2 Air Navigation School at Lavington including period with holding unit; description of base at Lavington; pattern of training including meteorology; training with and make-up of survival equipment; further details of training received; description of flying classrooms including exercises undertaken within them and reaction to selection as navigator; advanced navigation training with No 1 Air Navigation School at RAF Stradishall including navigation in jet aircraft; passing out and posting received; details of visual bombing course undertaken at RAF Lindholme including activities of bomb aimer. REEL 3 Continues: posting to 231 Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Bassingbourn; description of base; details of English Electric Canberras at RAF Bassingbourn; pattern of training including exercises in simulator; description and navigation of the English Electric Canberra; posting to Cyprus; details of flight to Nicosia. Aspects of period as officer with No 249 (Gold Coast) Squadron in Cyprus and Malaysia during Indonesian Confrontation, 8/1963-8/1966: knowledge of situation in Cyprus; coach journey to and arrival at RAF Akrotiri; details of RAF Akrotiri including squadrons present; accommodation; details of uniform; civilian workers in camp; working week; nuclear bomb training with Red Beard in GB and Cyprus. REEL 4 Continues: pattern of training including bombing exercises; RAF Stations in Mediterranean; nuclear bombing exercises; details of and role within Central Treaty Organisation; exercises with Central Treaty Organisation forces including visits to Persian Gulf and Pakistan; trials of marker flares; shallow dive bombing; news of posting in Borneo; short posting at RAF Gan; return journey to RAF Akrotiri including story of meal in Karachi; details of visits to RAF Sharjah; flying over deserts. REEL 5 Continues: details of period in crew of de Havilland Devon shared by air attachés to Ankara, Tehran and Oman including problems during flight into and treatment in Baghdad and navigation en route to Beirut; flight to RAF Kuantan, 5/1965; training and briefings including target allocated to crew to bomb from RAF Akrotiri; flights over Borneo; preparation for raids; leisure activities; details of RAF Kuantan including accommodation; reports of tiger; explanation of term, pan; defence of airfields in Far East; further details of RAF Kuantan; leisure activities; flying suits worn; description and use of a Tree'scape; weapon carried; contents of escape and evasion kit. REEL 6 Continues: survival training; problems from wildlife and humidity; thunderstorms; navigation including annotation of maps; return to Cyprus, 8/1965; activities of unit; background to posting on loan to Royal Navy; disembarkation leave; flight of car to GB; journey to RNAS Lossiemouth; reactions to posting. Aspects of period as officer with Royal Air Force attached to Royal Navy in GB, 10/1966-6/1967: fellow RAF staff at RNAS Lossiemouth; reception on arrival; radar training received; training course undertaken with 736 Squadron including description and use of simulator and details of flights in Hawker Hunter and Blackburn Buccaneer. REEL 7 Continues: details of Blackburn Buccaneer including make-up and use of navigation equipment; description of plotting table and stationery; publications carried; further details of equipment used by navigator; view from position; background and design of Blackburn Buccaneer including navigation equipment; roles of crew members in different situations. REEL 8 Continues: description of RNAS Lossiemouth aka HMS Fulmar; comparison of service in Royal Navy and Royal Air Force; experience required by pilot posted on an aircraft carrier; adaptation of runway at RNAS Lossiemouth for training; catapult take-off practice; briefings about life on aircraft carrier; dealing with in-flight emergencies; process of joining 800 Naval Air Squadron; involvement in attempt to control oil spill from the Torrey Canyon including problems with dropping bombs, 30/3/1967; differences between Royal Navy and Royal Air Force; preparation of 800 Squadron for service on carrier. Aspects of period as officer with Royal Air Force attached to 800 Naval Air Squadron aboard HMS Eagle in various places, 6/1967-1968: deck landing practice; role of landing site officer. REEL 9 Continues: problems when landing on an aircraft carrier; process of take-off including differences at night; details of the coney; process of landing on an aircraft carrier in Blackburn Buccaneer Mk II including differences at night; description of the deck including further details of landing and taxiing after landing. REEL 10 Continues: procedures following landing in water; details of an incident on deck; clothing worn when flying including description of types of immersion suit; conditions in which immersion suit had to be worn; wearing of immersion suit; help gained from clothing when in water; question of problems from heat; storage and maintenance of kit; joining of HMS Eagle including route taken to Far East; delivery of provisions for voyage; aircraft exchange including watching operations from gun direction platform; description of the crossing the line ceremony; deck hockey; red cap races; concert parties. REEL 11 Continues: activities during voyage including visits to different departments of carrier; reasons for learning how the ship runs; flying periods; description of dinners at the end of flying periods including discipline and details of officers' mess; route taken to and activities at Aden; period in Australia; reason for return to Indian Ocean; reconnaissance patrols over Aden; low flying through wadis; photo reconnaissance training; taking photographs during patrols including potential problems; allocation of roles to crews; withdrawal from Aden. REEL 12 Continues: accommodation; supply of meals; Sunday tea; cigarette and rum rations; background to subsequent postings in GB. Aspects of period as officer with Royal Air Force attached to Royal Navy in GB, 1968-1971: details of staff navigation course undertaken at RAF Manby including tests and flights; description of the Dominie Hawker 1000 T1; details of courses given as instructor at RNAS Lossiemouth with 736 Naval Air Squadron; differences between Blackburn Buccaneer Mks I and II; details of crashes at RNAS Lossiemouth leading to grounding of Blackburn Buccaneer Mk I. REEL 13 Continues: discussion of problems with Blackburn Buccaneer Mk I; opinion of what makes a good instructor; problems when landing Blackburn Buccaneer; standard of Royal Navy and Royal Air Force recruits; life in Lossiemouth including married quarters and family; flying in Eastern Scotland including climate; return to Royal Air Force. Aspects of period as officer with Royal Air Force in GB and West Germany, 1971-1977: gaining of permanent commission; pattern of staff officer training and background to posting with Headquarters No. 1 Group at RAF Bawtry, 1972; make-up of staff. REEL 14 Continues: details of weapons employment course including tour of West Germany, 1971; accommodation; reflections on promotion to squadron leader, 1/1974; duties in Buccaneer Office including visits to squadrons and organisation of and involvement in exercise programme; background to posting with RAF Headquarters in West Germany; buying of car; accommodation in West Germany; duties as Command Weapons Officer including problems with 28lb practice bomb. REEL 15 Continues: further details of duties as command weapons officer including involvement with reconnaissance over East Germany; background to gaining next posting at RAF Honiton. Aspects of period as officer with No 12 Sqdn in GB, 1978-1981: details of unit and period since last flying tour; details of refresher courses including leisure activities and conditions in Germany; make-up and roles of squadron leaders including activities of squadron; opinion of role; reputation and role of squadron. REEL 16 Continues: weapons in unit including description and use of missile systems; bombing tactics including use of radar; use of 2" rockets; exercises including leading formations; training for nuclear war including allocated target and delivery of bomb; inspections from weapons standardisation team including further details of dealing with problems in aircraft and delivery of nuclear bombs; preparations for weapons standardisation team inspections. REEL 17 Continues: details of NATO squadron exchange with French Air Force at Nancy including story of pilot just released from prison; role of exchange programme; details of German Air Force exchange group at RAF Honiton; story of incident at Tintagel including no-fly areas in GB and results of incident; flying in formation with German exchange airmen; introduction of navigators to German airmen; near cancellation of next exchange with German Air Force; details of exchange in West Germany; background to grounding of Blackburn Buccaneer, 1980, including involvement in exercises with US Air Force; events and activities while planes were grounded. REEL 18 Continues: liaison visit to Nancy; flights in Hawker Hunter; changes to Blackburn Buccaneer squadrons including posting to RNAS Lossiemouth and amalgamation with No 216 Squadron; organisation of move from RAF Honiton to RNAS Lossiemouth; exercises with incoming commanding officer; posting to National Defence College at Latimer. Aspects of period as officer with National Defence College in Latimer, GB, 1981: details of college; role of course; details of course including liaison with police; visits to Royal Navy and Army; lectures; background of students including security level of information given; awards of Air Force Cross and General Service Medal. REEL 19 Continues: news of promotion to wing commander; posting to Ramstein. Aspects of period as staff officer with Headquarters Allied Air Forces Southern Europe NATO in West Germany, 1981-1982: reason for posting to NATO; details of unit; process of inspecting squadrons including writing and delivering reports and testing without notice; restrictions on work; strong and weak points of squadrons from different nations; background to posting with ; categories of assessment; political nature of grading; relationship with national representatives and officers at bases. REEL 20 Continues: opinion of reason for strong record of British squadrons; problems created by German attitude to bad weather; assessment of Belgian and Dutch Air Forces; improvement in US Air Force's test results; planning of tests; production and processing of reports; shutting down of Dutch Air Force in August; scenarios used during tests; grading of inspections; impressions of Canadian Air Force; evening debriefings including communication with European colleagues. Aspects of period as officer with Royal Air Force in GB, 1982-1983: accommodation; details of Panavia Tornado conversion course attended including staff and students; formation of crews for course; navigation refresher course; further details of Panavia Tornado conversion course; comparison of Blackburn Buccaneer and Panavia Tornado. REEL 21 Continues: further comparison of Blackburn Buccaneer and Panavia Tornado; content of conversion course; comparison of navigation in Blackburn Buccaneer and Panavia Tornado including preparations before flights and problems with loading information into computer; in-flight and post-flight activities of pilot and navigator; automatic and manual delivery of weapons from Panavia Tornado. Aspects of period as officer with No 15 (Tornado) Sqdn in West Germany, 1983-1986: details of unit at RAF Laarbruch; introduction of Panavia Tornado to squadron; amalgamation of Blackburn Buccaneer crews into No 16 Squadron; handover parade; initial problems with squadron morale; tactical evaluation; background of squadron members. REEL 22 Continues: reasons for nervousness towards Panavia Tornado; weapons exercises in Sardinia; shortages of spare parts; initial criticisms of and concerns about Panavia Tornado; preparations for exercises including low level flying and reason for doing so manually; involvement in Maple Flag exercises in Canada; details of incident in Canada and decision to not report it; story of subsequent inquiry; reprimand on return to GB; reflections on entire incident. REEL 23 Continues: tactical evaluation at end of 1985; role and duties as squadron commander including relationship with civilians and make-up of staff; training and activities of squadron; background to posting in Bracknell; reflections on posting with 15 Squadron. Aspects of period as officer with RAF Staff College, Bracknell, in GB, 1986-1989: duties with foreign students; relationship with commandant; sports; lectures and visits; organisation of college; method of teaching courses; running of computer war game including visits to US and Canada. REEL 24 Continues: introduction of Local Area Network and further details of computer war game; details of US Air Force Staff College at Montgomery, Alabama; size of Panavia Tornado computer; involvement in creation of computer war game for staff course at Camberley. Aspects of period as staff officer with Ministry of Defence in GB, 1986-1989: details of role with Air Staff; details of Ministry of Defence; duties on nuclear desk including key issues during posting and changes following fall of Soviet Union; desire for and chances of further promotion; offers of postings; accommodation; gaining of posting in Defence and Oversea Affairs Secretariat. REEL 25 Continues: interview for post in Cabinet Office; Aspects of period as officer with Defence and Overseas Secretariat, Cabinet Office, in GB, 1989-1995: make-up of staff; duties including role of secretariat; involvement in discussions on wartime broadcasts; involvement in emergency planning; ordering of deployment of nuclear weapons; activities in secretariat during Balkan Wars including clout of position; involvement in counter-terrorism including Cabinet Office Briefing Room meetings, contingency plans and exercises; details of secretariat posting; handover of role to navy; further details of involvement with wartime broadcasts. REEL 26 Continues: reflections on posting; gaining posting with Defence Export Services Organisation. Aspects of period as officer with Defence Export Services Organisation in GB, 1995-1997: make-up of organisation; advice given to civil servants; training given to air attachés; work of air attachés in selling weapons abroad; visits abroad; further details of organisation including involvement in export licensing; discussion on export of weapons; background to gaining civilian work with Northrop Grumman; departure from Royal Air Force.