British officer served as navigator with RAF in GB, 1961-1963; served as V Force radar navigator with 148, 35 and 9 Sqdns RAF in GB and Singapore, 1963-1969; served as radar navigator instructor and staff officer with RAF in GB, 1969-1998.
REEL 1: Aspects of period in GB and Hong Kong, 1942-1960: family background including father’s career with RAF; education in GB and Hong Kong; story of voyage back to GB aboard SS Georgic with men from Gloucestershire Regt returning from Korea; father posted to RAF Bentley Priory; story of attending Watford Grammar School and opinion of headmaster Harry Ree; further description of father’s career with RAF during and after Second World War; opinion of father; opinion of education at Watford Grammar School and reason for leaving; story of passing Civil Service Commission at RAF Cranwell; reason for choosing to train as Equipment Officer rather than pilot and subsequent rejection by Cranwell; story of being turned down for job with Pan American Airways; description of work as trainee estimator with building firm Wimpey’s, 1959; story of joining RAF as navigator on cadetship, 1960. Aspects of training with RAF in GB, 1960-1961: posted to RAF South Cerney, 31/Oct/1960; attested, 1961; amusing story about service number 006; reason for wanting to be Equipment Officer; amusing story about haircut; description of 16 weeks basic training; social life; passed out top of group and posted as trainee navigator to No.2 Air Navigation School, RAF Thorney Island; description of training on Vickers Valetta and Vickers Varsity
REEL 2 Continues: posted to RAF Hullavington; problem of allergy to penicillin; passed out as navigator and posted to RAF Stradishall; description of training on Meteor NF-14 jet; comparison to Vickers Varsity; description of NF-14; number of crew; reaction to speed of NF-14; story of being posted to V Force; description of radar and navigation equipment on NF-14; role as navigator in jet plane; story about taking over as first navigator on Vickers Varsity during training exercise; ranks and promotions; passed B Examination and promoted to flight lieutenant; passed out at RAF Hullavington; reaction to being posted to RAF Bovingdon. Aspects of operations as navigator with RAF Coastal Command Communications Flight in GB, 1961-1962: description of duties in Avro Anson collecting surveillance footage from maritime stations; position of navigator; story of pilot falling asleep; story of US Lt-Commander piloting Anson for the first time; story of flying artist David Sheppard to various RAF stations; description of Anson; posted to RAF Lindholme; description of training as bomber navigator on converted Handley Page Hastings; crew; method of dropping bombs by radar tones; communication with pilot; description of radar equipment and method of locating targets including use of offsets; finished training and posted to Communications Flight at RAF Mildenhall, 1962; description of duties including flying senior officers; amusing story about smoking cigarette during flight on Avro Anson with Sqdn Leader.
REEL 3 Continues: various memories of fighter ace Johnnie Johnson at RAF Mildenhall; posted to 232 Operational Conversion Unit, RAF Gaydon; description of training as radar navigator; description of Vickers Valiant and crew; question of rank; comparison of roles of navigator radar and navigator plotter. Aspects of operations as radar navigator with 148 Sqdn at RAF Marham, GB, 1963-1965:description of Vickers Valiant and capabilities; opinion of interior; description of escape door and emergency evacuation procedure for rear crew using parachutes; story of Vickers Valiant crashing at Downham Market during training and death of crew; opinion of safety of Vickers Valiant and problem of metal fatigue; organisation of 148 Sqdn; opinion of CO Wing Commander Ken Rees; number of flying hours and range of Vickers Valiant; method of selecting targets; description of training in simulator and dinghy drill in North Sea; further comments on selection of targets; drill for scramble during Quick Reaction Alert; crews on standby at 15 minutes notice every day of year; loading of nuclear bombs; types of targets in Russia and Eastern Europe; reason for presence of American guard on board; comparison of British and US free-fall nuclear bombs; description of no-go and recall procedure; reason for dispersal of V force aircraft across GB.
REEL 4 Continues: use of code words; role of camouflaged V bombers at low level; description of low-level flying training in Canada; method of dropping bombs at low level and avoiding explosions; description of escape and evasion exercises; story of Vickers Valiant being withdrawn from service and disbanding of 148 Sqdn, 1/1965; daily routine and duties with 35 Sqdn RAF including flying with Vickers Victor crews. Aspects of period with 9 Sqdn RAF in GB, 1966: posted to RAF Cottesmore; story of discontented V force crews staging protest during dinner at RAF Waddington; opinion of Sir Harry Broadhurst and responsibility for fatal Avro Vulcan crash at Heathrow Airport, 1956.
REEL 6 Continues: Aspects of operations with RAF in Singapore, 1965-1969: reason for detachment of Vulcans from 35 Sqdn being deployed during Indonesian Confrontation; description of training in Libya; placed on Quick Reaction Alert at RAF Tengah, Singapore, 11/1965; opinion of accommodation; selection of targets; use of conventional bombs only; duties during Confrontation; description of bombing training off coast of Malaysia and training exercises with Royal Australian Air Force in Darwin, Australia; various memories of social life and off-duty activities; story of flying back to Darwin in thunderstorm; rank; reaction to being posted back to Singapore for further four months; story about Commander-in-Chief Wally Kyle cancelling second tour of duty in Singapore; story about bombing competitions in Washington, 1966 and 1967; appointed navigator radar leader, 1968; description of route to Singapore via Honolulu; story of being asked to fly in B-52 on bombing raids over Vietnam; posted back RAF Tengah, 1969; description of duties as station intelligence officer and watch-keeper in War Room, HQ RAF Far East Command, Phoenix Park.
REEL 7 Continues: Aspects of period with RAF in GB, 1969-1998: posted to 230 Operational Conversion Unit, RAF Scampton; description of duties as radar navigation instructor on Handley Page Hastings and Avro Vulcan; role during Operation Tapestry flying out to oil rigs; description of duties harassing Icelandic gunboats during ‘Cod War’ and delivering RAF mail; promoted Squadron Leader and posted to RAF Waddington; role in charge of bombing and navigation systems and maintenance of simulators; problem of Vulcan’s navigational radar being tuned for nuclear payload only; description of using simulator to teach dropping of conventional bombs; role as radar leader with 50 Sqdn RAF; description of bombing practise in US; reaction to outbreak of Falklands War, 4/1982; selection of crews; role in charge of planning Vulcan sorties to bomb runway at Stanley during Falklands War; method of bombing; use of Ascension Islands as base; role of Victor tankers for refuelling Vulcans; opinion of success of operation; posted to RAF Northwood; role in charge of planning Vulcan sorties and Shrike missile attacks during Falklands War; posed back to RAF Waddington; story of Vulcan making emergency landing in Rio.
REEL 8 Continues: conclusion of story about Vulcan; reflections on Falklands War; posted back to 50 Sqdn; description of tanker aircraft training and duties refuelling various types of aircraft; role at Nuclear Directorate; retired from RAF, 1998; amusing story of sitting on dummy nuclear bomb in mess; posted to RAF Armoured Support Unit, RAF Wittering; role training nuclear strike crews on Nimrods, Buccaneers and Tornadoes; method of disposing of nuclear bombs. Reflections on RAF career.