Old 7th Apr 2016, 21:58
  #4255 (permalink)  
Flyer Flier
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 65
RAF Anniversary 1st April

Hello again all,
I saw all the 1st April 98th RAF anniversary stuff this week and it reminded me of where I was on 1st April 1988 on the 70th anniversary.
So, I thought I would pop up my photos of the memorable trip we undertook on that day when I was down on 1312 Flt at MPA. We decided to mark the anniversary with a flight down to South Georgia to deliver the mail by air-drop to the Royal Marines at Grytviken. The crew let me invite along my friend and colleague Chris who was the Engineer Officer on the 23 Sqn Phantom detachment. We had both started Cranwell on the same day four years previously and been through training together on the same courses, so it was a nice co-incidence to be both posted down there at the same time.
The first pic shows the 1312 Flt building, complete with its mortar gate guard left over from the battles a few years earlier.

The next pic below is taken from our Q aircraft pan at "Albert Square" looking across towards the ATC tower and the fire crew to the second Hercules pan.

This next shot will have been taken over on the cross runway between the hangars of the Phantom det, where one of their aircraft has just landed and taken the RHAG with a problem. In the distance across the other side of the main runway is the white visiting Tristar in front of the large Timmy hangar.

So off we go and from the air you can see why the accommodation blocks at Mount Pleasant were called the "Death Star" from the Star Wars film. Albert Square and ATC can just still be seen the other side of the airfield next to the lake in the top left of the pic.

It's a long flight down to South Georgia from MPA, so Andy the co-pilot checks we haven't fallen asleep yet back on the bunk.

Finally the awesome scenery of South Georgia hove into view.

Certainly very impressive from our vantage point.

George the loadie makes sure he films it all for posterity up in the cupola.

Now that is what you call a glacier.

And there is Grytviken, looks like a good place to get away from the rest of the world.

Down the back the Air Dispatcher prepares the first drop of the mail out the rear door. You can see one of the internal fuel tanks of the tanker fit making it crowded down the back of XV203.

As we headed around for another pass, the Marines in their RIBs collect the first drop. As it was also April fools day, we couldn't resist attaching a bunch of empty bluey letters to the outside of the next drop, which fluttered down as if the mail had burst open causing the RIBs to rush around frenziedly until they realised the joke,.... I'm sure that wasn't standard RT phraseology they used afterwards.

After the skipper Laurie brought us around for the last drop we headed off for a quick look around the local area. It was then time to say our good-byes and set off homeward for the long return flight to MPA.

Back at Albert Square it was time for tea and medals and a photo to mark the occasion. In fact Chris on my left in the pic has only recently retired as an Air Vice Marshal. It's nice that 32 years since we joined up together, we have still kept in touch.

Finally an appropriate Falkland Islands sunset shot, which I am sure anyone who has been down there will fondly remember.

All the best for now and I will dig out some other trips with the K when time and computer allow. Cheers Steve
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