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Last NCO Pilot entry?

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Last NCO Pilot entry?

Old 24th Oct 2014, 14:01
  #61 (permalink)  
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There were 2 NCO QFIs on 1 Sqn at Cranwell 64. time, and ISTR each disappeared for a few weeks and reappeared as a fg off. Cannot remember the names but will look in my log book
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 14:16
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"Cherry Springate and Mel Buckley". (Post #56)
They were on my Varsity course, as was Keith Macbrayne, who was then on my MOTU course. (See Post #50) If C.S. and M.B. went to choppers, then I am pretty sure there was another, as I definitely recall two of them on 205, one being K.M. There was also Horace Gallop, who was already on my first Sqn, 206, in 1965 when I arrived, so he must have been a course or three ahead of us.
I wonder if there was a policy at one stage of posting the Shack N.C.O. pilots overseas, as the overseas Shacks did not carry the same weapon load as the U.K. based ones, and the cousins were not happy about non commisioned captains carrying a certain bit of Kit.
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 14:51
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I did National Service 1951-53 and was commissioned as a Navigator. There were still a large number of NCO aircrew then, including my brother who was a Master Pilot, and QFI.
All recruitment then was was commissioned Pilots and Navigators, but I believe some NCO Radar and Radio aircrew were still being accepted.
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 14:59
  #64 (permalink)  

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Wow. An 8 year resurrection. Is that a record?
MG, I had no idea you'd been away so long..
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 15:09
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My advanced flying training was done at Thorney in the mid 50s and there was almost a preponderance of NCO pilots there - a lot of brass eagles on left breast pocket flaps!!!
My 1st posting out of Boys service was to BCBS Lindholme 1954, we had Lincolns and Varsity's. Most of the Lincoln pilots seemed to be NCO's, many sported the Pathfinder badge and the other common denominator, many were Polish!

Deciphering signatures in the F700 was a challenge
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 15:24
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nco pilots

Chick Parkinson was the other sgt pilot
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 15:24
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A bit of a long shot really ... But does anyone remember a Master Pilot by the name of Alec Hammond ? Sadly he is no longer with us, he passed away in 1999 aged 76.

Alec served most of his flying career in England, but he also served in Canada as a QFI, training British and Canadian Pilots in the 1940's (on Harvards) and later serving in Singapore and Germany (RAFG Comms Squadron late 60's) during the 1950's & 60's. Alec served a total of 37 years with the Royal Air Force completing over 6000 solo hours as an NCO Pilot. He eventually retired from the Reserves (AEF Chipmunks) in the late 70's ... interestingly he had to be commissioned as a P/O in the RAFV(T) to be an AEF Pilot ... which he thought highly amusing.

On leaving the Regular RAF in the late 60's/early 70's he worked in the City for a Bank ... I believe he finally retired as a village postman here in East Sussex ... a great chap and exceptional pilot who had many interesting tales to tell.

A couple of pics that might help ...

Alec Hammond (Left) : As Sgt Pilot with his Co-Pilot (Ralph ?) : Ansons (which I now know is an Oxford)

Alec Hammond (BR 4th Left) : No 1 Squadron RAF 1963 : Hunters

Best ...


Last edited by CoffmanStarter; 25th Oct 2014 at 10:18.
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 16:46
  #68 (permalink)  
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What's a Nav? Sgt doing on a Hunter Sqdn.?
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 16:50
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Somebody has to plan for them if they go out of the circuit.
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 16:53
  #70 (permalink)  
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1 Sqn - bosses name and face seem familiar, but cannot think why. Was he at the Towers in the 60s?
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 16:59
  #71 (permalink)  
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Wha do you call a Master Pilot/Nav/Sig/AG/LM/Uncle Tom Cobbley 'n All ?

Rigga, (Your #14 - a long way back !)

"I remember referring to him as "Mister" Riddoch, a term he seemed to like very much!"

So he should, it was his correct form of address (from above and below), as a rebadged Warrant Officer.

(So it was with P/Os and F/Os).

Old 24th Oct 2014, 17:09
  #72 (permalink)  
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On my first posting as an 'Assisting Air Traffic Contoller' at a secret airfield not far from Cambletown, aka RAF Machrihanish, there was a certain Master Pilot by the name of ' Blackie' Blackwell.
He would say that due to his flying pay, as he'd flown most types in the RAF inventory, including the Hornet, he was the most highly paid person on the unit, the Staish being a lowly Wg Cdr Admin wallah.
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 18:47
  #73 (permalink)  
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"Chick Parkinson was the other sgt pilot"
Of course. He was on 30/84 at Oakigton and latterly on 205 (Post #50)
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 19:25
  #74 (permalink)  
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In the Spring of 1965 there was a young sergeant pilot on "F" Flight of 2 Squadron, the Meteor target towing flight at Chivenor. He was on his first tour after training. I can only surmise that he was not considered suitable for a commission when he got his wings but after a short time on the flight he made the grade. A good egg.

In June '65 I was posted to Seletar where there were several nco pilots on the Whirlwinds.
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 20:17
  #75 (permalink)  
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Went to S Cerney as a J/T,sub Cpl,A/Sgt(aircrew cadet) in `62/3`; lovely,bracing BreconBeacons,frozen rivers,and `zip` wires,lived in the Sgt`sMess Annex with 4 other ex-airmen , with our own `batman`....no `bulling`,polishing,etc whilst all the rest on 181Cse were learning the ropes..much time spent playing snooker whilst the `orfissers` had haircuts/polished boots/brasses,blancoed belts/ends of rifles to be avoided ,etc. Went to Syerston after that,but I think we may have been down to 3 ,or were shortly after..Myself,Bill Taylor and Pete/Dave .? Harris.
Other NCO Aircrew there were,Jim Lawn,K McBrayne,Al Mavin,and `Smudge`Smith,on course ahead of us(160 Cse).We were told that we were the last NCO Pilot Cse,assuming that was RAF wide.The course that had just graduated had been `p***ed-off because the `trophies`( best handling/navigation/ground-school/aeros/had all been won by George ? Black? ,a Sgt pilot,who would have won the Leadership trophy as well,but was deemed `ineligible`.... Think he was commissioned straight away.....
My main instructor was MPlt Alex Naismith,and there were several other Masters there as well,also in the Link Trainer,and the Station Nav,both Polish(Z S Boyko?); Station Barber was Polish as well.....
Anyway,in the fullness of time, Bill Taylor and I both got our Wings; mine is dated 20March 1964 in the logbook,but I have no date for the graduation Parade,even though I was a `pimply swot` and got the G/School trophy.
Other names(horfissers) on the course were Frame ,Budd,Ray,King ,Goddard,Dacre,Fisher,H-Baker,Wyer....
Taylor went to Shacks..later BA I believe ;I didn`t fancy being a co on Hastings/Bevs/Shacks,and we,as NCOs were not allowed to fly real jets,so I went to helos...
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Old 24th Oct 2014, 21:03
  #76 (permalink)  
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Jenks, I really don`t remember whether any of the guys at either S-C,or Syerston,who `dropped out`,went to be Navs or whether we were training NCO Navs at the time....was only interested in the stick and pedals....only when I got to the Far did I meet my first Nav.and he was as old as my Father..!
I know `Marvellous` went to TwinPins,probably in Mid-East..? later met again at `Sheffield Doncaster RobinHood`/aka Finn on the `Wetdream`...as he was leaving for the CAA..?
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Old 25th Oct 2014, 05:57
  #77 (permalink)  
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In all of this Thread, I've seen no mention of F/Sgt Ron King. Ron returned from IIRC 225 Sqn and was commissioned at about that time (late 1964/5) and became a QHI. His photo appears in a history of 84 Sqn but I don't know what happened to him and can't track him through the Retired List.

Hanging on the wall of my downstairs loo (being posh, the house has more than one inside and all with a flush too) is a framed photo of Whirlwind 10 serial XP405. Ron brought this aircraft to RAF Upwood in June 1974, whilst scrounging a Skeeter which I had on 'my slop chit' and which was cleverly concealed in the middle of an empty 4400 sq ft aircraft shed.

Ron gave me a quick 20 minute flight around the local area, which proved to be the last time I went in the type.

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Old 25th Oct 2014, 07:10
  #78 (permalink)  
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I had the good fortune to be Jock Naismiths NCO student on the course (156) which you followed after our graduation in May '63. Subsequently, after being commisioned in Jan '64 I returned to Syerston as a "scummed off" QFI. Took 3 more years of JP driving before I could grab a Hunter slot at Chivenor.
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Old 25th Oct 2014, 09:07
  #79 (permalink)  
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In 65/66 at RAF Strubby, there was a regular weekend visitor. A Meteor from Chivenor would turn up late in the afternoon (unit callsign was either 63 or 69, IIRC) and out would step Sgt Boulter. His squeeze would pick him up in her Jaguar, and return him to the airfield on Monday morning for his return flight to Chivenor. No idea what he did at Chivenor - I doubt anyone saw him for more than a few minutes in dispersal
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Old 25th Oct 2014, 09:54
  #80 (permalink)  
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Coffman Starter - That Anson is an Oxford
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