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Gutersloh, Mid 70s

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Gutersloh, Mid 70s

Old 30th Dec 2007, 18:41
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That was when we had a Royal Air Force
Happy days long gone

Back to reality

One for the Lightning boys:

There was at least 8 Lightning airframes still present in 1980.

...& the new kid on the block:

..whose driver may well now be CinC Air Cmd

Last edited by Tiger_mate; 30th Dec 2007 at 22:50.
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Old 30th Dec 2007, 20:37
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ROG - great to see proper aircrew in proper uniforms and proper aeroplanes....


How did it all go so wrong......
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Old 30th Dec 2007, 21:16
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Also jolly nice to see the pilots in the front row and the navigators behind.

Awaiting incoming navigator retaliation!
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Old 30th Dec 2007, 22:10
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Charliegolf,

Yes, quite shocking result!.........On promotion, too!
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 13:08
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The memorial to the fallen Russians is still there, or was the last time I ran past it...and looks a lot more healthy than in your photo Tiger_mate. Tonight is 'blitz night' here in Gut, with every German armed with at least three packets of fireworks the evening should go with a bang..if the fog lifts.
If anyone is intrested in any 'then and now' type pics, let me know and I will try and get some (within reason).

whoops...
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 17:58
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Gutersloh Memories

Ah Gutersloh ........................ great memories of probably the best RAF station ever, as those who were fortunate enough to be posted there will readily testify and probably the station with more available cash for station ‘goodies’ than anywhere else, thanks mainly to SAFAIR.

I was lucky enough to do two tours there – as a bachelor in the late 1970s when I saw the end of the Lightnings and the arrival of the Harrier and then again as a married man with a 'fun detector' and 2 kids in the late 1980s early 1990s when the Cold War ended and the first Gulf War took place - I eventually departed not long before the station finally closed.

Here are some photos I’ve dug out from the attic which might bring back a few memories:

These shots were all taken by a local farmer whom I got to know. He used to spend hours hanging around the airfield with his camera and probably has more photos of the Gutersloh Lightning F2As than anyone else:

















Pete Stone on Q - he must have been one of the few blokes who could fly a Lightning but couldn't drive a car! I watched his farewell flypast from the balcony of the Tower and regret not having my camera. After the events of that day he returned to Gutersloh and was confined to the Officers Mess for a couple of months. It didn't seem to bother him a bit as he spent most of the time in the Keller Bar with the lovely Claudia and the KOS for company. After a 'hat on and no coffee' meeting with a wheel at HQ RAFG he departed only to re-appear at Gutersloh flying Harriers during my second tour. Sadly I was also around when the T4 he was flying crashed near the Emms.


The superb Officers Mess with Gorings tower on the right:


You hadn't really arrived in the KOS until you'd used this in anger a couple of times:


Gorings Room:


May the beam bend:


The 18 Sqn corner in the main bar of the Mess with four well known SH characters from the late 1970s and onwards enjoying themselves:


The Keller Bar - scene of many KOS parties with the local teachers:


Happy days .................. and my liver only just survives!!

Heimdall

Last edited by Heimdall; 31st Dec 2007 at 18:43.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 18:13
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These shots were all taken by a local farmer who I go to know.
Will that be the Farmer who was also a Journalist & Professional Photographer who lived at the 90` RH bend on the Blankenhagen Road. (Where road and rail split) The one that would have made James Bond look like an amateur when it came to gathering intelligence, for he had an entire room with literally thousands upon thousands of slides of every aircraft to have been at Gutersloh since WWII. I am crap at names but he could have been 'Eric', either way, he proved that 'friendly interrogation' works every time.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 18:39
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The local farmer

That's the fella - Erich Westersoetebier!! In the 1970s he appeared to be the unofficial 19 Sqn photographer and when they knew he was on the Bailly Bridge over the Emms they used to 'pose' the Lightnings so he could get the right shot. He even flew in their T bird a couple of times, so he was in a very fortunate position. I think he still lives in the same farm - I'm only surprised he's never made any money out of his massive photo collection.

Heimdall
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 19:48
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Stichbitches 'then and now' challenge:


Transporters
An RAF C130 & FAF C160

Fighters
USAF F4
FAF Mirage
RAF F4
.....a sqn of each

& out of sight, a USAF C130 that has just landed and streamed a 'brake chute', which has to epitomise taking the urine out of the fighter jocks.

Bofors guns visible beyond and left of the fighters.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 20:04
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This reminds me of all the hard work at the Gut, which I now look back on quite nostalgically. I was in ATC 83-86 and lived at Blankers in Brown Square, then 90 to closure living out at Ummeln.




BD
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 20:52
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Tiger_mate, that photo must have been taken during a BOLD GAUNTLET?

I did one of those (exactly on the 40th anniversary of the Dams raids...), but by then the USAF (who took it all very seriously) had F-15s, we still had the F-4 and the Frogs still had Mirages. I think there were also a few noisy little puffer jets at Gut at the time, but no-one paid much attention to them or their pilots.....

The aim was allegedly to demonstrate our willingness to escort transport aircraft along the 'passageway' (you weren't allowed to utter the word 'corridor') in transition to war. But really it was a glorious pi$$-up!

After the C-130 captain and I had given 'BOGPO' (BOLD GAUNTLET Project Officer) a one-sided debrief about technicalities such as allowances and accommodation, things became really rather civilised....

Usually.

One night though, we went back to the OM for a sherbet or few. A tool-screecher came and joined our group; after about 5 minutes she suddenly leant forwards and put her arms around some French fighterrpeelotte who was with us. This seemed to indicate that, in the modern vernacular, she was, as they say, 'up for it'. Said Frog sucked on his cigarette, carefully put it down, had a quick gulp of beer, then disappeared down into the Keller bar with the rampant schoolie in tow....

About 10 min later, having obviously DCO'd, he came back, picked up his cigarette and beer, then continued the conversation he'd been having before he'd been 'required' elsewhere. Now that was style!

Stoney. What a chap. He was one of the drunken reprobates of 7 Hunter refresher course at Valley after his AFTS course. Along with folk like Manning and Prissick! They occasionally had 'Nasty Newc'ie' nights on the Geordie brew in the OM - even getting themselves thrown off the OM lawn for being 'improperly dressed' in 1975!

One day after one such session, (perhaps Jindabyne remembers the occasion), a GT6 Hunter came into the circuit with Stoney at the helm, having announced fuel priority. He broke into the circuit, wobbled a bit downwind, then flew a somewhat erratic circuit before overshooting. This definitely got the attention of the Duty Pilot and everyone else; fortunately his next circuit and landing were impeccable.

"WTF did you bloody overshoot?", asked the Auth.

"Errm, well, the thing is that I wasn't feeling terribly well and after the break I barfed all over the instruments downwind and couldn't read the ASI. So I had to overshoot and clean the honk off with my glove...."

"Arse!"

I next encountered Stoney at Chivenor when it re-opened. Just the same as ever, but with a gorgeous German wife who was about 7 ft tall. He was awarded the 'Stoney Weave' trophy by our course - for the most impressive instructional cock-up of the course. One day, after the cine weave level break and intial pull up, instead of rolling out at the correct moment, Stoney kept pitching and rolling through a huge half barrel roll..... Which was a bit of a bugger for us to 'range and track'.

When the QWIs did the film debrief, after pi$$ing themselves with laughter, they fined Stoney several pigs for totally cocking up the exercise. They did compliment fellow student 'Bones' Jones and I for coping with Stoney's aeros and getting some quite reasonable scores - but also pigs-ed mightily us for not noticing Stoney's cock up.

It was a very great pleasure to have known one of the last real characters of the RAF before the era of the 'grey men' who now hold sway. And truly a very sad day for all when he bought the farm.

RIP, you old rascal!

Last edited by BEagle; 31st Dec 2007 at 21:38.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 21:05
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I was fortunate enough to spend a few years at Gutersloh in the late 80s - Gawd it was hard

Names that have stuck:

Pete Stone, Paul 'Ada' Adams, Dave Sunderland, Jim McMenemy and a good few more. From those that 'survived', Charlie McIlroy, Ash Stevenson , Pat leach (saw him in a BA uniform a couple of years back), Johnny (I only had a pint before driving to the bratty wagon, officer) Lawson, Mark Zanker (was that his Jag, sorry GR5, being lifted out of the Ems?) and of course a couple of sqn ldrs (D Walker and C Loader).

I'll dig out a few photos in the next day or so.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 21:28
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Beagle, this one was a Lancer not a Gauntlet, (circa 1980) but the protocol was the same.

If Paul Adams was known as 'Grizzly' in Belize 88 and also parked a cab in the Ems he is another example of the good dying young. As was the chap who went on a one way trip to Belize, (GR3) whose name I forget sadly.

It was a USAF/USMC suicide posting in the latter half of the seventies. Thankfully not when Maj Chas Mudie USAF was driving a T4 with me in the back.
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Old 31st Dec 2007, 22:26
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The 18 Sqn corner in the main bar of the Mess with four well known SH characters from the late 1970s and onwards enjoying themselves:
Al Boulden, Mike Barter and John Kennedy playing with... something of the late George McCracken's....!

I was at Gutersloh slightly later, October 1980 till December 1983, when 230 took over from 18.

I had looked forward to meeting with an old creamie QFI mate, Nigel Storah, recently arrived there on Harriers. Unfortunately, as I drove in through the main gate a pall of black smoke drifting over the airfield; Nige's Harrier had rolled over approaching the hover due to a puffer duct control linkage failure. He ejected but too late, the aircraft was already through 90 degrees AOB and he impacted the football pitch, still in his seat. RIP Nigel

I got quite used to attending scenes of tent-pegged jets over the next few years, including the tragic one of Dutch Holland's terrible Harrier accident on take-off from the field location. Also the Jaguar that went in vertically just south of the airfield, in full reheat from 10,500 feet, having departed shortly before (in all meanings of the word).

Not a good time from that respect, or from our Squadron Boss losing his command after a slight bump (!) on the married patch.

By some miracle I came back to blighty with a functioning liver and an intact marriage, having been sent off to CFS(H) as a punishment for my misdemeanours.

(I blame lsh and charlie golf ).
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 14:28
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I know my place. Sah!

CG

Fabulous times, 83 to 86.
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 16:08
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Git!
lsh
(BMH Renal dept!)
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 16:40
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I was stationed at Zweibrucken (RF-4) mid to late '70's and we had a squadron exchange with Gutersloh. Unfortunately we had a fatal accident while the Brits were visiting us and put a dampener on what started out to be a great exchange.
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Old 1st Jan 2008, 22:45
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BEagle:

ROG - great to see proper aircrew in proper uniforms and proper aeroplanes....


How did it all go so wrong......
Oh I don't know - the mob managed to get you out of our hair...

Bliss!

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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 11:58
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Smile wellsfargo

Gutersloh,what a great posting that was.I went to Gut from Leconfield with 19 sqn in 1965.There was very little married accommodation then and lots of us ended up living at Osnabruck and commuting everyday.The boss of 19 was W/C Barcelon,known locally as the pink panther.
I returned to Gut in 1974 but this time on 92sqn(a great squadron).
A previous poster mentioned the T4 that piled in on base,i flew in that jet with Kevin Mason only weeks before whilst at Deci.
I didn't know about Pete Stone,very sad.
Did PS do his Lightning flypast solo or was Boots Boothroyd with him?
Great place-Great times.
Lightnings-dont you just love them.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 12:58
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wellsfargo, we must have been on 19 together for I flew our Hunter T7 in the move to Gutersloh from Leconfield. We wore the fleet letter '?' on the fin. Popular story has it that the SEngO asked the Boss (Wg Cdr Brian Cox) what fleet letter to paint onto it when we withdrew it from Stn Flt at Leconfield. "I don't know" was the response, so hence the question mark.
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