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Gutersloh, Mid 70s

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Gutersloh, Mid 70s

Old 17th Oct 2010, 11:58
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Originally Posted by Heimdall
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.
We recently released a photo of the mentioned flypast on our site sg-etuo.de:


© Erich Westersötebier
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Old 23rd Jan 2011, 12:54
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I was a forecaster at EDUO from 1967 to 1970, working from the ground floor of Ops/ Control Tower, living on top patch, Zeppelinstrasse. Used to walk to work using the key provided to Mess members to use the wicket gate short cut.
We served 2 and 4, [Hunters], the choppers, and 19 [Lightning]. 92 arrived mid tour. The forecasters held dormant RAFVR Commissions in case the balloon went up.
Just a tad busy for Met. in those days, and my favourite customers were 19. The boss was [if I remember correctly] Wing Commander Laurie Jones, the flight commanders were Bob Barcilon and Pete Naz. It was only after my last mass briefing that the Staish said that my forecasts for Lightning contrails had been 5000 ft out for 3 years, and he would be glad not to have to do the take-away in future.
Mind you, he had a sense of humour, as did OC Ops. On a dull no-fly day they interrupted a game of Met. office cricket; CO came round door first and held a low catch from my square cut. OC Ops congratulated him ......
The Hunter squadrons produced dozens of shots of WWII tanks still littering NW Europe, and it became known that I was a tank recognition guru. I spent a fair bit of time sitting next to the GLOs.

Our neighbours on top patch were a good bunch: Brian Smith [19], Pete? Glover, who rose to one-star, Sandy Wilson who rose a great deal further [and who was my boss at JHQ in the 1990s] and dozens and dozens of kids, frantically go-karting [pedal] round the block or playing fortyfortyallin!
One night after a dining-in I entered the house through the coal hole, on the grounds that the black would not show. Forgot the shirt.
My middle daughter fell through the ice of the pond near the mess which turned out to be my fault, MS25C and a wind blowing.

Was anyone there the night Czecho was invaded by the Russians? I was on duty at the time ....... not nice.
Or the enormous scramble by both Lightning squadrons around a sunny mid-day ..... I think we put over 30 in the air. A bit noisy, but there you go. Squadron rivalry and all that.

Ah! Guetersloh, we had to be prised away.
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Old 23rd Jan 2011, 15:45
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Yes, I was. We (19 Sqn) were hosting a party for our Danish F104 guests when they suddenly stopped drinking following a telephone call for their boss. We tried hard to find out why and they soon announced that they would have to return to Denmark. It transpired that they had been told about the Russian air transport movements before RAFG Ops were aware that anything unusual was happening.

Eventually our int boys got the message and we had to stop drinking too. Can't remember the hangover flying the next day but there were so many of them in those happy days.
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Old 23rd Jan 2011, 17:37
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I can only tell it as I remember it ........ almost unbelievable.

It was a dark quiet shift, no flying, perhaps a weekend. Heard a chopper land, in burst a US pilot "Haven't you heard?" "What?" "The Russkies have rolled into CZ!" It wasn't 1st April, he wasn't obviously drunk, so I took a deep breath, cut out the middlemen AND the RAFP Alsatian and phoned the Staish at home, who asked to speak to the pilot and then pressed the hooter metaphorically with his free hand.

Paul Revere II [qv] departed, and was soon followed by all the squadron reps to collect the [always prepared] Met for rather different missions than the daily routines.

Were we really dependant on a Yank getting the message in the air and landing at first opportunity? Why was ATC at least not in the loop? Am I imagining all this ....... I certainly told the events to my wife, who recalls the narrative vividly.

A lot of famillies checked their grab bags and gold sovereigns that night, for sure. I wonder if that VR Flt Lt uniform would have fitted ...... glad I didn't have to try.

And then there was the French Mirage squadron visit and the graffiti ..... a tale for another day.
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Old 23rd Jan 2011, 21:39
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Hi langley baston - we must know each other. I was on 4 sqn from 1967 until we disbanded in 1970. The Boss was Eric Smith, who was followed by Tony Hopkins. Other squadron members I can just about remember were Ian Weston, Taff Wallis,Bob Dymond, Ken Petrie,Ken Jones, Pete Gover ( not Glover) Bill Sheppard, Al Cleaver, Sam Goddard,Keith Holland, Tim Thorn, Bill Langworthy, Pad Williams, Al Mathie, Derek Whitman, Pat Kiggell. OC Ops was Dave Rhodes as I remember, followed by Dickie Dickinson. The staish was Dave Ross followed by Keith Williamson. That's just about exhausted my memory banks, but Gutersloh will always remain my favourite station. We worked hard and played hard and there are too many memories to set down here, but Nigel Walpoles' book on the Hunter FR10, Best of Breed helped to jog a few grey cells.
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Old 24th Jan 2011, 10:32
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I remember Ian Weston and Ken Petrie ..... as for Tim Thorn, is that the chap who was SASO RAFG and then became Commandant Regiment? He was my line manager at JHQ c. 1990 and what a guy! Had a horrendous bike accident [not in the Air Staff cavalry charge across the fields at 1630 on Fridays for Happy Hour] but when he was, shall we say, in a relaxed state somewhat later. Looked like he had been hit like a brick privy travelling at speed. Charismatic springs to mind.
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Old 24th Jan 2011, 11:59
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Yes, that's the guy - we used to call him Tiger Tim !

I remember chasing him on his Op ride. As Flt Cdr Ops I had designed a sortie that tested the recce pilot to the limit, and involved some high speed low level dashes to achieve a TOT on a specific target. Tim did a really good job, but one one of those windy,marked low level turbulence,days that I am sure you remember, he managed to "banana" his 230 gal drop tanks, in his supreme effort to achieve his TOT. One operational pilot, but two U/S drop tanks !
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Old 24th Jan 2011, 12:30
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TT - SUO on A Sqn at Cranwell - unforgettable!
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Old 24th Jan 2011, 16:18
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The day Gutersloh was "tagged".
There were fairly frequent squadron exchanges in those days. This anecdote concerns a French Mirage mob. I was present at a mess or squadron do held in their honour, and there was sufficient misbehaviour in public [I can recall white thighs and black sussies flying around ..... and not only the pilots] for me to beat it early, suspecting no good would come of it. Nor did it.

Next day was fly-off, and an outbreak of squadron graffiti had hit the station in the small hours. The squadron badge [official or not] was a rampant "meat and 2 veg", with wings added, and they had brought a stencil or two and some white spray paint. As some of these flying phalluses were a touch public, there was some frantic activity to erase them. The SWO and his team never found the one on the Met. Office shutters, because we firstly folded them in out of sight, and later removed and stored the shutter. When I did a tour as senior forecaster at JHQ c. 1980 the office still had a shutter tucked away.

At least one young married lady [?] had had a sufficiently good time the previous evening to stand by the Met enclosure waving goodbye to our gallant allies as they taxied out.
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 10:00
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The day of the glazed ice.

Almost uniquelyfor semi-modern RAF bases EDUO had a significant glazed ice/ rain ice risk. This because of its well-inland continental location. The phenomenon only happens when a warm front is raining into a constantly-refreshed very cold and dry low-level flow ...... the rain becomes super-cooled at a rate faster than it warms the air, so super-cooled water reaches the surface. And freezes. Inevitably I was on duty for a bad such day. Although it was predicted, it looked on contact with the ground like wet ground, so I went out the front of Ops / Met and stood on what I took to be the horizontal stone wall flanking the rather grand steps, to have a good look. Only it was not horizontal. Coefficient of friction about zilch, and the scenery started passing from right to left at a rate of knots. Of course the wall ended up about 6 ft in the air above the road, so it was like a Disney cartoon. I managed to land under some sort of control as SATCO parked beside me. He was laughing his head off until he realized his car door was frozen solid. On winding down the window, he was left with a solid sheet of glazed ice about 1/4 inch thick.

Later in day I had to take a daughter to the Med Centre. The car made it, but only because the kerbs each side kept us on a course if you average out the tacks.

I never saw the like again, and don't want to.
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 11:50
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Wasn't that the same occasion that an 18 Sqn Wessex got totally iced up while doing underslung load training over at Junker's Farm, on the south side of the airfield? The sudden thick ice jacket it received made it too heavy to make it back to dispersal. The (scary looking) photo of it featured on the cover of the incident report.

I was posted there in 1980 and to my surprise, the first Met. officer I saw was none other than Bert Ford, off the telly.
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 12:13
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Does anyone else have fond memories of the Attic Folk Club at Gut in the mid 70s - in particular the McCalmans, who gave their last ever concert on 10th Dec?
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 12:15
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LB is right, you got some of the worst freezing rain at Gut I have ever seen. I remember an occaision in the late 80's when it FZRA'd for 12 hours solid. And everything was solid. I saw a push bike that had been leant against a Landrover for a few hours, then the 'rover driven way leaving the bike welded to the road, upright!
 
Old 27th Jan 2011, 12:23
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Remember it well - the journey home through Gutersloh town in a six volt Beetle - head out of the window to find the road and an iced SD hat as a result.

Also remember some of the rapid weather deteriorations - not funny in a small ventral Lightning (not too good with a bigger ventral either).

'What sort of approach would you like?'

'A bloody good one please!'
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 13:34
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Defo 735 RSU in late 80's
Flt Lt Stu Andrews was OC then and a family friend !!

rgds
ex Mover
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 15:05
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The sudden thick ice jacket it received made it too heavy to make it back to dispersal.
.... not too heavy - it was (apparently) degradation of the aerofoil section of the blade (NACA 0012 IIRC) which drastically reduced lift.

The mighty Wessex could (usually) just overtorque if overweight, but in this case I understand there was severe NR droop (which is very unusual in the Wessex .... unlike some other types....), without excessive collective input and with both engines turning ..... which sounds kind of scary .....

But as a good friend of mine once said: "the older you get, the more clearly remember things that never happened......."
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 15:54
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Soddim,

I, too, had a 6v Beetle, which got me to and from many tool screechers' parties. Navigating back in the dark with two headlights that, combined, only threw out one candlepower was always interesting!
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 15:55
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Yes, Bert Ford did a tour as boss man ....... wish I had had him there in my time. He probably wouldn't have slung out the cupboards adorned with war time Luftwaffe graffiti, swastikas etc without having the best bits taken off and hung on the walls. But then I was always more interested in history than meteorology !
I've NEVER seen rain ice worth talking about anywhere in the world [at near sea-level] except in the EDUO area.
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 16:26
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Teeters,

I bow to your greater knowledge of those old hovering machines that sometimes flew. I was better aquainted with the flying machines that sometimes hovered..... and yes, sometimes drooped the rotors to catch out the unwary or the ham-fisted.
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Old 27th Jan 2011, 22:12
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1.3VStall -I had some great times in the Attic Folk Club! I'd arrived at Gut in Dec 74, as a Sootie JT posted to 92 Sqn. I did half my tour as a singlie and half with Mrs BigApromotions in tow. It's hard to decide which bar I enjoyed most but the folk culb is up there! I've still got a copy of a vinyl record I bought, by the band Cocky called "12 inches of cockey"! (makes me grin even now). We would finish off the beer soaked evening with a curry in the Chicken Inn (a late night eatery in the airmans mess!).
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