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SHFNI Stories!

Old 22nd Jan 2010, 19:51
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It's good to read the stories. I'm seeing some familiar names; I stayed at Aldergrove in late 2001 whilst working in the tower as a civvy. I was made very welcome for the 6 weeks I was there.

Thanks in particular to Dezzee and Mularkey who did an 'unplugged' set at my leaving drinks.
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Old 22nd Jan 2010, 19:56
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Down Among The Greens - Angelo

Speaking of which, anyone remember Angelo being lined up for a mortar attack, and the owner of the woodyard next door ramming the Hiace
Just one of many attempted attacks and the probable reason for the Buzzard’s reluctance to allow me any photos of this place – certainly none from behind the walls. Surrounded to the south and east by high ground, with the sawmill to the north and main road only yards from the helipad it was always a very vulnerable FOB so, well out of my usual area and thus unknown to the roulement unit, I was content with their permission to take a very few shots. XW234 on the pad with the sawmill behind. 30th October 1994.



and -



Looking south-east; same cab, same day.

Last edited by PhamousPhotographer; 22nd Jan 2010 at 20:31.
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Old 22nd Jan 2010, 21:19
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Anyone remember the Queen's UAS closing disco at City airport ? The one where the plod were called to investigate some missing memorabilia ?

Anyway, CJ Mercury (although I think he used the stage name T******* occasionally) was fronting 'Orange Whip' and he very kindly allowed Mick P from the 7 Sqn det (and possibly B*****'s brother, senior service RN) and myself to play guitars in the band for a couple of songs... without them being plugged in of course, in order for me to impress the girls, and it worked wonderfully.

We had been dropped off at the party by the night Bessbrook cab, but Spanky T drove us home in some dodgy rented Transit van, given that we were half/fully pisssed, we predictably got hopelessly lost, and I remember the pleasant experience of having rocks thrown at us by feral kids in East Belfast at 3am.

MoT
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Old 23rd Jan 2010, 04:03
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Originally Posted by miles offtarget
Or whilst I think of it, the great IRA vs AAC gunfight, x-000s rounds expended, hits claimed .... errr... nil !
Against a heavily-reinforced artic trailer? Yes, ISTR one of cabs diving back into BBK to relieve the redundant Puma's steward of his link.

Echo the sentiments re this thread; its helping my flashbacks no end. As an aside, anyone know where Spanky is these days?
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Old 23rd Jan 2010, 06:57
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The woodyard (and a local steel firm) have now gobbled up what was St Angelo.The yellow arrow is where the mortars were parked.
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Old 23rd Jan 2010, 09:25
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Ah, I knew that "Fat Sgt J****" name would come up sometime.
(Max All Up Master)
Remember his perma-tan, in Ireland???!
The extra bag he carried out, full of rations (none for the pilots!)
"My cars are always for sale".

"Those were the days my friends......" (Again!)
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Old 24th Jan 2010, 13:37
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Another dit.....and it's all true...

Way back in the good ol' days when we had six week dets and no wives accompanying We set off one sunny morning to do a days' tasking in walter....the pilot appeared to be very happy. 'You sound happy' sez I. 'Yeah' sez he, 'I'm on a promise tonight and we're going out' 'Going anywhere special' 'Yeah I'm taking her to the Ulster studios to the live Country/Folk Music TV show as part of the live audience, then we're off to her place for a night of illicit passion' 'What's the missus goin' to say about that then?' 'What she doesn't know ain't goin' to hurt her'.

So we duly completed our tasking and returned to Aldergrove whereupon pilot-chappy disappeared like a rat up a drain-pipe for his 'promise'.

That evening in the original Sgts Mess we inmates were watching the Ulster TV programme trying spot our matey, but more to the point to see what he had trapped! Sure enough the camera scanned the audience several times and matey and his 'promise' were there looking lustfully into each other's eyes thinking obviously of the passionate night ahead. The camera lingered on them ea time it scanned, producing ribald comments from the Sgts Mess audience!

Next morning in the crewroom matey-boy is sprawled across a settee not looking too chipper. 'Have a good night then matey?' 'Yep she was like dynamite!' I know we saw you on the bloody telly, it was like a porn film!' 'What?' sez he incredulous 'You saw us on the telly?' 'Yep it was bloody sickening' 'Christ!' exclaims another member of the crewroom, 'that programme goes out on all the satellite stations tonight and if your missus sees that, you're history!'

Matey-boy's palour sinks from white to a paler shade of white......he's worried and disappeared early to the Officers Mess.

Next day in the crewroom matey-boy is happy and a contrast from the day before.

'You're happy, I presume that your missus hasn't found out' 'Nah, I rang her when the programme was broadcast and kept her on the 'phone until the programme ended! The 'phone is in the hall and she can't see the telly from there!! she was dead chuffed to get such a long 'phone call!!'

Last edited by Dundiggin'; 24th Jan 2010 at 13:50.
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 08:02
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Stand down at Omagh

Vaguely remember in an effort to cut down on 'transit' hours we were stood down at Omagh whilst another crew carried out night tasking......one of such 'overnights' coincided with leaving party for resident regiment......who had been saving all det to put on a show with dancing girls etc.
We had spent most of the day extracting happy Pongoes and were duely invited to function.......Didn't start too well when GPMG Grunt started moaning about lack of chopper support in ****e weather but it seemed to end ok with Wessex crew doing a Right Said Fred "I'm too Sexy for my Wessex" rendition, bollock naked amongst dancing girls and muff-munching WRACs....
Colonel did well to talk tactics with naked crew.
happy days!
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 09:44
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Omagh Lisanelly

Stand down at Omagh
M*** F****y, K**** M*****e and M*** Y*****y prepare to light up XR497’F’ and return to Aldergrove at the end of their 48 hours in Co Tyrone. 22nd June 1998.


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Old 25th Jan 2010, 14:50
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Just tried to post a picture of the 'sniper at work' sign, but technically too difficult. But you know what I mean, didn't we have one in the 230 crewroom.
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 16:02
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best banoffee pie in the Prov...just round the corner from Omagh apron. Buzzard could often be seen calling the cafe to scramble crews...
never tasted anything close.......and I've tried every banoffee I've come across.....if you get my drift?
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Old 25th Jan 2010, 21:25
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Ah yes, that banoffee pie, in the little caff round the corner. Remember being stood down at nights, wasn't me at the going away party but there were several that ended up round in the married patch that got a bit 'interesting'! Anyone else remember J***s C***e, PWRR Capt who always finished behind the Col in the CO's runs (which was utterly forbidden) and then went on to win the DSO in Al-Amarah? And Nosher, and Sumo?

Also doing 2 night shifts in a row at Omagh and being stood down during the day in between, Royal Irish MT were very happy for us to take out a car for the day, we made it to Portrush once, and if you were quick you could get a couple of pints in the pub on the High St in Omagh before the 10 hours B-T-T started.

I seem to remember happy days, but I'm sure there was plenty of crap too!
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 14:05
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fish perils of living on an island....

Back in the early '70s we used to hold a night standby with Walter Wessex. One night the duty crew was called out to Rathlin Island. Apparently there was a pregnant woman who was having complications and needed to be casevaced urgently to hospital. The Wessex duly transported the pregnant woman to hospital, where she had a successful birth.
The islanders were so grateful to 72 Sqn they said that we could always go up there for free seafood (crabs and lobsters) whenever we wanted. For the next few detachments we always visited the island to pick up a tray of the crustaceans prior to going back to the mainland. We were very grateful for the kindness of the islanders - thank you.
I presume the child is in her/his 40s by now? It would be nice to hear.

Last edited by Dundiggin'; 31st Jan 2010 at 16:14.
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Old 30th Jan 2010, 16:17
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SAR Cabs

The islanders were so grateful to 72 Sqn
Many of Northern Ireland’s fishermen, ferry passengers, sailing enthusiasts, mountaineers/hill walkers and the occasional r.t.a. casualty also had cause to be grateful for 72’s life-saving efforts. The photo records a SAREX display at Annalong on the Co Down coast involving Newcastle Lifeboat and XV726’J’ with P**** B***, (OC ’A’ Flt), S**** C******, G*** D***** (winchop) and winchman M***** M****, standing on the lifeboat’s deck. 19th August 2000.



I’ve always thought that 72 Squadron’s SAR duties in the province were never sufficiently recognised and appreciated, other than by those rescued and their families, while 230 Squadron and 5 Rgt AAC had their share of emergency medevac cases as well. As ever, the locally-based public service was only missed when it was withdrawn in 2002. No matter how much assurance is given, response times from Sligo, Dublin, Prestwick or Anglesey can never match those achieved from Aldergrove. Thanks to all of you who served here.
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Old 31st Jan 2010, 07:49
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"Antrim Princess"!!
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Old 31st Jan 2010, 08:00
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The Antrim Princess incident is covered in this Donaghadee Lifeboat, RNLI
There are a few other mentions of 72 in it as well as a couple of pics.
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Old 31st Jan 2010, 08:49
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ShyTorque.........

.....and lobsters.....
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Old 31st Jan 2010, 10:17
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Pic's from the late 70's

Has anyone got any Pic's from 72 Sqn in the late 70's 77-80

From a gratefull ALM

Mole Man
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Old 31st Jan 2010, 13:05
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These are 230 1979







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Old 31st Jan 2010, 14:58
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This will be me thinking; "Where do I know that white church from?", closely followed by an appreciation of how much we wrongly take for granted on a daily basis when you can enjoy viewing such things through newly issued rose tinted specs. Top thread, and excellent photos, thankyou for posting.
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