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R.A.F. Ouston

Old 19th Nov 2012, 15:15
  #21 (permalink)  
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The site of my first ever glider ride, circa 1953-ish, I don't think I got that high though.
Good memory.
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Old 19th Nov 2012, 16:53
  #22 (permalink)  
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Are you seriously comparing rural Northumberland with Afghanistan?

The strange language, the local native dress code, their attitude to strangers, the constant violence, the oppression of wimmin............ oh I see........ you could be right
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Old 19th Nov 2012, 17:34
  #23 (permalink)  
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are they still using it to park warhead cargoes overnight from Scotland to Aldermaston?
I thought they used Watford Gap services? Still, I bet the coffee and bacon sarnies are better.
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Old 19th Nov 2012, 18:26
  #24 (permalink)  
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Are you seriously comparing rural Northumberland with Afghanistan?

strange language, the local native dress code, their attitude to strangers, the
constant violence, the oppression of wimmin............ oh I see........ you
could be right
si. is offline  
Old 19th Nov 2012, 21:33
  #25 (permalink)  
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Never even heard of the place before but that photo is so familiar.

H blocks, the mess, SHQ etc. It reminds me of so many places I did visit.
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 20:03
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Interested to read your entry concerning Barry Hyde and his death at RAF Ouston. I was undergoing basic training on Piston Provosts at this station and remember Barry well. I was airborne on the night Barry and Jim Thomas died. As I recall, one was rejoining the circuit and the other was gaining height after take-off when the collision occured. Flying was immediately cancelled and all aircraft recalled to base. All we trainee pilots attended the full military honours funeral a few days after the event. As I remember it, one of the boys was buried in a nearby village churchyard while the ashes of the other was scattered from a helicopter over the main runway at Ouston. Our CO, Sqn Ldr Geoff Meek, a WW11 veteran, was held responsible and left us shortly thereafter. Both Barry and Jim were grand fellows and were sadly missed. I was the first deaths from flying accident that I viewed. Hope this is of some interest.
Ian Barron
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Old 21st Nov 2012, 22:27
  #27 (permalink)  
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I did my gliding and air experience flying at Ouston in 1967-8. 11AEF, I think, had 9 Chipmunks including one they marked up as "Free Northumbrian Air Force" and the gliding school had a Sedbergh and two Kirby Cadets. On my second solo it was snowing and I landed looking a bit like the Snowman.
My spotter logs from the time show there was a Hunter wreck on the north side of the field and frequent visiting JP's from Manby.

One day I saw a Canadian (RCAF then) T33 in the hangar and the story went that the pilot was german based but had family on Tyneside and so would occasionally visit.
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Old 22nd Nov 2012, 08:45
  #28 (permalink)  
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What a wonderfully nostalgic thread. My first time airborne was there in an AEF Chipmunk and exactly 50 years ago I was pounding the circuit there in a JP from Acklington.

Anyone remember one of the C/Os in it's latter time a an RAF station, S/L Bill Drinkell, very keen on aeromodelling and allowed the British National Model Flying Championships on his airfield. Golden days !
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 17:05
  #29 (permalink)  
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Old Oustonian

Ouston was our relief landing ground when I did BFT at Acklington 1964

I liked the area so much we had our honeymoon in the area and holidays there for many years

Spent five years with Eastern looking at Ouston 4 times par day then retired to Seahouses

Place feels like home
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 17:50
  #30 (permalink)  
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Apologies for the thread drift, but I recall visiting once to collect some equipment, after the RAF had vacated, and left the site to the Army.

A very helpfull chap in stores refused to release the kit, with the explaination. "Well Sir, in the RAF you have Supply Sqn, which supplies things. In the British Army, we have Stores............."
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Old 23rd Nov 2012, 17:57
  #31 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up

I had the pleasure of a few flights in Chipmunks at Ouston in 1969, as it was the local AEF base for my school CCF.

Chipmunk WB738, flown by an instructor named Flegg, is one combination that appears in my logbook. I'd love to think they are both still flying!

Tremendous fun, especially as that instructor had a very liberal interpretation of what a gentle AEF flight should consist of!

I tried to do my RAF Special Flying Award there, but got sent to Carlisle instead, to fly SpamCans.
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Old 24th Nov 2012, 10:20
  #32 (permalink)  
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Free Northumbrian Air Force

I flew in Chipmunks with 11 AEF as an ATC Cadet 1967 – 71. I remember seeing the “Free Northumbrian Air Force” Chippie in the hangar – but it had the wings chopped short, a parasol and had a lavatory cistern above the rear cockpit! I assumed it was a sort of student ‘rag week’ stunt. I wish I’d had a camera back then (– no photos sorry)
There was also a Spitfire in the corner of the hangar on one occasion – you can imagine how much excitement that caused.
The one instructor we all loved to fly with was Ernie Veitch, what an introduction to flight.
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Old 24th Nov 2012, 10:59
  #33 (permalink)  
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Many thanks for your words; they fill-in one or two memory gaps. Barry and I had a brotherly relationship for many years, and prior to us both joining the RAF we were each awarded a Flying Scholarship and together we completed a PPL course on Chipmunks at Yeadon airport. I haven't seen her for very many years, but I'll endeavour to pass on your comments to his sister.
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 12:44
  #34 (permalink)  
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One of those airfields that most people remember fondly - out of the way but a really good atmosphere. Did my first JP solo there in '67, when it was the RLG for 6FTS at Acklington - we'd all fly or bus over there for the day, revel in the brick built accomodation and modern hangar before going back to our nice cold pre-war hangars and SECO huts.

Of note the Spitfire was there for the whole of our time on the course, and was still there when I left after holding with NUAS for some time. Along with the Spitfire (IIRC all silver -either stripped down or painted) there were also three or four crates which had Merlin engines in them - at least that's what was stated on the outside. Rumour had it it was serviceable but there was no one to certify the paperwork, and I later heard it went off to join Hamish Mahaddie's Air Force (aka The Battle of Britain film fleet).

Like DD I also had the pleasure (??) of operating out of there in '85 on Purple Victory, but in Chinooks. I think it was one of the coldest (tented) exercises I was ever one, and I include the Arctic, as we only had 'summer scales' - not helped by being allocated a camp site right next to the runway - again good for access to our aircraft, but unfortunately also where the C130s did their engine running off loads!
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Old 14th Mar 2013, 12:52
  #35 (permalink)  
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Didn't even know it was an old RAF base! Stayed there ('Albermarle Barracks') for one night as it was closest available military bed (i.e MoD no-cost option) to Spadeadam. Also conveniently located for a night 'oot on the toon' which explains why I didn't actually use the bed in the end . Guess it must have been a good location for a training base in its day.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 21:31
  #36 (permalink)  
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RAF Ouston

Bill Drinkell, Sqn Ldr. DFC. AFC RAF Rtd, C.O. RAF Ouston 1962/1965,
Died 21 June 2013. Spitfire fly past at his funeral on 5 July 2013.
50 - 61 Sqn web site for further information. ----- still making balsa wood planes
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Old 23rd Jul 2013, 23:04
  #37 (permalink)  
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Did my first ATC summer camp at RAF Ouston, ISTR around 1967. What a smashing place it was. Had some great flights in the Chippies, we did a lot of .22 shooting and in the evenings, a roam accross the airfield found us sampling a shandy, I think in Stamfordham. We had a great evening out in Whitley Bay. Yep a great place to spend a week.

The last time I saw it we were dropping some of Herefords finest on to it on an exercise. I actually managed to help the crew with Glider frequencies, to contact the gliders operating there and ask them to hold launches for a few minutes.

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Old 26th Apr 2018, 10:14
  #38 (permalink)  
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I'm coming very late to this thread, but hope to add something of interest to it. I took my ATC gliding course at Ouston in 1963, and recently I've been building a new website dedicated to Ouston. It includes some 30 1/72 scale models I've built; over 150 of my own photos taken there; and other information that I have researched.

It can be found by entering 'RAF Ouston Research' in google. (I'm not allowed to post urls yet on this forum)

I'd be delighted to include info and photos from others, and would like to 'cut and paste' some of the interesting comments to be found on this thread, fully credited, of course.
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 01:33
  #39 (permalink)  
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Wasn't there an Ouston Bomb Plot a long while ago?
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Old 27th Apr 2018, 08:17
  #40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Barksdale Boy View Post
Wasn't there an Ouston Bomb Plot a long while ago?
​​​​​​Indeed there was.

Prior to the V-Force going Low Level the radar bomb plots covered London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle and before my time Leicester and East Anglia. When the Force went LL the attack profile for the Yellow Sun required a low level approach followed by a pop up to 11,000 feet. Only a small unimportant city like Newcastle was suitable

Bomber Command had 3 LL routes in UK, BC/LL 21, 23 and 24. BC LL 21 started near Loch Linnie, crossed the Highlands and went South near Kinross. It continued passed Ouston. For the 2E pop-up the aircraft would turn off the route towards Newcastle and start climbing about 12-15 miles from the City centre. A favourite offset was the end of the North pier. Made a pretty good target like Leningrad.

At the time Ouston was also the only site with a jammer. This was from the B50 and required aircraft to fly a North easterly approach against a specific target that changed weekly. Shame really as East Anglia (Brantub) had had 3 jammers which would have given much better training .
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