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Apocryphal Tales

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Apocryphal Tales

Old 11th Feb 2014, 12:33
  #41 (permalink)  
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"A story I can't verify - my mother's RAF boyfriend apparently decided to fly down one of the main streets of Salisbury Rhodesia below building height in a Hawker Hunter. Must have been the late 50s but again I don't really know. It was past the union building if I understand correctly. My uncle was on top of this building, where he worked, with a camera supposedly to capture the event but he was so shocked that he missed it. Apparently it caused fairly serious trouble but was smoothed over for the sake of diplomatic relations. I will never know how much truth there is in this story but I think that whatever untruth there is didn't originate from her. Maybe there are some newspaper archives if they haven't been left to rot."

Read "Fall Out the Roman Catholics and Jews" by Anthony Haig-Thomas (available on a well known book website). He was one of a pair of 8 Sqn Hunters that carried out this beat up. In addition to breaking windows in a girls school during the .95 pass at low level through the city, the pair beat up a steam train - they were so low that the train driver slammed on the brakes and flat spotted the wheels - the RAF received a bill for this damage. It was to prove too expensive to fly witnesses home for a Courts Martial so Haig-Thomas escaped with a reprimand and a loss of 6 months seniority. He returned home to become the ADC to the AOC.

Edited to add: having consulted my copy of the book - the other pilot was John Volkers; it was in 18th July 1960 and their callsign was Snowstorm Black. Indeed, the two pilots were dating two sisters in Salisbury and the flypast was for the girls' brother who was in the Caltex building. Rest assured, the two girls are not named in the narrative!

Last edited by Wensleydale; 11th Feb 2014 at 12:45.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 13:25
  #42 (permalink)  
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Many, many moons ago a young University Air Squadron pilot (Cadet Pilot Bloggs) on a solo navex in a Chipmunk became 'temporarily uncertain of his position'. Seeing an inviting field oriented into wind, he executes the perfect precautionary forced landing. Consulting farmer Giles, Bloggs ascertains his position and phones his squadron sheepishly to explain his predicament.

After close scrutiny of the terrain on the charts, UAS Boss and CFI auth themselves in another aircraft, one being to fly Bloggs' aircraft back. Bloggs, meantime, makes maximum space for the inbound by getting Farmer Giles to help him push his aircraft through the gate into the next field.

Boss and CFI arrive overhead and are impressed - nay, amazed - that Bloggs had managed such an exquisite precautionary forced landing. But, hey, if he could, they could

A2* instructors leave nothing to chance, of course, so after one approach to overshoot ("Christ, Bloggs didnt half pick a tight field!"), the Boss and CFI land - and run out of field before burying the prop in the hedge.

Bloggs runs over as the Boss extracts himself from the thicket.

"Bloggs, why on earth did you land in this bloody paddock when theres a bloody great big field next door?!"

"I didn't, Sir. I landed in the big field and pushed her through the gate to make more space for you!"

Originally Avro 504's!!!! ()

and while we're at it:
the bellowed church parade DS
"Take yer hat orf in the House of the Lord- C*nt!"
story was told to me by my father as happening at Halton in the 30's when he was one of Lord Trenchard's little gentlemen......

Last edited by Haraka; 11th Feb 2014 at 13:37.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 13:48
  #43 (permalink)  
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Italian G91 lands at Akrotiri in 70s(?) on a Friday for weekend - a standard occurrence - crew enjoy weekend and stock up on duty free. Problem on take-off on Monday and aircraft ends up in bonds off end of runway.

Much telephoning in frantic Italian and next day a transport arrives, picks up crew and duty free and departs. OC Eng waits to hear from Italians about BOI and aircraft recovery.

After a week passes no one has called so Italians are contacted and asked what is happening about G91 tail number XXXX? Puzzled Italians say they investigate and call back saying there must be some mistake, that aircraft was written off charge 2 years ago.

Rumour was that rather than tow it to their fire dump said Italian base had kept it as a hack, fudged fuel burn on normal training flying to provide gas and held weekly lottery as to who got to use it.

Italians thereafter refused to discuss aircraft and it was subsequently taken to dump and broken up for scrap.


Javelin Sqns in Malta used to fly to Cyprus for weekend Rangers. Aircraft was normally fitted with underwing tanks, but if winds were right down the Med (no head wind or a tail wind) they could make it home on internal fuel - just.

Cunning wheeze was each Sqns had a pair of pristine tanks adapted to carry Cyprus brandy to bring back in light of awful stuff in Malta. Aircraft would be filled with brandy in Cyprus and wait for suitable forecast before recovery.

Reputed story is Met man cocked up/ winds changed and crew realised 200nm from home they weren't going to make it. Declared emergency with control malfunction, flew on till fuel was nearly exhausted and then switched to wing tanks. Aircraft engines reputedly ran we'll enough to get them inside SAR range before the crew "lost control" and abandoned the aircraft over deep, deep water......
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 14:01
  #44 (permalink)  
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"Take yer hat orf in the House of the Lord ...."

How very appropriate in such a thread, bearing in mind the origin of the word "apocrypha", and quite apart from the fact (sic) that this tale is clearly tri-service. The dark blue version is often quoted as having the "original" event take place at a major service at Rochester Cathedral, with the Chief GI bellowing in similar terms at the very junior sailor who is so overawed by his surroundings that he forgets to take off his cap as he marches into the cathedral.

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Old 11th Feb 2014, 14:17
  #45 (permalink)  
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Nearly as good as "Roman Catholics and other non-Christians, FALL OUT!".

(Towers, about 64, Johnny Garbett's predecessor))
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 14:23
  #46 (permalink)  
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Someone had part of an ejector seat fired through their eyeball and out the back of their head and still survived......
I have the feeling this might have been a Fleet Air Arm Hunter at Lossie back in the 60s... can't believe the poor b*gger would survive though????
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 14:26
  #47 (permalink)  
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Red face

Thanks U.J.
Urban legends ( and we all can recall dozens) usually state that it always happens close to home :
" I remember the time etc..."
Dead Granny in the boot after the picnic - car stolen: etc. etc"
Some weird stories do have a perplexing possibility of truth however.
Among the (very) many wartime myths was that of the "Gladfish".
This was allegedly a combination of a Gladiator fuselage and Swordfish wings seen in the Med in the early part of the war.
Any serious look at this combination shows it to be a near impossibility in terms of engineering if anything else.
It seems there were a few Gauntlets still around. Now to a simple soul a "Gladiator" with two bay wings would look like the offspring of a mating with a Swordfish...
Now the "Super Stuka" reported over Malta ( with a retractable u/c) also has a possible explanation.
But as I've bored you all to death so far......

(Towers, about 64, Johnny Garbett's predecessor))
Now with JG you are talking about a man who needed no myths...
We, of a certain clan, owe you so much.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 15:02
  #48 (permalink)  
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I am deeply grateful. My mother has passed on but her sister has not. I am utterly delighted for the details about this half-remembered story. You have definitely made my day and my brothers' too. Actually you've made a lot more than my day - it's not easy to explain but it's a connection with her.

Thank you! :-)

Last edited by t43562; 11th Feb 2014 at 15:44.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 16:22
  #49 (permalink)  
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Haraka - you are not wrong. He was A Sqn Flt Sgt before becoming CWO. A truly great CWO and gentleman.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 16:37
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Tornado F3 from the OCU lands at St Mawgan with student in front and instructor in back.
Instructor thinks "we'll slow down any second now... any second now..."
F3 rapidly approaching the end of the runway where there's a sea cliff.
Instructor shouts "brakes? BRAKES!"
Student gets in a fluster.
Instructor podges arrestor button to catch the rhag.
Apparently the recovery team could see where the arestor hook hit the runway. It was rumoured to be only 1 or 2 metres in front of the cable! A second later and the jet would have been toast.
Turns out, when the student landed, he did not deploy the thrust reverse buckets! He ended up accelerating down the runway after landing wondering why the thrust reverse wasn't working? So kept on throttling up.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 16:44
  #51 (permalink)  
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I once heard a tale from a a Vulcan Nav or AEO. His aircraft was on a lone ranger to somewhere east.
He said the flight was long and uneventful, he was feeling tired and could feel his eyes getting heavy. He couldn't resist the onset of fatigue and thought to himself it would be okay if he had a few minutes kip as all the other crew were there.

He work up an hour later to find the Vulcan had drifted off course by such an alarming amount they had to divert low on fuel.

Apparently every one in the crew thought the same thing and all 5 had nodded off.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 17:01
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A course of "international" students bashing night solo circuits in JPs.

All very routine, but the guy in the battenburg box by the threshold (who was evidently less dozy than the ATCOs that evening) begins to feel something ain't quite right. Sure enough after a few more minutes he determines that there are too few JPs in the circuit to account for the radio calls, so he calls the Tower. Puzzled, they watch, and listen, and eventually call out the Station Patrol.

Who, on the dark side of the airfield enter an old revetment where they find, much to their amazement, a JP sitting there, lights off, engine running and stude Camel Officer Al-Bebuggad canopy open, fag in hand nonchalantly making circuit calls (in the correct places) while the clock ticked by.

Apparently he was scared of night flying.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 17:21
  #53 (permalink)  
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gr4techie, it was not a planned catnap. The plotter remained awake and only realised the pilots were asleep when we reached Tehran and needed to turn South. The AEO, the crew chief and myself were all asleep and the pilots didn't respond.

Our fit at the time included a Nav's Heading Unit or NHU which was intended for minute changes of heading. The Nav was able to dial in the full heading change of about 120 degrees.

As we changed heading the sun burst into the cockpit and I awoke and checked both pilots who denied they had been asleep

We had not called Tehran ATC and they didn't respond; probably asleep too.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 17:27
  #54 (permalink)  
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This happened at Gutersloh a long time ago to a young pilot (now recently deceased) who was showing a young lady ( possibly a "tooley" from Sundern school ) a Hunter in the hanger. Young lady, sitting in the cockpit whilst young pilot stands on ladder and leans into cockpit points to various exciting controls. "And what happens if I pull this knob?" whereupon she does so. Our brave young pilot just manage to lean back a little before the canopy jettison rail struck him a glancing blow knocking him off the ladder.

But this was a long time ago and apart from wounded pride and an extended period of orderly officer nothing more was said. Couldn't happen now !
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 17:48
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can't believe the poor b*gger would survive though?
Would not have thought so would you, but, he did.

I was at Chessington rehab unit recovering from a fractured femur, 66/67ish, he was there then. Didn't look to good, but very switched on guy.

More like 63/64ish.

Last edited by tcinbg; 11th Feb 2014 at 21:37. Reason: Memory failure
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 17:53
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Told to me by a QFI, I once knew. Sudanese student making a total b0llocks of short finals. Takes his hands and feet off of the controls and exclaims,
''all is in the hands of Allah''. QFI takes control lands a/c whilst muttering ''I don't fcuking think so sunshine!''

68 Sqdn Meteor NF11 on air to ground firing. Young liney in the back seat on his first ever flight. A/c commences attack and guns start firing, pilot notices, out of the corner of his eye, the hood release knob winding round. Yells at liney to
keep his hands off! It transpired the liney, when the guns opened fire, thought the a/c was crashing and the wings were about to fall off!

Last edited by goudie; 11th Feb 2014 at 18:05.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 17:55
  #57 (permalink)  
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It solely depends on which part of the brain was injured or damaged.

Hence why you sometimes see people with rods, bolts etc through
the head / skull / brain that survive with no affect.

But a mm either way can make a huge difference, both in physical effects (paralysis) and psychological effects - moods, personality, memory etc.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 17:58
  #58 (permalink)  
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Your G91 story: I believe a W/Cdr Chater in Burma ('44) acquired a "personal" Harvard by some variant of this method....D.

Union Jack,

This tale is of great antiquity. It was well known in the RAF over 70 years ago, and was first told to us by our old Drill Corporal (and he'd been put on a charge by Flt.Lt. the Duke of York in about '22) so it went back a bit even then......D.

Cheers, both. Danny.
Old 11th Feb 2014, 18:12
  #59 (permalink)  
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Scimitar squadron ashore in Kai Tak in the early 60's. RAF said how about a sonic boom? No probs Scimitars dropped one and it smashed a lot of windows locally. Lots of agro - no problem for the RN as the RAF authorised the flight. RN 10 RAF nil.
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 18:16
  #60 (permalink)  
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International students

What about the one where the student crashed his jet (JP?) and went to sit in the Officers Mess and denied all knowledge? What's the true story behind that?
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