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So What Did You Snack On In The Cold War, Daddy?

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So What Did You Snack On In The Cold War, Daddy?

Old 5th Apr 2014, 15:36
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So What Did You Snack On In The Cold War, Daddy?

A friend linked on Twitter to this story from the Yorkshire Post a few months back:

A former bomber pilot has revealed one of the secrets of the Cold War – exploding chocolate teacakes.

The treats were carried onboard V bombers during the 1960s for crews to eat.

But the Tunnock’s teacakes were banned after they exploded at high altitude.


...which led to the comment

There is probably a book waiting to be written about the chocolate treats carried aboard nuclear bombers during the cold war. But not by me.

to which another friend replied

You just know someone at Midland Publishing is working on that right now- 'Secret Aircrew Rations of the Cold War, v.1: RAF & USAF'

So, what did get noshed upon aboard the V-Bombers? (Or indeed any other aircraft of the era)? And are there tales of unexpected hazards other than exploding teacakes?
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 16:27
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Getting noshed, or at least noshed off, had a slightly different meaning on the kipper fleet and was mostly something that occurred on exercises and dets various - rum punch for instance or perhaps a stay in Sigonella at the same time as the ladies world championship water polo comps.

Also somewhere outside the VPI bar during Fincastle or JMC was another possibility.
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 16:27
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I predict 90% of the replies on this thread will come from ex kipper mates.

InB4thelotofthem...

HONKERS!!

edit Damn you PMFG!
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 16:55
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Must be just me in seeing priorities of the establisment worried about exploding chocolate cakes, especially when you are carrying buckets of Instant Sunshine. .
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 17:40
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Dairy Cream Sponge




Other brands are available.
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 18:08
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On the Valiant we had ration heaters. This was a soup can shaped receptacle that could, with luck, heat a can of soup to lukewarm in about four hours. There were two of them, between five crew, or six if you were on a Lone Ranger.

Approaching Nairobi it was decided to jettison remaining packets, wrappers and tins over the side. This was accomplished when we were below 10,000ft by depressurising the cockpit, opening the co-pilots DV panel and shoving everything out.

After we had finished the Crew Chief enquired as to whether we realised that No3 engine was behind, and at the same level as, the cockpit.

We continued without touching No 3 until the final roundout. No sign of any damage, however.

Coming back we collected First Class snacks from BOAC. Their merangues exploded quite well.
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 18:08
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From my safety of my Cold War Bunker in Main Building, I occasionally used to don full IPE and wander down to a stall that did a belting Salami and Salad baguette.

I don't usually eat at lunchtime ... I blame the stress of the job in the AFD.


* not all the above is 100% accurate.
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 18:26
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As all aircrew should know (?). If you pass a fast moving stream of pure oxygen over grease then it can cause it to catch fire. (Its a warning when using the oxygen bottle refill points in an E-3D - check for grease contamination before filling the bottle). I heard the story about the Nav, on QRA in the back of an F4, who dropped his oxygen mask to take a bite out of his cheese sandwich, only for it to spontaneously catch fire (no doubt the grease in the cheese or the butter took exception to the pure oxygen). I always wondered if this was true, but I always used it as an example of why the E-3D Warning was there.


I wonder how much fat was in the chocolate teacakes?




On a different subject... many years ago I was on South Harris in the Shetland Islands and met one of the Islanders who heard the crash of the Shackleton into a mountain on the island in 1990 and went with some of his colleagues to investigate. The group hurried up the side of the mountain to find the crash site - the first thing that they noticed of the wreckage as it loomed out of the mist was a Dairy Cream Sponge just laying amongst the heather. The crew was between tasks at the time of the crash and no doubt were having their mid-sortie meal.
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 19:09
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Wensleydale,
I remember the nav's burning cheese sarnie story exactly as you describe, and wonder if it had been told in Air Clues.

On a similar note, there was the USN F14 jockey who after startup, suffered severe burns on selecting 100% O2...and having it react to his hair gel. It is a very distressing story. He was only rescued from his cockpit after one exceptionally brave member of the deck crew climbed along the spine to operate the external canopy open and shut down the engines.

Camlobe
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 19:13
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Sigonella at the same time as the ladies world championship water polo comps.
Aaaaah! Happy days! What a party lucky you had that garden outside your room

Back on thread.... tea leaf and breadcrumb chilli for the flight engineer who ate my meal...

Freshly made 'pilot special' omelettes for 29 went down quite well on 'another' Nimrod. And well do I remember the galley skating rink caused by attempts to roast a garlic chicken in the oven....
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Old 5th Apr 2014, 20:51
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Babies heads! Well, it was only a matter of time...


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Old 5th Apr 2014, 22:06
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Slightly off-topic but when did hotlocks go out of the RAF? I can still remember the aroma...
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Old 6th Apr 2014, 05:43
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I remember the usual promotion exam maths questions. You are a shelter marshall and you have x amount of tins of corned beef and x amount of mars bars to last x amount of men x amount of days... I wonder if the RAF ever bought several million mars bars!
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Old 6th Apr 2014, 07:33
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One exercise I recall being driven to a lonely hut on teh airfield and each of us issued with felt tipped pen - one and polos packet - one. These were to signify a combopen and nerve agent pre-treatment tablets. At regular intervals the tannoy would instruct us to take a nerve agetn pre-treatment, but just one mind or you could overdose. If we were subject to an NBC attack and determined we had the symptoms of poisoning we were to inject ourselves with the pen...
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Old 6th Apr 2014, 07:44
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"On a similar note, there was the USN F14 jockey who after startup, suffered severe burns on selecting 100% O2...and having it react to his hair gel."

I also vaguely remember a ban on wearing facial make-up on an aircraft. Oh the fun to be had (not) debriefing some of the female fighter controllers who came on board the aircraft plastered with it on every sortie. I suppose that they could have used it to hide the burns had it happened to them. To paraphrase another thread, "Rules can be broken if critical for flight safety....unless I want to ignore them in which case the book says I can and its an infringement of my civil liberties and I know better and I will ignore it anyway so f*** o**" (and that was just the senior officers).
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Old 6th Apr 2014, 08:32
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Soup was available but many preferred to hoard it. Some flying clothing lockers at Marham were close to collapse under the weight of Heinz 57.
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Old 6th Apr 2014, 09:16
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Does a corned beef curry complete with chapatti and a cup of cardamom flavoured chai balanced on the centre console of a Huey count?

Those who were there will recall ............

[During the Cold War, but a hotter interlude .......]
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Old 6th Apr 2014, 09:32
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Not the Cold War but doing airborne VCPs (Vehicle Check Points) in Northern Ireland. Circling around waiting to be called in by our sqaddies we espied an ice cream van so we did our own VCP.

The chocolate flakes don't half make a mess of the boom mike.
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Old 6th Apr 2014, 09:37
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Back in the mid 60s, when 360 had just formed, we were a tad short of airframes so we did some one-week detachments to RRE at Pershore to fly their Canberras. All civvy staffed, so if you were not on the ground by 1630 go somewhere else, H&S rules (or TU intransigence) meant that the civvies would not remove rudder locks when the engines were running, so no flying if the wind was > 25kts. Best of all there was provision in every sortie to drop below 10,000 ft, to enjoy the sarnies and soup thoughtfully provided by the management. Happy days.
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Old 6th Apr 2014, 12:12
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If you pass a fast moving stream of pure oxygen over grease then it can cause it to catch fire.
An Instrument Fitter will know the details, but my understanding of the 'Use No Grease It Causes Explosions' sticker was on ALL gas bottles, not just Oxygen.

The reason being that when a gas is compressed it gets hot and when it expands it goes cold.


When a gas bottle is filling up an a/c system, the bottle is emptying and going cold, the a/c kit is being filled (compressed) and getting warm. I often have seen ice form around the valve of a gas bottle whilethe a/c system was being filled.


The simple example that was used to me, was that when you pumped up bicycle tyres, the pump gets hot.
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