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RIP Pat King

Old 13th Nov 2015, 00:17
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RIP Pat King

With sadness, I relay news of the death of Pat King on 9 Nov 15. He was a charismatic dynamo who really helped me and others in the early days. My thoughts are with Audrey and family.

His funeral will be on Tuesday 17 November at 14.30 at Marholm Crematorium, Peterborough, and afterwards at the Haycock, Wansford.

http://www.fourfax.co.uk/11/members/pat-king-rip
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Old 13th Nov 2015, 07:25
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A sad loss. Pat King was such a nice chap and inspiring to all those who knew him.

I was on a course at SORF with Pat. When he spoke in the crewroom, everyone would listen as all his words of experience were priceless. His account of how, as a JP, he'd screwed up in a Swift FR5 in Germany, landing with half a pine forest decorating the underside, was an aviation classic.

He never raised his voice; his presence was sufficient. For example, once when the coffee bar was untidy and the sink was full of dirty cups, he merely said "It looks like it's my turn to be Duty Housewife today.....". Point made as only Pat could.

RIP
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Old 13th Nov 2015, 22:29
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RIP Sir.

A true Gentleman and Officer that I was proud to serve under. I still tell the tale that I, as a mere Corporal received a wedding present and card from the "Staish" on our wedding day. Also chuckle about him putting on his specs to sign out in the F700 .......then taking them off and walking.......and climbing into the wrong cab!

RIP Sir.
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Old 20th Nov 2015, 18:34
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I am amazed at the lack of replies to this thread. I didn't know Pat King very well but I instructed him on a refresher course. He was about to take over command of Wittering and it was usual to fly to the incumbent station commander's station on a land away. Pat King's only comment on flying back to Leeming was the PA's legs were fantastic!&lt;br /&gt;<br />
&lt;br /&
Sad to see such a fellow go.<br />
CB

Last edited by cheese bobcat; 20th Nov 2015 at 19:02.
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Old 20th Nov 2015, 20:44
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Copied from "I Wish I Hadn't Said That".

Pat was CO at Wittering when he, along with all other COs in the Group, was summoned to Gp HQ for a sesh with the AOC. The last item, tabled by the AOC, was introduced as "a drinking problem".

Pat told the AOC: "I don't think we have a drinking problem at Wittering. I think we're rather good at it".

Last edited by earswentpop; 20th Nov 2015 at 20:45. Reason: Gm.
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 12:38
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cheese bobcat, you have to remember that there are few people left on PPRuNe who remember the era which we both enjoyed; sadly that includes those who were fortunate enough to have known Pat.

I guess you were a SORF QFI?
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 14:52
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Is this the same Pat King who was CO at Salalah in the late 1960s? If so, he was one hell of a character.
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 14:54
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A very sad loss. One of the best. Apologies for delay, (have been away and do not bother with internet!).
RIP, Sir. Happy memories. Bill.
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 15:43
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If indeed Pat King was at Salalah then I once accompanied him to the Muscat Regt. Fort for a drinks evening. A convoy of vehicles full of armed askaris collected us and drove across the desert like lunatics in the dark. When we asked why the armed escort, the two majors showed us a pit outside the main gate with a regimental sign next to it saying "Pat Trap". They reckoned it was safer to collect him on drinks evenings. He said that he wanted to go onto harriers from Salalah but we told him he was too corpulent for the jump jet. How wrong we were. A grand fellow, sorely missed
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 18:18
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Yes, Pat was the Salalah man, as recounted by him in Harrier Boys. He had a remarkable flying career in the RAF, with Hunter and Swift tours as a junior officer, then commanding Salalah as a Sqn Ldr, flt cdr on IV Sqn (Harrier), OC 233 OCU, Stn Cdr Wittering during the Falklands conflict, and Inspector of Flight Safety. He then did quite a few years in civil aviation back in the Gulf.

There was an excellent turnout for his funeral. It was held 55 years to the day after one of his greatest adventures, when he flew his Swift through some German pine trees, but managed to land it safely, ready for the one-sided interview.

Last edited by noprobs; 22nd Nov 2015 at 09:21.
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 20:04
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How sad. I remember Pat from Brawdy (we did a Hunter refresher together). One Sunday, with others, we decided to drink at the Druidstone (it was the only drinking establishment open on a Sunday in those days). The forecast for Monday was high speed fog. Pat was programmed for his IRT, but we drank on the forecast. BIG mistake. As we drove up Newgale cliff in the early hours of the morning, we broke out into sunshine. Needless to say, the Inspector Of Flight Safety (desig) flew the IRT and passed with flying colours. He later told me that if he had been sober he would have failed
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 20:39
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noprobs wrote:
There was an excellent turnout for his funeral. It was held 50 years to the day after one of his greatest adventures, when he flew his Swift through some German pine trees, but managed to land it safely, ready for the one-sided interview.
55 years, surely? According to Pat's description in Out of the Blue pp 222-233, his adventure with the pine trees was on 17 Nov 1960.

If anyone hasn't yet read Out of the Blue, they really should. Tales of the times when Once We Had an Air Force....

Pat's close encounter of the pine tree kind is also described in Nigel Walpole's book Swift Justice - another excellent account of RAF flying back in those days.
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 10:33
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Jever

This gentleman features many times on the JEVER website back in the days when we had lots of real aeroplanes with guns, and even more pilots actually flying them. The site is a wonderful 'snapshot' of what is was like to be based at a front line cold war base that had to be ready for 'instant' action in all weathers
when all weather really meant all weather (and plenty of fog).
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 18:15
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
cheese bobcat, you have to remember that there are few people left on PPRuNe who remember the era which we both enjoyed; sadly that includes those who were fortunate enough to have known Pat.

I guess you were a SORF QFI?
Indeed I was a QFI on RFS, as it became known. My secondary duty was SFDLO, which invoved much drinking in Leeming village.

Pat would have been proud of us!

CB
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Old 23rd Nov 2015, 17:01
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I was on standby early one Sunday morning in Bahrain. I was told to round up my crew and do a freight flight to Salalah. The load consisted of eight pallets and it was considered so urgent that Saudi Diplomatic overflight clearance had been obtained so that we could fly there directly instead of having to route via Fahud.

When we got to our trusty Argosy, we discovered that the front four pallets consisted of crates of Amstel and the rear four were Carlsberg. Salalah had run out of beer so S/L King had realised that this was a huge morale problem and that it had to be solved ASAP. I am pleased to report that we were there by Sunday lunchtime, just in time to save the day.

Anyway, my Glaswegian navigator had a wonderfully dry sense of humour. He was forever calculating such things as "Do you know that the brakes on a Britannia generate enough energy to raise a 5-ton elephant to 200 feet and cook it at Gas Mark 5"?

So, halfway across the Empty Quarter, he came up with "Do you realise that if we go down and make a successful force-landing, we are all going to die of thirst"?

With eight pallets of ale on board, I thought this to be unlikely but Eddie started quoting the Desert Survival manual. It went like this:

On Day One we have to drink 8 pints. However, in order to process 1 Ounce of alcohol, we have to drink 2 pints of water so:

On Day Two we have to drink 16 pints etc etc etc.

By Day 4, we shall all be dead but we shall all have a smile on our faces"!

Happy Daze.
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 09:03
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S/Ldr King - my favourite Pilot on 4 sqn

I never knew him as Pat of course as I was a J/T engine fitter and later Cpl.
He was always pleasant to his ground crew and I would always see him off if I was on shift that day. His 'personal' aircraft was XV781 and when we went camping in the field I would always look after that aircraft. For some reason that was the only time that pilots tended to fly the Harrier with their name on it. I do remember his first flight from a field somewhere when he got in, pushed the button and the engine did not start. I could tell straight away that the ignitors were not cracking. I told him that if he snagged it the job would take a while as we didn't have the part available. I had done the Bristol course on the Pegasus and suggested that he start the engine on the relight switch. For some reason this was not allowed, even under a green line entry. So that is what he did and we were all happy. A couple of days later a sprog F/O pilot appeared. I asked him if he had spoken to S/Ldr King about starting the engine and he replied something like "Of course I know how to start the engine".... Of course it didn't start and I didn't mention the 'illegal' method of starting it. Of he toddled and snagged it. A while later Pat King arrived and we carried on as usual. Nothing at all was said. He snagged it back at Wildenrath.
I last saw him on 233 OCU where I was running the line. He was annoyed that I was buying myself out and unfortunately I could not explain how unhappy I was at the OCU and especially on the 'desk' job I had been given. That was in early 1973.
Oh, and he was the best fighter pilot we had especially with the Aden guns. He came back from a sortie where they had fired HE ammo and SNEB rockets. I asked what it was like to do that and he replied "Better than a burst on the banjo"
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