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Old 7th Dec 2017, 16:45   #261 (permalink)
 
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Summer Camping. Apart from within Germany,Holland, Belgium,Luxembourg :
1977 Hire big tent,then with (BFES) GF: drive From RAFG down to France and around Spain.
1978. All ditto the initial above: then drive Switzerland, Italy, Yugoslavia (down as far as Dubrovnik) then inland and back up via Austria.
1979. ditto the initial above: Then Spain ,Portugal,France camping.
Winters skiing: Southern Germany and Austria.
Happy Days!
(All this apart from duty trips to Denmark, France, U.K., Hamburg ,Southern Germany, Italy and Berlin , Gliding Wednesday afternoons ,and weekends ,plus "expeditions" of course )

In between all this we managed three Harrier deployments in the field each year.....and got "One's" across the board on Taceval.
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Old 7th Dec 2017, 17:56   #262 (permalink)
 
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Spring and summer '82 we (wife plus two young sons) were living in Donderberg, a suburb of Roermond. I commuted to/from Brueggen on my trust Honda steed and if, arriving home of a sunny late afternoon / early evening to an empty house & no car in the drive, I knew exactly where they would be - swimming and splashing about at the lake alongside the Maas on the other side of Roermond. A quick change then tootle off to join them for a relaxing bbq and (one) beer. About the only good thing that could be said about living in Donderberg.

Some of the lakes were produced due to the quarrying to build Bruggen I believe, one of our guys learnt to windsurf there so he could show his stuff on an annual Deci trip, all went well and come his first go in Deci he dissapeared off into the distance heading for Italy, a guy went out in a boat and recovered him, asking where he thought he was going, he said he learnt at Roermond and got quiet good at it, however he used to cross the lake, hop off turn round then sail back across, it was only when out at sea he realised he hadn't practiced the turning bit

When I watched the only fools and horses Miami special with Del surfing out at sea I had to chuckle as it reminded me of him.
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Old 7th Dec 2017, 22:17   #263 (permalink)
 
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Lyneham Lad


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I knew exactly where they would be - swimming and splashing about at the lake alongside the Maas on the other side of Roermond.
My boss in JHQ assembled his own boat from a kit and sailed it on the lake adjacent to the River Maas at Roermond. ISTR there was a sailing club at Roermond where JHQ and/or other British Military units sailed their boats, my boss certainly did together with other Brits there and I often crewed for him. A couple of photos from my album below.














The other place that was lovely to visit were the vineyards on the River Mosel, we regularly camped there - out on Friday evening - back on Sunday evening and whilst there sampling the gorgeous Mosel wine in the reasonably cheap restaurants or Guesthouses - very happy memories indeed. See below.

















If swimming in the Mosel watch out for the barges complete with skipper's car parked on the deck!


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Old 7th Dec 2017, 22:31   #264 (permalink)
 
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I'm loving all the photography of places I recognise bringing back happy memories of times gone by.
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Old 7th Dec 2017, 22:54   #265 (permalink)
 
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We enjoyed camping throughout Europe during early days in RAFG, but trying it back in UK put us off, the sites in the early 70s were not a patch on those in Germany, Holland etc. Then 6 years on the HF put me off camping for good! For those tours it was a caravan.
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 05:06   #266 (permalink)
 
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I certainly took full advantage of all the available sporting activities in RAFG during the mid to late 1950's. I have sum very pleasant memories of sailing on the Steinhuder Meer which was the biggest lake in Germany but I believe only about five feet deep. The RAF had a sailing school there with a selection of boats for hire at a nominal price.

In winter we had access to skiing at Winterberg where all the gear could be hired, all again for a relatively nominal fee.

I also took advantage of the gliding facilities at Gutersloh and Wildenrath.

Last edited by DODGYOLDFART; 9th Dec 2017 at 12:21.
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 11:17   #267 (permalink)

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SB,

Camping......Aargh! But the Harrier Force had it easy compared to what SH had to put up with. The first time I landed my Puma at a deployed HF site "tented city" with its walkways, armchairs and fridges, I couldn't believe it. It was a complete contrast compared with the few resources we were given.

Others here will probably remember the infamous pig farm site one of our Sqn flights had to use. The farmer literally moved his pigs up into one half of the barn, put up some hoardings to keep them there, swept the floor to some extent - and one of our flights moved in. The mess tent was set up inside, on pig dung.

I still have memories of landing at last light at our deployed site to be told that my 7x5 was somewhere in the back of one of the trucks. When I eventually found it, it had no poles, guy ropes or pegs. It wasn't uncommon for aircrew to arrive at a new site after a long day of tasking to find that we had missed dinner and there was nothing held back for us to eat till breakfast time. As for spending three days in full aircrew NBC kit, including the AR5, and having to sleep in it too (or trying to) .....thank goodness those days are over.

These days I would never consider camping a holiday!
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 11:38   #268 (permalink)
 
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Sounds like the real thing that could happen should the Red Hordes have ever decided to invade!
Those Harrier boys wouldn't have lasted long��
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 12:09   #269 (permalink)
 
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Goudie,

If the Reds had ever decided to 'Go West' they'd have received the shock of their lives.

Yes we did take comfort into the field when we deployed with the Harriers - but we also took determination with us. I enjoyed the duty-free car, the camping holidays and the bars (and discos - I was single on my first RAFG tour).
The pre-dawn 'stand-to' gave us time to reflect on why we were there. 4 Squadron was there to confirm targets for 50 Missile Regt RA with their Lance battlefield missile - with a nuclear warhead. We didn't dwell on it, and often made jokes but most of us were aware of the job we were there to do. We knew how to move - fast from one site to another - we'd have given a good account of ourselves.
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 12:21   #270 (permalink)
 
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My comment was a little ' tongue in cheek' HAS59. I'm sure you would have given a very good account of yourselves, as we all would have done.
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 12:25   #271 (permalink)

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Sounds like the real thing that could happen should the Red Hordes have ever decided to invade!
Those Harrier boys wouldn't have lasted long��
Nor would we rotary chaps. Our job was to fly the anti-tank missile crews directly to their firing positions as the "WP main thrust" got going.

The Soviets built Hind anti-helicopter helicopters (and then the fixed wing "Frogfoot") especially for us. We just had a GMPG in the door - not a lot of use when the crewman couldn't open the door to use it. I had a 9mm which I think was to top myself with if I didn't get killed outright in the crash.

I reckon we'd have all gone within a day.
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 14:05   #272 (permalink)
 
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Nor would we rotary chaps. Our job was to fly the anti-tank missile crews directly to their firing positions as the "WP main thrust" got going.

The Soviets built Hind anti-helicopter helicopters (and then the fixed wing "Frogfoot") especially for us. We just had a GMPG in the door - not a lot of use when the crewman couldn't open the door to use it. I had a 9mm which I think was to top myself with if I didn't get killed outright in the crash.

I reckon we'd have all gone within a day.
Just as well then that the Hinds of the East German airforce were mostly U/S, if not engineless, and their conscript GC's pissed on cheap vodka half the time. This from an ex Hind pilot friend who transferred to the Luftwaffe post unification. Their weekly intelligence briefs stated that the NATO hoards were about to advance Eastwards without warning. A political game in which both sides were mightily conned.
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 14:28   #273 (permalink)
 
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I had a 9mm which I think was to top myself with if I didn't get killed outright in the crash.
Wrong. That job was allocated to MY 9mm

CG
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 14:31   #274 (permalink)

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Just as well then that the Hinds of the East German airforce were mostly U/S, if not engineless, and their conscript GC's pissed on cheap vodka half the time. This from an ex Hind pilot friend who transferred to the Luftwaffe post unification. Their weekly intelligence briefs stated that the NATO hoards were about to advance Eastwards without warning. A political game in which both sides were mightily conned.
Damn, nearly twenty years of my life wasted....
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 14:36   #275 (permalink)
 
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Damn, nearly twenty years of my life wasted....
Nah, not wasted ST! 18Sqn '73-'76 (in my case) was infinitely better than the next two years at Odi/Ald

Last edited by Al-bert; 9th Dec 2017 at 15:06.
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Old 9th Dec 2017, 16:03   #276 (permalink)

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Wrong. That job was allocated to MY 9mm

CG
Thanks for your thoughtfulness
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Old 10th Dec 2017, 13:33   #277 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
But the Harrier Force had it easy compared to what SH had to put up with.
N.B.Harrier Force RIC unofficial motto:
.
.
.

" Any fool can be uncomfortable".
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Old 10th Dec 2017, 15:35   #278 (permalink)
 
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The 1BR Corps deployments were a sight to behold. Met shared two box-bodies with Corps Int, and leapfrogged as HQ leapfrogged.
S Met O 1BR Corps was the prime Metman to deploy, but was always mysteriously on leave or sick when the no-notice deployments were triggered.

Thus LB [from Gutersloh] into the fray.
At dusk a VSO took to the air to check the camo and IR signature of the site, after which a NBC environement reigned for about 15 hours.
LB achieved brief fame by sleeping through a substantial war in full NBC gear and respirator, and awoke fresh as a daisy to warm bread rolls and mess silver. "The cooks have to exercise too, y'know"

In later years the Harriers were occasionally supported in the field by our Mobile Met Unit team, in their temporary guise as RAFVR. By which time my function, such as it was, was to turn up to gaze in wonder, make admiring or condemnatory noises, take coffee and depart from whence I came.

The choppers had to make do with the daily "Standard Area Forecast" once deployed, cut off from their more competent airfield Met forecasters.

As always, comms. were the bugger, both for disseminating info. in time to be useful, and for receiving feedback in real time.
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Old 10th Dec 2017, 19:16   #279 (permalink)

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The choppers had to make do with the daily "Standard Area Forecast" once deployed, cut off from their more competent airfield Met forecasters.
Our "competent airfield met forecaster" once came into Met brief with snow all over his blazer, only to confidently pronounce that there was no chance of snow that day. It seemed to take him a while to work out why everyone was laughing, even though by then most of it had melted into drops of water it was still visible.

On deployment we usually checked the local met ourselves on a "suck it and see" basis. I was once asked to go out and do a weather check by the Flight Commander. I walked outside, looked up, saw very low cloud and went back into the ops Landrover. The Flt Cdr asked me why I hadn't got airborne; I said because the weather was well outside limits. He grumpily detailed another, "more keen to please" pilot to get airborne (another black mark on my my school report). Said pilot ran out, started up, took off and went into my reported low cloud at about 75 ft agl. He couldn't get back to the site for three days...
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Old 11th Dec 2017, 15:19   #280 (permalink)
 
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A word of explanation regarding the Standard Area Forecast.
This was produced by the Duty Senior Met man [there were no senior women at that time] in the semi-basement in JHQ. Early each morning the FBS broadcast it at dictation speed, often mangled in the process. It was primarily for AAC use when flying from the many unsupported airfields/ strips/ garrisons/ green fields in N Germany.
In my 3 years I never ever had any feedback. Ever. Thus my faith in accuracy was low.

However, we had the Clutch plus Gutersloh plus Detmold also forecasting for all and any that asked for such, and these did get feedback, especially if their gen was crap.
Detmold in particular, supporting the AAC, had a great deal of contact with army customers and provided a service far better than I could provide from my hole in the ground.
In retrospect it would have made more sense for Detmold to write the Standard Area when manned, and JHQ to take over at weekends.
As drawdown got under way, I believe that Bruggen took over the 7/24 watch for the Standard Area. Either way, the N German Plain was far from fun for forecasting for low flying. I still bear the scars.
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