RAF YATESBURY 1956.
I was at Yatesbury in 4-wing from 1951 to August 1956, first
on ARM NAV 57
(Air Radar Mechanic's course), with the radar altimeter using lecher bars
called AYF, Gee 2C, Rebecca 2, Babs, Walter and finally those pesky little
Jap alternator / generator sets. (I still remember the 4-stroke cycle as
Suck, Squeeze, Bang and Blow!)
I stayed on at Yatesbury as an Instructor on Rebecca 2 before completing the
9-month ARF 12 course (Air Radar Fitter), then went immediately back to
Instructing. The course was a bit strange - I was not only on the ARF course
'studying' Rebecca, I was also teaching it!
I then taught ab initio Fitters, the odd (and some really *were* odd) Boy
Entrants and also a number of Pakistani Air Force officers. Mostly I was
involved with Rebecca, from Rebecca 2 to Rebecca 4 to eventually Rebecca 7.
But also I had a spell with the various Gee upgrade models.
Tim Bryant pointed out that when he was stopped one day by F/Sgt Dunlap, he
was reminded "I'm not a b...y tire, you 'orrible little man!"
Friends I would like to contact include Jim Brocklebank and Don Eldred, but
in truth, there were soooo many great guys there. In the NAAFI were Yvonne
and Edith from whom we would buy fly pies.
I have never been back and now the place no longer is. But this coming
Sunday (9th September 2001), for the first time in over forty years, I am visiting the UK (I live
in clean, green and spacious New Zealand) for family reasons and will
endeavour to take a trip down the old A4 once more, past Silbury Hill, past
Beckhampton Corner, pausing to look at the Lansdown Monument and the White
Horse that so frequently almost became a cow or a stallion (Boy Entrants
again!) Maybe I can take a walk around the Hangars where we used to do guard
duty on bitterly cold nights, huddled round a red-hot stove, or maybe the
stroll across to the Malcolm Club.
Calling the roll for Hut Z56 - Biggs, Baker, Leybourne, Rablah, Haynes,
Emery, Fallowfield, Messenger, MacDonald, Burton, Stuart, McLeod, Owens,
Talbot, Templar ...
It would be good to hear from some
of my old friends.
Lionel (Jack) Frost
The Camp circa 1956 taken from the A4 road. In the foreground is either 3-wing Cookhouse or 3-winf NAAFI. In the background is the Little Theater, and on the right is the Radio club and the Officer's mess.
This photograph was taken in the 1990's and shows the camp after it was demolished.
The Ground Radar school, circa 1956. Barren, windswept and singularly uninviting.
All the above Photo's were given to Lionel by Mervyn Awcock, 3 wing, Ground Radar.
Article: Yatesbury, Wiltshire SU055710, 4 miles
E of Calne to be inserted
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