British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
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....because it might be more worrying to look ahead!!
I've just been reading Dave's post; it's always good to hear from someone who always has a positive, self-deprecatory attitude to life. Bad backs!!I could go on but I won't.
Looking back...... I remember the times when as kids we would ride on our rickety bikes to various airfields to see - and hear - Spitfires, Hurricanes and even Gloucester Gladiators taking off. One such airfield was at Burscough and, as I've said before, Booths have recently opened a "supermarket" on the site, but a "supermarket" with a difference, in that it's a most pleasant place to go. Even to tedium of shopping for basic essentials is leavened by the pleasures of having had excellent coffee served by pleasant people.
There are huge displays of old photos etc of "RNAS Ringtail" - yes it was a naval air station, housing planes from aircraft carriers which had gone into Liverpool. This morning there was an interesting leaflet available which told of an accident - in which, luckily, no-one was hurt. It was described at the time as a "Monumental Cock-up".
1772 Naval Air Squadron was known as "The Friendly Squadron". It was 25 October 1945. The Co Lt Cdr Gough was due to move on and wished to go having made a good impression.
The weather was not good; there was thickish mist with visibility down to 200 yards. The CO ordered a "carrier deck-ranging exercise in which aircraft tucked themselves in closely at the end of the runway, as is usual on an aircraft carrier. In fact, a dummy flight-deck was marked on the runway. The idea was that, on a given signal, each aircraft would move into position on the centre line, open uproar off at take-off revs, and throttle backmost of the planes were Seafires (the naval version of Spitfires0 but, because it was misty, and vision with the tail down was inhibited, the exercise was conducted with Fireflies. Even so forward visibility with the long nose of the Firefly was poor. And so the stage was set for the MC-u.
Firefly 4z throttled back a little late, overtook 4m and hit it with the port wing tip. 4m "ground looped. This was repeated on 4j and they all lost their undercarriages.
The new CO arrived on 1st November 1944.
The leaflet includes a photo of the aftermath of the MC-u. I'll try to reproduce it here.
The best I can do:
Yes, looking back. When the war started I was living down in the Blackwood area of Monmouthshire which is about 12 miles up the road from Newport. There was a hill on the outskirts of Blackwood called the Pentwyn. We never had any air raids up in the valleys because the planes could not find their way around but they did plaster Newport and Cardiff which was about 20 miles away. So when the air raids were on we used to go up the Pentwyn and watch the searchlights and ack-ack fire going around and sometimes see a German bomber caught in the searchights. There was small village down the road from Blackwood called Ystrad Mynach and one night the Germans dropped some parachute bombs. One got caught by the wind and sailed up the valley and dropped on that village. Half of the main street was completely destroyed. and that was the nearest we ever got to a bombing raid.