Back in 1954 at age 18, two years National Service was compulsory and after basic training plus 5 months technical training as a radar mechanic at RAF Yatesbury, I was posted to RAF Wattisham to serve out my 2 years. Aircrew, quite rightly, are the golden boys of any squadron but I like to think that the groundcrew, of which I was one, played an important part in keeping the aircraft ready to fly.
Groundcrew 1954" I am in the front row on the right holding the coke bottle.
Although I had not voluntarily joined the RAF I can honestly say my 17 or so months with 152 squadron at Wattisham turned out to be some of the happiest times of my life.
I came out to New Zealand in 1958. I'm now age 74 so I guess "looking back" to when I was a young man is one of the pleasures of growing old - hence the search for some reference to "my" old squadron! I recall we did go over to RAF Geilenkirchen in 1955 for an exercise for a couple of weeks.
The squadron flew Meteor NF 14's of course and when doing airfiring from Wattisham out over the North Sea it was not uncommon for the pilots to fly without a navigator. That was the time for us groundcrew to talk a pilot into taking us for a trip.
I did one such flight and once was more than enough! I was sure pleased to get my feet back on terra firma again!
It brings back happy memories. I sometimes wonder what happened to the guys I shared my life with on 152 squadron at RAF Wattisham during 1954 to 1956.