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Memory 14 - Bob Faucon - 1971-1972

Bob Faucon - Marham 1971-1972

My final posting of a 12 year engagement was at Marham 1971-72. As such, it was quite depressing in a way, yet joyous as I looked forward to a life enriched by my RAF experience. As a member of the Fight operations team, there were no “days off” being 24/7 shift work. I had arrived from Singapore, well recommended as during exercise “Bersatu Padu”, 57 Sqdn had been detached and a few fellow AATC had worked alongside myself and Groupie Bennett. I was allocated a MQ in Swaffham, opposite the Drill Hall there and at 1st this had separated us from the good things provided on camp such as NAAFI shop, clubs etc. I deliberately kept well clear of Guardroom, SWO and SHQ. I made it my goal not to be available for parades, fire picquets or guard duties and generally succeeded. There was lots of excitement though. Visiting aircraft, gliding incidents and a couple of Hot excercises in which I got to pull the lever and wake the neighborhood for miles around. I remember one particularly frightening incident one weekend, when a glider, being launched by winch, came almost to grief when lightning struck the cable. I watched open mouthed as the cable disintegrated, fully expecting the winch operator and the Glider occupants to vanish with it. Fortunately, that was not the case and the glider landed safely, while the winch driver wobbled shakily to the tea wagon. Previous to my tour in Singapore, I had witnessed a mid-air collision between a Canberra on exercise in the Battle area and a Victor Tanker climbing out of Marham, as I was taking a short cut through the Battle area one terrible evening. It was on my mind all the time I was at Marham and kept me on my toes realizing how dangerous a job it was flying for the Queen’s own Shell station. My respect for the aircrews grew every time I handed out the code books and threatened to lock up any of the Navs that were delinquent in handing them back in. It’s been 30 years now since Marham, all I have is my discharge book signed by the S ops O and this web-site for which I am grateful.

Thank you.

Bob Fauchon: smartstuff@shaw.ca

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