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Memory 15 - Stanley Holloway - 1953-1955

Stanley Holloway - Marham 1953-1955

I arrived at Marham in 1953 via Wales, not that I had taken the wrong train or anything that simple. The explanation is more complicated as I had returned from overseas to do a course, the course did not materialize and as I had returned from abroad I was given what was referred to as a "home posting" being a Londoner, I was sent to West Wales. Exchanged postings operated in those days and I managed to eventually swap my job with a Welshman who was stationed at Marham.

My first impressions of RAF Marham were most favourable and after the usual signing in I found myself assigned to the Instrument Section which I believe was attached to Hangar 4, the task that I was allotted was to collect and return repaired or calibrated instruments to the four Squadrons, 90, 207, 35 and 115 this was carried out using a very early enclosed lorry which I collected from the M.T. Section, I remember that the battery was usually flat and that it had to be started on the handle.

When I arrived at Marham the squadrons were still flying B29 Washington's but were shortly to be re-equipped with Canberra's which was instrumental in me being offered a transfer to 115 Sqn, hence I left the old truck to carry out frontline servicing firstly on B29's and then after conversion on Canberra's. During this time 115 Sqn won The Laurence Minot Bombing Trophy and the Aircraft Servicing Efficiency Trophy, the bombing trophy was awarded for the best average bombing error, this was a competition for inter-squadron visual bombing. The presentation was made by Marshal of The Royal Air Force The Lord Tedder on 4th December,1953. Our Squadron Commander was Sqn Ldr L.G. Holmes DFC AFC.

My memory of Marham is one of working quite hard, of many flying exercises, night and day flights, of bombsite faults and temperamental instruments and of course of dragging oxygen bottle trolleys across the pan, low pressure on the B29's and high pressure on the Jets but they still seemed to be as heavy. I remember training, military style, parading and marching for a radio programme, I believe it was called something like 'The Pilot' we were the feet marching, I think that Marham was selected because of the hanger. Someone else may know more but it was the first and last time that I was on radio.

I got married in June 1955 and I remember that when I got back from my honeymoon the squadron flew out to Castle Benito in Libya for a desert exercise. But best of all I remember that RAF Marham was a friendly station and that 115 squadron had the finest bunch of aircrew and groundcrew that I had met.

Stanley Holloway
home@aviation.free-online.co.uk

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