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Memory 17 - Alan Middleton - II (AC) Sqn - 1954-1957

Alan Middleton - II (AC) Sqn 1954 - 1957

Hello there Shiny 2, I have been scouring the net for months looking for you and bumped into you yesterday,at last.

I was a pilot on 2 from Jan 1954 to Jan 1957, name's Alan Middleton, I am now 69 and retired, been living in Melbourne, Australia for the last 34 years.

Memories of Marham I served under Bob Weighill, of rugby fame, and "Bunny" Mortley who took over from Bob in 1956 just before we converted to Swifts. Bunny's last flying job had been Dakotas on the Berlin airlift and for a while there he was like a fish out of water trying to adjust to a 400 knot increase and a slightly lower cruising altitude!

My wife and I visited you in 1992 whilst on a holiday trip back home, but you were all off on an armament practice somewhere in North Africa from memory. I did get to look over a Tornado though thank you. It would have been great to look over your scrapbooks and revisit old places and old friends no doubt stored in there.

I served at Wahn from 1/1/54 to 25/10 55 when we moved to Geilenkirchen. At Wahn we had a C flight of Belgian AF F84G's, about 6 a/c and pilots from memory. They were supposed to be learning about TacR but spent most of their time at 35000ft doing long range nav exercises!! They became the nucleus of the RBAF's 1st TacR Squadron.

Memory 17b

I remember the reintroduction of Sqn. markings in 1954 and how we pilots scoured the records for examples of pre war markings. From memory the current black and white with triangles is a composite of some of the various marks used over the early years. It would be true to say that 1954's markings were new in design and we had to have them approved by Air Ministry.

In one of the attached photos there is a shot of "Hereward" our St.Bernard mascot in 1956. He was officially recognized and was on the Airmen's Mess ration list. We used to have a daily Duty dog officer, who's tasks included collecting his food and feeding him, and allowing him to sleep in the DDDO's room. He snored and eventually was so big there wasn't enough room for him and you on the same bed!! We had to get rid of him unfortunately. He began to feel the urge and as he was as big as a donkey by then he was a real danger to all the bitches on the Station! We found a good home for him with a German gent who bred St.Bernards and Hereward found satisfaction!

There's also a photo of a loose formation of Meteor 9's doing a dummy run for a "2" picture before we lost them. It was decided that we could fit 4 in the line abreast at the bottom and also tighten up the whole formation. Fortunately for me I was Duty Officer on the 15th when they did just that and found that 4 abreast take more room than 4 in echelon! Chas Boyer's port wing tip penetrated Tony Winship's starboard engine nacelle and pushed off the HP Cock for him. Chas knew he was in trouble straight away as his ailerons jammed, but poor old Tony couldn't figure out what was going on for a while as he skidded along on one engine. All this at 300ft over the Airfield, in close formation, with 3 and 234 Squadrons watching on critically. Embarrassing.

Memories of Marham Of our pilots, I believe Manx Kelly made a name for himself as an aerobatic display pilot in civvy street, Ross Colwill flew with the Black Arrows when he was repat., Dicky Green was killed testing the Flying Bedstead at Farnborough, Tony Winship was going to command the first TSR2 Squadron before it was scrubbed in 59, and I believe he had asked for most of us ex 2 pilots to form the Squadron. Bob Weighill died a couple of years ago, leading the English Rugby Union to the end I believe. As for every one else I have no idea where they are or if they are, but they were a great bunch of friends and comrades and I often think back to those days when we upended the odd Carlsberg or two.

If you have any contacts from my era please let me know and if you have any queries regarding the pictures. I have lots of time on my hands and heaps of memories to bore you all with! Best Wishes, Alan Middleton email alymid@ssc.net.au 47 Tate Ave., Wantirna South, Vic.3152, Australia Tel 03 98011572

P.S. When I left I was asked to contribute to the purchase of a sword for the Standard Bearer. I was told that my name would be engraved on the hilt together with the others who contributed. Do you still have this sword?

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