664 Sqn AAC : You find out who your friends are

I'd like to post this little episode that shows how much of a loss people like this are to a unit.

My room was next to the bar in the singlies block, handy when I was the barman and even handier when I wanted (needed) a drink. Like all bar opening times, they are never open long enough to satisfy your thirst and there was always the temptation to carry on the proceedings somewhere else and my room was nearest. The portability of the yellow handbag made it both extremely common for all night sessions or for currency to pay for those essential homers that were part of army life. Anticipating a session, it was probably a Sunday and things always came to head on Sundays, I had an ample stock of handbags and most visitors usually brought a contribution as well.

There was a good mix in the singlies block and all cap badges drank together even a chef who was a Luton supporter and me coming from Watford and those were the days when Scotland could field a football team that could beat England. So another night in the bar came to a close and my room was filled with bodies and handbags though I think the handbags had it on numbers. The clock ticked and the beer flowed and some drifted off and I think it was just myself and one other who just had to be B** H***s. Do you try to sleep or can you just shower and go to work. I think the drink got the better of me and I drifted off just as B** said that he would fix everything. I trusted him and I was too tired and pissed to care.

I woke up as two hunky medics tried to walk me up and down the corridor. I didn't understand, it had only been Herforder nothing stronger but then they asked me about the pills. Even in my state I noticed that the floor in my room had been a bit crunchy (unintentional pun) but wasn't yet capabable of reasonable thought. What my good mate B** had done was found some tablets and scattered them round my room and phoned up the med centre saying I had attempted suicide. I was still being walked up and down the corridor and wasn't really in any state to protest as I was then whisked off to the med centre. A doctor or the useless barstewards that the army have stood there with rather a long length of hose and a rather large amount of fluids. Finally I could add two and two together and make four and told the MO what had obviously happened. He didn't pump me out but it was close but he said he could be contacting my OC.

I can't remember exactly what happened when I got back to the unit as I was in no state to work but I don't remember being charged and nor was B**. I might have got an extra but it was a lucky escape. I remember saying to B** that maybe he should not try to help me out again but he had meant well and I had to see the funny side of it. What I remember is that he did look out for me, he failed miserably but it was all done with the best intentions. It was a sad loss when he died in the car crash and I lost two good friends that day.
It's a shame nobody has posted here. I didn't set it up as a shrine but just to show that you can depend on your mates. They don't always get it right but the intentions are good. Surely somebody has been bailed out by a mucker. Sorry I hate that word, mucker, reminds me of a full screw at Arborfield who thought he was mister popularity but received the grand total of zero when somebody collected for him. He deserved everything he got, shame that's not always the case.
Mistersoft have you had a look at thread called calling all mindeners, you will proberly reconise some names on there.
Keep the stories coming.
space_cadet said:
Mistersoft have you had a look at thread called calling all mindeners, you will proberly reconise some names on there.
Keep the stories coming.
Thanks space_cadet, already been there, recognized a few possibilities though it's a bit of a gyros fixation thread. They say an army marches on it's stomach and if they're not marching on it, they're thinking about it. You know what it's like, you're after a few old mates and you get an email from the bloke who stood next to the bloke who shared the same hairdresser as your best mate's aunty's son who knew your best mate because they went to the same STD clinic together. No, not knocking it in any shape or form, this is the best thing since tri-wing palm or the lefthanded version of the SA80 only much much better.
"Don't accept his award" he shouted as I walked into the hangar. I was only a couple of hours late and of course it hadn't been the drink, I'd stopped drinking a couple of hours before it was time to get up. Grab forty winks, I thought, a shite, shower, shave and and into work fresh as a daisy. It was at that moment, my brain woke up and I had a cunning plan. Where have I heard that before?

Everybody needs a car, I had car, it was huge yellow Vauxhall Victor, perfectly serviceable, the trackrod ends were so worn I had to wirelock them to stop them falling off. The steering did get a bit vague at 100mph but then so was I but but least it was finally the right side of the road. It had been lovingly looked after by an AEC officer who pocketed my two thousand marks as I wheelspun away from the car park. It was the Victor Hotel, a lcpl in the front and two air troopers in the back. It had been to France on a forged NATO travel order and Luxemburg and Denmark where the condenser went and you could get a backfire that would empty Copenhagen of pigeons and probably shortened the lives of a few Danish pensioners. It had toured Germany, it spent three days in a Zurich multi storey car park with beer bottles and feathers filling the empty spaces either side. It toured the Moselle and almost drove itself back as we tried to drink the area dry. It was getting tired and I needed a replacement.

Our VM had a girlfriend who's mother had a Ford Garage in Seesen. I got the price list and it was cheaper than the NAAFI and LHD was no extra cost and all I needed was the finance. The OC Lad was a pain but he had been signing loan applications like they were going out of fashion. Unknown to me a mate of mine newly out the BAT box had managed to save a vast amount of money. He wasn't tight, he always bought a drink with the emphasis on a drink, singular. He wasn't that bad, he was the one that wanted to hitch home from Denmark when the condenser went as it was Easter weekend and the Danish chain of Condensers 'R Us was shut until the Tuesday but he did pay his way. He was just careful.

Anyway, what the fcuk, I ordered the car, all the bells and whistles such as they were then. Eighteen thousand marks was far cheaper than NAAFI and you didn't have to be smarmed by an ex squaddie who was now Minden's answer to Arthur Daly. So I approached our EME, just remembered what the person was called but the chinese mechanic will do as he bore a striking likeness to David Yip who played the lead in the series the chinese detective. He turned me down, the bastad, the fcukpig and he wasn't much older than me and who did he think he was lecturing me and telling me to save up. Save up my arse, I had a car on the way, I was expecting.

Without finance I would still be liable for 20% of the cost price which was a fcuking lot of Herforder. Yes I should have waited but it was a good deal and I couldn't have foreseen him getting religion, the religion of telling me to fcuking save up for it. How the fcuk can you save up when you're already spending all your money on beer, something would have to give and it certainly won't be the beer. If I'd got the car then I would have made changes, I don't drink and drive, I keep spilling it.

So after another night drowning my sorrows, night became morning and I was fcuked. On my arrival I was warned for orders and waited for the OC to deal with me. I was marched in and charged but told him I was refusing his award as the pressure of not having finance for the car was driving me to drink, didn't realise about the unintentional pun but he did show interest. He called up the chinese mechanic and told him to sign my finance application. The EME glared daggers at me as he walked out but then of course I still had to be charged. I marched in, got fined ten quid, accepted it very gratefully and marched out.

So I was hated from that day on but the car was superb. The squadron went independant and I was not shocked that I was the ONLY one posted out. It was as I was leaving that I had dealings with the AAC officer who had sold passes at Middle Wallop as he had just been posted in but that's another story.

Finance can be expensive but I thought a ten pound fee was perfectly acceptable for my finance. The finance was with NAAFI in the end but beter that than paying almost four thousand marks for fcuk all.
jonwilly said:
MS did your squadron take over in NI Nov ? 84 from a Detmold squadron ?
HC ?
John, it could have done, I was gone by then and standing outside the McSheep Burger Bar in Stanley wondering why the NAAFI had shut it down. Just go back to the NAAAFI and buy our rations back in a toastie. Talking of sheep dead, sexual objects or otherwise, I was the black sheep of said squadron and was asked to leave in 1983, unlucky Hioldeheeeme got me for their sins. I missed out on a NI tour, had to go to BATUS, bastaaade ay? No medal but still got the proclaimation, still don't know what to do with it. Suggestions? On second thoughts.
So ya not Harry C.
We handed over to 660 Sqdn 90% sure at end of 84, but on one tour 660 had borrowed men and machines from the Minden Sqdn when it was 658.
Very unusual for a Reem to do Colly, a greenei also and I can only think of one who did. Never met the guy as such, but he was at 71 early mid 80's. Tall slim bloke and I remember him comming in 4 Regt hanger where he was pointed out to me.
I remember the handover, for 660 sent cabs without mechs (just Tiffys) and we had to nail the cabs together for them. I was crew chief that night and we split up into teams to do a cab each. My mukka Pete Mac got a Gaz which had been on airtest imediately before being stripped for airloading. All blades had been changed and none had been freshly colour coded and the senior I/C had neglected to change serial numbers in the 724. Now Pete can tick like a meter, once presant when he told the ASM to F-OFF only he was'nt as polite as that. Peaceful sort ar Pete but he would have slain the crew chief one JC if he had got his hands on him.
So we took over from you in Murry Hieghts in Feb 85, for me and Pete did NI, Bangkok then down Flatlands for 4 months before Bangkok again.
john lifes hell or so they tell me.
No jonwilly I'm not Harry C but there's a name that's a living walking leg end or was. If it's the Harry C I'm thinking of, him and Mick E were prohibited from serving in the same theatre let alone unit. I'm sure others will know more. He was on his upgropers when I was on basics, can't remember which one as I started on 140 then did my Houdini trick and finished on a later one but I'm fcuked if I can remember what the number was. Shite, I'll be keeping Mike Baldwin company, memory fading fast, that's why I'm writing it down, I can read it later when I'm totally dribbling.

So you were the burns night boys, I never made the Mackeson Book of Records, joined the mile high club on the way to Canada but I was on my own. Does it still count? Who was the SQMS that came down with you. I knew him from way back and I can't remember where and how and why but you just get this feeling, no not that sort of feeling.

I was glad I went to Colly before I was indoctrinated totally at AETW. Anything out of the ordinary and you got it in the neck so a light blue beret would have been like a red rag to a bull to the screws. I was just "raggy tash" as I'd forgotten my moustache trimmer. If I'd been in any longer I would have ended up like Taff H.
If you're really interested I could be Deayton and Jenifer but not Dawn French but then again I don't want to make it too easy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Who was the SQMS that came down with you"
Think you mean SSM, Billy G.
They say we all get promoted one rank beyond our capabilities. I first knew Billy at Minden when he was a trooper in 16/5. Yes already topped out.
So Sgts Mess Murry Heights. Track suits banned. Quite drink and bloke in track suit entres 20 fags he say.
OUT get OUT scream SSM Billy, we are looking orrified for we all recognized the Guilty Barsteward. Now he gets out and silence riegns, door then reopens and Garrison RSM steps back inside. YOU YOU Cum here. Ah Billy nice lad but somewhat lacking.
Taff H memory says he did Officers mess Sgt or wuz that Taff ?


Billy G's crowning achievement was when he was responsible for the joint WO's & Sgts/Officers Mess at Dishforth. When they'd completed the rebuild, it was discovered that he'd allocated 3 rooms for each Orifice, and barely enough for the living-in SNCOs. Twat.
That sounds like him I think. Our acting SSM was the SQMS back at Hillyshome. I remember he came round and counted the beds and the blankets and the.....................zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............................. He was on advance party so missed the burns bash.

He was counting the zeniths when I had my little foopah, oh well he had months to count the penguins. I wish I could remember where I knew him from before. One day when you least expect it I hope, I will remember.
Just remembered the old SSM at Minden, Ernie. I was barman and it was a session and him and Cornish Ron stayed all night drinking, I think it was my old mate Scotty, the greeenie who was there as well.
Ernie's wife asked the OC's wife what had been going on as Ernie had been out all night. The shite hit the fan but never reached our lowly levels though we had to curtail the all night sessions for a bit.
Nice bloke Ernie and Ron was ok though I heard his maths got him into trouble, still he was never bitter to us.
My mate Pete was just out visiting and we where having a knife in the back session. I mentioned Billy's job on leaving the mob and Pete says Yeah I heard about that. His Boss gave him the job as was the most miserable looking guy he had ever met.
At the start of this topic I mentioned the loss to the unit of a couple of good eggs. The loss was bad enough, I won't go into the sordid details of one funeral in particular and who attended and who SHOULD have attended but I would like to tell a few stories about the OC Squadron at the time and his weird and wonderful methods. I'm sure most will remember him, those that were there that is but like most officers they seem to come from nowhere and then disappear without trace afterwards. But maybe somebody knew him before or afterwards.

Major G***S** (opposite of bad ma'm) was quite a character, he got me the finance for my car (see earlier post) and on the parades he used to ask various squadron members who they had beaten up at the weekend and who had gone comatose and comment on a famous REME celebrity who had to throw up behind the parade because of his stomach ulcer. All in all and this alone he seemed ok for an officer that is.

The two squadron members were killed in a car crash coming back from Wagenfeld which I believe was a hangout for the Bunde mob and you couldn't move for flying suits at the disco. Of course if I'm wrong I'm sure you'll tell me. The car was badly smashed up and was brought to and left in the squadron car park for weeks as a reminder not to drink and drive. A noble sentiment perhaps but a totally insensitive gesture that was not appreciated by anybody.

Another example was at the junior ranks christmas dinner which was held in the squadron bar. The cockroaches had been given a 48 hour pass and tables had been set up and. We sat down to lunch and were served by the senior ranks. I don't know who started it but I didn't even though I was labelled as the ring leader but the inevitable food fight started. I knew it had started because I prefer to eat bacon and not wear it on my forehead. Of course I reciprocated, anybody wearing food as a cap badge would have done. The food fight fizzled out as anything big enough to throw had been thrown and the bar was a complete mess. The senior ranks had been expecting this and had even joined in but as the time to clear up came, they made a hasty exit.

The OC had got to hear about this and all the junior ranks especially me received a lecture about the waste of food and disgusting behaviour etc etc. I was tasked with ensuring that the bar was spotless which would have been something of a miracle and probably made the cockroaches homeless and we needed the cockroaches to drive the wives club out as they kept using OUR bar on Mondays. The episode was forgotten or so we thought.

I can't remember if we were told then or the following year but the next junior ranks christmas dinner was held out in a field with the festive 12x12s and 9x9s and food brought in from the cookhouse in containers which was cold and definitely only fit for throwing and not eating but nobody dared. The christmas spirit was further enhanced by some stupid games which obviously made such an impression on me that I've totally forgotten them. It wasn't just the food that left a nasty taste in the mouth.

I do believe the ringleader of the food fight was a guy called Paddy C***** (Christian equivalent of synagogue) as I saw him throw that bacon at me. Fair enough he got my roasties and fcuk were they hard and I'm not cross at him, I wonder what happened to him, nice bloke. If you do the crime, you do the time, no arguments going to Colly, it was a fair cop guv. The OC had some weird ways, fcuking weird but at least when I said goodbye to 664 he was honest with me. I said I was glad I was leaving and he said they were glad I was leaving but I did not start that food fight, ah what the fcuk.............
On a lighter note, had to go on an air test, was feeling so bad, heavy night in the squadron bar but had actually made it into work on time for once. Good pilot, a REME but pure coincidence took us up over the lovely Minden countryside, flat, cows, fields, more cows. Flying straight and level but then I made the mistake of saying I felt a bit ill. Apprently I had changed from my normal pasty alcohol induced pale white to a greenish hue.

The time to barf was close, so Ian put us down in a field of cows. Opened the door and locked it, not like in FI so thery fly away and try to escape to South Georgia, gave the thumbs up and ran to the middle of the field and threw my ring up. The cows had stopped grazing and were looking intrigued as I fertilized the field with a mixture of a naafi meat pie, Herforder, Dab and Carlsberg. Cleaned myself up, gave the thumbs up again, climbed back into the cab and yes I shut the door and left the cows to discuss that this doesn't happen every day, in German of course,

Felt great now, even had a fly myself but realised that what little talent I had should be reserved for fixing them and leave those with suitable coordination and skill, to fly them.
jonwilly said:
Ian S ?
Sounds about right as far as I can remember, I think he re-badged in the end and had an illustrious career with his shiny new eagle cap badge.
Trying to refresh my memory as much as jogging somebody else's, if I get it wrong you can correct me and I know you will. Thought I'd try and remember who we used to blame when the cabs went u/s.

The QHI was Barney P who was one of the best pilots I'd flown with, hadn't flown with many so not exactly the voice of experience. Remember flying in cloud and him wondering where the other German dusenflieger was as we'd seen one and he said they were like buses, you didn't see one for ages then loads just turn up at once. Landed on the sports field and proved that you don't need wheels to bimble along the ground. Upset the RCT but then at least it shut Kris Akabusi up who was apparently laughing away somewhere further down in trog land. Barney practiced some engine offs and left some nice furrows for the groundsmen to repair. Kris was still quiet. Good as it was like sharing a camp with a colony of kookaburras.

The guy who ripped my arms off (almost) as I was picked up in Simeonstrasse at ten in the morning by him and driver as I was supposed to be duty something and I'd dutifully got smashed and festered downtown, We were rear party as the rest were away on exercise. So the chief and head bottle washer threatened and successfully changed the attitude of his 2IC, me. A Para, had a nasty smash in BATUS but I'd still fly with him and the sort you'd definitely want on your side. Saw him at MW when I was on my upgropers but briefly as I was only briefly there, failed Maths, tried to drink the NAAFI dry and went back to Hildeshome.

A Greenjacket, had a wife that the whole of BAOR would be jealous of, French, not him, her. Had a memorable swanny with him and others playing cat and mouse well away from the squadron lines, don't remember if we flew under the canal bridge but it was being talked about alot. Another you wanted on your side, also saw him at MW on my upgropers, propping up the bar at the choppers, some things never seem to change.

A KOSB and the first of the officers I remember apart from the OC or OCs as I saw three there, a real rupert as he wore the trousers. Met him one Saturday morning as he had a sortie. He had been in the mess until late o'clock and I had been in the squadron bar just celebrating POETS day. Managed to get the cab out between us but the least said out about duals the better with my name in the 700.

Another Greenjacket but a commisioned one and I'm sure could command a posting on his own. Daddy apparently was something high up and his son was destined not to follow. Took off on excercise with the gearbox cowlings open and chewed them up a bit but celebrated his good fortune by charging somebody for an ND, something to do with BFAs flying through the air. Played footie with him and he just oozed RHIP as he swept through the centre of the field. Called him an arse but was instantly reprimanded, you're an arse , sir. Refused to put money in for a happy hour so had his binoculars stolen and was that popular that a job application for a position as a pilot was intercepted, filled in and returned by other aircrew mentioning things that don't usually do down on forms like this and listing his good points, sorry there weren't any but then his bad points, please see enclosed sheet 12. Wonder if he ever got the job?

I think I'll stop here, if anybody is interested, I can carry on. Can still remember a few more.
Wuz in BATUS when Charlei had his smash, good bloke just had a bad day, didn't know he got back flying.
Like many I was upset about Ian S. First knew him when he came to 71 just out of Wallop. He came to Minden as a Pilot before I left end of 77 and had known him in NI.
Still like hearing about old names faces, we had a couple of 'young tourisits' cum in my local over here. They where just chatting to each other and one says he was at Thruxton when that Heli went in. Ears pricked up and I ask about the matter, "Yeah stright down with no wings on."
Yeah Yeah thinks I. But he seemed a reasonable sort so we talked and he seemed well informed.
Some time later I got to read the CAA AIB report. Still leaves a shiver down my spine, for I too had been Type Rated on the same model.
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