Op Banner photos - some memories for the old and bold

A couple from my archives..
img006.jpg
img008.jpg


Derry in the early 70s - spot the half mast trousers in traditional Bay City Roller stylee
 
Last edited:
The helmet was the WW 2 replacement for the pudding bowl helmet and it was shite. As they were all very worn, any attempt at moving faster than walking pace was a cue for the helmet to roll around your head and slip forward or back. It was eventually replaced by the Israeli Rabintex helmet, which, apart from vehicle and aircraft helmets, was probably the first helmet in the DF where they actually made an effort to make it fit the individual soldier and assign each lid to an individual, instead of just dumping them on the Q stores floor.... The flak jacket was the American type and unless it had the anti-slip patch on the shoulder, the butt of the rifle would slide off and accurate firing was difficult. The flak jackets were often in very bad condition as it was universally regarded as "someone else's job" to keep them in shape, ie not the Q staff, not the line soldiers, not the unit tailors,etc,etc.....The soldier in the picture was wearing a homemade brassard for his stripes, as stripes were often not sown directly onto the combat jacket. Soldiers were officially issued one full set of combats, OG, so, naturally everyone did their best to beg, borrow or steal another set, so one set was for the day job and another was for parade...................... The provision of combats in the DF was unusual, in that only one firm made the kit, from a building behind the Special Criminal Court in Dublin, which was invariably surrounded by soldiers as it was where IRA types were tried, so the manufacturer had 24 hour security by the DF. Irish OG was not available for sale to the public but the IRA and associated crims never seemed to have any problem getting it. Given that it could be bought readily in the UK, quite often Irish soldiers got family in the UK to buy it for them........webbing of that period was 58 pattern.
 
Soldiers were officially issued one full set of combats, OG,... The provision of combats in the DF was unusual, in that only one firm made the kit, from a building behind the Special Criminal Court in Dublin... Given that it could be bought readily in the UK, quite often Irish soldiers got family in the UK to buy it for them.
Were IDF combats different from the older OG combats used by the British Army? I've always been under the impression, maybe wrongly, that whatever clothing and equipment the British Army used, the IDF land forces did as well.

Cheers,
Dan.
 
It was pretty much the same as the British set. It had multiple pockets inside and out, ideal for the smuggling of loot, especially anything that could be liberated from the cookhouse. It came with a button-on hood and a body warmer/gilet and was worn over a knitted sweater (which was a cheap and nasty commercial design on a par with a kid's school jumper). We were also issued a very nice green scarf, which was open at one end and could be worn on the head as a hat and then the rest wrapped around the neck. This was highly prized and had to be guarded jealously. The green jumper was unreinforced, unlike the classic woolly-pully and was often "field-modified" with elbow patches. The trousers were baggy and had the little eye-loops in the bottom to fit a lace or a bit of twine to pull them in and were often modified to the skinny-leg standard, especially by Depot types. They were then known as shit-stoppers...........a lot of our kit was British, until about the mid-70s and continues to be, such as the 25-pdr was our main gun and the 105mm Light Gun is still the current gun. Our radios were mostly American AN/PRC-77 and various larger types but are now SINGCARS. We had and continue to use the Carl Gustav 84mm. Lots of other kit are still UK origin and a lot of our Officer/Ranger/Navy training is still conducted with British military schools.
 
It was pretty much the same as the British set. It had multiple pockets inside and out, ideal for the smuggling of loot, especially anything that could be liberated from the cookhouse. It came with a button-on hood and a body warmer/gilet and was worn over a knitted sweater (which was a cheap and nasty commercial design on a par with a kid's school jumper). We were also issued a very nice green scarf, which was open at one end and could be worn on the head as a hat and then the rest wrapped around the neck. This was highly prized and had to be guarded jealously. The green jumper was unreinforced, unlike the classic woolly-pully and was often "field-modified" with elbow patches. The trousers were baggy and had the little eye-loops in the bottom to fit a lace or a bit of twine to pull them in and were often modified to the skinny-leg standard, especially by Depot types. They were then known as shit-stoppers...........a lot of our kit was British, until about the mid-70s and continues to be, such as the 25-pdr was our main gun and the 105mm Light Gun is still the current gun. Our radios were mostly American AN/PRC-77 and various larger types but are now SINGCARS. We had and continue to use the Carl Gustav 84mm. Lots of other kit are still UK origin and a lot of our Officer/Ranger/Navy training is still conducted with British military schools.
How about webbing,is it still 90 PLCE in green?
 
I agree entirely with that. Had the politicians, both British and Northern Irish at that time been strong enough, and had the Will and the finance, what you see now in NI, the expenditure should have happened in the mid 1960s.
I should think Op Banner with its costs in many billions, and all the police expenditure and time, UK explosions etc, the deaths and injuries on both sides, all of it cost Westminster far more than decent housing and decent places to work. However the bigotry at the time from both sides didn't help in anyway to go ahead with anything, other than violence and death. 1969---2007, is a time in history that should be remembered by Nationalists, Protestants and Westminster, for what a terrible mistake in history it was.
I don't think the NI govt would have allowed such levels of investment as was needed in the nationalist areas. The bigotry of the prot majority in the late 60's early 70s & the bare faced instances of ethnic cleansing should have been stamped on hard by the govt of the day, either in Stormont or better still, Westminster.
The NI govt created a mess that we had to try & clear up. Yes the nationalist 'side' were culpable in the animosity crossing the divide but we could have nipped it in the bud.
 
That is the Mull. You would have been able to see the smoke from the Chinook crash quite clearly from there.

1994 Scotland RAF Chinook crash - Wikipedia

The building is either a coastguard lookout (but if so is of a different pattern to the rest) or a commercial watch station which watched for scheduled trans-atlantic arrivals and telegraphed ahead to the port of destination. Yet to find out which is true. I understood the first transmission to have been from Ballycastle Harbour (where there is a monument) to Rathlin but I wouldn't be surprised if Marconi moved to Torr-Mull as he advanced his technique.

EDIT As an aside, I'm told the Island visible on the horizon to the right of the Mull was owned by a 60's pop star of some description and was raided by the police mob handed.

EDIT2 I have just used google streetview and the ruin on the left as you approach the carpark looks like Coastguard accomodation (three houses in one block though you cant see if it had the distinctive elevated room at one end now).
A year or so before the Mull crash, I had done a validation on the HLS at the lighthouse with my RAF boss. A pleasant trip round Western Scotland doing a few of these, but the Mull one was not fully cleared for CH47 ops. My boss said it was OK to put the rear wheels on the pad and load/offload, but it would have been a hot load/offload, with the Wokka basically "hovering on the ground".

When I heard on the radio that a Wokka had crashed at the Mull, I went white as a sheet. It turned out to be completely unrelated to the HLS, but a very sorry state of affairs, the whole event. RIP to those that perished.
 
How well do those Steyr mags fit in the pouches?
Serious question.
there were cribs about the quality of a lot of the PLCE pouches and quite a few people have bought aftermarket pouches from a local supplier who is allowed to make them in our camo. I'm not in the DF now, by a long shot, but I was there at the introduction of the Steyr and its mags fitted the pouches well, but that was all new kit.
 
It was pretty much the same as the British set. It had multiple pockets inside and out, ideal for the smuggling of loot, especially anything that could be liberated from the cookhouse. It came with a button-on hood and a body warmer/gilet and was worn over a knitted sweater (which was a cheap and nasty commercial design on a par with a kid's school jumper). We were also issued a very nice green scarf, which was open at one end and could be worn on the head as a hat and then the rest wrapped around the neck. This was highly prized and had to be guarded jealously. The green jumper was unreinforced, unlike the classic woolly-pully and was often "field-modified" with elbow patches. The trousers were baggy and had the little eye-loops in the bottom to fit a lace or a bit of twine to pull them in and were often modified to the skinny-leg standard, especially by Depot types. They were then known as shit-stoppers...........a lot of our kit was British, until about the mid-70s and continues to be, such as the 25-pdr was our main gun and the 105mm Light Gun is still the current gun. Our radios were mostly American AN/PRC-77 and various larger types but are now SINGCARS. We had and continue to use the Carl Gustav 84mm. Lots of other kit are still UK origin and a lot of our Officer/Ranger/Navy training is still conducted with British military schools.
It was decent kit for the time. I still have an almost unworn jacket somewhere up in the attic c/w 25 year old drinklink receipts and teabags hiding in the many pockets. The whole thing folded into the bigger inner pocket (at the bum) for a decent pillow. Didn’t care for the zippers on the top pockets. Handier with gloves (heh) though.

Hated the depot lizards ‘skinny jeans’ though. Baggys, woolly-pully with ‘Leb’ shirt was sufficient for 90% of activities.
 
I still have one in the attic, too ;-)....there was also a fashion for "Izzy" jackets, the big overcoats worn by "Leb" sweats and my colleagues on the ramp in Baldonnel used to wear them, bought off real soldiers, for working on and under the aircraft until they became so contaminated by oil and filth that some of them were burnt by order of the Boss. Another fashion item was flying boots and some of the depot heads used to buy surplus German para boots.......the OG combats were good kit but they got very faded in short order.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Mr Happy Current Affairs, News and Analysis 14
sirbhp Old & Bold 1
J Old & Bold 10

Similar threads


Latest Threads

Top