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‘Splendid Days’

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By Doug Johns

Some more pictures for the Meteor era, but, also relevant to any who know north and east Africa, and Arabia.

Lorrie' Jones (AM Sir Lawrence A Jones), was CO of 8 Sqdn. at the time, flying Hunters, and the 208 Flt were at times present.

The coloured pics, along the coast, were taken from a Dakota, but the area is well known to all of us who spent time there. The RAF Stations of Riyan, Salalah and Masirah were used by us when bringing the Meteors down from the north, and Aden Air served them also as mail and supplies carriers. Masirah in those days, was a 'naughty boys' post for the one Officer and small band of airmen. The Mess had a splendid scene on the walls, of King Neptune and fishy friends. Many thoughts as to who it resembled!

Also included is one picture of the Exeter CAACU (Mosquito/Vampire unit), where a small 208 Flt of Chris Bushe and myself spent the summer of 1959. At least on one occasion when flying together, carrying out a spot of formation aerobatics, when the drop tanks were empty. I've enclosed a picture of the 'T' Class Submarine 'Tally Ho', as a number of us spent 11 hours or so off Malta on exercise in Her; swapping rides in the 'seven'. Likewise, driving Tanks at the Tank area of the Marsa Club, while based at Hal Far.

They were splendid days, and life was full and varied. Pity that digital cameras were not available at the time!

View the Gallery Here:

I have tried to keep the photos geographically together, but, they are individual. There's a copy of the Arabic 'goolie chit'! I went back to Aden in 1960, and spent 5 years flying Dakotas with Aden Air, and many of the people, seen as likely to use their sewing kit for unpleasant purposes, - hence the 'chit' - became firm friends, and I spent some interesting times up Country and the Empty Quarter. I Have included a news cutting of the F.R. Army Camp at Wadi Ain, where, I 'danced' with the local Bedu under a full Moon, when stuck at the Camp, with a wheel puncture (Dakota), during the war with N Yemen and the Egyptians.

'Splendid Days' 02