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R.A.F. Experiences continued page 3...

There were four Squadrons based in Jever, 4, 93, 98 and 118, all equipped with Hawker Hunter fighters. They were initially fitted with Rebecca 7 radar and later with Radar Ranging and Rebecca 8. As the only training I had had was in the very different Rebecca 4, I was immediately sent to the nearby station at R.A.F. Oldenburg for a couple of weeks to learn about Rebecca 7 but soon after my return to Jever, I was sent back to Yatesbury for a proper Rebecca 7 course. I was subsequently to return to Yatesbury twice during 1956 for courses on Radar Ranging and Rebecca 8.

The officer in charge of the Tech Wing Signals Section was Flt. Lt. Topp, the Radar Officer was Fg. Off. A. Avery (a keen rugby player) and the Senior N.C.O. was Chiefy Jock Patterson who was in hospital when I arrived, having while being very drunk, jumped out of a 1st Floor window in the Sergeants Mess and had broken both his legs! His deputy was Sgt. Lofty Barker, a very nice gentleman, other names I remember are Cpl Denny Beale, Cpl Dick Ford (my room mate), Cpl Terry Chubb (a P.T.I.), Johnny Shaw and Mike Fleet, who became an international athelete. I played on the station Badminton Team and remember a visit to R.A.F. Sylt in the middle of winter, it was so cold that we had to wear our pyjamas under our uniforms and the sea was frozen. I also played in the 2 T.A.F. Championships at R.A.F. Wildenrath, lost in the first round, but got to the final of the plate competition!.

Very soon after arriving at Jever I was introduced to the local "Night Spots". The most infamous was the St. Anantor, better known to us airman as the T.K. (Titten Keller), run by a large German gentleman called Willi Brandt (no relation to the mayor of Berlin and later Bundeschancellor!) Before going out, we used to go to the NAAFI to stock up with a pack of 200 cigarettes (used as illegal tender) and then sit at the bar drinking and listening to Elvis Pressley on the Juke Box and chatting to the barmaid called Alice who plied us with free drinks when Willi Brandt's back was turned. On Saturday and Sunday evenings we often went to the local Dance Hall called the Deutcheshaus, where there was a very good dance band, often supplemented by a brilliant amateur Jazz Band from R.A.F. Jever called the Jade Basin 5+1. I remember the waiter there was called Herr Jansen who had a pretty blond daughter who often joined us at our table. Other nearby Hostelries that we visited were the Foresthaus in Upjever, Caffehaus Varel, Strandhalle and Atlantic Bar in Wilhelmshaven.

While at Jever I had a succession of cars starting with a 1949 Mercedes 170v, followed by a 1954 Mk1 Ford Consul that had been crashed by it's previous owner and repaired, unfortunately it suffered from a slightly warped chassis but always elicited a smart salute from the guard on entering and exiting the main gate! During my last year at Jever I purchased a Messerschmitt KR175 this was great fun to drive, had a windscreen wiper that was manually operated and strong elastic bands for the rear suspension! With its handlebar steering it was very controllable in ice and snow and if it did get stuck, you just jumped out and ran alongside until traction was recovered.

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