Ben’s elder brother, Mike was an aircraft Instrument Mechanic and began his two-year tour with 8 Squadron in June 1961.
“One incident in particular that remains very vivid in my memory occurred just two weeks before I became tourex on 2 June, 1963. A pilot, whose name escapes me (slim, tall dark hair with a parting), offered me a trip in a T.7 as a treat but I turned it down being so near to going home. So off he flew in an FGA.9 instead, unaware that the Master Armament Safety Break (plug) had not been connected properly. He very soon, however, became aware of the fact when he discovered that he could not raise the undercarriage and would have to fly around at low level and at 150 knots for an hour-and-a-half to burn off his full fuel load. Needless to say he was steaming when he eventually taxied in and all airmen were assembled in the prefabricated Line Hut to witness the sparks flying. On examining the F700 and discovering that a short, blonde-haired armourer had carried out the Before Flight inspection, the poor soul was duly admonished in no uncertain terms in front of us all. Not a pretty sight!”