A Proud Air Despatcher
I joined the army in 1962, for 6 years. I first reported to Quebec Bks, Bordon. After doing 2 weeks of very basic training there, I went on to Buller Bks, Aldershot, to begin my basic & weapon training. Then it was on to Houndstone Camp, Yeovil, for driver training. While at Yeovil, I was asked if I wanted to volunteer for Air Despatch, which I duly did, especially after hearing I would be paid 15/9d a week extra "flying pay" on qualification. I arrived at Arnhem Camp, Watchfield in September and passed out in November. I was then posted to 16 Coy RASC (AD), who were based at RAF Eastleigh, Kenya. Imagine being told you were going to Kenya, when the nearest you'd ever been to going "abroad" was a trip to the Isle of Man.
I was in Kenya on a 3 year posting originally from November 1962 till November 1964, when "B" Platoon, 16 Coy. were transferred, after Kenya gained independence, to Aden, to join up with "A" platoon. So, I got to serve my final year in Aden, till I left for home in November 1965. During my time in Aden, I did one month detachments in Habilayn/ Thumier & Dhala, along with 6 weeks in Bahrain. My next destination was 22 Sqn RCT, at RAF Tangmere, where I stayed until February 1967. This turned out to be my last spell in Air Despatch, as I was suddenly posted to 12 Sq. RCT, BAOR. After 4 years in A.D. I wasn't very happy in an M.T. Unit, so I decided to leave when my 6 years were up. But, I can still say now, that the 4 years I spent in Air Despatch were definitely the happiest of my time in the army, and I can honestly say that I served with a great bunch of lads in A.D., who I'll never forget.