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Two Griffins holding a 74th shield. The Spirit of the 74th.

Dave Humphrey.

Ex-brat Stories.

Dave Humphrey.

Photograph: Dave Humphrey.

Dave Humphrey 588708 Engines 74th Entry Halton Apprentice. Passed out 28 April 1956.

Posted to RAF Middleton St George. Worked in the Engine Bay. As Middleton was closing down in September 1956, I was posted to RAF Thorney Island on Varsity First Line Servicing. Passed car driving test in Chichester. The driving instructor used to come to the barrack block, take me for an hour's lesson, drop me back at the block all for 7s/6p old money (I passed the motorcycle test in Aylesbury in 1955).

My First Car.

Because of the Suez crisis & petrol rationing I managed to buy a 1936 Morris 10/4 for £25; just in time as I obtained an exchange posting to RAF Leeming. At Leeming I was in ASF working on Gloster Javelin AWF.

Proiect EMILY

1958, Posted to Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Tuscon, Arizona. Training at Douglas Aircraft Co. Qualified as Refrigeration Specialist Technician. Sailed home on RMS Mauretania, having first spent 5 days in New York (Grand life!). Posted to RAF Hemswell. As Hemswell was still being converted to a Thor missile site under Project Emily, I was seconded to the MT section i/c Station bicycles!

Highlight of this posting was when I went as part of a team on a Thor Combat Training Launch at Vandenburg Air Force Base, California.

April 16th 1960 married Jean Hornchurch Essex.

1962 Thor having finished I was posted to RAF Linton on Ouse working on the Jet Provost. Then i/c Chipmonk Flight. Royal Navy fixed wing training. My ground crew bussed to Dishforth every flying day then we bussed back to Linton each night to prep a/c for the next days flying. Hectic!

April 1965. Posted to RAF Khormasker Aden. 131 MU. Had a detachment to Khartoum, Sudan to box up the wreckage of a Canberra for transportation back to Farnborough.

Posted Home.

April 1966. Posted home to RAF Oakington
On landing in the UK we were at Swindon railway station when a snow storm blew up, when I arrived home in Hornchurch there was four to five inches of snow and it was bitter cold.
RAF Oakington Varsity 1st Line (again)

My Daughter Sue is Born.

April 14th 1967 daughter Sue born RAF Ely Hospital.

Blue Steel and Move to RAF Scampton.

Because I had once volunteered for missile duties my name came out of the hat again this time for Blue Steel. After the course at RAF Wittering I was posted to RAF Scampton where I worked in the Stentor engine bay. Then 2nd i/c Servicing Control. After Blue Steel became obsolete I was posted to 617 Squadron Vulcans at Scampton.

My Daughter Lyn is Born.

October 5th 1958 my 2nd daughter Lyn born. Lincoln.

Medical Discharge.

Early on in my RAF career I was diagnosed with a medical condition called "Anky losing Spondilitis" which after a spell at RAF Chessington the condition calmed down. Unfortunately the condition flared up again at Scampton and after three spells at RAF Headley Court I was medically discharged from the RAF in October 1976.

Back to School and Civvy Street.

Luckily I resumed my education whilst at Scampton and gained a HNC in Mechanical Engineering. This gave me an advantage in that the RAF had swung into action and the outcome was an interview at the then Ruston Gas Turbines Lincoln where I worked for the next seventeen and a half years.

During that time I had both hip joints replaced. In 1994 I had to retire through ill health. In 2000 I had spinal surgery lots of rods, plates and screws. In 2002 a knee joint replacement so in conclusion I am partly bionic and not so fast as I was at Halton, except going down hill in the wheelchair !

Foot Note:

I have a wonderful family: My wife Jean, daughters Sue & Lyn and three Grandchildren. Not forgetting my two sons-in-law.

Dave Humphrey (74th).


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