Flying times

Message from my Dad dated 1st August 2009

“I decided that if there was any purpose in this story then I should complete it”

I hope my readers see the purpose in the story and welcome comments.

Today my Dad talks about flying times from HMS Ocean.

Derek “Sam” Turner and I worked together.  There was no one else in the squadron who was experienced in our particular trade and we worked well together.

At the end of the flying each day whatever the time might be we had time to take our meal and then either Sam or I had to distribute the next day’s flying programme.  This was drawn up by the Commander Flying, typed up by a writer from whom one of us collected the flimsy putting in the duplicating machine and producing some 25 copies.  These I then had to distribute to a number of senior officers such as the ship’s Captain, various Commanders who were heads of departments down to our own squadron C.O. each of the squadron pilots and our Air Engineer Officer.  This took me to various parts of the ship’s “island” and also to other places within the ship.  Each officer on the list had to be found and personally given a copy.

If I caught the right time of evening apart from the Captain who got his in his cabin, the other officers could be located in the wardroom anteroom or in the wardroom itself, a magnificent large room with the tables set out for dinner with silver service.  If the dinner was over my distribution was a longer job as I had to trace every officer in his cabin, in his workplace, whatever.

Having said all this, if the ship was doing night flying I couldn’t give out the next day’s flying schedule until the last plane touched down.  Night flying, thank goodness, only took place from time to time.

Normally after this duty it was time to relax  and go back to the mess, get out of full dress uniform (which I had to wear in Officer Country) and don a pair of shorts and enjoy a fag.  Meanwhile the ship was steaming along through calm or tempest.

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