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Ernie Lack's Memories of 4 Sqn Detachment to Treviso, Northern Italy from 11th to 17th April 1953

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytes11th April 1953 Jever to Wahn and then Wahn to Treviso.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThen 13th till 16th April Operation BETFOR TRUST.   Can't remember the details, most likely a NATO exercise
to practice co-operations with an allied country (Italy).   I flew 10 ops. in 4 days.   On the last day (16th April) flew 6 sorties,
4 operational and the other 2 flypasts in the battle area at the end of the exercise.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesThen back home to Jever, this time in one hop, the next day. Secondary training aspect was full load take off
(ammo and full drop tanks) - no problem from Jever's tarmac runway.   Great fun from Treviso's PSP (perforated
steel planking) runway laid down on grass - the din was terrific!   So as you can guess the (I think) army also played
an important part, practising laying that ton heavy planking for us.   We also used tents for accommodation.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSomewhere in our cellar there's a photo of me sitting on my camp stool in the opening of my tent, writing to
Elisabeth a letter in which the infamous comment "aber die Kanale stinken so" appears.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesDuring our short off duty time we made Venice unhappy.   Jolliest encounter was when some of us met a
London taxi being driven by four Australian GIRLS.   That evening was really WILD, Tony Vasey achieving notoriety
(not necessarily together with the Ozzies) in a singular effort of sheer masculinity.   (Does that sound decent enough
- or perhaps indecent enough!)

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesI still possess a lapel badge from the 51st Stormo Caccia, an Italian fighter squadron, from those days.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesMUCH later when I resuscitated my ancient UK PPL at Latina just south of Rome in 1980, the CFI who
nominally checked my flying ability was Colonel Toxiri, who as it turned out, was the boss of an Italian Vampire
squadron at roughly the same time as I was in Treviso.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesIt was fun flying with him.   After checking my logbook (Vampires and Canberras, IRE) he decided it
would be much more interesting gadding around the sky rather than doing boring circuits and bumps with me.
Two examples:

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesOnce we returned from sightseeing down south along the coast where the gigolos and their girlfriends
lay about on the beaches.   Approach at 2.000ft and overfly the airfield, Toxiri said.   Overhead he leaned across,
closing the throttle of the Cessna, then switched off the ignition and pulled out the key.   Now land he said.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesOn another occasion he showed me how to take off without having his hands on the yoke, using only the
trimmer and rudder.   Both "exercises" most entertaining.
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