I was not the only one to have to do this, but very few were selected. My 30 minute
flight in the Vampire T11 was with a Flt.Lt. Bountiff, an instructor from the RAF
Central Flying School at Little Rissington. My Log Book records the event as
'Satisfactory'. Later the same day I flew an hour-long formation dusk sortie.
The next morning the Battle of Britain Parade took place in very windy
conditions. I, like so many others in the RAF, was no lover of parades. I decided over
a period that if I was going to have to go on parade it would be better for me to be a
master of the situation than a slave to it. So, unlike others in my position, I borrowed
a copy of the Drill Manual and thoroughly familiarised myself with parade routines.
I even learned, by heart, the commands likely to be given by such as me should the
situation arise. This gave me confidence and parades ceased to have any dread factor
thereafter, even if some were conducted in inclement weather. Although I didn't
know it at the time, this was to stand me in good stead in the future.
The 93 Squadron Sabre XB812 in the RAF Museum at Hendon. The Squadron markings
either side of the fuselage roundel were often maliciously interpreted by pilots of other
Squadrons as being arrows showing drunken 93 Squadron pilots which end of the aircraft to
look for the cockpit! The escarbuncle insignia can clearly be seen high on the tail fin.