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for, carrying out First Line servicing of Sabre aircraft. A Certificate is pasted in my Log Book to that effect.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesNext morning, Saturday October the 28th, will not easily be forgotten. After using an amount of subterfuge, which initially involved me recording, from Fassberg SROs when I was diverted there, when the next CO's Parade would be (this Saturday), and some accurate planning and co-ordination, I found myself flying as No.4 in a four-ship formation. The official briefing was for us to practise battle formation and a tail chase. Whilst that was done for a time, the real (unofficial) purpose was to impress our old Boss, Bob Allen, who would be on parade with the entire Station. To do so, the first pair broke off from our official exercise and went low level while Sandy Sanderson and I went high level. We commenced our dive as the low level pair were approaching Fassberg. Timing it to a nicety, the low pair did a single pass beat-up of the parade ground just as our sonic booms hit the same area. Satisfied that we had done a good job, we formed up again and returned to base. On landing we were at once summoned to Wg.Cdr. West's office. The Station Commander, as I recollect, was there as well. We were told, in no uncertain terms, that we had overflown Fassberg airfield at low altitude without permission, and generally disrupted the parade. And we had broken some windows. We were each fined £5, to be put into the CO's charity fund, and given a thorough dressing-down. It was not the outcome we had expected. On saluting and leaving the room, but before we were out of earshot, we were called back in and informally praised for our planning and efforts and reminded, quietly, and with a smile this time, not to try that sort of thing again.

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1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesAl Ramsay (left) and I met a tame bear whilst walking in the Harz Mountains.

1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesFg.Off. Al Ramsay and I, on the last weekend of October when the Station was stood down for two days, were granted permission to leave early on the Friday for a weekend away. A British Forces Leave Centre was still open at Bad Harzburg and that was our destination, where we booked in to the Officers Hotel for two nights. The picturesque town had not suffered any war damage; being one of the last to be occupied it was never fought over. The Harz Mountains scenery was beautiful, although the highest mountain, Brocken, of Walpurgisnacht fame, was clearly visible bristling with antennae across the border in the Russian Zone. The weather was kind and still reasonably warm. We enjoyed walking in the town and surrounding woodland in the relaxed off-duty atmosphere. The shops were good and well stocked. On the Saturday afternoon we hired a taxi to take us to a building site! This was no ordinary building site, it was to see the new Okertalsperre (Oker valley dam) being built.2 The enormity of the project spanning the river gorge was quite something to behold, to the point that we must have stayed for well over an hour watching the activity. I shall never forget the dinner we had in the hotel that evening. I had the most luscious, tenderest
2 I visited the completed dam during a visit to Germany in the early 1970s. I have to say it was a disappointment because, by then, the dam had mellowed into the countryside and was nowhere near as spectacular, big as it was, as when it was under construction.
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