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changing over on the 1st of July. 93 Squadron kept its Sabres until much later.8 Hunters had 30mm Aden cannon which used electrically fired ammunition. This meant that new armouries had to be built to store it. All of them bristled with lightning conductors as a precaution against the frequent summer thunderstorms usually experienced in hot weather.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesOther building work was also going ahead at Jever. Just one item, among many, was the construction of a new camp cinema. This was sited in virgin forest to the rear of Station Headquarters [Click to see.] and would eventually replace the now inadequate old wooden Astra Cinema at the far extremity of the married quarters. Also the old red brick pavé roads were being covered with tarmac, so changing the previous comfortable appearance of the place.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesSuperimposed on this period of change was Exercise 'Carte Blanche' which placed Jever on a mock war footing. My Boss wanted a bed in his office for the duration. This I duly attended to, at the same time arranging for my own bed to be transferred to my office. Thus I spent the disturbed night of my 22nd birthday supposedly asleep, but awakened periodically by photo-reconnaissance aircraft flying along the runway dropping explosive photoflashes on intruder missions. Each time that happened the Boss would leap out of his bed and brief me on what he wanted me to say in the latest SITREP.9 I endeared myself to him the next night by sleeping right through two such raids! Give him his due, he didn't bother waking me, making the SITREPs out himself instead.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesOn the morning of Wednesday August 3rd, I attended Met briefing as usual but well before the briefing was over, I was called back to my office to take what could have been an important phone call. In the event, it was a routine matter and, instead of returning for the last few minutes of the briefing I stayed at my desk. I heard the meeting break up and the pilots chatting afterwards as they made their way along the corridor. There was knock on my door. I shouted "Come in", and in walked Fg.Off. Ted Scott of 93 Squadron. As was customary he saluted. He then walked right up to the front of my desk. He stood for a moment, and before I could say anything, he announced "I am flying your aeroplane today, Pod. Good-bye". With that he put out his hand, shook hands with me, saluted, and marched out. Whilst I thought his behaviour a little strange at the time, I passed the matter off and settled down to my daily routine.
1px-trans.gif, 43 bytesA little over an hour later, the panic phone rang in the Boss's office. I ran in, but he was there and had already picked up the receiver. His face changed as he came out with some expletive or other and then said "Thank you" to the caller. The Boss looked at me and said "Ted Scott's bought it. He's gone into the ground at Meppen. I'm going there now. You'd better come with me because you know the way". I rushed to Alan Fairfax's office, told him the news, and got him to stand in for me until we came back. In the meantime, the WingCo had told the CO and was on his way to his car waiting for me as I had had to go back to fetch my cap. With the Boss at the wheel, and with his facility for demon driving, we arrived at Meppen in what must have been record time. There, at the range, was a dark hole in the black peaty ground, with the Range Safety Officer at its edge looking into it in shocked incredulity. It was gradually filling with brown water. Little was to be seen of my old Sabre, XB 548, 'P' Papa, or 'P' Pod as it was known when it was mine. There were bits lying around and it appeared as though Ted had flown straight into the target. He, or what was left of him, was in that hole, in the wreckage, under the slowly rising
8 They kept their Sabres until after I had left Jever. I had the opportunity to sit in a Hunter and did not fit in the cockpit, neither could I have ejected safely because of my long legs being in contact with the instrument panel. I was told that had I still been with the Squadron when my tour was over that I would probably have been transferred on to Canberras.
9 SITREP = Situation Report. This was a document used to inform a headquarters of a locally changing tactical situation in war conditions.
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