Douglas Graduation and WW2 Veteran Visit
Entry No. 585, Douglas Intake graduated from Basic Recruit Training at Recruit Training Squadron, RAF Halton in front of family and friends.
A King Air from 45 Squadron, RAF Cranwell flew past shortly after the Reviewing Officer, Air Marshal Stuart Atha, took his place on the podium for the general salute. Musical accompaniment was provided by the Band of the RAF Regiment, under the instruction of Warrant Officer P Craggs.
Air Marshal Atha presented the trophies to the following recipients:
The Halton Aircraft Apprentice Shield – AC Dale Jones
The Halton Aircraft Apprentice Trophy – AC Josh Cail
The Rothschild Trop hy – AC Georgina Marshall-Latimer
The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund Trophy – AC
The Station Commander’s Cup
– AC Charley Taylor
The Dusty Miller Memorial Trophy – AC Thomas
The Mayor of Aylesbury Trophy
– AC Sam Melling
The Lord Trenchard Trophy awarded to the Flight whose performance has been the best overall in General Service Training and General Service Knowledge was awarded to No. 8 Flight, and collected on their behalf by AC Riley.
Air Marshal Atha praised the graduating trainees for their attention to detail in their uniform and deportment and wished them well for their Phase 2 Training.
Also at the parade was Don Mason, a WW2 tail end gunner on the Lancasters. He is 96 years old and a life long member of the Royal Air Force Association. He was escorted by RAFA Association Trustee and Harrow Branch President, Sqn Ldr Dean Gibson from Training Development Wing.
Don joined the RAF at the age of 18 and was immediately sent to RAF Manston on 601 City of London Squadron, where his claim to fame was inventing the gyroscopic black box after several aircraft were lost.
He was seconded with Fighter Command, Bomber Command and Coastal Command in the Atlantic. His last raid was in 1945 at Burchesgarten, where Hitler was esconced. Later on
Don was instumental in the return of several aircraft loads
of POW’s returning to the UK.
Don watched the Parade and was then taken to the Halton RAFA Club where he met with Servicemen Awaiting Trade Training (SATTS) for a chat about his life and times.