Herbert Oliver 1917 – 1993

“ 10 September 1934, one month short of his 17th birthday, my Father enlisted as a boy entrant at RAF West Drayton (RD unit) – spent 10 days square bashing, cleaning kit, I imagine!

Moving on to the new School of Photography at RAF Farnborough, where he was to join the first course of photographers, he and the others spent 12 months training, before he was posted to RAF Catterick, where he was attached to #25 (AC) Squadron, spending 17 months with them.

In Feb 1937 he was to head off to RAF Lahore in India (now Pakistan). He was attached to various units while there, #5, 216, 218, 90, Squadrons. In April 1943 after 6 years, he was posted to the North West African Air Forces (NwAAF) and attached to them as they crossed Africa and on into Italy.

Returning to the UK in October 1945, posted to RAF Wyton, but only for 2 months. Then spent the next 11 months at RAF Tubbenham, before coming back to Wyton for 3 months, then off to # 1 FPU for 4 months, finding time in the February of 1946 to get married.

After short a course at CFE he was posted to 227 OCU. In February 1948 it was off to RAF Middle Wallop, spending 8 months there. In the October of that year he was back at CFE, this time for 6 months.

From April 1949 he spent 2 years at RAF Wellisbourne, – time to start a family, this was when my sister was born.

In March 1951 he was posted to RAF Wunstorf in Germany (where I was born) spending just over 2 1/2 years there, with a 6 week detachment to RNAF Volkel in Holland.

In January 1954 it was back to RAF Wyton, (his favourite Station). Apart from the odd week away he was to stay at Wyton until April 1957.

We were now going back to Germany, this time to RAF Ahlhorn, just for 18 months. In Sept 1958 we went back to RAF Gutersloh for just over a year, before we were off again, this time to RAF St. Mawgan.

Its now that my memory kicks in. Just 2 years at St Mawgan, and we’re off again, this time to probably the best 2 1/2 year posting of our service life, to RAF Seletar in Singapore.

In March 1964 we came back to the UK, for 16 months at RAF Brampton. This is when he found time to buy his first and only house.

In July 1965 we returned to Germany. The 3 years there (until July 1968) were spent at RAF Gutersloh and then Laarbruch

In July 1968 he was off again – this time we overshot England and landed at RAF Ballykelly, Northern Ireland. 15 months later he was given his last tour posting to RAF Wyton his beloved station and home.”

John Oliver

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