I daresay there are many instances that I have been insolent, particularly when I was young. One day our squadron was on active duty, some thoughtless Indonesian soldiers had captured Borneo and our squadron was the first response. It was five in the morning and I was running as fast as I could across the airfield to get to the pan, (The parking area for planes.) Halfway across the grass I met a group of individuals in uniforms unknown to me. The presumed leader of the group stepped out and hailed me.
“I say, airman. I’m looking for an aircraft.”
The man was obviously a twit. “You came to the right place.” I said and hurried on my way. Turning my head toward him I yelled back, “There’s loads of planes over there, mate.”
Next morning on routine orders (A sort of camp published News.) Headlines. “Good work men,” ‘We have the enemy on the run. Our planes delivered 600 Ghurkhas and tons of munitions to Borneo. One new order – It is not recommended for staff to address the Commander in chief, Royal Navel Forces Abroad as “MATE.”
Another time I was elected to spy on Prince Philip. He often visited major airfields and usually did a thorough inspection. My job was to keep out of sight and using a walky-talky keep headquarters informed as where the Prince was headed. Suddenly I spotted him, his entire motorcade was heading my way. I hid behind a bush and waited for them to pass. “Red Four,” I reported. “The Prince is passing Hangar two and heading for the electronics centre.” With that I arose and walked to the corner of the building to observe as they passed on the other side. Nothing in sight. Hmmm! Where could he have gone?
Suddenly a voice behind me said. “What are you doing there?”
I turned and almost fainted. It was Prince Philip standing only five paces from me. “Sir,” I said and saluted. “Security, sir.”
He nodded and smiling said, “Tell them I shall be visiting the Control Tower.”
My own stupidity aside, Once in the Far East we were inspected by the C in C FEAF. (Commander in chief Far East air forces.) Due to fighting on the Indo China border the shifts or watches had been rearranged. Air Vice Marshall Headlamb popped into our communication centre. The inspection went well until he stopped at one of my buddies and smiling benevolently said in his very posh accent, “Airman, what do you think of the new watches?”
My friend who shall remain nameless, replied. “Bloody sight easier to carry than clocks, sir.”

Too Much for Fiction

Some things in life are too much to be used in a fiction novel. As a classic example one particular day I was on my way to work. I worked in air traffic control at that time. As I walked across the aerodrome towards the control tower I was stopped by a military policeman.
“Hands in the air,” he said gruffly.
While I stood like an idiot with my hands skyward a second military policeman searched me.
“What you looking for?” I asked in all innocence.
“Just be on your way,” he grouched.
I left and only minutes later again I was accosted, this time by no less than three military police.
“Hands on your head and stand still.”
Again I complied and two of them this time went through my pockets and thoroughly searched me. Eventually and with no explanation they let me go. I reached the tower.
“Sorry I’m late,” I apologized to Flight lieutenant Holland. “But the snowdrops searched me twice on my way in. What on earth are they looking for?”
He sort of grinned and said, “They have lost an aeroplane.”
Of course its obvious, someone tucked it under their jacket and smuggled a 16,000 pound machine off the airfield without anyone noticing. Military intelligence is most certainly an oxymoron.
A friend of mine was hitchhiking to work and became stranded only five miles from his destination. The time was five thirty in the morning. Passing a lonely house set well back off the road he noticed a bicycle more-or-less discarded and lying very nearly out of sight in the ditch. Obviously the thing had been stolen and thrown away. Recovering the vehicle he gazed around – no one in sight. It represented the perfect transport for the last leg of his journey. He decided to use it and later in that day hand it in as a foundling.
Only a mile to go and a police car pulled him aside. The constable was very polite and asked why he was bicycling on that particular road.
“I’m on my way to work.”
“I see,” said the cop. “And do you mind if we have a look what you have in the panniers?”
He hadn’t even noticed them. “No, of course not. I found the bike, you see.”
“I see,” said the policeman with a grin. “And these burglary tools just happened to be in the pannier when you found the bike?”
“Yes,” he replied weakly.
The Judge didn’t believe him either.