At a tad before my 18th birthday I decided to not wait for National Service conscription and elected to join the RAF. I had previously attempted to join as aircrew but failed selection on medical grounds. As the war in Korea was still coming to a close most conscripts were shunted into the army.
Along with many others I was consigned to RAF Cardington in Bedfordshire. This was where we were inducted into the RAF, received uniforms and kit and most importantly....had a haircut ! The huge hangar where all this took place was where the original R100 airship was stored during it's lifetime.
After processing at Cardington we were then shipped on by travel warrant to where we would undergo recruit training.....in my case as a 3 year regular I would go to RAF West Kirby near Liverpool on the Wirral peninsula
At the end of basic training the big day came around. We would pass out by marching in review order before the Station Commander who would take the salute. Our DIs had by now begun to soften a little as they knew we were going to put on a good show. They must have been pretty proud of each group they processed and we were all trying to ensure our Flight would be the best in the Squadron.
After the parade we were virtually finished with training and were given postings to our new camps where we would enter trade training or for some it was posting straight to an operational unit. Some were posted overseas from day 1 and there were mixed feelings dependent on where you were going. The Far East was considered a favourite whilst postings to the Canal Zone or Aden were not well received. My posting was to the major Transport Command operational unit at RAF Lyneham.
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