RAF Aircrew Life in the 80s
I wasn’t there, so any witnesses correct me if I’m incorrect, but this dining-in was at Marham during the ‘80s, when the resident units were 27 Sqn, 55 Sqn and 617 Sqn. You can imagine the constant rivalry/banter between the younger Tornado boys and the older and wiser Victor crews; rivalry which came to the fore at dining-in nights. On this occasion, as was usual, each sqn occupied its own leg to the top table, with the blunties occupying a 4th leg. As the evening went on, the banter and insults flew as they always did. Inevitably, the Tornado boys started shouting that all Victor crews were old/weak/knackered/past-it etc. In response 55 Sqn replied that anything the Tornado sqns could do, they could do better. Out of nowhere, 55 Sqn produced a lumberjack’s saw. This was one of the huge old-fashioned saws – the one’s that are 10 feet long, and need a person at each end. 55 Sqn cleared the mess table that they had been sitting around until a few seconds before, and started sawing the mess table in half!! With a couple of sweating Victor aircrew at each end of the saw, it was still hard work to saw through the big table, but with the rest of 55 Sqn behind them, and the astonished Tornado crews looking on, eventually the formerly-gleaming mess table fell to the floor in two pieces. After a short stunned silence, one of the Tornado sqns decided that it had to prove that it was of course still younger/stronger/quicker than 55 Sqn. So a couple of Tornado aircrew picked up the saw, and attacked their own mess table. By now the dining-room was in uproar. After a huge effort, they managed to cut up their own table in slightly less time than it had taken 55 Sqn. Next, the second Tornado sqn took the saw and cut its own table in half, again, in only a few seconds. So now the dining-room furniture had been almost demolished, with three of the finest mess tables lying on the carpet in pieces.
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