On 10th Jan 1973, the phone woke me.

Waddington, 101 Squadron.

‘Call Out, report immediately’

4 AM Bitterly cold, but flying suit on, grab overnight bag and jumped into the car. Arrived to find rest of crew waiting. Quick brief and aircraft allocated, XH 558.

Out to dispersal, climbed aboard and prepared for Readiness 5. That meant sitting in the aircraft and awaiting instructions. They came Readiness 5 then 2 all engines started and taxi to runway. Air Traffic Control – Clear for take-off, third in line to Cottesmore! What!!?? Its only ten minutes down the road. 25 minutes we were taxying to our new dispersal.

Bomber Controller came on the Tannoy Readiness 15. Out of aircraft and breakfast. For the next six days we sat around waiting in and out occasionally going to 5 and then 2 engines start.

By 16th January we were tired smelly and totally brassed off. The BC at last came up with Return to Base. Debriefed.

Drove home.

Wife -where the *** Have you been.


What, 6 days???