It was late 1966, having completed a tour, as a Nav Plotter, on Canberra in Cyprus, the V Force loomed.

The Vulcan OCU was then RAF Finningley and after the appropriate ground school, my very first flight as Nav Plotter was in Vulcan was XH558 herself.

Our crew were Sqn Ldr Alan Parkes, Flight Commander and a/c captain, Graham McDonald Co Pilot, Ian Plestead Nav Radar and John Sheath Air Electronics. There followed a 2 year posting to Waddington on 44 Squadron. Sadly, with limited airframe hours [only some 300 or so per aircraft if memory serves well] we were only flying 1 day a week. Far too much time spent in the crew room playing ‘Uckers’.

Tornado was a while away and the only alternative was a second tour on Vulcan.

I decided to exercise the 8 year option afforded by a Dec B commission.