70 years ago, here is what my grandpa remembers about his time in the RAF

Hey everyone, hope you are all well.

I came across a photo a took a few years back and it was of my Great Grandpa when we found he old fighter he flew.

Before I get into the details, here is the photo.


This is a Meteor MK.7. And yes, he did fly it about 65-70 years ago.
I still can’t picture him flying that beauty.

We never really meant to see this old bird. We went to our local gliding club but the wind wasn’t complying so we decided to go to a Nearby air museum we have never been to. We went inside a DC.10 and looked at a Nimrod they had there. There were a few old fighters around too.
Anyway. My grandpa seemed to catch sight of the Meteor MK.7 and he pointed at it with disbelief and excitement. I’ve never seen him so happy.
We went up to it and some of the workers there saw us and one of them asked why we were there. We didn’t know it was off limits 😬.
My Grandpa had a chat and told them he flew it long ago and they let us have a look, they even let us see inside the cockpit.
He wanted a picture and so I got one.

A truly amazing day. Loved to see him so lively and happy. Sadly, I’ve not seen him in quite a while because he is shielding from the ‘rona.

Hope you enjoyed the read And enjoy the rest of your week!

His History (that he wrote)

Just a few remarks and broad details of my time in the Royal Air Force: I went to school at Merchant Taylors School in Crosby near Liverpool, at the age of ten. Whilst there I became a member of the Combined Cadet Force which had three sections, Army, Navy and Air Force; I was drafted into the RAF section where we learnt basic military manoeuvres including all matters relating to aircraft. We visited a number of RAF establishments and had the opportunity to attend the gliding courses at RAF Woodvale, near Southport, and was fortunate to eventually learn how to fly gliders, and obtained my Silver Seagull qualification. In those days, we all had to do two years National Service, but in view of having been gliding at a reasonable level, I was classed as a University entrant. Then, on leaving school, I joined the Royal Air Force with the intention of becoming a pilot. Instruction was intense and we were introduced and flew a number of different types of aircraft - Provests, Lysanders, Tiger Moths, and ground-static training facilities in simulators. During my training, I even visited a number of airfields, for example Abington (engineering) Church Fenton, Wattisham, Valley, Biggin Hill, Chester, and Liverpool and finally, I had some weeks with Squadron II, based at North Weald I did my jet conversion course at RAF Valley in Angelsey, where I spent some considerable time flying the Meteor MK7, as well as flying this aircraft from Woodvale near Southport-this airfield is now used by the Liverpool University Air Squadron.

The Meteor aircraft was built and developed by the Gloucester Aircraft Company Ltd and the earlier models were the first jet aircraft to replace the ageing Spitfires, and in time, the Meteors were replaced by more modern aircraft, including the Hawker Hunter and others. Most of the MK7S were based Catterick, Biggin Hill, Church Fenton, Woodvale, and a number of others flew from bases to other airfields in the UK, including Northern Ireland and Germany and in particular, with the Australian Air Force. I mainly flew the two-seater versions, having an instructor, navigator, reconnaissance expert and flight engineer with me as a member of the crew. We were made very welcome at all the different bases which we visited. The officers’ houses and accommodation were excellent, but of course at that time, the MK7 was not allowed to fly at night and was regarded as a day fighter. Eventually, the Government decided that our flight should be moved to Malaya, where the British Army were dealing with a terrorist insurgence. However before we were due to go, the conflict ended, and we were offered a twelve year commission instead. I did not want to commit myself to such a long time in the RAF, so I resigned and went to catering College as an ex-serviceman. Subsequently I went into the catering business, followed by a career in the Insurance business.

I understand there are some MK7S still flying, and it was great to see one at the Air Museum at Elvington York, when you took a photograph during our visit. In the early 1950s, the MK75 were used to develop the later models of the aircraft, with great improvements in fuselage design and stability. Later redesigns enabled the MK Meteor to be equipped with radar, the facility to do night flying. plus very specialist aerial photography and mid-air refuelling equipment, which enabled the Meteor to increase its range and time in the air considerably. Various amendments were made including a new tail fin. This is only a short resume, but I trust you will find these notes to be of interest. I’m afraid this all happened approximately seventy years ago, and it is increasingly more difficult to remember details.

I hope you enjoyed your read

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That’s a nice, wholesome way to start my Wednesday. Thanks for sharing

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That’s amazing!

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Had the same type of experience with an uncle of mine who served in El Salvador. The Museum was closed but he had a chat with on of the guards showed him a picture and wallah they let us in the closed military Museum. This was back in 2002 my uncle has passed away since, but I will always remember how the guard looked a the picture saluted him and let us in.

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Sorry to hear that. Nice that they let him have a look. 😊

Your grandpa is very great!!

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He sure is

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This is an amazing story! So wholesome and amazing for your grandpa

I think this belongs in #real-world-aviation though…

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I thought I put it there. I’ll change it now. I get this when I try to change it. @CaptainSooraj

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That’s really awesome story to hear, made my day. :)

I remember a similar thing happened when me and my family went to the Airpark by Scott AFB. And what do you know? The C-141 on display was the same C-141 my grandfather flew, which was really cool.

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Thats very wholesome ngl mind if i ask how old he is now?

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Sure, he is 87 now

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Cool. Sounds great.

Super cool and interesting story Ballio!

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Thanks @Marc for moving the topic

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This reminds me of my grandma, who died from heart disease, this is a lovely story

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That’s really heartwarming. I saw my great grandpas plane he flew during WWII. A quick story, he was on a patrol and his radio was shot by a bullet and he lost communications, and then another bullet reconnected the circuit so the radio worked. it’s still a story at the museum.

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Wow! This is amazing! Great story and I’m glad he was very happy!

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Sorry to hear that.

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Glad you liked it