Personal History - Mike Williams
ANOTHER BIG OAK
Upon leaving the big training school in the Chilterns I found myself banished to wilds of outer Cornwall, to St Mawgan to work on, would you believe it, Lancasters, then on to St Eval until 1956 when I was posted to Singapore in particular RAF Seletar.
Quite an eventful period among the people I met out there were Kieth Rundle, Ossie Osmond, and Terry Jowell with whom I sailed on the Empire Fowey. I must say that I really enjoyed my stay out there and had a really great time.
Upon my return to the UK in 1959 I was posted to 85 Sqdn, West Malling on Javelins and after spending many hours in the black hole in between the engines, imagine my relief when I saw in station orders that volunteers were required for training as Air Radar Fitter B.D. Off I went to Yatesbury and spent a fairly miserable year trying to get my head round Resistors, Flip Flops, Capacitors, and valves. I was then posted to Waddington 1961, during this years posting I married Margaret who I had met on my return from Singapore. Margaretís mother unfortunately had died in 1948 so for our first year of married bliss she lived at home, until her sister was old enough to take over. In the meantime I managed to wangle a posting to Gaydon in the Midlands, which was where Margaret lived.
In 1963 again Volunteers were required to train as Air Engineers, at last my lifeís ambition, to fly, could be realised. Unfortunately by this time Margaret and I had four children so the 18 Months training was a struggle to say the least for Margaret but she coped extremely well and the training did turn out to be a bonus in the future as you will see. At last in 1966 I was awarded my Engineers Brevet and posted to 24 Sqdn on Hastings. I continued on Hastings until their demise in November 1967. I was then posted to Britanniaís and after training joined 99 Sqdn at Lyneham until July 1970 when the Britannia fleet was moved to Brize Norton were I remained until leaving the RAF in May 1974.
In 1974 I joined B O A C but this didnít last long as they became British Airways a few months after I joined. Another years training saw me get my Flight Engineers license on Boeing 707 and there I stayed until I was moved to Lockheed Tristars in1981. Yet another 3 months training and there I was happy as Larry on Tristars.
All went well until January 1988 when I suffered a heart attack whilst I was in Bahrain. B A looked after me very well and had Margaret out by my side the following day, 15 days later I was back in the U K, but with no F Eís License. By September 1988 I had managed to have my license reinstated and I continued to fly until retirement in 1990. During my time with B A it was very easy to take Margaret and the kids with me on trips so we all managed to see a bit of the world and since my retirement we have used my discounted tickets and have been even further afield.
I did a little part time work after retiring but nothing very serious, and then got more involved with the apprentice association, Lions Club, Royal British Legion and the local Air Training Corps and thatís where I am now, although I did give up the Lions about 4 months ago. The next thing on my list is the 50th Anniversary of our passing out which is now organised so come all you people who havenít committed yourselves yet letís be having your deposits for what will be a cracking good weekend.
Mike Williams (746)