I was posted from RAF Yatesbury to CSE Watton in September 1954 and worked there as a Cpl Tech Air Wireless Fitter until September 1957. During my term there we installed wireless surveillance equipment in numerous aircraft, including fitting Decca Navigator into the three Camberras on the squadron. Outside of work I had the honour of joining the late Norman Hoad, (later Air Vice Marshall) C.O. of 192 squadron, on art courses in Watton. Saturday nights saw many of us travelling to Norwich on wooden benches in the back of a truck to dance the night away at the Samson and Hercules in competition with thousands of American airmen!

On leaving the Airforce I worked for Decca Navigator based at Heathrow and returned to Watton as a civvy to flight-test the Canberra installations – in the cramped navigator seat. I finally left the aircraft industry in 1960 and worked for many years in Radio and Television Manufacturing.

I want to share with you a couple of pictures of the NAAFI where I was asked to paint a number of cartoon murals, probably Christmas 1956. I was also responsible for painting the flamingos and palm trees either side of the screen in the Astra cinema around the same time. In recent times I have owned a rental house directly on that spot, now Washington Drive.

Airmens Mess - NAFFI - decorated for Chrstmas pic David Fossey
Airmens Mess – NAFFI – decorated for Chrstmas pic David Fossey
Airmens Mess - NAFFI - decorated for Chrstmas pic David Fossey
Airmens Mess – NAFFI – decorated for Chrstmas pic David Fossey

The mess between the four H blocks across the road is now a carpet and furniture warehouse and the gatehouse is long gone. There are literally hundreds of modest houses built on the airfield in recent times.
I now live in Norfolk, just 12 miles from Watton.

There are so many fond memories of those great days and I would love to find some of my old friends if they’re still with us.

David Fossey Cpl Tech – 4135618

13 thoughts on “David Fossey Cpl Tech – my time here”

  1. I believe I was on the same ‘fitters course’ as you in 1954, but I can’t remember the AWF No. The hut No. was X48. After the course I returned to Watton in 1954 .
    I also remember Johnny Ayo. I believe I moved into his flat in Massingham road when he vacated it. John mentioned Flappie Wells: I joined the RAF as a Boy Entrant, the same day as him in 1952. I am still in contact with Jim Keeble. I believe you may have known Bob Cairns. Sadly he died just a few months ago. I was at Watton from 1953 to December 31st.1961. – 116 Squadron, Dev. Squadron & 51 Squadron.

    1. Dear Willie

      Much water has passed under the bridge since I met the person who moved into 47 Massingham Road when we took over a hiring at Wymondham. I remember the person who took our flat, but for the life of me I cannot recall your face.! Well very good to meet you again. All I know we had an amicable Ho/To.

      Jim Keeble and I worked together servicing Green Satin and Blue Shadow the map printing radar of the ground flown over by 51 Sqn. Jim has a Riley and at times we had to use his car to transport equipment from the radio bay which was passed hangar 4. Servicing was at Hangar 1. It was almost impossible to use the van. Too busy for the workers like Jim and me. Please give him my e-mail address. I am now 87. Reasonably fit, but I use a walking stick.

      Is Michael Wells still with us.? If so I would like to hear how life has treated him. Both of us played hockey for Signals’ Command and for Watton. We worked with Jim Keeble..

      Well Michael if I can send you a few snaps you would know how I turned out. Will also enclose a snap of Ann. We married in 1964 at Wymondham. My goodness how time flies when we are having fun.. Well Michael. So good to meet again,


      Johnnie Ayo

    2. Hello Willie,
      I was on the Air Wireless Fitters Course at RAF Yatesbury from September ’53 to September 54. I remember Bob Cairns (sad to hear of this departure) both from there and back at Watton. Regrettably, I lost contact with Fred Jennings and Ron S Kirk amongst others but have many memories of that freezing winter there! I would love to make contact with any of the gang there who may still be with us.
      Pete Jones, Jake Pie, ‘Tubby’ Barret, Archer, Fox, Parkin, Holmes, Frost, Chris Bover, Lofty Whiting, Lester, Suel, Enoch …….I have the photo!
      I was on 192 Squadron at Watton in the days of the three B29s, a Varsity and the three Canberras, before the Comets.

  2. SAC J felmingham posted toCSE 1959 arrived with my old Riley which then spent a lot of time in the motor club-My second job was on Jamming equip,in a old wooden huy I was inside the Raraday cage avoiding th eMicrowaves.I also had a Morris Minor-some fub for a 1931 bus-Now Im living in Watton and Helping wirh the Museum where most of the RAF Watton records and pictures are stored/exhibited

    1. Readers should note there is no connection between this site, which has been running since 2002, the old Wartime Watton Exhibition which started in 1987 and the organisation mentioned above.

  3. Cpl Tech John Ayo. Served at Watton from Jul 58 to Sep 62 where I worked in Radio Servicing Flt on Rebecca, Blue Shadow and Green Satin. Enjoyed my time immensely. That is enough of me. Let me name people whom I remember who were more important than me!
    Flapper Michael Wells. A very good hockey player. When Comet 663 caught fire, he was the first at hangar 4 with the keys from the guardroom. WO Sapsworth was IC and confronted airman with ‘what are you doing in my hangar? After the fire, he never called the hangar his! Tug Wilson, was a fine example of a SNCO. When his barrack block was due an inspection, he would alter the alignment of a photo frame near the entrance. He would salute the officer who would notice the picture was not straight. Tug would say ‘yes your right’. The picture was realigned and the inspection scored a very high mark. Tug would say ‘Give the officer a fault to pick up and the inspection would proceed with a “good show” at the end,. To end a list of names Tony Oliver, Percival Pouncy Jim Keeble Paddy Shortt Don Worth who worked in RSF. Now my hockey friends. Ken Strudwick the hockey officer who said ‘John Ayo is captain when I am not on station’.This was relayed to my by Hughie Field “Struddie goes bid licks on you!” . I invite anyone one to write to me john.ayo@me.com. I have much more to relay to friends of the past [or their descendants]. I am 84 so many of that era are agreeing with me as they look down from their heavenly home..in about 1961 or 1962 we were on AOC rehearsal parade. The inspection was a washout. Every one got completely wet as a storm rained it’s watery contains on the parade. We were all given the day off. Next day the AOC arrived and our turn out was exceptional.

    Saturday night was spent at the New Inn pub and then at the dance at Watton itself. I met my wife, Ann, where I asked for the first dance we had. Ann was talking and I was listened and the band started playing. As were were on the dance floor I said ‘shall we?’ Ann smiled and 60 years later we are still together. Please reply as I have so many stories to tell where I do not feature. It will be a pleasure to stir the grey matter in many heads of our times we spent where the ‘Babes in the Wood’ haled from. Sincerely John

    1. Hello John
      Did you spend time as an electronics teacher at RAF Cosford, during the 80’s?
      If so, I would love to contact you. My email is: glenn(dot)gooding(at)btinternet(dot)com

  4. Hi Dave, I remember you . You were on B flight, I was on A flight, engine mech , Washingtons. “Jimpy” Hoad was a great CO. I was there from 1954 till the disbandment of 192 Sqd and then went over to Dev Sqd until i was demobbed in Sept 1958 . Glad to know there are still some of us oldies about. Roger Manning

    1. Hi Roger
      Pleased to see your alright We certainly seem to be a bunch of Golden oldies.
      I was in touch for many years with Brian Kettlewell who went to Canada but haven’t been able to contact him for a couple of years.
      Stay well and stay safe
      Brian “Geordie”

    2. Did you know my father Kenneth Maynard Horton He was a Ground Engineer at Watton 1956 to 1962.

  5. I can’t say I remember you but I do share many happy memories of Watton. I was an Instrument Mech on192 Sqdrn. From Sept. 1954 until it was disbanded and the on 51 until demob. 1958. 4142777 SAC.
    I own a print of horses, drawn by Norman Hoad, my Sqdn commander.

    1. Hello Brian,
      I’m most envious of your Norman Hoad print. He did a pencil portrait of me when we were in an art club in Watton, but it was lost many years back.
      Do you remember Stuart Ramsey or Bill Jennings, or have any news of them?
      I am in regular contact with Brian Palmer, also from 192 Squadron at that time. He now lives in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba. Canada, and still a mad keen cyclist at 87!.(a year my junior) I’m still in Norfolk.
      Do you recall an officer, Rex Sanders, by any chance?

  6. Watton was my first unit and I had a wonderful 5 years there from 56 61 working at ASF and DEV A and C flight. Very happy times

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