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.
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