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HMS Gannet / 819 Sqdn


War Hero
anyone on here serve at Gannet, I was there 78-81 & 82-84.
The best draft ever, full of people who did sea time on the squadron then did shore time on buffers or workshops.

Sadly the place has closed down & I believe the SAR flight is going this year.

MOD makes you laugh, buy Merlin as a replacement for the seaking then suddenly realise that it can't do the SAR Role so end up having to get seakings back onboard tcarrier to do the job.


Was there 97-99, joined just in time to spend my first week marshalling the crowds at the 17th hole for the Open - then carried on to have a great time.

HMS Gannet is gone and so is 819, the SAR flight continues for the moment, and should have military crews for the forseeable future.

Best kept secret of the FAA we used to say.
Was there 1973 till 1975,one of the rather better drafts for a chockhead,set up the ops room there,the only draft i ever had that was All good times,cant even think ,no matter how hard ,of any misery at all,the only time it came close was when ,because there was no spec for the job,my two boys had to be locally trained ,i got the bright idea of two RP wrns,at least they can plot and use the radios(ever had one of those dreams?)Thats when it started,the brass agreed,all was set,then it was discovered that you cant have two wrns, they have to work in pairs,no not four wrns but six,because there were six,we had to have a PO wrn,which seemed a bit odd to me as we already had one wrn working the teleprinter,onher own,see how easy empires are built? Of course they had to have a DO,and she was based in glasgow.However i soon discovered my insanity,when the radio seemed to say Feet Wet,and i enquired of this sweet young thing if the aircraft had ditched,it had and she fled from the ops room with tears streaming down her face,It dawned on me then that i must have had a mental block with that idea,however i got my buttons shortly after and left.Tho gannet was a great draft.


I was there in 85/86 - the splendid days of all day drinking and the Pavilion grab a granny nights. I was on ground radio. A brilliant little section, 2 long in the tooth chiefs, me a killick and an ab with marital problems so we rarely saw him.
We had an Admirals inspection coming up and the 700 hadn't been written up for months. The chief said that it was his mate who did the inspection and set me the task of filling in months of back entries (??!). Unfortunately, when the inspecting officer visited it was no mate of anyones so he wanted to see the books. I had done a good job starting in January and filling in dates and tasks to the end of March ish. It was noticable however that I had given every month 31 days - including February, oops.

The HF kept tripping out on transmit. It turned out the aerial wire was shorting on the mast. We tied a piece of rope from the wire to the fence to keep it tight. It was little bodges like that that kept the place alive.

I drafted from Gannet to 360 sqdn Canberras at RAF Wyton. Another 'best kept secret'


War Hero
recognise any of this lot?

pity did you go into Jimmy the gardeners for a drink?, you'll know McCluskey then. We acquired a few drinkeypoos through the serving hatch in the Jrs Bar when wee nora left it open.


I have vague memories and seem to remember you Chockhead819 but you say you left Gannet the year before I joined (Jan 86). Where did you draft to? Dinger Bell was one of the chiefs in ground radio. The other one was Jockenese.



War Hero
Just read post properly.
Culdrose 77-78
detached Fearless for Northern Wedding (month)
819 Sqdn - 78-80
702 Sqdn - 80-81
HERMES Flight Deck 81-82
819 Sqdn - 82-84
Faslane - 84-85
801 - 85-86 Medically left Squadron, worked NASU, Air day Office
86-87 - Portland


Ah! Gotcha! We were on 702 at Yeovilton at the same time. Same time as a bloke called Head (Paul?) and a coloured bloke who (in those un pc days) seemed to be always the butt of the crewroom. Probably lived in yeovil block too.

Jeez, I was only 17/18 years old.

Back to Gannet......... I had the misfortune of letting go of the flag rope at Sunset and had to get a winch ride from an 819 cab to retreive it. It happened loads of times.



War Hero
was that "Huggy Linton"?

I remember all you twats always gave me a hard time coz I put the tool boxes on the tractor & it always seemed to be the wrens ones!
I was htere from Jan 85 until Jan 86
Started off in bombhead workshops with Nick Turton and ended up on 819 briefly.
I remember clifford well and i am informed that he is now a MOD plod on the gate.
Someone told me Al Cameron had died is that correct?
Had a great time there but it was not a patch on PTF and 892 at Leuchars,now that WAS fun


War Hero
Kinky_Pillick said:
Back to Gannet......... I had the misfortune of letting go of the flag rope at Sunset and had to get a winch ride from an 819 cab to retreive it. It happened loads of times.


Agree, it was a regular occurrence.

I was there 81 to 86, then again 88 to 89. Best draft I had for lots of reasons.

82 was a good year at it was the only RN/RAF air unit to put on an air display. It was massive and the PU's after were awesome!!!!!!!!

Best detachment, Isle of Man with Helmut Kist our German exchange pilot. Even better than the 7 weeks States, (AUTEC) holiday, sorry - detachment. :thumbup:


War Hero
chockhead819 said:
Did you get a stone of kippers as well Dougie? I went with Noz King as Det Commander.

Nah! I hate fish, Did the IoM a couple of times, without looking at my log book, no idea if Noz went. I remember Helmut as I was always crewed up with him to help my German as I was shortlisted for the Ein Staffel exchange. Ray Snook, (Obs) is another.

Mostly on fishery protection duties, a lot timed around TT times as Helmut was a bike fanatic. I did get left behind once when the squadron recalled the aircraft for operational tasking. That was a laugh watching your transport fly off without you.

Still another night in the hotel on subbies!!!!!!!


chockhead819 said:
The Pavillion is now a well known drugs haunt in ayrshire these days.

No its not its been a childs play area for the past 8 or 9 years, called pirate petes ,why let the truth get in the way of a good dit.


billydwarf said:
I was htere from Jan 85 until Jan 86
Started off in bombhead workshops with Nick Turton and ended up on 819 briefly.
I remember clifford well and i am informed that he is now a MOD plod on the gate.
Someone told me Al Cameron had died is that correct?
Had a great time there but it was not a patch on PTF and 892 at Leuchars,now that WAS fun

Cliff was on the mod guard service he retired from it in may 07 went to his piss up .
Al Cameron is indeed dead and so is digger worsley he died in 05/06 you would have remembered him from bombead workshops he was in their about the time you were .


War Hero
Come-on then.

Hands up those who remember Russ Jacobs.

Or should I say, hands up those brave enough to admit knowing him. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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