by Sgt M. D. Boulton, 6 FTS.
1991 saw the 50th Anniversary at Air Engineer in the Royal Air Force. The first Flight Engineers (as they were known) were employed in 1941 with the arrival of the new large multi-engined bombers, the first of which to enter service was the Stirling. Since then the Air Engineer has seen continuous service on a variety of aircraft within the RAF.
It was decided within the branch that a number of events would be organized to mark this milestone in aviation history and the task fell to the staff of the Air Engineer School at 6 FTS, RAF Finningley. The Finningley Air Day in September was chosen as the venue for activities. A static display was constructed to show the history of the branch from its conception in 1941 to the present day and a special marquee was erected so that Engineers past and present could meet and socialize. The display was organised and set up by Sgt Ray Triccas and Sgt Dave Lomax. Anyone who saw it would agree that they made an excellent job of setting up such an informative and interesting display. The hospitality marquee was also a great success and was attended by a large number of Engineers who consumed an even greater number of pints.
Although the events of the Air Day were a great success, it was felt by the staff of the AEPT at Finningley that this was not enough. Master Engineers Rob Bailey and Mick Alderton came up with the idea of holding an Anniversary dinner. Plans were soon drawn up and a lot of hard work was put in by all the AEPT Staff, particularly Sgt Simon Cox.
The dinner was held at the Moat House Hotel, Doncaster, on 4 October. Just over 100 Engineers past and present attended. An excellent meal was followed by a speech from Sqn Ldr Roy Waters to mark the occasion. The festivities continued well into the night with the last people leaving the bar just before dawn!
Flt Lt Ian McKay and other members of 24 Sqn provided the transport from Lyneham and Brize Norton — my heart and stomach went out to all those travelling back by Hercules the following morning! So here we are in 1992 and all I can say is that I’m looking forward to the 100th Anniversary of the air engineer branch, when I’ll be a tender 76 years of age!