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Post Info TOPIC: The Congo


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The Congo


From July 1960-December 1961 Hastings of 24/36 Squadrons were deployed from Colerne to Accra, Ghana West Africa to ferry troops and supplies to the strife torn country of The Congo, the operation then moved to Lagos, Nigeria

It was here that a friend of mine [the late Eric S] was on a detachment from Colerne when he was walking across the 'Pan' [aircraft dispersal] where he was hit by a tractor driven by a French soldier and very nearly died, he was eventually CASEVACED to the UK by another Hastings and in 1973 medically discharged from the injuries sustained, the RAF in their wisdom felt it cheaper to medically discharge Eric one month short of his 22 years service than to pay him his full pension, aggrieved, you bet he was!hmmcry

 





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I was involved in this operation supporting Ghananian troops , flying from Accra to Luluaberg via Leopoldville on 36 Sqn as a second pilot. Dave Parsons was my Captain. On parking the aircraft at Luluaberg, the capt and nav went across to the ops building to submit a flight plan and check weather. I stayed behind to smoke a cigarette and keep an eye on the aircraft.
I then decided to saunter over to the ops building, when unfortunately I was stopped by ANC soldier armed with a rifle fitted with a long rusty bayonet. He barred my way, pointed his gun at me and said

" You Ghana man, you bad for Congo . You go. "

He obviously mistook my Caribbean heritage for that of a Ghananian, but I decided not to argue the finer points of my ancestry! I returned to the aircraft PDQ!!!!

Incidentally I do have a happy memory of Leopoldville in that Dave Parsons, as captain of the aircraft, let me - a lowly second pilot- actually land the aircraft . Mind you it was a 10,000 foot runway!

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