I'd like to know more about...........

Discussion in 'Barracks' started by David Layne, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    Do you ever wonder about your fellow forum friends? I know I do.

    There are times when I would like to know a little more about someone who is posting here. Not to be nosy, just curious about their background, family etc.

    We seem to be a very diverse bunch, many different backgrounds, nationalities, experiences and attitudes towards life. All bound together by an interest in World War 2.

    So if it's not too much of an imposition I would be interested in seeing a biography of forum members. It can be as brief as the person wishes to make it or as detailed as they feel they want to make it also.

    So without further adue, and with the option to decline I nominate the following to "Tell us your story."

  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    So a person tells as much or as little as they like about themselves.....and then they nominate another regular member?

    Sounds good
  3. CTNana

    CTNana Active Member

    Oh no!!!! It'll be just like school again, being the last to be picked for the team!!!!!!!
  4. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    To be honest I don't like doing that David ! ... not that I have anything to hide ... if you read my posts you'll find out a lot about me !!

    Suffice to say I'm a transplanted Scouse who lives in America who loves to research WW1, American Indians who rode with Buffalo Bill, and The Charge of the Light Brigade !! :mosking:

    And I'm trying to learn a bit about WW2 !

    I won't choose anybody .... just somebody jump in who'd like to !!

  5. Gage

    Gage New Member

    I'm a yellow-belly and work in a dead end job in a factory. I'm engaged to a lovely young (pain in the arse) woman and we have a young German Shepherd called Dakota.
    My interest in WWII started when a friend gave me a book (in the form of a diary) of a Belgium pilot called Jean Offenberg. I'll read anything on BofB, SOE in France, Bomber Command and the Battle of Berlin to name a few. I also like to read James Herbert, Robert Harris and sometimes JK Rowling to name but a few.

    Step up whoever..................................
  6. CTNana

    CTNana Active Member

    David what about you?
  7. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    David, if you write something, I promise I'll write about myself!

  8. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    Sometimes don't you just wish you had never started a thread!

    As this is somewhat of a milestone time of my life, in as much as I qualify for my bus pass at the end of this month it appears to be an apt time to tell a little of myself.

    I was born February 28th 1944 in Grantham Lincolnshire. At that time my father had been a P.O.W. in Germany for 5 months. His experiences and attitudes towards life have been an influencing factor in my life.

    My childhood home was in Great Gonerby, a small village outside of Grantham. I had a privileged childhood and was privately educated.

    Much to my parents distress I was a totally irresponsible student that failed to apply himself. "Wild as the Wind" is a phrase that comes to mind that was used to describe me a lot.

    It had been hoped that I would go into a family business but it soon became obvious to all concerned that I had no interest in that and consequently, in 1966 I moved to Ohio.

    I worked as a mechanic for a company called "Sports Cars Incorporated" and as the name implies they sold and serviced foreign sports cars.

    It was at this time of my life that I was introduced to aviation and parachuting that have featured in my life ever since.

    In order to work in the U.S. I had to sign up for the dreaded draft and sure enough I got called up 15 months after arriving. It was either be drafted or return to the U.K. I chose the 2 year draft.

    On December 6th 1967 (Pearl Harbour Day) I reported to Fort Benning in Georgia for basic training. After Benning it was on to Fort Eustace in Virginia for Advanced Individual Training. A.I.T. is where a soldier learns his trade, mine being a helicopter repairman.

    In August of 1967 it was back to Benning and enduring Basic Airborne School in the heat of the Georgia sun. A never to be forgotten experience.

    Now a fully trained paratrooper I was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Divisions Replacement Company for assignment to a combat unit. This was at Fort Bragg North Carolina.

    As fate would have it (and a few well pulled strings) the U.S. Army Parachute Team the "Golden Knights" knew of my existence and pulled me out of the 82nd to become a member of their unit.

    This sweet posting didn't last too long. Orders came down from above and I was Vietnam bound.

    I arrive "in country" in June of 1969 for the start of my one year tour. I was stationed at Phu Loi ( a WW2 Japanese Airbase) as a helicopter mechanic. After about a month of spanner wrenching I applied for aircrew and became a door gunner on both Hueys and Chinooks.

    My tour was full of excitement, our unit was a helicopter recovery unit. We would retrieve shot down or mechanically downed helicopters and small aircraft.

    The Huey helicopter would go in first and secure the area and then rig the aircraft in preparation for the Chinook to come in and lift it out. I have lots of slides of this and one day I must buy a scanner in order to share them.

    When in Vietnam I reenlisted for 4 more years with Germany as my duty station. Accordingly I found myself in September of 1970 in Mainz Germany as part of the 8th Infantry Division.

    Mainz didn't last long. The U.S. Army's European equivalent of the Golden Knights, the 7th Army Parachute Team was stationed at Bad Kreuznach and I managed to get myself posted there.

    The following 4 years were the life of an Army Prima Donna. With the team I travelled throughout Europe participating in parachute displays and airshows. Then in 1974 there was a fuel shortage and the team was shut down.

    This coincided with the end of my term of enlistment, I got out of the Army and returned to England. I could not settle back in the U.K. and in 1979 I pulled up stakes and moved once again to Ohio.

    I lived in Ohio until 1988 when I moved to Alabama. At this time of my life nothing was going right job wise, but fortunately for me, due to a service connected disability I was able to be hired by the U.S. Postal Service from which I will be retired at the end of this month.

    I have mentioned a couple of times here parachuting. For years I have been a skydiving instructor and have amassed almost 4000 jumps. I have been fortunate enough to have been in one skydiving world record and two U.S. state records, one of which still stands.
  9. Adrian Roberts

    Adrian Roberts Active Member

    Wow! I can't top David for excitement! I've only made 34 parachute jumps, not 4000!

    But I agree that it would be great to know more about all of you, but I do understand that many of you will prefer to remain private and mysterious. But there’s not much about me that I’m bothered about keeping private, and in the end I talk to you lot more than the friends I actually see, so here goes:

    Its a milestone year for me as well as I’ll be 50 this year. I am a Community Psychiatric Nurse by profession; I’m married with two daughters; and I’m into aircraft and ships, but only mildly into cars, and not at all into sport or music.

    I was born in Beckenham, which is on the border of Kent and London. When I left school, I went to the University of Surrey, in Guildford, and got a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Goodness knows how I qualified; at degree level Engineering is solid mathematics and I only achieved a tenuous grasp of the subject. I enjoyed the year’s practical experience that we had to do, more than the course-work. On qualifying, I genuinely tried to get a job in engineering, but Thatcher’s 1980’s recessions had started, plus I was crap at interviews and had even worse dress sense than I do now. So I was unemployed for nearly a year and then spent five years doing jobs such as driving vans, and as a warehouseman for a fitted kitchen firm.

    Clearly I needed to choose a real career. Even during my engineering degree, I had started to feel that although machines were interesting, I would prefer to spend my life working with people. So, as one does, I decided to train as a Registered Mental Nurse. I started training in 1987; the cut in salary meant I had to swallow my pride and return to Beckenham and live with my parents once more. But the career change was the right decision for me. Since 1997 I have specialised as a Community Psychiatric Nurse, in the Borough of Greenwich.

    Jane and I married in 1989, when I was just short of thirty - I was still a student nurse so we lived on her salary at first. We delayed having children for a while, as we were initially living in a small flat but also so that we could do a bit of travelling - e.g. we backpacked around Thailand in the summer of ‘91. Jennifer was born in 1996 and Alice in ‘99. In 2005 we moved about three miles to West Wickham, buying a house with an annex jointly with my mother-in-law. That’s a whole other story; I nearly had a breakdown in the first few months but things are better now!


    I think it was the Biggles books that started me off as an aviation nut; in particular they orientated me to the First World War. Certainly by the time I was ten I was hooked. Unfortunately short-sight meant that I couldn’t be a professional pilot. As for the RAF: I was hopeless at sports, and at eighteen I was going through a left-wing pacifist phase, and the RAF didn’t take pacifists. (This was before political correctness, its probably a requirement now. But I was cured after a few years!).

    But I have dabbled in flying ever since. I have never had the time or money simultaneously to get a pilot’s licence - I’ve come closest very recently - but I have had occasional flying lessons over the years. During 1985-6 I was a member of Capital City Parachute Club at Biggin Hill, and made 34 jumps, the last 17 being free-fall rather than static-line. Then the club closed which was probably a good thing. Starting my nurse training would have made the commitment difficult. Marrying Jane would have made it impossible; my motor-cycling days came to an end about then as well!

    I did a weekend gliding course in 1984, and then two years ago, I went back to gliding. Since 2007 I have been a member of Surrey Hills Gliding Club, at Kenley. I still haven’t had the time to go solo. The club only operates on weekdays, because the Air Cadets use the airfield at weekend, but that suits me; leaving the family regularly at weekends would cause ructions - quite rightly, really. So I have to take days off work, so with conserving my leave, picking days when I can keep my diary free, and hoping the weather will be ok, I get there less than once a month: not really enough to go solo. Still, I’ve made about 60 flights there now, with an instructor, and on my last flight, in January, the CFI said that my flying was up to solo standard, I just needed more confidence navigating the circuit. I expect he’ll want a lot more consistency before we think about solo, but never mind: I consider myself lucky to be flying at all. Its very fragile in terms of my and the family’s health and wealth (e.g. if Jane has to give up work to look after her mother), and the Club’s health and wealth, especially in the current climate, so I make the most of it while I can.

    I have been making models since I was 11; I made plastic aircraft, car and ship kits for a long time, but now I make model ships from scratch. I’ve only done two from scratch so far - each takes about three years; it would be quicker if I didn’t spend so much time on the internet! I am the membership secretary for the local Society of Model Shipwrights.

    There is one more thing that I want to say: most of you won’t identify with this but it completes to the picture of who I am. I am a Christian. In the last few years I’ve come to realise that issues of belief and practice are not as simple as I once thought, and I have moved away from Evangelicalism. At least, I’m on the liberal end of that movement, and certainly I wouldn’t want anyone to assume they know what I think about particular issues. But I truly believe God has got me through some very difficult times; there are things I can’t explain any other way. So I’m not at present about to ditch my core faith even if I don’t know all the answers.

    The photos attached show the occasion that I won a flight in a Tiger Moth in a competition in Aeroplane Monthly in 1991, and a recent picture of me in a Grob 103 Twin Acro.


    Attached Files:

  10. CTNana

    CTNana Active Member

    Come on then Kyt, your turn.
  11. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    I've created a monster!
  12. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    Well done Adrian. Next?
  13. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    David ever considered losing all sanity and aiming for you BASE number?
  14. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Great stuff David. You’ve mentioned bits and pieces before but it’s nice to fill in some of the gaps.

    And Adrian – snap. Another Surrey alumni.

    Let’s see now. I was born in May 1968 to Indian (Punjabi Sikh) parents. My father had come to the country in the early 1960s to go to university (a college of Glasgow Uni) and was head hunted before he went back. He ended up working for a number of food companies as a developmental scientists before taking early retirement due to illness. He passed away 5 years ago. My mum came over in 1967 to get married.

    I was born with cerebral palsy (though not diagnosed until past my first birthday) which causes problems with walking. I zip along but just a tad ungainly!! Between by 4th and 14th birthdays I had about 10 or 12 separate operations, many of them experimental, painful and of dubious benefit.

    Until I was 16 I was educated at “special” schools of dubious educational merit, though between 12 and 16 I also tended lessons in a “normal” comprehensive. This is despite having passed the 11+ (the only one in my local authority to actually take the exam that year) and being offered a place at a private school – the LA then refused to fund it.

    I hated school, and did poorly in my O levels. I retook them the following year and decided to stay on in the school’s 6th form for A levels. During that summer I passed my driving test. The first day at 6th form, when talking to my tutor as to which A levels I wanted to do he turned around and stated that he didn’t think I was academically minded, and as I had just got my licence I should consider taxi driving!!! I had great joy in going back a few years later, whilst enrolled in my Masters to put him straight. Anyway, lasted 3 months at 6th form before I jacked it in. Spent 3 months in India after that and then enroled at my local college and got my 3 A levels. Had a fantastic time at college and made some great friends.

    I then went to Surrey University and studied Sociology. Like Adrian, I did a 4 year course (at that time all courses at Surrey were 4 years, of which the 3rd year was spent on a work placement).

    After graduating, I was at a lose end over the summer and my father suggested a Masters (he had been paid by his company to do one in the late 1960s). I ended up at Brunel Uni to do one in Medical Anthropology. I think I enjoyed it though I am still unsure what it was al about!! I quite enjoyed doing the research for my thesis.

    Then the blasted disability came to the fore – this was the time before the DDA and I was constantly getting job rejections because I was disabled. Took a year to get a job and ended up at the BBC as a researcher in their audience research deparment. Not really what I wanted and so I left after a year. At the sametime I was contacted by an old tutor and I ended up back at Brunel Uni as a researcher – projects on ethnic minorities, health and disability. Did that for a few years. Since then I have had a variety of disability related jobs – mainly research and/or advice work. I now work as a freelance disability consultant. I also managed to squeeze in a part-time PhD in that time.

    My interest in WW2 developed when I was a kid where I had access to lots of books and comics whilst in hospital. But it took a backseat when I went to university and only came back into the fore about 5 or 6 years ago. When I happened to pick up a book in Borders.

    Anyway, that’s me. I nominate……………..Kitty
  15. Kitty

    Kitty New Member

    you utter bar steward.



    Born 1979, in Cheshire. The youngest of three and th eonly girl. Have older twin bothers: we merely cohabit in the same house. I wouldn't say we precisely get along, but it's not developed into full scale war yet. :D

    Went through a CofE Primary School in the middle of the country, then attended a high school in the local market town. Hated every minute of my 7 years through GCSE's and A Levels. Wasn't academically gifted, so managed to get average grades, then ended up at 18 working in a seasonal job as wasn't really ready for work, or further education for that matter despite getting offered a place on an archaeology degree.

    Always been interested in history. primarily 16th century England thanks to studying 16th century Europe in A levels, but it developed to WW2 after we discovered a cousin was in Bomber Command and won the VC, then we're slowly trying to track down my gandfathers service time.

    Have spent nearly 10 years in my seasonal job whilst i put myself through a degree in Countryside Management at a local university as a mature (HA!) student. Came out with a 2:1 degree and an A grade in my dissertation, so learning in a HE environmet obviously suited me.

    Struggling right now to find a job due to the current situation. i always had a spectacular sense of timing. Now considering going back into HE for either a Masters or an MPhil. But possibly after I rob a bank in order to pay the loan off.

    Anyway thats my rather boring life story.

    I now nominate warhawk.
  16. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Due to vrious time zones, and whilst we wait for Warhawk to login, I would also like to nominate Keith and/or CXX
  17. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    Have never done any base jumping although I know a lot of people that do.
  18. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    Looking forward to Warhawk's reply.
  19. Nostalgair

    Nostalgair New Member

    Hi All,

    I have cheated and lifted the following bio from my website. (Most of you know the story anyway....)

    I literally grew up around airports.

    An Army Commando in WW2, my father had flown over 200 combat missions as a fighter pilot with the Royal Australian Air Force over Korea and subsequently had an extensive career in civil aviation. My mother was a WAAF radar operator in WW2 and served post war as well. If I wasn't jumping a ride with Dad, I was sitting in all and sundry cockpits at the local aerodrome.

    I spent nearly 4 years as an Ambulance Officer as I paid my way through flying training. Inevitably I found my way into the cockpit and have now been a commercial pilot for twenty years, accumulating around 14,000 hours of fairly diverse experience. I am very fortunate and aviation has taken me all around the world, from Tiger Moths to 747s. I am also an aircraft owner and absolute enthusiast.

    My writings have featured in journals in both Australia and abroad. Amongst these, locally, I contribute regularly to Australian Aviation magazine and Flightpath, whilst I have had a number of features published in FlyPast in the UK. I have also consulted on technical manuals, both military and civil. Along the way I have been fortunate enough to pick up an Aviation Press Club Award and have my first book, 'Down to Earth' published in the United Kingdom.

    Today I find myself working on another book and again aviation history is at the core. All in all, it has been tremendous.

    A keen cricketer and dreadful golfer, I reside in beautiful Australia..... with an airfield just around the corner.
  20. war hawk

    war hawk New Member

    I'm a ww2 enthusiast that likes to hunt and fish. Andy.:dance::attention::hi: EDIT:I own 3 Horses, 3 cats, and 1 dog. And I like to hike in the woods. I love to read, especially ww2 & hunting books.

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