Looking for veterans

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Katie Wilson-Ainsworth, May 19, 2013.

  1. Hi everyone, My name is Katherine, and I'm a freelance writer in Seattle, WA. I'm working on a pro-military series of interviews with veterans and I am hoping to find some through this site. Families of vets who have stories passed down to them would also be welcome. Identifying information such as units, etc., helps a great deal to establish authenticity. Sad as it is, I have had a few men pretend to be someone they were not. My goal and the goal of my employer on this project is to instill military pride and awareness of what our soldiers have been through. I am hoping this site will help me get in contact with vets, If you think you might be interested, please let me know immediately. Thank you for your time and consideration.
  2. cavtrooper

    cavtrooper Member

    Well,I served in the US Army,from 1981-2008,and any questions are welcome.
  3. skyblue

    skyblue Active Member

    Hello Katie, Welcome to the forum! I'm not a vet, sorry. My dad was in the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict, but sadly I did not get any real details from him. I hope you make some good contacts here at Militarian!
  4. mfg495

    mfg495 Member

    Strange to think about it now, I have just retired after serving 37 years in the RAF as a photographer. I keep asking myself where did that time go. Joined the service when I was 17 and now at 55 retired! Well I still have the memories, and of course, I'm spending move time with the wife and now spending more time on my website, so life is looking very good :)
    Diptangshu likes this.
  5. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    First of all..Best wishes to you,in your retired life;enjoy,since you never experienced it before.

    How you feel,when you look into the life you have just come across ? So many changes,conflicts,ups and downs etc. hardly have any impact now. All gone with the time but all their essences are along with you.

    If you never mind to share a couple of fragments from those essences,it will be wonderful.

    Warm wishes for your good health once more,you there abroad,

  6. mfg495

    mfg495 Member

    Diptangshu thanks for your comments.

    Back in 1976 there were approx 98,000 in the RAF, serving all around the world. Now the RAF's manning is around 35,000, looking at going to 31,000 by 2015. Also the number of squadrons and aircraft types have reduced. I think it was a good time to leave and I was about ready to go. I have an excellent career and still think that the RAF may not be one of the largest, but are highly professional in all they do.

    My back ground is as a photographer working on a tactical reconnaissance squadron and as such all our processing and printing equipment was mounted on the back of lorries so we could deploy at a minutes notice, we would "live" in these vehicles for days at a time parked up in woods under netting processing the films. It was a great life, the only issue you were away from home a lot.
    I worked in the Gulf, trying to process films when the outside temperature was 51C and we need cillers to get the water down to the right temperature and all the time you were working to very tight timelines.

  7. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    Thanks Mick,for sharing here in this forum.It is wonderful what you experienced throughout your service life,though it was never been easy as we are talking about right now.

    Any way,now you have time to do for what once you would have thought.

    Have a nice day.
    mfg495 likes this.
  8. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    Speaking frankly Mick,your profession attracted me much.My father was very keen of photography[it was his personal passion],and still I remember how we little fellows wandered in search of his rejected articles,precious then enough for us to collect.

    The days of now are changed in such a way,whenever I see his cameras,relative books and mags etc.I wonder the techs have crossed a million of kilometers. However,sorry for being off-track,I was a bit down the memory lane.

    Cheers .......
  9. mfg495

    mfg495 Member

    When I first joined the branch, ground photographers, these used the standard type of SLR cameras, like Pentax, Rolleiflex and a couple other brands. There was no colour film then, just good old black and white. Training was 6 mouths at the Defence School of Photography and these trainees had to lean a hell of a lot. The make up of a lens, what developers and fixers were made of and the layout of the different types of film emulsions and all the time there were exams, fall below the passmark and you could be kicked off the course. The trade switched to digital camera about 9 years ago and the current ones used are the Nikon D4, D800 & D600, all top of the range.

    I remember once when I had to brief the new trainees at the school, my last posting was as the senior RAF photographer, stuck behind a desk! during the briefing I was explaining whole much the trade had changed over the years and I had just started talking about processing the films when this young airman gave me a funny look and said "you processed the films!" added sir at the end, because he had only known digital cameras, he did not know this type of work once was undertaken.

    In my branch of aerial photography I have seen a massive change, the use of aerial wet film cameras has now gone and the RAF has totally switched to big tech digital systems, the downside to this is there was no longer a requirement for all the RAF aerial photographers, a number switch to the other branch but a lot left the service.
    Diptangshu likes this.
  10. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    Another important thing to my attraction towards this that the presence of 2nd Combat Camera Sq.[AFPAA] at Hijli,of which,we were told many facts by my father. Mostly I forgot about the units,but a few of them..as far as my knowledge goes were ::

    ** 2nd Army Air Forces Combat Camera Unit ['43-'45] as per its assignments -- 1 Motion Picture Unit,AAF India-Burma Sector,attached to 8 Photo Reconnaissance Group .

    ** 10th Combat Camera Unit[my father told it was Recon-Tech unit].

    Other than these, 136th Radio Security Dept & 12th Radio Security Sec. stationed at Hijli where I born & brought up,though all these happened long before our birth.

    Basically 3 active air basses surrounded this very small & isolated area then, but strategically very important. Now 2 of them are active.

    One Weather Sqd. also stationed here alongwith XX Bomber Command[USAAF] 58th Bombardment Wing. Mostly these Units redeployed to Mariana Isls.

    One of the 3 air-stns was built by RIAF,used to conduct raids against advancing Japanese aggressive activities in the far east & east[...for which my grand father & his family moved 700/50 miles toward West].Many RAF Units were located here as 159 Sqdr; 357/8 Sqdr; 355 Sqdr; mighty 99 Sqdr; 215 Sqdr etc..etc ... all remained active till War-end,for East & Middle East.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    A transport aid to China also conducted from here,carried fuel,ammunition,spare parts etc to its forward staging base at Pengshan Airfield[A-7]-China..6 round trips were necessary to supply enough fuel for 1 aircraft to mount a combat mission from China.

    B29 Superfortress Base redesigned for planned deployment of USAAF['43-'45] for XX Bomber Command[512th,792d,749th etc].

    A-Flight 27/01/44 RAF 159 Squadron A-Flight (Photo taken 27 January 1944
    at Digri, West Bengal, India)
    The aircraft in the background is BZ926, Pegasus, which was shot down over
    Rangoon by two Japanese night fighters on 29 February 1944.

    Front Row Left To Right P.N. Higgins (Pilot) A. Black (P) Robert Ustick
    (USA, flying for RCAF) (A/G) Died approx 1997. Eric Wallace (Aus)(P)

    Left To Right. Sgt. B McKinnon Front Gunner Sgt. B. McFarlane Mid / Upper Gunner
    F/O E.R Cutlan Navigator. Taken under the wing of A/C KH-359 R-Roger in March of
    1945 at Digri. Photo Courtesy of Ted Cutlan & The Canadian Air Force Photo

    Photo was taken at Digri on 27 January 1944, the same day as the A Flight group photo
    in this gallery. It shows the McDougall crew of A Flight in front of BZ926, P for Pegasus,
    which was shot down with a different crew aboard on 29 Feb 1944. From left to Right.L.J.H. Talbot (2nd W.Op/AG) Denis Boissier (N) Roy McDougall (Pilot) Tom Morris (2nd
    Pilot) W. 'Ginger' McCaffrey (AG), probably J.P. 'Paddy' Goodison (AG) J. Brown (W.Op)
    Dennis Stokoe (AG). Picture & Text Courtesy of Matt Poole.


    [courtesy] http://www.midnapore.in/arifield/hijli-airfield.html

    .. They were here,long days ago....I am greatfull to their effort ..

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