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15 October 2014
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Flt. Lieut. John Anderson - Who knows what the future holds?

by Bobby Shafto

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Archive List > Royal Air Force

Contributed by 
Bobby Shafto
People in story: 
Flt. Lieut. John Anderson
Location of story: 
RAF Parkgate, Warrington; RAF Babbacombe, Torquay; RAF Ansty, Leicester; RAF Desford, Leicester; Rugby; RAF Manby, Lincolnshire; RAF Chevenor, Barnstable; St Kilda, Outer Hebrides; RAF Lynham, Wiltshire; RAF Portreach, Cornwall; Gilraltar; Malta; Cairo
Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
02 July 2005

I served at RAF Parkgate, Warrington for recruitment. Then to RAF Babbacombe, Torquay for initial training. I then went to a flying station at RAF Ansty, outside Leicester. I also served at another base in the same area at RAF Desford. I then went to the Air Navagation Training School near Rugby. Then on to Air Ordinance School at Manby, Lincolnshire, learning how to fire guns. I then was posted to RAF Chevenor near Barnstable in Devon where we split into crews. After the crew was put together, we flew various exercises so that the crew could get to know each other. We went to Bristol Aircraft Works to collect and air test a new Bristol Beauford. We tested the Beauford to check its range on full tanks, and went as far a small island of the Outer Hebrides called St Kilda, and back again to an airfield in Wiltshire called RAF Lynham. After the aircraft had successfully passed its testing we went to RAF Portreach, near Redruth in Cornwall. We flew the aircraft to the Middle East; to Gibraltar, Malta and Cairo. We stayed around Cairo for quite a while and decided to go and see the Pyramids. While we looked around there, a local came up to us and in broken English, said that he could tell our fortune. We said OK and gave him some money. He then drew a design in the sand with a stick that he had, it was like the Jewish Star of David. He then asked us to each pick a corner. He told me that I would be home in three months time, but about another chap, he said he couldn’t see when he would be home. I had only arrived in the Middle East and expected to be there for years. The Arab turned out to be correct, the chap whom he said he couldn’t see when he would be home was killed soon afterwards and I was home in about three months because my authorities decided I would be part of a crew to ferry out another aircraft.

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