Dave Hart

On leaving Cosford, I got posted to Wittering (my brother was already there so we got things sorted; anything to avoid Stanbridge!). I met my wife at a camp dance and we've now been married 34 years with three sons (stepson 39, my two 31 and 27). Saw the request for volunteers for Majunga, two of us applied, both got turned down, both got sent to Muharraq, end of volunteering !! Whilst in Muharraq, I came in contact with lots of ex-303 guys, either stationed there as well or in transit to the other Gulf stations. The main guy that seemed to keep appearing was Frank McDonagh.

From there, went to Newmarket, which was fine apart from the damn horses. I never was keen on horse sport of any kind; I certainly wasn't after a year there. anyway, I eventually got a posting to NATO at AFCENT in Brunssum in Holland. Frank won't be there, I thought. Wrong! He was on the next seat on the flight out

Two and a half years holiday in Holland ended up with a posting to Pitreavie Castle, where I helped set up the new Maritime communications centre (MATELO), talking to the Shacks, Nimrods and anybody else who was around.

In May 1974, we got a lovely posting to Cyprus but I assume the Turks didn't want us as they fairly soon invaded the damn place. My youngest son was 7 days old when he had to leave so he hasn't many memories of the place !! Anyway, after 10 months of a 3 year tour, back to Pitreavie for last tour of duty.

I came out of the mob in 1978 and started work for Shell in the telex room and, to cut a long story short, have been with Shell ever since, staying in telex through it's manifestations from torn tape through to computer systems until eventually it had outlived it's usefulness and was closed down. I then moved into my present role in Information Management, preparing reports, stats, creating all-singing, all-dancing databases and generally pretending I know a lot more about computers than I really do (bullshit baffles brains!).

It was interesting reading all the happenings to the other guys, especially the pilot stories as my youngest son has his PPL and is currently on the verge of his commercial licence.

Like the others, I found our ex-303 colleagues seemed to disappear. I looked at several "where are they now" type websites and it seemed that the only entry not to be mentioned anywhere was the 303rd!

Dave Hart
July 2001