RAF IN THE COLD WAR Meteor NF pilot
By the late 1950s, even the RAF’s ultimate Meteor night fighter mark, the NF14, was showing its age — the idea of going up against high-flying Soviet bombers ‘in anger’ seemed a decidedly concerning prospect. One pilot recalls his year on this nocturnal force
Chopped from the Chivenor course as being likely to kill myself on the Hunter, the RAF, in its infinite wisdom, suggested I should undergo twin-jet conversion at Worksop and from there proceed to North Luffenham on a night fighter operational conversion unit, where I would be able to kill a navigator as well. Arriving at that delightful Rutland airfield with my new bride of one month, I was teamed up with my unsuspecting nav, Eric Stafford. We survived, in spite of being accused of trying to fix the target height during a ‘trailed’ check flight, and were posted in August 1957 to No 85 Squadron at West Malling.