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Wings Over Wick
Stanley Chambers, lpswich
On the 1st of April 1943, I arrived at Wick at 14.15hrs as a Flt Sgt Pilot carrying 2 kit bags. It was raining with gale force wind. Making my way through the town finally arriving at the Camp. Having booked in at the Sgts Mess, I was told that my sleeping quarter was a large private house south of the mess next to the main road. In the evening there was a large party in the mess to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the RAF. There was beer all over the place, the carpet was swimming in it.
The next day having completed my arrival chit, I made my way down to the Flight to be introduced to my new Flight Commander of 1406 Met Flight on MK 6 Spitfires. The job consisted of climbing up to 34000ft each day to record air temperatures every 500ft. These figures were sent to Bomber Command to plan their raids. Some days the weather was so bad we couldn't fly. One of the met pilots was F/0 Rickaby the famous pre-war jockey.
The entertainments on the camp, were the cinema and mess dances. The roof of the cinema was reed thatch and was secured by wire hausers. The town of Wick was dry, no pubs. The only way to get a drink was at the Army NCO Mess. The beer was 1/8d per very large pint.
Summertime was approaching so with another pilot we used to walk up to Noss Head in the evening to see a farmer Mr Clyne at Noss Farm.
On 30th April, I was interviewed for Commission at Pitreavy Castle. On June 1st I was granted commission as Pilot Officer. On June 24th I was posted to Fighter Command. On June 25th I left Wick. On the way through the town I purchased a live crab for 1/6d to take home to Manchester.