By Gordon Thorburn
Within the earliest days of worldwide battle One, whilst IX Squadron was once shaped, we went to the struggle in little 50mph machines that have been slightly in a position to taking pilot and observer, a gun and some small, handheld bombs into the sky, in particular on a windy day. after we took a instant set, to identify for the artillery and file on troop activities, the additional load compelled the defenseless pilot to go away his observer behind.
A century later, IX (B) Squadron flies jets which may exceed the rate of sound, position laser-guided missiles inside a number of centimeters of the objective, and transmit the main advanced info in actual time around the globe.
In among, the story is of ponderous beasts of biplanes, of Wellingtons and Lancasters within the bloody battles of worldwide battle , of Canberras and Vulcans within the nuclear age of the chilly War.
Above all, it's the tale of the lads and girls of the RAF's senior bomber squadron throughout 100 years of battle and peace, and their phrases fill this publication. We pass from these beginnings in wooden, cord and upholstery kites over France and a pilot armed with a carrier revolver, to the world's first twister squadron within the Gulf wars, over Kosovo and Afghanistan, and so as to the current, a century on.
It quite is one hell of a narrative.
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Extra info for A Century of Air Warfare With Nine (IX) Squadron, RAF: Still Going Strong
He was the warlord who tied the horses to the boy’s limbs, or so they said. ” Dostum wore a black suit and a tie that day. He had a ﬂat, Central Asian face, cropped hair and a black mustache; he looked like a cross between a professional wrestler and a funeral director. “I heard you were a cigar smoker,” Richardson said, stepping off the plane and holding out his hand. Sheberghan was on the Afghan steppe, ﬂat as a tabletop and treeless as far as you could see. Next to our plane sat a pair of MiG-21 ﬁghter jets, Soviet made, rusty and tan with the green triangle of the Afghan ﬂag.
I thought of Wali’s foot soldiers, the young men in white turbans who cruised the streets in their Hi-Luxes. “We also ask men to grow beards,” said Wali, who had a large beard himself. ” Trim their mustaches? *“Purdah,” which means “curtain” in Farsi, refers to the practice of shielding women from the view of men, by clothing or other means. 32 the forever war “The mustache should not cover the lips,” he said. Wali shifted uncomfortably in his seat, taking the weight off his bad ankle. “We also get hold of men who do not have beards,” he said.
Then they went to Dostum’s villa, ornate and monstrous as you would imagine. I waited outside. As I loitered in the street, I met a group of women who had been gathered there to greet Richardson when he came in. There were ﬁve of them, physicians it turned out, and they had walked over from Jozjan Hospital. They wore their white medical coats and the casual head scarves that Uzbek women wore that barely concealed their hair. They were hoping to meet Ambassador Richardson. They seemed genuinely frightened.