The Air Transport Men - John Billinton

The Air Transport Men - John Billinton

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This is the story of a young teenager, John Billinton, who was always interested in aviation and decided to join the RAF as a Boy Entrant.

He started his training at RAF Cosford, Wolverhampton on 18 February 1953. The course covered all aspects of the airframe trade and lasted for 18 months, having taken and passed all the exams he passed out as a qualified airframe mechanic in the rank of Leading Aircraftman. After the passing out parade they were dismissed, returned to their huts for the last time, and given their new postings: his was to RAF Ballykelly, Northern Ireland, to Shackleton Squadron No. 240.

As a new recruit, when you joined your allocated unit you were quite often subjected a lot of mickey taking but it soon passed and you were then accepted as one of the squadron members, after six months on the squadron he was promoted to Senior Aircraftman. And so the story continues with the RAF and beyond.