a maintenance period in Bermuda I had been given permission to fly back to
UK to get married. The Captain was a bit concerned that I may not come
back, and so I had to produce evidence that I had enough money to pay for
the flight back, which was £86, a lot of money then. I flew home with an
airline whose livery was a strange shade of blue. The RAF charged £8 for
this privilege, which was known as an’ Indulgence Flight’. The
aircraft was a Britannia turbo prop and took two days to reach Brize-Norton,
as it stopped overnight at a US Air Force base in the Azores. There were
about two-dozen passengers on this flight, consisting of service personnel
and NOK. Included in this group was the wife of a Royal Marines officer.
After we landed in the Azores we were picked up by USAF bus. They, the
Americans, did not know who we were, so made enquires. A portly
sun-tanned, master sergeant, with more stripes than a zebra, mounted the
bus. Looking down the aisle he said
one answered, so I decided to take charge! Standing, and turning to the RM
officer’s wife I said, don’t worry Mrs …….. I will deal with this.
that I replied, “ and watsyastaus to you as well senor”.
was silence, the sort you can feel. I looked about me. What’s the matter
with this bloke; can’t he speak his own lingo?
down Royal, he’s asking what our status is” came a helpful hint!
years later I met this lady again. Her husband was a principal guest at a
RM dinner. Speaking to him I mentioned that we had met in Bermuda, and,
that I had had the privilege in accompanying his wife on the said flight.
He at once called her over and introduced me.
you remember him?” he enquired.
course”, she replied, “It’s the linguist isn’t it”.