Picture Post – 003 – Squadron Silver – 1971

Squadron Silver – from Richard Bates 

Squadron Silver - Fit to Fly

Squadron Silver – Fit to Fly

During my time on the Squadron we noticed that some valuable silver items were damaged, hidden away in an attic and never displayed in the mess.

One of these was a superb model of the Hawker Hart, in service with the Squadron in the 1930’s. The Hart’s undercarriage was damaged and one of the two wheels was missing. Local silversmith’s had been approached and could certainly undertake the necessary work, but at great cost. Chatting to OC Eng Wg one evening, he said he was sure his team could do the job for a ‘couple of bob’, or two shillings in pre-decimalisation ‘old money’. But, they would need a silver florin which exactly matched the diameter of the missing wheel. There was one more important condition. The coin would have to be of pre-1927 vintage and thus contain the high proportion of silver necessary for the lathe work to turn the coin into the wheel.

As they so often do, our engineers turned up trumps and produced a simple and inexpensive solution to this unusual maintenance problem. We located an early 1920’s florin, the Hart was repaired and was soon back on duty gracing many a mess night – and for less than the cost of a drink, even in those days.

Picture shows OC 24 Sqn gratefully accepting the return of the 24 Sqn silver model Hart from representatives of Engineering Wing, RAF Lyneham.



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