The following was written by John Macrae-Hall, my son's Godfather and a prince of a man, married as you will see to a Welsh princess. John and Babs live in Westminister, South Carolina, near the green cemetery owned by their daughter and son-in-law, which was written up in People Magazine.
The plane is a Vampire T11. John was a dashing Royal Air Force pilot.
The romance took place in Pembrey, Wales. The beginning now John's words:


145 Squadron, had been the most wonderful tour a young and enthusiastic Fighter Pilot could have wished for. Having had the honour to serve on the Squadron since September 1952. on Feb.15th 1955, I completed my last flight in Venom "S". On my dparture from Celle on the rather tedious trek to UK upon the "Blue" train and the ferry to Harwich, I pondered my wisdom in turning down a posting to Sylt as a Staff Gunnery instructor. Perhaps some strange instinct told me that my abused liver would not hold up to the continuous partying environment of Westerland. Ahead lay "Postings" at Air Ministry.
Upon entering the room wherein awaited my future, I was met with a very hearty gentleman who informed me that my presence was urgently needed at the OCU at Pembrey. I was to be an instructor there and furthermore he added with a knowing wink "You'll be going onto the Hunter Flight - When they get them!". Little did I know then that eventually that flight was to become 145 Reserve Squadron prior to Pembrey closing and the Squadron moving to Chivenor where I was to serve as an instructor on the Hunter Simulator unit.

All this lay before me in the unknown future, more to my immediate interest leave lay ahead with a bit of the late Hunting season in the Midlands complete with its parties, banquets and balls! What a Life! I felt on top of the world.
The 7th of March 1955 was a cold, dark Sunday evening, raining heavily as the local stopping train pulled up to the lone platform at Pembrey/Kidwelly halt at about 7 o'clock. I disembarked with two large suitcases, the lone passenger. A small shelter and one flickering Gas Light formed the total passenger amenities, nothing more.
As the tail light of the train receded toward Kidwelly my spirits sank, the rain was coming down sideways. Save for the lone flickering lamp, there was no sign of any other habitation, no friendly red telephone box, no Taxi, nothing but darkness, wind and rain! I stood for a while in the lee of the shelter assessing my situation. This had to be the proverbial end of the earth. Had I actually been mad enough to pass up a posting as a Staff P.A.I. at RAF Sylt to come to this Godforsaken place?

After some 15 minutes of pondering my situation the headlights of a car wove into sight, turned toward the platform. Salvation had arrived in the form of a RAF Standard Vanguard and Driver. A short drive later the camp gate came into view, passing through we turned first left and pulled up in front of an old Wartime wooden building, the Officers Mess no less. The whole setting resembled nothing less than a scene from a bad movie about a prison camp!
RETURN TOMORROW WHEN OUR DASHING PILOT MEETS HIS WELSH PRINCESS. Maybe I can find a picture of our hero and heroine.

5 comments

  1. Toni V.S. // August 14, 2008 at 12:58 PM  

    Your friend is very literate, Linda. So far, the whole thing sounds like a "written" romance.

  2. Mary Marvella // August 14, 2008 at 5:41 PM  

    Lovely so far! Keep it coming.

  3. Mary Ricksen // August 14, 2008 at 7:50 PM  

    Now what happens??

  4. Nightingale // August 14, 2008 at 8:40 PM  

    Tomorrow and the next, if you like, I can post the remainder of their story. I want to get a photo of them

  5. Anonymous // August 16, 2008 at 3:15 PM  

    Growing up with an Airforce Colonel for an uncle with tales of war and romance, this sounds very familiar. Like sitting at Gran's table listening to Uncle JL as he slipped deeper into his cups. The deeper he sank, the more dashing the story!

    The Scarlet Pumpernickel