Often referred to as "Trenchard’s Brats" after their founder, Marshal of the RAF the Viscount Trenchard, this book covers the years since one particular 'entry' of 252 young men joined the RAF in 1945, six days after the end of the Second World War, and includes stories from their 3-year apprenticeship, their subsequent RAF careers and into retirement as senior citizens.
There are some amusing and incredible tales from their apprentice days – beating the system without getting caught (but not always!) was one popular pastime. When they were finally ‘at large’ many of the Entry left their basic trades and were trained as aircrew, and inevitably some of the more exciting stories relate to their flying experiences. Some, unfortunately, did not survive to tell their tales.
Service overseas is another source of interesting experiences, although sadly many of the postings remembered are no longer available to RAF personnel of today. Nevertheless, these stories provide a worthwhile insight into Service life away from home, as it was from the late 1940s right up to the early 1980s.
Sixty years on the former apprentices of 51st Entry still have many more stories to tell, and no doubt some will emerge during the Diamond Anniversary Reunion in August 2005, in honour of which this book is being published.
This book will be of considerable interest to members of the 51st Entry and other RAF Aircraft Apprentices, their families and friends. It should also appeal to those who have never served, but have an interest in the history of military aviation and the Royal Air Force.