Fairy Tales of an S.A.C.

ISBN 1-84683-109-1
RAF memoir
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by John McGregor


A young airman’s experiences at RAF Thorney Island (and other exotic places) 1967-72

In this enjoyable memoir, John ‘Mac’ McGregor recalls his experiences after leaving home as a teenager to join the Royal Air Force in 1967. He was to spend the next five years based at RAF Thorney Island near Portsmouth on the South Coast of England, occasionally flying on ‘detachments’ to overseas destinations in the Hercules aircraft he helped to maintain.

The book’s unusual title derives from John’s rank of Senior Aircraftman or SAC and his trade as an aircraft radio mechanic, which branded him a ‘fairy’ in RAF parlance as opposed to those in more robust trades who were known as ‘heavies’.

Mac had an unforgettable time in the RAF and in 38 comedic episodes he describes some of the colourful characters he worked alongside and relates his adventures at home and abroad both in and out of uniform – involving aircraft, cars, drinking and young ladies – in a candid manner which may surprise some readers!

He is a gifted storyteller whose vivid descriptions of service life and off-duty socialising in the ‘Swinging Sixties’ are sure to appeal to former Forces personnel and those who remember the era, although John’s tales full of youthful fun and laughter can readily be appreciated anyone who enjoys a well-told humorous story.


“Will appeal not only to RAF and ex-service personnel but also to anyone who enjoys a well-told humorous tale.”

“Find out what really happened On Her Majesty’s Service in the late sixties on the South Coast!” [Reader’s comments]

“…stories that will resonate with anyone lucky enough to have served in the Forces during those years but still plenty to entertain those not around at the time.” [Reader’s comment]

“I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to be entertained and find out about light-hearted service life during an exciting time in history. It's a hoot!” [Reader’s comment]

details softback | 140 x 205 mm | 180 pages
genre military memoir | RAF memoir | 1960s and 1970s social history
themes The RAF circa 1970 | the South Coast circa 1970 | life in the Armed Forces