by Wing Commander C.B. 'Sid' Adcock
The 50-year RAF career of a former Hastings and VC10 pilot.
In this enjoyable memoir, Group Captain ‘Sid’ Adcock looks back on a remarkable career with the Royal Air Force spanning half a century. After leaving school he joined the RAF as a Cranwell Cadet, graduating in July 1962 as a Pilot Officer with a permanent commission. Posted to RAF Nicosia in Cyprus as a co-pilot on the Hastings aircraft, he enjoyed 2½ years on No.70 Squadron, operating around the Mediterranean and the Middle East in a tactical air transport role.
Returning to the UK in 1966, he trained as a Flying Instructor. Following a tour at a Basic Flying Training School, he returned to the Air Transport Force in 1970 with a conversion on to the Vickers VC10, at that time the RAF’s newest and shiniest aircraft.
In the course of worldwide operations on the VC10, he enjoyed tours as co-pilot, Captain, Flight Commander and lastly as the Commander of No 241 Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Brize Norton.
On the strength of his extensive operational experience Sid was subsequently posted to the USA as an Exchange Officer to the headquarters of the USAF’s Military Airlift Command, where he served for nearly three years.
Returning to Europe, he carried out staff tours at the Ministry of Defence in London and at NATO Military Headquarters in Belgium. Finally, having attained the rank of Group Captain, he commanded RAF Newton in Nottinghamshire.
Retiring from the regular RAF in 1996, Sid remustered in the RAF Volunteer Reserve, flying Air Cadets with No.2 Air Experience Flight at Boscombe Down. He continued to fly with the RAFVR until 2010, when he finally retired, at the age of 69, having served in the RAF for over 50 years and accumulated some 8,500 flying hours.
As can be imagined, Sid has many stories to tell from such a long and varied career and these are conveyed with style, good humour and a sharp eye for detail which will be greatly enjoyed by fellow RAF veterans, aircraft enthusiasts and military historians interested in the postwar era.