Alan White served in the RAF from 1953 to 1987 – the period of the Cold War. His introduction to flying came in his University Air Squadron. This seduced him into dropping out and joining the RAF. A bad start on the Hunter Weaponry Course set his confidence back until he recovered during service with his first Hunter Squadron. He found himself towing air-to-air gunnery targets, but was then moved to instruct on the Hunter Operational Conversion Unit where he developed solo aerobatic display skills. He was then posted to take Hunters to Singapore and form a Squadron. He assisted the Thai government’s request against Communist insurgents from Laos and spent five months camping in a paddy field. After attending Staff College he was posted to Aden at a time of growing terrorist activity. Upon returning to the UK he trained to fly the supersonic Lightning fighter and lead a squadron. He became Station Commander at RAF Leuchars. His later appointments as Air Commodore included Director of Operations (Air Defence), Senior Staff Officer HQ 11 Group, Air Commodore Plans at HQ Strike Command (where he assisted in the Falklands conflict) until he was appointed Deputy Commander RAF Germany and then Commandant, RAF Staff College. His account is full of interesting flying detail and the internal workings of the RAF.
LIGHTNING UP The Career of Air Vice Marschal Alan White CB AFC RAF
Alan White’s RAF service – from 1953-1987 – spanned the Cold War. He overcame a shaky start to fly Hawker Hunters and Lightnings and saw active service in the Far East, Aden and the Falklands, retiring as an Air Vice Marshal. An insider’s account of flying through dangerous days in the post-war world.