Blue Diamonds: The Exploits of 14 Squadron RAF 1945-2015 by Michael Napier

By Michael Napier

 In the seven a long time because the moment global struggle, 14 Squadron has operated a wide range of plane kinds (Mosquitoes, Vampires, Venoms, Hunters, Canberras, Phantoms, Jaguars and Tornados) in a desirable number of roles. for far of this time, the Squadron used to be dependent in Germany on the entrance line of the chilly conflict, however it additionally participated within the Gulf conflict in 1991, in operations over Iraq from 1991-2009, within the Kosovo clash in 2000 and latterly throughout the warfare in Afghanistan, to start with with the twister GR4 after which with the Shadow R1. at the present time the Squadron operates in nice secrecy in an Intelligence, Surveillance, aim Acquisition and Reconnaissance role. 

Having had entry to log-books, modern diaries, maps and pictures, in addition to oral and written debts from a lot of ex-Squadron participants, the writer has been in a position to produce as whole an account as is shortly attainable of the operational background of 14 Squadron within the moment half the 20th century and the outlet years of the twenty-first.

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In Preston, 56 per cent of National Reservists were ex-Regulars, 44 per cent in Shropshire, 40 per cent in Liverpool and only 20 per cent in Southport. 64 The remainder were thus overwhelmingly former Rifle Volunteers, men who in 1908 had not transferred to Haldane's new force, or a smattering of ex-Volunteers who had spent a year or two in the Territorials. The majority of these men were of middle age, probably married, held steady jobs and were unlikely to be fit enough for immediate active service.

22 Lieutenant-General Miles fundamentally agreed, suggesting that on mobilization the number of TF Reservists required to bring Territorial units up to establishment would simply 'move up' to their parent unit. This would have the benefit of simplifying the storage and issue of clothing and equipment and thus reduce costs. 23 General Sir William Nicholson, the CIGS, opposed this suggestion and recommended a more flexible approach. He preferred to see the TF Reserve as merely a register of trained individuals who would, in an emergency, be expected to serve in any of their county association's units.

Former Territorials might have been disinterested in joining their own force's reserve but they were demonstrating a remarkable willingness to enrol beside ex-Regulars and ex-Volunteers in a body which offered no social advantage, no opportunity to camp or drill and not even a promise of royal patronage. The Veteran Reserve had burst upon the national scene with a vigour and dynamism which had surprised even its instigator. Unaware that the year was to mark the peak in Territorial recruiting and eager to exploit the apparent success of his new force, in 1910 Haldane announced that registration for the Veteran Reserve would commence a few weeks after the Territorial Force Reserve itself had been established.

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