Dagboek diversen 1987 Kreta

THE DIARY TFOS = Those F…ing Oil Samples


Tuesday 9 June

No Problem!
We have the clearances and the Flight Plan has been accepted.

Problem… the aircraft are not ready on time and the Dual is u/s.

No Problem…Delay Flight Plan and get airborne just a half hour late with 4 singles. Belker and Grin volunteer to follow on later with the Dual.

Problem…No slot time for French airspace…return to Volkel overhead. OK now we have a slot time so onward to Aviano.

Problem…somebody moved the airfield!!! TFOS.

No Problem…”They’ 11 be here when you get back from lunch sir, Oh and the cheque is in the mail etc”. You guessed it..

Problem. TFOS not ready. Never mind, arrive at Souda 2 hours late to a warm and liquid welcome.

Good News….After a 9 hour journey with refueling stops at Nice and Brindisi, the Friendships arrive 40 minutes early. Bad News…. Customs don’t arrive until 1hr 40min later.

2230hr…Belker and Grin land after a long day.

TARWI  0081X

Real Men go downtown and celebrate until early on.


Wednesday 10 June

Problem…. Men has bad headaches and bus leaves at 0630.

No Problem…Everyone on time. We’ll fly this afternoon.

No Problem. Aargh..TFOS…the JOAP bank can’t detect titanium and aluminum…

Big Problem. Law and Jake fly the only 2 sorties of the day while Limey arranges everything from his office in the toilet (between Brown Laser firings).

TFOS flown to Athens courtesy of Hellenic Air Force T-33. “They’ll be ready tomorrow morning before the first wave…

No Problem”. We visit NAMFI and see various missiles launched.

TARWI 0081X SKC Temp +36

Real Men stay out even later and come home on.


Thursday 11 July

Bus leaves 0730        

No Problem (apart from the compulsory headache…must be the change of climate or the water). Real Men don’t cry (usually).

We’ll fly twice today and give our party on the beach this afternoon.

Oh-oh…Somebody moved the JOAP bank. TFOS ferried by T-33/ donkey and carrier pigeon to a new location. “They’ll be ready tomorrow morning etc.” Liner flies the only trip of the day.

Problem…the Greeks decide to night-fly despite the Dutch party.

Solution? Herring, Jenever and Heineken. Sometime after the 3rd Jenever night-flying is cancelled. We discover that the Greeks have a water fetish.. they throw it at everyone.

TARWI 0081X SKC Temp +36

Thank God for the combat nap! Real men go for it in a big way and have breakfast before going to bed on.


Friday 12 Jun

Real Men in very poor shape.  No Problem .. .no flying.

Bus leaves sightseeing in Knossos without Real Men who stay in bed.

NAMFI beach…. No Problem. Cheapest beer on the island! CVD and Plv. CDT arrive at 1500 with full bladders and empty fuel tanks (the situation is soon reversed). They proceed to prove that older doesn’t have to mean wiser by joining the real men and going for it in a big way. Greece wins through to the finals of the Euro basket competition which makes for a good night in the detachment pub El Mundo.



Saturday 13 June

Bus leaves for Samaria gorge (and an 18km walk) without the Real Men (who finally suffer total body failure). 

Today there really are No Problems. We dine with the Squadron Commander and eat (drink) the best meal of the detachment so far (for the exorbitant price of F112 per man).


Real Men drink cocktails (and live to regret it/just). We begin with Wall bangers and end up with Pinacoladas early on.


Sunday 14 June

Real Men prove that there is life after death by reincarnating in time to reach the beach. Liner, Limey and Law live (just) to tell the tale of the taxi driver who fell asleep at the wheel.

The temperature reaches +38. Greece beat Russia in the final of Eurobasket and all hell breaks loose in Chania. (Thank God they didn’t lose!).

Real Men join in the celebrations and make beautiful music in El Mundo until early on.


Monday 15 June

Some Real Men demonstrate that you can live with no sleep at all (except in taxis and Greek flight briefings). Others, however, can’t hack the pace and retire hurt at 1000.

We fly 9 sorties and get TFOS off to the mainland in time for the Real Men to go panic tanning. CVD and PLVCDT get off back to EHVK without too many problems.

The Greek pilots invite us to dinner and Real Men acquire a taste for Retsina.

TARWI 0081X etc.

Retsina, however, doesn’t like Real Men, who feel awful on.


Tuesday 16 June

Problem…TFOS again. all promises to the contrary/ the results don’t arrive until 1100.

We therefore fly only one wave of 4. Never mind…all the more time on the NAMFI beach, combat napping or present buying.

We return to the same restaurant as Saturday, but find that nothing is as good the second time around. El Mundo’s cocktails take another hammering, as do the livers of the Real Men. We present the proprietors with something to remember us by. They present us with headaches, brown lasers and alcohol poisoning.

Real Men spend the night in strange places and ways. Liner can hear Law snoring but can’t seem to find him…until he looks in the toilet. Law chews Liner out for waking him up a half hour too early.
TARWI 0081X etc.


Wednesday 17 June

A black day for some Real Men, who are found (several times) sleeping on the ground during the NAMFI missile launches. No flying at all today (for a change) in case TFOS aren’t back in time for the return to EHVK tomorrow.

A Greek A-7 crashes on finals, and the pilot ejects safely. This grounds the whole A-7 fleet so a quiet day is had by all, on the beach. The Greeks, resisting the temptation to go night-flying, give a party in the evening. Due to the accident earlier in the day and another (fatal) road accident on base, this is a quiet affair.
We exchange presents and begin to say goodbye.

El Mundo receives its last visit from the Real Men, and we say a fond goodbye to all our new found friends.
TARWI 0081X.


Thursday 18 June

The awful day dawns- we have to go home. We say more goodbyes and swap patches and scarves. Toto pours himself into the F-27 while the sorry looking remainder/ alias Real Men/ are helped into their cockpits. There is much talk about who will stay behind in the case of a ground abort. Strange, but everyone seems to want to stay.

The TD, however, have other ideas and keep up the record of no ground aborts.

We make an impressive departure, although someone moved the crowd again for Liner.

Aviano presents No Problems and the F-16s arrive back at EHVK at around 1530. The F-27s also make good time and everyone is on the ground before 1900.

It is over. We have had a fantastic 10 days in the sun/ and learnt:

  1. That to a Greek “manãna” is rushing things a little.
  2. When the going gets tough the brown laser gets going.
  3. Absence makes the parts grow longer.
  4. A hard man is good to find.

Thank you, 340 Sqn Hellenic Air Force, for your friendship and hospitality. Tot ziens!

The cast of Real Men, in no particular order (as usual).

Limey, Liner, Law, Grin, Belker, Jake, Toto and not forgetting Marijke and Ben Cath.

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