Tag Archives: RAF


WAAF who stared into Hitler’s eyes dies

Former WAAF Patricia Clark, a Battle of Britain filter room plotter, who became a bestselling novelist, has died aged 95.

Pat Robins,Claire Lorrimer c1943, just promoted to Flight Officer-w1

Born Patricia Robins on February 1, 1921, she was the second of three daughter of novelist Denise Robins, known as ‘the Queen of Romance’. After going to school in Switzerland, where she learned French and how to ski, Patricia wanted to learn German and was sent, aged 16, in 1937 to study near Munich. She once found herself in a traffic jam a few feet away from Hitler who was in an open topped car. Nearly 80 years later she vividly remembered ‘meeting Hitler’s cold blue eyes.’

Returning to England she found a job on Women’s Illustrated magazine as a junior editor. As war loomed, she joined the RAF and after basic training was assigned to special duties, in the Filter Centre at 10 (Fighter) Group. Her job as a filterer was important, skilled work. The Filter Centre was a high pressure environment that demanded a great degree of skill and dexterity and close team cooperation.

Patricia proved to be a highly capable operator who was commissioned and made a Filterer. The Filterer’s job was to analyse the huge amount of conflicting information to decide on the most accurate position, vector, height and strength of detected aircraft in a very short time. She was further promoted to Filter Officer, acting as deputy to the Filter Centre Controller and with overall responsibility for all the filtered information which produced the recognised air picture.

Claire Lorrimer - modern-w2

In 1944 Britain was the first nation ever attacked by ballistic missiles and Patricia took part in the pioneering work designed to locate the firing positions of V2 rockets so they could be attacked from the air. Her work was highly classified and she was sworn to secrecy about it for 30 years after the war ended. During breaks for bad weather in this top-secret war work, Patricia started writing romance stories for magazines, using the extra income she made from them as petrol money to get to NAAFI dances.

In1947, she met and married former RAF pilot Donald Clark. They divorced in 1976. Her writing career began in earnest after the war and, like her mother; Patricia became a prolific author of light romantic fiction. In the 1970s she started to write blockbuster historical romances using the pen name Claire Lorrimer. In later years she moved to new genres, including murder mysteries. In March last year, under her pen name, she was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association, after completing her 80th novel.

She is survived by her three children, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.

© MOD Crown Copyright 2016

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Personnel on Ice at RAF Championships

THE SERVICE’S stars on ice are doing battle for precious Inter-Service spots in La Plagne, France as the RAF Championships got under way.


The two-week camp, which culminates in the championships, is not for the faint-hearted, as the track is regarded as one of the toughest on the winter sports circuit, having been used for the 1992 Winter Olympics, with athletes reaching speeds of 90mph, with forces of up to six G testing all involved.

Team manager and reigning Inter-Services champion Flt Lt Gav Arnold said: “The championship race will see SAC Mark McQuitty of 99 Sqn as favourite following his excellent performances on the World Cup Circuit for Team GB.

“I will be challenging him along with GB hopeful Cpl Danny Burke, with the race determining selection for the Inter-Services Championships to be held in Norway in March where we will be defending our title against what is sure to be tough opposition from the Army.”

Cpl Ross Brown bobsleigh coach/ceputy team manager said: “The camp is proving to be a very demanding fortnight, which has pushed all 32 athletes beyond their limits on the second fastest track in Europe, reaching speeds in excess of 75mph whilst pulling up to 4.5g on a mile- ong track from a standing start.

“Bobsleigh athletes have been exposed to dealing with a wide variety of emotions, such as adrenaline, fear, nerves, excitement, physical pressures and much more, all within a controlled environment of this extreme winter ice sport. And this camp is proving no different.”

Anyone interested in next year’s luge novice training camp should contact team manager Flt Lt Gav Arnold on: 30Sqn-pilot27@mod.uk. or for bobsleigh: marksilva021@hotmail.com

© MOD Crown Copyright 2016

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RAF Apprenticeship Award

RAF trainers are celebrating being recognised as one of the top 100 employers of apprentices in Britain.

The Service, which currently has 2,700 personnel on its programmes, has provided apprenticeships since its creation in 1918 and in 2014 its scheme was graded ‘outstanding,’ in all areas by the education standards watch dog Ofsted.

Now the RAF has been included on the prestigious Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers list compiled annually by the National Apprenticeship Service.


Group Captain Stephen Dharamraj, Commandant of the Royal Air Force Central Training School, said: “Apprenticeships are an integral part of our training philosophy by which we ensure that our personnel are able to operate at or above that required by their counterparts in industry. This is essential for the Service to succeed wherever it may be called upon to operate.”

Editor: Simon Mander

© MOD Crown Copyright 2016

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