Bryan Wetton's journey to 4JSTU
1 At RAF Henlow I was not told of the location of 4JSTU (except that it was in Australia) when I left a snowy UK in January 1964 - I was told that it was classified information - the F/Sgt who accompanied us only told me that we were headed for Adelaide when we assembled to leave Seletar from RAF Changi at around 2am for Australia ( there were 5 of us but only myself was going to 4JSTU - the others to support sections on RAAF Edinburgh Field.
I knew only vaguely of Blue Steel - I had spent much of the previous three years at trade schools and MoA detachments at RAF Henlow and had never even visited an operational squadron. So all I knew was from the Newspapers which were at the time trumpeting the 4min readiness of the V force. I did not say I was flown to Woomera by RAF transport - in fact I went to Singapore via Eagle Charter Brittania and on from Sydney to Melbourne to Adelaide via commercial airline.
We were headed for Essendon in a BOAC Comet IV but were diverted to Sydney due to runway Maintenance at Essendon.After arriving at Mascot at around 10am we waited around for a flight to Melbourne. At 11.30 a fantastic smorgasbord was set up in the lounge. We were first in the queue but a three ringer told us to 'follow me please' - Sandwiches for us we thought. Downstairs we went into a 'silver service' restaurant and were invited to have anything we liked. Wow! Lobster was great.
We finally got to Melbourne that evening and could not proceed to Adelaide. We were taken to the Savoy Plaza hotel where one of the LACs ( Kevin Murphy)was given a suite whilst the rest had single rooms ( The F/Sgt was a bit upset but didn't change it -twas the luck of the Irish methinks) . We 'erks' rang room service from Kev's suite and asked for 4 beers please - and were amazed when 4 - 26oz bottles appeared on a tray. I forget the cost but it was a bit steep for us airmen. When those bottles were empty we exited the hotel and walked down the street looking for a pub - only to find that they were all closed and it was only 9pm. We hailed a taxi to take us back to the hotel - the driver thought we were joking but we had turned a few corners and didn't know where we were. As it happened we were back on the hotel's street and he ran us 100 yards up the road and then copped us for two pounds - an expensive drink indeed.
In the morning we breakfasted with the singing duo Nina and Federick who were appearing at the Savoy Hotel. As we left for the Airport around 10 00 am the Harlem Globetrotters were throwing basket balls around the lounge. We had front seats in a Convair 440 and chatted up the hosties who sat opposite us.
2 On arrival at Adelaide airport we had to amuse ourselves in the stiflingly hot Arrivals/Departures 'shed' to be collected. The F/Sgt even had to make enquiries to find out where to phone and to convince them to pick us up. A commonwealth car ultimately arrived around 4pm. On arrival at RAAF Edinburgh Field we were able to get a scratch 'late meal' in the Airman's Mess. In the Transit Billets later that evening I ran two 'black' baths until I realised that Adelaide water was 'what you see is what you get'. I closed my eyes and soaked for a long time to ease the bones. The next morning we went to the ASCO wet canteen and sat outside with a beer until we realised it was getting to be nearly 100 F and we were swatting flies all the time. That was the last time I tried sitting outside at the ASCO.
3 Regarding 'gossip' at the 2001 Reunion I stated (to the best of my memory) - 'every aspect of the Blue Steel Trials was discussed and chewed over and I never once heard any suggestion of a live warhead being carried'. - significantly different than that the live warhead was discussed.
19 July 2003