Civilian Instructor Derek King (Flt Lt RAF VR(T) Rtd) has decided to retire after 52 years with the ACO. In recognition of his long service, Derek was presented with a gift from 5F during the Annual Awards & Presentation evening on Monday 17th December.
OC 5F, Carol Haynes Flt Lt RAF VR(T) presented Derek with a 70th Anniversary Lancaster Bomber Clock incorporating a thermometer. The clock features a hand sculptured Lancaster Bomber replica in bronze and inscribed with 617 Squadron motto, ‘Après moi le deluge’ (After me the flood)
OC 5F, gave a resume of Derek’s career to the guests, staff and cadets present. After leaving the RAF Regiment, Derek’s ACO career started in November 1960 when he was appointed as a Civilian Instructor at 5F (Northampton) Sqn. Due to civilian work commitments Derek transferred as a CI to 487 (Kingstanding & Perry Barr) Sqn in June 1962 and later became a Flying Officer in June 1963. Derek was always destined to return to 5F however, and did so in November 1963 as Flying Officer. Unfortunately, his return was not for long, and in July 1965 Derek was promoted to Flight Lieutenant and left 5F to take over as Officer commanding 1875 (Daventry) Sqn.
Derek stayed at Daventry Sqn for several years until he was appointed as Wing Staff Officer for South Midlands Wing. Derek retained this role until June 1987 when he relinquished his Commission. In the same month he was appointed as a Civilian Instructor and returned to his home Squadron at 5F (Northampton) where he has served continuously until his retirement this year.
Flt Lt Haynes thanked Derek for all the help and support he had given her during her time at 5F as both cadet and Officer and explained that over the years Derek has been heavily involved with Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Adventure Training, Flying, Gliding and Aviation studies.
During the last ten years Derek has successfully mentored the squadron teams during the annual Aerospace Challenge competition. Flt Lt Haynes said
“Saying goodbye to Derek this evening has been very emotional. He is a knowledgeable gentleman and a legend at 5F!! Derek, we will miss you but please come back and see us.”
Derek received a standing ovation from Cadets, Staff and guests as a mark of respect for his outstanding achievement. Well done Mr King.
Submitted by CI Upton