FORMER serving Airwoman, Mrs Sylvia Sims returned to the Rock last week and paid a visit to RAF Gibraltar, 50 years after she was last here.
Sylvia, accompanied by her son John Roberts, who was born in Gibraltar, visited RAF Gibraltar and met with RAF personnel at their headquarters. During their visit Sylvia and John had the opportunity to observe some of the archives that the RAF holds on the Station and had discussions with the Station Commander and other RAF Airmen and Airwomen. They were also able to view the airfield from the HQ balcony and draw comparisons between the RAF Gibraltar of The Cold War and RAF Gibraltar as it exists today.
In addition to his mother being an RAF veteran, John’s father also served in the RAF. His father joined the Air Force as a boy entrant, serving though the border closure with Spain, and witnessed The Cold War from a Gibraltarian perspective. Some of his father’s stories include attending a DC3 accident which had crashed en-route from Malaga to Tangier. His father drove out in his launch into the Gibraltar Strait and pulled out two survivors before taking them to Tangier. Working as the radio operator on a launch during this era led to some interesting stories, such as towing a target 500 yards behind them, and having a Shackleton bomber attempt to hit it, at night!
Both Sylvia and John enjoyed their visit to RAF Gibraltar and the visit provided RAF personnel with another opportunity to gain further insight into what it was like to serve in Gibraltar in years gone back.