1981 - 1990

Biography

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Derek Pulford
1. Name Derek PULFORD
2. Date Enlisted 3 Dec 1963
3. Date Commissioned 1986
4. Date Retired 9 September 1998
5. Rank Major
6. Awarded Wings 1982
7. Flying Schools Middle Wallop
RAF Odiham
8. Types Flown

Sioux
Alouette
Scout
Lynx
Puma
Gazelle
Chipmunk
Mil 17 (3hrs!)

9. Squadrons

3 Bas
655 Sqn
653 Sqn
663 Sqn
33 Sqn RAF
Belize Puma Det
Jacuni flt (5yrs)

10. Carriers

HMS Bulwark
HMS Albion
HMS Illustrious

11. Decorations And Medals Campaign Medals
10. General

Derek joined the Corps in 1963 and on completion of training did two 15 month tours to Aden with 45 Cdo. He then went to 43 Cdo in Stonehouse barracks,3 Cdo Bde in Singapore, and then served as an Anti-vice MP in Hong Kong before going to 42 Cdo in 1970.

Derek was selected for Air Gunners training 1972 and on completion of the course he was posted to 3 Cdo Bde Air Sqn. He was sunsequently promoted to the rank of Sergeant and drafted to 41 Cdo in Malta as a Troop Sergeant an then to Lympstone as a JCC instructor.

As an Air Gunner Derek served in 3 Cdo Bde Air Sqn on tours in Northern Ireland, Belize, Norway and BATUS before being selected for Pilot training in 1980. On completion successful completion of the course he was posted back to 3 BAS where he served in the Falklands then on a 2 year tour to Northern Ireland and was promoted to WO2.

He served with the Army Air Corps in Germany for 2 years, 1 of which was spent back in Norhtern Ireland. He then went back to Lympstone as Sergeant Major to the Senior Command course.

In 1986 he transferred to the Army Air Corps as a Captain in order to remain flying and was posted to 3 BAS as B Flt Cdr 2 years! He then wentto RAF Odiham on the Op Templar exchange on 33 Sqn, flying Pumas for 2 1/2 years.

He undertook a Gazelle conversion and was back in Northern Ireland and was promoted to Major, serving as as JCUNI Flight Commander for 5 1/2 years. He finally went back to Middle Wallop for Discharge and retired in 1998.

Derek then worked for DSEI as Diplomatic Liaison Officer, before moving to Pakistan and Afghanistan as security manager for Medicin san Frontieres and Red Cross for 18 Mths. On his return to the UK he joined Handling Squadron at Boscombe Down as the Merlin 1,3,3a and UAVs Project officer. He recently also included Apache to his Portfolio.

Derek did not want to leave the Corps, but on being selected for promotion he was told that he wouldn't be flying anymore so transferred. "The Army had my body but they never had my soul, as many will tell you. D "hands".