• Welcome to the E-Goat :: The Totally Unofficial RAF Rumour Network.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.


Talk Wrench

E-Goat addict
1000+ Posts
There's plenty of stories out there...

Past and present, what experiences have you "enjoyed" with the enigma that is the SWO?


"There's a piece of sh*t at the end of this stick Airman!"...."Well Sir, it's certainly not at my end"....

I seem to recall the above doing the rounds many bomber moons ago....whether it be myth or a load of pith?....

If the Airman actually said it he must have had the kahunas the size of a couple o' space hoppers.....

Fu Fu Valve

SWO at Leeming in the early 90s (might have been the legend that was WO Grindrod) had the first parade for freedom of Northallerton. First thing he said was 'you don't want to be here, i don't want to be here but we've got to do this. Is there anyone who really doesn't want to be here' and 2 of us put our hands up. He promptly told us to go away off his parade square and not come back then all the other hands shot up and he shouted 'too late, time for some drill'.
I've never ran from a parade ground faster, did buy him a pint next time i saw him.

Tin basher

Knackered Old ****
Staff member
1000+ Posts
At sunny St. Athan the SWO was in charge of bicycles so if wanted to get one you needed an apointment with the SWO. My mate Tony G wanted a bicycle so he arranged a time suitable for the SWO and went to see him.

Tony - Hello sir i've come to sign out a bicycle
SWO - (In quiet tones) Can't do that young man, it would be a safety hazard
Tony - safety hazard sir???
SWO - (Still in quiet tones) Yes your hair could get caught in the rear wheel.
Tony - rear wheel sir??
Conversation over.


Flight Sergeant
1000+ Posts
Brilliant SWO at Bawdsey. He didn't shout but when he spoke, you listened - he had a certain way with words.

My everlasting memory of the man was when he was off duty one night and returning to Bawdsey after having had a few sherbets in the Ferry Boat Inn. The ferry came alongside the jetty on Bawdsey's side of the river and everyone stepped off onto dry land,except the SWO, who had a momentary lapse of situational awareness and stepped into the river. He was more upset about seeing his trilby drifting towards the sea that his soaking wet clothes. After that, his nick-name was Splash...... but not within his hearing.


Not a SWO, but the RSM from the 5th Battalion the Rifles In Afghan 2011.

Doing the five day arrivals course, we were all lined up in a pretty row to shout out numbers to get ready for the range shoot.

So off we go from the left, after ten and my turn I shouted “Jack”.

He came legging over to me, checked out my shiny RAF rank and shook his head in disgust and muttered “crab bastard“ and duly carried on, I loved it!

Also later on during the shoot, we had to adopt the lying or prone position, on the command prone position I just stood there, again he hurries himself over and shouts at me, my reply was “ I am not lying down in that puddle I‘ll get wet” he suggested I dress to the left or right to find a suitable position and carry on.

How we laughed afterwards.

Talk Wrench

E-Goat addict
1000+ Posts
At one very small station, the SWO was also the resident Rockape.

A decent bloke who enjoyed his beer and always asking the lads to drop him off down the pub and generally, there was always someone who'd pick him up bang on 10pm so he could have a nightcap in the WOSM.

Favours were always returned at that place and he made sure "the lads" were always programmed in to do GDT on a Friday which consisted of a Face Welly check a multiple guess test followed by a mass TOETs test and a bit of shooting.

He made the multi guess test even easier by tactically leaving the results on his desk and advising us he was "checking up on something for 20 minutes" and surprisingly there was never one, single failure.

It was bit random at times with GDT sometimes being once a month as he asked our Wobbly for bods to backfill his courses up so his records looked good.

GDT, start at 0800hrs, and a promised knock off at 1200hrs....as long as someone dropped the SWO off at the pub.


Young Exile (early 90's)walking down to 230 Sqn and passed 72 Sqn Ops Bldg. Spotted two aircrew chatting, I passed them and threw one up never got a return salute, i just carried on and was thinking wa*kers etc. AIRMAN STOP THERE, SWO shouts, me thinking crap what didn't I do.

quickly walks up to the SWO and waits for him to speak. He drags me over to the two officers and it goes something like this

SWO - "young man what did you fail to do when you paid compliments
UE - " sir not sure i paid the correct compliments and said good morning"
SWO - you did and it wasn't a bad effort
UE - standing there in silence waiting for it
SWO - well come on i have't all day
UE - Threw another one up and said good morning (to the aircrew) who stood there with arms folded and said thank you.
SWO - I told you that was a good effort and wasn't bad.
UE - now i am bricking it, Aircrew are standing their sniggering
SWO - right let me show you,

He turns to the aircrew and lays into them for not returning my salute, citing the usual officer and gentlemen stuff. He turns to me and politely reminds me that when i pay compliments that i am entitled to the same compliment back and should any officer in future no do so then you should challenge them like so!!!!!!!!

After the chat with me he turns to the two aircrew and goes something like this

SWO - right you two with me we are off to the Stn Cdr to explain why as a ho;der of teh Queens commission you failed to return the salute.
Aircrew- SWO we are heading off to go flying etc (usual aircrew excuses)
SWO - can't be that important as you've been stood here for 5 mins sneering at this young airman who you thought i was going to bollock, WRONG !!!!
Aircrew - Mr SWO we are due to be flying in 10 mins etc blah blah blah
SWO - Right you can either come with me now and explain to the Stn Cdr your lack of actions or I'll go and brief him and when you get back from flying you can tell him yourself when i have fully briefed him.
Aircrew- we'll not be back till after 1800 after we de-brief and get tea etc.
SWO - not my problem is it SIR's, you failed to return the compliment not me.
Aircrew - start looking at each other, and agree to go with the SWO now.
SWO - so you weren't flying at all then were you
Aircrew - just a training flight Mr SWO we can cancel
SWO -so lying to a holder of the Queens Royal Warrent
Aircrew - No no Mr SWO just errr, errrmmmm
SWO - with me now you two.

He then proceeded to literally frog march the two aircrew up the main drag to SHQ, while lecturing them on holding the queens commission etc, for everyone one to hear who was within earshot.

Young UE was just left to go on my way to 230 Sqn.