Jim Morris 1955
I entered University in 1954 to study maths and science my strongest subjects at school. However my greatest interest was flying and I managed to join the UAS in 1955. Thereafter my academic development slowed, my focus changed and I cut short my studies to achieve only a basic BSc but to gain my PFB and join the RAF on a 4 year short service commission in 1957. After completing my wings course I completed my operational conversion to the Shackleton aircraft and in 1960 joined No 120 Sqn flying Shackleton Mk3s. I then obtained a Permanent Commission.
Following an exchange tour with the USN I qualified as a flying instructor and after one tour of duty was promoted and sent as a ground instructor to the RN, finally moving back to RAF Kinloss some six weeks before the Nimrod MR1 arrived. I left Kinloss seven years later having been a Flt Cdr on No 206 Sqn, OC Wing Standards, unit test pilot, display pilot and finally OC No 201 Sqn. Staff College and further staff work followed before I returned to Kinloss as Stn Cdr as the Nimrod MR2 entered service and just in time for the Falklands conflict which involved major additions to the aircraft’s capabilities. I was also fortunate to serve in MOD as Director of Operational Requirements Air(1) which included the selection of the Typhoon and other advanced systems before finally a return to Pitreavie Castle as Air Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland before retirement in 1991. Finally, in a complete role change I became the Chief Executive of the Scottish SPCA, dealing with animal welfare issues ranging from domestic pets and farm animals to pharmaceutical testing, ethical issues and European legislation.
The reunion reinforced my belief that the UAS had been a major influence on my life, providing me with the confidence to make decisions on my own behalf and to enjoy life rather than concentrate solely on a career. Most of all it gave me a chance to experience membership of a rather select team of like-minded individuals who achieved a happy balance between devilment and discipline.