RAF Cardington Camp

Parachute Collection & Delivery Unit

We have been very fortunate to hear from Derek Beever who was an airman at RAF Cardington and worked in the Parachute Collection & Delivery Unit (PC & DU) in 1965. Derek has sent in some fabulous photographs (one taken from the top of Shed No 1 clearly shows he had no problem with heights!) Below is his story.

"I joined the RAF in February 1962 aged 19yrs. I guess I joined as a despatch rider because of my love of the RAF and motorbikes. After my basic training at Bridgenorth in Shropshire I was stationed at RAF Kidbrooke in London. From there I worked for the Air Ministry in Whitehall and spent time whizzing around London on my motorbike. I was in my element, I was then posted to RAF Nicosia in Cyprus in October 1962.

"When my two and half year tour in Cyprus finished in April 1965 I was posted to the Parachute Collection & Delivery Unit (PC & DU) at RAF Cardington near Bedford. We would travel all over the UK along with other drivers and our trucks delivering and collecting the parachutes to where paratroopers were taking off, and another truck would go to the drop zone to collect the parachutes after the paratroopers had landed. The parachutes were then taken to RAF Upper Heyford to get re-packed. We sometimes worked with the balloon unit. After I had been at Cardington a while the whole unit was moved from there to RAF Hullavington in Wiltshire still doing the same job. It was here I spent the remainder of my 5 years service. I enjoyed it who wouldn’t enjoy all that time in Cyprus."

Our thanks to Derek for sharing his wonderful memories and photos.

Derek Beever sheds in 1966

My unit was in the left shed" (picture taken in 1966)

Derek Beever April 3rd

"My little Morris 100 outside my block"

Derek Beever shed view

"I climbed to the top of the inside staircase of the Shed to take this photo. My room was in 523 block." (marked by the arrow)

If you know anyone who served in this unit please get in touch.