…... Pete and we were in an aircraft with a laser designating pod, and we had to fly at 15,000 feet in a figure-of-eight orbit and call the guys in with the laser-guided bombs at a certain position, and they would practice the procedures for dropping their bombs.


And, of course, he let the whole thing spill. I didn't say a word, but it was all being recorded. So we got to the debrief on the ground, and came to the part about 'How did the attack go and how did the profile go, and was the laser designation mark on the window in the Kebab House?' I switched on the tape on and everyone heard me asking Pete all about his evening and, of course, his candid reply. Shall we say he was somewhat embarrassed and stormed out of the debriefing.


One other little anecdote comes from the time when the ground troops were pulled out at the end of the end of February / beginning of March 1984. There was a small contingent of British troops in Beirut: a Company of 110 - 120 personnel. They had pulled out, and I was chatting to one of the officers in the bar, and I said:


"You know, well, you're out of the trouble because that's the Americans and French Marines that have all been blown up and quite a few guys have been killed."


However, he replied:


"Oh, no, it's terrible, we didn't want to leave. The Druz or Hezbollah would 'phone us up and say 'we're going to do some shooting now, keep your heads down,' and if a bullet strayed into our compound, they would 'phone up and apologise."


He then said:


"Actually, we didn't want to leave because we had lots of dinner parties we had to go to, and when we had to leave, we had to cancel them all."


That shows how much fun they were having actually in Beirut at the time, and it just goes to show you that actually life is not always what it seems. You think it was a war zone, because it very much was a war zone, but actually people were still having fun.



-    Dave Trembaczowski-Ryder


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