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Thread: Ritual burning of pianos by the RAF?

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    Default Ritual burning of pianos by the RAF?

    On 19 August 2011, the US Air Force's famous "hat-in-the-ring" 94th Fighter Squadron celebrated their 94th anniversary by the ritual burning of a piano at their base at Langley AFB.

    When asked about this, it was explained that this is a tradition inherited from the RAF.

    Is this true? I would think that in most cases, even the most inebriated RAF officer would be hesitant to have the cost of a piano added to his mess bill. Yet there is certainly a tradition of violence to pianos in the British services. One recalls the news coverage of the former HMS Ark Royal's piano being shot off the catapult in the 1970s.

    On that note, I would like to wish you all a happy new year.

    david isby

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    Default Burning of pianos ?

    On V.J night at R.A.F Hemswell we burnt any thing that was combustible ,to keep our bonfire burning in the middle of the parade square. This included all the empty beer barrels , chairs. and even the mess grand piano. The only thing that was objected to , was the firing of a Vary pistol by some 'clot'. No repercussions the next day.
    Many dejected looking airman on the victory parade sloppily marching into Gainsboro the following day.
    Last edited by cliffnemo; 4th January 2012 at 21:03.

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    Discussed as some length every so often on the board.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?2178-Tradition-of-Burning-Pianos

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    Default Piano Burning

    This was still going on in the mid-eighties. 234 Sqn burnt a piano or two at guest nights at RAF Brawdy in the mid eighties, setting them on fire and then lauching them out of the mess windows on the first floor. The mess bills were not damaged too much as one of the more enterprising junior officers had advertised for cheap pianos in the local newspaper.

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    During my time at Northolt in the early 90s, 32 used to burn the odd piano after a dinner night. Being the prudent aircrew types that they were, they used to run around the local 'antique' markets looking for the cheapest item they could get their hands on. It then became a challenge to find the most unusual method of ignition!
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    The burning of a piano at Coningsby O/M in the mid-80s reached the national press and caused the usual ill informed stink but the press weren't then interested in the 'non story' that resulted and never printed the explanation that it was a privately owned instrument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldduffer View Post
    The burning of a piano at Coningsby O/M in the mid-80s reached the national press and caused the usual ill informed stink but the press weren't then interested in the 'non story' that resulted and never printed the explanation that it was a privately owned instrument.
    I was at Coningsby the week after this happened

    This was following a dining in night at the end of an exchange with a German Tornado unit.

    The local civilian fire crew were called out which is why it made the press

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