FLIGHT SERGEANT GUY PANNELL R&PE SPEC
(From Scotty Fuller)
FS Guy Pannell was the Senior NCO i/c Phys Ed and Rec at RCAF Station Comox where, on my arrival, on posting in December 1964 fresh from my basic R&PE SPEC course in Borden, met me at the duty desk at RCAF Station Comox.
He was the Station Duty Senior NCO that day and not only greeted me in a fine fashion as a fellow tradesman, he had gone to the great lengths of securing me a single corner room in the barracks, one with its own sink and mini-kitchenette....a very rare accomodation for a very junior AirCraftsman First Class.....(AC1) ! The room overlooked the station rec centre beside it.....!
He had also, to my utter amazement handed me a three-week leave-pass covering the Christmas and New Years leave period and including the third full week as Special leave. He had the Duty Corporal carry my barrack box to my new room and told me that there was a DAK SKED (112 CU) flight leaving for Victoria (my parents were in Royal Oak....) in one hour and that he had thought that I should be on it to get home for Christmas. Enroute to the DAK, he explained to me that he had known my DAD for many years in the RCAF (my Dad played on many base hockey teams) and that he had just gotten off the phone with him....and had also just talked to another old friend, FS Jack Curtis at the R&PE SPEC school.....go figure.....!
I thought I had died and gone to heaven......single room......free flight from Comox to Victoria AND three full weeks of leave.....he drove me to the Accounts section enroute to the Air Movements Unit and auhorized me a full four weeks of pay and allowances....a gold mine for a single rat....! He took me to the AMU and waved as the DAK headed out for Victoria.....!
I returned on the DAK from Victoria to Comox in mid Jan and reported in to work.....I was introduced by Guy Pannell to the other staff and taken on a tour of RCAF Station Comox by him. I was assigned to general duties in the Rec Centre and that included all forms of repair and maintenance of every sort of sports equipment including the RCAF Station Comox Rod and Gun Clubs inventory of .......sports fishing tackle.....it was Guy Pannell again who came to my "rescue" and tutor-taught me to untangle and re-rig salmon and trout tackle......he took me out behind the Rec Centre where I spent hours re-rigging rods and reels.....under his supervision.....he relaxing on his folding chair under the shade of the Rec Centre roof.....it was he again who "saved my bacon, LITERALLY".......when a very large seagull swooped down out of the sun out of the sky and snapped up the hook, leader and line from one of the salmon rods that I had just lined up on the grass field.....having swallowed the bacon-bait.....he winged his way back into the sky and climbed and flew until only the rod remained dangling in the air....I took off running to catch it, when, Guy Pannell came to my rescue and "saved my bacon".....literally....he then played the reel and rod and "fished" the sky and finally tired out the bold gull.........until it dropped out of the sky and landed.....squawking and "sh**ing" on.....Guys lawn chair.....! Guy finally took control of the gulls flight and won the feather-fight to rescue the rod and reel.....he tossed his lawn chair blanket over the gull and finally reached under the blanket to subdue the critter.....feathers a flapping.....Guy came out as the clear winner, although the gull sure gave him a mouthful of gull screams and curses......and a few feathers.....with gull now seperated from rod and reel, Guy tossed the gull into the air to give it a chance to escape skyward.....but it dove back at him and tried to beat him with its 6foot wing span.....Guy then decided that discretion IS the better part of valour and ducked back into the Rec Centre through a fire exit door.....and left me to round up the rest of the tackle before the gull (or his buddies) could re-attack them. When I got back into the office with the bundle of rods and reels, Guy was in tears laughing so hard, pulling gull pin-feathers out of his tunic and hair (what little he had of it....)
On that Friday, Guy invited me to go fishing with him and our SRECO, Flight Lieutenant Les Steadman....but that fishing trip is another story......