Terence Rodney Francis was born on the 15th March 1944 in
Kent. His parents were Jack
Francis and Eve Carter. He later moved
to East Anglia and was educated at grammar schools in Norwich and Ipswich.
At the age of 17 Terry joined the Royal Air Force (in
January 1962) and trained at RAF Syerston and Swinderby flying Jet
Provosts and Vampires. In June 1964 he was posted to No. 45 Squadron in
Singapore flying Canberras. On returning to the UK he joined a flying
instructors' course at the Central Flying School (CFS) and was posted back
to RAF Syerston on the Staff. He returned to the CFS as a flying instructor
in August 1969. He became a member of the RAF aerobatics team the Red Pelicans,
which flew a formation of four Jet Provost aircraft. Whilst a Flight
Lieutenant he was the leader of the Red Pelicans in 1971, having flown as
number two the year before.
He went on many tours of duty around the world, becoming
a Squadron Leader and the Deputy Chief Instructor at RAF Linton-Upon-Ouse.