The Slap Flare
anyone who was at Clark, AB and who was a cop of any kind knew what a
slap flare was.
For those who where not there or who were not cops
here's what it was. A Slap Flare, small hand held aluminum rocket
propelled illumination flare that was around 14 inches long and around
1 ½ to 2 inches thick. It was housed in an aluminum case with a
primer on the closed end and the cap which covered the open end for
carry. The cap had a firing pin welded in it.
To launch it you took
the cap off exposing the rocket. Then you fit the cap with the firing
pin on the other end. This next part is where it got its name from.
You held it pointing upward, toward the area you needed lighted, with
your left hand and with your right hand hit the cap as hard as you
could which sent it skyward.
Well all we K-9 would have at least 2 of
them every time we went out. One reason was to light on area up. But
most of the time in the 70's it was because our radios died and we
needed to call for help.
Well I was stationed at POL one night with
AIC Doug Olinger (Oly). Our K-9 flt had been playing around stealing
things from everyone's web belt. Just fun and games as nothing was
We were at the end of our midnight shift waiting to get picked
up. Our K-9 flt Chief SSgt Louis Robilard (Robby) was there with us,
in I think a rubber duck, waiting also.
Doug was going on how no one
would ever take anything off his web belt. He went on for at least 5
min. Well all this time I was behind him with one of his slap flares.
Slapping it in my hand like a night stick.
Robby did a great job of
not laughing while Oly was going on and on. When he finished I calmly
ask Oly if he wanted this (his slap flare) back.
Boy did he hit the
roof. Robby and I had a hard time trying to stop laughing.
were used for many a times to set one or other washout during dry
season on fire.
One night when I had the elephant cage they found the
RP guy knocked out and the building open.
SSgt John Grammer was on the
back of a deuce and a half with a case of them. As the driver drove
around the cage John was setting them off about every 100 meters.
could read the Sunday comics with all that light