London, June 13 : A British airman fought a different kind of battle against the United States Air Force - all because of his handlebar moustache.
When RAF pilot Flight Lieutenant Chris Ball was sent on an exchange posting, an American General told him that his whiskers had to go.
Under U.S. Air Force rules, moustaches should not extend downwards beyond the upper lip or sideways beyond the corner of the mouth.
But Flt Lt Ball refused to comply when his superior officer in Afghanistan took offence at his facial hair.
He was told to cut his back while on a posting with the American Air Force 366 Fighter Squadron, where he operates an F-15 fighter-bomber.
But he refused and instead decided to go above the head of his superior officer and consulted regulations approved by the Queen, which set out the permitted size of an RAF moustache.
Flt Lt Ball measured his whiskers and to his delight they did not breach the rules.
He took his findings to the general, and after a frank "exchange of views" was allowed to keep the facial hair intact.
"The yanks are not allowed to grow a full-length tash. After I was told to trim mine down I had to dig out the Queen's Regulations to prove I was not breaching our own code," the Telegraph quoted Flt Lt Ball, as saying.