11 January 2002


From:       Andy Kay, Stafford VA, USA
Date:         04 January 2002 07:07
Subject:     Re: Old Boys Briefs 010402


I am always enjoying my Friday morning e-mail check as I get the latest news from the UKMAMS-OBA.  Today I have to admit having a quiet chuckle when I saw Derek Barron's new e-mail address - I immediately thought of the old saying about "the inmates are running the asylum"!  I remember Derek from my days at Akrotiri and can only assume that the Wiltshire Police only go so far back when they do their background security checks!!

Happy New Year and a safe 2002 to you and all ex-movers everywhere.

Andy Kay

[Ed:  Thanks Andy - I never knew Derek personally - but his reputation does precede him!]


From:       David Howley, Melton Mowbray, UK
Date:        04 January 2002 11:37
Subject:    Re: Old Boys Briefs 010402- Bev

Hi Tony,

(Copies to John H and Robbie T.)

I know movers are called on to work miracles but a Canberra with a Bev load of ammo - it bohoggles the mind.  I recall loading crew bags into a Canberra B(I)8 of 16 Sqn. at K'sar - not much room!

John can put his mate straight on the squadron - 34 was the Bev Sqn. in FEAF (Seletar) and 31 was operating Canberra PR.7s (from Mar 1955 to July 1971) in RAFG (Laarbruch) but also operated in FEAF on detachment.

On another tack - re the over-qualified (!) officers - we got a new FO on D Shift at K'Sar in early 1966, "Poncy" Price with a degree in dye chemistry from Geveva (?) University.  In the crew room he was holding forth on selection for officer training at Cranwell and how qualified one had to be. Charlie Gemmell was a small, tough, Glaswegian who piped up "I was at Cranwell". To Price's query of what entry, Charlie replied  "I did 2 weeks in the guardroom". Exit Price.

Regards to all

[Ed:  Thanks for the straightening out Dave]


From:        Gordon Steven
Date:         06 January 2002 17:35
Subject:     Ex Comrades Associations

Dear Sir,

As the secretary or organiser of an ex-services association, you will I am sure be keen for as many of your members to be able to get in touch with old comrades and 'mates' as possible.  You will also be aware that this gets more difficult as the years go by, and many ex-servicemen and women vanish without a trace.

Many of our ex colleagues are now using websites to try to find old friends, and in a few instances they are having some success.  Most of the ex-service web sites either cater only for one Unit, Squadron, or Ship, when many of us had friends outside our Unit.  Attempting to find  friends from other Units or branches of the Service, has until now been difficult.

I have investigated most of the 'Find Your Old Mates' service websites, and it is very difficult to use them to find ex colleagues.  Many ex servicemen and women, simply ask in their 'biography' part, for Lofty, Ginger, Dusty, Randy etc. etc.. They hope against hope that someone will happen upon their page, and know the individuals concerned.  The real question is, how many of your members have succeeded in their quest to find old friends, and neighbours from other Units using these sites?

There is however a web site which appears to take a more aggressive approach to 'Lost Comrades'.  After free registration it requests that members enter details of all of their individual postings, units, places, and dates.  This means several entries for most of us, but with that a far better chance of 'Searchers' being able to locate people. It also invites members to enter details of individuals they wish to find, by unit,  nickname, places, and dates.

In this way, it dramatically increases the chances of a successful search, because the list of lost comrades, where they were last known, and when they were there, can
be circulated to the database on a regular basis, and members can see whether or not they are, or they know, someone who is being searched for.

When you are looking for someone, it is a lot easier to look up the name of a regiment, Corps, Ship, or Squadron, add a date, and see who appears, because the one thing you know about them is where and when you last saw them!!

The same is true for a posting, be it Hong Kong, Detmold, Wildenrath, or HMS Tamar, with a date.  Sometimes you need to see a name, associated with a place or a Unit for 'bells to ring' , and that may enable you to help someone locate an old friend.

When a familiar name crops up, you know of their whereabouts, then you can email the person who was looking, and all email addresses are kept confidential.

The more of our members who register, the more successful this will become, and I am asking you to circulate all your members with this information. The website is

May I wish you a Happy and Prosperous 2002, and thank you in advance.

Yours faithfully

Gordon Steven

[Ed:  I haven't checked this one out myself yet...]


From:       Whaty Campbell, Lyneham, UK
Date:        06 January 2002 17:15
Subject:    Latest news

Latest news from the Campbell household:

Whaty recieves:
1 x Commendation from Commander in Chief Strike Command in New Years Hounours List 2002.

New arrival to household:
Baby girl named Kaitlyn, born 6th Jan at 1303hrs, weighed in at 7lbs 6 and a half ounces, 1 week early, and yes I missed the birth by 4 hours, poor excuse but I was in the air C130J at the time. Mother and baby are doing extremely well.

Speak to you all soon between nappies.

Rgds Whaty

[Ed:  Cause for a double celebration eh Whaty?  Well done that man!]


From:         Roger Blow, Crown Point, IN, USA
Date:          06 January 2002 18:21
Subject:      Very Interesting


Thanks for another great brief. I'm not familiar with most of the correspondants, other than Gordon Gourdie, but enjoyed their letters. I found Chris Clarke's especially interesting. He really hit the nail on the head regarding the RAF aircrew officer's class system. There are some snotty pilots I would love to meet again! What a waste of talent there has been over the years in the NCO ranks. I firmly believe most people will rise to the occasion if given the opportunity. Thankfully things appear to be changing.

Like Chris I also live in North America and I believe the biggest difference between this country and the UK, and the reason this country has achieved so much in such a short time is the lack of a class system. Yes I have a boss at work but we treat each other as equals.

Enough on that subject. I guess this is regarding "old news" but having only been a member for a few weeks I hope you will bear with me. I read Ken Davie's bio recently and was reminded of many good times at Abingdon in the "early days". Ken's reflections on Dave Hammond’s "coolness" really brought back happy memories,  but his remarks about Dave's quote "schweinhund dwarf bastard" sidekick really got me laughing. What an evil little rat-bastard he was (although much less intimidating when alone!). In case no one has given this mutant a name it was Hudson. I don't know his first name or if he even
had one.

Thanks again Tony for your good work.

Happy New Year!

Roger Blow

[Ed:  Thanks Roger - now I remember the dwarf - nasty piece of work!]


From:        Charles Mchugh
Date:         08 January 2002 12:06
Subject:     Re: Update

Hi Tony,

You asked for an update and I think that you will find this good news.  You may remember that I had proposed to paint an Argosy aircraft this time last year, well just before Christmas I was asked by FS Harris @ RAF Benson to paint a picture that
could go into print for the Argosy Association, and so it is going to happen very shortly.

The composition has been decided regarding aircraft and I am presently deciding which background to use with a combination of clouds over Aden Harbour taking the lead.

Meanwhile a Gannet AEW 3 has been started which will appear on my Stop Press site very shortly.

Regards and best wishes for 2002

Charles McHugh

Global Aviation Art

PS  I will probably paint a white over silver ASCOT scheme now instead.

[Ed:  Jeez Chas - after we spent all that time searching for a picture of a camouflaged Argosy @#$%&! - look forward to seeing the bird regardless.]


From:       Ian Berry, West Swindon, UK
Date:        08 January 2002 15:36


Happy New Year.

Following were awarded commendations in New Years Honours:

C in C Strike Commendation

HQ 1 Group

603    Cpl    Campbell N (Whatty - ex Bruggen)

HQ 2 group

925    Cpl    Bull SWJ
180    Cpl     Fitches CM

AOC Commendation

HQ 1 Group

339    FS    Wood AM (ex-Bruggen)

HQ 2 Group

185    Cpl    Miller JT
Mrs    Brice J  (Typist!)

The war goes well, we have had a man in Kabul with the SBS since they landed early December, he's now rotated. A MAMS team is also now at Bagram including FS Taff Wood mentioned above. More men are on their way out now and it looks like Kabul International Airport will be activated (once the bomb craters on the runway are filled in). We're also looking for a new Forward Mounting Base (FMB) as the Omanis are now getting fed up with our presence - we did say we'd leave in Nov 01! If I ever get hold of some photos I'll pass them on, it's too cold out there for me at the moment though and i'll leave it to the younger guys.

Bob Turner is back from Oman on leave at the moment and returns on 13th Jan. He says the photo of the 747SP is in fact taken at Seeb and not Thumrait.

Cheers for now,


[Ed:  Congratulations to all - I have updated the Honours Page - and included Mrs. Brice - she probably deserved a lot more!]


New on the site this week?  Apart from updating the Honours page (an ongoing project),  there's a new Mystery Photo in there - and neither Ian Berry nor Bruce Oram are allowed to respond!


Well that's it for this week

Have a great weekend

Best regards