3 February 2008


New members recently joined are:

Syd Avery, Torrevieja, Spain

Brian Kingdom, Barnstaple, UK

Terry Mulqueen, Hastings, UK

Welcome to the OBA!


From:  John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Date:  Tuesday, January 15, 2008 07:35
Subject:  Big Bang

 Hi Chaps

A bit of excitement here over Shrewsbury yesterday afternoon. There was a huge explosion and I had a look out of the bedroom window as just down the road is the local TA centre; thought the IRA were back in action but no, according to the local radio news later it seems that one of the new Euro Fighters aka Typhoon was at 40,000 ft and suddenly had a problem and had to dive down to 10,000 ft quickly and so went thru the sound barrier, Big Bang!

The first time that I ever heard a sonic boom was in 1953 at the Farnborough Air Show when Neville Duke did it in a dive in a Hawker Hunter. Neville Duke passed away in April 2006 aged 85.




From:  Ian Berry, West Swindon,  
Friday, January 18, 2008 03:17
To:  Ian Stacey, Chicago, IL
Subject:  Where Are They Now

Hi Ian,

I think I can throw some light on some of the members of your old team but the trail is going cold!

Ian Pike left the RAF whilst serving on UKMAMS Base Flight in 1974 - I'm not sure whether he was a WO or FSgt but I can find out. He left in a fit of pique with some bee in his bonnet but have forgotten the issue now. Maybe's someone else may remember? Sadly I don't know where he went after that.

Paddy Harper was until a few years ago the Barrack Warden at RAF Valley in Anglesey. Maybe's the Supply Sqn have an old address for him?

Jamie Jamieson is back in Scotland and his address is below. Last time we conversed many moons ago he was a commissioned Officer in the RNVR in Scotland and was playing part-time with Minesweepers...

76 Delhouse St

Hope this fills in some of the gaps for you?

Best regards,


Google, Apple Computers and were all started in home garages

From: Jack Riley, Hervey Bay, Qld.  
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2008 18:10
Subject: Back

Returned from my NZ wanderings last night I have now had time to wade through the latest, and interesting briefs.

Question for David Powell regarding the shortest flight.  Does a turn back because a reception committee of anti aircraft guns with Russian "technicians "on the destination airfield count ?



Remembrance Day Holiday Petition

No. 10 Downing Street has approved a petition that was launched requesting a new public holiday falling on the Monday after Remembrance Sunday in November each year. To be known as the National Remembrance Holiday, it's got three aims:

1. To emphasise the remembrance of those servicemen and women who have given, and continue to give, their lives for Britain

2. To remind people of the importance of protecting our Nation and what it stands for;

3. To break that 3 month period between the August Public Holiday and Christmas when there are currently no long weekends, especially as the UK has fewer public holidays than most European Countries.

If you agree to the idea, please sign up to the petition - it doesn't take long - and it would be great if you were to forward the link to other people as well. If you are not interested, just hit the delete key. This is not just about another bank holiday, but more importantly about having a designated day to remember all those people that sacrificed their lives for our freedom.


The world's largest commercial aircraft, the Airbus A380, can carry 800 passengers

From:  John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Date:  Tuesday, January 29, 2008 09:30
Subject:  Cosford

Hi Tony

Called into Cosford Museum this morning with a few other members of the NSRAF Cosford Branch to have a look-see in the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre.

It's not a very large hangar but there was a host of refurbishments going on mainly on the HP HAMPDEN that was rediscovered in Northern Russia having been shot down on it's way from Sumburgh in the Shetlands to Russia in 1942. It will be a long time before it is restored to it's former glory.

I asked one of the restorers as to where is the Valetta that has been on Cosford's books all these years to be told that it is on the station but in pretty poor condition in bits and and pieces in one of the hangars on the far side of the airfield and is not likely to be restored as the corrosion is too far gone, so that means of over 200 built the only one left to be seen is the one at Flixton.

They seem to have finished working on the Britannia XM697 but the underside still looks a bit rough.




Red Arrows Spurned

The world-famous Red Arrows have been banned from appearing at the 2012 London Olympics because they are deemed "too British". Organisers of the event say that the Arrows military background might be "offensive" to other countries taking part in the Games.

The display team have performed at more than 4000 events worldwide, but the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have deemed the display team "too militaristically British". Red Arrows pilots were said to be "outraged", as they had hoped to put on a truly world class display for the Games, something which had never been seen before. Being axed from a British-based event for being "too British" is an insult - the Arrows are a symbol of Britain.

The Red Arrows have been excellent ambassadors for British overseas trade, as they display their British-built Hawk aircraft all over the world. The Arrows performed a short flypast in 2005 when the winning bid was announced, but their flypast at the Games was to have been truly spectacular.

It is to be hoped that common sense prevails, so if you disagree with this decision, sign the petition on the link.

John Lennon produced and recorded under 15 different aliases

Movements Jobs in Afghanistan

Oz has been given the ok to hire a further 13 ex-pats with immediate affect.

He needs 3 Pax guys, ideally SNCO’s and a further 10 for traffic.

Anyone who is interested needs to send a CV to ASAP and they will be forwarded on.

He is looking to have all personnel in place within 2 months.


From:  Michael Green, Coventry
Date:  Saturday, February 02, 2008 11:16
Subject:  Sandy Sandiford

Dear Tony,

Following recent letters from Dave Eggleton and Ian Stacey about Sandy's illness, I too have very fond memories of him from C team in 1966. He was a very lively character then, and I was delighted to see he hadn't changed in that respect when I met up with him again at the reunion in '92. I thought he was on terrific form.

Here's a memory of him from (if my log doesn't lie) October or November '66 at Embakasi commemorating the millionth gallon flown on the Zambian oil lift. The two SNCOs in flying overalls are (on the left) Danny Earl and John O'Regan with me looking over their shoulders from behind. On Danny's right in the front row is Sandy, with, behind him, Bill Robb looking over his right shoulder and Ginger Singleton looking over his left.

I've also attached a close-up so you can note the full play of expression on our noble features!

Keep up the good work

Mike Green

A lightning bolt strikes so fast it could circle the globe eight times in a second

From:  Roger Blow, Crown Point, IN
Date:  Saturday, February 02, 2008 12:24
Subject:  Biography

Hi Tony,

I hope all is well in the frozen north. I've enjoyed the latest newsletters and thought it was time to send you a biography. Hope to see more of the same from other members.

All the best from



I joined the RAF in September 1960 as an Admin Apprentice at Bircham-Newton and graduated SAC supplier 1 in May 1962. Failed the education part of the course so didn’t make J/T!

Posted to Scampton, worked in R&D and eventually transferred to POL. I got sick of Supply so I applied for and attended a movements course at Abingdon in 1964. I met an old apprentice friend, Derek Beard, who was on MAMS at the time. His tales got me interested!

Got posted to Muharraq movements in December 1964. Became trim clerk soon thereafter, turned 21. Posted back home to Lyneham in December 1965 to Role Equipment. I quite enjoyed that as I mostly worked shifts with airframe fitters and not in the office.

Eventually applied for UKMAMS and was accepted in about June 1967. First job was to the States with John Furney among others. Quite an eye-opener to be in San Francisco at the height of the Flower Power era! Next job to Nairobi with Geordie Redman and Stan Brown (quite a pair!) and I thought “this is the job for me!

Promoted to the lofty heights of corporal in 1969. I have great memories of lots of terrific guys. Among them are Ray Clark, Dave Edwards, Reg Carey, John Dunston, Bernie Bernard, Eddie Grace, Ed Mottram, Ken Davie, and Bobbie Atcheson. Not so good memories of Dave Hammond and his mutant weasel side kick whose name I have erased from memory!

While on MAMS I got a USA pen pal from Steve Phare. I think Bobbie Atcheson was supposed to write to her but I took over. More about that later.

I got posted to Nordhorn (Germany) in June 1970. Nordhorn was a bombing range with a total compliment of about 36 men. It was about 75 miles from the nearest British military which suited me just fine. Good posting but back in boring Supply again. Unfortunately during this time the trade split into Supply and Movements and I was in the wrong one and couldn’t get back into movements no matter how many times I complained.

So posted back to Electronics Supply at Lyneham in December 1972. I was still writing to my American pen pal and I visited her twice in 1973 and got engaged. Demobbed in December 1973 and emigrated a few days later and we got married in January 1974.

I started work as a Structural Steel draftsman that same month. Had no idea what I was doing but eventually learned. I’ve worked for 5 companies during the last 34 years and am now the Chief Draftsman at my present company.

I’m still married to my pen pal and have had 2 kids, Chris 27 and Sarah 23. Chris graduated from Purdue University about 4 years ago and Sarah will graduate from the same University in May. We live in Crown Point, Indiana, about 40 miles south east of Chicago and we love it.

UKMAMS was definitely the highlight of my RAF career. Great guys and a great spirit. Someone recently wrote it was the closest thing to a regiment and I couldn’t agree more. It certainly changed my life.

Thanks Tony for keeping this site going. It’s like a connection to home and awakens lots of terrific memories. I appreciate it.


That's it for this edition - have a great rest of the weekend!