15 March 2002


New members joining us this week are:

Bill Franklin from Luton, UK

Al (Jock) Rae from High Wycombe, UK

Welcome to the OBA!


From:      Fred Martin, Godalming,
Date:       08 March 2002 07:38
Subject:   Re: Old Boys Briefs 030802

Thank you for your e-mail, glad to become a member.

I thought I would write a small piece about my time at Air Movements Khormaksar 1961-1963 as this period of time is not mentioned very often on the website

I arrived at Khormaksar in August 1961, straight from Movements school at Kidbrooke, as an 18 year old AC1. We were immediately put on 12-on, 12-off, shifts as the Kuwait/Iraq problem (1961 version), was ongoing. .

In1962 there was lots of  “up country” activity on the Yemen border and we were often detailed to accompany loads up country to assist in the unloading of the Beverleys.  MAMS was not in existence then but I suppose we were some of the forerunners of that organisation.  I well remember unloading a Bev at Beihan where an air raid had taken the day before. Suddenly an aircraft came screaming in along the runway at a height of about 30 feet. Fortunately it was an 8 Sqn Hunter, and the only casualty was my underpants!

The 1962 confrontation between India and China took place later that year .We were kept busy dealing with through-flights from Lyneham to Calcutta that were full of supplies for India. At the same time the Cuban Missile Crisis took place and some V Bombers were flown into Aden to go who knows where.

The Brunei emergency began in December 1962 and we again handling all the staging flights Lyneham to Far East.  I was detailed to join one such flight to assist the AQM with the load to Labuan. The last of the old type GSMs were issued to participants in the1962 action.

I didn’t know Jack Riley. I think he must have arrived in Aden about the time I left and he mentions being at HQMEC, which was at Steamer Point, whereas I was at Air Movs Khormaksar. Our SAMO was Sqn Ldr Charles Delaney who I feel Jack must have met.

That’s an interesting article on the Zambian Oil Lift. Mention is made of the three Airmen who went "missing". One of them, Geordie Daverson (that is the correct spelling), did his basic Movs training with me at Kidbrooke and we served 2 years in Aden together. One nightshift some crates needed offloading urgently from an Aden Airways DC3. The MT driver was skiving off somewhere, so Geordie took it upon himself to drive the forklift truck.  Two problems:  (1) He did not have a driving licence (2) He was rather short sighted. Result - he crashed the forklift into the DC3!  He was in big trouble but got away with only 14 days jankers, mainly because it was not an RAF aircraft, and loads of apologies and excuses had to be made to Aden Airways. Geordie was told he would probably have been court-martialled if it had been an RAF aircraft.

While on Airfield Guard Duty, a member of the Guard managed to shoot up a Beverley!  We were frequently made to do guard duties in between our shifts. This meant patrolling the airfield armed with an obsolete Lee-Enfield .303, a torch, whistle and a bandolier of 50 rounds of ammo. MT drivers, for some reason, were given Sten Guns instead of rifles to patrol with. Sten Guns were totally unpredictable and this poor MT driver managed to drop his on the concrete causing it to go off. A nearby Beverley was riddled along the boom by 5 rounds!  I don’t know what happened to the poor chap, but it did seem that we managed to damage more aircraft than the terrorists!

Happy Days!  In 1963 several of us were "picked" to join a newly formed Mobile Air Movements flight, but my tour ended and I never did participate in that. I finished my service at the MOD in London.

Hope this info is of interest.

Great Website and good to read other's memories

Best regards
Fred Martin

[Ed: Thanks Fred - I'll add this item to the Khormaksar page.]


RAF Reservists Called Up for War on Terrorism – Source MOD

Defence Minister, Dr Lewis Moonie, announced today (Thursday 7 March) that there is to be a compulsory call out of up to 49 Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF) personnel to assist with the war on terrorism.

Dr Moonie said: "The Reserves make a vital contribution to our defence capability. In the Strategic Defence Review we reaffirmed our commitment to capable, integrated and relevant reserve forces. The call up of elements of 4624 (County of Oxford) Movements Sqn RAuxAF shows that this government is committed to the concept of usable and deployable reservists. I wish them the very best of luck."

Military aircraft are being used to deploy and sustain the main body of UK forces' contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The RAuxAF personnel will primarily backfill regular Royal Air Force personnel deployed to forward airheads as part of the war on terrorism.

The Reservists will be drawn from 4624 (County of Oxford) Movements Sqn RAuxAF based at RAF Brize Norton and will primarily serve in the UK. But some personnel may be deployed overseas.

The Reservists will be called-out for a period of up to six months and will be paid the same rates of pay as regular personnel. In addition, they will receive financial assistance to make up, within certain banded limits, the difference between civilian earnings and the military salary.

Reservists and their employers, have the right to seek exemption from, or deferral of, call out under the terms of the Reserve Forces Act 1996, and its subordinate legislation. These rights are explained when the call-out notice is issued. Employers will be eligible to claim financial assistance to help cover some of the costs associated with releasing reservists for service.

Wing Commander Malcolm Symonds, CO of 4624 (County of Oxford) Movements Sqn RAuxAF said: "The RAuxAF is part of the RAF's Total Force Concept where regulars, reservists and civilians all work together. We are trained to the same standard as our full-time counterparts, and it is this training which enables my people to be completely interchangeable with regular personnel."

[Ed: “backfill regular Royal Air Force personnel”?  I would have thought that task would have suited the Navy better!   There’s another faux pas – “which enables my people to be completely interchangeable with regular personnel." - wasn’t like that in my day!]


From:     Murdo Macleod, Newport-on-Tay,
Date:      08 March 2002 19:22
Subject:  Re: Old Boys Briefs 030802

I don't much fancy a job in Qatar ta very much.

Dry state and all that, not that I'm alcohol dependant in any way, but I do like to imbibe on occasion. In any case, I should have thought that there would be an age limit for these jobs, which would preclude me from putting in a bid for any of them.   None of them mention money, as to whether or not they would be worth pursuing. Still, it’s nice you should think of me anyway.

It may be worth mentioning to some of these guys that I get the heave-ho from HM's RFA next year at the big 60 and wouldn’t mind another job if it was going, but realistically I think my age would be against me.

Wot you think?


P.s have you any news on Willie Crossley?

[Ed:  Aw heck Murdo - you're as young as you feel!  As for Willie, I am trying another e-mail address for him and hopefully he will respond.]


From:     Ian Berry, Swindon,
To:         Jon Newington, Swansea, UK
Date:      14 February 2002 14:51
Subject:   JON AYRE


I'll try and locate Jon Ayre for you, last heard of in Akrotiri 1994. It's also worth writing a letter to him c/o Innsworth as they may forward it on.

To help his details are/were as follows:

D8250385  Cpl   JC AYRE

Address for Innsworth is:

Attn: PMan6d
RAF Innsworth

Regards for now

Ian Berry

[Ed:  There's more information on facilites available to you from RAF Records later on in in the Briefs]


From:     Phil Clarke, Vienna,
Date:      12 March 2002 04:37
Subject:  Beer

Yesterday, scientists for Health Canada suggested that the results of a recent analysis revealed the presence of female hormones in beer, and suggested that men should take a look at their beer consumption.

The theory states that drinking beer makes men turn into women.

To test the theory, 100 men were each fed 6 pints of beer within a one-hour period. It was then observed that 100% of the men gained weight, talked excessively without making sense, became overly emotional, couldn't drive, failed to think rationally, argued over nothing, had to sit down while urinating and refused to apologize when wrong


[Ed:  I picked up the following from the RAF website – and I thought it would be worth passing it along to you:]

Frequently Asked Questions - Veterans and Ex-Serviceman’s Contacts

At present it is not possible to answer individual e-mails. This page aims to provide contacts suitable to assist with the majority of queries. Please direct your question to the relevant address below:

1. The Veterans Advice Unit
On 5 October 1998, the MOD launched a new telephone advice service for ex-servicemen and women offering practical advice on a variety of subjects. The Veterans Advice Unit (VAU) is manned by fully trained, friendly Warrant Officers aware of the needs of Veterans. The service is open between 9am and 5am Monday to Friday, and an answering machine service is available at all other times. These are
just some of the ways the VAU can assist:
Disability claims
Claiming War Pensions
Combat stress
Ex-serviceman's Associations
Replacing lost medals
The telephone number for the VAU is shown below, and all calls are charged at local rates, no matter where in the UK you are calling from:  08456 020302

2. Royal Air Force Service Records
Personnel Records
Royal Air Force personnel records are held at RAF Innsworth. If service number and details are known, please quote it in correspondence. Innsworth will only divulge information to the person to whom it refers or, if he or she has died, to his or her immediate next of kin. Anyone else must obtain written permission from the person about whom they are enquiring, or from his or her next of kin, before any information will be given to them. Innsworth make a charge of £25.00 for any information they provide. The only people exempt from charge are the person to whom the records refer or their widow or widower.
The address is:
Room 5
Building 248A
RAF Personnel Management Agency
RAF Innsworth
Gloucester GL3 1EZ
For records of decorations and citations:
AMP Sec 1c
Room F93
Building 255
HQ RAF Personnel and Training Command
RAF Innsworth
Gloucester GL3 1EZ
For medal claims:
Room 6
Building 248A
RAF Personnel Management Agency
RAF Innsworth
Gloucester GL3 1EZ
Records for precursors of the RAF (the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service) are held at the Public Record Office, as are RAF records for service during the First World War.

Casualty enquiries
Information about casualties is deemed to be personal and only enquiries in writing from or on behalf of next of kin can normally be considered. Casualty enquiries are dealt with by:
Building 182
RAF Personnel Management Agency
RAF Innsworth
Air Historical Branch(RAF)
Building 266
RAF Bentley Priory
Air Historical Branch (RAF) also maintains historical records relating to individual aircraft.

3. Official records relating to the Royal Air Force
These are kept at the Public Record Office whose address is:
The Public Record Office,
Ruskin Avenue,
Surrey TW9 4DU.
Telephone: 020 8876 3444.
Fax: 020 8878 8905.

The PRO has published "RAF Records in the PRO" (PRO Readers' Guide No 8) (137 pages, 1994, £8.95, ISBN 1-873162-14-6) This is a detailed and useful guide. They also produce information sheets on various subjects, e.g. "Operational Records of the Royal Air Force" "Navy, Royal Air Force and Merchant Navy Pension  Records". These information sheets are free but can only be collected from the PRO itself; they do not send them by post to enquirers. The Public Record Office does not undertake research for enquirers but is open to the public between 0930 and 1700 Monday to Friday, public and other holidays excepted. Admission is by Reader's Ticket which may be obtained in advance by writing, or on arrival on production of proof of identity, such as a passport or driving licence. The Public Record Office may be able to provide a list of private research agents who are willing to undertake research at the Public Record Office for a negotiated fee.
Intending visitors are advised to check:
a. The opening times prior to a visit as sections are occasionally closed for stocktaking.
b. That documents are available for consultation as they are sometimes withdrawn for official use.

4. Royal Air Force - Other sources of information
*       Royal Air Force Museum
Grahame Park Way
London NW9 5LL

        Telephone: 020-8205 2266 ex 273

The Royal Air Force Museum has First World War casualty records, and also hold limited records of individual aircraft.
*       Imperial War Museum,
Lambeth Road,
London SE1 6HZ

        Telephone: 020-7416 5000
Fax: 020-7416 5374

*       Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow Road
Berks SL6 7DX

        Telephone: 01628 34221

The Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) is a charity and a membership organisation with some 100,000 members. The Association provides support and friendship to the whole RAF family through its worldwide network of over 600 Branches. Information is available on welfare, resettlement, war disability pension claims as well as membership, marketing and fundraising from:
*       Royal Air Forces Association,
Portland Road,
WR14 2TA


You will be pleased to know that I have taken delivery of a new computer system and I intend to devote the entire weekend updating the website – I have so much material on-hand to process – it’s going to be lots of fun doing it and I’m sure you will all be delighted!


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend

Best regards