11 April 2003


From: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 07 Apr 2003 15:34
Subject: Images Photo

Hello Tony,

We talked before about the Sgt pictured next to me on 1970's images Page 2 bottom picture. It shows an AOC's Inspection in progress in 1973 with a very laconic me next to a Sgt who was my ops Sgt, a clk sec, responsible for the operational upkeep of the planning board and all things admin in ops. At the moment it shows Pete Chappell but it wasn't!

Now all those OBA readers who were on UKMAMS at the end of Abingdon and the beginning of Lyneham should look closely at the picture and tell the webmaster the name of the Sgt in question! If I remember rightly he was Sgt Elliot and subsequently got a branch commission in the secretarial branch - but I may be wrong! All those who remember full details send to Tony - I don't think there's a prize though!

Many regards

One time Ops Officer 


From: Roy Nixon
To: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 07 Apr 2003 12:01
Subject: National Service Exhibition

Hi Jim,

I came across your photos of the RAF during the fifties on the small wars website. 

I am promoting an exhibition of National Service memorabilia in June, part of which is devoted to the RAF. 

Would you allow me download some of those photos for use in the exhibition? 


Roy Nixon


From: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
To: Roy Nixon
Date: 09 Apr 2002 16:33
Subject: Re: National Service Exhibition

G'day Roy,

I should point out that I can't claim to have been a National Service conscript. Had I not joined as a regular, I would have been conscripted, so perhaps it's all 'academic' !!

Please feel free to download and use any of the material on my website that you think appropriate. 

I will forward a copy of your request to Tony Gale in Canada who runs a site devoted to past and present RAF Air Movers. If you have not yet discovered this excellent website the below URL will take you there.[no longer valid]

Any feedback after your exhibition would be gratefully received.

Best wishes for a successful exhibition. Distance precludes my visiting as you will appreciate. Plymouth holds many happy memories for me from my service days.


Jim Aitken


If your computer seems to take a while to start up and appears to be slow in general, make sure you do not have any open applications then do this: 

Firstly, right-click on the My Computer icon in the top left of your desktop, then left-click on Properties. Select the Performance tab and note the System Resources percentage figure. Typically, if your system is running slow, this figure will reflect something between 40% and 60%. Ideally, this should be somewhere in the 90% range.

Here is a fix:

Go to the following page: 

On this page you will find a list of all the possible programmes that start and run in the background when you start your computer. The fewer programmes running in the background the better. In the left column of the listings is a recommended course of action, coded as follows:

"Y" - Normally leave to run at start-up

"N" - Not required - typically infrequently used tasks that can be started manually if necessary

"U" - User's choice - depends whether a user deems it necessary

"X" - Definitely not required - typically viruses, spyware, adware and "resource hogs"

"?" - Unknown

Employ the following procedure to access your startup menu and uncheck the items that are not required:

1) Press Start ----> Run then type msconfig in the dialog box then press ok

2) This will bring up a window "System Configuration Utility" Select the Startup tab.

3) All of the checked items in this window indicate programmes that are starting and running in the background. Use the pacs-portal references that you have and find out what each item is for and then uncheck the items that are not required.

4) Note: For Windows 98 there are two essential programmes that should be running; "System Tray" and "Scan Registry". Also, if you have an anti-virus software programme you will be able to readily identify any associations and make sure they are checked.  When you have unchecked all of the non-essential items, click on Apply in the bottom right of the window, it should grey out, then click on OK or Close. You will get a pop-up that asks you to restart - go ahead and restart. 

When you restart you might get a window popping up that indicates you are in "Selective Startup Mode" The will be a checkbox at the bottom that says "Don't show this message again." Place a checkmark here and then close the window.

5) Now right-click on the "My Computer" icon in the top left of your desktop, then left-click on Properties. Select the Performance tab and note the System Resources percentage figure - it should be a lot healthier now - somewhere in the 90% range.

If you're not running any anti-virus software and have discovered a virus, then I would suggest you visit then download and run the AVG Anti Virus software - it's free.

If you discover either adware or spyware, then you can clean these nasties out of your system by visiting download and run Ad-Aware (again, it's free). Note: This will not stop adware or spyware from entering your computer, but will search it out and remove it. I would suggest you run it at least once a week.


From: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 09 Apr 2003 16:37
Subject: Ugly Ducky

(Why did this joke remind me of Saturday night dances in Swindon?)

Three women die together in an accident and go to heaven. When they get there, St. Peter says, "We only have one rule here in heaven ... don't step on the ducks." So they enter heaven, and sure enough, there are ducks all over the place.

It is almost impossible not to step on a duck, and although they try their best to avoid them, the first woman accidentally steps on one. Along comes St. Peter with the ugliest man she ever saw. St. Peter chains them together and says, "Your punishment for stepping on a duck is to spend eternity chained to this ugly man!"

The next day, the second woman steps accidentally on a duck, and along comes St. Peter, who doesn't miss a thing, and with him is another extremely ugly man. He chains them together with the same admonishment as for the first woman.

The third woman has observed all this and, not wanting to be chained for all eternity to an ugly man, is very, VERY careful where she steps. She manages to go months without stepping on any ducks, but one day St. Peter comes up to her with
the most handsome man she has ever laid eyes on. Very tall, long eyelashes, muscular, and thin.

St. Peter chains them together without saying a word. The woman remarks, "I wonder what I did to deserve being chained to you for all of eternity?" 

The guy says, "I don't know about you, but I stepped on a duck!"

[Ed:  Reminds me of the "Grim Hilda" contests we used to have at dances.  Before entering the dance a group of us (a team?) would all put some cash into a kitty, and then whoever ended up with carnal knowledge of the ugliest girl in the hall would win the kitty.] 


From: John Dunlop, Aberdeen, UK 
Date: 09 Apr 2003 16:48
Subject: For Our Troops... a poem by John Dunlop

Doves of Peace

Taff and Geordie, Scouse and Pat
Brummie Bill and Cornish Matt
Big Jock Scouler and good mate Ken
Express my thoughts for our fighting men

Get stuck in for once and all
Before we see our buildings fall
What kind of men would stoop so low?
You are out to defeat the foe

Don't condemn the big U.S.
It was not them who caused this mess
We must unite one more time
Bin Laden and Saddam will feel our might

The doves of peace in the end will win
GI Joe, Tommy Air Force men and women too
All you sailors and brave young pilots
We all owe a debt to you

When the war is over
In that foreign land
Return back home
To shake my hand

I hope this is suitable to send to all our men and woman doing a wonderful job, they are a credit to their country. Regards to some of my old cronies whom I have not heard from for a wee while - long may your lum reek 

Jack (Jock) Dunlop


From: Howard Farrow, Stafford, UK
Date: 10 Apr 2003 10:31
Subject: Goodies For Those At The Sharp End

All the very best to all Movers, male and female, in the Gulf.

We have some goody boxes from NHS Direct in Stafford to send to MAMS teams over there. If there is someone who can give details of how we can get them there (contact name and address) please let me know a.s.a.p.

From an ex mover in Stafford.


Taff Farrow 
Alpha team 1990-1993.


From: Peter Clayton, Swindon, UK
Date: 10 Apr 2003 04:08
Subject: A Dumper Truck on a VC-10?

I remember a long flight in a Hercules from Nassau to Lyneham back in the mid 70's, without looking in my log book I seem to recall that it was 13hrs 7mins. Most of it was spent in a sleeping bag hung up in a net over the rear door, my favourite place. With Heavylift I did a few longish flights but nothing over the 12 hours with any sort of load on!

One of these days I will send in a story about the Angolan Portuguese airlift using the VC-10 out of Luanda, we had some fun down there but food was short in the hotel, so any left over in flight meals were much appreciated. When I was not at the airport I could usually be found in the local tool shops, as that was the only thing left worth buying in the place. I even served the crews on occasions or at least helped find what they wanted.

One day as a joke I turned up at the steps of the arriving VC-10 driving a dumper truck and asked the crew to open the cargo door, pretending that I had bought the ultimate souvenir, they were not amused at first but then I explained it was our only means of getting the baggage to the aircraft. 

Finally for now, take care all you guys in the Gulf, hopefully the end is in sight now. Be proud.

Peter Clayton
A Team 1975-78

PS Message for Jock Newlands, I cannot seem to get through on your E-Mail address.


From: Colin Oram, London, UK
Date: 10 Apr 2003 04:15
Subject: Latest Picture of the Iraqi Defences

Hi Tony,

Here's something that raised a smile in this office


From:   David Powell, Princes Risborough, UK
Date:   10 Apr 2003
Subject:   Shortest Flights

Hi Tony

The shortest flight I ever clocked with F Team was at Nairobi, when we flew from the military airfield at Eastleigh to the International Airport at Embacazi on 21st November 1968.. My log book shows 15 minutes. 

This was the trip which resulted in my hurried purchase of a unique pair of desert boots - 2 of size 10 right foot, and one of the Hercs we were working turned up from Lyneham with hardly any chains on board. So we went down to the market a bought a load of chain on the imprest!. Returned to Eastleigh. Chopped it into short lengths. Carried out an empirical load test by slinging a 'very heavy thing' using the unit's crane and then took half this weight as the notional strength of the chain! Luckily there were plenty of tensioners so we could secure the chain either end in the absence of lashing hooks.

I wonder if you could get away with such improvisation today!

Meanwhile, watching the news and thinking of the teams in theatre - be safe!  If the "Pensioners' Unit" does get off the ground - can I volunteer for the Load Control slot?


David Powell 
F Team 1967-69
Gulf MAMF 1971


From: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 09 Apr 2003 16:45
Subject: Local news (with apologies to Jack Riley)

A major earthquake, measuring 9.1 on the Richter scale hit New Zealand this morning.

350,000 New Zealanders have died, and over a million have been reported injured.

The country is totally ruined and the government doesn't know where to start with providing help....

Canada is sending troops to assist the country to rebuild, Europe is sending food supplies and money,
and Australia is sending 350,000 replacement Kiwis.


From: Gordon Gourdie, Euxton, UK
Date: 10 Apr 2003 06:03
Subject: Dhala 1965

Hi Tony,

I found this photo recently. It was taken in 1965 at the airstrip at Dhala near the Yemen border. That's me on the left with, I believe, Derek Ferguson.

I don't know anything about the DC3 in the background, never flew in one.




From: Joe Howard, Sunderland, UK
Date: 10 Apr 2003
Subject: Safe Return


I would like to send my best regards to all the troops in the Gulf - be them Air Force, Army or Navy - and wish them a safe return.

Best Regards 

Joe H. 


From: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 09 Apr 2003 21:55
Subject: What is an Australian?

We are Australian... for our sins !!

WE, the people of a free nation of blokes, Sheila's and the occasional wanker.

We come from many lands (although a few too many of us come from New Zealand) and although we live in the best country in the world, we reserve the right to bitch and moan about it whenever we bloody like. We are One Nation but we're divided into many States.

First, there's Victoria, named after a queen who didn't believe in lesbians. Victoria is the realm of Mossimo turtlenecks, cafe latte, grand-final day and big horse races. Its capital is Melbourne, whose chief marketing pitch is that "it's liveable". At least that's what they think. The rest of us think it is too bloody cold and wet.

Next, there's NSW, the realm of pastel shorts, macchiato with sugar, thin books read quickly and millions of dancing queens. Its capital Sydney has more queens than any other city in the world and is proud of it. Its mascots are Bondi lifesavers who pull their Speedos up their cracks to keep the left and right sides of their brains separate.

Down south we have Tasmania, a State based on the notion that the family that bonks together stays together. In Tassie, everyone gets an extra chromosome at conception. Maps of the State bring smiles to the sternest faces. It holds the world record for a single mass shooting, which the Yanks can't seem to beat no matter how often they try.

South Australia is the province of half-decent reds, a festival of foreigners and bizarre axe murders. SA is the state of innovation. Where else can you so effectively re-use country bank vaults and barrels as in Snowtown, just out of Adelaide (also named after a queen). They had the Grand Prix, but lost it when the views of Adelaide sent the Formula One drivers to sleep at the wheel.

Western Australia is too far from anywhere to be relevant. It's main claim to fame is that it doesn't have daylight saving time, because if it did all the men would get erections on the bus on the way to work. WA was the last state to stop importing convicts and many of them still work there in the government and business.

The Northern Territory is the red heart of our land. Outback plains, sheep stations the size of Europe, Kangaroos, Jackaroos, Emus, Uluru and dusty kids with big smiles. It also has the highest beer consumption of anywhere on the planet and its creek beds have the highest aluminium content of anywhere too. Although the Territory is the centre piece of our national culture, few of us live there and the rest prefer to fly over it on our way to Bali.

And there's Queensland. While any mention of God seems silly in a document defining a nation of half-arsed sceptics, it is worth noting that God probably made Queensland, as it is beautiful one day and perfect the next. Why he filled it with dickheads remains a mystery.

Oh, yes, and there's Canberra ( ACT). The least said the better. 


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards