16 May 2003



My apologies for the lack of a newsletter last week - my schedule went all to heck in a handbasket... besides, I got a new car and just had to go for a long drive  :o)


From: Mike McCann, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Date: 02 May 2003 06:03
Subject: Re: OBB 050203


Thanks for the latest brief. I've attached a photo of my movements course from 1969 for the scrapbook. I can't remember the number, but it finished in August of that year. 

Quote of the month:

"You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance, Germany doesn't want to go to war, and the three most powerful men in America are named 'Bush', 'Dick', and 'Colon.' Need I say more?"

Does anyone have John Illsley's e-mail address? It would be nice to get back in touch. No, he doesn't owe me any money!!

Mike McCann

[Ed: Thanks Mike - I've placed the course photo into Images 1960.]


From: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 03 May 2003 02:35
Subject: Aden Memories

Hello Tony,

My thanks to Gordon Gourdie for directing us to the Small Wars website. It can be found by the following hyperlink: Aden Index. On it there are a number of articles written by Aden tourists circa 1960's. The one I point you to is "Grenade" written by Tony Tindale - an RAF officer. Tony preceded me on No 114MU at RAF Steamer Point so experienced a lot of what I was going to have on my plate when I arrived - but that is still to come for our website !

I noticed Ian Berry had made some remark about not sleeping in Aden now knowing I was patrolling about armed with a .303!

Well, his sleep would not have improved when I tell him that my arms (weapons) included my own Walther P38 parabellum automatic 9mm pistol at the cross draw position on my belt and a Sterling sub-machine gun with the strap around my neck. The Sterling had single shot selected and when we got to the operational area the weapon was cocked and safety catch put on. Certainly, more fire power than the WW1 Lee Enfield .303. Never mind though Ian, I was very well trained!

Regards to all OB's



From: Ian Envis, Crowborough, UK
Date: 05 May 2003 06:15
Subject: Re:  OBB 050203


The news that ''H'' Firth and Ian Berry are on the retirement path makes me realise that between 1976-79 as OC AMF I had the pleasure of them both being in Akrotiri, ''H'' working for me - or the RAF Sports Federation Cyprus (Tennis, Rowing, Football etc etc) while Ian kept numerous officers under control in JABC.

I extend my best wishes and hope they both find the future they both deserve.

In the past 12 months I have noticed the retirement of Big Bill, Gordon (G&T) Black and many others, sadly I failed to write any words on the age old premise, too lazy (but claiming over work).

I admit to being one officer (MOVER) who was helped immensely by them all.....for those I have missed - I claim senile dementia.





A baby incubator is unloaded by RAF personnel from a Virgin Atlantic 747 plane carrying 60 tonnes of medical aid at Basra International Airport May 2, 2003.

This was the first British passenger plane to land in Iraq for 13 years

That's Sgt Nigel Malyon on the left, but can't recognise the other chap.


[I know we've seen this before - or something very similar - but it's so funny!  Thanks to John Bell.]

1) Airplanes usually kill you quickly, a woman takes her time.

2) Airplanes can be turned on by a flick of a switch.

3) Airplanes don't get mad if you do a "touch and go"

4) Airplanes don't object to a pre-flight inspection.

5) Airplanes come with manuals to explain their operation.

6) Airplanes have strict weight and balance limitations.

7) Airplanes can be flown any time of the month.

8) Airplanes don't come with in-laws.

9) Airplanes don't care about how many other airplanes you've flown on before.

10) Airplanes and pilots both arrive at the same time.

11) Airplanes don't mind if you look at other airplanes.

12) Airplanes don't mind if you buy airplane magazines.

13) Airplanes expect to be tied down.

14) Airplanes don't comment on your piloting skills.

15) Airplanes don't whine unless something is really wrong.

16) However, when airplanes go quiet, just like women, it's usually not good.


From: David Cromb, Brisbane Qld., Australia]
To: Dave Barton, Kings Lynn, UK
Date: 04 May 06:21
Subject: MIVA (Masirah Island Veteran's Association)

Hello to you both.

Trust all is well with you. FYI, I tried to send mail to the MIVA last week, it came back as undeliverable, Any known reason Tony? Will try again today and advise further.

Dave, I know this will border on the insane, but I'm going ahead anyway. My father also was MN, as I've stated in previous mails to the OBA. When I was PWR'd for Masirah in 1972, my Father told me of his visits to the Arabian Gulf, he told of events whilst serving on what he called Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels. Now, tongue in cheek, did you ever meet or hear of John McAuley Cromb? The era is right.

I for one Dave would like to hear more of your experiences whist in MN. Am I correct in thinking you are writing your life story or were you typing your fathers?

I've been hi-jacked by my two offspring, Chris & Chantal, to write of my own. Long process, but I've started. The trick now is to ensure it never falls into the wrong hands, could be a few of those about as well - Hhmmm!

That's it for now, will be in touch, might talk to you about those slides as well.



[Ed:  It would appear that the MIVA never really got off the ground.  I also tried to get in touch and had my e-mail returned and I see no mention of it anywhere on the Internet.]


From: Martin Liggett, Swindon, UK
Date: 06 May 2003 16:20
Subject: UKMAMS First Again?


The BBC News ran an article this weekend showing the Foreign Office rep taking over the old UK embassy building in Baghdad. The new temporary office is a 20ft ISO container which was shown being put in position by an RAF team equipped with a JCB rough terrain forklift. The team was led by Sqn Ldr Axel Jinadu who, during my time with MAMS, was a mobile team leader then RAFLO Bahrain. Was the team UKMAMS? If so surely this must be another first for the squadron.



From: Scott Innes, Worcester, UK
Date: 07 May 2003 08:38
Subject: Change of E-Mail

Hi Tony

Could you change my e-mail address to Broadband is finally on it's 7 mile call and a shiney new ADSL modem should be landing on my doormat on Friday! AOL can go eat itself.


[Ed:  Thanks Scotty - you're going to really enjoy the speed that the new connection is going to give you.]


From: Dom July, Midhurst, UK
Date: 07 May 2003 12:24
Subject: Herc Takes Off With The Cash!


I found this in Air Cargo Week:

One of the first cargo aircraft to fly out of Iraq after the successful US-led invasion will probably become known as one of the most famous airlifts of modern times. 

A C130 was called in to lift more than USD$600 million in freshly minted $100 bills found hidden away in the cellars of a non -descript residential building in the Baghdad suburbs. 

Reports said the windows of the house had been bricked up to provide a more anonymous hiding place. 

Troops had discovered the money, thought to have belonged to members of the Baath party, hidden in sealed oil drums. 

The money was stacked on wooden pallets before being placed in the C130 and flown to a secure warehouse in a secret location. 

Is it true the rocks are now doing the hooking? 

Dom July


From: Jack Dunlop, Aberdeen, UK
Date: 08 May 2003 12:04
Subject: Our Paths Have Crossed - But We Never Met

Hi Tony,

There you were in stores at Wittering while I was in stores at Wyton from 1964-66. I did my movements course around Oct 1966, in Aden January 1967, and then Muharraq then to Fairford in January 1968.

It's funny how yourself and other guys who write were all in the same job but never met. Often I would study the old manifests and check out the sender's name to see if I knew them. The old manifest printers were murder compared with today's technology - I was always covered in ink! 

Keep up the good work Tony, your page is a tonic to look back on. I am remembering guys in their mid twenties and the big 60 is just round the corner. Gawd, where did it all go? - and so quick!! 

Big Jack (Jock) Dunlop


[This one is for Jock Dunlop from John Bell]

Can't Believe We Made It! 

If you lived as a child in the 40's, 50's, 60's or 70's, looking back, it's hard to believe that we have lived as long as we have... 

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a Ute on a warm day was always a special treat. Our cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cupboards, and when we rode our bikes we had no helmets. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No mobile phones. Unthinkable. 

We got cuts and broke bones and teeth, and there were no law suits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it. We ate cakes, sweets, bread and butter, and drank cordial, but we were never overweight...we were always outside playing. We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this. 

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, video games, 165 channels on pay TV, video tape movies, surround sound, personal mobile phones, Personal Computers, Internet chat rooms ... we had friends. We went outside and found them. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rung the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Imagine such a thing. Without asking a parent! By ourselves! Out there in the cold cruel world! Without a guardian - how did we do it? We made up games with sticks and tennis balls, and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever.

Soccer and cricket had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't, had to learn to deal with disappointment..... 

Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. No one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law - imagine that! 

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And you're one of them. Congratulations! Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives....... for our own good...... 


From: Shuggie Shewan, CrabAir, UK
Date: 10 May 2003 13:28
Subject: Change of Address


Just to keep the records straight, my address has changed and should now read:

Shuggie Shewan
Air Movements Flight
RAF Aldergrove
BFPO 808

Phone Number: 0289-4423245


Shuggie Shewan

[Ed: The records have been changed - thanks Shuggie.]


From: Dave Barton, Kings Lynn, UK
Date: 14 May 2003 12:40
Subject: Les Charlesworth

Hi Tony,

Had a call from Les Charlesworth earlier this week to say his wife Jean is very ill with cancer, still at home, she is being attended daily.

Many of us 'oldies' will remember Les from the time he was at West Raynham and handled all the MISSEX tasks to and from Germany. We were of course both on GULF MAMS during 1968/9. A great guy and am sure those who know him, their thoughts will be with him during this difficult period.

Dave Barton


Dave was bragging to his boss one day, "You know, I know everyone there is to know. Just name someone, anyone, and I know them."

Tired of his boasting, his boss called his bluff, "OK, Dave, how about Tom Cruise?" 

"No drama's boss, Tom and I are old friends, and I can prove it." 

So Dave and his boss fly out to Hollywood and knock on Tom Cruise's door and Tom Cruise shouts, "Dave! What's happening? Great to see you! Come on in for a beer!"

Although impressed, Dave's boss is still skeptical. After they leave Cruise's house, he tells Dave that he thinks him knowing Cruise was just lucky. 

"No, no, just name anyone else," Dave says. 

"President Bush," his boss quickly retorts.

"Yup," Dave says, "Old buddies, let's fly out to Washington." And off they go. 

At the White House, Bush spots Dave on the tour and motions him and his boss over, saying, "Dave, what a surprise, I was just on my way to a meeting, but you and your friend come on in and let's have a cup of coffee first and catch up." 

Well, the boss is very shaken by now but still not totally convinced. After they leave the White House grounds he expresses his doubts to Dave, who again implores him to name anyone else. "The Pope," his boss replies. 

"Sure!" says Dave. "My folks are from Poland, and I've known the Pope a long time." 

So off they fly to Rome. Dave and his boss are assembled with the masses in Vatican Square when Dave says, "This will never work. I can't catch the Pope's eye among all these people. Tell you what, I know all the guards so let me just go upstairs and I'll come out on the balcony with the Pope." 

He disappears into the crowd headed toward the Vatican. Sure enough, half an hour later Dave emerges with the Pope on the balcony but by the time Dave returns, he finds that his boss has had a heart attack and is surrounded by paramedics. Working his way to his boss' side, Dave asks him, "What happened?"

His boss looks up and says, "I was doing fine until you and the Pope came out on the balcony and the man next to me said, "Who the f**k's that on the balcony with Dave?" 


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards