13 June 2003


From: David Cromb, Brisbane Qld., Australia
To: David Barton, Kings Lynn, UK
Date: 08 May 2003 18:42
Subject: Indian Navy & Aden

Hello guys, trust all is well.

Dave, re your MN service. Did you have any dealings with the Indian Navy? Very naive of me I know, but I didn't know such a navy existed. This is a question prompted by my reading of a book "Aden Under British Rule 1839-1967". 

Now the first Administrator of Aden was a certain Commander S.B. Haines, Indian Navy (Haines remained in office with the title of Political Agent until 1854). Haines was sent from Bombay to take up that post. He didn't actually "take" Aden, that was done by, and I quote; "a small squadron of British ships, a Royal Navy frigate, an East India Company cruiser, an armed schooner and transports carrying seven hundred British & Indian troops." This all happened on the 19th January 1839.

If you are aware of any publications regarding the Indian Navy Dave I would appreciate any info you can give me.

Tony, I hope it's ok to use the OBA platform, I rather thought other members may find this interesting. The book is by R.J. Gavin and published by Hurst and is a good read. As for myself I'm only 138 pages into it, but already there are disturbing facts coming to light as to why Aden went so bad on Britain.

Just for the record, I'm no historian on Aden or any other country, but I have been totally fascinated by accounts of Aden by other members, and just want to know more about what went on and why. I would welcome any articles or info other members may have. I have visited the sites available through UKMAMS etc. A town map would be really good showing just where Steamer Point, Khormaksar & Crater are exactly.

Thanks Tony, keep up the good work, I trust the novelty of a new set of wheels has worn off?

Be good, be aware & be safe.



From: David Barton, Kings Lynn, UK
To: David Cromb, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 09 Jun 2003 11:51
Subject: Aden

Hi Dave (& Tony),

In reply to your enquiry about Aden etc; I have several books about the Gulf but one in particular which does cover Aden in particular is 'Arabia Without Sultans' by Fred Haliday. First published in 1974 but Pelican Books, ISBN 0 14 02.1818 1. There is one chapter on South Yemen Under British Rule. I found the book quite interesting but I warn you, Haliday is Irish and rather anti British. There is also a photo of RAF Salalah and at the time, Haliday stated that Britain denied any presence in the area!!

There is also a small map showing Khormaksar and Crater but no Steamer Point. I think at one time the book was banned in Oman.

Having spent so much time in the Gulf I built up quite a library of the place. I only visited Aden twice, once in 1949 and again in 1953 and that was a short coaling stop but did manage to get ashore as apart from being cheap, I did not think much of the place.

There are no end of dealers in second hand books, I just recently had one book, albeit wrong, from Barnes and Noble in the USA (e-mail - ) and a good shop in Melbourne 'Flinders Books (e-mail - ) although have not used them. If you want a copy and can't get one I can send you mine as I know you would return it.

Have fun when Ian B arrives.

Dave Barton. 




[Ed:  In typical MAMS fashion I was able to purloin a map of Aden which clearly shows Crater, Steamer Point and Khormaksar.] 


From: Chris Goss, Marlow, UK
Date: 09 Jun 2003 13:01
Subject: Mike Dora I Presume!

Thanks for the latest update! 

You might be interested that I have just come back from a recce of the Democratic Republic of Congo and whilst 'up country' met a former UKMAMS Team Leader. Mike Dora, who now works for the UN, was on the Sqn back in the late 70s and early 80s; he was quite chuffed to meet another ex-Team Leader

Best regards

Chris Goss
[In Mike's own words]

Here is a picture of what the well-dressed Caledonian ex-MAMS type wears when the sh*t starts flying for real. 

It was taken just last Saturday (7th June) an hour or so after the fighting died down. Not as silly as it looks, recall the sporran contains a 1/2" steel plate...

Mike Dora


A400M Contract Signed 

The contract for the seven-nation A400M military transport aircraft programme was signed in a ceremony at the headquarters of the European joint armaments co-operation agency (OCCAR) in Bonn.

The development and manufacture contract between OCCAR and Airbus Military will see 180 aircraft delivered to the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey. The UK's offtake is 25 aircraft.

Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon said: "I am pleased to see this important collaborative project going ahead. A400M will be a vital new strategic asset for the United Kingdom and its European partners, and will create or sustain thousands of jobs here and across Europe. It is important now for Airbus to move the programme forward so that we see the aircraft in service as quickly as possible."

Contract signature followed last week's financial approval by the German Bundestag Budget Committee, and full commitment to the programme by the Governments of the partner nations.

The In Service Date for the British aircraft is expected to be 2011, one year later than previously planned.


From: Paul Newman, Peterborough, UK
Date: 10 Jun 2003 09:41
Subject: Jobs in Kabul

Hi Tony,

I've just spoken to Steve Biggs who is working for Airfoyle and on his way out at the moment. There are jobs available with a Canadian Company who have got the contract for all ground handling down Kabul way. Apparently good money, one month on and one month off. 

The contact is Vince Seeger who used to be our commercial boss at HeavyLift and is pretty straight. Contact number will be 01279 873777.

Many Regards

Paul Newman 


From: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 11 Jun 2003 12:01
Subject: Around the world courtesy of the RAF circa 1980

Hello Tony,

After a holiday in the South of France which was very enjoyable, I'll begin with a story about my appointment as Air Movements 1 at HQ 38 Group RAF Upavon. 

I was overjoyed about getting the job for I knew that it involved overseas travel. One of the aims that I aspired to was to circumnavigate the globe! It wasn't very long before I had to do a staff inspection of the RAF Movements detachments on the Westabout Reinforcement Route to Hong Kong. This entailed travelling by Hercules from Lyneham across America. 

My first port of call to inspect was Flt Lt Dave Taylor at Sacramento. 36 hours here and I found that David Taylor was one of the first Englishmen to teach the Americans soccer in an organised club. 

The next stop was Hawaii and Flt Lt Frank Holmes. 48 hours was spent here and Frank introduced me to the delights of a tour in the mid Pacific. 

The next stop was Guam; the island where the United States B52 bombers were launched on their attacks into North Vietnam. Here was Flt Lt Dave Thompson, who was very surprised to see me, for he thought that the RAF had lost him! This was not surprising when his workload for the whole year equated to what happens at a home base on one day! 

After Guam the next stop was RAF Kai Tak where the Hercules was to turnaround and head back over the Pacific and United States.

For me it was 3 days rest in Hong Kong before catching the scheduled VC10 back to RAF Brize Norton.

So, I achieved one of my childhood dreams by this circumnavigation.

All the best to OBA's


PS: Thanks to George Lynes for giving me an update on Stu Elliot's postings after UKMAMS 


From: Shuggie Shewan, CrabAir, UK
Date: 12 Jun 2003 05:52
Subject: AC Shewan

Tony (& everyone),
Just thought you might like to see a photo of a couple of very proud parents having just watched our oldest daughter's passing out parade at RAF Halton (10 Jun).

It really doesn't feel like 23 years since I was doing a similar thing at RAF Swinderby!



From: Chris Kirby, Melksham, UK
Date: 12 Jun 2003 13:22
Subject: Change of Address

Hi there,

I noted in a recent newsletter that you still had me as living in the Basingstoke area. We have moved so if you wish to update the records our new address is:

3 Murray Walk, Melksham, Wiltshire, SN12 7AZ.

E-mail addy of course remains the same.

Regards Rip Kirby.


From: Ken Davie, Mystic CT, USA
To: Murdo MacLeod, Newport-on-Tay, UK
Date: 12 Jun 2003 12:13
Subject: Old Age...

You're right, Murdo, I am jealous. 

I'd really like to retire, and may have done so in a year or two if it hadn't been for the economy. As it is, I'll be lucky to retire before I start drooling on my tie! 

I just heard from Bobby Atcheson in London. He had a mild stroke recently, but is OK. 

Getting old is a bugger, but I still feel 35. It's a shame that the women don't think so! I hope this finds you well, and that everything continues to work satisfactorily into your dotage! 



[Ed:  Let's all channel some healing thoughts towards Bobby!!]


Britain's fighter bomber pilots will be getting the world's most advanced precision bomb, under a planned contract announced by the Defence Procurement Minister Lord Bach today.

Under the £120 Million contract, the RAF's and Royal Navy's bomber fleets will be equipped with the highly advanced 'fire and forget' Paveway IV bombs - fitted with the latest Global Positioning System guidance technology for greatly enhanced accuracy in all weather conditions. 

The overall programme, including integration on the aircraft, will cost over £300 million. The new Precision Guided Bomb (PGB) weapon system will be manufactured in the UK by Raytheon Systems Limited, subject to successful completion of final contract negotiations. 

It will give the UK an enhanced ability to conduct 24-hour precision attacks against a wide range of targets and incorporates a sophisticated fail-safe fuze mechanism, engineered to minimise the risk of collateral damage. 

Defence Minister Lord Bach said: "Recent conflicts in the Gulf and the Balkans have underlined the vital need for our armed forces to have a precision air attack capability that can be used day or night, whatever the weather. The Precision Guided Bomb utilises the latest technology to deliver that enhanced capability, allowing our front line forces to hit their targets hard while minimising the risk of collateral damage."

PGB will be more accurate than current bomb systems, less susceptible to jamming and unaffected by poor weather conditions or man-made smoke screens. In view of its inherently high levels of accuracy the Paveway IV will be just half the size of the RAF's current 1000lb bomb - the smaller payload reducing the risk of collateral damage and potentially increasing aircraft range by allowing more fuel. The PGB will contain one of the world's most advanced fuze systems designed to reduce the chance of collateral damage. 

Known as 'latearm', the guidance system will send a message to the fuze two seconds before target impact confirming that it is on course, serviceable and not being jammed. If any of these conditions are not met the fuze will not arm and the warhead will not explode, even after impact from high level. 

Production of the system will take place largely in the UK, securing up to 200 jobs in southern England and Scotland


From: Dennis Martin, Godalming, UK
Date: 12 Jun 2003 14:47
Subject: On The Telly

I have just noticed that a series called AIRBASE is about life at RAF Lyneham. 

It is on ITV at 2330 on Thursdays, but not all the regions. I 'm not sure when the series started but it continues next Thursday, 19th June. 


A man was telling his neighbor, "I just bought a new hearing aid. It cost me four thousand pounds, but it's state of the art. It's perfect." 

"Really," answered the neighbor. "What kind is it?" 

"Twelve thirty." 


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards