9 July 2010

From: Bruce Oram, Alicante
Sent: June-25-10 03:40
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo

Hi Tony,

Once again a great edition. The contents of the letter by Gerry Davis, is sadly true. People like myself and Shirley have enjoyed our time here, but the time has come, if we are able, to sell our villa and to return to Scotland, for many of the reasons Gerry mentions.

I do think the mystery photo is of a man who always had a smile on his face, and was someone who always had time for everybody.


Cheers the noo


You are correct Bruce!

From: Alison Whitham, Preston
Sent: June-07-10 21:36
Subject: Mystery Photo Suggestion

Hi Tony,

Thought you may like a picture of Bernard 'Ben' Johnson - Nev's uncle. You could use it as a mystery photo.

He was a Flt Sgt when he left the RAF and then worked for Whitbred brewery. He is now retired and lives in Blackburn Lancs. He is holding a WO cap badge. Someone sent it him because they felt sorry for him, as he never got his Warrant before he left.

Alison Whitham

Thanks Alison!

From: Nev Whitham, Preston
Sent: June-08-10 11:16
Subject: Re: Bernard

Hi Tony,
'Ben' joined up during the National Service era (1955/6) and exited after he had done two years. Civvy Street wasn't that appealing when he went back into the mills in Lancashire, so after approx 6 months, he re-entered the RAF as a full timer.

He served for 22 years collectively (excluding the 6 months), and served in places like Abingdon (UKMAMS), Muharraq, Nairobi, (I seem to recall Bermuda was mentioned but not so sure whether he did a tour or not), Aden was also mentioned, but Gutersloh and Lyneham were his final tours. (Some had it rough, eh?)
He left the RAF from Lyneham in 1978 and got a job as a Rep working for the Matthew Brown's brewery in Blackburn. The unsocial hours got too much for him and he ended up transfering into the brewery stores. The brewery was bought out by Scottish and Newcastle, who in later years transfered the brewing to Nottingham and closed the Blackburn based brewery. At the ripe old age of 56, Bernard decided that with the two pensions he had, he could retire and didm so. I believe he is now 71 (or 72) and living in Blackburn. He originated from Accrington in Lancashire.

Although he and his wife Eileen have a computer, they are not on the internet - hence I am having to give you the information. I will relay any 'slaggings' and 'good wishes' that may ensue, should you decide to publish any of this, (ludite comes to mind!)

The WO's badge he is holding was a gift from his son in law who bought it for a laugh for Bernard, "the Gallopers" having alluded him whilst he was serving up to the rank of FS.

Best wishes,

Nev Whitham

It's good to see that Ben still appears to be in fine fettle!


From: David Salmon, Springfield, OR
Sent: June-25-10 00:30
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #062510


I believe the other person in the picture with Flt Lt Charles Collier and F/Sgt John Boyd was Sgt Mal Warnick; "Penfold" was his nickname.

I was posted to RAF Aldergrove Feb 1984 as a Cpl, took over from Mal at IAF Novara in Nov 1990, Mal went back to RAF Aldergrove as a F/Sgt around 1991-1992, and sadly died of a heart attack whilst on an off-base task.


Dave Salmon

Thanks for clearing that up Dave

A cubic yard of air weighs about 2 pounds at sea level.

Spain and Britain in military row over use of airspace

GIBRALTAR — Spain has refused to allow Royal Air Force jets to use its airspace near Gibraltar for military exercises, a spokesman for British forces in the territory said Wednesday.

The decision comes amid increasing tensions between Spanish and British security forces in the waters off the disputed British possession off the tip of southern Spain. The spokesman said six British Tornado F3 aircraft on Wednesday began a second day of training in Exercise Southern Flame, flying out of Gibraltar.

The southern half of the Alboran training zone in the western Mediterranean is controlled by Morocco and the northern half by Spain. But while Rabat gave permission for the planes to use the Moroccan airspace Spain has denied them access to its sector.

"We originally applied to the Spanish, who control the airspace in the northern half of the Mediterranean training area and, simultaneously, to the Moroccans who control the southern half," the spokesman said. "The Moroccans gave us authority to use the southern half on the dates in question whilst the Spanish refused our request." But he said "the exercise has been very successful" while using only the Moroccan sector.

The six Tornado aircraft are from 111 Squadron based in RAF Leuchars in Scotland. They arrived in Gibraltar on Monday for what was billed as a two-week exercise. Spain's foreign ministry sought to downplay the incident. "It is part of the normal relations that exist between Britain and Spain concerning Gibraltar," a foreign ministry source said. Although restrictions have been eased on civilian air and maritime traffic concerning Gibraltar, "restrictions remain in place in the military sphere," the source said.

But a British military source said this is the first time that Spain has refused a British request to use the zone without giving a reason. "In the past there may have been occasions when access to the area was not possible because other air forces might have been using it," the source said. In recent months British and Spanish naval and police boats have engaged in a series of cat and mouse games in the waters off Gibraltar, which lies at the strategic western entrance to the Mediterranean. In one recent incident, a British Royal Navy patrol boat cautioned a Spanish police boat to leave British territorial waters. It then escorted the Spanish boat out of the waters claimed by Britain.

Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht but has retained first claim on the tiny peninsula should Britain renounce sovereignty.

Gibraltar has long fuelled tensions between Spain and Britain, with Madrid arguing the 6.5-square-kilometre (2.6-square-mile) territory that is home to roughly 30,000 people should be returned to Spanish sovereignty. But its people overwhelmingly rejected an Anglo-Spanish proposal for co-sovereignty in a referendum in 2002.



From: Wayne Flaherty, Winnipeg, MB
Sent: June-25-10 08:58
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo 062510

Hi Tony,

This is Woody and Pic Picard.

Don't know anything else about it but probably a retirement cermony for one of them. I know I was at Pic's in Trenton a couple of years ago but that is all



From: Wade Seymour, Kingston, NS
Sent: June-25-10 13:54
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo 062510

The guy in the blue T-shirt is Woody who was a MWO receiving his retirement certificate from CWO (Pic) Picard who is also retired now.

Wade Seymour

From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: June-28-10 22:26
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo 062510


The fine gentleman on the left is CWO Guy Picard,who was the Squadron CWO of 2 Air Movements Squadron Trenton. The one on the right is MWO Len Wood or Woody, as he was called during his career as a MAMS guy. The event is his retirement party getting his certificate of service.

A liittle story about Woody, here we go... I was posted to CFS Alert, Nunavut in 1985 for a 6 month tour. They have an OP BOXTOP in the summer in which supplies the station with construction material, vehicle parts and other material for the winter/spring months. I went to Thule, Greenland to see the MAMS personnel and how it was going with the chalks. I was introduced to Woody and he was a brand new Master
Corporal. He said, Trapper, how is it going in Alert? I said, I would like to talk to the chief loadplanner. He said, You are talking to the Supreme
Loadplanner, Trapper!! From that day forward Woody to me was always the Supreme Loadplanner for MAMS Operations.

Take care,

Steve Richardson

Many thanks to you all for the solution!

A person swallows approximately 295 times while eating dinner

Lack of Planes Forces RNZAF out of International Exercises

The Royal New Zealand Air Force has had to pull out of two international exercises this year because of a lack of planes [which was] due to delays in upgrading the ageing Orion and Hercules fleets.

Currently, two of the five Hercules aircraft and two of the six Orions are out of action because they need upgrade work which is taking longer than expected.

As a result, the RNZAF cancelled its involvement in international exercises in Canada and the United States at the start of the year.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says the situation is a concern, but operational matters must come first.

He says the Air Force operates small fleets, and in the future only one plane at a time will be taken out of service for upgrade work.

Radio New Zealand


From: Victor Smith, Amberley, Qld.
Sent: June-27-10 21:17
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #062510


Just for info, I have just signed up for a further lot of continuous full time service (CFTS) and will most likely be heading back to warmer, sandier climates on the 3rd August. I just haven't learnt how to quit I guess. Anyway, for my Active Reserve position, I have to maintain full deployability capability so if something is on offer I will take it up. And, yes, my ugly mug features in a couple of areas of that RAAF video, including a shot to the right rear of the C-17 and that segment at the office desk.

Keep up the good work.


P.S. As you would know, we have had our share of ramp ceremonies recently. Not good.

Thanks for the update Vic... keep the back of your front close to the sand! Ramp ceremonies are never good.

More steel in the United States is used to make bottle caps than to manufacture automobile bodies

From: Malcolm Porter, Upton-upon-Severn
Sent: June-29-10 07:05
Subject: Yukon ex RCAF


HC-AZH (cn 13) Ex RCAF, wore serials 16666, 15932,
106932, and CF-JSN after being retired from the military.

Just a line to say that we are in touch with a group in Ecuador (not on the North Circular Road) that is to preserve one of the RCAF 412T Sqdn Yukon's (c/n 13)

I have sent the group details of the final colour scheme of the aircraft and of course, I will let you have any update as I get it. The Yukon flew as 15932 then 106932 - sold to Beaver Enterprises 18 Novemeber 1971.


Derek Smith, crew chief of XM496 Britannia at Kemble, was buried last Friday at Wroughton - he was ex RAF Radio man and lots of his ex Locking guys turned up (25th entry I think).

Cheers Bwana


Thanks Malcolm - sad to learn of Derek's passing.


From: Dave Wilkin, Essex
Sent: June-30-10 10:30
Subject: Boy Entrants.


I see that Keith Parker is planning a reunion for the 45th Entry at Hereford. We, the 39th, have just held our 50th anniversary reunion at Hereford. Can I pass on the name of a very good hotel at Hereford? We stayed at the Three Counties Hotel and we were well looked after by the hotel staff; the food was first rate.

We the 39th have, via the RAF Boy Entrants Association newsletter (next edition), issued the following challenge to all entries/trades: How many from your trade entry can you get to the old base gates for a photo?

OK, we had 12 out of the 25 old boys attending the reunion at the gates for a photo. The rest, well for some the call of the Cider Museum and free samples proved too strong. The remainder claim that their Sat Nav sent them to the Cross Keys Pub.

As for a visit out to the old base, the O S A will not allow me tell you what colour green the grass is on the verges around the base entrance.

Keith, enjoy your reunion.

p.s. As an added challenge, can anyone name the three ex-movers in this picture?

Thanks Dave - good challenges!

Babies' eyes do not produce tears until the baby is approximately six to eight weeks old.

From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: July-01-10 07:50
Subject: Kemble Airshow

On Saturday 19 June, Elaine and I decided to venture to the Cotswold Airport Air Show. Unfortunately, the day was overcast with a quite strong northerly wind. We had come unprepared for this and although we had brought camp chairs we were able to sit down facing the airfield but decided that we needed to wrap up with something.

So Elaine went off and purchased two fleece jackets from a retailer at the Kemble show. Being warmer we saw the show start and carry on but I'm afraid the weather was too much for us to bear.

It's a pity Malcolm was not there to show us around - out of the wind in his Britannia, but he was places elsewhere in the world.



I gather that's not prop-wash blowing Elaine's hair?

Right now in Southern Ontario and Western Quebec, we're experiencing unusually high temperatures...

Actual temperature is 35ºC but with the humidex factored in it feels like 44ºC.


From: Gerry Davis, Bedminster
Sent: July-02-10 14:36
Subject: Memories of El Adem

Seeing the photos of Ian Berry’s nostalgic trip to El Adem has brought back memories of the many visits I made there whilst on NEAF MAMS together with other detachments in Libya from Cyprus and the UK. There are many, although I expect that you all have your own experiences to reflect on.

We, as a team, were regular visitors between 1965-1968. Most times weekly, or used it as a staging post for other Libyan adventures.  Some of the visits were during exercises and others were just the “Fruit and Veg” runs. We got to know the local Movers reasonably well and used to take orders for various goodies that were either unobtainable or in short supply in that desert outpost; these were arranged with one of the DAMO’s, (a W/O) and myself.

In return we asked for the cash and Transit “Twynham” accommodations for me, (a Corporal at that time) and the two Airmen. The team Officer and the SNCO’s were billeted in their respective messes.  Otherwise it was either tents or sharing with drunken Pongos in large billets. It worked quite well until on one occasion we arrived during a big exercise with our goodies nicely cooled in a large packing case. These consisted of frozen joints of meat, fruit, veg., and other pre-ordered items for the Movers.

Well, as it turned out, the W/O blanked us and would not provide us with our usual bonus accommodation because of the exercise requirements and directed myself and the two lads to the football pitch where a tented city had been erected.  We didn’t have much time to find other outlets for the frozen stuff, but eventually found a market for all of the goodies even whilst working on some of the aircraft. That was the end of that arrangement.

This particular shindig lasted for over a week and the weather was on the change. It pelted down with rain and the tent got flooded in about a foot of water. Of course all our kit (that which wasn’t already stolen), was soaked. We tried to sleep from then on in either the Landrover or anywhere that was reasonably dry. The workload was so intense; I don’t know how our health lasted. There was of course no welfare available.

Ahhh… the memories, and we were so young!


Thanks Gerry!

The smallest human penis ever recorded was just 5/8 of an inch long

From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: July-04-10 15:21
Subject: National Service RAF Association Parade

Hi Tony

Today was the annual National Service RAF Association parade at RAF Cosford. We were assembled at 11.00hrs, ex recruits, colour parties, Air Training Corps officers and cadets formed up in flights under the tender care of the Parade Warrant Officer, Neil Trotter and ex 1950s drill instructors. It's the seventh year that we have had the parade and each year the attendance gets larger.

At 11.20 hrs the parade marched off; eight flights with about sixty plus of us old bods in each flight together with a flight of ATC cadets so there was something like 600 of us ready for the review and march past The Chief of Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton, to take the salute.

We marched to the music of the Central Band of The Royal Air Force. Also in attendance were the DCAE Cosford (Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering) Voluntary Band and the ATC (Royton) Champion Marching Band. So all in all it was a splendid day. We also had a short service of remembrance which included the playing of the Last Post and Reveille.

There were at least three hundred spectators there; friends and families who I could tell were thoroughly enjoying our smart outturn and precision marching!

We were supposed to have the Battle of Britain Flight flypast and display but Conningsby decided that the winds were far too strong to take part so that was a disappointment but at least it didn't rain.

It was great meeting up again with lads I was at school with and some ex inmates of No 7 RAF Training Base Bridgenorth but unfortunately no ex RAF Mauripur bods.



Very smart John!


From: Chris Clarke, Burlington
Sent: July-07-10 10:17
Subject: RAAF fallen buried in Canada

Hiya Tony!

I have a request that I think the global UKMAMS OBA crew can help out on, especially in Canada.

A guy I know from a political forum has an Aussie mate who is looking to collate a  memorial in photographic form for RAAF members killed during WW2 overseas. Apparently there are RAAF graves at the following locales;

Victoria (Royal Oak) Burial Park

Calgary (Burnsland) Cemetery
Edmonton (Beechmount) Cemetery
Red Deer Cemetery

Mossbank Cemetery
North Battleford Cemetery
Saskatoon (Woodlawn) Cemetery
Yorkton Cemetery
Humboldt (Municipal) Cemetery

Brandon Cemetery, Manitoba
Dauphin (Riverside) Cemetery
Portage-La-Prairie (Hillside) Cemetery
Winnipeg (Brookside) Cemetery
Winnipeg (Elmwood) Cemetery
Winnipeg Assumption Gardens

Aylmer Cemetery Ontario
Jarvis (Knox Presbyterian Church) Cemetery Ontario
Trenton (St. George's) Cemetery Ontario

Metis Beach (United Church) Cemetery
Montreal (Mount Royal) Cemetery
Montreal (Notre Dame Des Neiges)
St. Jean-Sur-Richelieu (St. James) Cemetery

New Brunswick - 4 burials in 2 cemeteries (no details available).

Halifax (Fort Massey) Cemetery

Summerside People's Cemetery PEI

Gander War Cemetery
Goose Bay Joint Services Cemetery, Labrador

I’m sure our members could help out with this? The Aussies are just looking for a picture of each grave with the headstone details. It doesn’t have to be a photographic masterpiece.

Let me know!



The word is on the street Chris

A kangaroo cannot jump if its tail is off the ground

RCAF Payscale 1956

From: Malcolm Porter, Upton-upon-Severn
Sent: June-30-10 07:05
Subject: A Gathering of Authors


I'm not sure if you already have this. Taken recently in the RAF Club in London and shows the authors of the new book to be entitled CARGO TRAMPS.

Left to right : Michael Zoeller, Graphic artist, Margy Bloom co-author (USA) myself (the old one). Scotland Yard DO have this already

Am in California as of next Tuesday - the trip in the B 17 is on for that week!



That's a fine looking group of suspects Malcolm, enjoy your ride!

An olive tree can live up to 1,500 years

From Lancaster to York is a Short Hop

Manufactured by Avro and incorporating the wings, tail, undercarriage and engines of the Lancaster bomber, the York was to prove a useful military and civilian transport aircraft in war and peace.

In 1941, Avro designer Roy Chadwick began to sketch out a long range transport aircraft based on the Lancaster. The result became the Avro Type 685 York, and the prototype flew on 5 July 1942.

Production began in 1943 and 258 aircraft were manufactured before construction ceased in November 1946. Yorks were used by the RAF and by a number of British and Commonwealth airlines and charter companies during the 1940s and 1950s. During the Berlin Airlift, Yorks flew 58124 of the 131800 sorties conducted by the RAF.

British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) Avro York aircraft took over the Shorts Empire Class flying boat routes from Cairo to Durban in late 1946. British South American Airways (BSAA) were also operators of Avro York aircraft on their routes to South America.

Power plant Four Rolls-Royce Merlin 24 engines
Thrust 4x 1,280 HP 4x 955 kW
Speed 290 mph 467 km/h
Ceiling 21,325 ft 6,500 m
Range 3,100 mi 4,990 km
Load 50 - 56 seats
Crew Five
First flight Prototype 1942
Date deployed 1944
Number built 257




45.2% of people pee in the shower.


Coca-Cola's 'Super Pure' Dasani bottled water is just filtered tap water

That's it for this issue

Have a great weekend!