25 July 2003


A new member joining us this week is Peter Cosgrove from Swindon, UK 

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Murdo Macleod, Newport-on-Tay, UK
Date: 18 Jul 2003 03:52
Subject: Re: OBB 071803

With regards to Dave Barton's recollections about life in Salalah, were there really only four guys to a hut? What luxury! At Muharraq we had to endure a minimum of eight and we were in very cramped quarters. Some billets had more than eight but looking back we had us a pretty good time considering where we were in the first place.

On the subject of being asked to give blood, I well remember an incident that took place at Khormaksar. Some Arab threw a grenade into either the NAAFI or one of the other clubs and a soldier threw himself on top of it so that the grenade went off in his chest, but he did save everybody else from injury so the story goes. However, he didn't die and they got him to hospital and started pumping blood into him to keep alive, they couldn't do a lot for him so a special Casevac was organized to get him back to the UK.

In addition to all the people at Khormaksar being asked to give blood the same message was relayed up the Gulf and beyond, all the way to the UK. This was the story we were given by our bosses in Bahrain.

This soldier and several other medivac cases were put in a Britannia outfitted for casevac and started out on it's long haul back to the UK. It didn't land everywhere in the Gulf to pick up fresh blood supplies but it did, I think, go to Masirah and possibly Sharjah and I do recall that it got to Muharraq at about 10pm or thereabouts.

We had been briefed on what to expect when we would go on board the Britannia to assist in a quick clean up, but I can still quite vividly remember the sight that greeted me when I went on board that night, the inside of the plane was awash with blood and I'll never forget the smell, I almost threw up but managed not to.

The soldier was wrapped in a body plaster that was oozing so much blood I couldn't figure out what was keeping him alive, but they got him back to the UK and into one of the major hospitals and we were told later that he had survived.

Blood must have been donated by just about everyone in the Gulf and the Mediterranean. It was my only experience (thankfully) of a serious casevac; the whole thing made the inside of a slaughter house look mild by comparison. Such was life in the Gulf, we never knew what was coming next

Looking some more at Dave Barton's item on Salalah - they even had proper seats in the cinema, lucky bustards! We had to sit on concrete tiers, tuff shyte if you didn't have a cushion!

I also remember my arrival in Bahrain in early January 1967. We flew out in a World Air Britannia, landed at the civil airport and the transportation across to RAF Muharraq was by Bedford RL, what unassailable luxury!

Five star treatment all the way and it was very hot and sticky, but at night bloody hell it was colder than the Falklands in winter, no wonder we had to take our greatcoats. This was supposed to be the Middle East, and the best of all the billets were air conditioned so that at night you just about froze. I kept thinking that it couldn't get any worse and thank goodness it didn't.

All-in-all I had a good time there, and I defy anyone who was there to say different. Ok, it was no resort, but hey, we got on with it and made the most of it. It wasn't all doom and gloom, there were more than a few quite hilarious moments to brighten our lives, and quite a few characters amongst us as well: Geoff Portlock, Bruce Gill, Phil Ward, Chris Carter, Tim Newstead, Gordon Hepworth, Paddy Geoghan, Taff Ashdown. There were many more whom I can still picture in my mind but just can't put a name to. I'll have to sit down one night and dig out all my photo's and post them to the Rogue's Gallery.

Keep the faith and have a great week guys.




From: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 19 July 2002 02:43
Subject: Diplomatic Incident - Aden, 1967

Hello Tony, 

As I said in the last OBA Briefs, I'll continue the story of my delivery of a parcel to Khormaksar where I met the SAS.

Well, the parcel was heavy, so I assumed it was some trophy or other that was going to the French to put with the others that they had on display in their messes in Djibouti. I made contact with the French pilot of the Sky Raider aircraft, he knew Capt Orio whom the parcel was addressed to, so he agreed to take it.

My task over I returned to RAF Steamer Point to gather my things together for I was departing as escort to a Sqn Ldr Alan D'Arcy who was going to stay with an Arab tribe - the Upper Aulaqi's - to explain to them what the British Governments intentions were with regards to the 6 Day War between Egypt and Israel that was underway at that moment in time and, of course, our (the British) departure from the Aden theatre of operations.

So, we flew out of RAF Khormaksar that night in a Beverley to the northern base of Ataq (that's next weeks story!).

Going back to our French pilots delivery of our package to Djibouti, it was a disaster! The pilot was walking to his aircraft across the Khormaksar pans when he was stopped by an RAF police corporal and asked what he was carrying in the parcel. He admitted that he didn't know! He was then taken into some form of detention until the package was examined. This was done and out came a World War II Smith & Wesson pistol in burnished condition. The officer was placed under close arrest for trying to export British military weapons! The French Military in Djibouti were informed and of course were most indignant that one of their operational pilots and his aircraft were unaccountably detained.

I knew nothing of this as I was on my way to Nisab in the Upper Aulaqi State and out of contact for 10 days or so.

Upon return I reported back to No 114 MU and was immediately summoned to my wing commander's office. The CO told me that I had at once to report to an army police major at the Barrack Hill HQ. 

I got there, knocked on the door and went in. I was asked to sit down and offered a cigarette. Never having smoked I declined. He then opened the bottom draw of his desk and pulled out some brown paper packaging "Do you recognise this packaging?" 

I said, "Yes, I do." So I told him my story as far as I knew it. He then pulled out the pistol that had been the subject of the incident - which, up to this point, I was completely unaware of. Yes, the pistol had belonged to Col Drake-Wilkes president of the Aden Forces Pistol Club. It transpired that he had donated it to the club to be tarted up as a presentation trophy.

The major then explained that a minor diplomatic incident had taken place with the French pilot being detained overnight until the matter was resolved. What had caused the most trouble was that I was out of contact for some 10 days or more! And I was the person who delivered the parcel in question! It therefore took a long time to put the story together with other witnesses.

So, there must be a moral lesson in this story - I'll leave you all to decide

Many regards 



Missing photographs from Dave Cromb's message - have requested replacements 031108


While walking down the street one day a senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance. "Welcome to Heaven," says St. Peter. "Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you." "No problem, just let me in," says the now former senator.

"Well, I'd like to but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in Hell and one in Heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity." 

"Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in Heaven," says the senator. 

"I'm sorry but we have our rules.." And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to Hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is the club and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him, everyone is very happy and in evening dress. 

They run to greet him, hug him, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people. They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster and caviar. Also present is the Devil, who really is a very friendly girl who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. 

They are having such a good time that, before he realizes it, it is time to go. Everyone gives him a big hug and waves while the elevator rises. The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on Heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him. 

"Now it's time to visit Heaven." So 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns. "Well then, you've spent a day in Hell and another in Heaven. Now choose your eternity." 

He reflects for a minute, then the senator answers: "Well, I thought I would never have said it, I mean Heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in Hell." 

So Saint Peter escorts him, to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to Hell. 

Now the doors of the elevator open and he is in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags. The Devil comes over to him and lays her arm on his neck. 

"I don't understand," stammers the senator. "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and club and we ate lobster and caviar and danced and had a great time. Now all there is a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. 

The Devil looks at him, smiles and says, "Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted for us!" 


From: Peter Brown, Perth WA, Australia
Date: 20 Jul 2003 03:15

Hi Tony,

Many thanks for the OBBs. They are becoming quite a Friday highlight. 

I was very interested in Jim Aitken's suggestion about writing concerning the Lyneham closure. Whilst I realise that the 1950s are practically the "Dark Ages" when one speaks about aviation, there was many a time back then, when Lyneham, because of its location, would be open when other airports in southern England were closed because of fog etc. This would lead to many amusing incidents. 

I remember one occasion when a South African passenger plane was diverted on a Saturday afternoon. Whilst the passengers were going through customs we were instructed to clean up the aircraft. I recall collecting some reasonable cans of beer and a bottle or two of wine and some revolting South African cigarettes. 

On another occasion a USAF plane was diverted. I went out to meet it and was highly amused as the aircrew sauntered across the "peri strip" in their leather flying jackets which were mostly decorated with all sorts of insignia including pin ups. Saluting the officers was acknowledged with a wave and a "howdy". There was a high ranking officer on this particular plane who was supposed to be met by a staff car at the airport. Being diverted into Lyneham, he had to ring and ask for the car to come and pick him up. On being told that this might take an hour or two, his response was, "What am I supposed to do while I wait, stick my thumb up my bum and put my brain into neutral"?

As any other "Movers" who were involved with the passenger side will know, there were many reasons for passengers being re-patriated. Most time-served people would arrive with a form detailing how much leave they were entitled to and we would send them off giving them railway warrants to their home town plus ration cards to cover the period of their leave (this was early 1950s and food was still rationed). Others would come and say, "I have a letter for the M.O." This, we realised, was because the reason for repatriation was what is now known as a sexually transmitted disease. In my time it was better known as a "dose".

I got into big trouble on one occasion. If members of the WRAF managed to get in the "family way" they were always repatriated with another WRAF as escort. They were supposed to be sent in the first place to RAF Wroughton. I had two WRAFs arrive on my shift and they presented papers which showed they had a leave entitlement, so I sent them on leave. Some weeks later I was called into the Movement C.O.s office. There, seated with him at his desk, was a senior WRAF officer who demanded to know why I had sent these two ladies home on leave. On the papers showing the reason for repatriation was AMO25/26 (I am going from memory, so could be wrong). These AMOs referred to getting pregnant and I was supposed to know!!!! The fact that the the two of them had fooled me was no excuse. I got away with a caution.

Talk about the perils of being a "Mover"!

That's enough nostalgia for one session.




From: Rupert Snell, Lincoln, UK
Date: 21 Jul 2003 11:21
Subject: Maasai MAMS!

Hello there,

I have been reading some of the reports from today's MAMS bodies and thought you might like some stories from the 60s.

I was stationed on Air Movements at Khormaksar and pretty well bored stiff as I was in charge of the Hangar where incoming and outgoing freight was stored. The SAMO at the time was Squadron Leader (later Wing Commander) Bill Cuthill. He offered me the chance to go on a Beverly flight (84 Squadron) to Kenya to retrieve a downed Auster aircraft of the Locust Control Unit. I accepted the opportunity gladly and in the dawn's early light we set off.

Some hours later the Auster was located and the Beverly performed a perfect landing on the rough strip. We opened the doors and started to load the bits and pieces; wings and suchlike, without too much trouble. When it came to the fuselage, complete with power unit, we were a bit up the creek as there were no loading ramps. The Locust Control bod, without further ado, drove off and returned shortly thereafter followed by a horde of Maasai tribesmen who picked the whole aircraft up and pushed it into the Beverly. A quick tie-down and we were on our way to Eastleigh.

When we landed the Air Quartermaster collapsed as he was opening the clamshell doors having suffered an epileptic fit, so for the return leg I was appointed as the AQM! It was at this point for the first time that I doubted the ability of RAF navigators. When I climbed up to the crew comparment with the coffees etc., I saw the whole crew with maps in hand trying to find out where we were. They had missed the road in a dust storm and were flying in circles trying to find it. Sad to say they did find it and we proceeded to our landing at Khormaksar, two panics but a nice day out nevertheless.


Rup Snell


From: Martin Liggett, Swindon, UK
Date: 22 July 2003 04:44
Subject: Jobs...

Hi Tony,

Anybody job hunting may be interested in the thread on  (Freight Dog's Forum) "Loadmasters Wanted."

They are trawling for wide body loadmasters preferably on the B747F, although experience is not essential. I'm not sure who this is with but as it's UK based it could be either GSS (Atlas UK) or maybe European Aviation.

All the best


[Ed: Martin sent a correction: "Re my earlier e-mail subject loadmaster jobs advertised the pprune forum, unfortunately the forum moderator (himself being a loadie for Cargolux!!) has removed the thread as they have a rule about advertising for jobs on the forum. However, the e-mail address for cv applications is  if anybody is interested. Cheers."]


Q: Daddy, why did we have to attack Iraq? 
A: Because they had weapons of mass destruction honey. 

Q: But the inspectors didn't find any weapons of mass destruction. 
A: That's because the Iraqis were hiding them. 

Q: And that's why we invaded Iraq? 
A: Yep. Invasions always work better than inspections. 

Q: But after we invaded them, we STILL didn't find any weapons of mass destruction, did we? 

A: That's because the weapons are so well hidden. Don't worry, we'll find something, probably right before the 2004 election.

Q: Why did Iraq want all those weapons of mass destruction? 
A: To use them in a war, silly. 

Q: I'm confused. If they had all those weapons that they planned to use in a war, then why didn't they use any of those weapons when we went to war with them? 
A: Well, obviously they didn't want anyone to know they had those weapons, so they chose to die by the thousands rather than defend themselves. 

Q: That doesn't make sense Daddy. Why would they choose to die if they had all those big weapons to fight us back with? 
A: It's a different culture. It's not supposed to make sense. 

Q: I don't know about you, but I don't think they had any of those weapons our government said they did. 
A: Well, you know, it doesn't matter whether or not they had those weapons. We had another good reason to invade them anyway. 

Q: And what was that? 
A: Even if Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein was a cruel dictator, which is another good reason to invade another country. 

Q: Why? What does a cruel dictator do that makes it OK to invade his country? 
A: Well, for one thing, he tortured his own people. 

Q: Kind of like what they do in China? 
A: Don't go comparing China to Iraq. China is a good economic competitor, where millions of people work for slave wages in sweatshops to make U.S. corporations richer. 

Q: So if a country lets its people be exploited for American corporate gain, it's a good country, even if that country tortures people? 
A: Right. 

Q: Why were people in Iraq being tortured? 
A: For political crimes, mostly, like criticizing the government. People who criticized the government in Iraq were sent to prison and tortured. 

Q: Isn't that exactly what happens in China? 
A: I told you, China is different. 

Q: What's the difference between China and Iraq? 
A: Well, for one thing, Iraq was ruled by the Ba'ath party, while China is Communist. 

Q: Didn't you once tell me Communists were bad? 
A: No, just Cuban Communists are bad. 

Q: How are the Cuban Communists bad? 
A: Well, for one thing, people who criticize the government in Cuba are sent to prison and tortured. 

Q: Like in Iraq? 
A: Exactly. 

Q: And like in China, too? 
A: I told you, China's a good economic competitor. Cuba, on the other hand, is not. 

Q: How come Cuba isn't a good economic competitor? 
A: Well, you see, back in the early 1960s, our government passed some laws that made it illegal for Americans to trade or do any business with Cuba until they stopped being Communists and started being capitalists like us. 

Q: But if we got rid of those laws, opened up trade with Cuba, and started doing business with them, wouldn't that help the Cubans become capitalists? 
A: Don't be a smart-ass. 

Q: I didn't think I was being one. 
A: Well, anyway, they also don't have freedom of religion in Cuba. 

Q: Kind of like China and the Falun Gong movement? 
A: I told you, stop saying bad things about China. Anyway, Saddam Hussein came to power through a military coup, so he's not really a legitimate leader anyway. 

Q: What's a military coup? 
A: That's when a military general takes over the government of a country by force, instead of holding free elections like we do in the United States. 

Q: Didn't the ruler of Pakistan come to power by a military coup? 
A: You mean General Pervez Musharraf? Uh, yeah, he did, but Pakistan is our friend. 

Q: Why is Pakistan our friend if their leader is illegitimate? 
A: I never said Pervez Musharraf was illegitimate. 

Q: Didn't you just say a military general who comes to power by forcibly overthrowing the legitimate government of a nation is an illegitimate leader? 
A: Only Saddam Hussein. Pervez Musharraf is our friend, because he helped us invade Afghanistan. 

Q: Why did we invade Afghanistan? 
A: Because of what they did to us on September 11th. 

Q: What did Afghanistan do to us on September 11th?
A: Well, on September 11th, nineteen men -- fifteen of them Saudi Arabians hijacked four airplanes and flew three of them into buildings, killing over 3,000 Americans. 

Q: So how did Afghanistan figure into all that? 
A: Afghanistan was where those bad men trained, under the oppressive rule of the Taliban. 

Q: Aren't the Taliban those bad radical Islamics who chopped off people's heads and hands? 
A: Yes, that's exactly who they were. Not only did they chop off people's heads and hands, but they oppressed women, too. 

Q: Didn't the Bush administration give the Taliban 43 million dollars back in May of 2001? 
A: Yes, but that money was a reward because they did such a good job fighting drugs. 

Q: Fighting drugs? 
A: Yes, the Taliban were very helpful in stopping people from growing opium poppies. 

Q: How did they do such a good job? 
A: Simple. If people were caught growing opium poppies, the Taliban would have their hands and heads cut off. 

Q: So, when the Taliban cut off people's heads and hands for growing flowers, that was OK, but not if they cut people's heads and hands off for other reasons? 
A: Yes. It's OK with us if radical Islamic fundamentalists cut off people's hands for growing flowers, but it's cruel if they cut off people's hands for stealing bread. 

Q: Don't they also cut off people's hands and heads in Saudi Arabia? 
A: That's different. Afghanistan was ruled by a tyrannical patriarchy that oppressed women and forced them to wear burqas whenever they were in public, with death by stoning as the penalty for women who did not comply. 

Q: Don't Saudi women have to wear burqas in public, too? 
A: No, Saudi women merely wear a traditional Islamic body covering. 

Q: What's the difference? 
A: The traditional Islamic covering worn by Saudi women is a modest yet fashionable garment that covers all of a woman's body except for her eyes and fingers. The burqa, on the other hand, is an evil tool of patriarchal oppression that covers all of a woman's body except for her eyes and fingers. 

Q: It sounds like the same thing with a different name. 
A: Now, don't go comparing Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are our friends. 

Q: But I thought you said 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11th were from Saudi Arabia. 
A: Yes, but they trained in Afghanistan. 

Q: Who trained them? 
A: A very bad man named Osama bin Laden. 

Q: Was he from Afghanistan? 
A: Uh, no, he was from Saudi Arabia too. But he was a bad man, a very bad man. 

Q: I seem to recall he was our friend once. 
A: Only when we helped him and the Mujahadeen repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan back in the 1980s. 

Q: Who are the Soviets? Was that the Evil Communist Empire Ronald Reagan talked about? 

A: There are no more Soviets. The Soviet Union broke up in 1990 or thereabouts, and now they have elections and capitalism like us. We call them Russians now. 

Q: So the Soviets ? I mean, the Russians ? are now our friends? 
A: Well, not really. You see, they were our friends for many years after they stopped being Soviets, but then they decided not to support our invasion of Iraq, so we're mad at them now. We're also mad at the French and the Germans because they didn't help us invade Iraq either. 

Q: So the French and Germans are evil, too? 
A: Not exactly evil, but just bad enough that we had to rename French fries and French toast to Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast. 

Q: Do we always rename foods whenever another country doesn't do what we want them to do? 
A: No, we just do that to our friends. Our enemies, we invade. 

Q: But wasn't Iraq one of our friends back in the 1980s? 
A: Well, yeah. For a while. 

Q: Was Saddam Hussein ruler of Iraq back then? 
A: Yes, but at the time he was fighting against Iran, which made him our friend, temporarily. 

Q: Why did that make him our friend? 
A: Because at that time, Iran was our enemy. 

Q: Isn't that when he gassed the Kurds? 
A: Yeah, but since he was fighting against Iran at the time, we looked the other way, to show him we were his friend. 

Q: So anyone who fights against one of our enemies automatically becomes our friend? 
A: Most of the time, yes. 

Q: And anyone who fights against one of our friends is automatically an enemy? 
A: Sometimes that's true, too. However, if American corporations can profit by selling weapons to both sides at the same time, all the better. 

Q: Why? 
A: Because war is good for the economy, which means war is good for America. Also, since God is on America's side, anyone who opposes war is godless. Do you understand now why we attacked Iraq? 

Q: I think so. We attacked them because God wanted us to, right? 
A: Yes. 

Q: But how did we know God wanted us to attack Iraq? 
A: Well, you see, God personally speaks to George W. Bush and tells him what to do. 

Q: So basically, what you're saying is that we attacked Iraq because George W. Bush hears voices in his head? 
A. Yes! You finally understand how the world works. Now close your eyes, make yourself comfortable, and go to sleep. Good night. 

Good night, Daddy. 


From: David Barton, Kings Lynn, UK
Date: 22 Jul 2003 11:21
Subject: Rubber Dick

Hi Tony,

As a follow up from my last note on 'leg-pulls', I refer to an occasion when doing a nine month stint at Masirah in 1975.

One of the lads on Air Movements had an idea to pull a 'big one' on the passengers of a VC10 'sweeper' from Hong Kong. The 'sweeper' was picking up all the slip crews from HKG, Changi and Gan just prior to Christmas - the last aircraft before the holiday. He had obtained customs/immigration cards from some source, probably from Seeb, which required passengers arriving in Oman to complete upon arrival. A bundle of these documents had been previously despatched to a member of Movements at Gan with a request that they be handed out to all the passengers to be completed prior to arrival at Masirah. No doubt there were some raised eyebrows when that was done.

Anyway, upon arrival at Masirah for the refuelling stop (about one hour), one of our Corporals had managed to get hold of white shorts, socks and shirt and some very convincing epaulets. When all the 'passengers' had settled in the lounge he announced that they were required to present these completed documents at the 'customs' desk. There was much muttering as could be expected such as 'never had to do this before'.

There was a steady flow of passengers to the desk with others still filling in the forms. With time running out, it was announced that this was a 'rubber dick' in aid of (I think), wireless for the blind and they were requested to donate all their loose change for the charity. Some took it well but there were a few who thought it was not in good taste.

The lads collected a few pounds for the good cause and we all had a good laugh having put one over the VC10 crews.

I can't for the life of me remember who the lads were who were invloved but am sure there will be someone out there who can put a few names to the incident.


Dave Barton.


From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury, UK
To: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 22 Jul 2003 14:44
Subject: Meeting Mike

Hi there,

I still marvel at what the Internet can do for you. The Daily mail on a Saturday has a corner of a page dedicated to searching for lost relatives and old friends. In the mid 60’s I worked for a couple of years in Sydney so I thought it would be great if I could locate a couple of my Aussie mates that I worked with. I knew that the same newspapers were in Sydney so around the middle of 2001 I e-mailed them asking if they could locate Mike Tindale and Pete Riley. 

I didn’t think much would come of it, however, within a fortnight I had an e-mail from Mike who was now living in Sydney. It was a couple of months later that I recieved an e-mail from Pete who was now living 1,000 k from Sydney way up in Queensland. I’ve kept in regular contact with them ever since.

The great thing of all this is this past Monday Mike and I met in Weatherspoons in Aberystwyth for a few beers and a meal. The last time we wined and dined was in November 1966 when we had a joint party in the RSL club in Granville NSW to celebrate his forthcoming marriage and me leaving the firm for the marvellous voyage back to UK via the Pacific and on through the Panama Canal. Our boss, who was with us at the time, said he didn’t know who was the daftest of us two; Mike getting married or me returning to the Old Dark.

Mike is on a six weeks organised tour of the UK and Aberystwyth was the nearest point for our meeting, but we hope to meet up again when he leaves the group and goes his own way.

If the Internet had not existed there would have been no way that we could have met up like this; it really is a marvelous tool that we have at our disposal.




[Ed:  I seem to recall having heard two epic poems many years ago.  One was about a one-eyed monster north of Kathmandu, and the other was, I think, about an Egyptian queen, where one line read something like, "Sh*t!" said the queen, and a thousand bums strained against the desert sands...   if anyone can come up with the full versions I'm sure we all would be greatly entertained!] 


From: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
To: John Holloway, Shrewsbury, UK
Date: 22 Jul 2003 20:47
Subject: Re: Meeting Mike

G'day John,

I agree with you wholeheartedly on the 'efficacy' of the internet. Through the site in the UK I was able to link up with class mates from my old school after a gap of 50 years!! We have formed a group of about 10, both male and female, and are in almost daily contact. The ones living in the UK get together from time to time or visit each other when they are in the neighbourhood. 

Eric, who lives in the US and worked forLockheed on the Hercules until retirement, is at the moment visiting the UK and during his month there will be meeting up with many of the group. Charlie, who has retired to Florida is also a frequent visitor and tries to catch up also. As for myself, having no interest in 're-visiting' the old country anymore, I have extended an invitation to all to visit downunder. We exchange life stories as well a current activities and photos are constantly coming down the ether.

My website, basic as it is, is also a great source of contact from the past. Through the "guestbook" section I have made contact with a whole range of people ... all on the great 'nostalgia trail'. I am currently in touch with a fellow who originated from Wootton Bassett. He wasn't even born when I was at Clyffe Pypard. He has recently spent some time at the old camp which has been returned to agricultural land. He has an online site where he is displaying photos he took of the still standing buildings. None of them trigger any recall for me but it is still good to see the old place again. If anyone is interested the photos can be viewed at... 

So yes mate, although we hear some dark tales about the internet, I would not be having so much fun without it. Just to think, when my company wanted to introduce me to 'computers', I fought them off kicking and screaming!!

Happy surfing.........

Jim Aitken


From: Jeremy Fisher, UK
To: Jack Riley, Urangan Qld., Australia
Date: 22 Jul 2003 11:01
Subject: Hello

Hi Jack (Sir),

I never made an Air Movements course, but trained at a Supplier at Hereford as a member of B Flt. 3 Sqn., 305th Entry, Jan 5th to Dec 16th 1966. Served at Stalagluft 16,(16MU Stafford) HMS Jufair, Bahrain and back to16MU.

Most of my entry were movers, and I visited them on the pan at Muharraq lots of times in 69/70. I was one of the first members of 3TSW at 16MU, in 1971. Now working on the railway as guard for last 23 years.

Enclosed is a copy of my passing out photo from December 1966. I am 7th from the left, second row, behind my Sqn Ldr. 

See how many of your boys you know.

It's always good to talk.

Jeremy Fisher,
RAF retd.

[Ed:  The photograph is far too big to show here.  If anyone wants a copy just let me know and I will forward it to you.]



Jack Riley, Urangan Qld., Australia
To: Jeremy Fisher, UK
Date: 22 Jul 2003 18:45
Subject: Re: Hello

Hi Jeremy,

Great to hear from you.You probably don't know that I landed the Chairman's job possibly because I am the oldest 'old mover' still batting along.

If I tell you that I had completed 21 years of service, including 16 overseas, and including the end of the war in Burma at the tender age of 17+, before you went to Hereford you will begin to understand!

One of the many plusses of the job involves interesting letters, such as yours, which arrive from all over the world and keep me up with the play.

Your efforts are by no means wasted. I have forwarded the photo to our webmaster in Canada and I have no doubt that he will publish it in our weekly Briefs. I am sure that some of our members are going to recognise themselves and their friends.

Many thanks for writing. My best wishes for the future.




From Scott Innes, Worcester, UK
Date: 23 Jul 2003 04:25
Subject: For Sale

Hi Tony,

Don't know if you want to trade in your new motor for something with a bit of Ooooomph?!!

Found this on Ebay:  
Nice shiny green CONDEC only $9950. Direct from our local Air Force Base. Very clean and in A+ condition. Originally built by Consolidated Diesel Electrical Company in 1967, and totally remanufactured in 1984 by Emerson Electric Company- unit has 146 hours since it has been remanufatured. Type A/S 32H-5A, serial# 2205-9R84. Load capacity is 25,000 lbs.; platform lowered is 37.5" and the platform raised is 156". Unit only weighs 22,000 lbs as most of it is alum.Use this for original purpose or use for other application or for your specialized job requirement- would make excellent work platform for specialized job applications.


 Powered by a V-8 diesel and auto. trans., max. speed is 25 mph. Direct questions to Greg at 406.727.7700. Buyer pays shipping, we can help with a shipping rate and help arrange shipping to your job site. 

Just off to put my bid in!



[Ed: Perhaps all the chaps in Thumrait are looking for a new runabout!]


A 216 Sqn Flt Lt parked his brand new Porsche in front of the squadron to show it off to his aircrew mates. 

As he's getting out of the car, a Mover on his big forks came trundling past too close to the kerb and takes off the door of the Porsche before rattling off into the distance. 

More than a little distraught, the Flt Lt grabs his mobile and calls the RAF police. 

After their tea break, one of the RAF police's finest arrives. Before the policeman has a chance to ask any questions, the Flt Lt starts screaming hysterically: "My Porsche, my beautiful black Porsche is ruined. It doesn't matter how long I leave it at the body shop it'll simply never be the same again!" 

After the Flt Lt finally finishes his rant, the RAF policeman shakes his head in disgust and says "Let me guess - your aircrew aren't you?" 

"Correct" says the Flt Lt "but what's that got to do with it? What about my beautiful Porsche?" 

"I can't believe how materialistic you bloody aircrew are." says the copper. "You lot are so focused on your possessions that you don't notice anything else in your life." 

"How can you say such a thing at a time like this?" snaps the Flt Lt "Don't you know who I am?" 

The RAF policeman replies, "Haven't you realised that your right arm was torn off when the Movers fork lift hit you." 

The Flt Lt looks down in absolute horror "F***ING HELL!" He screams........ "Where's my Rolex????"


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards