Gatineau/Ottawa
01 August 2002

 

New members joining us this week are:

Lofty Page from Troone, UK

Alan Liptrot from Wigan, UK

Welcome to the OBA!

 

From:     Dave Webb, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates af11mu@emirates.net.ae
Date:      26 July 2002 05:23
Subject:  The Queen’s Jubilee Medal

Good Afternoon,
 
With reference to the correspondence regarding the Jubilee Medal, there is much discussion throughout the medal appreciation and collecting world that the issue of an official Jubilee medal has been mismanaged, not of course by Her Majesty (God Bless Her), but by the present British Government.  Politics.....how many British veterans of the Suez campaign still await their well earned GSMs?
 
I must point out that I am a member of OMRS [Ed: The Orders and Medals Research Society http://www.omrs.org.uk/ ] but that my personal views do not generally reflect their policy towards the award of medals.
 
Enough of all that....if you want a Jubilee Medal you can have it, and it is a beautiful medal, and if you have served on even one day during Her Majesty's reign you are entitled to have and to wear it (not attached to your Government Issue medals, but underneath on it's own).  The problem is that you have to pay for it!!!
 
It has been produced by the Bigbury Mint on behalf of SSAFA, and if even a small percentage of the price goes to SSAFA, then that is money well spent.
 
My Golden Jubilee Medal cost me £55 and included the miniature and the engraving of the main medal with my details of when I left the RAF.
 
It is a beautiful medal and way beyond anything that the present British Government could ever excel to.
 
Details are:  jubilee@bigburymint.com ...or... http://www.bigburymint.com.
 
Yours Sincerely,
 
Dave Webb

[Ed:  Thanks Dave - in typical MAMS fashion - where there's a will there's a way!]

 

[Guestbook entry]

Friday 07/26/2002 3:37:08pm 
Name: MIKE ROBERTS
E-Mail: gobby56uk@yahoo.com
Referred By: Web Ring
City/Country: FORMBY, LANCASHIRE

Comments: Had a couple of queries from MAMS bods about RAF Gan "not having" ties. These are now available and ordering details available on RAF Gan Home page http://www.rafgan.net and go to guestbook entry 16 Jul for all the gen.

Would appreciate widest publicity possible.

Best wishes, even though I froze to death in your bloody Belfasts (Belslows) Hercs, Bevs etc. etc.

Mike Roberts
Gan 67/68

[Ed:  Thanks Mike - I didn't visit the site myself - but I'll lay odds there are a lot of the OBA membership that will...]

 

[Guestbook entry]

Saturday 07/27/2002 11:40:27am 
Name: Ben Hardy
E-Mail: Cptdlttl@aol.com
Referred By: Friend
City/Country: Santee, California

Comments: I served as a photo interpreter with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. While stationed at Kimpo Air Base (K-14) we had several RAF photo interpreters assigned to the 67th Reconnaissance Technical Squadron. Trying to see if I can locate any of them, particularly Fl. Lt.'s Johnny Davis, John Low or Reginald Roberts. Would be great to hear from them or any of the others that served with us.

 

From:     Ben Hardy, Santee CA, USA Cptdlttl@aol.com
Date       27 July 2002 14:47
Subject:  Re:  Your Search

Howdy Tony,

Thanks for the quick response. It would be great to hear from any of the RAF chaps that served with us.

The staff sergeant that worked with me in Korea is now working with me trying to compile a book on Aerial Reconnaissance and Photo Interpretation during the Korean War. Both of us were photo interpreters and had the good fortune to be stationed in Japan when the war started and then later transferred to Korea. We both brought back a great collection of aerial reconnaissance photos that we had written intelligence reports from.

Incidentally I found your site from Reg's.

Regards,

Ben Hardy

[Ed:  You're more than welcome Ben - who is Reg?]

 

[Guestbook entry]

Name: George Kennedy
E-Mail: gkennedysen@hotmail.com
Referred By: A Little Bird
City/Country: Earlston, Scottish Borders.

Comments: Great site I'd like to hear from any Movers from El-Adem 63-'65 Lyneham '65-'70 Brize Norton '70-'72 Keep up the good work.

 

[The following was received from an anonymous source - they may only be rumours .....  in which case you didn't hear it from me....]

Only half of the British Army's main battle tanks were left operational during a major exercise in the Gulf last year when their engines became clogged with dust after a few hours in the desert. Other equipment, from guns to boots, also failed to withstand the rigours of Operation Swift Sword - raising major questions over the Army's capacity to participate in a land assault against Iraq.

An investigation by the National Audit Office published today found that helicopters, self-propelled guns and heavy lifting vehicles all struggled in the heat and dust, while boots fell apart and the uniform was too hot.

"Given that the joint rapid reaction forces are intended to be able to operate anywhere in the world, it is a concern that the MoD does not hold sufficient stocks of desert combat suits to equip the Forces," says the report.

Bernard Jenkin, shadow defence secretary, said the report showed the need to "re-learn the lessons we forgot in the 10 years since the Gulf War". He added: "When I visited this exercise, I saw Clansman radio units piled up and useless. Tank commanders resorted to hand signals like in World War One."

But the Ministry of Defence called the exercise "a success". It said: "This was the first time that many new items of equipment had been tested in the desert under near-operational conditions.

"The key point of major exercises is that they allow us to identify the challenges our forces might face when actually operating in such testing conditions. We have made comprehensive arrangements for identifying lessons and, where necessary, we will make improvements to our equipment and procedures."

Swift Sword was the largest deployment of Britain's forces since the Gulf War in 1991. More than 22,500 personnel, 6,500 vehicles and trailers, 21 ships, 49 planes and 44 helicopters joined Omani forces for the exercise in September and October last year.

The most severe problems affected the 66 Challenger 2 main battle tanks, which would be expected to spearhead any armoured assault by British ground forces.

Crews found that the fine dust thrown up in the desert clogged the engine air filters so that they ground to a halt after four hours' service.

An extra 55 tons of spares were flown out to keep the tanks going, but two squadrons still had to be withdrawn and only three squadrons were able to take part in the final live-firing exercise.

By the end of March this year, one quarter of the tank fleet was still unavailable for operations and the NAO said the costs and timings of repairs could not yet be determined.

The NAO also found that problems with the Army's ageing Clansman radio system had become so severe that it was now judged to be "incapable" of operating in combat conditions. Unlike Kosovo - where troops resorted to using mobile phones instead of radios - there was no mobile phone cover in the Omani desert.

Unable to communicate by radio, tank crews frequently had to pull up in the middle of manoeuvres and check their orders with each other.

Another major piece of equipment - the mobile AS90 self-propelled gun - was rendered almost useless when plastic air filters melted in the heat, causing two guns to be withdrawn from the exercise.

The NAO said this was not a design fault since the original specifications called for thermal insulation. But these were changed when the gun came into service because it was expected to be used exclusively in Europe.

To keep the gun operational, engineers had to rig up makeshift aluminium heat shields, but they worked only when the guns were stationary and movements had to be restricted to night time. Even then, one gun caught fire and is likely to be written off at a cost of £1 million.

At least 10 helicopters were out of action at any one time as parts quickly became unserviceable. Rotor blades on the Lynx, which would last for 500 hours' flying time in European conditions, needed replacing after 27 hours.

Troops also experienced a recurrence of the problem of jamming with the SA80 rifle and there were not enough heavy duty fork-lift trucks because the contractors employed to maintain them were contracted to operate only in Britain and Germany.
Some of the Army's other utility vehicles were so old that the drivers had to turn the cab heaters on full blast to stop the engines overheating.

The shortage of desert combat suits and boots affected morale. Normal Army boots melted in temperatures which regularly went over 45C (113F).

Some troops bought their own rather than wear the standard issue. An Army post-exercise report spoke of foot rot being "a major issue".

 

From:     Pete Spear, Wetherby, UK SpearWetherby@aol.com
Date:      26 July 2002 17:32
Subject:  Life after MAMS and Snail Mail

Hi Tony

I am often amused by your references to snail mail, and I assume you are talking about the days when we wrote a letter and put it in an envelope, put a stamp on and sent it off.

In those far off days, when I left MAMS, I was very fortunate to secure a Company Representative's position selling "branded" products to the Stationery trade. It was a prestigious position, commanding a large area, a large profitable turnover and very lucrative returns financially.  It seemed to me a natural progression from MAMS Commando to steely-eyed Salesman  (seriously though it was a good position that I enjoyed for twenty odd years).  In those days you were your own team, and if you were doing an export job, you did your own team brief!

A lot of members must remember those days, good company cars etc.
 
But I now come to snail mail. ...... One day I went into the computer room at the factory, and was immediately told "You are not qualified to be in this room!”

So like yourself and probably a lot of other members , I went out and obtained my City & Guilds AND bought a computer. The rest is history as they say

Kind Regards

Peter

[Ed: Many thanks Peter - 'tis true, we have to keep up with the times if we don't want to be left behind...]

 

From:     Mark Stephenson, Moncton NB, Canada mpstephenson@rogers.com
Date:      30 July 2002 20:34
Subject:  Change of Address


Please update my e-mail address to mpstephenson@rogers.com

Great job on the Briefs – keep up the great work!

Mark Stephenson

[Ed:  Thanks Mark - I've made the changes]

 

From:     Zeeshan Atta,  Sialkot, Pakistan akzeshan@gjr.paknet.com.pk
Date:      31 July 2002 17:35
Subject:  Badges

From A.K.BADGES (Specialist)
Dear Sirs:

We would like to introduce ourselves we are an in-house manufacturer and exporter for over 40 years of Badges, Insignia, Patches, and Uniform  Accessories with service around the world. We can also design our products to your specifications.

We assure you that our competitive rates and prompt delivery, along with our high quality products will meet your order needs every time.

Some of our Products Include: Bullion Wire Blazer Badges, Insignia, Coats of arms, Metal Badges, Patches, Neck Ties, Caps, Polo Shirts, T-Shirts,  Sweat Shirts, Plaques, Pendants, Military Uniform, Braids, Tussles,  Banners, Embroidery Flags, Dress Cards, Sword Knots, Chin Straps, Firings,  Hackles, Crest, Emblem, Berets and Marching Musical Band Uniform
accessories, and other items.

Our state-of-the-art factories have a large number of laborers and  equipment to meet any size order. We would be happy to discuss with you how  our items might meet your needs.

Our company would be pleased to send you a sample, when we have got your  specific inquires with all the details (Size/ Quantity/ Picture of designs/ attachment described.

We stand behind our quality and service. Our products are used by many  Military, Club, Schools, Private Organizations, and Groups from around the world.

If you have a specific pattern or artwork that you would like to see on one of our products, just contact us and we work with you to make your product a reality.

Thank you for letting us introduce ourselves to you, we look forward to hearing from you. If you happen to have received this email in error, we apologize; this is a one time mailing.

For more information and photographs of our products, please check our web site at www.ec21.com/akbadges

Best regards,
Yours truly,
Zeeshan Atta (Managing Director)
A.K.BADGES (Specialist)
P.O.BOX # 862
SIALKOT-51310
PAKISTAN.
E-MAIL: akzeshan@gjr.paknet.com.pk
Web site: http://www.ec21.com/akbadges

 

From:     Robbie Taylor, Doncaster, UK robert@336taylor.freeserve.co.uk
Date:      30 July 2002 15:02
Subject:  Old Friends


Hi Tony,

Thought you would like to know that Mike Maybery (ex 46th) is very much alive and can still drink like a fish.

If you recall we had the 46th entry, 40th reunion this year on the 18th May. Unfortunately Mike could not make it due to work commitments, somewhere out in the Near East.

However, he came home on leave for Saturday 20th July and asked to meet up with as many as possible of the guys from the 46th. Never one to miss a piss up, especially a stag do, I travelled down to Peterborough and a further eleven guys turned up. It was brilliant, luckily nearly all of us stayed overnight.

I asked Mike why wasn't he a member of the UKMAMS-OBA, he said that he filled in the details requested but hadn't heard a thing since. I've no idea when he filled in membership form but you can contact him via mikemaybery@hotmail.com to chase up his membership.


Cheers           Robbie


PS  No, It was not Mike who smashed your china mug at Hereford, I'm still trying to find out who the big bully was though,
So that I can buy him a pint..........
  
[Ed:  Thanks Robbie.  I did write to Mike as you suggested, but didn't hear back from him yet]

 

A blonde had just gotten a new sports car and was out for a drive when she accidentally cut off a truck driver. The truck driver motioned for her to pull over. When she did, he got out of his truck and pulled a piece of chalk from his pocket. He drew a circle on the side of the road and gruffly commanded to the blonde, "Stand in that circle and DON'T MOVE!".

He then went to her car and cut up her leather seats. When he turned around she had a slight grin on her face.

"Oh you think that's funny.? Watch this!" He gets a baseball bat out of His truck and breaks every window in her car. When he turns and looks at her she has a smile on her face.

He is getting really mad. He gets his knife back out and slices all her tyres. Now she's laughing.

The truck driver is really starting to lose it. He goes back to his truck and gets a can of petrol, pours it on her car and sets it on fire. He turns around and she is laughing so hard she is almost falling over.

"What's so funny?" the truck driver asked the blonde.

She replied, "Every time you weren't looking, I stepped outside the circle."

 

A blonde had just gotten a new sports car and was out for a drive when she accidentally cut off a truck driver. The truck driver motioned for her to pull over. When she did, he got out of his truck and pulled a piece of chalk from his pocket. He drew a circle on the side of the road and gruffly commanded to the blonde, "Stand in that circle and DON'T MOVE!".

He then went to her car and cut up her leather seats. When he turned around she had a slight grin on her face.

"Oh you think that's funny.? Watch this!" He gets a baseball bat out of His truck and breaks every window in her car. When he turns and looks at her she has a smile on her face.

He is getting really mad. He gets his knife back out and slices all her tyres. Now she's laughing.

The truck driver is really starting to lose it. He goes back to his truck and gets a can of petrol, pours it on her car and sets it on fire. He turns around and she is laughing so hard she is almost falling over.

"What's so funny?" the truck driver asked the blonde.

She replied, "Every time you weren't looking, I stepped outside the circle."

 

Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards

Tony