20 August 2010

A new member joining us recently is:

Terry Fryer, Castle Donington, UK  

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld.
Sent: August-17-10 23:29
Subject: Hug for Jack

Afternoon Tony,

Gee it’s great to be a Mover! So far I’ve received over 100 “Message, rude” from the troops. Fittingly there were 2 “Message, extra-rude” from the ladies.

I find this remarkable when you remember that ‘they‘ kicked me off my “Craft, landing” into Burma at the tender age of 18 plus a few days; that I went on to do five full overseas tours and a total of twenty one years.

Why remarkable? It means that many of our present mates weren’t even born when I was finishing!  So a great big THANK YOU to everyone!

I am now on the improve, that means I’ve finished my winter porridge two mornings on the trot, and am looking forward to the day when I can get back to the Merlot.

Thanks Team. Go well.


Bogata Columbia, introduced a law that required jaywalkers to be publicly ridiculed by mimes

From: Gerry Davis, Bedminster
Sent: August-06-10 4:48
Subject: The Continuing Davis Sagas

Hi Tony,

Continuing on with the Diplomatic mail trips, and other stuff.

Ankara, Turkey, was another frequently visited airfield where we toiled with Diplomatic Mail, and various other loads.  All the flights there and back were by the “Super luxury Hastings” of 70 Sqn. (I jest.). Blimey, if I allowed myself, I could have nightmares about loading those old crates.

Remember the chains, and the floor points? There was never enough and the restraint factor was abysmal, and of course you had to watch that you didn’t bang your head on the fixed metal baggage rack, with the attached dangling light fitment; some of our number came a cropper on those things. Ouch! All this and you had to work up-hill as it was a tail-dragger!

We, (NEAF MAMS) departed from both Akrotiri and Nicosia, as our unit was stationed at separate times at both airfields.  In actual fact, when the unit was formed in 1965 at Akrotiri, we had only been going for 3 months, When overnight we were relocated to Nicosia

On setting up there, both of our teams then found ourselves tasting the delights of Embakasi (Nairobi), yep, the Oil lift.  Well I did two separate detachments of 3 months out there. The other team did their bit too. When that lot was all over, the unit was, without prior notice sent back to Akrotiri.  It was worse for the wives, we never got help with finding accommodation, or come to think of it, much else!

On arrival at Ankara, Embassy staff, well actually an SAC, in civilian clothes, usually met us. He of course spoke Turkish and was married to a Turkish lady. He was on a 12-year stint, like most of us, which was shortly finishing. He wanted to stay on with the Embassy as a civilian, but they wouldn’t at the time confirm any details with him. So, don’t know what happened to him.  We asked him where the likes of us could find a decent nosh and perhaps a bit of light entertainment on our frequent visits. Other than the fleapit that we were staying in, he suggested the USAF NCO’s club in the city. As it turned out it was an amazing place. On our first visit four of us arrived there by taxi. For some reason, the other 3 decided to scarper quickly and leave the payment for the taxi to me. I kept shouting at the others to no avail. In the meantime the taxi driver thought that it might be a good idea to stick a screwdriver into my stomach, while demanding payment.  All my money gone, I found the others, who thought it was hilarious, but I didn’t!

I had to send my T-bone steak, the size of a dustbin lid, back 3 times. It became incinerated on the outside but was still red in the middle. Ugh! Well I am English!  The waiters in this place I presume were American servicemen. They kept wanting to do deals on cigarettes and whisky. Sounds like a song, don’t you think?

A couple of visits to Istanbul were also on the agenda. Nope, can’t remember much about those.  Was I glad when 70 Sqn. took delivery of the Argosy’s.

Happy Days.

The staff at the USAF NCO's Club, Ankara



From: Ken Martin, Carleton Place, ON
Sent: August-12-10 20:45
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #080610

Hi Tony,

Thanks for including the video "Forever Young."

Although it is very sad, it is also very an awesome and beautiful reminder of the young men and women who have lost their lives in service of their country.

Take Care


Thanks Ken

In its 19-month run, the Pony Express delivered 34,753 pieces of mail

British armed forces to face big cuts in defence review

Britain's new coalition government is looking at concrete plans to cut British armed forces that would see the Royal Air Force reduced to its smallest size for 90 years, the loss of many of the army's tanks, and the scrapping of six warships, including submarines, according to the reports of a British newspaper.

The planned cuts, which are not yet formalized, were revealed on Saturday in the national daily newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

The cuts are under serious consideration as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which will report later this summer, and the leak is the first sign of how the Ministry of Defence (MoD) plans to tackle them.

The cuts have been widely heralded as likely to be profound and deep, and they are expected to significantly change Britain's strategic ambitions and its global capabilities.

The Daily Telegraph claimed that it had been  leaked detailed proposals which list the axing of 295 aircraft, including the entire fleet of Tornado jet fighters, as well as 7,000 air force personnel.  The new Eurofighter Typhoon fleet, which went into service in 2007, will also see cuts. Cutting back on orders will see an anticipated fleet of 160 reduced in number to 107.

Also facing the axe, according to the leak, is the entire fleet of Hercules transport aircraft, which currently numbers 36. It is likely to be replaced by the new A400M from Airbus in a fleet of 22.

It is the RAF which is to bear the worst of the cuts, but the other two services suffer too. The Royal Navy could lose two submarines and three amphibious ships, along with about 100 senior officers. It's control of the Royal Marines, soldiers who fight at sea or are deployed to land directly from the sea, could be lost to the army, where they would join the troops of the Parachute Regiment as an elite section of the armed forces.

The army, which is currently heavily deployed in Afghanistan where it has suffered more than 325 fatalities, would see its armored vehicle fleet cut by up to 40 percent. Most of those cuts would fall on heavy weaponry used to fight conventional state-against-state wars. Armored artillery and tanks could see big cuts.

Prime Minister David Cameron has outlined that his new coalition government wants to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan by 2015. Cuts in troop numbers are likely to be small until then, but after that the army is likely to loose a brigade of soldiers, about 5,000 troops. The coalition government, formed in the wake of the inconclusive general election of May 6 which saw the Labor party's 13-year rule ended, has set as it's main task the cutting of 100 billion pounds (about 155 billion U.S. dollars) from the government budget over the next four years.

Government departments have been told to prepare for cuts of up to 40 percent in spending, to tackle the record public spending deficit, which this year is set to reach 153 billion pounds (about 240 billion dollars). The MoD faces cuts of up to 20 percent, and has been a consistent over-spender in the past.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox warned military contractors at the Farnborough International Air Show last month that the numbers of warships, aircraft, and armored vehicles would be reduced to save money. "We must reduce fleet numbers that provide any one capability because we cannot afford the luxury of multiple supply chains and the associated training and infrastructure costs," he said.  He added: "The defence program is entirely  unaffordable -- especially if we try to do what we need to do in the future while simultaneously doing everything that we've done in the past."

However, an MoD spokesman said: "The defence secretary has made clear that tough decisions will need to be made, but the complex process of a strategic defence and security review will be concluded in the autumn and speculation at this stage about its outcome is entirely unfounded."

MoD Main Building, Whitehall, London


From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: August-10-10 17:14
Subject: NSRAF Cosford Branch

Hi Tony,

Today over 80 members turned up for our monthly meeting in anticipation of being entertained by a special guest speaker, and what a chap!

Our guest was Eric Carter, ex-Hurricane Pilot, who gave us a talk of his experiences flying Hurricanes. He joined the RAF in 1939 and passed out as a Sergeant fighter pilot.

His first posting during the Battle of Britain was to RAF Valley [on the island of Anglesey in Wales] where they provided air cover for convoys in and out of Liverpool.

In Mid 1941 he was told to report to an RAF station near Hull where the RAF 151 Fighter Wing was being formed, for what they did not know.  About 30 pilots and 500 ground crew had been gathered together and all issued with KD tropical kit etc., they then embarked on a train to Liverpool docks and boarded a waiting ship.

After the ship departed they were told to throw their KD away and were re-issued with more substantial gear fit for the Arctic, and that was where they were heading.

They arrived at Archangel and were then transported to Murmansk along with 15 crated Hurricanes, which, on arrival at Murmansk, with the help of Russian ground crews were quickly assembled.

Initially they carried out escort duties to Russian bombers that were attacking the invading Germans and he had many skirmishes with Me109’s claiming a few 'probable’s'. However their main task was to train Russian pilots to fly Hurricanes so that they could in turn train their own pilots.

They lost a few pilots in action and also a couple of ground crew who were still sitting on the tailplane of a Hurricane (which was the procedure before takeoff) and remained on the aircraft as it left the ground.  The aircraft crashed and both they and the pilot lost their lives.

Eric's wingman, Sgt Neil Cameron, went on to become Marshal of the Royal Air Force in the 1980's (Marshal of the Royal Air Force The Lord Cameron of Balhousie)

Anyhow, after the Russians had mastered the Hurricanes, the RAF contingent returned to the UK in late 1941.  Eric went on to be posted to India and saw action over Burma. He told us that in 1941 he also flew the Defiant and a couple of our lads who had worked for Boulton Paul asked him what he thought of it and he told them it was the worst aircraft he had ever flown.

He showed us a collection of slides but there were only a few of his time at Murmansk; the majority of his collection was of his trip to Russia in 1994 with HM The Queen, Prince Phillip and their entourage.  He visited the graves of his fallen comrades and was one of only four non-Russians to be presented with the Order of Lenin.

Russia was provided with 3,000 Hurricanes delivered to them from Canada and he told us that as the Russian-made aircraft like the MiG3 and YAK1 started to come into service, Stalin ordered that the Hurricanes should be destroyed as he didn't want the people to know that he had asked the West for aid.

Eric is now 91 and is the last survivor of that operation, and although he did have a bit of difficulty in telling us his story we really enjoyed his talk and gave him a huge round of applause.

We were told that our guest next month will be an RAF Sqn Ldr who will be giving us a talk on the Battle of Britain.



Very interesting - thanks John!

Ex-RAF Pilot - I Fought for Stalin's Secret Army

The last surviving member of a secret RAF squadron who helped save Russia from defeat by Nazi Germany has finally revealed the truth about his wartime heroics.

Eric Carter was a 21 year-old fighter pilot in 1941 when he boarded a blacked out train in Hull with his 81 Squadron and taken to Liverpool. The young airmen were then ushered on to a waiting ship and set sail for the open seas, still none the wiser about their destination.

Rumours within the squadron suggested they could be heading for Africa – but they soon discovered they would not need any warm weather gear. Eric was part of Force Benedict, a clandestine operation to save the strategically vital Russian port of Murmansk. It was being targeted by the Nazis who were marching relentlessly towards Moscow.

The mission to protect the port and train Russian fighter pilots was top secret because Stalin did not want the world to know he needed British help to defeat the invading Germans. And such was the secrecy surrounding the ultimately successful operation, that it was largely forgotten for nearly 70 years... That is until the chance discovery earlier this year of a medal awarded to Force Benedict’s Wing Commander, Group Captain Henry Neville Gynes Ramsbottom-Isherwood. He was one of only four non-Russians awarded the nation’s highest military award, the Order of Lenin, which was sold at auction in Sothebys this week for £46,000.00

Eric, now living in Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire, revealed how he and his comrades were plunged into a grim battle of life and death in the skies above the port on the edge of the Arctic circle. He said: "Force Benedict was a very well kept secret. Stalin did not want his people to know that he had asked the West for help and we were threatened with a court martial if we said anything. I was young and must have been mad, but perhaps we were just a tougher generation. I knew the average lifespan in the air was just 15 minutes but I was determined to volunteer after hearing the atrocities the Germans had carried out on the Russians.”

Eric had joined the RAF in 1939 and was initially posted to the famous 615 Squadron who were recuperating in Wales following the Battle of Britain in 1940. He served with them for a year, defending the skies over Liverpool and Manchester, before being transferred to 81 Squadron. Alongside 134 Squadron, they made up 151 Wing which was sent to save Murmansk.

Eric said: "Murmansk was a pivotal point in the war. It was Russia’s Battle of Britain, the battle for their very survival, and we had to hold on to the port at all costs. Our job was to escort Russian bombers and fight off the German planes. We went on 60-odd missions and never lost one bomber. But we were only 10 miles from the German base. Their General repeatedly asked Hitler for more men so they could overun our airfield but he refused, so we got lucky there.  Life in the freezing under-siege city was tough and the threat of death constantly stalked the British pilots – with German bombers above and trigger-happy Russians on the ground.
Eric said: "Murmansk was like Beirut, it was all rubble. And the Russians soldiers did not bother to ask who you were, they just killed you on sight. So we were issued with special passes and had to hold them in front of us as we walked anywhere or else we would have been shot. It was minus 40 most of the time. Our aircraft and transport vehicles had to be started up every 20 minutes to prevent them from freezing for good. And life was so cheap out there.  Labourers working on the airfield would sometimes freeze to death after a night drinking and in the morning they would be just scooped up and put in the back of a truck. But that helped build the strongest camaraderie with your pals because that was all we had. You depended on them for your life and they were all that you lived for. Yet we never thought Murmansk was a hopeless cause, never considered defeat and never contemplated that Britain might be invaded if we lost.
"We were determined to win and that’s what we did.. When you were up in the air you were nearly always in trouble, but Murmansk was the key to everything at that point so we just had to survive. We used to fly in pairs to cover each other and shot down our fair share of Luftwaffe, but the Germans gave us a very hard time. Yet although we lost a pilot on the first day, we only lost one other during our time there.”

Wing 151 carried out 365 sorties during a four-month stay in Murmansk, shooting down 11 Messerschmitt fighters and three Junker 88 bombers before handing the secured port back to the Russians on October 13, 1941. By then the deep snows had begun falling and the German army was set to stall within sight of Moscow. It was the beginning of the end of Hitler’s invasion of Russia – and the turning point of the Second World War. Eric and his comrades returned to Britain without fanfare after the operation.

He married his wife Phyllis, who he described as “wonderful wife and mother”, while on leave in 1943, before being posted to Burma for the remainder of the war, flying Spitfires and supply missions in Dakotas from Rangoon to Calcutta..

His beloved wife passed away four years ago, after 62 years of marriage.

But the people of Murmansk have never forgotten Eric’s bravery and he has been invited back to the city many times in recent years where he is still feted as a hero. “The Russian Government has never forgotten what we did for them,” said Eric, who is the last survivor of 81 Squadron – and possibly the last remaining member of Force Benedict..

"Me and my wife were invited to the Russian Embassy in London during the 1980s for a ceremony of remembrance with the Ambassador. It was a funny occasion and he had a big rant about Margaret Thatcher, I didn’t know where to put my face. And I have been repeatedly asked back to Murmansk to remember what we did for them.  The Russians think a lot more of their war veterans than we do in Britain and they have really looked after me every time I have been over there. They even let me go on board one of their nuclear submarines and how many British people can say they have done that? "A lot of my pals died during the war and I’m the only one left now.

“I hope our sacrifice and the freedom people enjoy now means it was worth it.”


Each of Tom Cruise's three wives was 11 years younger than the previous one

From: John Gibson, Lincoln
Sent: August-07-10 7:17
Subject: 2 - 6

On TV last night, recalling the question of the 2-6 thing; well I was watching a programme on the First World War and the battle of Jutland. On one of the re-creations, when the Jolly Jacks were humping those bags of cordite and ramming them home, they were using the call of "2-6".

Years ago, when I was serving in Malta, I asked the Navy Mover if he had ever heard of the 2-6 when shifting heavy stuff using more than one person. He said yes, it was used in sailing ships by gun crews, this might be where it started, you never can tell.

Keep Well Tony

Thanks John - I thought it might be a good time to dig a little deeper into the archives about the history of the two-six call and came up with the following:

RN's 'Two-Six' TV Logo

According to information retrieved from Wikipedia... ""Two, six, heave" is a phrase used to coordinate seamen's pulling. It derives from the orders used in firing shipboard cannons in the British Royal Navy. The team of six men had numbered roles. After loading, it was the task of the men numbered two and six to heave (in a coordinated fashion) the cannon out the gunport for firing, using simple effort for a light cannon or a tackle apiece for larger ones.

Shanties not being countenanced in the Royal Navy, "two, six, heave" was pressed into service whenever seamen needed to pull in a coordinated fashion, such as braces and halyards.

In Britain it has a broader meaning and is often used in any situation where a coordinated pulling effort is required, often where maritime people are involved, but almost as frequently where 'civilians' are working together.

As used by sailors, the person at the front of the team will typically call out the "two, six" part of the chant. During this phase all members move their hands up the line ready to pull. This is followed, in its natural rhythm, by the "heave", called out by the whole team together. At this moment, the team simultaneously lean back on the line, and use their leg muscles to exert a powerful pull upon it. This coordination takes some practice to achieve, but the difference in applied power between a raw group pulling as individuals and a practiced team hauling together is very significant.

There is not a single tempo or cadence for the chant, since this will depend on the task in hand. For example, hauling in the upper topsail halyard will require a long, heavy pull; if the team is not to be exhausted halfway through then the leader must ensure that the pace is slow enough to be maintained throughout the job. Hauling in a clewline, by contrast, is relatively quick and easy, so the chant can be quite rapid. It is also not always necessary to use this method of hauling for the whole of a task; often, the first part of the job can be achieved with simple hand-over-hand pulling, switching over to a coordinated heave for the final tensioning.

"I dunno - I thought you had the bullet thingy!"


From: Terry Mulqueen, Hastings
Sent: August-09-10 8:47
Subject: Kai Tak

Dear Tony

After seeing the You Tube on good ole' Kai Tak and reading "young" Pete Clayton's letter, made me recollect the day we were waiting to board a VC10 load of Pax when an Air India 707 aquaplaned on the runway.

We were of course advised not to tell our passengers what had happened but to ferry them quickly to an overnight hotel as the runway was closed. This of course meant that myself and a couple of other stalwarts would have to "suffer" yet another lovely juicy steak served up at the "Shamrock" Hotel, all in the line of duty

Oh happy days!  I'm sure Pete, Dixie and Ian would remember, if not the steak then the San Miguels!


Terry Mulqueen

I recall many happy times at the Shamrock myself - do you remember the Jumbo Shrimp they served? Two would fill the plate!

More than 700 people are struck and killed by falling objects every year

From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: August-14-10 11:28
Subject: Diplomatic Mail

Gerry Davis mentioned the carriage of diplomatic mail which all movers at scheduled service postings down an air transport line will have met at some time. Well this is a tale from my life before I was commissioned when we went to RAF Nicosia, Cyprus to repair a badly damaged Canberra B(I)8 which had flown through the only cloud in the sky which was full of hailstones! All the leading edges were stoved in.

Anyway back to Dip mail. On the way to Nicosia in the Hastings aircraft of Transport Command we made an  unscheduled stop at El Adem. I was just about to disembark when a pilot officer escorting some classified bags ordered me to standby and guard his bags while he refreshed himself. He then said that he would return to allow me to do the same.

I might have guessed - an hour went by - so I looked around to see if there was anybody that could pass a message to the pilot officer - but there wasn't. So being left to my own devices I decided to see what the bags carried without causing any damage due to tampering with them. This I did and found, quite easily, that they contained the 1964 Trade Structure being issued to Near East Air Force HQ ahead of the time for promulgation by the Air Force Board. After two long hours had gone by, the pilot officer turned up and relieved me of the guarding task. I then went to refresh myself at the air terminal.

As you all may know, the 1964 Trade Structure did away with the technician upside down stripes and brought everyone back to the command promotion ladder with the extra ranks of chief and junior technician to give further steps on the career ladder. In my case I graduated as a substantive corporal and after one year I became a corporal tech; and then, with the 1964 Trade Structure, I turned my stripes back to corporal. I did all my own stitching so I was kept busy.



Thanks Charles!


C-17s cut number of supply missions

CFS ALERT, ARCTIC – A new chapter in Canadian Air Force's history was written Sunday.

At 8:15 a.m. sharp, CFB Trenton's pilot Maj. Ian James and co-pilot Maj. Dave Howard managed to stop 100,000 pounds of fuel and cargo within 3,100 feet of the Arctic station's 5,100 feet semi-prepared runway.

The first leg of the twice-annual re-supply operation BOXTOP was kicked off, and will continue until Friday night. For the first time, a C-17 Globemaster was used to provide the northern station with sustainment and resupplies of fuel and dry goods.

The historic cargo flight took place a few months after pilot Maj. Jean Maisonneuve conducted the C-17's world premiere-landing on a semi-prepared runway at CFS Alert, in the Arctic last April.

In the 1960's, re-supplying CFS Alert required up to one hundred flights, conducted over several weeks (see Operations Tern & Roving Deposit, by Tony Street). Fifty years later, all needed construction supplies, fuel, and dry food items are being transported through a series of 10 flights from the U.S. Air Base Thule in Greenland, to the Canadian Arctic station.

CFS Alert commanding officer Maj. Brent Hoddinott said all material and dry goods were first shipped from the Port of Montreal to the northern American air base. "BOXTOP is always a really busy operational week for us here in Alert," said Hoddinott. "Twice a year we have personnel coming from Trenton specifically for BOXTOP. Despite the fact that 8 Wing crews fly up here every couple of weeks to transport civilian and military personnel, as well as food and other material, major sustainment operations like BOXTOP are needed to update our fuel capacity. Also, as were are still in our outdoor construction season until the mid-September, several palettes on the cargo that came in on those two flights today (Sunday) were pipes required for the ongoing installation of our upgraded sewage pipeline system."

Before BOXTOP took off, the northern station's capacity in fuel was at 25 per cent remaining for both diesel and jet fuel, explained Hoddinott. "Put together, this dry BOXTOP Op and our upcoming wet BOXTOP in September will bring the station to 70 per cent in fuel capacity," the Arctic station commander said. "Wet BOXTOP alone, which is conducted exclusively with the C-130 Hercules, brings over two millions litres of fuel to the station."

Alert is approximately 841 km
from the geographic North Pole

Hoddinott said the use of the C-17 Globemaster during this year's dry BOXTOP cuts the number of flights considerably as the C-17 can carry up to six times the cargo capacity of a Herc and has the capability to leave more fuel behind. Instead of the usual 30 flights with the Hercules, only 10 C-17 flights are now needed to fly the same weight of material and dry goods.

"It was important for the CF and the Air Force to make sure we could use the C-17 during our BOXTOP operations, which positioned us as leaders in the Arctic flights sovereignty," said the major, whose maximum six-month posting in Alert will end in January.

Pilots Maj. Ian James, who conducted the morning flight, and Maj. Ben Villalobos, who successfully landed a 428,000-lb. overall cargo flight (including the aircraft's weight) Sunday evening, both said the 70-minute flight went well, landing within the first two-thirds of the semi-prepared Arctic runway.

 "The flight went well and the landing was quite smooth, considering the cargo load we had spread out in the aircraft," said James, while waiting for the Globemaster #704 to be offloaded. The weather was low, but the visibility on the runway was just fine for landing. When you fly to Alert weather conditions are the key. If you get caught in a storm or if the runway is wet, we would have to either make adjustments on our cargo load before taking off from Thule, or fly back to Greenland."
Former C-130 Hercules pilot Maj. Ben Villalobos has 1,500 hours on the C-17 Globemaster registered in his flight book. After landing in Alert around 7:50 p.m., the 38-year-old pilot was greatly satisfied on how his first C-17 mission in Alert went. "This aircraft is really easy to fly," said Villalobos, who flew the C-17 to Afghanistan and several other missions overseas. "The guys here did a great job maintaining the runway as it gets chewed up after a while. But everything went real smooth even with an almost full-cargo load and the amount of the fuel we had on board."

The main purpose of BOXTOP operation is to bring the station's fuel capacity up to date. Fuel is left behind on each of the 10 resupply flights, so crews in Alert can refill the tanks.

"We took off from Thule with 87,000 pounds of fuel on board, and left almost half of it behind," said Maj. James. "Obviously, the aircraft can carry much more fuel, but with our cargo capacity and the fact that we were landing on semi-prepared runway, we could not leave as much as what the aircraft allows us to."

CFB Trenton's WFE Technician Mast. Cpl. Mario Philibert is among those responsible for pumping the fuel out the aircrafts during operation dry BOXTOP. "We took about 40,000 pounds of fuel off the first flight within about 30 minutes," said Philibert. "It was great to see that big bird flying out the fog at the end of the runway and land in that big cloud of dust. It was spectacular to see that."

The Belleville Intelligencer

Largest fruit crop on earth: Grapes (Bananas are #2)

Mysteries Revealed... well, almost

RAF Mystery Photo #080610

The Bedford RL was the versatile workhorse of many a Royal Air Force base around the world in the 60's and 70's.

This particular vehicle was based at RAF Muharraq in Bahrain (note the MH in the circle).

The Bedford RL was originally rated as a 3 ton load carrier but was later upgraded to a 4 metric ton capacity. It was generally replaced by the Bedford MK in the 1970s.

It had a 6 cylinder petrol engine.


CAF Mystery Photo #080610

25 March 2006

Master Corporal Wayne Mockford, a Traffic Technician, with 1 Air Movements Squadron, 17 Wing Winnipeg, at Cambridge Bay, Nunavut to help prepare A Company, Third Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI), for the return to Edmonton.

Who is he?

RAAF Mystery Photo #080610

An Air Force member on exchange with the Royal Air Force has found himself in the thick of air-logistics operations in Afghanistan. He was on exercise with his host unit in the Middle East when the events unfolded that led to the formation of the International Coalition Against Terrorism. “I am currently on an exchange with the United Kingdom Mobile Movements Squadron,” he said. “I’ve been there a bit over 18 months now and my primary responsibility is world-wide mobile and movements operations. On September 11, I was in the Middle East for an exercise that turned into this operation.” Now he has returned to Afghanistan for his second deployment to the operation this year. “From February I was attached to ISAF as the OC Multi National Air Movements Squadron – Air Section, Kabul, in charge of 57 personnel.  We’re responsible for everything to do with air movements, like marshalling, parking of aircraft as well as the theatre reception centre inbound and outbound,” he said.

RNZAF Mystery Photo #080610

A few C130's lined up Halim Air Base in Jakarta during the airlift after 26th December 2004 Tsunami.

The RNZAF had 1 x B757, 2 x C130 and Air load teams working from this airfield.



Aid on its way to Pakistan

Fourteen pallets of AusAID supplies are on their way to the people of flood-ravaged Pakistan thanks to a Royal Australian Air Force C-17 Globemaster which left Amberley this morning.

The delivery is one of two that is being sent to the disaster-stricken country where it's estimated that 1500 people have perished and 12 million people affected by the worst flood in the nation's history.

A total of $1million of AusAID relief stores which include tents, tarpaulins and plastic sheeting, and water purification equipment to help more than 10,000 families is now bound for Islamabad. They will also carry generators, birthing kits and water containers.

AusAID liaison officer Suzanne Edgecombe explained how some of the supplies will help the people of Pakistan: "It's a pretty distressing situation… The tents and tarpaulins will provide shelter for 10,000 people; the water purification and buckets will provide around 30 days of drinking water for 12,500 people," she said.

The flight was originally scheduled to leave RAAF Base Amberley on Thursday afternoon but was delayed until today due to a technical fault with the aircraft.

Australia has already announced a comprehensive $10 million assistance package which has been directed to the people of Pakistan through the UN-managed Pakistan Emergency Response Fund, the World Food Programme, the Red Cross Movement and Australian non-government organisations.

It is not the first time the Australian Defence Force (ADF) has participated in an aid mission to Pakistan. In 2005, the ADF medical team deployed to Pakistan to provide vital health care assistance to those affected by a devastating earthquake.

A second plane-load of supplies for the people of Pakistan is expected to arrive early next week.

Several pallets of Australian Aid for the flood victims of Pakistan
are carried past the RAAF C-17 Globemaster they arrived on.

Australian and local ground crews work together
to unload pallets of aid for flood affected Pakistan.

Australian assistance for flood-stricken Pakistan
arrives in Islamabad thanks to the help of
AusAID and the Australian Defence Force.

Pallets of Australian humanitarian assitance for
Pakistan are unloaded onto the tarmac at Islamabad

Leading Aircraftman Ben Crawford prepares for the return flight and the next load of emergency aid after helping to deliver approximately 45 tonnes of aid

Australian Government Department of Defence

Q: What is a Bladderpipe? A: A bagpipe that includes a hedgehog's bladder

From: Murdo Macleod, Newport-on-Tay
Date: 8/14/2010, 11:13 pm, EDT
Subject: Guestbook Entry

It’s been a while since I left a message; enjoying retirement, highly recommended, no more busses or trucks, just chillin’, feet up with a glass or two of rum & coke, and answering the odd email from old pals. 

I just returned from a holiday to Isle of Lewis, almost non stop rain, but what the hell it was great nonetheless.

Still intending to take a trip south to hook up with old pals, chew the fat and sink a few; hopefully next year.

Regards to all


Great to hear from you again Murdo!


From: Paul English, Swindon
Sent: August-16-10 5:39
Subject: RE: The Next Newsletter

Dear Tony,

Yet again another great newsletter. Your work is appreciated by most of us I would hope.

Hate to be the bearer of bad news..

Not sure if this has been mentioned already, but Stephen Allen (ex SAC) Air Movements Control, Aden 1959/61 passed away in April this year.

Some of the Aden Veterans use our RAFA club in Swindon for their meet and greets and leave copies of their monthly magazine for us RAF types to peruse.

My Dad also served in Aden at the height of the Suez crisis and then in Cyprus in the early days of the EOKA crowd.  It was whilst reading this magazine I stumbled across the obitutary for Stephen. So I thought it might be prudent to advise you of this, in case any fellow ex movers are/were trying to locate Stephen.

I have no other detail as to where he was living or laid to rest, so I do apologise for this.

Best regards

Vice Chairman
Swindon RAFA Club

I never knew Stephen; if any of the family are reading this then please accept the condolences of the UKMAMS Old Bods Association

First man to walk around the world: David Kunste, in 1970. It took 4 years, 3 months, 16 days

From: Alex Masson, Chelmsford
Sent: August-18-10 15:43
Subject: Jack Riley.


Thanks for passing on the message about Jack. As I keep in close touch with him, and have done so for the past five years, I had already responded directly to him. However, its good to know that so many others have sent him their good wishes.

Congratulations, yet again, on your marvellous ‘briefs’ – you really have created something special.

Now we learn that our old comrade Dennis “Dean” Martin has had a similar hiccup! Dean and I served together at Lyneham in 1955 I remember him well (but he doesn’t remember me).

At present I am arranging a Charity Lunch for Sunday 22nd August – fund raising for RAF Association Wings Appeal – We have sold 120 tickets and there is a waiting list of more than a dozen for anyone dropping out! I hope to be able to send some pictures of the event.


Healing thoughts are going out to Dennis - and your lunch sounds like it will be a resounding success!


RAF continues to support Pakistan flood relief effort

The Royal Air Force continues to provide air support to the Department for International Development (DFID), assisting the flood relief effort in Pakistan.  Britain is supporting the Government of Pakistan's efforts to provide safe drinking water, hygiene kits, toilets, sewage clearance and waste removal.

The air support is being provided by two RAF C-17s, the RAF's largest transport aircraft, and a C-130 Hercules, which are flying in essential aid to Islamabad from a UN store in Dubai. From there the supplies are transferred by road to the Peshawar region of Pakistan.

UK aid worth £5m will be channelled through UNICEF and will provide approximately 136,000 hygiene kits, 4,560 toilets, 336,000 bars of sanitising soap, 270,000 buckets/jerry cans, 400,000 water purification powder sachets and 800,000 water purification tablets to help prevent further death and disease amongst the people of Pakistan affected by the monsoon floods. This is in addition to another £5m of funding contributed by DFID to the Pakistan Emergency Response Fund being run by the United Nations.

A Pakistani aid worker collects a pallet
The UK contribution will provide food, shelter, water, sanitation and healthcare to thousands of people affected by the floods. The UK was the first country to contribute to this new emergency response fund.

Defence Minister Gerald Howarth said: "I am pleased that, despite the intense demands on our aircraft supporting military operations in Afghanistan, the Royal Air Force has been able to assist the Department for International Development in the UK's flood relief efforts.  The grave situation in Pakistan requires a decisive international reaction - every effort will be made by Britain's Armed Forces to support the continued aid operation."

Defence News

On average, there are 8 peas in a pod

The Royal Air Force Squadronaires - In The Mood
(The Glenn Miller Celebration)

The Royal Air Force Squadronaires are back. The Royal Air Force Squadronaires were a household name in the Second World War when they provided a much-needed morale boost during arguably Britain's darkest hour.

Their first public date took place 70 years ago in Blackpool with a line-up that included saxophonist Harry Lewis, the late husband of Dame Vera Lynn. They travelled the world entertaining soldiers, sailors and airmen, and quickly established themselves as the UK's leading Big Band.

Now 70 years after the band first formed and recorded their first Decca album in 1940, they are back - Comprising 18 elite musicians from the RAF, the band has kept its heritage and has an enviable worldwide reputation.

The sensational new album In The Mood, a tribute to the great bandleader Glenn Miller, brings new but authentic recordings to some of the best-known Big Band tunes of the wartime era.

To bring the Glenn Miller effect fully into the 21st Century, The Royal Air Force Squadronaires enlisted some of their brightest young artists such as X Factor superstar Stacey Solomon who sings the beautiful At Last.

But the album also includes a very special new recording of Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree with original vocals lifted from The Andrews Sisters.

(Released: 31 May 2010)



From: Malcolm Porter, Upton-upon-Severn
Sent: August-14-10 10:11
Subject: Re: The Next Newsletter

Alas, I had better not submit anything -  Gerry Davis will feel I am cluttering his space!

In any event, I am chock-a-block with the saga of the Guppy (ongoing) and with a a second trip to the USA in the offing (this one to NC and CA)

The last trip was great; on the B-25 and talking to some giants of the early days of Air Cargo in preparation for the submission of the idea to the Discovery Channel.

The CL44 Association is in close contact with an engineering group who are restoring a former RCAF CC106 Yukon. The aircraft is now privately owned and the association has several photos of the aircraft undergoing dismantling for transportation. These are featured in the September newsletter, will put you in touch with the association.

Plenty of Aircraft traders’ websitess with confirmation that the last Belfast IS for sale. Brian Porter (ex-53 Sqdn) is due to become the last pilot as it appears that the sale has attracted NIL interest - it has a restricted Certificate of Airworthiness I believe but I hope that it is preserved somehow/where. [There’s one at the Museum in Cosford].

Sales agent for the Slug is in MIAMI - so you can take a trip down there put down the deposit-reaped from all those rounds of ale you never paid for and have it as a chicken house at home [Cheeky blighter!].  I see they have 8 shipping containers full of parts too - 90% with RAF Section/Ref number on them - what was it?  I cannot recall - 26 something or other.

Our meeting with film company went very well and the pitch to the tv company's is going ahead.

Jambo Bwana


Keep chasing it Malcolm!

There were 736 documented UFO sightings in Canada in 2006

From: Jimmy O`Connell, Liverpool
Sent: 11 August 2010 11:05
Subject: Mount Longdon, Falkland Islands

I am a Falklands veteran of 3 Para on Mount Longdon.

I am looking for photos taken in the early years after 1982.  Would it be possible to view any you have of Longdon, as I am trying put a book together about Longdon and would like to view any of your photos for reference as I am trying to sort out bunkers and arcs of fire, basically to sort out where we were getting shot from and which positions had the best arcs of fire,

I will be going back in October, but I need old photos.   If you know anyone who may have some it would be much appreciated.

Bye for now,

Jimmy O`Connell
p.s. Here is my facebook page for the book,


From: James Aitken, Brisbane, Qld.
Sent: August-14-10 17:44
Subject: Re: The Next Newsletter

Hey Tony,

Had a guestbook entry on my website from Les Haines. He has taken over as webmaster for the new Transport Command Veterans Association site which replaces the old Lyneham OBA. It is still in its early stages having kicked off on July 31st.       

I would hazard a guess that most Movers served at Lyneham at some stage or another and sadly the "shiny arses" have proclaimed it no longer viable as a Transport station.


Jim Aitken

Thanks Jim - I wrote to Les and introduced myself - he sent the following for inclusion in our newswletter:

From: Les Haines, Lyneham
Sent: August-15-10 4:16
Subject: Re: Association Promotion

Hi Tony,

We were originally known as the RAF Lyneham Old Boys Association and have been established for the past fourteen years. Over that period many ex-RAF bods who were in Transport Command have mentioned that they wished their station had an association, this would have given them the chance to contact old friends, and so the LOBA committee decided that the LOBA would become the RAF Transport Command Veterans Association.

We are now up and running and our membership currently stands at almost 300.

Our new website has been running for two weeks and we are looking for new members, so please visit the following web site for more information:



A coffee tree yeilds only about a pound of coffee each year

This picture is crying out for a caption - submit here

When the Pony Express went out of business it was $200,000.00 in debt


Ancient Egyptians worshipped over 2,000 gods

That's it for this issue

Have a great weekend!