23 August 2002


A new member joining us this week is Ronald Coupe, from Houston TX, USA

Welcome to the OBA!


From:     John Holloway, Shrewsbury, UK
Date:      16 Aug 2002 02:41
Subject:  For Info

Hi Tony,

Just a quick note.

I see from your comment to ODE you have seen it before, (switch all the lights out)!!!

I’m putting together a little history item which I’ll send you anon which should be of interest. Of course it’s from Mauripur and Dave Holman our secretary is quite happy if we would like to put it the UKMAMS newsletter.

Cheers for now


[Ed:  Thanks John, that item appears later on in this week's briefs.]


From:     Caroline Hardaker, Maidenhead, UK
Date:      16 Aug 2002 09:41
Subject:  Aviation Week & Space Technology

Would it be possible to add the following link to your website or to offer to your members a special professional discount of 50% off for a new subscription to Aviation Week & Space Technology?  I've included the Aviation Week logo if it would be possible...

Many thanks
Caroline Hardaker
Marketing & Administration Manager
Field Circulation Sales
The McGraw-Hill Companies
McGraw-Hill House, Shoppenhangers Road
Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 2QL, England
Tel: (44) 1628 502953 / Fax: (44) 1628 637238

[Ed:  The link has been placed in the Links page on the site.]


From:     Bob Dixon, Dauntsey, UK
Date:      16 Aug 2002 10:16
Subject:  Oman


I would be interested in the information from your Oman correspondent - had the doubtful privilege of putting BERS off-air when I was in Masirah when we contaminated their fuel supply - not a popular move!

Bob Dixon

[Ed:  For those not familiar with BERS – it was the British Eastern Relay Station on Masirah Island which rebroadcasted BBC World News transmissions to the region for 34 years.]


From:     Andy Kay, Stafford VA, USA
Date:      16 Aug 2002 21:03
Subject:  Re: Old Boys Briefs 081602

Hi Tony,
Can you forward a copy of this info on the Omancen to me, I have got a few others I will forward it onto.  I know that ex-members of SOAF have reunions on an annual basis but I have yet to stir my rear end and get over to the UK for one of them.  This sounds like it might be of interest.
Andy Kay

[Ed:  Done.  If anyone else wants a shuftee at the OMANCEN document, just let me know and I will forward it to you.]


Rumour corner...

It was announced earlier this week that the Airbus A400M will be based at Brize Norton with the addition of 700 personnel to maintain it. This is supposed to occur around 2010. At the same time the C130K will be phased out of service with the loss of 800 service posts. Reasons given for not considering Lyneham include poor refuelling facilities, short runway, hangars will not accommodate an A400M and weather! I won't comment at this time but obviously all those Vc10 and TriStar weather diversions from Brize to Lyneham that were handled over the years have been a figment of our imagination.
Although there is already some doom and gloom amongst the locals, the fate of RAF Lyneham has not yet been decided as that is part of the SDR (Strategic Defence Review). A Home for the C130J must be found if Lyneham closes but it could remain in existence as a home for all the Combat Support Units - MAMS, TCW, MCSU etc.
We cannot see the A400M being built as the Germans have reneged three times so far on signing up for it and they are supposed to be ordering 75 aircraft. Nobody can understand why they want so many unless they're going to have another go at Russia!


From:     Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
Date:      18 Aug 2002 05:15
Subject:  Hope Irvine

The attached note should be self-explanatory - Hope is alive!
-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Roberts,
Sent: 17 August 2002 23:56
To: Ian Berry
Subject: Hope_Irvine

Ian copy of letter to hope plus copy of your bit from OBA. Hope will not get this until Tues/Wed next week

United Kingdom Mobile Air Movements Squadron Association
Membership Secretary, C/o PO Box 1126, SWINDON Wilts SN5 7WB
Tel: Liaison Officer: 01793 890381 Ext 7450,
Dear Hope

I have been passed your letter yesterday 16/8/02. It was a spooky coincidence Ken Wright has been asking about you and your address and if you were still about. Colin Allan had it in the back of his mind that you had crossed over to the other side.

Then out of the blue last night at the association committee meeting this young Rodney announced that he had some mail and address changes. I took a quick look through them during the meeting. There was letter from your good self.

Great chuckling and merriment that the theory had been proved incorrect.

We all then proceeded to remember when we last saw you I had 2 sightings, 1st in Aden 1967 you were friends of my room mate Bruce Gordon (not sure if name correct)

2nd (1979 ish) sighting Denmark when you came as part of a MAMS team to recover 12 Sqdn at the time I was on Mobility at Honington.

Ian Berry sent a mail to Ken remembering a trip you had with him I will print it off and put with this letter.

Back to the Association please complete enclosed form send cheque and form back to above address and I will send membership card. Or you can complete STO payment. Route steal at present is £25 for 5 years.

Best regards,

Terry Roberts


From:     John Holloway, Shrewsbury, UK
Date:      18 Aug 2002 05:40
Subject:  VIP York

Hi Tony
A subject that has often come up in over the past year or so in Sandscript,  the Mauripur Association's quarterly newsletter, is Lord Mountbatten's personal aircraft Avro York MW102 which was a very luxuriously furnished machine built as a VIP aircraft at Ringway for the use of Earl Mountbatten as Viceroy of India.  It went to 511 Squadron at Lyneham in 1943 arriving in India in April 1944.
I’ve put a compilation together from their memories in ‘Sandscript’ over the past year or so from half a dozen lads stationed there at Mauripur in various ASF trades 1947 to 49 who worked on MW102.
It was the second York to come into service, it was said that the oldest was MW101 which was Monty’s personal aircraft.
MW102 was a regular visitor to Mauripur in the late 40’s and after disembarking it’s VIP passengers it would be taxied round to R & I.  The long and short of it was if you failed to hear or see her land then you would be a prime candidate to be allocated to do the structural inspection as everyone else on hearing she had landed dashed to the’Chiefies’ office to grab an inspection card. Nobody ever picked up a structural card if they could help it. It was a known fact that every time MW102 touched down you would find that a few rivets had popped from the rear fuselage; that was why no one wanted structural cards
The  problem started when they had to drill out the old rivets and try to replace them with a rivet gun. This item had a strong spring so when the new rivet clicked into place it would probably pop out another 2 or 3 rivets; and if lucky you might get away with 5 or 6 rivets.  If you were unlucky on a bad day you would get a dozen or more pop out. Of course the reason for this problem was because it was the most bulled up aircraft in the Command, it was so highly polished each time it landed, four men worked on it at a time.  Brasso was just about unobtainable for any one else. The heads of the rivets were that worn down from the constant polishing and it was reputed that as a result of all this polishing the fuselage had a ten degree twist in it. It was recorded that on one service whilst in the UK they replaced over 300 rivets.
As well as the luxury furnishing the toilet on MW102 was very elaborate; all chrome with a revolving spring loaded butterfly worked by a foot pedal. The contents of the toilet were emptied at a speed of knots out through the bottom of the aircraft so effectively it missed fouling the tail wheel
The cleaning of the aircraft was undertaken by Indian workers and problems were a regular thing caused by the caste system, the interior was the sweeper’s job whilst the task of emptying the toilet demanded the services of a coolie.  Problems arose when only one of these ‘craftsmen’ was available because rather than do the other person’s job they would die first.
There were numerous mechanical problems with the aircraft and one funny thing,  though not at the time, was when there were regular serious failures on the hydraulics and on one occasion after repairs  the crew decided that on the test flight they would take parachutes and insisted that the one and only parachute packer at Mauripur flew with them; he was less than enthusiastic at the prospect and during the test flight sat quaking in his boots watching the hydraulic fluid dribbling from the undercarriage doors in the slipstream.  Luckily as it turned out the undercarriage worked as it should have done and they landed back with their hearts in their mouths and eyes on the wheels which locked as they should have done.
MW102 was seen in 1945 by one of the lads at Kallang Airport in Singapore just after the Jap surrender and it was rumoured that Mountbatten allowed it to be used to fly POW’s home as did the Duke of Gloucester’s York was used to fly Aussie POW’s home to Oz.
When Mountbatten ended his last Envoy in 47 and arranged the partition of India,  it was said that he wasn’t taking anything with him back to the UK.  However the aircraft was packed tight with stuff.  A test flight was taken and after about ten minutes of flying over Karachi one of the crew rushed into the cabin, looked under the wing near the wheel area, and sure enough showers of hydraulics were pouring out, thankfully a safe landing was made back at Mauripur.
The aircraft returned to the UK in July 48 after a short period in the Med and Middle East Command. It was put into storage until installation of long range tanks in December 49. It then returned to the Far East in February 1950 but was damaged in a landing accident at Changi on the 25th October 1950 and was struck off charge on the 31st December 1950
Hope that the foregoing was of interest
Cheers for now
John Holloway

[Ed:  Thanks John, that truly is amazing stuff!]


From:     Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
Date:      22 Aug 2002 09:20
Subject:  Meet & Greet and the Annual General Meeting

The Meet and Greet will be held in the 'Winch Inn' at Lyneham on Fri 30th August starting at 5pm with twofers going on at 7pm. All including non-Assn members are very welcome. There will also be a curry provided from Assn Funds.
The Association AGM will take place on Sat 31st August in the UKMAMS Crewroom (MAMS HQ) at 11am. As an enticement for members to attend they will receive two free beer tickets and a free hamburger ticket! Everyone is encouraged to attend. This AGM precedes the Sqn Families Day to which again everyone is welcome.



A “Husband Shopping Centre” was opened where a woman could go to choose from among many men to be her husband.

It was laid out in five floors, with the men increasing in positive attributes as you ascended up the floors. The only rule was, once you opened the door to any floor, you must choose a man from that floor, and if you went up a floor, you couldn’t go back down except to leave the place.

So, a couple of girlfriends go to the place to find men.

First floor, the door had a sign saying: “These men have jobs and love kids.” The women read the sign and say: “Well that’s better than not having jobs, or not loving kids, but I wonder what’s further up?”

So up they go.

Second floor says: “These men have high paying jobs, love kids, and are extremely good looking”. “Hmmm”, say the girls, “But, I wonder what’s further up?”.

Third floor: “These men have high paying jobs, are extremely good looking, love kids and help with the housework.” “Wow!” say the women. “Very tempting, BUT, there’s more further up!” And so again, they go up.

Fourth floor: “These men have high paying jobs, love kids, are extremely good looking, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.” “Oh, mercy me. But just think what must be awaiting us further on!”

So up to the fifth floor they go.

The sign on that door said: “This floor is just to prove that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping and have a nice day!!”


New on the site this week -  4 new photographs into Images 2000  


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards