05 September 2008

Clicking on the Quill & Ink icon above will take you to the Briefs Index Page - clicking on the Globe will take you to the Home (Navigator) Page

New members recently joined are:


Alec Ross, Stafford, UK

David Griffen, Belfast, UK

Robert (Bob) Davies, Kent, UK


Dwayne Spencer, Chilliwack, BC, Canada "Served with No.1 Air Movements Squadron 9 years MAMS"

Andy Gariepy, St.Amable, QC, Canada "Traffic Tech from 1974 to present and was a CC130 loadmaster from 1985 to 1994. I also worked in the UK from 2003 to 2007 and hired one of your guys; Uncle Moe (Mohindra) prior of him going to Qatar. It will be nice to talk to the guys that I have a chance to meet in RAF Lyneham and Brize Norton. Cheers"

Fritz von Kaitz, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Mike Hagarty, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Ken Usher, Edmonton, AB, Canada "Wonderful concept for a group with so many similarities!!!"

Keith Ball, Brighton, ON, Canada

Lloyd Ross, Fenelon Falls, ON, Canada "This is an excellent site with very informative and interesting reading. I'm very proud to be part of this long standing organization. Just another way to keep in touch. Keep up the good work."

Gary Christmas, Cold Lake, AB, Canada

Ted Baker, Brighton, ON, Canada

John Cayer, Trention, ON, Canada

Gary Wilcox, Ralston, AB, Canada

"Great site"
Brian Paxton, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Jacques Leclerc, St.Alexandre-Kamouraska, QC, Canada "I just went thru your web site and BRAVO Tony for an excellent job!"

Steve Peacock, Trenton, ON, Canada "Great site, can't wait for more Canadian content."

Mike Stephen, Victoria, BC, Canada

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Bob Tring, Wantage
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 3:07 PM
Subject: Thanks

Hi Tony,

Should have done this a long time ago.

Many thanks for your sterling efforts in keeping the proper UKMAMS memory alive and kicking.

Also a quick Heads Up “ Berry is 60 this year”.


Mystery Photo #082508


Tony Pyne, pass, Boot Pratt, FS can`t recall his name, Eddie Mottram, No idea.



Best Regards


Thanks Bob - I sincerely hope that Ian will not be suddenly afflicted with all the aches and pains associated with attaining three score years.

In the meantime, your entry in guessing the characters in the mystery photo have fallen far short of being placed in contention for the prize - rotten luck ol' boy!

Buckingham Palace has over six hundred rooms.

From: David Cromb, Brisbane, Qld
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 6:00 PM
Subject: Mystery Pic 082508

Hi Tony, great read again mate, ta.

I know you have heaps on yer plate, that's how you like it, but what about a story or ten from your holiday in Salalah? I dropped into Salalah a few times, not only whilst on task but also whilst at I was stationed at Masirah.

I recall one such trip from Masirah to Salalah, a C-130 chokkers with dannet wire, all palletised!, complete with side guidance. The only ACHE there was a 30' trailer. OK no problem, take down the para jump fingybobs and adjust the ramp as close as poss to height of trailer,which was lower than the ramp, and go for your life!. Bloody hell says loadie walking away in a daze.

I also remember night stopping there several times, for the life of me I can't remember the name of the bar we went to tho. But we slept on camp beds in the library. One morning I went for a pre-brekkie dip, top diving board and saw a vehicle, a one tonner or similar going along a road in the distance, it was pushing a roller or something similar, apparently checking for land mines.

Memories, where would we be wivout 'em eh my friend.

My guess for Mystery Pic 082508 is l-r, Tony Pyne, Errol "geordie"Sanderson, "boot " Pratt, John Evans, ? ,?.occifers.

OK so who took the piccie,there's an SAC missing, him?, and where was it taken?.

Was it taken after a very quick offload of Wessex choppers per chance?. I doubt if it was taken at Odiham tho. The armband doesn't help me, sorry.

As an aside, geordie was the cpl on Lima team during my tenure. Great bloke ,so much so he was godfather to our son Chris. He & Mavis were a great assistance to Phyl & I whilst we were travelling back from Oz, where we wed, 1/1/74. He 'took over' # 2 Tyne rd at Abingdon for us so we had a roof over our heads upon getting home. Bob Ford picked us up at Brize as well, in a bloody landrover, an eyeopener for my new bride !.

I have been trying to track Mavis for ages, if I may use this platform to further our search I would appreciate it. It is possible Mavis is in the Sunderland area, IWB may narrow that down for me.

Thanks Tony, keep up the brilliant work cobber.


Some day soon regarding tales of the Salalah vacation DC - in the meantime most of the ACHE at Salalah was Jingly Wallahs, thankfully they were a good crew. The vehicle pushing a "roller or something" was, in my time and if memory serves, an armour-plated Bedford 3 Ton truck towing a trailer loaded with sand. It had 8 wheels on one axle, set at a 45º angle to the perpendicular, which was then run on the sand road between the base and the jetty at Resuit and then back to Salalah each morning. Its purpose was to dislodge and explode any land mines secreted on the road during the cover of darkness by dissidents. No regular RAF traffic was allowed to use the road until the "Wobbly Wheel" as it was affectionately called, had completed the run. By coincidence, "The Wobbly Wheel" was also the name of the watering hole you eluded to!

Nice missive about Geordie Sanderson, but regret to announce he wasn't in Mystery Photo #082508 (shown in previous e-mail) So, no prize for you either - our prizemaster in Vienna is probably breathing a sigh of relief!

The answer to the mystery is thusly: Taken at Kastrup, Denmark, 1971. Having just loaded the engines-running Belfast, prior to boarding and departing for Brize Norton, Alpha Team pose for a vanity photo-shoot. Left to right: Tony Pyne, Pete Spears, Alan "Boot" Pratt, John Evans, Jack Worrell (MAMS Eng) and last, but by no means least, Dave "Dizzy" Benson.


Central Park in New York City has 125 drinking fountains

From: Dave Morrow, Carterton
8/25/2008, 4:04 pm, EDT
Subject: Website Guestbook Comments

Just looking at all the blokes on the website. So proud to have been associated with such a grand bunch.

Memories of my first detachment from Coltishall in '79 with Chris Keen and Mal Ellis to Laarbruch. I managed to return intact! My alarm clock didn't! It ended up in a waste bin next to the Keens' bed together with his stomach contents!!

Whatever happened to George North? Also Brian Connelan. And... Rip Kirby stole my bicycle clips!

Regards to all,


Thanks Dave - Ian Berry has responded to your enquires later on in this newsletter


From: Barbara Sugg, Swindon
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 4:10 PM
Subject: Holidays

Hi Guys & Gals,


This is just to let you know I will be on holiday for the whole of September. Ray and I are off to Vancouver, Kamloops and Victoria BC from the 2nd September until the 30th.

Will let you all know when we have safely landed back in U. K.

Be good whilst we are away try not to miss us too much! We are so looking forward to a nice break..

Love Babs & Ray

Thanks Babs - I just know you are going to have a wonderful time in Canada!

Some people I know read these factoids between items first!

Annual Movements WO's and SNCO's Top Table Luncheon
Sergeant's Mess, RAF Lyneham
Friday 14 November 2008 at 1200 Hrs


Training Flight
No 1 Air Mobility Wing
Royal Air Force Lyneham
Chippenham Wiltshire SN15 4PZ
Tel: 01249 896133 / 897379
Fax: 01249 896648


1.         As always the response for this function has been fantastic.  Presently we are bidding a fond farewell to Bill Liddle, John Purkis, Glen Wilson, Dave Morrow, Dan Smith and Ian Hambleton. I am sure this number may rise.

2.         With only a couple of months to go I can confirm the cost will be £35 per head. The menu will be: Fan of Melon to start followed by Baked Breast of Chicken Wrapped in Pancetta with a White Wine Sauce finished off with Apple Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream for desert.  Wine & Port at the table is also included. Special dietary requirements must be indicated on the return slip.

3.         For serving members at RAF Lyneham the cost can be recovered through your Mess Bills, please enter your Bar No on the return slip. For all others payment is to be by cheque payable to; SFAS RAF Lyneham.  The closing date for payment will be 05th November 08. Note: No refunds for cancellations made after Thu 06 Nov 08.  Please forward cheques to the address above, I shall not chase individuals for payment just cancel them from the attendance list.

4.         Dress for the function will be jacket and tie with a 1200hrs meet in the Mess bar and Lunch served at 1300hrs. A cash bar will be open till midnight following lunch. Due to limited accommodation at Lyneham I will not be taking bookings, I recommend contacting the Mess on Lye Ext 7255 to book on a first come first served basis.

5.         All that is now required is for you to confirm your attendance by completing the attached return slip and forwarding to me by post or email.  Looking forward to seeing you all for another great event.


Jim Sutton

Internal email

External email

Return Slip



From: Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 5:08 PM
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #082508

Morning Tony

Another tremendous Brief ...well done.

Pour nos amis nouveaux ... bienvenue.

For Andy Saint Laurent ... Oldest ? Get some in laddie ! When you were a five year old I was finishing my third overseas tour ....Burma in the 'Y 'Service during the war....DAMO at Changi....and then Air Movements Adviser to the Burma Air Force with the British Services Mission.

Nice try though


Nice one Jack!

From 1939 to 1942, there was an undersea post office in the Bahamas

From: Malcolm Porter, London
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 5:08 PM
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #082508

Hi Tony,

Have just read the latest Newsletter - once again - thanx.

I just cannot get over the notion that Pete Clayton is intending to dispel all rumours and buy me a beer! His comments however, do remind me to mention that apart from Peter and Brian Kent, our reunion is critically short of any other Movers.

Friday 31st October at the RAF Club in London will witness over 50 'Forty Four' veterans to recall the days (and nights) of operations for such airlines as:- Transglobe Airways (its chief loadmaster was ex Lancasters!!!) Tradewinds, Transmeridian Air Cargo, The Flying Tigers (we again welcome Jeff Seideman who flew the FAA proving flights of the Guppy), Mike Newman, a legend in TMAC history (especially in his gorilla suit!).

Marvin Beier, our US President, will recall his days on the 44 flying for Wrangler Blue Bell.

I will recount the clandestine flights we flew in the 44 and the DC-7 for the Rhodesian Air Force and Bryne Grace -a former CL44 Flight Engineer with BOAC (yes, BOAC!) will tell us about the proving flights he flew for Rolls Royce when the addition of the nose mounted Tyne engine to the Halifax prompted his request to the groundcrew to " Start Five"!

The Saturday dinner (1st Nov) does have vacancies also - so no excuses- all you need do guys n gals is email us.

Incidentally, the Belfast at SEN recently 'hosted' a film crew from Northern Ireland - 44 Association member and former CL44 and Belfast captain Mike Baines was on hand to provide first hand recollections.


Alas, the Guppy at BOH is also in line for an exchange posting to the Tin Factory.

All the more reason for all of us to get ourselves to the RAF Club and meet up!

Best wishes

Malcolm Porter
CL44 Association

Thanks Malcolm - always so sad to see a magnificent airframe heading for the knacker's yard


New figures released by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) show that Gordon Brown's personal decision as chancellor in 1998 to lease the four Boeing C17 Globemasters instead of buying outright was the more expensive option.

Buying the huge transporters outright would have cost £520 million, but instead the MoD paid £769 million to lease the aircraft for eight years and an extra £220 million to buy them afterwards, a total of £989 million.

The giant aircraft are now in operation with 99 Squadron, based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

Fully laden they can carry three Warrior armoured vehicles or a dozen Land Rovers. The MoD has since bought two more for £130 million each, putting the total cost for the RAF's fleet of C17s up to £1.25 billion.

Gerald Howarth, the Conservative defence spokesman, said the deal to hire the aircraft was "an absolute shocking waste of public money when our troops are going without the equipment they need".

The MoD said the decision to lease the aircraft instead of buy them was taken to meet short-term operational requirements.

It later bought the aircraft as "the best value-for-money option".

In Czechoslovakia, there's a church that has a chandelier made out of human bones

From: Wayne Flaherty, Winnipeg, MB
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 10:33 PM
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #082508

Hi Tony,

Seeing as you like to publish a few stories about various movers here is mine:

I was the Loadmaster on a Canadian Military 707 for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in the early 1980's in New Delhi India.

After arriving at our hotel I decided to check out the surrounding area, and who should I bump into but a couple of Aussie Flight Engineers looking for our engineers. I told them I would take them to meet our engineers but we never made it past my 40-ouncer!

After it was done I tried our engineers but they took one look at us and just passed us a couple more 40-ouncers.

As I had an Embassy party to go to we all decided to go to it together. As it turns out our crews had met and agreed to go to see the Taj Mahal the next day. I made it but the two Aussie engineers were not able to answer the call. I think I was sick for a week after that. Never again!

Best to the Aussie Air Force for weak engineers!

Wayne Flaherty

Thanks Wayne... methinks you might have started something now... waiting for an Aussie comeback!


Mystery Photo #090508

The deepest cave in the world, "Lamprechtsofen-Vogelshacht" in Salzburg, Austria, is 5,354 feet deep.

From: Jimmie Durkin, Stafford
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 6:47 AM
To: Ian Berry
Subject: Re: - Dave Eccles a chance to say hello and goodbye...

Hello Ian

Please offer my apology for being unable to attend Dave and Denise' evening  29 August at Wooton Bassett Rugby Club. It seems like a very nice idea and I think it is very brave of both Dave and Tommy to meet and greet past service and present friends considering the circumstances. I'm sure the night will go well for them.

I've managed to contact Alfred (Alf, Paddy) Vance and wife Doreen by telephone a.m. today. Alf is extremely hard of hearing and conversation on the phone can be difficult to say the least. My hearing is far from good (like so many of us) Can you imagine it?  "Say again, what, eh, what - no no...say again" -  eventually we got there! 

Doreen is just out of hospital after a hip operation and unfit to travel. Alf is now a full time carer for Doreen and awaits a similar operation!  They are not on the I-net so  asked me to tender their apology for the night.

Best regards to all from

Jimmie Durkin and Alf and Doreen Vance



From: Tony Gale, Gatineau/Ottawa
Sent: August 26, 2008 11:03 AM
To: Bob Dixon
Cc: 'Chris Clarke'
Subject: Aircrew-vs-Movers

Dear Bob,

It is very disturbing that the "Official" or "Big Brother" association is likely to disband. It only serves to spur me on to greater efforts to ensure that some conduit remains available to those who want to maintain contact with friends and acquaintances and share their experiences and memories, which, in the autumn of our years, is very important in my humble opinion.

I believe that Chris "Pig" Clarke has hit the nail on the head with his welcome rant (OBB #082508). I know that the Old Bods Briefs is widely read at the MoD (I don't believe my website statistics report would steer me wrong on that score) and so our concerns will not be lost in the ethernet - someone is watching. Whether they take action is up for grabs, perhaps there's someone of influence in those corridors who has a sympathetic ear and an understanding of pride and tradition that can make a difference. The ultimate goal here is to re-establish the squadron status - that would be too beautiful for words!

I have given the issues some thought and it has suddenly occurred to me that we're really not thinking outside of the box to solve them.

According to Chris, the basic problem is the animosity between Aircrew and Movers - that apparently led to UKMAMS being absorbed into the AMW, and naturally the demise of the UKMAMS Association was only a matter of time - the writing was on the wall.

How can this be resolved - how can the squadron status be reinstated (which will lead naturally to the reforming the UKMAMS Association) and, most importantly, how can the relationship between Aircrew and Movers become one of mutual respect and understanding?

I believe we can solve all of those issues by adopting a method of Loadmaster acquisition similar to the one that has been used very successfully for many decades by the Canadian Armed Forces. It is my understanding that their Loadmasters are not of purely aircrew status, but are drawn from within the Movements trade to serve a tour as Loadmaster on a particular type of aircraft on a flying squadron. Once their tour is complete they might go on to another squadron and another aircraft type, or simply return for regular duty at an Air Movements unit.

In the short term there will be current (RAF) Loadmasters who will kick and scream at such an outrageous suggestion.

In the long term the benefits are going to be a totally win-win situation.

If the UKMAMS Squadron was re-established, creating a pool of highly motivated and expertly trained Movements personnel, who can be cross-trained in the aircraft types as Loadmasters, they can serve tours as Loadmaster and then return to the squadron at the conclusion of their tour. Everyone on the UKMAMS squadron will receive flying pay regardless of their being on a MAMS tour or a Loadmaster tour.

Other than voicing my ideas through the means of the OBA newsletter, where they may or may not be considered, I really don't have any influence on current RAF policies. Perhaps you Bob, as a retired Group Captain, might be able to approach the right people and voice the suggestion?


Best regards


The oldest inhabited house in Scotland is the Traquair Castle. The castle has had 27 kings as visitors

From: Chris Clarke, Burlington, ON
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 11:36 AM
Subject: RE: Aircrew-vs-Movers


I like the idea of Mover Loadies. It's worked very well in Air Command for decades. It needs to be pitched as a parallel to Air Dispatchers and a budget saver. But I agree with the idea.

Whether the ex-Tornado pilots who now run the RAF will agree....dunno on that!

Chris J Clarke


From: David Powell, Princes Risborough
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 5:13 PM
Subject: OBA Briefs - F Team and Canadians and Beer

Hi Tony

Seeing the truck load of Canadians that have signed on in the latest Old Bods Briefs reminds me of a bit of F team history.

This story is in 2 parts. Part 1 takes place at that holiday camp of the North - RNoAF Base Bardufoss and the positioning phase for Exercise Polar Express, a NATO Northern Flank AMF reinforcement exercise, 3-5 June '68. In those far off days each nation did its own thing and deployed its own forward airhead support. We watched the Canadians work their C-130s, the Canadians watched us. We pitched in and helped the Canadians. They helped us. They got thirsty. We got thirsty. We had beer. They helped us drink it.

A few months later, 10-13 November, F team were dispatched to Ascension Island courtesy of 53 Sqn and Belfast XR366 with a load of communication stuff. In those pre-Falklands days, Ascension was primarily a US run ‘civilian’ airfield with a lot of interesting aerials and stuff. The planned schedule was to stage via Lajes, night stop, then onto Sal in the Cape Verde Islands (gas and go), Ascension for the off-load and night stop, Sal (night stop) and back to Brize direct.

Today the Cape Verde Islands are another attractive place in the sun. Indeed a friend of ours is seriously considering buying some property in the Islands. Then, it was a tad different. The main reason for the airport at Sal appeared to be to stage a weekly South African Airways 707 on a New York schedule. On the way down to Ascension, our intrepid quartermaster (load master to recent joiners) did a recce of the airport hotel and restaurant. The report was, shall we say, not very positive. So the plan was: load up with beer at Ascension; night stop at Sal as planned - but have a simulated supper (i.e. drink the drink but skip the lumpy). Then in the morning, first one of the pilots to wake up wakes everyone else and we high tail out of there before anybody catches anything, and the Q produces a pronto in-flight breakfast to catch up on the solids. And, this we did.

The main point of these two stories is that as we were sitting waiting outside the then transit accommodation at Ascension surrounded by our rations, mainly the tinnies for the Sal night-stop, when who should roll up but the Canadian MAMS team we had worked with at Bardufoss. They were working humanitarian relief runs into the Congo (I think?). Anyway the first thing they see is the stack of cans. The second is us. Big reunion and comments about UKMAMS and not going anywhere without large quantities of beer!

The trip home went as planned. The only memories I have of that stop at Sal are: the waiters wanting to know when we might eventually be coming to dinner at the airport hotel; a most excellent in flight breakfast of boiled eggs and bread rolls, and Taff Price demolishing a porcelain crapper just by sitting on it – which gives you some idea of the state of the infrastructure at the time!

As a follow up to the Bardufoss experience, in the 70's I found myself in the heady world of staff work at Upavon where I had a great deal of satisfaction of being involved in negotiating the International Air Lift Coordination Element (IALCE) concept whereby nations shared resources and tasks.

Happy Days! Were any of you Canadians in Bardufoss in June and Ascension in November of 1968 ?

Keep the faith!

David Powell

The steepest street in the world is Baldwin Street located in Dunedin, New Zealand. It has an incline of 38%

When I initially joined the RAF through the Boy Entrant's scheme back in ’63 there was a hierarchical system in place – I was in the 50th, the junior entry, and Robbie Taylor was in the 46th, the senior entry, and very close to graduation. As junior entry, we were at the mercy of the seniors.

We were issued with pint-sized ceramic mugs as part of our initial kit and the senior entry made sure that they smashed them for us as soon as possible.

And now for the rest of the story...


From: Robbie Taylor, Doncaster
Via: Parcel Post


A little present for you from the 46th Entry. From what I remember this is a good likeness and much better that the nasty green plastic one you had to use when we smashed yours!

Hope you enjoy it, either for tea/storing of pencils in - or something a little stronger!

Many thanks again for what you're doing with the OBA.

Without you, I and a lot of others would not have been in contact with old and new friends.



Robbie - How really thoughtful of you - after some 45 years had transpired – to replace that wonderful mug. When I opened the package a few minutes ago and realized what it was, the hair on the back of my neck literally stood on end and I had goose bumps to boot!

I intend to make use of this mug in the manner for which was intended - every day!


From: Bob Dixon, Dauntsey
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 12:22 PM
To: 'Tony Gale'
Cc: 'Chris Clarke'
Subject: RE: UKMAMS and its past, present and future

Hello Tony and Chris

Firstly, my sincere thanks to you both for your interest and support. It is good to have friends out there and sometimes it is needed to cut through the apathy of too many people these days. I have a few comments for you and hope they are useful.

You can be sure that I have not been dormant and have expressed my views on the viability and organisation of the new Wing quite strongly; it may be that this has been the cause of some distancing we have had from the outgoing OC of the Wing and his predecessor. But things had to be said and if they cannot take advice or criticism then the world is becoming a poorer place. As you would expect, I have also been keeping up my contacts with the current RAF and only this afternoon I was speaking to the Air Commodore who is now probably the senior Mover in the RAF; a former UKMAMS Team Leader in my time and a good guy who has done well for the RAF in trying conditions over the past couple of years. I am confident that he will put a good word about the Association in the ear of the incoming new OC 1 AMW.

Chris commented about Unit loyalty – a subject I hold most highly on my list of priorities. The placing of UKMAMS Unit badge in the floor of the RAF Church of St Clement Danes was symbolic of that (and the piss-up on the boat on the Thames afterwards rounded off the day nicely!) and I did the same for the “Oggie” Squadron 10 years later. The 2 badges are next to each other in the West entrance and in a location that is always lit - a superb position as, by rights, they should be in the outer isles of the Church! I must also comment on Chris’ remark about the “refusal to allow UKMAMS to have a Queen’s Colour on the 1980s” because the reason was not quite as he implies. Firstly, it was for a Standard (Colours only go to organisations like Regiments, the RAF, the RAF Regiment, the RAF College etc) To earn the award of a Standard from the Queen you have to be a squadron that has had 25 years service. This was coming up after my tenure of office at Lyneham and so I started the ball rolling ... The problem was that when the rules for who gets a Standard were written, they said that they were for Flying Squadrons and RAF Regiment Squadrons. Thus we did not qualify. I have, for the past 20 years off and on, been working on suitable ‘high-ups’ to get this ruling amended as the RAF’s Ceremonial organisation was reluctant to approach the Queen for any amendments. They included Air Chief Marshall Sir John Cheshire and, more recently, Lord Beaverbrook. The fact that the RAuxAF Squadron (4624) of which the latter is Honorary Air Commodore, was approaching its 25th Anniversary and had been mobilised to support the Movements Trade in operations in several overseas and UK locations was all good ammo for our case. I was therefore more than chagrined when UKMAMS was disbanded in October 2006 and, as many did not seem to be aware at the time, a Wing cannot currently be awarded a Standard, only a Squadron can have that honour. There is therefore the (unlikely) possibility that 4624 Squadron could get a Standard if the rules are finally changed - but not 1 AMW!

You ask how can UKMAMS be restored and how can the aircrew/ Mover relationship be improved. You cannot restore the old ‘status quo’ directly because that would mean that the Authorities got it wrong 2 years ago when they set up AMW. Be aware that the idea for AMW came from an OC UKMAMS and not the aircrew ... he convinced them that this was the way ahead. Its organisational weakness as a Wing is that there is no allowance for sickness, injury or compassionate difficulties etc so that backfilling those deployed on operations in their 16 week cycles must come from those recovering in UK with inevitable result of building up workloads. As the Wing is also responsible for filling DWR and Liaison Posts abroad, there is even greater pressure on the establishment than ever before. As the base movements tasks have been civilianised and routine mobile tasking (or what is left of it as the aircraft are all fully committed to 2 ‘hot theatres’ of operations) passed to the Reserve Squadron (4624) should the tempo of operations fall then the establishment will be vulnerable to cuts - just as it has grown recently to meet the operations it is committed to. You will see my point?

Relationships between aircrew and Movers has always fluctuated and the way to improve it is for the senior Movers and its Squadron Commanders to get alongside their aircrew equals and work hard to improve things as well as ensuring at the same time that the ‘boys and girl’s come up with the goods. This isn’t rocket science and it takes work, time and effort. I am confident that it can be done and would be successful. However, although it is a 2 way thing and the job of the Mover is to find out what is really getting up the noses of the “master race” (aircrew) and to sort it so that the problems have no foundation. I could tell you stories from the past about the mechanics of that, but the essence is what I have described above. In my opinion, we have to make the first move.

The Loadmaster connection with the Movements Trade was tried before and had some success. Several UKMAMS personnel went on to become Loadmasters (incidentally MAMS get some flying pay now) and even aircrew! However, there is a huge lack of enthusiasm amongst Loadmasters to become involved in the ‘nitty gritty’ Movements tasks.

The above is not intended to other than a realistic look at where we appear to be. Some water has gone under the bridge and we cannot reinvent the wheel in the near future. We can try and salvage the pride and reputation of a Squadron that has everything to be proud of and few regrets as it recollects 40 years of tempestuous and successful service! However, that needs more than a few old soldiers/soaks to achieve a more optimistic outcome in the future – are they willing to contribute?



R Dixon
Gp Capt (Retd)

United Kingdom Mobile Air Movements Squadron Association

4624 (County of Oxford) Movements Squadron Old Comrades Association

At 3,211 feet, Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world's highest waterfall. (Niagara Falls is a mere 177 feet high)

From: Barrie (Tug) Wilson,
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 12:46 PM
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #082508

Hi Tony,

Many congratulations on a brilliant site and the time you are commiting to the 'Old Bods' I am sure it is much appreciated by everybody.

I had two tours with UKMAMS in the 70's and although short, I am extremely pleased to have been part of that marvellous organisation and a great honour to have known and worked with a tremendous bunch of people.

It is a great shame that the Association might have to be put into moth balls, if not totally disbanded. I think there may be many, like myself, who work shifts and live away from the Lyneham area, find it difficult to attend the 'meet and greets' and the functions held there. It is difficult to think of a postitive way I could assist the Association from Weymouth, ( I am open to suggestions). Hopefully a way around the current problems can be found and we can continue to belong to a unique organisation.

My regards to those who know me and continued good health to all.


Barrie (Tug) Wilson

Thanks Barrie - let's keep the spirit alive!


Devon, England, has about 33,000 miles of hedgerows, more hedgerows than any other country

We've seen this petition (or one similar) before in the OBA Briefs - but we all know about the squeaky wheel thing.

From: Chris Kirby, Inverness
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 4:35 PM
Subject: Red Arrows London Olympics ?

The world-famous Red Arrows have been banned from appearing at the 2012 London Olympics because they are deemed 'too British'. Organisers of the event say that the Arrows military background might be 'offensive' to other countries taking part in the Games. The display team have performed at more than 4000 events worldwide, but the Department of Culture, Media and Sport have deemed the display team 'too militaristically British.' Red Arrows pilots were said to be 'outraged', as they had hoped to put on a truly world class display for the Games, something which had never been seen before. Being axed from a British-based event for being 'too British' is an insult - the Arrows are a symbol of Britain .

The Red Arrows have been excellent ambassadors for British overseas trade, as they display their British-built Hawk aircraft all over the world.

The Arrows performed a short flypast in 2005 when the winning bid was announced, but their flypast at the Games was to have been truly spectacular.

It is to be hoped that common sense prevails.

If you disagree with this decision, sign the petition on the link


From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 6:43 AM
To: Dave Morrow
CC: Terry Roberts
Subject: Brian Connelan

Hi Dave,

Brian lives in Corby and has now retired.

However he is still good friends with Terry Roberts whom I have info'd and Brian and Ayleen are coming down to Swindon to stay for the September weekend of the bash!

Terry can provide more info...

Also saw Rip Kirby last Friday night when he was one of many who managed to attend the 'Farewell Piss-up' organised for Dave Eccles..

Best regards,


In Albania, nodding your head means "no" and shaking your head means "yes."

Big Bash Weekend
RAF Lyneham
Friday & Saturday - 26th & 27th September 2008

Friday - Meet & Greet

Saturday - 1 Air Movements Wing Families Day -

  • UKMAMS Association Annual General Meeting at RAF Lyneham at 1330hrs on Saturday 27 September will have the EGM and Disbandment as a special Item for discussion.  This is the opportunity for all those who want to discuss the future of the Association to come and make their opinions count.

Saturday evening - Dinner/Dance

More details on the AMW website here: Big Bash


What Was In Your Suitcase?


We've all collected souvenirs from the places we've found ourselves in around this planet.

I would like to know what was in YOUR suitcase, preferably purloined (in true MAMS tradition, not being nailed down etc.).

Here's a good starter, I was able to secure this delightful objet d'art when I found myself in Bait Al Falaj, Muscat & Oman, back in November of 1971.

There are 42 museums in Amsterdam - the higest concentration of museums in the world

From: Rick Loveridge, Brough
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 7:35 PM
Subject: Poorly ears & bad backs.

Hello Tony.

I've just been re-reading a couple of articles in recent newsletters, sent in by Chas Collier and Rip Kirby, regarding poorly ears. I was recently out for a meal with the wife and some friends, and noticed I was having some difficulty keeping up with the conversation. There was music playing in the background, but it did not seem to affect the rest of the party. The wife has also developed a habit of turning the volume down on the tv, if she joins me to watch something. Oh well, maybe it's just age, as my near vision is on its way out as well!

I wanted to know if, (and I'm sure there are,) other old bods who have back trouble? I have been plagued for years. On one occasion, I got up, after sleeping off nights, with no-one else at home, and dressed only in my shreddies, I went to perform my ablutions. Bang! I was laid out on the floor, in a cold bathroom, almost naked and unable to move. It was quite some time before the wife came home and helped me to bed. This was only one of many episodes. If I have called the quack in, the usual diagnosis was "slipped disc".

Two years ago, I was spending a fortnight, my second such stay, at the Police Convalescent Home in Harrogate. The physiotherapist assigned to me noted it was my second visit, for back trouble. He spent an hour pulling, prodding and stretching me, as well as asking many questions. This was really the first time anybody had undertaken any kind of examination. His diagnosis was a classic case of "workers back", caused by years of heavy manual labour, resulting in the muscles in my lower back essentially fusing together, he had been unable to identify the seperate muscle groups, just a big knotty/fatty mess.

As the muscles now pull against each other, if one gets pulled too far, the wrong way, it will go in to spasm, causing the pain. The physio does not believe I have ever slipped a disc, as on one occasion, when the pain forced me to go to hospital, I was up and running within 20 minutes, after two shots in the jacksie. I was given a programme of Pilates excercises to perform. I have not,touch wood, had any time off work since, with back trouble. I still get backache, as I'm too lazy to carry out the excercises as often as I should.

I don't recall ever having any training in safe lifting practices, other than the usual advice, to lift using leg power. It's not always easy, eg when working in the holds of some aircraft, to lift correctly anyway.

Are there others out there, left with a legacy of back pain from their service? One final thing... I think this is medical proof that Old Dibs did his fair share of humping and dumping!

Take care.


It's called "getting old" Dibs and it's happening to all of us unfortunately. It does help to talk about it with others of our era, discovering that we're not alone.


Corporal Mike Hill, a Canadian Forces Traffic Technician with the Mobile Air Movements Section (MAMS) builds a wall of baggage around himself as he builds a pallet of duffel bags at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. The MAMS personnel are responsible for the load, unload, and passenger check-in for all Canadian military and commercial flights in and out of Kandahar Airfield.

About 2500 members of the Canadian Forces (CF) are currently serving as part of Joint Task Force Afghanistan. Most of the soldiers are stationed at Kandahar Airfield and at Camp Nathan Smith, Canada’s Provincial reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kandahar City. Other personnel are assigned to various military headquarters, a support base, and civilian organizations.

They play a key role in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force mission whose goal is to improve the security situation in Afghanistan and assist in rebuilding the country.

Photo: MCpl Kevin Paul, Canadian Forces Combat Camera

Indonesia consists only of islands - 13,667 altogether

It's good to see more and more people joining the OBA. One application for membership brought memories flooding back - Robert (Bob) Davies ("Titch"to all those who remember him from the 47th Boy Entrants at Hereford).

Bob & I were room mates back in the Abingdon days. We had many grand adventures together around the world; from the Welsh Valleys to the Arctic and from the jungles of Malaysia to the back streets of London town.

Bob's parents owned a pub in central London at that time and he had the penthouse flat. One particular weekend, attending one of Bob's parties, I found myself comforting a young lady who was greatly distressed - she had been Rod Stewart's girlfriend (when he was in the band "Faces") and he had just dumped her.... those were heady days!


Fast forward 37 years and Bob is the proud owner of a P51D Mustang, "Big Beautiful Doll" which he flies frequently at airshows and in competition in both the UK and the USA.
That's Bob on the left with Joe Roberts, a former RAF Halton apprentice who is now an Aviation Artist.

Here's a video of Bob flying the Big Beautiful Doll in May of this year at the Abingdon Air & Country Show. It's a little over 10 minutes long, so strap yourselves in and crank up the volume!


From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2008 6:26 PM
Subject: Cap Badge

Hi Tony

A couple of Briefs ago you asked about the cap badges that we were wearing in the Cosford parade photo. Mine has quite a bit of history.

In 1946 (I was 10 years old) we had a chap lodge with us who had just been demobbed from the RAF. His name is Arthur Kinson and I've always known him as Kinse. Anyway he gave me his forage cap together with the subject badge and his Union Jack shoulder flashes, more on them later.

As a result of your question I went to see him to get a bit of history and quite honestly as we sat and talked we could have written a book on the memories of his service life. He joined the RAF in 1937 and trained as a W/Op. His postings were all in the Mediterranean area. He was with 233 and 48 Squadrons flying in Hudsons and Wellingons searching for U-Boats out of Gibraltar for three years.

He moved about quite a lot as the war progressed, going to Algeria and Tunisia then over to Italy. With about 30 others he was sent up to Rumania where he had to wear the Union Jack flashes so that the Russians would recognise them as allies. That cap badge went everywhere with him and is so well polished that there are no rough edges on it, almost as if it has been polished on a buffing machine. He said that he even polished his flying boots.

His memories of that time are quite fantastic; like sneaking over the border from Gibraltar into Spain and travelling up to Madrid. Then, when in Rumania, having a machine gun prodded into his ribs by a Russian military policewoman, she wanted his aircrew wristwatch. This is something I never knew but those watches had a compass under the backplate.

I wore his cap badge after I left square bashing and it did some more mileage to the Canal Zone, Habbaniya, Mauripur and Aden; I wouldn't mind a fiver for every mile that it has travelled.

When I left Kinse after our mammoth talk, he was climbing up a ladder to put some slates on the roof and he's 87 years old, quite fantastic! I promised to go back and see him again to talk some more, who knows I may even get him to put it all down in writing.

Cheers for now,


Good stuff as always John - thanks!

There is a large brass statue of Winnie-the-Pooh in Lima, Peru.

CAF Mystery Photo #090508


From: James Aitken, Brisbane, Qld
Sent: Thursday, September 4, 2008 5:47 PM

Good morning Tony,

Reading the latest newsletter and hearing of the decline and likely disbandment of UKMAMS Association through lack of member support, gave me a shiver up my spine!!

I recall that "our" OBA had a time when input to the newsletter was hard to come by, without which your newsy brief would not be possible. Suffice to say, member support is vital to the survival of any association.

I was gobsmacked when I checked to see how many newsletters had arrived since you "re-activated", 20 to be exact; and would you believe it is fast approaching a year in October since we all "got together" again !

Which brings me to my query.

You have always insisted that the OBA has no subscription fee attached to membership. However, we must all be aware of the financial cost of maintaining this website which we all enjoy, apart from the many hours of your own personal time you must invest for all our benefit.

Many of us (I hope all!!) made voluntary contributions at the start-up and I have to admit that I have only made one "tip-in" at this stage.

Can you please outline the methods available to make cash contributions once again. At 73, I think I must be heading towards "old timers" disease !! Can't remember how I did it last time.

Cheers mate

Jim Aitken

p.s. Congratulations to Canada on your 18 Olympic medals.

Thanks Jim - regrettably there have been only 22 members so far who have made a (monetary) contribution to the new & improved OBA - I anticipated this going in so it comes as no surprise. Human nature dictates that if you can get something for nothing then why pay for it. On the other hand I don't want anybody to be left out in the dark if they're unable to manage a member's fee - so I go with the weakest link and no one gets left behind.

There are two spots on the web site where you will be able to click on a link to PayPal - at the foot of the home page underneath the pictures of all of the pretty airplanes, there's also one on the RAF Member's page underneath the interactive world time zones map. Your contribution will make a positive difference.

That's it for this issue - have a great weekend!


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