18 September 2009

From: Brian Lay, Wellington
Sent: 03 September 2009 18:18
Subject: RNZAF Mystery Photo 090409

This is Sgt Tony Peritton from Christchurch Air Movements marshalling a load onto a C-130


Thanks Brian, although at the time the picture was taken (April 2007) Tony was still a Corporal and, I believe, might have been in Auckland.


From: James Aitken, Brisbane, Qld
Sent: 04 September 2009 00:22
Subject: RAAF Mystery Photo 090409

Hi Tony

That could well be the entry to RAAF Amberley.

In the background is the "gate guard" Canberra.

Jim Aitken

Right Jim! I had performed a little Photoshop magic on the original which appears below, also a closer look at the Gate Guard:

In one day an average person will take about 18,000 steps

From: Gus Turney, Calne
Sent: 04 September 2009 06:46
Subject: Mystery Photo #090409

Hello Tony,

My entry for mystery pic as follows:

Place, RAF Movements School Theatre.  As I was posted to the school in April '89, I'm guessing this was taken late '88 to early '89. Here goes with names:

Back row, l to r, Fitzy, (?), Andy Tesch, Gary Richards, (?), Sig Siggery, (?), Gary Main.

3rd row, l to r, Ray Hedinburgh, (?), Andy Zimmer, Ian Almond, Pete Ingham, Nobby Clarke, Steve Frewin,Vic Mackie, Dick Goss, Dave McMurdo, Dave (Williams?).

2nd row, l to r, (?), Steve Croston, Nige Robinson, (?), Ade Smith, Mrs Sue Smith, Mr Bob Webb, (?) Dolly Harrison, Chris Keane, Ian Catchpole, John Calver.

Seated l to r, MALM John Turkentine, Mike Bell, Andy Ralls, Colin Waitt, OC Rod Elliot, Tim Newstead, John Gardiner, Terry Fell, Jim Cunningham

Apologies to any omissions, and spelling mistakes. The school was my first posting as a JNCO, and I was put in charge of the PTA. I quickly recognised the potential of this facility, and promptly turned it into my own vehicle workshop. A procession of my cars would regularly pass through.

Who remembers my big yellow '66 Pontiac, or the Black, chrome laden, 1958 Oldsmobile?  Then there was the matt black, blue striped, Mk1 Ford Escort, or the green and primered Escort that I purchased in Carterton (the vendor wanted £50 - I cut him down to £25!). 

Had some good times there!

Regards to all,

Gus T. 

Thanks Gus - appreciated. I've placed names against faces below:

Andy Tesch
Gary Richards
Jim Marchant
Sig Siggery
Gary Main
Ray Hedinburgh


Andy Zimmer

Ian Almond

Pete Ingham

Nobby Clarke

Steve Frewin

Vic Mackie

Dick Goss

Dave McMurdo
Dave Williams
Steve Croston
Nige Robinson
Ade Smith
Dolly Harrison
Chris Keane
Ian Catchpole
John Calver
Sue Smith

Bob Webb
John Turkentine
Mike Bell
Andy Ralls
Colin Waitt
Rod Elliott
Tim Newstead
John Gardiner
Terry Fell
Jim Cunningham


Appeal to bring troops beer cheer

RAF chiefs are appealing for donations so British troops returning from Afghanistan can enjoy a cold beer on their flight home.

A campaign dubbed "Beer for the boys" was launched two years ago to provide a can of lager or bitter for servicemen and women flying back to the UK at the end of grueling six-month tours.

Generous breweries have already donated thousands of cans, but the team that runs RAF passenger flights to and from Afghanistan would like more so all troops coming home can be offered a drink.

Wing Commander Steve Chadwick started "Beer for the boys" when he took over 216 Squadron, which operates the military's fleet of TriStar aircraft based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. "I felt it would be a nice thing to do after the guys had done their time in theatre, on behalf of a grateful nation and the RAF," he said. "The principle is that a single can of cold beer thrust into the hand of a soldier once the TriStar is safely away from the ground and out of harm's way marks the point at which he knows he is going home after six months of fighting. It is just a token, but an important one."

British military bases in southern Afghanistan are alcohol-free zones so the beers are particularly welcome. At the moment 216 Squadron is part way through the major two-month operation - known as a Rip, or "relief in place" - to replace the 9,000 UK troops who are now finishing their tours.

Dutch brewery Grolsch has donated 10,000 cans, enough for all the personnel coming home after six months away from their families. But Wing Cdr Chadwick would like to be able to offer troops a beer on every military flight out of Afghanistan. "It would be nice to do it all year round, not just for the Rip," he said.

On average 216 Squadron carries about 1,000 servicemen and women a week between Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan and RAF Brize Norton. When the Rip is not on, many are returning home part way through their tour for a fortnight of R&R (rest and recuperation).

Donations to "Beer for the boys" have previously been made by the brewer Scottish and Newcastle, veterans' associations and City of London guilds.

Anyone who wants to contribute to the "Beer for the boys" fund can send a cheque, made payable to "SIF Funds, RAF Brize Norton" and with "Beer for the boys" written on the back, to Wing Cdr Chadwick at 216 Squadron, RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire OX18 3LX.

The Press Association.

For beer commercials, they add liquid detergent to the beer to make it foam more

From: Malcolm Porter, Upton-upon-Severn
Sent: 04 September 2009 03:34
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #090409

Hi Tony,

Chas Cormack, and his question re the Nicosia football team, forgets one thing - old age and waning memory! Alas, I shall seek the help of Brian Kent this morning to identify the other 'aces' in the picture.

Do please spread the word that yours truly has been recruited by Derek Smith, CEO of XM496 (Britannia) at Kemble.

The aircraft is in full Transport Command livery and is ready for pax! I shall be on board most Sundays, providing the F658 is approved by my driver (due to mild epilepsy, I cannot drive for 6 months).

My role right now? Well, the Britannia and the CL44 share a common nose wheel and the Brit needs one and there are two brand new ones on a pallet in the Guppy!

Message for Chas Collier - I was on shift at Changi the day Alan Henchoz put the DAMO's car in the monnie drain - not nice!

Regards to all and if anyone has some 1960's style RAF Baggage Labels would you be prepared to part with them for display on the Britannia?

Malcolm Porter


From: Geoff Cayton, Newport
Sent: 04 September 2009 05:56
Subject: Glyn (Taff) Erasmus

Hi Tony,

This is my first input to your O.B.A.

I served on MAMS in Aden 63/65 and on my return for a second tour at Lyneham I had the privilege of serving under Glyn Erasmus who had become a Warrant Officer for an amazing second time in two separate careers with the R.A.F.

I was thrilled to see him mentioned by Keith Parker in the last mailings. I would be interested to hear from anyone with more info on him.

Geoff Cayton
South Wales

Thanks Geoff - a little research revealed that there is an Erasmus family north of Newport - perhaps you could follow that lead and let us know.


From: Charlie Gibson, Dundee
Sent: 04 September 2009 10:46
Subject: Faces from the Past

Was having a good read when Keith Parker's entry caught my eye, cause there staring up at me was Taff Erasmus; he was my shift F/Sgt at Lyneham along with Sgt Tam Marshal. Great guys, great times and they taught us sprogs a lot.

Thanks for a great read.

Chas Gibson

You're very welcome Chas!

There is no tipping at restaurants in Japan

'We pity the Brits': the view from the Marines

US troops in Afghanistan are shocked by the standard of equipment their British counterparts have to use.

Two months ago, 4,000 US Marines descended upon the Afghan village of Garmsir in southern Afghanistan and managed to take the territory over which the British had battled over for three years. Go big, go strong, go fast, their Brigadier General, Lawrence Nicholson, had ordered – and they did.

Yet yesterday there was a notable absence of arrogance among the new inhabitants of the British military's most southerly and often most lethal front.

The Marines speak with nothing but respect for those who held this ground in far fewer numbers – the British servicemen who passed, as some might say, this poisoned chalice on to them. If anything, there is muted admiration for how they coped with less equipment, particularly with their vehicles. With roadside bombs now the Taliban's weapon of choice and the greatest threat to troops on the ground, many in Britain have been calling for greater protection for British troops.

Yesterday, the US commanders of the 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines (2/8) who now occupy Forward Operating Base Delhi spoke with admiration of the professionalism of the soldiers that they had replaced – but equally of the lack of armour on their vehicles and the fact that they had women serving on the front line. The British Jackal vehicle could reach more sections of this inhospitable territory than the Americans' larger, heavier MRAP (Mine Resistance Ambush Protected) – which serves to point out the long-held argument that manoeuvrability is as important as protection. But the young Marines were in no hurry to swap places with the British.

"The biggest thing I noticed was the vehicles they drive. Your guys are friggin' gutsy. I wouldn't get shot at in one of those," said Corporal Aaron Helvig, 21, from Arizona. Lance Corporal Sean Simmonds, 22, from Connecticut, was one of the first to arrive for a hand-over with the Light Dragoons battle group. "They know how to drive, that's for sure," he said of the British troops. "They just go as fast as they can, they are not worried about being blown up. It is hard to find drivers like that. And their medics were awesome. I wouldn't mind working with them again at all."

For years in Iraq, the commonly held view was that the Americans had taken on the tougher fight in Baghdad while the southern area around Basra was the softer option. Today, no one is any doubt that the British have been fighting and dying in one of the most lethal parts of Afghanistan. Lieutenant Colonel Christian Cabaniss, the commanding officer of 2/8, praised the British efforts. "From my perspective, they were doing all the right things," he said. "They knew what they should do, they just didn't have the resources to do it. The plan we executed on 2 July had been done before but in pieces.  We just had the resources to execute it all at the same time and stay. That is the difference. They did everything in their power to make our transition smooth. A lot of British blood had been spilled in the south and I see our part as a continuation of their efforts."

For some of the younger Marines involved, the hand-over was the first time they had ever met a Brit and, one conceded, he had rather feared they would be somewhat stuck up. Instead the clean shaven, fastidiously polite Marines landed in [FOB] Delhi to be greeted by the sight of a bunch of "bad ass" troops in shorts and flip flops, long adapted to this searingly hot, harsh environment. "They were easy to talk to. I didn't expect that," said Sergeant Andre Livsey, 22, from Massachusetts. "We always think the British have higher standards, would think of us as a little immature. But we found out they are just like us."

Lance Corporal Antwuan Browne, 24, from Maryland, noted that "they swore a lot", explaining: "We don't swear when there are women and officers around."

Once they got over the "incomprehensible" accents, the Marines said, they began trading in time-honoured tradition; Marines gleefully swapping Light Dragoon or Mercian Regiment T-shirts and badges for their own, or their ration packs for a British one.

"You guys have got cool ass MREs [ration packs]. That tropical drink mix, tell them they need to ship that to the USA," said L/Cpl Browne who confessed to a new-found love for Scotch eggs.

Most of all, they stood in wide-eyed jealousy of the fact that the British, unlike the US Marines, allow women attachments to frontline units. "I thought it was weird how the women interacted but pretty cool and they knew just as much as the guys," said L/Cpl Simmonds.

A stunned sounding Cpl Helvig recalled: "The first day a British female soldier just walked up to the shower in a towel in front of us, took a shower and walks away."

The Stars and Stripes now flies over shrapnel pitted buildings and sandbag fortifications of Forward Operating Base Delhi. But the Union Flag has not disappeared. The US Marines moved the flag a few feet along, to flutter above the memorial to the 14 British soldiers who lost their lives here. Soon another one is to be built next to it, this time dedicated to the 14 men that the 2/8 and attached units have already lost in the two short months that they have been here.

"This thing is because of September 11 and it is more our fight but your guys are here to help us and it is extremely appreciated. We know that not that many people would be here for the Americans and we think it is really cool the British are. We have got each others' backs," explained Cpl Helvig.

Cpl Sheffer said: "It is like a brother situation. We fight all the time but it's just for sihts and giggles. Somebody outside, like Afghanistan, comes to fcuk with you and you join up and kick some ass."

"Yeh," interjected L/Cpl Browne. "Like brothers in arms."

The Independent


From: Gerry Davis, Bedminster
Sent: 04 September 2009 10:30
Subject: So you think you have seen it all!

I used to ask my Dad about his service career, especially about some of the incidents he witnessed whilst in the RAF. I don't know if some of them should be taken with a pinch of salt…

He joined up in 1928, as an Aircraft Hand (ACH). Issued with puttees and a cane walking stick, as part of the walking out dress. He told me that in those days they didn't have service numbers, as they all knew each other. Actually his number was 509369. He told me the story that Pontius Pilot was on aircrew training at that time.

He also recalled when toilet rolls were issued to the forces for the first time, in these early days, they were accompanied with "The  instructions for use".  Each sheet was stamped "Government Property". Airmen were instructed to only use 3 sheets at a time. One for wiping, one for scraping and the other for polishing. Of course, this instruction was mostly ignored, and airmen kept using old newspapers, as before. The new toilet paper being ideal for use as writing paper.

During his 25 years in the RAF he saw service overseas at many outposts and stations. Five years in Egypt before WWII  where, he said, he lost his hair flying in aircraft with open cockpits.  Then five years years in India & Burma. Apparently there was some trouble with the Japanese tourists at the time, and bless he was sent out there to sort it all out.

His return to the U.K. in 1946 was when I first met my Dad, I was five years old. Both Mum and Dad fell very ill, well they must have been, as they were both confined to their bed for what seemed like weeks to a five year old .

His first posting after the war was to RAF Lindholm, as Station Warrant Officer (SWO). It was at that time when there was so many aircrew waiting to be processed. He said it was quite chaotic, as all these people were demob happy and little could be done to control them.

To further cause disruption amongst the ranks, the air force introduced the "Star" system of Aircrew ranks; I think it was one to five stars.  It  was short lived as, amongst other things, they didn't know where to fit them in for station duties.

He went from there to Scampton, in 1947 as SWO. The Lincolns and Lancasters were still based there, the next year 30 B29’s arrived.  We tasted life there in a married quarter.

He told this one tale, that he witnessed whilst at Scampton... It was winter, the snow was falling quite heavily, it was dark and he wanted to get home for his tea. He was stopped on the steps of SHQ by this very senior S/Ldr who was an old timer, and a stickler for etiquette pestering him about a guard rota for a crashed aircraft. As he was talking to my Dad, what seemed like a very young officer, in flying boots, collar of his greatcoat up, kicking through the deep snow on his way past the two of them, hands in his pockets. He nodded his head, as if in recognition. Well this S/Leader went bonkers. He told my Dad to go get him and tell him to come back here and salute him.

Dad duly obliged, dashed off towards this officer, saluted and asked him if he would mind coming back and having a word with the S.AD.O.  The young officer came back, covered in heavy snow, and asked "What's up old boy?"

The S/Leader nearly blew a gasket, and shouted out, "Shouldn't you salute a Squadron Leader when you see one?”

The young officer said, " Not since I was promoted Wing Commander!" and walked away.

He also told Mum that on each posting as the Station Warrant Officer to the RAF Stations, Lindholm, Scampton and Bawtry, it was his responsibility to check out all the pubs in each vicinity, to ensure their suitability for use by all ranks. He was also to keep visiting each local in turn, in case they were to be removed from his list.

You can't make tales like that up can you?




When Scott Paper Company started manufacturing toilet paper they didn't put their name on the product because of embarrassment.

From: Brian Kent, Carterton
Sent: 06 September 2009 11:10
Subject: Ref. Nicosia Photo from Chas C

Hi Tony,

Ref photo from Chas of Nicosia '62 Football Team.

I recognise a few faces but unfortunately not any names at the moment.  I arrived at Nicosia May 1963 so some might have already left.

Vivid memories though of Turkish jets at zero feet, bombs, bullets, bodies, Ledra Palace Hotel, The Green Line and the Royal Green Jackets.

Also our DAMO at the time, Flt Lt Gale, trying to perform another car trick like Alan Henchoz in Changi.  This time it was trying to take a short cut by driving straight across a roundabout, taking out a small wall.  No injuries but I think the Britannia was delayed a few minutes while the step party ran to the aircraft from the "wreck."

Still working on the photo Chas; going up to the attic later to have a ferret around.



From: Norm Munslow, Sutton Coldfield
Sent: 04 September 2009 12:59
Subject: JATNE Cup-Winning Team - Nicosia -1962

I was in Air Movements from 1958 - 1962 serving at Wilmslow (square-bashing), Kidbrooke (trade training), Lyneham, Nicosia, El Adem (detatchment) and finally back to Lyneham.

I was pleasantly surprised to see myself in the picture of the cup-wining team with several of my old colleagues.

I can only identify myself (back row, second from right), Geoff Vincent - Corporal (back row - ninth from right), the gentleman fourth from right was, I believe, an officer and the tall guy (fifth from right was in the Army Post Office I believe, he was from Birmingham). Sixth from right was "Taffy” Davies (team trainer).

I'm afraid that time has taken its toll and I cannot remember any more, but would be delighted to hear from anyone who does.  I have been searching for Geoff Vincent for years without success. I believe he came from Andover (Hants) I was at that time with Geoff working on NFN radio (Nicosia Forces Network), it was a tannoy-broadcasting system (closed circuit).

I am attaching a copy of the JATNE football team from 1961:
Back row (left to right) : ?,    ?,    Danny Parkhurst, Norman Munslow, Paddy Colbert ,  ?
Front row (left to right) : Geoff Vincent,   ?,   Jock Mckinnon ,    ?,      ?

Again, I would love to hear from any one of them or anyone who knows any of them.

I'm afraid us "Golden Oldies" are getting fewer as time passes, but I enjoyed my Air Movements experience and still feel an affinity to today's Movers

Good Luck to all.  I hope I hear from some of you in the next issue.

Norman W.Munslow (formerly 4249224 SAC.)
(My e-mail is here )


BAE pitches 146 for military airlift role

BAE Systems has launched a new bid to offer the BAe 146 regional airliner for military transport and airlift applications.

Announcing the proposal at the DSEi exhibition in London on 8 September, the company said its proposed military variants could carry between 80 and 109 passengers, or a cargo of between 11t and 12.5t in freighter configuration.

Dubbed the 146M, the type could be equipped with glass cockpit avionics, additional fuel tanks, steep approach and unpaved runway operating capability, plus defensive aids equipment, says BAE. However, the development would not include the addition of a rear cargo ramp.

“The 146M could serve as a complementary utility to support hard-stretched tactical assets, and support such fleets in a very effective manner,” says Andy Whelan, sales director for BAE Systems’ Asset Management business unit.

In addition to supplementing transports such as legacy Lockheed Martin C-130s amid delays to Europe’s replacement Airbus Military A400M, BAE believes that the 146M could also be used for tasks such as medical evacuation, para drop, surveillance, or even in-flight refuelling.

Describing the 146 as “robust, rugged and reliable,” Whelan says: “We have the ability to supply and support the aircraft with the longevity that would justify the acquisition.”

BAE says an undisclosed number of Asset Management’s portfolio of 47 BAe 146s “are due back off lease from European airline customers over the next few years”. The 200 and 300-series aircraft were manufactured around 1990, and have around half of their service lives still ahead of them, it adds.

“Delivery timescales are very short, so the aircraft can be put into service relatively quickly to meet current airlift shortfalls,” says BAE, which cites an indicative price of around $2.5 million for a passenger version and around $5 million for a freighter.

The company has yet to approach any of the partners involved in the A400M programme with a proposal based on the 146M, but Whelan says “nations may have an interest”.

This is not the first time that the 146 has been offered for potential military service, with British Aerospace having first touted the idea more than 20 years ago. However, BAE officials believe that the low purchase price now being offered means that “the financials stack up”.


The average housefly lives only two weeks.

First A400M moved outside for ground tests

Airbus Military's first A400M has been moved from the final assembly line at its San Pablo plant near Seville for a two-week series of ground tests that will edge the transport closer to its delayed first flight.

Aircraft MSN001 was towed outside on 2 September, having recently undergone system checks and received unspecified modifications that EADS-led Airbus Military says will make it "a more mature aircraft at first flight". The delayed milestone - originally scheduled for early 2008 - is expected to take place "around the turn of the year", it adds.

Originally rolled out in June 2008, MSN001 will now undergo fuel and pressurisation tests and navigation and communication system checks, says Airbus Military. It will then have its four Europrop International TP400-D6 turboprop engines and auxiliary power unit installed, following the delivery of the final full authority digital engine control software.

EADS hopes to agree a new contract with its seven European launch customers for the €20 billion ($28.5 billion) A400M programme by year-end. Deliveries of the nations' combined 180 transports are expected to start around late 2012 or early 2013, over three years behind schedule.



MoD Awards Brize Airman

Flight Sergeant Barry Murphy — who helped to move 18,000 troops in and out of Afghanistan — has been honoured.

Flt Sgt Murphy, now based at the Defence Movements School, at RAF Brize Norton, was last week recognised in the Ministry of Defence’s list of operational honours and awards.

The 46-year-old, known as Baz, was awarded the Joint Commanders Commendation for Afghanistan for his outstanding work during a tour of duty at the end of last year.

He said: “My reaction was one of pleasure. When I was out there, there was a lot of hard work going on. I certainly did my best, but it’s a team effort — I was just a small cog.”

During his tour between July and November last year, Flt Sgt Murphy, who was then based with 1 Air Mobility Wing at RAF Lyneham, was responsible for flying troops and vital equipment into and out of Afghanistan.
This coincided with one of the RAF’s biggest relief operations, where 18,000 troops had to be moved in and out of the country within two months.

Flt Sgt Murphy, who lives in Wiltshire with sons, 13-year-old Harry, 11-year-old Daniel and wife Liz, was recognised for making the best possible use of every seat and pallet space on each aircraft to ensure that the mission was completed successfully.

The Oxford Times

Congrats Baz!

What you find when you shave the striped fur off of a tiger? Striped skin.

From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: 06 September 2009 12:23
Subject: Malcolm Porter


Malcolm Porter and I managed to contact each other and discovered that we were both at Changi Movements at the same brief time. I was posted in as a DAMO and he was coming to the end of his tour as the Changi Creek Passenger Officer.

He remembers well the Alan Henchoz incident and saw the remains of the car; it astounded everyone that Alan survived at all!

He did survive, of course, and the last time I saw him - some time ago - was at Coventry rail station when someone behind me ruffled my hair - I turned around to see who it was, and it was Alan! He told me he was working for the Argos Distribution nowadays.




This e-mail was received from Bob Webb's son, Dave

From: Dave Webb, Swindon
Sent: 06 September 2009 15:54
Subject: RE: The latest newsletter

Hi Tony,

The funeral went well with a very good attendance which was nice to see.

I've had a look at the newsletter and was very touched to see the e-mails of condolence. I just knew him as 'Dad' so it was very interesting to see some of the comments made by his colleagues at Brize. It's great to know he was held in such high esteem and many of the comments made me smile.

As I mentioned before, Dad was very happy during the time he spent at Brize. Being ex-RAF he fitted in very well and enjoyed the camaraderie he had with the guys at the Movements School. I know this was something he missed when he retired and he found life very quiet for a while!

Please pass on my sincere thanks to everyone for their kind messages. At times like these it really does help and was a great comfort to both Mum and myself.

Many thanks to you Tony for everything you have done which is very much appreciated.



Spiders have transparent blood.

From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: 08 September 2009 12:27
Subject: NSRAFA Cosford

Hi Tony

A really interesting speaker at our monthly meeting today; Stephen Berg ex RAF GR3 and 4 pilot gave us a smashing talk on his memories and slides which he calls 'Tall Stories'.  He was with 21 and 43 Sqdns.

He started his flying training at RAF Cranwell where he learnt the basics of flying a jet aircraft in Jet Provosts telling us of some of the narrow escapes he had doing combat manoeuvres and formation training. At the end of their course the lads used to have a tradition where they had eggs smashed on their heads some raw others hard boiled; the chaps who got the raw ones, of which he was one, had then to run a gauntlet and had everything except the kitchen sink thrown at them.

The final night was a cocktail party at the station commander’s house. He was the only one who turned up wearing BROWN shoes which he desperately tried to disguise.

It was then on to RAF Valley training on Hawks, again getting a bit near the knuckle with near misses. Also on the bombing runs on the Pembroke Range where his missiles always hit the target as he came in far too low and couldn't miss.

Next was up to Scotland and flying GR3's again, various adventures like swooping low over the Pitlochry Golf course and upsetting the members missing their putts.  Another time three of them coming in fast over the sea then into a vertical climb when they reached the coast causing some sort of sonic action which put a nearby power station out of commission for twelve hours; quite a lad our Stephen!
His flight did a six week detachment to the Falklands flying down there in a Tristar. Again more scrapes, one sounding quite fun for him but not for the victim; swooping in fast onto Mount Pleasant with such force that it lifted the tin roof off the airfield Met Office building.  He says that staff went into it and found the Met officer under the table as he thought the Argies had come back!
It was really brilliant.  The foregoing was just a sample of everything he told us.

He is now a pilot with Easyjet so if you see one of their kites looping the loop it will probably be him at the controls. What a character!




From: Philip Clarke, Vienna
Sent: 14 September 2009 08:09
Subject: Phil's Grand Raffle

Noble Webmaster, Honourable Fellow Old Bods,


How many of us remember the famous tie:
"12 months no-nookie"?

Required attire for those of us who experienced the joys of Khormaksar, Muharraq, Sharjah, Masirah, Salalah, Ryan and Gan back in the 60's

You probably stuffed yours in a ditty box and forgot all about it, and eventually it might have went the way of so many other bits and pieces, to the charity shop.

A few years later, in your dotage, you probably think 'bugger it, should never have got rid of that reminder of my youth'.



How many of us remember our favourite fags back then, Players No 6?

They are a difficult thing to find nowadays in the UK, Oz, NZ & Kanadia. 

However, here they are large as life

Here's your chance to remedy things & regain some of that youth: announcing Phil's Grand Raffle.  I did think of offering both of the above as a prize in one of my famous quizzes, but can't think of a difficult enough question, so a raffle it shall be.

Tickets: prices and how to buy 'em.

Each entry will be $10.00 Canadian.
Simply click on "Donate" at left and pay your entry fee - easy innit?  No limits on number of entries per person..The raffle will run for about 2 weeks after publication of this newsletter.

The winner will be randomly drawn at the Grand Raffle HQ in Vienna. The tie and fags will be sent postage paid to the winner wherever they may be and will be announced in the next newsletter.

So, lets live life on the edge, gamble a little, and raise a bit of loot for the website.


Gardening is said to be one of the best exercises for maintaining healthy bones

From: Steve Tomlinson, Brisbane, Qld.
Sent: 14 September 2009 17:10
Subject: UK Hols

Hi Tony

Just a short e-mail during my travels. I managed to meet up with Bruce Oram in La Zenia whilst I was staying with my sister in Spain.

Bruce was able to take a few hours off his busy schedule to drive down from Alicante to meet and share a few war stories over an ale or two.

Didn’t have time to meet up with Jerry Allen in London but I hope to make it up to Cheltenham next week to catch up, break bread and share a beer.

I’m just about fully converted back onto the warm brown stuff but, with summer on it’s way in Oz, the freezing cold amber fluid will be the tipple of choice when I get back!

I hope all is well in the Colonies, keep up the good work.

Best regards

Steve T


From: Bruce Oram, Alicante
Sent: 15 September 2009 09:10


All those either receiving or planning to receive a Military Pension should review the petition at

Its premise is that, "the military pension is a pension that has been earned over a sustained period in the service of HM The Queen. The Government is requested to remove all tax liability on that pension or at least remove it from being considered as income when establishing tax liability". While a successful outcome for the Petition may be slight, such petitions can change Govt policy and every serving member and Service veteran is encouraged to sign up without delay. Please pass this information on to your friends and colleagues who may be unaware of the Petition.

The deadline for the petition is 19 Sep 09.

Perspiration is odourless; it is the bacteria on the skin that creates an odour.
Tip: spray on rubbing alcohol instead of antiperspirants or deodorant - saves you money and does not stain your clothes

From: Jack Riley, Hervey Bay, Qld.
Sent: 16 September 2009 21:02
Subject: Disbandment of the British Forces Postal System - Petition

Dear All

Want to save the BFPO System?

Please click on and sign the above petition. Though we all understand that defence cuts are to be made, this is an area which affects the families in  particular. 

*The BFPO system is the mechanism whereby post is received by our serving soldiers, sailors and airmen and their families abroad at a postal address recognised as being part of this country, no matter where in  the world they are serving, even in war zones.

* Amongst other things the loss of the BFPO service will disenfranchise them  if they are postal voters; some credit card providers will not send cards  abroad (M&S for example) whereas they will to a BFPO address; it may affect  their ability to let their house whilst posted abroad, or away from home; it  may take away their tax advantages such as being able to have an ISA whilst  posted abroad. It will affect Open University students who have a BFPO  address as they will be charged higher fees; it will potentially affect children of serving soldiers when they go to University, as they may not be  eligible for student loans/fees to be paid, and will be charged higher fees  as they live abroad.  They will also be charged different rates for  subscriptions etc as they will now have to come via local mail, and not the  UK mail.

Thanks for supporting our servicemen and women together with their families in this way and please forward this email to as many of your friends as you  can


RAAF - C-17A Globemaster easily loads M1A1 Abrams Tank


The first condoms were made of linen.

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You mostly breathe from only one nostril at a time


That's it for this issue

Have a great weekend!