From: Neil Feldman, Dubai
To: Woody
Wood, Pembroke, ON, Canada.
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2011 06:43:30 -0600
Subject: A voice from the past

Hello Woody,

Long time no speak, I hope this email finds you and family in good health.

I need some assistance from your side of the Country and hope you will be able to lend a hand. I am presently in the Middle East with National Air Cargo based in Dubai, as their Senior Load Planner.  I am responsible for the UAE, Kuwait and Afghanistan operations. We operate 747/ 200/ 400 series freighter, A-300's, IL- 76's, L-100-30 commercial Hercules, AN-12/24's and on occasion the AN-124's as required.

Next month I will be assuming the position of the CLM and have been tasked to streamline and staff and train the Air Cargo operations for the region. My task is to transform National's Air Side fleet of 747-400's and contracted operators into an efficient operation. We presently employ numerous nationalities but are finding it very difficult to find staff with the experience in heavy cargo operations; most having no training in Heavy Load management.

My objective is to hire retired Movers for key positions, those with sound formal military Mams/LM training, preferably with Afghanistan Field Ops experience (Cdn,UK and American). I know these individuals are out there, I just have to find them.

Transportation, uniforms, visas, accommodation, paid leave etc. are provided.  Salary for the right people will  be around the $75-80 K range per year, contracts are 6 months or 1 year, training will be provided.

Woody if you can help me put this information out to the guys in the trade I would greatly appreciate it. I will be able be to provide detailed info in a couple of days with all of my contact details and full job peculiars. I understand that the Movers Reunion will be held soon, this gathering would be a great platform to generate interest.

All for now, please drop me a line soon, it would be great to hear from you again. (if you find retirement boring send me your Resume/CV)

Best regards,


To respond directly to Neil click here
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From: Malcolm Porter, Upton-upon-Severn
Sent: Sunday, August 28, 2011 03:02
Subject: Latest on the Belfast


The CL44 Association has received information from a reliable source that the Shorts Belfast, previously operated by Heavylift Cargo Airlines of Australia, has been sold.  We await further news as to the name of the company before announcing those details in the next edition of our Newsletter. 

Suffice to say at this stage that given the required 'C Checks' necessary to allow the fleet to take to the air, it is not anticipated that either the 'Slug' or the 44 will be airborne any time soon.

British Airport Authority's answer to thaw losers

Heathrow Airport has got its own snowman — to avoid a repeat of the weather chaos last Christmas.

BAA has hired a former Royal Air Force wing commander to ensure London's main hub and its regional counterparts cope this winter.
Tim Etches — who helped build an airport in Afghanistan — has joined as Winter Operations Manager.

BAA turned down an offer of help from the Army when snow grounded tens of thousands of flights late last year. Heathrow became a global laughing stock and boss Colin Matthews admitted being unprepared.

A spokesman said: "We've definitely got more resource in place than last year. There's a lot of work still to do — but there's a lot more that's been done."

BAA has also put out tenders for 200 extra agency workers.  That will give it a hit-squad of 500 employees to clear snow and drive grit lorries if there is a heavy fall.
The Sun
From: Gerry Morrow, Morinville, AB
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2011 14:30
Subject: Canadian picture

Mcpl Chuck Arntsen, Mcpl Gerry Gagne, Capt Mark Matheson on basic loadmaster flying course with Sgt Dale Drake instructor 426 Sqn Trenton, Ontario Canada

January 1986 I believe.

Gerry Morrow
From: Dennis Culver, Cobourg, ON
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2011 16:56
Subject: RCAF Mystery Photo 090211

I’m taking a stab that it’s a C130 LM course, the gentleman on the right is Chuck Arnsten,  and the Capt (Second from the left) went on to become the CO of 2 AMU (now 2 Air Mov Sqn) and was recently promoted to Brigadier General, Mark Matheson.

Not sure about the other two.

From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2011 21:35
Subject: RCAF Mystery Photo 090211

The mystery photo is the Loadmaster course from May - August 1986 at 426 Squadron in Trenton.

They are from left to right- MCpl Chuck Arntsen, MCpl Gerry Gagne, Unknown Captain and Sgt Dale Drake.

Just a reminder the Logistics Movers  Association  Reunion is on this month from Sept 23- 25 at Knights of Columbus Hall, Trenton, Ontario. I am the membership dues collector on Friday, September 23, 2011 for the LMA.

See you there and enjoy the Reunion!

Steve Richardson


Air Titan Boeing 767 takes over Falklands Airbridge

Air Titan took up the airbridge flight earlier this month as Air Seychelles made its last journey from Brize Norton to the Falkland Islands under the now-expired contract with the Ministry of Defence.

Air Seychelles’ final flight was on Friday 2nd September, where after it will return to its regular route from Mahe via Rome to London.

Air Titan Operations Director Graham Baguley announced the commencement of the Falklands air bridge on a twelve month contract with the British Ministry of Defence.  “We are delighted to announce that Titan Airways has been successful in re-securing the Falklands Air Bridge contract. Starting on 4th September for 12 months, our Boeing 767 will be running twice weekly between RAF Brize Norton, Ascension and Mount Pleasant in the Falklands and return”, said Baguley.

The long sectors are exactly what the Boeing 767 is designed for said Baguley who underlined that “having good utilisation for the aircraft during the whole period of the contract means we are optimising our operations”.

“We will also be fitting life-port stretchers and a couple of business class seats into the aircraft which will reduce our seating capacity from 265 to approximately 200, which is our contracted amount. Another example of our flexibility and ability to adapt to different customer needs across short and long term contracts”.

Titan Airways is a British charter airline based at London Stansted Airport and operates contract and ad-hoc passenger and freight charters throughout the world and short notice wet-lease charters for scheduled airlines.  It provides VIP charters for clients including The Rolling Stones, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Liverpool Football Club.

South Atlantic News Agency

Battle of Britain Remembrance Service

The annual Battle of Britain Remembrance Service at Westminster Abbey was held on Sunday, 18 September 2011.

The service saw Royal Air Force Chiefs past and present, Battle of Britain veterans and serving Royal Air Force personnel pay tribute to those who lost their lives lost during the Battle of Britain.

Pictured is the Standard of Number 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force, which was paraded during the service.

Defence News
From: Alex Masson, Chelmsford
Sent: Sunday, September 11, 2011 16:09
Subject: Battle of Britain Week!

Hello Each,
Money is tight this year, we know that from experience! Our target of £10K for the year is within reach as we already have forwarded £4K to our HQ directly into the Welfare Fund. Fingers crossed that we can raise the other £6K this week. ( In the past we have cracked this by up to £15K but that’s too much to hope for this year)

I have been busy since our return from Austria setting up this week’s collections. Now I will be on the plot morning, noon and into the evenings. Forgive me if I do not respond to any e-mails immediately.

It is a sad fact that out of our 200 members - yes, two hundred members of Chelmsford RAFA! I only get a dozen volunteers to man the stalls, and then some of them only want to spend an hour or two at most!
As you will, no doubt, be aware this is now “Battle of Britain Week”! …. and I have set out my stalls this year at both of the two main shopping Malls in Chelmsford and simultaneously at the Superstores of Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and Tesco’s for the whole week. This will culminate with a ‘Town Centre Street Collection’ next Saturday by the Cadets of our locally adopted Cadet Squadron, plus collections by peripheral Cadet Squadrons at Hutton and South Woodham Ferrers.

In addition I have the support of a local Pub where a weekend ‘Battle of Britain’ theme will be played out with locals dressing in 1940’s garb - and a Wine Bar in town who are readily supporting us.

Furthermore, we have our local family owned car dealership throwing in their support as I have negotiated a week’s display of their cars - for free in the Shopping Mall - in exchange for a modest contribution to our RAFA Charity.
This pushes my stalwarts and myself to work from 8.00am - 6.00pm on the plot, then an hour or two in the evening counting the pennies.

Why do I do it? Well I suppose it’s because I believe in it!

Catch you all later … if I survive!!


Cheryl Cole is a Trolley Dolly!

Pop star Cheryl Cole turns trolley dolly for the day — handing out food to chuffed squaddies on a flight into the heart of the Afghan warzone.

The Girls Aloud singer, 28, was travelling to meet thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen — including 3 Commando Brigade, who have just finished six months of hard fighting.

And the big-hearted star insisted on serving meals to our heroes on the 12-hour flight from RAF Brize Norton to Camp Bastion. One soldier said: "Everyone was over the moon to see her. When she started handing out food boxes it was incredible.

"Everyone was really impressed, she didn't have to do that."

The Sun
From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2011 09:58
Subject: RAF El Adem - 2010 Visit

Hi Tony,
Now that the shooting has died down I have selected some pics of my visit to the former RAF Station El Adem in Libya last year for you.

There are also a couple of "then and now" pics too - originals taken 1968-70...




Super-STOL C-130 Replacement

Forty years ago, the US Air Force tried to replace the Lockheed Martin C-130 with a super short take-off and landing (STOL) airlifter, with the Boeing YC-14 and McDonnell YC-15 as the candidates.
Then, things got weird. Budgets grew, funding shrank and eventually the requirement transformed into something much larger. Thus, the Boeing C-17A Globemaster III was born to replace the Lockheed C-141B Starlifter while the Lockheed C-130 continues into its seventh decade of active production.

What goes around always seems to come around in this business, and so it is with the YC-14 and YC-15.
Meet the Speed Agile. If the USAF is allowed to spend big money on a super-STOL C-130 replacement after 2020, this is Lockheed's idea for what it should look like. Boeing is also working on an alternative concept.

The Air Force Research Laboratory has been funding both Lockheed and Boeing to work on wind tunnel models. Last month, the AFRL released these front and top images of a 23%-scale model of the four-engine Lockheed Speed Agile concept. The wind tunnel model includes two Williams FJ44 engines.

The Dew Line
From: Alex Masson, Chelmsford
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 18:01
Subject: Movers Meeting!

Hello each!

Legs and I are now back home after spending ten days in Vienna. With many families to see - (Legs spent her early years, aged 7 to 14 in Austria while her father, an RSM in the Army Medical Corps, was involved after WW2 in the re-building of the Austrian Hospital Systems within the British Sectors 1947 to 1953. Consequently they made many Austrian friends there, and when I first met Legs at the age of 19 she could speak, read and write German better than English) - we found we had little time to ourselves.

However, we did find a window of opportunity to contact the one and only ‘Mover’ living in Vienna - Phil Clarke.
Apparently we are the first of the ‘Movers’ to make contact and visit him in his adopted environment.

Phil is a great guy, an ex-Brat, who knows Tony Gale well; they were buddies as Brats and Movers serving together in the RAF.

Phil’s wealth of ‘Moving’ experience lead him to pursue a career in Civil Aviation with Lauder and Austrian Airlines, hence his reason for settling in Vienna. ‘Moving’ was not the only string to his bow as he also found gainful employment teaching English to the language thirsty natives. He is a man of many parts and has some interesting tales to tell, but don’t take my word, read up about him in the OBA, he has a pen picture alongside his name on the member’s page. (something I also should have done a long time ago)
Well the inevitable happened. We met at one of the many street hostelries; Legs picked him out long before I did; and we settled down to a jug or three while Legs disappeared to look at the shops!

From: Alex Masson, Chelmsford
To: Phil Clarke, Vienna, Austria
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 20:30
Subject: Grateful thanks!

Hello Phil,

A Thousand thanks for your kind help in getting us to the Airport and showing us parts of Vienna entirely new to us. Much better than having a Turkish Taxi Driver! Not to mention ‘much cheaper’!

We went straight to the BA desk and, with the help of a very nice young lass, who was sitting there all forlorn, twiddling her thumbs,  managed to obtain our seats and boarding passes right away. Then she said, ‘Come back in a few minutes and you can drop your bags here.’ Which we did!

Then, we shot through flight-side and after a look around the shops we sat and had our last glass of good Austrian Wine to while away the minutes until it was time to go through the gate.

The flight was full but we were ready for ‘off’ ahead of schedule. We had a diminutive young lady as Captain - “four-ringer” named Helen Berry. She did an excellent job and handled the A-320 very well in spite of some fairly turbulent air in the climb out of Wien. She then intimated that things could be the same for the approach over the UK and that they had been told to expect some delay due to weather. The flight across the continent was fine with no trouble until the let down. We were held at the ‘Lambourne Hold’ over Essex as predicted for a couple of circuits before being called in. It was a bit choppy on finals but I guess the ILS smoothed things out a bit. It was twitchy, but I must say I have experienced a lot worse.

Down safely at Heathrow she was standing at the exit as we left the plane and I thanked her for a good flight.  Legs, behind me mouthed “Ex-RAF!” and she responded, “Wow! Praise indeed!”

The journey home around the M25 was surprisingly good seeing as it was 17.00hrs as we left Heathrow and just after 18.00hrs at Chelmsford. All in all a good return journey.

Phil, it was really great to meet you. I thoroughly enjoyed our time together. You really have a wealth of experience and knowledge with lots to tell. A man of many parts! The only down side for us was the unexpected news about Margaret which saddened Heather and I greatly. However, your very positive news on Wednesday has given us great hope for the future.

I see that Tony has broadcast your message to all our members and I know that all their thoughts and prayers will be with you both at this time.  Get well soon Margaret!

Great pleasure! Thanks for taking time to see us and thanks for your company Phil! Keep in touch good buddy!

Alex and Legs.

From: Philip Clarke, Vienna 
Sent: Friday, September 10, 2011 16:23
To: Alex Masson, Chelmsford, UK
Subject: Re: Grateful thanks!

Hi  Good Fella & Legs,

It was a great pleasure for me to meet you both.  The couple or so wets we had lubricated things perfectly.  Hopefully, this is the first of of a flood of OBAs visiting Vienna.

Isn't life a bitch, after dropping you I went to the hospital to collect Margaret, & home we came.  Thursday, I had a few hours teaching in St Polten, got home to hear that Margaret had a phone call from the hospital.  Found a new cancer, this time it's the thyroid gland.  Luckily not an aggressive form.

Spent most of today at the hospital with 2 surgeons & a speech therapist.  Upshot is that there will be an op to remove the thyroid, but not until 12th December, to ensure all the earlier surgery is fully healed.  So  -  the never ending story goes on for a while.

Take care & keep in touch

Lovely to see that you were able to get together - it goes without saying that Margaret will remain in our thoughts and prayers

Strikemaster Joins Collection

The new Warbirds and Wheels visitor attraction at Wanaka Airport has been swelled by the arrival of a BAC167 Strikemaster Mk 88.
The new Warbirds and Wheels Over Wanaka (WOW) event manager Mandy Deans said the Strikemaster was a "very important" acquisition for Warbirds and Wheels, which replaces the disbanded New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum, and is expected to open in November this year.

"It's all part of the RNZAF history and this [aircraft] has flown at Warbirds Over Wanaka so it has double meaning, really, for us," Ms Deans said.

A Strikemaster will be part of the aerial demonstration at the 2012 show, "so there will be one on static display and one flying, which will be superb".

The Strikemaster, which weighs 2810kg and has a maximum speed of 835kmh, was used mainly as a training aircraft, although it took on a combat role in some countries.

Strikemasters were bought by the New Zealand government to replace the then ageing Vampire fleet. Sixteen were acquired for the RNZAF, the first batch in 1972, the remainder in 1975. All the aircraft were operated by No. 14 Squadron, based at Ohakea, and were used for jet conversion and advanced pilot training.
The Strikemaster fleet was withdrawn from service in 1991 and replaced by the Aermacchi MB339CB.

Most of the ex-RNZAF Strikemasters form part of the Australian warbird community, and one is flying in the United States.

NZ6374 is on permanent loan, from the Air Force Museum of New Zealand at Wigram, to the Warbirds over Wanaka Community Trust for its Warbirds and Wheels attraction.

A de Havilland Vampire has also been provided on loan at Wanaka by the museum and a Skyhawk fighter jet is to be delivered at a later date.

Otago Daily Times
From: Phil Horton, Harrogate
Sent: Tuesday, September 06, 2011 10:56
Subject: Postcode


Thanks for keeping us all up to date with goings on, I especially like the OBA Earth feature; just goes to show how once nomadic always nomadic - must be wanderlust.

Can you please change my UK Postcode to HG2 7BW, the one listed is no relation, but ironically I did live opposite that address in a RAF Hiring in the 1960's. Keep up the good work

Regards to all

Phil Horton

RAF Suppliers and Movers vital to Libya operation

906 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW) are in the business of deploying at very short notice to anywhere in the world, and they require all sorts of equipment to allow them to carry out their tasks effectively, ultimately ensuring that the mission runs smoothly.

As the Warrant Officer (WO) of the Supply and Movement Squadron on Operation ELLAMY, Mr Russell talks of the crucial role that his squadron fulfils:

"It's all about getting people, kit and 'stuff' to the right place at the right time and we have to do it quickly," he said.

"When we get it right, you know because you don't hear anything, but, when it goes wrong, you'll be the first to know! Without the Supply and Movement Squadron none of the aircraft would be able to sustain this level of activity."
Operating from southern Italy, 906 EAW are busy keeping operations alive at the Gioia del Colle air base. As he scans what is affectionately known as the 'graveyard' outside their make-shift cabins, WO Russell explains that anything from aircraft parts and munitions to office and gym equipment need to get into theatre to make the operation work:

"All of this stuff has had to come out, whether it be ammunition boxes, engines and aircraft canopies; the only thing we don't get in and out is the food," he said.

With the operation clocking up thousands of flying hours, the pace of work for the Supply and Movement Squadron is relentless. WO Russell said:

"There is never a quiet time; if we haven't got aircraft in we've got lorries in, the more the aircraft fly the more they require servicing, and that means more aircraft parts, so we are finding it really busy, but we make it work because that's what we do."
The process of sourcing equipment and ensuring that the aircraft have all the parts they require to fly is a finely-tuned process. Everything must be moved and tracked and then stored safely, and it is not just kit but people too. Without people getting in and out of theatre smoothly, operations would grind to a halt.

Battling with searing temperatures on the airfield, the work can be tough, unloading and loading heavy cargo, but the work goes on 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Shift patterns are the standard 12-hours-on, 12-hours-off, but for the 'guys on the ground' it is just business as usual.

Corporal Barry Brister, who is the Junior Non-Commissioned Officer responsible for Stock Control Accounting Flight, said:  We can be clocking up nearly 100 miles [161km] a day collecting kit to issue to the engineers and aircraft, that's just driving around the airfield."
Corporal Brister has been in the Service for 13 years and he says this operation has been unique:

"This is my sixth deployment and I've never seen so much kit coming in and out of theatre. But when I'm away I like to just get stuck into my work, so the high tempo is great and it has made the deployment fly by; it's definitely been a good challenge."

As the next Hercules C-130 flies into Gioia or a lorry arrives at the gate, it may contain a part required in direct support of tactical operations or something that will enhance quality of life for the team.

Gioia del Colle is a hive of activity; ever since operations began in March, personnel have been committed to fulfilling NATO's mandate, none more so than the suppliers and movers. WO Russell added:

"It's not just about the technical things, it's about all those things that help keep the guys going and enable them to do their jobs; supply and movements is the backbone to operations, but the constant is the people, that's the thing, it's the people who make things happen."

Defence News
From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: Saturday, September 10, 2011 05:46
Subject: Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life

Hi Tony

Back in 2008 you asked me about my capbadge worn at the Cosford parade and you showed my reply in Brief 090508 which was a little of the history of it given to me by "Kinse".
Anyhow Kinse passed away on September 1st and I attended his funeral yesterday, a normal sombre occasion.

However, as the vicar led the coffin and it's bearers and family members down the aisle as they made their way out to the awaiting hearse over the church's speaker system came Eric Idle's voice singing the number from 'Life of Brian' which bought a few smiles as we saw the vicar well over six foot tall did a little jig and dance to 'Always Look On The Bright Side of Life' the vicar could have been John Cleese leading them!

RIP Kinse.



UK MoD signs sub-lease deal
for Cyprus Airways A330s

The UK Ministry of Defence has sub-leased two Airbus A330s from Cyprus Airways, according to the latter's interim financial results document.

Early this year, Cyprus Airways announced a recovery plan to help it respond to what it described as the effects of the global financial crisis and intensifying competition on its main routes.

"As a result of the modification of the flight programme, one A330 aircraft was available for sub-leasing," it said in its results statement. "Following an agreement concluded between the Ministry of Defence of the UK and the company, the aircraft was sub-leased for the period August to November 2011, as well as the second A330 for the period September to November 2011."

The sub-lease agreement is likely to have been made to support the "airbridge" used to transport personnel and equipment between RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and the Middle East for operations in Afghanistan.

The UK Royal Air Force will receive its first of 14 modified A330-200 Voyager tanker/transports late this year via a private finance initiative deal with the AirTanker consortium.

Flight International

A400M fleet passes 2,000 test hours despite engine issue

Airbus Military's fleet of A400M "Grizzly" development aircraft has flown through the 2,000 flight hour milestone, despite an issue which has affected the type's turboprop engines since shortly before the Paris air show.

The company said its current four flight-test aircraft had logged a combined 684 flights totalling just over 2,100h by 4 September. This means that roughly 180 flights and 500h have been added since mid-May, when one of aircraft MSN1's four Europrop International (EPI) TP400-D6 engines automatically shut down while airborne.

"EPI is continuing to work on a solution to the issues encountered," said Airbus Military, without providing new information about the nature of the fault.
Airbus Military said flight-test activities being conducted from Toulouse, France, and Seville, Spain, are "progressing steadily", and involve sorties flown with crews from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Three of its aircraft are routinely available and are each flown up to twice per day, while a fourth is typically undergoing work to upgrade it to the latest equipment standard.

Flight International
From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury 
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 15:44
Subject: NSRAFA Cosford

Hi Tony,

Today was our usual monthly meeting at Cosford; fifty plus in attendance. Our speaker was a Roger Firth who gave us a talk of his time in the Merchant Navy so I hope that it will be of interest.
He joined Shell in 1954 as an apprentice so that meant that he would be exempt from military service. He worked his way up to the top to being a ships Master (the MN don't have captains so that was something I learned) for quite a few years till he retired.

He served all over the world spending a lot of time in the Far East based in Singapore and whilst there doing trips thru the Malacca Straits.  His tanker was boarded twice by the notorious pirates that roam that stretch of water.
Whilst the Vietnam conflict was on he did trips up the Mekong Delta so although we took no part in that conflict the Union Flag was to be seen in that area.

A pal of mine here in Shrewsbury also spent all his working life with Shell and he also did that run. He told me that when he came to the end of a voyage he would be flown home for a period of leave after which he would be recalled to join a ship in any part of the world and would be flown out to join it. On one flight he was one of the first to fly over the North Pole to Tokyo by SAS Airlines and was given a certificate to record it.

Hope that the forgoing might be of interest to the lads.



Caribous for HARS, Amrock Aviation

Defence has announced that nine of the RAAF’s retired DHC-4 Caribou transports will be acquired by two organisations, where the aircraft will be both preserved and put to new use in delivering humanitarian aid throughout the South Pacific.

Two will be given to the Illawarra’s Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) to be preserved and on put on display, alongside one propeller, 15 engines and two spares packages.

Brisbane based company Amrock Aviation will take delivery of the remaining seven Caribous, which will use the aircraft for humanitarian aid missions to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Further, Caribou propellers will be given to Upwey RSL (Victoria), Clarence City Council (Tasmania), Caboolture Warflight and Heritage Museum (Queensland), Narromine Aviation Museum (NSW), Dorrigo RSL (NSW), Northampton RSL (WA) and Redlands RAAFA (Queensland).

Norman "Taff" Thomas

The following message has just been received by way of Mrs Kathy Brice, Welfare Secretary at the (official) UKMAMS Association.  The funeral took place in Cambridge today, 23rd September 2011
I notice your member listed as Mr Norman Thomas, and feel that it must be my Father! But somehow I don't think anyone would remember him as 'Norman' - more likely Tommy or Taff Thomas, the piano man...

I regret to inform you that he passed away on Saturday 17th September, peacefully and at home, just 5 weeks short of 82 yrs. He was a great family man - and with 7 children, I guess you could say he proved that. We will all miss him dearly. I hope he may be remembered by some of his colleagues, or team over the years, and I regret that we didn't make it easier for him to go 'electronic' and keep in touch as it's a great way to share stories, and thank you for the insight. He wasn't able to get about very easily after his retirement in the 80's, and in fact ended up staying in one place for 26yrs - which must be unheard of - for a Mover!

Am not sure of his history but he joined UKMAMS @ RAF Abingdon in the early 70's, and continued to travel far; having joined the RAF in 1947, and being posted to all those far-flung places required of those ever-changing times.

Kind regards,

Julie Clark (daughter)

Please click here to send your condolences
Changi, Singapore, 1972

From: UKMAMS OBA, Gatineau, QC 
Sent: Friday, September 23, 2011 08:49
To: Julie Clark, Cambridge, UK
Subject: Condolences - WO Taff Thomas

Dear Julie,

Although your father was not a member of the OBA, he was an iconic figure amongst the rank and file; one of the true stalwarts from the Abingdon days of the squadron.

I had the honour of working with him on many occasions and remember his ever-happy countenance with much fondness.

He will be remembered as a wonderful leader of men and a good colleague.

Please accept the condolences of the entire Old Bods Association around the world.


Tony Gale

Sixth C-17 for the RAAF

Defence Minister Stephen Smith has announced the RAAF will buy a sixth Boeing C-17A transport.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the delivery of the RAAF’s fifth aircraft in the fleet, A41-210, at Amberley on September 23, Minister Smith said a formal Letter of Request had been submitted to the US government the previous day for the purchase of a sixth aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system.
The fifth aircraft was delivered in a remarkable 142 days after it was ordered due to an urgent requirement from the RAAF to cover heavy maintenance of its first C-17, but assuming both the US and Australian governments approve its purchase on schedule, the sixth aircraft isn’t expected to be delivered until the fourth quarter of 2012.

In order to accommodate the two new aircraft, the RAAF expects additional ramp and hangar space and terminal facilities will be required at the northern end of Amberley where 36SQN’s C-17s and the growing fleet of KC-30A MRTTs of 33SQN – expected to number four by early next year – are based.

Australian Aviation
Smith said the fifth and sixth aircraft will effectively double the RAAF’s heavy airlift capability from the original fleet of four aircraft when allowing for scheduled and unplanned maintenance. He said recent natural disasters in our region including Cyclone Yasi, the Christchurch earthquake and the Japan tsunami, as well as the C-17’s ongoing support to Australian forces deployed in the Middle East, had repeatedly proven the aircraft’s utility, and that the capability offered by the aircraft “underlines Australia’s regional influence” and our responsibility as an “international citizen.”

The original fleet of four C-17s, which was announced in February 2006 and delivered from December that year, was bolstered earlier this year by the acquisition of the fifth aircraft, which was ordered in early April.
(CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown and Defence Minister Stephen Smith)
From: Gerry Davis, Bedminster
Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2011 08:23
Subject: The Boy Entrant reunion at Cosford

Dear Tony,

I and many others attended the annual Boy Entrants reunion held at Cosford (it's lost the title of RAF Cosford) It was for me the second time that I attended this well organised event.

The weekend went off splendidly, with everyone joining in the organised events.

The atmosphere was electric, all us ex-Boys had many tales to swap, resulting in much chin wagging. Catching up with all the the past years, and the time in between joining the man's service and the years following.

Funny though, the place was full of old men, that's not how I remember my time at this training establishment, when I first arrived there at 15 years and two months of age!

The most outstanding recollection for me was the camaraderie, shown between all , whatever rank they may have have obtained whist serving which is something I have not found at other ex-service meets.

The church service on the Sunday went off better than expected with added excitement when the fire alarm sounded half-way through the sermon. Why couldn't this sort of have happened when I was a Brat?

Both before and after the service, we all lined up for the marching, and the march past. It's amazing how we all  remembered how it was done after many dozens of years.

God willing, I shall certainly put my name down for next year, which incidentally it's rumoured, might not be at Cosford.


1932824 B/E Davis, Supplier 11 Q EQ AM

From: Len 'Woody' Wood, Pembroke, ON 
Saturday, September 17, 2011 20:53
Subject: FW: A voice from the past.

Hi, Trappers:

I rec'd this from Neil Feldman.  The older Trappers will remember Neil from 1 AMU, 447 Sqn (Chinooks) and an Instructor at CFSTM in Edmonton in the early/mid eighties.

At Neil's request could some who will be attending the Movers' Reunion get this out to the Movers.  I will not be attending this years' reunion therefore will not be able to spread the word.

Thank you and feel free to contact Neil direct.

PS Everyone have fun at the Movers Reuinion and remember all those who cannot attend for whatever reason.



We did as all ‘Movers’ do, reminisced and told a tale or two of times and places long gone.

It would have been all joy and conviviality but the day for us was marred when we learned that Phil’s wife, Margaret was in hospital recovering from serious surgery.

Phil is such a great guy, not only did he make the effort to meet us in the city centre but he also came and collected us two days later and taxied us to the airport, showing us on the way an area of Vienna with which we were not familiar.

I felt that under the circumstances his actions were well above and beyond the call of duty. Our great regret was that, on this occasion, we never had the chance to meet with Margaret.

We wish her a speedy recovery!
Grateful thanks to Phil - and to the OBA network for putting us in touch!

Alex and Legs.
This issue is dedicated to the memory of Norman "Taff" Thomas