31 October 2008

New members recently joining us are:



Keith Dowland, Littlehampton, UK

Gus Turney, Wiltshire, UK "Left in 2001, currently employed in range operations, Salisbury Plain, giving orders to the Army."

Steve Cross, Doncaster, UK

"Spurred on by Facebook"

Fred Moores, Frankford, ON, Canada

Ken Booth, Wooler, ON, Canada "Excellent site, very well done."

Welcome to the OBA!


Last week saw the start of the poppy campaign. Whatever we economise on in the recession, it shouldn’t be the money we give to the British Legion.

The poppy is their symbol because it grew so abundantly in Flanders in World War I. Poignantly, it flourishes in Afghanistan, where so many of our troops are serving. Whether or not you agree with their presence there is a matter you should take up with the politicians. Soldiers have no choice. They go because it is their duty. In May, 1915, during the Second Battle of Ypres, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer was killed by a German artillery shell.

His friend Major John McCrae, a Canadian military doctor, that night began the draft for his famous poem, In Flanders Fields.

Some of the words apply equally to those coffins unloaded too often nowadays at Brize Norton.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Substitute Iraq or Afghanistan for Flanders and the sentiment still applies. Inevitably the dead are also the young. Their lives are over.

Buying a poppy seems the least we can do for them.

Wales Online

New descriptions for gender specific electronic mail: Emale & Femail

From: Andrew Hine, Trenton ON
Sent: Thursday, October 16, 2008 8:52 PM
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo #101708

CWO Fred Moors is guiding the HUMMER. The other fellow looks like front end crew.

The location looks hot, possiby KAF (looks like they are packing heat) or Mirage.

There is a ramp pedestal shoring (aka 5/4 ton block) with ground loading ramp extensions. These, when used along with the 5/4 ton block, reduce the ramp angle so the vehicle won't contact the ramp on one end or scrape the ground at the other. Also, it reduces both the projection into the aircraft and the chances of ramp crest contact on the underside of the vehicle.

I am currently in the process of instructing this very subject to some young aspiring MAMS officers (I'm in Training and Standards at 2 Air Movements Squadron).


Drew Hine

Many thanks Drew - that cleared it up for me.


From: Malcolm Porter, London
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 3:28 AM
Subject: Two More Transport Stalwarts Are Almost History

Which do you want first-the good news or the bad news?

Alas-none of it is good. Just to update everyone that the Belfast at Southend has finally 'gorn'

XR368 - Theseus - sold to HeavyLift as G-BEPS

Ground Engineer Steve Dodson has spent some months on his own removing every bit of kit that might prove useful to the 'living' version in Cairns whilst the remainder is to go the usual tin-can route.

The CL44-O Guppy is now certain to follow the same path despite the interest of two Museum Groups. The CL44 Association had great hopes that the very genuine interest shown by former Loftleidir CL44-J pilots would eventually lead to the aircraft's flight deck being shipped to the Icelandic National Aviation Museum: This notion included the spare Tyne engine and prop blade assembly that remain in the Guppy. However, a Lien was placed on the Guppy for non-payment of parking fees and this action prevented me from removing the pallet-load of manuals and historical documents that are now in danger of being shredded.

Hopefully, common sense will prevail: The Guppy is worthless to anyone now and the Association is hoping that the Airport Authority will allow us to separate the flight deck for eventual shipment to Iceland. I will keep you posted.

As the Annual Reunion is a mere two weeks away, I see that Peter Clayton has found a mode of transport that will mean he doesn't have to pay the London Congestion Charge to get to the RAF Club!

Best regards,

Malcolm Porter
CL44 Association

Thanks Malcolm - sad news indeed. My log book shows that I first flew on Belfast XR368 Theseus from Norfolk VA to Brize (via Gander NF) on 25 May 1969. I subesequently had 11 more trips in her, the most memorable being the two occasions that we were delivering Sea King helicopters to the Indian Navy at INAS Hansa in Goa, India. On the last trip we had a problem with the ground power unit and so had to close the aircraft ramps using the manual pump - I recall there was a line-up of locals all very eager to have a turn at pumping!

Male hospital patients fall out of bed twice as often as female hospital patients

Call for change to rules over troops’ leave

SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson returned from Iraq last night with a demand for a change in the rules which force troops going on leave to count time they have to wait for a flight home against their holiday entitlement.

The Moray MP said it was unfair that servicemen and women should lose up to half of a 14-day leave period sleeping on the floor at Basra air base or in a tent in Qatar because of RAF flight delays.

Mr Robertson, SNP defence spokesman, spoke after arriving back in Westminster from a visit during which he met soldiers from contingents of the Highlanders battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and Scots Dragoon Guards and members of the RAF, and was briefed on Britain’s role in the south of Iraq by UK commander Major General Andy Salmon.

He said leave was top of the soldiers’ complaints and he will raise it in a Commons debate on defence next week. He said: “I really think the MoD needs to look at its rules for troop vacation from conflict zones.

“It cannot be right that travel home is counted as part of the 14-day break, especially when people are losing up to six days in transit.

“At a time of severe strain on the Military Covenant, it is imperative the MoD gets to fix this problem.”

He said that, as well as having to wait for days for delayed flights from the Middle East, they can end up at RAF Brize Norton having to wait for bus transport to Oxford or Swindon for a train to an airport like Luton with low-cost flights north.

He said one soldier who raised the issue with him had to spend another night sleeping on the floor of a friend’s house in Aberdeen because other delays meant he missed the last train on the way to his home at Buckie.

Mr Robertson said: “Leave should not start until the serviceman or woman sets foot in the UK.”

He then said that, during the trip with other MPs and peers, it had been an honour to meet troops doing a fantastic job, adding: “Regardless of the political mistakes, our servicemen and women are doing a great job supporting the transition back to Iraqi control.”


From: Andrew Kay, Stafford VA
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 10:40 AM
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #101708

Hi Tony,

Just finished reading through the latest newsletter, great stuff as always and I thought I would pass along a little thing I heard the other day that might be of interest. Apparently the US Marines are considering arming their KC-130's and renaming them 'Battle Hercs' so they are ready to take the fight to the enemy in an even more aggressively in the future. I don't think they are looking at copying the USAF Gunship version of the AC-130, but...

"Phase 1 of the conversion of the aircraft would include the installation of a targeting and intelligence and surveillance-reconnaissance package, a 30-mm cannon in the troop door position and Hellfire missiles added to the left side wing"

... Marines are apparently not happy to just fly Hercs, they want to be able to shoot something (anything!) at the enemy. The picture I have attached in no way represents what designers are looking at in order to get to the Battle Herc. If they ever publish any pictures of what it might end up looking like I'll pass them along.

On another note, on my office walls I have a few items of RAF memorabilia that I have carted around from place to place since parting company with the mob over 30 years ago. I promise to bring in a camera and get some pictures to share but a quick inventory of it includes: A couple of those copper etching pictures, one of an Andover Mk 2 from my time at Northolt and one of a VC10 signed by my old pax shift at Brize Norton when I departed the service (I will list all the sigs and embarrass everyone when I send the pictures); a station crest from Northolt and one from SOAF and a print that I am guessing I picked up in Aldergrove when I was on the Det. there. It is a montage of scenes from the station and is dated 1975 by a guy called Ken Howard who I believe is a well known artist now and at the time did this type of painting for the Imperial War Museum. I often wonder what this stuff would fetch on EBay! Pride of place though goes to a Robert Taylor print of two Spitfires that is signed by Douglas Bader and Johnnie Johnson (this is one of his earlier prints and I picked it up from a junk shop in Oxford an awful long time ago).

Keep up the great work!

Andy Kay

Thanks Andy!

The most collect calls are made on Father's Day

From: Jerry Allen, Cheltenham
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 11:27 AM
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo #101708

Good mystery photo.

Chris Trevelyan and Jim Stewart are the easy ones. I am scratching my head over the sergeant which is embarrassing because I went on task with him to Yeovilton. Date must be in 1982 because of the amount of long-term blue tasks (overseas) meaning ASI and Op Corporate. Before everyone guesses wrongly, the FO with the tash is not me!



Oh rotten luck yet again Jerry! The answer to the mystery appears later in this issue.


From: John Bell, Cairns Qld.
Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 11:22 PM
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #101708


Interesting to see Syd Avery’s letter re Changi. I wish I could have seen the photo but some of your BOD photos come up on my screen as blank boxes with a small red multiplication sign in the box. My knowledge of the black art of computery is a bit limited so I am unable to fix it.

Glen left his imprest in the hotel room. The team were ready to hit the town and met in the foyer before going mob handed up to Glen’s room to collect our local allowances. He was just finalising his imprest notes and when he heard the knock on the door he shoved his money under the pillow. He put his imprest in his bag (but forgot the cash under the pillow) and next morning we took off for Japan. Half way to Japan he pulled out the imprest to pay us the allowances for Yokota and his face was a picture to behold when he realised what he had done with the cash. A quick call by the pilot and the money was located and secured until we picked it up on the way back.

This is the second time I have seen Syd’s name in print this week. He, like me, is an ex admin apprentice. I received an updated membership list a few days ago and there it was. There are a few BODS who are also ex Admin Apps that I know of (Charlie Cormack for example).

That’s my tea break over. Back into the garden for some more of management’s good ideas, that inevitably leave me with a sore back and aching shoulders.

Hope none of our BODS is suffering financially following the crashing of so many financial institutions etc.

Be Good

John Bell
Cairns (Oz)

It’s a shame that you can’t see all of the pictures John – if you're using Internet Explorer then that can sometimes be a little finicky and refuse to show some pictures because the security settings are perhaps set a little high.

I’ve found that by using another browser (there are several out there) the issue can be resolved.  If you haven’t tried Firefox already, then that’s a good alternative (it won’t cause a conflict, you can still use Internet Explorer, even running at the same time is no problem).  It’s free to download from and click on the green download button… 

(In the meantime I did send John that picture of his team in Changi and he was able to view it.)

Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave

From: James Aitken, Brisbane Qld.
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2008 1:06 AM
Subject: Canada

I believe this is worthy of being included in the next brief:

Salute to a brave and modest nation

Until the deaths of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan , probably almost no one outside their home country had been aware that Canadian troops are deployed in the region.

And as always, Canada will bury its dead, just as the rest of the world, as always, will forget its sacrifice, just as it always forgets nearly everything Canada ever does.. It seems that Canada's historic mission is to come to the selfless aid both of its friends and of complete strangers, and then, once the crisis is over, to be well and truly ignored.

Canada is the perpetual wallflower that stands on the edge of the hall, waiting for someone to come and ask her for a dance. A fire breaks out, she risks life and limb to rescue her fellow dance-goers, and suffers serious injuries. But when the hall is repaired and the dancing resumes, there is Canada, the wallflower still, while those she once helped glamorously cavort across the floor, blithely neglecting her yet again.

That is the price Canada pays for sharing the North American continent with the United States, and for being a selfless friend of Britain in two global conflicts.

For much of the 20th century, Canada was torn in two different directions: It seemed to be a part of the old world, yet had an address in the new one, and that divided identity ensured that it never fully got the gratitude it deserved.

Yet it's purely voluntary contribution to the cause of freedom in two world wars was perhaps the greatest of any democracy. Almost 10% of Canada 's entire population of seven million people served in the armed forces during the First World War, and nearly 60,000 died. The great Allied victories of 1918 were spearheaded by Canadian troops, perhaps the most capable soldiers in the entire British order of battle.

Canada was repaid for its enormous sacrifice by downright neglect, it's unique contribution to victory being absorbed into the popular Memory as somehow or other the work of the 'British.'

The Second World War provided a re-run. The Canadian navy began the war with a half dozen vessels, and ended up policing nearly half of the Atlantic against U-boat attack. More than 120 Canadian warships participated in the Normandy landings, during which 15,000 Canadian soldiers went ashore on D-Day alone.

Canada finished the war with the third-largest navy and the fourth largest air force in the world. The world thanked Canada with the same sublime indifference as it had the previous time.

Canadian participation in the war was acknowledged in film only if it was necessary to give an American actor a part in a campaign in which the United States had clearly not participated - a touching scrupulousness which, of course, Hollywood has since abandoned, as it has any notion of a separate Canadian identity.

So it is a general rule that actors and filmmakers arriving in Hollywood keep their nationality - unless, that is, they are Canadian. Thus Mary Pickford, Walter Huston, Donald Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, William Shatner, Norman Jewison, David Cronenberg, Alex Trebek, Art Linkletter and Dan Aykroyd have in the popular perception become American, and Christopher Plummer, British.

It is as if, in the very act of becoming famous, a Canadian ceases to be Canadian, unless she is Margaret Atwood, who is as unshakably Canadian as a moose, or Celine Dion, for whom Canada has proved quite unable to find any takers.

Moreover, Canada is every bit as querulously alert to the achievements of its sons and daughters as the rest of the world is completely unaware of them. The Canadians proudly say of themselves - and are unheard by anyone else - that 1% of the world's population has provided 10% of the world's peacekeeping forces.

Canadian soldiers in the past half century have been the greatest peacekeepers on Earth - in 39 missions on UN mandates, and six on non-UN peacekeeping duties, from Vietnam to East Timor, from Sinai to Bosnia.

Yet the only foreign engagement that has entered the popular non-Canadian imagination was the sorry affair in Somalia, in which out-of-control paratroopers murdered two Somali infiltrators. Their regiment was then disbanded in disgrace - a uniquely Canadian act of self-abasement for which, naturally, the Canadians received no international credit.

So who today in the United States knows about the stoic and selfless friendship its northern neighbour has given it in Afghanistan?

Rather like Cyrano de Bergerac, Canada repeatedly does honourable things for honourable motives, but instead of being thanked for it, it remains something of a figure of fun. It is the Canadian way, for which Canadians should be proud, yet such honour comes at a high cost. This past year more grieving Canadian families knew that cost all too tragically well.

Lest we forget.

by Kevin Myers, 'The Sunday Telegraph'


From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2008 12:02 PM
Subject: Wootten Bassett Military Appreciation Parade

A C130 flies over the parade, it was followed by a C17

There was a parade held in the High Street, Wootton Bassett, last Sunday by members of all three services to say thank you to the people of Wootton Bassett.

Since the repatriation of the crew of Hercules XV179 a couple of years ago (a Special Forces C130 shot down during a low level flight in Iraq), the townspeople have always lined the route and paid their respects to all military dead being repatriated to the UK via RAF Lyneham.

The town has now gained international recognition for this gesture.

As a thank you the Services paid their own respects to the people of the town last Sunday with a parade and presentation of a scroll.



One in three snake bite victims is drunk. One in five is tatooed

From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: Sunday, October 19, 2008 12:02 PM
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo #101708

Mystery Picture:

UKMAMS Operations Centre, Circa 1983/84. Left to right: - Flight Lieutenant Jim Stewart, SAC Chris Trevelyan, Flying Officer Andy Kime, Flight Sergeant Ian Williams

Updates: Chris Trevelyan was discharged in March '92 and after being sponsored by Delta Airlines obtained a commercial pilots licence in the USA.

Because of a downturn he never was employed with Delta, instead he became a mail pilot flying out of Boeing Field in Seattle although by now could be flying elsewehere in the States.

Andy Kime was back at Lyneham in 2002 as a Wing Commander and OC Supply Wing. It could be that he has now gone a rank higher?

Ian Williams was also discharged in early '92 and took up employment at the Science Museum storage site at Wroughton where he still is.

Jim Stewart died in the early 90's



Thanks Ian...


From: Gus Turney, Calne
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2008 4:30 AM
Subject: Mystery Photo 101708

Hello all,

My entry for the mystery picture is MAMS Ops, circa late'86.

L to r, the late Jim Stewart in the hot seat, Chris Trevelyan doing the tape thing, a very young F.O. Andy Kime sorting out the itinerary for his next global, and Sgt Ian Williams, SNCO Mops, trying to do the impossible and please everybody.

For the spotters, note the Op Bushel sticker at the top of the board.

For those not familiar with the coloured tape system, Blue was an overseas job, Yellow was UK, Green was leave, Red was station or other admin duties, and Orange was Standby Team duties. Any white spaces were a day off....not too many of those.

Also, not a computer screen in sight. My how we've changed.

Regards to all, and hope to catch up with old faces at the post top table drinks on the 14th November.

All the best,


Amazing days Gus - Welcome to the OBA!

Heineken beer is designed to 'foam' for exactly five minutes

From: John Newton, Richmond
Sent: Friday, October 19, 2008 5:05 AM
Subject: SS Uganda

Just a brief note. SS Uganda was cut up on a beach in India, not alas sank in Devon.

Sounds much better though, how sad am I?

Thanks for that John. My own curiosity was aroused after I received your e-mail, so I did a little digging of my own and came up with the following web sites: and

There were many rumours flying around as to her fate, but it would appear that the Uganda was actually sailed to Kaohsiung to await demolition.

While at anchor she was hit by Typhoon Wayne and driven ashore where she was eventually sold "as is" and broken up.


From: Mick Sullivan, Brize Norton
Sent: 20 October 2008 13:32
Subject: Belize Propeller Names

Hi Tony,

I need the help of your readers.

I am currently trying to resurrect the Belize propeller which has been left at the RAF Movements School for many years. Owing to it being repainted I need the original names to paint back on.

I received some photos of it in its former glory but cannot make out the names. If anyone can assist I would be grateful. I never went to Belize but this is, I feel, a part of our history.

All the best,

Mick Sullivan

As you are aware Mick, your enquiry prompted quite a few e-mails bouncing back and forth between Jon Kerswill, Steve Perry, Ian Berry and John Calver. It was determined that, unless someone out there has more information, we have our hopes pinned on the list being somewhere in John Calver's attic.

53% of women will not leave the house without makeup on

RAF Mystery Photo #103108


From: David Howley, Melton Mowbray
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 12:44 PM
Subject: Herc XV181

Hi Tony,

© Gordon Zammit

Attached is a photo of XV181 (see OBB #101708) which is now serving in the Austrian Air Force. It was removed from Thorney Island to Marshalls in Cambridge and got a new wing. No doubt some “Old Bod” will have it in his log book. Went to Austria in 2003.



Thanks David - One wonders why any air force would buy an aircraft that had been pranged...

Midgets and dwarfs almost always have normal sized children

From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 5:16 PM
Subject: Hastings C of G

Hi Tony

Reading Jimmie Durkin's comments on trim sheets and weight and balance sheets, he's got it right on how the w & b's for Hastings were calculated. The aircraft was divided into compartments then the weight in each one multiplied by the distance from the nose gave you moments. All the compartments added together along with the fuel and other odds and sods (aircraft weight, crew etc., all at given C of G's) and the total weight divided into the moments gave you the C of G, about 32 ft. Easy wasn't it !!

My main job at Mauripur was compiling the w & b's for the Hastings night stopping there. Some days there would be just one on the pad other times up to five. I found them quite easy to calculate although some days we had to 'fiddle them'

A Hasting coming in from Negombo would normally be fully loaded and would have left there with 2000 gallons in the tanks. However for the next stage to Habbaniya, sometimes because of head winds, we would be informed that the kite would need an extra 200 gallons of fuel for that leg.

I would phone the captain who would now be in the mess and inform him of the situation and it would be up to him to tell us what to offload, but usually I was told to "lose something" on the paperwork. So the water (usually 50 gallons) and other items would "disappear".

Next morning on departure the captain would accept and sign the paperwork which indicated that the aircraft's all up weight was 80,000 lbs when in fact it was nearer 82,000 lbs. The Air Movements Officer would also sign them but he never had a clue what he was signing anyway.

With regard to the w & b for a Beverley, I seem to recall that the Bev had to be balanced as usual nose to tail but also because of the width of it side to side. Is this right?



During my Air Movements basic course (21 JAMC in 1966 I believe) we worked extensively with the Hastings, practicing loading and unloading it. I couldn't remember the way that the weight and balance was calculated, thank you John for the reminder. As for the lateral balance on the Beverley that doesn't ring a bell, although I vaguely recall that the HS-780 Andover had that requirement - or is my memory giving me the wrong messages?


From: Clive Price, Brecon
Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 3:53 PM
Subject: Taff Price (UKMAMS 1968 to 1970)

Hi Tony,

Since joining your web site, which I've found very interesting, I've finally decided give you a line or two.

That Cowie chap was right, I am the fat Taff who used to drink with Bob Turner, though I always thought of myself as muscular! There were times when he conned me into helping him stack crates which I only noticed afterwards were marked 400 lbs.

I went to this year's reunion at Lyneham, the families day and the dinner. It was great to meet up with Bob again and also Dave Eggleton (he hasn't changed an inch), Harold Jones and my old team boss Dave Powell. He's the one who, in one of your web briefs, ratted on me for trashing a toilet. I only pulled the chain and the whole lot fell apart - that's my story, the defence rests M'lud!

Someone was asking who the grumpy friend of LAC Dave Hammond was. Try the name John Hudson! Poor John. I was told had been crossed in love and took it badly. I could make him smile though by playing cards and letting him win (no money involved). After he left the RAF I last saw him car valeting at King's of Oxford showrooms.

Dave Hammond, who stayed in the rank of LAC for all his career (he refused to transfer from movements to supply), worked as a door-knocking debt collecter. If they were good looking Dave had a way of making other arrangements, or so he told me. We used to go to the Warricks Arms Inn and he often told the girls he was a Squadron Leader!

I failed to mention I met Geordie Redman at the Lyneham families day. We had a good chat, burgers, hot dogs and some beer.

I've attached a photo of us both.

Feel free for any of our members to use it to frighten their children - tell them we're hitmen or something.

Cheers for now,

Clive (Taff) Price

Great to hear from you Taff - do you still ride that motorcycle?

Catgut comes from sheep not cats

From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: Friday, October 24, 2008 4:06 PM
Subject: Aden Days

Hello Tony,

We've just returned from Florida visiting my extended family. Our stay was organised and included a theatre matinee in Miami where we saw the musical "1776". The significance of this date was the founding of the American Independence from us, the British Colonists. Whether this show is going to cross the Atlantic to the UK I don't know but I would recommend it heartily.

Anyway, what I'm coming to is while I was there I visited an internet facility to check on e-mails and to my surprise found one from Alan D'arcy - My Aden Days companion. He briefed me on what the latest situation was with the Yemen and the Aulaqi Tribe. He had received an e-mail from Mohammed Aidrus Suleimani who was one of the sons of the Arab political officer at Nisab.

To cut a long story short he said that the son of Shiek Awadh Mohammed is now very much established as the main tribal leader in the whole of the Shabwa Governate. His son aged 19 by the name of Mohammed Awadh had been for 6 months in Paignton Devon studying English. He is now on Vancouver Island at the Pearson College in Canada on a two year course. Alan is making arrangements for the lad to spend his Christmas holidays in England where he will bring him to see me and I can show him pictures of his forebears on my computer.

In fact I'm very busy in retirement; today I wrote to the Chief Constable of Wiltshire as he is the next speaker at my institute. It's on the 18th November at the Blunsdon House Hotel, Swindon at 1930 for 2000. If anyone wants to come just let me know by e-mail.



It's an amazing thing Charles... after all these years


CAF Mystery Photo #103108

40% of women have hurled footwear at a man

From: Mick Sullivan, Brize Norton
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2008 5:34 AM
Subject: Belize Prop

Hi Tony,

I am hoping that John comes up with the names, I will then get them back on the prop and I plan to get it erected here at the Movements School. If it all comes together I will let you know and send you some pictures to share with your readers.

Many thanks


I, along with a host of others, look forward to seeing it restored Mick.


From: David Eggleton, Abingdon
Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2008 3:45 AM
Subject: Yokota Trip 1971.

Hi Tony,

I enjoyed seeing the photo Syd Avery took on our way home from this amazing task.

I have checked the entries in my diary for that trip. We left Brize on 29th Oct 1971 Belfast flight, spent the night in Cyprus, onto Muharraq next day, stayed in Britannia House where Jim Stewart came to see us. I also had a visit from Captain Ron Parfitt RCT who was my boss in the Port office at Jufair (Bahrain) during my Sea Movements tour in 1969.

Next stop RAF Gan in the Maldive Islands, met Taff Thomas there, who had served on UKMAMS with me on a previous tour.

Then onto Changi, met Jeff Gibson another UKMAMS member, he was now a Warrant Officer and enjoying his tour.

Next stop was Kai Tak, Hong Kong, we spent three days there. I met John Dunstall and Joan his wife, another old friend from a UKMAMS earlier tour, he was working on Sea Movements there.

It was on checking the imprest before leaving the hotel in Hong Kong, Glenn Morton, our team leader, stuffed the imprest under his mattress when someone knocked on his bedroom door. As Syd states, he left the imprest behind, which we discovered on the flight to Yashikawa air base Japan.

We arrived on Friday 5th November and loaded the Harrier later that day, followed by loading the support Herc next day, just managed to squeeze everything on. We had a free day on Monday 8th, went into Tokyo by train for a look around. We were stunned by the electrical goods on sale, so much choice we had never seen anything like it before.

Returning to Kai Tak, Glen had the imprest returned all in order, was he ever releived!

In Singapore we were staying in the Changi Creek Transit Hotel and Al Storey came to see us, another old UKMAMS member.

We flew home by VC 10, arriving at Brize on 12th November. It was an eventful trip, so many old friends seen as we travelled. I am still in touch with Syd and John Bell by e-mail, lost contact with Jimmy Barr, Ted Moore and Glenn Morton who retired from the RAF as a Group Captain I believe?

I had a phone call from Terry (Sandy Sandifords wife), Sandy is still in the same condition with alzheimers, he is being well looked after by caring staff. Anyone wishing to contact Terry, her phone number is 01235-529887.

I did enjoy the UKMAMS Association Dinner at RAF Lyneham, seeing old friends after so many years was a great joy. Several of us wore the original UKMAMS ties that we purchased while at Abingdon.

Best wishes to you and all old friends.


Dave Egg

Thanks Dave - I received your article about Masirah and will get it published soon

In older people, memory is best early in the morning and then declines during the late afternoon

From: Patrick Meehan, Dubai
Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 6:50 AM
Subject: Change of Details

Hi Tony

Please could you change my contact details on the members list.

Living in Dubai for the last three years. Contact number 00971 805 4931

Kindest Regards

Patrick H Meehan

I had you as being AWOL from Malaga for a long time - nice to hear from you again Patrick!


Featured Video

Retiree Lawn Chair Drill Team 

Sheep outnumber humans in New Zealand 15 to 1

Microsoft have released the latest version of Internet Explorer; IE8 Beta Version*. I've noted that when using IE8 some websites, including the OBA site, require "Compatibilty View" to be selected otherwise certain parts of some pages will not be displayed properly. A good remedy is to select the Compatibility View Settings and place a check mark against "Display all websites in Compatibility View."


(*The beta version of a software release is considered to be a preview. It has all the standard features, but is not yet ready for wide release. During this point, the company will collect feedback from users about the product's usability — what they like and what should be changed — before the product's wide release. A beta version of a program can be either a closed beta, which is limited to a specific group of users, or an open beta, which is available for the general public to use. Though beta version products will often have all the features available in the final version of the product, they generally have limited, if any, technical support available to users.)


A Cambridge-based engineering company has announced a £97m deal to extend the life of a fleet of military aircraft.

Marshall Aerospace will take overall responsibility for maintenance of the Royal Air Force's nine TriStars until their out-of-service date in 2015.

The contract will secure 25 jobs and create a further 15 at the site which already employs 1,700 people.

The aircraft, which can carry up to 260 people, are used for refuelling and taking troops into battle.

Tim Rowntree, director general air support, said the new deal was vital to ensure the continued use of the 25-year-old fleet.

He said: "We've had issues with reliability. It's not a new aircraft and as it gets older, this maintenance becomes more important."

Defence equipment minister Quentin Davies said: "The TriStar aircraft play a vital role in air transport and it is important that we ensure that they are well maintained and serviced."

Marshall Aerospace will take overall responsibility for maintenance which was previously split between different organisations.

BBC News

According to a recent survey, more than half of British adults have had sex in a public place!

North Wiltshire MP James Gray says questions he raised about the future of RAF Lyneham have not been answered.

Conservative MP Mr Gray raised questions about the future use of Lyneham during a recent defence debate in the House of Commons. Now he has received a letter from a defence minister about the issues.

“It seems that no further decisions have been taken on whether the base will be used as part of the Battlefield Helicopter Estate,” said the MP. “But I will keep a close eye on developments.”

“I was also pleased to receive the minister’s thanks to pass on to my constituents in Wootton Bassett for the way they pay their respects to our war dead.”

Swindon Advertiser


The Ministry of Defence’s South Atlantic airbridge contract has been awarded to Gatwick-based Chapman Freeborn Airchartering and Edinburgh-based flyglobespan. The twice-weekly flights to Ascension island and the Falklands, will be operated on the Scottish airline’s Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, commencing this month.

The airbridge from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, is run under a two-year contract with two one-year options.

The B767-300 aircraft is to carry up to 184 civilian and government passengers on each flight, with the remaining payload taken with freight.

Darren Banham, director of commercial passenger charters at Chapman Freeborn, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, and consider it an honour to be working for the British Government. As the only passenger service operating to these remote islands, the airbridge also serves as an important lifeline to the residents.”

Tom Dalrymple, chairman for flyglobespan, said: “We are of course very pleased to have won this prestigious contract, which is testament to our expertise in this product field. Charter flights such as these are an important part of the flyglobespan business model and winning this Ministry of Defence contract is further indication of how successfully we are doing this.

“We pride ourselves on the service we offer to both charter clients and general passengers and are delighted that the Ministry of Defence has recognised this and put their trust in flyglobespan to operate a superior and cost-effective service.”

Air Cargo News

About 1 in 30 people in the USA are in jail, on probation, or on parole

From: Colin Allen
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 7:32 AM
Subject: Fw: UKMAMS Dinner - George Lynes photos

Hi Tony

Bob Dixon asked me to put names to the attached pictures from the UKMAMS Association Dinner on the 27th September.


Colin Allen

Many thanks Colin and Bob - and a special thanks to George Lynes for the great photos!

George Graves, Harry Jones, Clive Price
Tony Trevena, George Graves, Harry Jones
Avril Stepney, Terry Roberts, Mike Stepney
David Bell, Daphne Parker
John Belcher, Keith Parker, Tony Last, Mike Gidney
Terry Roberts, Nige Robinson
Dougie Betambeau, Roy Bolton, Mark Taylor
Pete Biggs, Tony Moore
Ian Berry, Mrs Hazelwood, Don Hazelwood
Ken Browne, Syliva Moore, Pete Clayton
Gordon Black, Jim Cunningham, Mick Day
Garry Fitt, Colin Allen
Tony Geerah, Al Irving
Not Known, Brian Connellan, Pete Clayton
Sam Heaphy, David Stevens, David Powell
Sam Heaphy, David Stevens, David Powell
Ian Berry, Martyn Skelton, Sam Heaphy
Charlie Marlow, Steve Beaumont, Sean Blythe
John Belcher, Mick Cocker



RNZAF called to Antarctica to help US Air Force
5:08PM Thursday Oct 30, 2008

An air force Orion was called to Antarctica yesterday afternoon to help rescue a US Air Force C-17 Globemaster stranded since Sunday with mechanical problems. The Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K Orion was due to return to New Zealand tonight, having flown spares and three US Air Force maintenance engineers to Antarctica. The US aircraft had a faulty fuel control unit and was unable to fly.

"While it is early in the season for the air force to be flying to the ice and by its very nature there is some risk involved with Antarctic operations, our crews are well trained and have three years of P-3K ice experience to call upon," Air Commodore Gavin Howse said.

The RNZAF's fleet of primary Antarctic support aircraft, the C-130 Hercules, were unavailable as they were on operations in East Timor and being upgraded in Canada. The P-3K Orion has been involved regular flights to Antarctica since early 2006, usually as part of routine patrols of the Southern Ocean.

The RNZAF was called on under an emergency support agreement between the US National Science Foundation and Antarctica New Zealand, as the US Air Force C-130 Hercules crews were still based in the US.

The US aircraft had returned to Christchurch and was already beginning scheduled flights back to the ice.

The first RNZAF C-130 Hercules flights for Antarctica New Zealand begin in early January.

NZ Herald

The male praying mantis cannot copulate while its head is attached to its body. The female initiates sex by ripping the males head off

CL-44 Swingtail Association Reunion
Royal Air Force Club, 128 Piccadilly, London
Friday 31st October and Saturday 1st November 2008

Members & non-members can attend either or both functions and we do have SOME accommodation left-although TMAC /Tradewinds / Flying Tiger guys have booked most of the rooms.

E-mail Malcolm Porter for details


From: Steve Broadhurst, Melbourne
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 8:37 PM
Subject: Brief Comment


Greetings, from the Great Southern Land.

Another great read from our world of Movers ‘n Shakers.

I really did a time flip on sighting the Beverley trim sheet. It took me all the way back to TACWING Lyneham in 1967 following the advent of the C130 into RAF service and being “lumbered” with the task of shift representative in Load Control under Flt Lt Ron Yaxley. This was followed by Muharraq, circa 1969/70, when I was further exposed to the terror of trim sheet preparation. In those days we saw Argosy’s, Andover’s, Brits, VC10, Belfast and, all movers second home, Fat Albert on a regular basis.

Most shifts were relatively calm but I can well remember a couple of occasions where things did not “fit” and all hell blew loose. Fast talking and agile minds generally made for an acceptable solution but you had to keep your cool when SAMO/DSAMO & DAMO were all offering helpful suggestions.

Prior to my UKMAMS tour I spent a lot if time in Load Control at Brize Norton (with Pete Clayton) and Gan before finally getting the gig at Abingdon. It was one of those tasks that many shied away from and, once you were known as capable, all too often you got the job. I can remember trying not to sweat on the document whilst plotting the “snail trail” in several hot & humid environments on task..

Keep up the good work Tony, and I hope, following Jack’s prompt, you are seeing more $$$ support coming your way.

All the best

Steve Broadhurst (Kilo & Echo teams)

You have to admit those are great memories Steve.

As for the $$$ support - only 32 members have made contributions in the last year.

That's it for this issue

Have a great weekend!