12 December 2008


New members joining us recently are:


Keith Smith, Swindon, UK

"Great site, keep up the good work."
Graham Cotton, Peterborough, UK "I wasn't on a mobile team but met a lot of guys staging through Masirah, Salalah, Gatow and Ottawa."

Bob Simmons, Preston, UK

"Just retired after 29 years."
Andy Kime, Marlow, UK "Altho I consider myself a 'lapsed mover', some of the best times of my career have occurred because of that 'Q'. Movers are a breed apart, and I instinctively feel at home in their company."

Geordie Mason, Kandahar, Afghanistan


Al Stacey, Wiltshire, UK


Peter Rochon, Kabul, Afghanistan "The site is awesome! There are a lot of retired Movers currently in Kabul and Kandahar working for NATO."

Fernand Lefebvre, Oberammergau, Germany

"Over 3 years in Germany - returning home next summer to Burton NB, Canada."
George McGinnis, Alberta, Canada  

Vic Smith, Amberley, QLD., Australia "Air Movements started for me at RAAF Base Richmond in '80 after returning from 2 1/2 years in Malaysia. Did not, initially, want to be in Air Movements. Love it now. Currently back on full time service on contract and on deployment. Other movements trips have included Bougainville (twice)and East Timor. In another life I toured Thailand and Vietnam (twice) as an Airfield Defence Guard (ADG). My second tour of Vietnam included 6 months as a helicopter Gunner with RAAF 9SQN (UH1H)."

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: 27 November 2008 20:20
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo #112808


The photo depicted has 3 USAF MAPS guys probably one is at least a Chief Warrant Officer and 2 Master Sergeants.

The Canadians are a Captain and the guy on the right end is WO Frank Bessette from 4 CFMCU.

The armbands worn by the MAPS guys are from 4 Canadian Forces Movement and Control Unit, Montreal.

Also the ball caps are from the Lord Strathconas (Royal Canadian) which is an armoured regiment out of Edmonton. Probably airlifting vehicles with US C-5A or C-17 aircraft out of Kandahar Airfield.


Steve Richardson

You are correct Steve.. I had a prize delivery vehicle scheduled to go down to Trenton today, however the roads were so bad what with all the snow and wotnot...

In the meantime, the story line that accompanied the above mystery picture is thusly:

ATOC members inducted into Canadian unit

Three members of the 376th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron’s Air Terminal Operations Center were inducted into the Canadian Forces Movement Control Unit, Det. 4, Nov. 11 by Capt. Sean Pettis (second from right) Canadian Forces officer in charge and Warrant Officer Francois Bessett (right) Canadian Forces Air Movement Control officer. According to Capt. Pettis, this is the first time anyone outside of Canada has been inducted into this unit. The inductees included (from the left) Master Sgt. Tim Thompson, ATOC lead load planner/cape forecaster deployed from the 27th Aerial Port Squadron Minneapolis Air Reserve Station, Minn., Master Sgt. Ronnie Byrd, ATOC information controller, deployed from 72 APS Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and Senior Master Sgt. Gerald Fox, ATOC Air Terminal manager, deployed from the 34th APS Milwaukee ARS, Wis. The members were recognized for the logistical and operational expertise they provided during the recently completed Canadian Forces armor movement into Afghanistan.

A mole can dig a hole 300 feet deep in one night.

From: Chas Cormack, Lyneham
John Hollaway, Shrewsbury, UK
Fri 28/11/2008 03:57
British Mission to Soviet Sector


If you try BRITMIX or BRITMISS you should find out about the place you are looking for.

As CMC in Gatow (Berlin) I always invited them to the mess and in turn Pam and I used to go to their annual cocktail party which was just over the Glineker Bridge where they did the spy exchanges and very near the old East German War Museum.

Hope this helps



From: David Powell, Princes Risborough
Sent: 28 November 2008 04:37
Subject: BRITMIX Ops

Hi Tony,

Thanks for another Friday morning memory stirrer, in particular John Holloway’s mention of BRITMIX operations.

My key role in winning the Cold War can now be revealed. After two arduous years on UKMAMS Abingdon being honed by F Team in the art of cryptic (at least to me) operations, in June 1969 I was posted to a clandestine Nissan hut in Yorkshire, which, to confuse the enemy was designated E4d(RAF).

Surrounded by equipment officers engaged in working out requirements and buying everything from ailerons to zips, our cunning job was to sell RAF equipment. This meant that any strange requests to acquire equipment not covered by the normal channel of supply would finish up with me. To my battered beach-wood and Formica desk would be passed requests such as: ‘To Chief Pilot RAF – Please can I buy a Spitfire?’ from Jimmy Age 9, Wolverhampton or, particularly memorable, from a conjuror living at ‘Hey Presto, Bournemouth’, seeking a WRAF uniform with a 52” bust required for his act.

But, to return to the war, one cold grey misty morning we were passed a top-priority tasking from the Air Attaché at a certain East European Embassy. Part of his duties was to be driven around Poland with steely eyes peeled and Box Brownie camera at the ready to record ‘unusual’ activity. The problem was, not to beat about the bush, literally, he had a weak bladder which required frequent stops to disappear behind a tree for an emergency piddle. Unfortunately, such stops were usually accompanied by the arrival of potential snatch squads of the Warsaw Pact’s finest wanting to find out why that particular part of Polish real-estate was attracting British interest. The solution - could we provide a sophisticated ex-Lighting jet fighter piddle tube, as used by pilot’s on long sorties? Basically a funnel on a length of tubing, which could be fitted in the rear of said officer’s staff car. Before one could say ‘NAAFI wagon’s up’, the wheels were in motion and 16 MU Stafford tasked with dispatching the required item by fast diplomatic bag. When E4 spoke, no one ever asked why. And by such guile, resourcefulness and cunning the Cold War was eventually won.

Keep the faith

David Powell

Many thanks for that interesting insight into how you helped win the cold war David!

A species of earthworm in Australia grows up to 10 feet in length.

Rob Davies (Hotel Team, Abingdon, 1967-72) flying a friends Yak 3 (WWII Russian fighter) at Cranwell earlier this year:

Looking good Rob!


From: Andy Kime, Marlow
Sent: 29 November 2008 09:08
Subject: Greetings back

Yup - I was a mover (so reckon I still must be - it will be on my police record and Bob Dixon has just sent me a lovely commemorative coin, so it must be true!) although it has been over 20 years since I held a tensioner in my hand!

I was that mystery man in the picture of the MAMS Ops Room (Old Bods Brief #101708), although I cannot recall why I was wearing a long sleeve shirt and tie - must have been in trouble again and about to slip my hat on before marching myself into Bob Dixon's office!!

Will gladly join you in my own right, having very kindly been sent the last 2 issues by Chris Goss.

BTW - recognised John Purkiss and Stu Whitton in front of the Herc (RAF Mystery Photo 112808).

The lady Corporal might be Stu's (then) missus, Rose, or Val Purkiss, who I met only once and I was hideously drunk then (and that story leads into my receiving 45 Orderly Officer duties for my sins - quite right, too!).

Do I get a prize?

You may also be able to help me put a colleague in the USAF in touch with Keith Parker, if he is back in the UK now? If you can contact him, please let him know that Col Caroline Evernham saw the photos in the last Old Boys Magazine, and asked me if I could put her back in touch (I think they were at the Deid together).

Keep well and thanks again for some great memory joggers.


Thanks Andy and welcome to the OBA - regrettably you don't win a prize since at the time of your guess you were not officially a member of the OBA - Dashed bad luck!

In the meantime I forwarded your e-mail over to Keith Parker whom I trust got in touch with you regarding Col Evernham.

There are 92 known cases of nuclear bombs lost at sea.

From: Robbie Taylor, Doncaster
Sent: 29 November 2008 11:03
Subject: OBB 112808

Hi Tony,

Not wanting to upset our Canadian friends but as an adoptive Yorkshire man, may I disagree with Jim White (OBB 112808) and confirm that the mystery airfield is Trenton, Ontario.

If you look at Google Earth it does show quite clearly the same airfield west of Belleville on the Bay of Quinte. Either that or it's a double.

Wikipedia does have a lot of info on this airfield.

If I am wrong I'll not have Yorkshire puddings or a pint of John Smiths for a while.

Keep up the good work Tony.

Cheers Robbie


From: Syd Avery, Torrevieja
Sent: 30 November 2008 07:35
Subject: Antonov 225

Greetings, O Webmaster,

Whilst working for Air Foyle, I had the privilege of flying on the An225. Quite a large aeroplane, everything about it was big, from cargo capacity, 250 tonne, through fuel consumption, 20 tonnes per hour at take off, to the actual MTOW of 600 tonnes.

Once full power was applied at brakes off, the 6 engines gave a noticeable push in the back, even at 600 tonnes. Whilst the 124 could load both ends, the 225 could only nose load. Not that that made any difference.

Once she was put back into service and marketed, a lot of work came her way, although not a lot of airports could handle it.


The attached photos were taken in Kabul. Apologies for the one showing a handsome, suave, debonair Flight Manager

The fleet of aeroplanes Air Foyle had available were the An12, An22 (the original wide body), which you could hear about an hour prior to arrival, An124, An225 and at one time, Il76 aeroplanes.

The Antonov´s had unpressurised cargo compartments. Crews, Ukrainian, were great, both professionally and on a social basis. I enjoyed my time with them.

Best regards,


Thanks Syd... those are great memories!

A spider's silk is stronger than steel.

From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: 04 December 2008 07:47
Subject: BRIXMIX

Hi Chaps

In the last Brief I mentioned the BRIXMIX missions that one of our Mauripur members was involved in. Thanks to Charlie Cormack and Jim Macintosh for guiding me to the website.

I had a words with Charles, our member who was stationed in the Mission House in Potsdam 1965-68. One story he told was a very good reason for remembering exactly where he was on a particular day in '66.

He was on his way into Berlin to pick up some kit and on arriving at the Soviet checkpoint at Glienice Bridge was stopped and his pass was taken by a Soviet officer who told him that he could not proceed any further. The reason was that their radio was unserviceable and as he had one in his car they wanted to listen to World Cup Final between England and Germany. So as he couldn't object and had to stay there till the end of the match. They were all shouting for England and when we won they brought out a bottle of Vodka to celebrate. When his pass was eventually returned he continued his journey. He says as he didn't have much choice in sharing his radio and an after thought from this encounter was the realisation that the Russians really weren't as bad as people often made out!

Also in the last Brief I got it wrong; it was the new AK74 rifle not the AK47 that they were after and did manage to get some live rounds to bring back with them.

Trust the foregoing is of interest.



Thanks John - The AK-74 is a 5.45 mm assault rifle developed in the early 1970s in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It was developed from the earlier AKM and introduced in 1974; the rifle first saw service with Soviet forces engaged in the Afghanistan conflict.


UK steps up helicopter training exercises

Today's military air arms are faced with a major challenge: to meet the maxim to "train like you fight" while overcoming severe restrictions in equipment, personnel or budget, and sustaining often long-running commitments to combat or peacekeeping operations.

With at least six different aircraft types currently supporting coalition campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, the UK's tri-service Joint Helicopter Command (JHC) provides an ideal example of an organisation that is attempting to maintain this delicate balance between preparing crews for the enduring demands of current operations, but also training for the unknown requirements of the future. visited a recent major exercise involving two of the Royal Air Force's principal transport helicopter types. Staged from a base at Ram Ram near the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, Exercise Jebel Sahara sought to broaden a training regime that one senior commander says has seen the air force "myopically fixate on the Arabian deserts" over recent years.

Conducted from 6-28 October, the exercise involved three of the RAF's Boeing CH-47D Chinook HC2/2As and two of its Agusta Westland AW101 Merlin HC3s. Reflecting the busy nature of both forces over recent years, the manoeuvres represented the first time that the types had trained together since 2005.

The Joint Helicopter Force (Morocco) (JHF(M)) detachment also involved almost 160 personnel, including 12 air crews from the Chinook force's 18 and 27 squadrons and 10 crews from the Merlin community.

A quarter of the RAF's 40-strong Chinook inventory is now assigned to operations in the Gulf region, with nine aircraft in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. Aircraft from its 22-strong Merlin HC3-equipped 28 Sqn have meanwhile logged more than 15,000 flight hours in Iraq, with operations continuing from the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

"We used to do dissimilar training, but the tempo of operations had forced us to not work together," says Wg Cdr David Morris, Merlin detachment commander for the recent exercise. Crews from both types use the CAE Aircrew Training Services-managed Medium Support Helicopter Aircrew Training Facility at the Merlin force's home base at Benson, Oxfordshire, but typically focus on their separate mission requirements.

The UK armed forces have struggled to conduct adequate "all-arms" training activities since early in this decade, with overseas exercises posing a financial burden on a defence budget already hard-strained by operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.But senior officials are now pushing for larger scale and more regular periods of training, which they argue will deliver a better standard of personnel more able to adapt to new situations.

"We have self-deployed the aircraft to an austere site with conventional support and are training in an unfamiliar environment by day and night, and flying up to 10,000ft [3,050m] with snow and sand in the same sortie," says Chinook force commander Gp Capt Andy Turner. "That stretches our aircrews, and makes them think differently."

The JHC used the recent manoeuvres largely for environmental training purposes, but other activities included troop transport, formation flying, gun firing using M60 and M134 weapons, and combat survival training. A standards team also visited the exercise to ensure that common practices are in use, including across aircraft types.

Further activities included testing a so-called "desert box" rolling landing technique intended to overcome the dangerous effects of "brown-out" conditions. The activities included multi-ship operations with both aircraft types, which use significantly different landing approach techniques.

Using opportunities such as the Jebel Sahara framework, a long-standing series of events primarily involving the Moroccan military and the British Army's Royal Gibraltar Regiment, the RAF plans to dramatically increase the number and variety of exercises for the Chinook and other types, says Turner.

Such activities are "contingent for rapid response" duties, and important in meeting a goal for "global readiness", Turner says. "I would like to shift conversion activities to here, and also use the transit to learn," he adds.

This would meet an aspiration to get new crew members to limited combat ready status, reduce the amount of low flying conducted in the UK, and ensure that crews do not learn lessons for the first time under combat conditions, Turner says.

Jebel Sahara, meanwhile, provided a first opportunity for the Merlin force to deploy the aircraft's ISO container-housed support system, which comprises flight planning, rectification and welfare units for squadron personnel, including around 20 engineers. One of the two aircraft deployed by 28 Sqn also tested the type's enhanced health and usage diagnostic system.

Using one laptop computer per aircraft, this links maintenance information back to the UK to support supply chain planning activities. The Merlin is the UK's first support helicopter to use the EHUDS technology, and deputy engineering officer Chief Tech Darren Whammond notes: "It's a very good system, but it's early days."

Desert operations are particularly harsh on the Merlin which must have its Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca RTM 322 engines inspected by boroscope after every 30 landings. An engine change can be performed in the field within 2-3h, if necessary. Both deployed aircraft had 120 flight hours available before their next periods of scheduled work at the start of the exercise, and were each expected to log around four flight hours a day.

"You're at the extremes of release to service here," says Morris, who notes that as the Merlin's experience in Iraq has been gained largely at near sea level, "hot and high training is something we've really got to address". Conditions will be very different if the Merlin is committed to the NATO-led campaign in Afghanistan from 2009: the UK's Camp Bastion base sits at an altitude of around 4,000ft.

"For an electric aircraft the availability is remarkable," says Morris, while cautioning that the Merlin "was never designed to operate at 50°C [122°F] month on month." Although a firm decision has yet to be taken, defence secretary John Hutton in late November confirmed that the UK is "examining options to deploy Merlin helicopters and additional Chinook airframes to Afghanistan".

The RAF's Merlin HC3s have already received wide-ranging modifications under urgent operational requirement (UOR) deals linked to their use in Iraq.

Work has included communications and defensive aids system upgrades, the integration of a pintle-mounted general-purpose machine gun, improved ballistic protection, an underslung load capability (below), a forward-looking infrared sensor upgrade and the addition of night vision display data.

The aircraft will also in time be equipped with BERP IV main rotor blades, which are already in use on the six Merlin HC3As acquired from Royal Danish Air Force and now assigned to the RAF's 78 Sqn.

Such UOR modifications are overseen and embodied by the Joint Partnering and Relationships Team a combined effort involving AgustaWestland and the UK Ministry of Defence.

This has also provided improved communications and countermeasures equipment for the Chinook force, and a variety of modifications to the British Army's Westland/Boeing Apache AH1 attack and Lynx utility helicopters, RAF Westland Puma and Royal Navy Sea King transports, which are also supporting operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Current Chinook HC2/2As are also entering a wide-ranging upgrade effort to deliver a common aircraft configuration across the fleet. "Right now I'm 40 different aeroplanes, but you just get on with it," says Turner.

Key elements of the Project Julius effort, which initially involves eight aircraft, are the integration of digital avionics and an engine upgrade to Honeywell's T55-714 standard.

The work will later be expanded to cover all 48 Chinooks in the RAF's fleet, with operations of the type expected to continue until at least 2040 under the terms of Boeing's 34-year through-life customer support contract with the MoD, implemented in 2006.

Operations with the Chinook have increased by 25% since May in Afghanistan, and on average, one of the nine aircraft deployed to the country is rotated back to the UK every month.

Aircraft entering depth maintenance at Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services' Fleetlands site in Hampshire can have as much as 400kg (880lb) of sand removed from inside their fuselages on their return, highlighting the tough environmental conditions encountered by helicopters supporting the NATO-led fight against the Taliban.

The RAF's overall use of its current 40 operational Chinooks is also on an upwards curve, with the fleet projected to deliver 16,000 flight hours this year. This is in part thanks to the UK Ministry of Defence's Boeing-led through-life customer support deal in place at Fleetlands, and a new support model at the type's main operating base at RAF Odiham, Hampshire.

The fleet will also be boosted from next year by the availability of eight stored Chinook HC3s, which are to undergo a so-called "reversion" programme led by Qinetiq.

"By improving crew arrangements and enhancing logistic support, we have increased available helicopter hours by around 60% in the last two years," says defence secretary John Hutton. "We will continue to investigate ways to get more capability out of our existing deployed airframes."

Turner believes more can be done to get extra from the versatile transport. "The US Army gets 200-250h out of a Chinook each year, and the RAF 400-450h, but Columbia Helicopters flies 1,400h with each of its [seven] Chinooks," he says. "We have a lot to learn from others."

In addition to preparing crews for frontline operations, JHF(M) commander Wg Cdr Jock Brown says Jebel Sahara was "an ideal work-up for operations like the [2005] Pakistan earthquake", where RAF Chinooks were used to deliver disaster relief supplies.

The air force plans a further two similar exercises in Morocco in 2009, plus Arctic training in Norway in January and February. Along with planned amphibious training to potentially take place in the Mediterranean region next year, Turner says the increase in overseas training activities "will build a broader experience base and give more balanced crews". Sending the Chinook force's entire contingent of 120-130 pilots through each of the various training environments would take between two and three years to achieve, he adds.

Separately, the JHC is expected to soon increase the frequency of its contribution to British Army-run "Grand Prix"-series exercises in Kenya from around twice a year to up to nine times a year, according to military sources. "We are sustainably set in Afghanistan," says Turner. "But we must look at where we will be in 15 years and put it in train now."

Any space vehicle must move at a rate of 7 miles per second in order to escape the earth's gravitational pull.

From: Brian Spademan, Lanarca
Sent: 04 December 2008 08:34
Subject: Change of email

Hi and a very merry Christmas to everyone.

At long last I hope to have cured an ongoing email problem and found another server, so please note new email address. My apologies to anyone over the last year who tried to contact me and didn’t get a reply; lots of emails got lost by server and computer problems.

I am still enjoying a great read and as such agree with Robert Taylor, a gent I don’t know, but if as he said we all donate a little; a lot of money will be raised ensuring that the bulletins keep flowing. So come on start the festive spirit with a donation!

I will be in Australia for Christmas then back to Cyprus for the WRC so a busy couple of months.

Take care and once again merry Christmas.

Brian Spademan

Thanks Brian - It's good to be in contact again


From: Marco Michaud, Aylmer, QC
Sent: 05 December 2008 23:54
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #112808

Hello Tony,

My name is Marco Michaud and I used to be a CC-130 Loadmaster from 1991 to 1998 in Trenton and Greenwood. I now live in Aylmer QC and working at Startop as a Logistic Officer. Time has passed, but it would be nice some day to meet over a few cold ones and lunch.

I have been very lazy and not reading all of the old bods brief, but I have to admit that I took the time tonight to read one of them and was much impressed.


Hope to meet you some day.



Nice to hear from you Marco - my door is always open

The bagpipe was first made from the liver of a sheep.

From: Vic Smith, Amberley, Qld.
Sent: 08 December 2008 01:12
Subject: RAAF MYSTERY PHOTO #112808

Ladies and Gents,

The RAAF Mystery photo is of me - Warrant Officer (WOFF) Vic Smith. Probably taken at RAAF Base Amberley, Queensland, in September '03 just prior to my transferring to the RAAF Active Reserve from RAAF Permanent.

At the time I was A/OIC Air Movements Amberley. Currently laying in my sandpit for about 4 months and back on full time service to do so. My location; we are advised not to be specific so suffice to say we are located with Canadian, Dutch and NZ personnel.

As for Movements:

1980 - 1986 - Air Movements RAAF Base Richmond as Corporal in various positions including 2 1/2 years as Corporal Load Team A.

1987-88 - Services Air Movement Control Office (SAMCO) at Tullamarine Airport Victoria.

1994-97 - Air Movements WOFF at RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory, Australia

August 1998 - Sep 2003 - RAAF Base Amberley in various roles including as WOFF Load Team Leader, OIC (on formation of No.1 Air Terminal Squadron).

Time at Amberley included 2 x 4 month tours of Bougainville as the Air Movements Officer (SNCO) for Operation Bel Isi (peacekeeping duties in Papua, New Guinea) and a 6 month tour of East Timor as a Load Team Leader for 383 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron (ECSS) during the units first and last deployment.

Since Sep 2003, I have done a stint with Joint Movements Control Office at Enoggerra, Queensland as RAAF Air Movements liaison.

Mainly, though I have used Reserve days to work at Air Movements Amberley, relief man at other Detatchments around the country and also to fly as MALT team leader on a few C-17 tasks.

I am currently on a 4 month contract for full time service and, on return to OZ, will go back to a Band 1 Reservist working wherever required.

The RAAF Reserves were restructured a couple of years ago and banded positions were created. As a Band 1 member, I am posted to a Reserve Air Load team position (WOFF) at Amberley.

I undertake to work a mandatory 50 days a year, maintain my deployability requirements and be available to deploy at 1 - 28 days NTM. If I meet all requirements, at the end of the year I get a bonus of $5,000.00 plus I get $2,500.00 at the start of the year to help maintain top medical coverage.

All in all, I am doing okay.


Vic Smith.

Thanks for an insight into both your background and the workings of the RAAF Vic - and welcome!


U.K. Air Force descends on Lake Elsinore

Lake Elsinore may become the site of a British Invasion -- and no, The Beatles aren't coming.

Military officials from the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force may make Lake Elsinore part of their yearly parachute training circuit after a successful training exercise Wednesday at the city's namesake lake.

"The local officials were very accommodating toward our efforts, and the lake is an ideal venue for our training," Royal Air Force Flight Lt. Scott Galbraith said. "If things work out, we could see ourselves coming back."

Lake Elsinore officials said they are more than happy to accommodate the visitors.

"It's an honor any time we are able to help out our troops or our allies," said Pat Kilroy, the director of the city's Lake and Aquatic Resources Department.

The British military branch was training about 40 parachute instructors from other branches of the country's armed forces on technique and water landings.

The C-130 aircraft that carried about 15 troops to the drop zone took off from March Air Reserve Base, and made several passes around the lake during a single deployment.

Then, four at a time, the servicemen jumped from the plane, deployed baby-blue parachutes and descended to the lake.

The Royal Air Force typically has three annual training exercises in California, normally at the El Centro Naval Air Facility, Galbraith said.

This year, the owners of Skydive Elsinore, who Royal Air Force members met through recreational skydiving, suggested Lake Elsinore as a possible training location.

"We have certain specifications for the size of our drop zone, and Lake Elsinore met them," Galbraith said. "Also, it is relatively close to March base, so the location was convenient.

Galbraith said future trips to Lake Elsinore would hinge on how much it would cost the Royal Air Force to perform the exercises there and if they continue to receive cooperation from local officials.

Royal Air Force officials met with Kilroy and other city officials last Thursday to discuss the training exercise.

City officials did not hesitate to close a section of the lake for a day, free of charge.

The Lake Elsinore Marine Search and Rescue unit assisted in the lake closure and retrieved the servicemen from the water.

Some Lake Elsinore residents see the opportunity to host the Royal Air Force as an extension of the city's history of military and public safety cooperation.

Lake Elsinore served as test site for a World War II aircraft use by the Norwegians, and a plant here manufactured wings for B-17 bombers built by Douglas Aircraft during the same war.

The city has hosted parachute exercises by the U.S. Air Force and a World War II-era seaplane retrofitted into a firefighting tanker.

"Over the years, we have become an international destination for those kinds of activities," Lake Elsinore Mayor Robert Magee said.

The famous aphrodisiac 'Spanish Fly' is made from dried beetle remains!

Featured Video
The Royal Air Force in 1951



RAF Mystery Photo #121208

A blue whale's heart is the size of a Volkswagen Beetle!

CAF Mystery Photo #121208

RAAF Mystery Photo #121208

Coffee drinkers have sex more frequently than non-coffee drinkers.

RNZAF Mystery Photo #121208


From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: 10 December 2008 07:03
Subject: Dave Eccles' Cremation

Hi Tony,

Attached is a copy of the Order of Service for Dave's Cremation Service.

Very moving and in the spirit of what the man was.

The parting message from the Big Man at the end of the Service was the playing of "Always look on the bright side of life" from Monty Python....

Seasons Greetings,




From: Tommie (Denise) Eccles, Stow-on-the-Wold
Sent: 11 December 2008 06:30
Subject: Thanks from Tommie

Many thanks for attending Ecky's cremation service and wake last Tuesday. Seeing you all there will help me to live through these next few months without him and come to terms with my loss; he left a big family behind and that holds the loneliness at bay.

I think we all knew that Eck was in there with us somehow having a drink and a chat.

My home is still open to all but you still have to behave yourselves and no sleeping at any of my parties - I still intend to have them; you don't think all them parties were Eck's ideas do you?!

Stay safe and live life to the full.



Tommie, I never had the privilege of knowing either Ecky or you and I now realize what a great misfortune that was...

That's it for this issue

Have a great weekend!