24th December 2008

New members joining us recently are:


Chuck Arntsen, Morinville, AB Canada & Yuma, AZ, USA

Rick Newton, Trenton, ON, Canada  

Welcome to the OBA!

From: Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld.
Sent: 12 December 2008 00:19
Subject: That time of year


Before the 17th century, carrots used to be the colour purple.

From: David Howley, Melton Mowbray
Sent: 16 December 2008 06:57
Subject: Insert for next OBA Brief

Hi Tony,

Attached PDF of Xmas Greetings for our now multinational OBA.


Unfortunately the only non-RAF movers of my aquanitance are Gp.Capt Dave Richardson RAAF and a CAF Sgt (who’s name I cannot recall) at Baden-Soligen in 1980-83 who was a very helpful contact during my time at OpsAM, HQ 38 Gp, Upavon.

On one occasion, he was instrumental in getting the UK Bobsleigh team airlifted to Canada for training – just another of the “funnies” that crossed my desk there but without his help I could not have moved them – many thanks!

Regards and best wishes


Wonderful aircraft drawings David - your hard work is greatly appreciated!





From: Mike Stephen, Victoria, BC
Sent: 11 December 2008 19:07
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #121208



Ref CAF Mystery photo #121208. This photo probably was taken in Thule, Greenland during Exercise Boxtop (resupply to Alert) during the Winter. Brrrrrrrrrrr!!!


Brrrr is right Mike - you're really cold on that guess!

The biggest pumpkin in the world weighed 1,337.6 pounds.

From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: 11 December 2008 20:47
Subject: CAF Mystery Photo 121208



I will take a shot at this one, a MAMS Private and a civilian driver at Resolute Bay, Nunavut.

The Army was training with the Canadian Rangers a year or so ago, notice the white toboggans mixed in the load.

Happy Holidays,

Steve Richardson

[Therein folowed an exchange of many e-mails where the unfortunate prize contender guessed nearly all of the Arctic runway facilities...]


From: Tony Gale
To: 'Steve Richardson'
Sent: Thursday, December 16, 2008 8:59 PM

Oh darn.. So close Steve! I'll give you a clue - it was a favourite stopping-off place for vessels transiting the North West Passage.



From: Steve Richardson
To: Tony Gale
Sent: 16 December 2008 22:38

Tony- Is it Cambridge Bay, Nunavut? I have not been there since 1974 while working out of Churchill, Manitoba...


From: Tony Gale
To: 'Steve Richardson'
Sent: 16 December 2008 22:49

You are correct! Really a shame about not getting a prize yet again; too many tries.

Here's the text that accompanied the picture: "Private Dave Smart, a Traffic Technician, with 1 Air Movements Squadron, at Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, helps prepare A Company, Third Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (3 PPCLI), for the return to Edmonton while on exercise."

From: David Powell, Princes Risborough
Sent: 12 December 2008 04:46
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #121208


And greetings to you Tony!

Another pre-Christmas cracker of an issue, with that brilliant order of service to say farewell to Dave Eccles. Like you, I don’t think that our paths ever crossed, but I wish they had. And, that video – magnificent! This triggered one short grey-cell stirrer, or at least the clip of the Mk 1 Shackletons. Before I was let loose on movements, my first tour was in stores at Changi, 1964-67, then home port for 205 Squadron and its Mk. 1's.

One of their Shacks developed a most alarming screeching sound down the back end in flight. No amount of checking and rechecking the setting of the tailplane or removing and replacing anything which could be moved or replaced would solve the problem. Then one of techies came up with a real state of the art, edge of the envelope, sophisticated high-tech solution: take an oil can and oil all the rivet lines on the tailplane. Worked a treat!

A happy Christmas and a safe 2009 to you and yours; all of you out there.

David Powell

Out of all the vegetables, beets contain the most sugar.

From: John Newton, Richmond
Sent: 12 December 2008 06:05
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo 12208

Geordie Sweeney, Roger Gough and Ozzie Oswald at some freebie in Dubai would be my guess, as the only time I see these three together is at some corporate do somewhere drinking somebody else's free beer.

Can't understand why "Toyboy" isn't there, he must be on his way to the bar or taking the picture.


You're very warm Johnny (who wouldn't be when in the UAE?)

From: Ken Mason, Kandahar
Sent: 12 December 2008 09:54
Subject: RAF Mystery Photo #12208


Names from left to right:

Graeme (Chissy) Chisholm, Oz Oswald, Geordie Sweeney, Geordie Mason, Neville Karai (Civvy), Viv-Neary Phillips, Roger (Goughy) Gough, Eddie Sindarajoo, Simon (Clarkey) Clarke.

Taken at Dubai Rugby 7's 29th Nov 2008.



You are correct - regret no prize this time Geordie as 'twas you wot sent it in the first place!

Six ounces of broccoli contains more vitamin C than 204 apples.

From: Dougie Betambeau, Swindon
Sent: 12 December 2008 16:38
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition


Hiya Tony,

Season's greetings to you!

Ref the mystery photo, I happened to see some of the guys at Dave Eccles' funeral. Geordie Mason told me that a group of guys decided to meet up in
Dubai to watch " The Rugby 7`s" plus they managed to get a round of golf in to boot!

Dont know them all, but left to right: Graeme(Chissy) Chisholm, Ozzy Oswald, n/k, n/k, Viv Neary Philips, Eddie Sunjaradoo, n/k, n/k, and in the front Geordie Mason. Not sure if they enjoyed themselves!?

Have agreat Xmas & best wishes for 2009

Dougie B

From: Jimmie Durkin, Stafford
Sent: 12 December 2008 07:06
Subject: Brixmis


Hello Tony

Thank you for another great edition of your Newsletter.

I recommend a book by Tony Gerahgty, Harper Collins 1997, titled BRIXMIS.... that is a great read and full of gen for the reader.

Regards to all


In the 18th century, potatoes were given out as a dessert. They were served in a napkin, salted and hot.

From: Shawn Larson, Edmonton, AB
Sent: 12 December 2008 10:40
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #121208

Another great newsletter Tony.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Shawn Larson

From: Victor Smith, Somewhere Sandy
Sent: 14 December 2008 06:48
Subject: RE: UKMAMS OBA OBB #121208



Reference the RAAF Mystery Photo #121208 in the last brief.


The girl at right is a WO2 in the Australian Army, the gent on the left is United States Armed Forces (probably USAF) and no idea on gent in the middle.



Thanks Vic... close, sort of. The text with the picture reads as follows: "Maj. Landon Henderson (left) and Capt. Todd Strickland talk to Warrant Officer Vivianne Northover about C-17 Globemaster III load plans at Royal Australian Air Force Base Townsville, Australia, on Wednesday, May 31, 2006. Major Henderson and Captain Strickland are the mission commanders from the 535th Airlift Squadron at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. Warrant Officer Northover is with the Joint Movement Control Office at RAAF Townsville. Two C-17s from Hickam are helping the Australian Defense Force reposition its forces to better support peace operations in East Timor."

Lemon juice can aid in reducing the swelling caused by insect bites

From: Ray Bell, York
Sent: 16 December 2008 07:52

Merry Xmas

Let's hope it's a good one!

Ray & Jean

From: Derek Barron, Calne
Sent: 16 December 2008 08:03
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition




First of all I would like to wish you and your family the very best for Crimble and for the New Year. I would also like to thank you for allowing us old timers to keep in touch with each other. Fanks mate! A contribution will be coming your way as soon as I have figured out how to transfer on Paypal or Debit.

More importantly, I would like to pass my best wishes to all our boys and girls who are serving in foreign parts, away from their families, I wish you a safe and speedy return home, and to let you know that I will raise a toast for you on Christmas Day. You are the cream of our young people, and we must not forget for a moment your professionalism, dedication and sacrifice, keep your heads down and come home safely. Be proud!

A great Xmas to all my aquaintances ( all two of them)


Derek Barron

There are over 500 different types of bananas.

From: Alan Liptrot, Wigan
Sent: 16 December 2008 08:20
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition


Hiya Tony,

I really enjoy reading the briefs, so keep it up.

Greetings to all Movers past and present, whether I know them or not.

Best wishes to you and yours for the festive season

Alan Liptrot

From: Keri Eynon, Newbury
Sent: 16 December 2008 08:28
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition


A Merry Christmas and Happy New year to everyone!

In particular those on UKMAMS 1971-1974, 1977-1978 and 1982-1988. Fond memories through the OBA of many happy years spent travelling the world; remembering the good places - perhaps conveniently putting to the back of the mind the not so good!!

Also remembering with affection those served with now sadly no longer with us but whose memory will forever remain.

Keri (Taff) Eynon.

Eating a banana at night can help you fall asleep.

From: David Howley, Melton Mowbray
Sent: 16 December 2008 08:50
Subject: Insert for next OBA Brief II



Hi Tony,

Whilst going through my files I came across the centre spread of an RAF News for Sept 1985 – 3 scans attached.

Facing on the Condec is Tony Geerah – no idea about the others.

The Load Control shot – again no idea about the movers but I think the MALM is Scaithe (Ex 242 OCU Andovers and my screen when I was training in 1970).

The unloading view – the tall Cpl – I know him but name ?

The entire article is fairly long but I think it would be worth transcribing and placing in the OBA file, and if the “participants” can be identified even better.



'Twould be great if someone out there recognises all the participants...

I suppose the next thing will be designer RAF shreddies!

Apples are a part of the rose family

From: David Powell, Princes Risborough
Sent: 16 December 2008 09:06
Subject: RE: OBB Christmas Edition

Best wishes to all movers everywhere past and present, with a thought for 2009 from our old mate Archimedes in his treatise on the lever: ‘Give me one firm spot on which to stand, and I will move the earth’.

David Powell
Foxtrot Team 1967-69
and Gulf MAMF 1971.

From: Malcolm Porter, London
Sent: 16 December 2008 09:08
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition




May I extend the best wishes of ALL of the membership of the CL44 Association (world-wide) to the many 'movers' who worked on the various 44's during the 70's and beyond.

Malcolm Porter
CL44 Association

One ingrediant in chewing gum is rubber.

From: John Boates, Frankford, ON
Sent: 16 December 2008 09:40
Subject: RE: OBB Christmas Edition



I wish you and your family and all who are involved in doing up the web site a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You are doing a wonderful job and it's good to see it when it arrives.

Keep up the good work

John Boates
Retired CC130 Loadmaster
436 Sqn Trenton, Ontario

From: Charles Clark, Sprucedale, ON
Sent: 16 December 2008 10:09
Subject: Christmas Greetings


Hi Tony,

I am sorry that I have not contributed to your site with tales of dareing do on UKMAMS but we had a house fire some years ago in UK when all my log books and photos went up in flames.

However, I would like to post Christmas Greetings and, especially being a Scot, a Happy New Year to everyone.

From my era on UKMAMS at RAF Abingdon from 1966 to 1970, special greetings go to Robbie James, Dave Powell, John Beadman, Ray Clarke, John Furney, Nigel Saunders, Nori Radcliffe, Dave Eggleton, Chas Cormack, Bob Turner, John Bell, Gerry Keyworth, Peter Kingwell and Geordie Redman.

Thank you for your Christmas Card and come back and let me know how I can make another financial contribution to keep your outstanding, or as we Canadians say "awsome", site going.

Merry Christmas.

Chas Clark

Thank you Chas - for all those that wish to help out there's a donation link at the end of this newsletter.

A single chocolate chip provides us with enough energy to walk 150 feet.

Good Grief!

From: Don Lloyd, Calgary, AB
Sent: 16 December 2008 12:55
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition

My holiday greetings go out to all present and past Loadmasters, MAMS personnel, and all the other Air Movements people that make up the wonderful system that it is today.

May you and yours have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR ! ! ! !

Not forgetting those in various parts of the world that won't be home for the holidays because they are "ON DUTY" may they also find a way to enjoy the holidays and come home safe when their tour is over.

Don Lloyd, Sgt. Ret'd.
Tfc. Tech./LM 1961-91
"Per Ardua Ad Astra"

40 percent of all the almonds in the world are used by manufacturers of chocolate

From: Fred Hebb, Gold River, NS
Sent: 16 December 2008 13:17
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition



Best wishes and Merry Christmas, Happy New year to all Movers of the world no matter where you are or which country you are from.

A special wish for those who are deployed away from your families, may you be blessed and return home safely.

For those who do not believe in Christmas and are of other faiths, the best to you also and enjoy your holiday whatever it may be.

Fred Hebb
Canadian Forces
Retired Mover

From: Ian Stacey, Chicago, IL
Sent: 16 December 2008 13:16
Subject: OBB Christmas Edition



Hi Tony,

Thanks for the card - much appreciated. Seasonal best wishes to You and Yours, I hope you are not getting as much snow as we are here in Chicago although I expect you are.

I would also like to take this opportunity of thanking you for all the hard work that you have put in to the OBA website this last year – it really has been great.

Thanks to the website, I have been able to get in touch with one of my former team members, Jim Jamieson. He and I have been exchanging E Mails and catching up with forty years of news from each other!! Amazing!

My best wishes, also, to all of my colleagues out there who have the opportunity to read this.


Ian Stacey
Delta Team Leader,
UKMAMS, Abingdon 1964-67

The most popular chocolate bar in the United Kingdom for the last 15 years has been Kit Kat

From: Chas Cormack, Lyneham
Sent: 16 December 2008 14:03
Subject: Christmas Greetings

Thanks for all your efforts to keep the news coming and best wishes to all those I know from the 60s/70s/80s/90s and also those from this century.

I am not as old as I appear, just very well worn!

Best wishes for 2009

Chas Cormack

From: Barbara Sugg, Swindon
Sent: 16 December 2008 15:32
Subject: Merry Christmas



Hi Tony,

This photo of Gwyn and me was taken on our Ruby Wedding Anniversary 31st August 1997. Gwyn passed away almost one year later on 17th August '98 and this was one of the last photo's of us taken together, well one worth looking at! I thought that being as he was a Mover people might like to see it.

Here's wishing everyone who remembers me (and those who do not) a fantastic Christmas and even better New Year. Let's hope we have peace and happiness everywhere. God bless you all wherever you may be.

Seasonal Greetings to all,

Fondest love

Babs Sugg. xxx

On average, 418 Kit Kat fingers are eaten every second (around the world, not just in the UK!)

From: Victor Smith, Somewhere Sandy
Sent: 16 December 2008 16:12
Subject: RE: OBB Christmas Edition



A very Merry Christmas and a safe, prosperous and Happy New Year to all Movers, their wives and loved ones from me in my little corner of the sand pit. (Seventh Christmas overseas on deployment for me.)



Thousands face pension cut after blunder


LONDON (AFP) — Thousands of former public sector workers face a cut in income after it emerged overpayments worth millions of pounds had been made to their pensions, the government has announced.

Retired NHS doctors and nurses and ex-military personnel have been caught up in the blunder which is thought to date back decades.

Chancellor Alistair Darling said on Monday that retired workers would be forced to accept lower pensions from April next year but they would not need to repay any money that had been overpaid.

"It will be necessary to adjust what's paid for the future. It does need to be put right from next year," Darling told the Commons.

Xafinity, a company which administers about five percent of Britain's two million public sector pensions, has been making the overpayments, the Times said on Tuesday. It is unclear how much was paid and to exactly how many people.

The embarrassing revelation comes amid concern over the mounting cost of public sector pensions paid by the government. It also comes as pensioners have been hit by falls in the stock market and a cut in interest earnt on savings.

The blunder emerged late on Monday after Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Vince Cable challenged Darling in the Commons over the overpayments. The Cabinet Office is due to put out a written statement later on Tuesday giving details of the affair, said to date back to the 1970s.

"A staggering amount has been wasted in this fiasco," Matthew Elliott from the Taxpayers Alliance told the Times."Public-sector pensions have long been a black hole for public money, but to learn that already gold-plated packages have cost the man on the street even more due to incompetent administration is a disgrace."

Belgium produces 172,000 tons of chocalate every year.

From: Kevin Stanger, Calgary, AB
Sent: 16 December 2008 16:24
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition


Hi Tony,

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to new, old and our commonwealth movers.

Remember movers are like your parents, you take them for granted until they are gone.

Great forum Tony, I agree with Brian Spademan, lets all put some cash in and keep this website going.

Safe Trails,

Kev Stanger

From: Tim Newstead, Cheltenham
Sent: 16 December 2008 16:31
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition



Many thanks again for all your efforts during 2008 - you can be well satisfied with a crackin' job well done.

We wish a very Happy Christmas to all and we shall be thinking especially of all those on Ops again this year - may you all speed home safe and happy. Wherever and with whomever you are this festive season, count your blessings...

We wish you a happy, fulfilling and, above all, peaceful Christmas and New Year.

Best regards

Tim and Barbara Newstead

Kellogg's started selling their most famous product, Corn Flakes, in 1906

From: Steve Richardson, Trenton, ON
Sent: 16 December 2008 17:22
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition




Can you put the following on the Christmas edition for the movers at Kandahar, AFG...

Seasons Greetings to WO Peter Rochon and his team members at Kandahar Airfield, may you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year !!  

All the best for 2009!!

MCpl Steve Richardson (Retd.)

From: Jimmie Durkin, Stafford
Sent: 16 December 2008 18:09
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition


Hi Tony,

Here is wishing you and all OBA members, old and new and their loved ones, A Very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and A Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

Please also remember our Absent Friends.

God Bless All.


The world's largest McDonalds opened in Moscow in 1990 - it can seat 900 people

C-130 helps damaged British jet land in Iraq

A deployed C-130 Hercules aircrew is earning praise for guiding a damaged British jet to a safe night landing in Iraq.

On the night of Nov. 30, pilot Capt. Daniel Hilferty was flying near the worst storm he had ever seen when his crew heard a distress call from a Royal Air Force Hawker 800 passenger jet. The RAF executive jet had been damaged by the storm and didn’t have a working weather radar or a fully functional yaw dampener to prevent the plane from swinging left and right. The British crew also didn’t know how much damage hail had done to the jet’s fuselage.

The C-130 crew, assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, used readings from their weather radar to guide the RAF jet around the storm. “It was pretty neat that we were helping them, to be their flying radar in the sky,” said flight engineer Senior Airman Sean Ryan. “Sometimes we could see better than they could, and we would tell them to turn a certain way to avoid this cloud or this part of the storm.”

Next, the two crews agreed to a mid-air rendezvous so the C-130 crew could look for damage on the jet using night-vision goggles. “We normally fly no closer than 2,000 feet in the C-130, and we have multiple instruments, including distance and radar-like equipment, to ensure proper clearance,” said Hilferty, a C-130 instructor pilot and the flight’s aircraft commander. “The [British aircraft] possessed none of these luxuries, so we found ourselves flying in an unusually close proximity to a foreign aircraft at night with night-vision goggles.”

Flying half a mile to the right and 500 feet above the jet, the C-130 crew used a high-power flashlight to illuminate the RAF jet. “There was a lot of damage,” Ryan said. “You could see where the hail had hit along the nose cone, the tail and the inlets of the engine, and there were dents along every leading edge of the airplane.”
Despite the damage, the aircrews concluded the British jet could attempt a landing at Baghdad and the plane touched down safely. The C-130 followed, and the crews got a chance to meet face to face. “They told us until we started [giving them directions], they were sure they were going to die,” said Hilferty. “If you have the chance to help someone, it’s a no-brainer,” the pilot from Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., said. “If you can help in that situation, you do the best
you can.”

Other members of the C-130 crew included co-pilot Capt. Taylor Johnston, navigator 1st Lt. Ryan Pebler and loadmaster Senior Airman Allen Plack.

From: Rick Loveridge, Brough
Sent: 16 December 2008 18:55
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition



Hello Tony,

I hope you'll let me take up a couple of column inches, to pass on something which may concern our UK members...

A year ago, this week in fact, my mother-in-law suffered a devastating stroke. She has total paralysis down one side of her body, no speech and less than 50% brain function. She is bed-bound, in a private nursing home, imprisoned in her own little world. As you can imagine, my wife was devastated, and the last year has been a hard one. The M-I-L was in good health prior to this, and we had no warning. Worse was to follow. Having not made a Power of Attorney, we were unable to control her financial affairs. Despite numerous calls to her creditors, the bills kept coming, followed by threatening letters, bailiffs, court action, etc.

Actually, the threat of court action was the easiest to deal with, as the image of a bed ridden, non compos mentis 70 year old, being wheeled into court, with attending medical staff, soon made these particular creditors see sense.

After 10 months, my wife was granted the necessary powers, from the Court of Protection, to act on her mother's behalf, access her various bank accounts, and deal with the various creditors. Apart from the emotional toll, the financial cost was huge; £900 to solicitors who did little more than write a letter. There were many other expenses incurred, we ourselves had to lay a lot of money out, though we were able to reclaim it from the M-I-L's accounts. There are ongoing expenses, the power from the court only lasts so long, before it has to be renewed, for a fee of course. The grief caused is unbelievable.

Why am I writing all this? Many of our members are reaching their senior years. Who knows what tomorrow brings. Get yourself to a solicitor, make out a Power of Attorney, a bit of time and money spent now, can save so much grief and money, should the worst occur

Other than that, I want to wish everyone in the Movements family, a wonderful, happy Christmas, and sincere best wishes for the coming year.

Hope to see some of you at the association EGM.

Take care,


There are approximately 61,300 pizza restaurants in the USA

From: Alex Masson, Chelmsford
Sent: 17 December 2008 05:48
Subject: Tales of Old Lyneham



Something for Christmas! – and something for the younger guys to laugh at!


The photo shows our loading party in 1955 with the ‘First Large Fork Lift’ used by Air Movements Section. It was fire engine red and known by all as the ‘Red Devil’.

Names of the lads on board can be supplied, as I knew them well, but I think only one ( Tony Gibbons far left) is remembered by our current ‘OLD’ Old Bods, John Holloway and Dennis Martin.

The photo, taken with Phil Pratley’s (far right) camera, had degraded badly but was cleaned up by Dennis Martin recently and I am most grateful for that.

The photo of the Red Devil in action is courtesy of Dennis Martin. Modern Movers please note – we had to contend with ‘side loading doors’ – difficult, if not damned near impossible in some cases! Oh for a nose or tail loader – and rollers, a luxury we never had.

All loads were dragged up the aircraft floor to the cry of “Two – Six!” The cry of ‘two six’, I was told, came from years ago when 26 Squadron was tasked with moving some heavy objects. Other RAF personnel used it and it spread all around the RAF where brute force was needed.

Over the Christmas Holiday of 1955 which ran from midday Christmas Eve to midnight Boxing Day, the following poem was written. No doubt some will be familiar with the White Hart, which in 1955 was a great village pub, but out of bounds to working personnel. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Jack Riley, Jim Aitken, Dennis Martin and John Holloway have seen this before and will be aware that 14 MU (then at Carlisle) dealt mainly in ‘motor vehicle’ spares and would not have had any spare parts for AOG (Aircraft on Ground) – but that’s poetic licence. 14MU had phoned during the afternoon to inform us that freight was on it’s way but they (luckily) did not turn up until after the Holiday!

The inclusion of “.. and things” in the chorus, stemmed from the expression frequently used by ‘Jack’ Wilson, our Senior Corporal, for he would say to his loading party “If we get these loads done quickly it will give us more time for the Naafi … and things!”



‘Twas Christmas in Air Movements and the lads had all gone home,
Just Jackie, Al and Alex now were left upon their own.
They’d volunteered and so there was no reason they should moan.
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

God rest ye Merry Freight Shed Lads, let nothing you dismay,
14 MU has phoned to say some freight is on the way,
It’s AOG and it must go away without delay!
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

Fear not then said Jack Wilson, let nothing ye affright,
For if the bastards come in here they will be in the shite,
For none of us are willing to offload their trucks tonight.
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

To get next loads out in advance the lads were working hard,
They manifest and stacked the freight around in J4’s yard;
The thoughts of working Christmas time they all agreed had jarred,
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

The evening came and looked like being ‘on a midnight clear’
And as they’d had no Officer or Sergeants coming near,
Said Jackie, ‘Now I think it’s time to go and have a beer!’
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

They first went to the ‘Tow’r’ to see if owt was coming in,
There wasn’t, so they stopped a while and had drink of ‘gin’
Way back they joined Servicing Flight and kicked up quite a din.
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

They wandered to the NAAFI but they found they’d locked the club
Said Jack, ‘That’s not the spirit – I think it’s a damned hard rub,
We’ll have to try elsewhere so we’ll go to the White Hart pub’.
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

As they crashed through the broken fence they heard celestial choir
Of Angels Singing Peace on Earth which did their hearts inspire,
But found it was the locals singing round the White Hart fire.
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

The place was packed, they joined the fun and sat down with their drink,
When all at once a vision came, which made all their hearts sink,
Two SPs in full uniform with white to make you blink!
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

Jack cursed and said, ‘We’ve had it!’ as they spied them sitting there,
And as they came towards them, Alex leapt up from his chair,
It seemed to Jack and Alan that he didn’t have a care!
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

He greeted them with ‘Wotcher chaps you really are on time,
What will you have to drink with me because this round is mine;
And as it’s Christmas Eve you know that everything is fine!’
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

They sat down with the trio taking off their snow white caps,
Surprise, Surprise, it turned out that they seemed like decent chaps,
But Jackie wondered what it was that Alex knew, perhaps!
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

They drank their drink and said that they must be upon their way,
Should anybody ask, tell them they’d not been seen all day,
And in return they’d do the same for us we heard them say.
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

Said Jack, ‘But can we trust them? We might be right in the shit
Should anyone know we’re off camp and been here for a bit’.
Thank Guiness Chiefy was blind drunk! And never knew of it!
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

But Alex, tell us now exactly just how that was done?
You saved us from the SPs and we think you thought it fun!
Alex just laughed and said ‘Well chaps, of course he owed me one!’
Oh tidings of ETAs …and things! Oh tidings of ETAs!

Composted by Cpl ‘Jackie’ Wilson (Senior Section Corporal)
LAC Alan Geffen (Load Control – Maths Wizard)
LAC Alex Masson ( Freight Shed – General Factotum)

Yes, it was a fact, I had one over on that SP Corporal who was feared by all the ‘erks’ and JNCOs alike, but that’s another story.

Christmas in 1956, one year later, was somewhat different with yours truly collecting coconut milk as mixers for the hard stuff!

Happy days


From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: 17 December 2008 08:14
Subject: RE: OBB Christmas Edition



Gone but not forgotten...

To all Movers of whatever nationality past and present have a very good Christmas and New Year.

To those who are still working in hostile climes...... Stay safe and come home soon.

Ian Berry

In Japan, McDonald's is pronounced "Makudonarudo."

Royal Air Force Stages A Coup

December 23, 2008: Once more, the British Royal Air Force is trying to gain control over all military aircraft. This struggle has been going on since World War I. Back in 1914, the Royal Navy had more aircraft than the Royal Flying Corps (which belonged to the army). But at the end of World War I, it was decided to put all aircraft under the control of the new Royal Air Force (the former Royal Flying Corps). The navy was not happy with this, and just before World War II broke out, the admirals got back control of their aircraft, at least the ones that operated from ships.

The army reformed its Army Air Corps during World War II, to control artillery spotter aircraft, gliders (for parachute divisions), and a few other transports for supporting commando operations. After World War II, the Army Air Corps mainly controlled the growing fleet of transport and attack helicopters.

As it did after World War I, the Royal Air Force generals now want to control everything that flies, believing that is more efficient. The army and navy, not to mention the experience of many other nations, says otherwise. At the very least, the army needs to control its helicopters, and some small transports. In Russia, the army controlled ground attack aircraft, as well as some fighters. In the United States, the Marine Corps controlled its own fighters, light bombers and helicopters. It made a difference, especially to the marines on the ground, that the marine aircraft were being flown by marines.

Another problem with a unified air force is that it becomes, quite naturally, air force centric. This is understandable, and the air force proceeds to develop strategies, and tactics, that emphasize looking at military matters from an air force viewpoint. Before World War II, this led to the doctrine of strategic bombardment. This was supposed to be a decisive weapon, but it wasn't. When nuclear weapons came along, the air force believed that it finally had a way to make strategic bombardment decisive. But it didn't, as ballistic missiles (another form of artillery) became the key delivery system for nukes, and nuclear weapons were so destructive that they became more of a threat, than a weapon that you could use (and they have not been used again, since the first two atomic bombs were dropped in 1945.) The fact of the matter is that wars are still ultimately won by the ground forces. As the army likes to point out, the ultimate air superiority weapon is your infantry occupying the enemy air bases. Everyone else (the navy and air force) is there to support the infantry in actually winning the war.

From: Andrew Kay, Stafford, VA
Sent: 17 December 2008 08:41
Subject: RE: OBB Christmas Edition

I would like to send a big Merry Christmas and a Happy and Safe New Year to all movers past, present and future and to ask everyone to take a moment to remember the movers we lost this year and their families.

Also a big thanks to Tony for keeping this thing of ours going. 

Best regards,

Andy Kay
(Class of '73)

Hands up all those people who just said "Maku-dona-rudo" out loud!

From: Chris Clarke, Burlington, ON
Sent: 17 December 2008 12:46
Subject: RE: OBB Christmas Edition


A very Merry Christmas to all those who were lucky enough to be chosen to be Movers; British, Canadian ( I’m a Canadian now too!) and our Aussie and Kiwi colleagues, as well as our fellow warriors in various MAPS units in the USAF.

I have a particular Christmas wish to those guys serving with 1AMW ( UKMAMS in disguise and without the history) and those ex-Movers who are now in Afghanistan and Iraq away again from their families and friends.

Our thoughts are with you all. In a different time we would all be together, humping freight and herding pax. Stay safe and come home in one piece.

Swift to Move.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Pig (Chris) Clarke
UKMAMS Det Ontario.

From: Peter Clayton, Wroughton
Sent: 17 December 2008 13:45
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition



Greetings to you Tony,

Before I forget, thanks for the card and the nice comments about the OBB, my pleasure.

Seasonal greetings to all serving and retired members of UKMAMS, FEAFMAMS, NEAFMAMS and Movers everywhere, especially if you are away from home over the festive period, enjoy if you can but more importantly, stay safe.

Memories of two enjoyable Christmas trips away for me come to mind, the 'Last Christmas' at Gan and then Kai-Tak, both Hercules tasks out of Lyneham in 1975 and 1977.  The 1975 task was on Herc XV209 with crews from 30 & 70 squadrons, we left Lyneham on Dec 19th and returned on Dec 29th, taking in Akrotiri, Masirah, Gan, Tengah (Singapore) back to Gan for 4 nights then Masirah and Akrotiri, Lyneham.  No names of the team in my log book unfortunately, maybe Ian can enlighten us all!

In 1977 however it was F/O Spinks, F/Sgt Graffam, Sgt Thomson, Cpl Randall, SAC Jones and me, we left Lyneham on Dec 21st and returned on Jan 1st 1978, yes Christmas and New Year away! This task was aboard Herc XV197 with 47 Squadron, Capt's Flt Lt Webb and Flt Lt Bullen. The route was Akrotiri, Bahrain, Colombo, Hong Kong and back the same way, picking up a VC-10 Conway engine in Colombo and New Years Eve in Athens.  It should be noted departure time from Athens was 1035z on Jan 1st, good planning I thought!  We appear to have had 7 nights in Hong Kong and I certainly remember the first of those nights, my Dad picked 5 of the team up from the Dragon Club (Kai-Tak) and took us all down to the Kowloon Bowling Green Club where he kept us in beer for the rest of the night and possibly some of the morning!  The team leader F/O Spinks (sorry was it Andy?) unfortunately had to attend a Mess do, so he missed out.  I actually spent most of the time staying with my Dad up in his flat overlooked by Lion Rock, that was when we were not frequenting the many Hotel Happy Hours that he knew so well and other such establishments as Joe's Bar, The Speakeasy and the Bottoms Up bar, wonderful places to be.

On one night we were in the Gold Bar of the Mirimar Hotel on Nathan Road, Kowloon and my Dad had empty half pint beer bottles handed round to all the punters, then he put the cocktail sticks shaped like golf clubs into the empty bottles.  He then went onto asking everyone to shake the bottles and it sounded just like a load of bells being rung, he then launched into 'Jingle Bells'.  It was fantastic, we never bought another drink in the place, one woman from the states asked me if Dad was part of the entertainment from the Hotel, I said proudly, No that is my Dad and we are here for the beer!  I do believe Dad then went onto the piano, even though he could not play it, especially with the lid down over the keys, but he got music out of it for sure, what a night!

Happy days and I hope everyone has an equally good time this year.

Happy Christmas


Brain Teaser #1
A 30 year old man married a 25 year old woman. She died at age 50 and her husband was so devastated that he cried for years. Ten years after he stopped crying, he died. If he had lived to be 80, how many years was he a widower?

From: John McGrath, Thornton-Cleverleys
Sent: 17 December 2008 14:59
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition


Just a quick note to say Happy Christmas to all the Old Bods.

With regards to the old Belize prop; I have to admit to having had my name on it twice (is this greedy of me?) and I have a couple of photos of it with the names on it. Unfortunatly as an unrepentant Luddite I would have to send them snail mail. Anyway, it's good to hear from everyone and I intend to write a longer letter later on (no piccies though)


John McGrath

From: Peter Chappell, Wellingborough
Sent: 18 December 2008 05:21
Subject: Xmas Greetings


Hi Tony,

Just to keep you up to date with things in Chappellworld. Quite a busy year really.

Spent Jan/Feb (including my 60th) in Fairbanks, then April/May in Germany (just south of Munich), July/August in Borneo (Kota Kinabalu) and then Oct/Nov in Chile.

So as you can see we have been keeping occupied. I keep saying I am getting to old for this stuff, but hey I am still enjoying it so why not.

Keep up the good work with the web site. Any OBA members in Seeb or Switzerland who fancy a few beers, get in touch as I will be in Muscat in April and Basel July/Aug.

Season's greetings to all.


Brain Teaser #2
If Susan is 10, Arabella is 20, and Jim and Neal are both 5, but Richard is 10, how much is Jennifer by the same system?

From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: 18 December 2008 11:29
Subject: Christmas Edition


Hello there Tony,

Well, another year comes to the end and 2008 only has days to go!

Of course, in November of each year, we RAF retired movements officers venture (usually) to the RAF Club. But this year, due to commitments at the club, we were sidelined to the Vintners Guild premises by the bank of the River Thames near to Tower Bridge.

This was a splendid place full of history going back to the 12th century. We were shown around the guild rooms which were covered in exquisite carvings and pictures including King Charles 2nd who was a founder member of the guild.

Because of the venue, the attendance was large and there were quite a few faces we haven't seen for some years. To mention some names there were Wg Cdrs Vick King, John Lambert and Sqn Ldr Alan Walker, and my boss from Aden days, who later became Director of Movements, Brian Hughes. There were many others but too many to remember. So, it proved to be a successful night.

I wish all your contributors a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year in 2009, despite the downturn in business.

Wishing you all well

Kind regards


The Lockheed C-130 Hercules celebrated 50 years of service with the Royal Australian Air Force at the weekend. The stout transport aircraft, affectionately dubbed ''Fat Albert'' by crews, is familiar to many Australians from media images of war zones and natural disasters.

It is the sturdy workhorse with the distinctive Snoopy-dog snout that flies wounded diggers and terrorist victims home, evacuates refugees and delivers emergency humanitarian aid.

Australia's first Hercules arrived on its delivery flight from the United States at the RAAF base Richmond, north-west of Sydney, on December 13, 1958. In the half century since, the RAAF has operated 48 Hercules in four versions.

Australia was the first country outside the US to operate the Hercules and the aircraft is now flown by the air forces of more than 60 nations. Since its first flight in 1954, more than 2400 have been built at the Lockheed-Martin factory in Marietta, Georgia, in the world's longest, continuous military aircraft production line.
The four-engine turboprop Hercules was named after the mythical Greek hero known for his great strength. It has lived up to its name, proving one of
the most successful aircraft designs of all time.

Capable of short takeoffs and landings from unpaved runways, the go-anywhere Hercules was originally designed for troop and cargo transport. But its versatile airframe has been adapted for use in a multitude of roles, including as a gunship, aerial refuelling tanker, drone carrier, aerial ambulance, fire bomber and crop duster; for photographic survey and reconnaissance, search and rescue, electronic warfare and weather reconnaissance; and as a commercial freighter and civilian airliner.
The Hercules has recovered space capsules and worn skis in Antarctica, and dropped massive bunker-busting bombs in Vietnam and Iraq. It is also the biggest aircraft to operate from an aircraft carrier.

Australia's Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin, said, ''Various models of Hercules aircraft have been the backbone of many of the Australian Defence Force's most important operations in the past 50 years. ''The Hercules have provided combat airlift capability, including tactical transport of troops and cargo, as well as special-forces insertion, parachuting and air drops. In recent years our C-130 Hercules have seen more active duty than any other aircraft in the RAAF.''

The introduction of the Hercules in 1958 boosted RAAF airlift capacity. In the immediate post-war years, the RAAF had relied on the Douglas C-47 Dakota, the military version of the twin-engine DC-3, to fill most of its transport needs. With the arrival of the Hercules, the Canberra-based No36 Squadron relinquished its World War II-era Dakotas and moved to Richmond to take delivery of the 12 C-130A aircraft. The powerful 56,500kg Hercules could fly twice as fast, higher and further than the piston-engine Dakotas and carry 100 troops four times the load of the 11,500kg Dakota. Its four engines delivered 16,000 horsepower against the Dakota's 2000.

In 1966 the RAAF took delivery of 12 C-130E models to supplement the A models and service the demands of Australia's growing involvement in the Vietnam War. Twelve C-130H models arrived in 1978 to replace the 20-year-old A model, and the latest version, the C-130J ''Super'' Hercules with a stretched fuselage, replaced the E model in 1999. Some of the more memorable achievements of RAAF Hercules include extensive service in Vietnam in the 1960s and 70s, and the emergency
response to Cyclone Tracy at Darwin in 1974-75. In 1989, prime minister Bob Hawke used the RAAF as a strike buster to fly 172,000 civilian passengers during the four-month domestic pilots' dispute.

Air Marshal Binskin said, ''In 2005, the C-130s delivered humanitarian assistance to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the Boxing Day tsunami and they brought home the Australians injured in the Bali bombings in 2002. ''Today, three RAAF Hercules are based in the Middle East, and continue to provide vital airlift support to Australian and Coalition forces.'' The RAAF has a fleet of 24 C-130s, comprising 12 H models and 12 J model stretched Super Hercules. Fifty years on, the ever reliable Hercules has flown millions of kilometres in RAAF service without a serious safety incident.

The rugged workhorse and jack-of-all-trades is likely to soldier on for at least another decade or two before being replaced, most likely by an updated version of the Hercules not even on the Lockheed-Martin drawing boards yet. Mick Seale is Foreign Editor. He first flew in a Hercules as an air cadet in 1961. Since then as a journalist, public servant and diplomat he has flown in Hercules on four continents, including mercy flights to Darwin in response to Cyclone Tracy in 1974.

Brain Teaser #3
If 2 hours ago it was as long after one o'clock in the afternoon as it was before one o'clock in the morning. What time would it be now?

Old birds in show of thanks

It was a spectacular sight over the skies of the Manawatu as Number 3 Squadron of the Royal New Zealand Air Force flew all 19 of its Iroquois and Sioux aircraft at the same time.

It was a scene that might have been taken from an old Vietnam war movie as the air force managed to scramble all of its old Iroquois and Sioux helicopters at the same time

The 19 helicopters, which are all of Vietnam vintage, completed a short flight over the towns around Ohakea air force base yesterday.

Operations flight commander Squadron Leader Nigel Cooper said it was a rare occurrence that not one helicopter was in for scheduled maintenance and a sight that might not be seen again as all the aircraft were scheduled to be replaced over the next two years.

"To enable today's event to occur, a tremendous amount of hard work was done to ensure all 19 were serviceable."

This was helped by the recent return of personnel from East Timor.

He said the flyover was a thankyou to the local community and demonstration of the credibility and capability of the air force.

The Dominion Post

From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: 19 December 2008 09:09
Subject: Vickers Valetta


Hi Chaps,

The Valetta was the main workhorse for communication squadrons in the 50's and yet there is only one that has been preserved which is at Flixton

There was a weekly flight (duty "Pig") into Mauripur from Habbaniya bringing in supplies, mail and a 30lb piece of bacon for our Sunday breakfast; the coolies (all Muslims) would not go near the kite until the offending item was removed by the sweeper (a Christian). In the middle of 1955 Mauripur came under the Aden Command and we had the same service from them.

I had many flights in them and on one occasion a quite hairy event when returning to Mauripur from Khormaksar; about half an hour out of Masirah, somewhere over the Indian Ocean, the fire klaxon started to scream and I could see smoke pouring out from the starboard engine. We had to return to Masirah and, on landing, had the station Landrover fire wagon tearing alongside us.

I've known for some time now that there is one aircraft that has been in storage for many years in one of the far hangars at Cosford and I've asked on a number of occasions will it be on public view only to be told that it is far too corroded

However, there is a letter in the latest Flypast magazine, together with a photo of VX573 which had the name Lorelei, from Len Woodgate who was at one time Curator of the Cosford Museum, saying that he thinks now is the time to take her out of the hangar where she has been since 1981.

She had arrived from 60 Squadron RAF Wildenwrath where she was fitted out in VIP mode. There is the space now at Cosford to display the aircraft and she could be restored in the Michael Beetham Conservation Centre there.

At present the restoration people are working on an HP Hampden and Fairey Battle so perhaps VX573 could be the next project, so out of over two hundred produced we could, with luck, have two examples on display.

Anyhow, well done Tony for a really good year in keeping the Old Bods Brief going and I wish you and all the chaps warm Christmas greetings and best wishes for the New Year



Brain Teaser #4
Two boxers are in a boxing match (regular boxing, not kick boxing). The fight is scheduled for 12 rounds but ends after 6 rounds, after one boxer knocks out the other boxer. Yet no man throws a punch. How is this possible?

From: Robert Taylor, Doncaster
Sent: 19 December 2008 09:33
Subject: Greetings


Hi Tony,

Wishing all OBA members a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Not forgetting those who won't be home for Christmas, wherever you are stationed, BE SAFE.

All the best

Robbie Taylor

From: John Bell, Cairns, Qld.
Sent: 22 December 2008 03:10
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition




The attached card is a reflection of our home a few days ago.

Substitute the 3 reindeer for our grandsons and the "Lady" in the background for Granny (Jean) and the rest is uncanny; same pool style. house, palms, fence, snorkel gear, floatie, soft drinks, barbeque with Grandad (John) holding a can...

Thank you for a good year with the newsletter. You are doing a fantastic job mate. Keep it going.

From the tropical far North Queensland, where the temperatures are in the low 30s and the sky is still blue (the rains will start soon!), we wish you and all UKMAMS Old Bods an enjoyable Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2009.

Fondest regards

Jean & John

Brain Teaser #5
I am eight letters long - "12345678" 

My 1234 is an atmospheric condition. 
My 34567 supports a plant. 
My 4567 is to appropriate. 
My 45 is a friendly thank-you. 
My 678 is a name. 
Q: What word am I? 

From: Murdo Macleod, Newport-on-Tay
Sent: 22 December 2008 05:47
Subject: Re: OBB Christmas Edition

Wishing you and yours and all Old Bods a very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

All the best,

Murdo Macleod

Turkeys are flown to war zone in Afghanistan

The RAF has sent emergency food supplies to Afghanistan to replace a lorryload of turkeys blown up by the Taleban on its way to British troops in Helmand province.

The consignment of frozen turkeys was destroyed last month, one of many incidents in which food supplies transported across the border from Pakistan have been attacked.

Under special contingency plans, the RAF had a C17 Globemaster aircraft ready to fly out replacements from Lyneham, Wiltshire, to ensure that British soldiers in Afghanistan can enjoy Christmas dinner. “It’s a question of morale – all the Service personnel expect to have turkey over Christmas,” an RAF source said.

The load consisted of 66 whole turkeys weighing 212kg (470lb), 1,120kg of turkey breasts and 650kg of Brussels sprouts. “We have just replaced the lot and flown it out to make sure no one is let down by a shortage of turkeys,” the source said. All other consignments of frozen turkeys have arrived safely in Helmand.

Regimental Catering Warrant Officer Nick Townley, who is in charge of organising Christmas dinner, also ordered 135kg of pork, 424kg of gammon, 67kg of beef, 200 jars of cranberry sauce, 62 boxes of sprouts, 300kg of potatoes, 120kg of carrots and 222 Christmas puddings – but no brandy because Camp Bastion and Lashkar Gah are alcohol-free zones. For Camp Bastion, Warrant Officer Townley has also ordered 3,000 crackers, 2,880 party poppers, 3,600 balloons, 2,880 party hats and 3,000 streamers.

Times Online

Brain Teaser #6
Two mothers and two daughters were fishing. They managed to catch one big fish, one small fish, and one fat fish. Since only three fish were caught, how is it possible that they each took home a fish?

From: Rick Newton, Trenton, ON
Sent: 22 December 2008 12:05
Subject: Christmas

Merry Christmas from a Colonial!

Rick Newton

From: David Stevens, Bangor
Sent: 23 December 2008 03:21
Subject: RE: OBB Christmas Edition


Seasons Greetings to you, all Movers and all mankind.

Best Regards

David Stevens

A group of officers is called a mess.

From: Rip Kirby, Paradiski
Sent: 23 December 2008 13:47
Subject: Christmas Greetings!


Hiya Tony,

Have yourselves a splendid Christmas & an even better new year.

All is hunky dory here, plenty of snow and blue skies for the skiing, and the business is starting off well.


Rip & Myrah.

From: John Middleton, Huntingdon
Sent: 23 December 2008 16:00
Subject: Christmas Greetings

Christmas greetings to Blue and Red teams 1970-74 NEAF MAMS, also to you Tony for the website and anyone else that remembers me.

John Middleton and Family.

A car traveling 100 mph would take more than 29 million years to reach the nearest star.

From: Stevie Joy, Carterton
Sent: 23 December 2008 14:04
Subject: Christmas

We wish all the members of the OBA a very Merry Christmas and
a Happy New Year from RAFMOVS.COM

Stevie Joy – Webmaster and
Glenn Richardson – Site Admin


Featured Video
RAF Masirah 1973-74

Less than 3% of the water produced at a large municipal water treatment plant is used for drinking purposes

RAF Mystery Photo #122408

CAF Mystery Photo #122408

Slugs have 4 noses

RAAF Mystery Photo #122408

RNZAF Mystery Photo #122408

That's it for this issue

Have a great holiday!



Answers to Brain Teasers:


He was a widower for 25 years


Jennifer is fifteen, in a system that awards five for each syllable.

#3 Nine o'clock. Since there are 12 hours between the two times, and half of that time is six, then the halfway mark would have to be seven o'clock. If it were seven o'clock, two hours ago, the time would now be nine o'clock.


They are female boxers.



#6 The fishing party consisted of three people. A grandmother, a mother, and a daughter. The mother is both a mother and a daughter.