The RCAF contributes to the Toys for the North
Santa and a few helpers from 413 Transport and Rescue Squadron based at 14 Wing Greenwood arrived at 5 Wing Goose Bay in a Canadian Forces CC-130 Hercules on 10 December 2014 with a very special cargo.  The crew delivered toys for kids living in some of the most isolated northern communities in Canada.

This delivery is the Royal Canadian Air Force contribution to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) annual Toys for the North campaign.  5 Wing Goose Bay members then helped wrap the gifts in the local RCMP hangar.
From: Babs Sugg, Swindon, Wilts
My Christmas message is to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.  Also to say a big THANK YOU Tony for all  the hard work you do to keep us in touch with "old" friends.  Thinking of you all with love and seasonal greetings. 
From: Syd Avery, Damme
To you, and all Muppets past and present, everywhere, have a great Christmas whatever you do, with lots of jelly and ice cream. May 2015 be as good for you all as you wish it to be, and take care of each other.
From: Bill Girdwood, Carlisle
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2014 2:49 AM
Subject: My Mentors

Dear Tony,

I thought I'd better think long and hard before responding to your invitation to members to talk of their mentors. At my age - after my next birthday I shal enter the dreaded 80th year! One's memory is either liable to faulty wiring or the detail has smudged into something which only vaguely resembles the true situation! Nevertheless, those brave souls who did respond have triggered certain memories which could act as a spur to others, so here goes.

David Stevens mentions Gordon Spiers as one of his mentors and I was so pleased to see that and to be able to second his case. Gordon, long gone alas, was a very funny man and could reduce me to a heap of laughter at the drop of a hat. I first met him when he was at Abingdon and I came back from FEAFMAMS, F team leader, togeher with my second mentor, Derek Hartland, to give UKMAMS a demo of our particular skills in long-strop operations into small jungle clearings.
At the time it seemed like a good idea, but on arrival, met by Gordon, he pointed out that jungle clearings were thin on the ground in the Abingdon area and perhaps we might consider showing them on the airfield. That was fine until we discovered that there were no Wessex or Whirlies to be had, so no demo of our long strop ops would be possible.

Gordon arranged for us to meet up with all those UKMAMS staff who were available for training at a suitable training establshment, run by a local brewery and we spent a glorious 48 hours passing on all our "skills". To my certain knowledge we only used this method of re-supply in anger once or twice in my 3 years in FEAFMAMS. We returned to Singapore and reported to our boss that it had been a splendid success and that all approprite UKMAMS staffs had reached a suitable standard to enable them to operate around the jungles of Abingdon!

I next met him when chairing the Ground Handling sub-committee of the Quadripartite Berlin Airlift Committee, which comprised members of RAF, USAF, FAF, German ATC, BundesPost, Bundeswehr, Berlin Government and the German Federal Government. Included in the RAF delegation was a contingent from HQ 38 Group one of whom was Gordon. At my first meeting, having shared a few beers the night before with him on his arrival at HQRAFG, I was reduced to the heap I mentioned earlier, by Gordon entering the conference room doing the goose step, hair brushed down over his forehead like a well known despot, his tooth-brush held under his nose as a moustache, saying loudly, in a heavily accented voice,  "Ve muss not talk about ze var!!"

I was convinced that the Germans would get up and walk out but they were amused, apparently having seen it many times before! Only the young USAF pilots were upset because they didn't understand why everyone else was laughing

Next, Derek Hartland: When I got to FEAFMAMS, my movements experience was confined to a tour as a DAMO at Lyneham and occasional SAMO at Akrotiri, where I was OC Tech Supply and SAMO as a secondary duty, handling the very occasional diversions from Nicosia. Derek met me when I arrived at Seletar and helped me with all the usual settling-in chores like finding somewhere to live, getting transport etc., and taking me with his team on my first task. From him, I immediately learnt that MAMS was very different to any other form of Air Movements activities I had previously encountered! No boring details, per the legendary Sid's example, but he taught me to delegate. Every team member was equally responsible for the successful completion of a task, and that meant that without the mutual reliance of each team member, things could go horribly wrong. Having a really laid-back approach to things helped him immeasurably. For me, it displayed the full value of overcoming my impetuous tendencies. He was a great mover, without an ounce of 'ego', and a wonderful example to all members of the squadron.

I could name many other people from whom I learnt lessons and who mentored me at some time, but they must await their spotlights until my memory recovers! Len Bowen and Tony Mullen might be able to elaborate further on Derek Hartland and I hope that they would confirm my opinion.

Fondest best wishes to all, as ever, and with renewed thanks to you Tony, for all that you do,

Bill Girdwood

From: Fred Hebb, Gold River, NS
To all movers home or abroad, have a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and all the best in 2015. To those deployed, stay safe and may God watch over you.
From: Vic Smith, Brassall  QLD
Tony, may I wish you and all of our colleagues a very Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year.
From: Mike Stepney, La Nucia, Alicante
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2014 8:08 AM
Subject: Re: The Next OBA Newsletter - Special Christmas Edition

Excellent last edition... and I see that the A400M Atlas is now undergoing trials ahead of entry into service.  Makes one a bit jealous of modern-day Movers given their access to such modern equipment, unlike in the past where we had to operate with the likes of 30, 40 and 50 year old ex-civilian airliners that were never really suited to heavy duty military work. With the introduction of a modern fleet including the A400M Atlas, A330, C17 etc., it must make life considerably easier for the Movers of today.

Allan Walker’s letter in the last issue where he mentions loading the Morris Cowley onto a Hastings took me back to Khormaksar (I think around Christmas in 1965) where I seem to remember we had to load two civilian cars (a Mini and a Mercedes) onto a Hastings.  Both vehicles were the property of one AVM and were being flown to Cyprus.  The Mini went on reasonably easily however, the Merc - a model 220S (a monster) was another matter! The main problem was that the vehicle was just too long and was in danger of being damaged by connecting with the aircraft door frame during loading. Also, the big front and rear bumpers kept snagging on one side or the other during loading and no matter how it was bumped up and down, rocked back and forward, it just would not go into the aircraft and of course, having a sloping floor on the Hastings, did not help matters one bit. We had been trying to get the Merc on for over an hour when I had to return to the Squadron for some paperwork.  During my absence the team managed to complete the load and were in the process of tie-down when I returned.  I understand that they removed both bumpers then re-attached them after loading.  As we left the aircraft a comment of - "lets see how Nicosia gets that off ", was followed by chuckles by one and all as we walked back to the Squadron - another successful load completed.
Alas, with the modern era of air transporters, there will probably be few, if any, of this type of loading problem,  (thank goodness he said), though I am sure that there will always be some ‘tight’ loads for Movers to work on regardless of the size of the load platform. Perhaps a future topic for your readers to comment on could be - My worse load ever!  I am sure Chas Cormack and Pete Polidano could give you a good rendition of the quart into the pint pot, with a load we had out of Kai Tak in 1990 - and there are photos in support!

May I take this opportunity to wish all your Movers and other readers in whatever Service, country or organization they work, a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and prosperous New Year for 2015.

Mike Stepney

From: Tony & Pat Last, Huntingdon
Thank you Tony to you and your team for another year of brilliant newsletters. To you all and all our friends both serving and retired we hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy Happy New Year.
From: John Tudor, Stevenston
May I take this opportunity to wish yourself and all Old Bods around the world a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year
From: Ted Wright 
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2014 8:54 AM
Subject: Can anyone recall?

Trying to find any info about a flight I was on in 1958 from Khormaksar to Eastleigh Nairobi on a Beverley that blew an engine as we landed. At the time I didn't think it was a big deal there was a loud bang on reverse thrust,  ( if that's the correct term).  I was one of about sixty York and Lancaster guys and when we got off the plane we were lined up shoulder-to-shoulder and given a bag and told to walk the length of the runway and pick up all the parts ofa Rolls Royce engine.  My grand kids love “The Story”..... do you or any of your buddies have any recollection of this incident?

Best Regards,    F.E. Ted Wright   23398699 L/Cpl  
From: Chas & Elaine Collier, Ewhurst
We wish all Movements gentlemen and ladies with their chosen ones a very happy Christmas and promising New Year.
From: Dennis Martin, Woking
Seasons Greetings to you and all serving and ex movers.
From: Ian Place, Meanwood, West Yorks
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2014 10:43 AM
Subject: Christmas in faraway places

H team, all six of us; Gerry Keyworth, Bob Hope, DK Henderson, Jimmy Jones, Tim Newstead and myself had been tasked to reforce Kai-Tak and Tengah between Thursday 23rd Nov and Friday 29th Dec 1972 spending 4 weeks in Kai Tak and then Christmas in Tengah starting 18th Dec.  We were in Tengah in case an emergency occurred in the region (UKMAMS answer to patrolling and looking after the World!).

On the 23rd Dec at 12.29 am an earthquake hit Nicaragua, leveling the Capital Managua where over 6,000 people died. I believe that the Belize detachment helped in responding to the situation along with a contingent from the UK.  We could not have been in a worse place, thousands of miles from the devastation, we could have been better employed sat at home awaiting the dreaded phone call.

On another occasion, 19th July 1974, I was home enjoying my 25th birthday watching the breaking News at Ten about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, when I got the dreaded knock on the door. I was told to report early hours for a flight to a secret destination. Yeah, secret my backside!  Five hours later we landed in Akrotiri to complete chaos. Offloading bikini clad tourists evacuated from Famagusta for repatriation to the UK. 10 days later we recovered back to good old RAF Lyneham where I found that my wife had been looking after 4 people in our married quarter. She was a nurse in those days and had been on 12-hour day shifts at the arrivals terminal looking after all the walking wounded arriving from Akrotiri.


From: Tony Gale, Gatineau, QC
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2014 5:57 AM
To: Ian Place,  Meanwood, UK
Subject: RE: Christmas in faraway places

Thanks Ian - really weird, my log book shows me in Tengah at the same time.  On 21st Dec I flew out from Brize to Tengah (via Kai Tak) on VC-10 Flight 2785.  It was a Christmas standby scratch team and I don’t recall who was with me, other than I was the only SAC on the team and spent Xmas day alone in the Airman’s Transit at Tengah {sigh}.  I seem to recall we were on standby for an evacuation of British Citizens from Angola - it didn’t make sense to me at the time - but who was I to argue?

Recovered back to the UK 29th Dec on VC-10 XV107, Flight 2652.  Diverted to Prestwick because of fog - then attempted Brize but was diverted to Manston arriving on the 30th at 1550 Hrs.  Happy Days!


From: Ian Place, Meanwood, West Yorks
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2014 3:17 PM
Subject: RE: Christmas in faraway places

Tony, truly weird! We recovered on the same flight 2652 VC10 . I remember standing on someone's shoulders in Manston (could they have been yours?) to open the rear cargo door to offload the bags. We then held the train out of Ramsgate and got Sterling Moss the taxi driver to wildly drive across London Victoria to St Pancras stations to make the train to Oxford. It must have been you that helped me offload XV107. Nice memories.


The toys will be distributed in the communities via smaller aircraft and sometimes using snowmobiles for the last leg of their journey before reaching grateful children.

The Canadian Toy Association donated the toys and this RCMP initiative is also taking place in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. The toys initially departed from 8 Wing Trenton.
From: Brian & Lussi Gibson, Penera

To all serving and retired "Movers", wishing you and your families a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2015. Hoping you all stay safe wherever you are in the coming year.
From: Graham Flanagan, Stafford

I would like to wish all movers, serving and retired across the Globe a very Merry Christmas and a ‘stonking’ New Year. Stay safe guys. Geordie.
From: John Guy, Northampton
Sent: Monday, November 17, 2014 7:46 AM
Subject: Bomber Command Clasp
Hi Tony,

If anyone is waiting for the WWII Bomber Command Clasp, be patient, as after 15 months I have finally received one in respect of my late father.


John Guy
From: David Powell, Princes Risborough
Dear Tony and all movers, current and not so current, best wishes to you and yours wherever you may be for a fun, safe and rewarding Christmas and 2015. 
From: Bruce Oram, Alicante
To all our friends scattered around the world Shirley and I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. To all those serving in a hostile environment we wish you a safe and speedy return to your loved ones.
From: Al Stacey, Stanley
Sent: Friday, December 05, 2014 6:57 PM
Subject: Re: The Next OBA Newsletter - Special Christmas Edition

Firstly greetings to all those I have known over the years. Not quite unplanned or unexpected Christmas. I've worked the last 2 Christmas days and this year I have the delights of being in the Falklands (this is the second Christmas I had had here in my time). Other working Christmas days include Gulf war 1, Incirlik, Split and Gioia del Colle with Ian Berry, Steve Beaumont and Derek Grayson where Derek and my wife cooked Christmas lunch for the whole det in the hotel at Ancona. Perhaps the one I remember most is sitting at Cape Canaveral U/S in the week leading up to Christmas and then flying direct to Lyneham empty on Christmas eve arriving just in time to have the 25th at home. Happy times from when UKMAMS was REALLY great!

From: Brian Jenkins, Portland
Seasons greeting to one and all especially ex team members Bravo 1973-1975 from Taff Jenkins on a sunny but bitterly cold Portland in Dorset
From: Richard Lloyd, Dalgety Bay
Dear Tony and all Old Bods out there. A very merry Christmas to you all and a peaceful and prosperous New Year. Looking forward to 12 more excellent issues of a wonderful newsletter!
From: David Stevens, Bangor
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2014 4:32 AM
Subject: UKMAMS - Christmas Unexpected - 1965
The Zambian Oil Lift December 1965 - I was E team leader and on 21 December 1965 we were called out, boarded Britannia 638 at Lyneham en-route for Dar Es Salaam, Tanganyika (as it was then) via El Adem and Embakasi. We arrived in Dar Es Salaam on 22 December and settled into our ***** hotel. President Julius Niyere made it clear that we would not be staying long.

Others might correct me, but I recall we worked long days (no night operations) loading oil drums on the 23rd, 24th and 25th, but on Christmas Day evening we celebrated in style, and in the hotel swimming pool; all of which got back to the UK Press and incurred the considerable err of the good President! The next day, Boxing Day, I flew to Lusaka (complete with a thumping headache) to make arrangements for E team to move to Lusaka. Indeed, on 4 January 1966, at the President's invitation the entire RAF detachment relocated to Lusaka.

Whenever, we flew to and from Lusaka we always routed via Embakasi - I have never ever understood why; duty free maybe? 

Cheers  David

From: Gaz Farndale, Torpoint

Merry Christmas to all old and bold movers worldwide.  Hope you all have superb New Year. And yes it's true I now work in Royal Navy Submarine School!
From: Dean Zimmer, Haverfordwest

Wishing all OB’s a very Merry Chrimbo and a healthy and prosperous New Year
From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: Sunday, December 07, 2014 3:56 PM
Subject: : Unplanned Christmas

Hi Tony

Christmas 1956 - I should have left Aden in November but I was still there as we had invaded Suez and because of this all schedules had gone to pot, so it was my third Christmas in the Middle East.  To cap it all I had to go on duty Xmas morning as the AOC decided to fly down to the staging posts of Riyan (Al Makulla), Salalah and Masirah to wish them all a Merry Christmas; I guess they wouldn't have minded had he not bothered!  Not such a happy day…

Cheers, John

From: Jimmie Durkin, Stafford

Thank you for another great year of Newsletters I can't imagine how you manage to cope with it all. 

Here is a wish to all movers old and newer and their families to have a Very Happy Christmas and a healthy, prosperous and safe New Year 2015; those away from their families; remembering  especially all those no longer with us for the time being.
From: Tod Geoghegan, Folkestone

Seasons Greetings to all my great friends from far away Muharraq 67/68. Those who I have great pleasure to be in occasional contact with: Gordon down in lovely Brixham, Tim in dear old Gloucester and the great man himself Murdo in God’s favourite golfing country. I must not omit to mention our famous web master Tony in faraway Canada. Wishing one and all a great Christmas and a joyous, happy and healthy New Year. God Bless.
From: Budgie Baigent, Takaka, Tasman
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2014 12:00 AM
Subject: Greetings from Middle-Earth

Hi Tony,

At 1730 hrs exactly one week before Xmas 1987 - all quiet on the home front with Mum, two pre-school kids and lots of festivities going on as we prepared for Xmas leave when the phone rings - "Baigent? Get your bag packed and be at Air Movements tomorrow morning 0600 hrs. You're off to Darwin for 2 weeks" [can't remember the catastrophe that created such urgency].  Well, there was still lots of Xmas cheer to be had so I carried on the festivities until early morning, finally finishing up with copious amounts of Navy rum dished up by my Diver mate next door; a bad error of judgement there!

I made Doors-Close but have never felt so ill in the back of a C130 either before or since - and it's a long day from Auckland to Darwin in one hit. On arrival in Darwin I opened my bag and discovered that in my 'prior state' I had packed long pants, thick shirts and several jerseys/jackets. Real useful stuff in a climate of mid 30's with high humidity! 1st thing I had to do was dash off and buy shorts & T shirts. I learnt from that experience, always pack a bag before getting involved with Navy rum or similar.

Here's wishing all the Old Bods a safe & Happy Festive Season from the 'Best little Country in the World'

Cheers, Budgie

From: Chris Briggs, Coventry
I wish all movers past and present a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. It's the start of a new life for me in Coventry with my partner Jane
From: Mike Perks, Lutterworth
I would like to wish all the members of the OBA a very Festive Christmas followed by a Healthy & Prosperous New Year.
From: Keith Parker, Bowerhill, Wilts
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2014 9:46 AM
Subject: RAF Movements Assoc visit to 1 AMW at Brize Norton

Our second Association visit to 1 Air Mobility Wing (AMW) took place on the 27th November and as we are coming to appreciate, it was another superb visit, well organised and well executed. The theme for this visit was based on the new recruits training firstly at the school where WO "Ben" Bennett gave us an interesting overview of basic training and of particular interest as to how they are integrating with the other two services. We then had a quick look around the new hangar that has been requisitioned from the former 216 Sqn. and is now to be the new Imports Hangar. Also we were told about how the trainees are integrated as part of their ongoing training. Lastly we were treated to a look around the mock ups. Of special interest was the new A400M (we weren't allowed to see the real thing as it was u/s with engine problems, and also there was some guy called David Cameron visiting).

As you can see from the picture, the mock up is as near damnit the real thing, at least our bit worked. All too soon our visit was over, and, after a visit to the Sgts Mess for tea, we were then invited to The End of Year Soiree, in which we found quite a few faces that we knew from our former days and are now in the many and varied jobs that today's movers find themselves in. All-in-all it was a very interesting day and we must have been okay as the OC Wg Cdr Neil "Jonah" Jones has invited us back next year.

In the picture enjoying the visit to the A400M mock up from left to right, Kit Ayers, Mick Day, Keith Parker, Frank Breithaupt, Jacky Brice, Brian Goswell and Colin Allen.  And finally, can I share something; I once had to scrub off a toilet wall in the Pax Terminal at Lyneham in time for the AOC's inspection.  May I wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Cheers for now,  Keith
From: Chas Gibson, Monifieth
To all Air Movers wherever they are, God Bless you all and have a safe and enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
From: Jeff Trenberth, Collingwood Park, QLD
Merry Xmas Tony, hope your great work continues into 2015!  Trendy
From: Allan Walker, Burnley, Lancs
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2014 12:00 PM
Subject: An Unexpected Christmas

In mid-1961 tensions between Iraq and Kuwait led to a redeployment of a TPS Radar system from RAF El Adem to RAF Khormaksar. Numerous signals were flashed around regarding the state of this system culminating in us having to confirm its colour scheme. In December that year the Movers were advised that a number of Hastings and Beverleys would be deployed to RAF El Adem to await call forward in support of the Operation. The crews were none too happy at having to spend Christmas away from home.

On Hogmanay1 that year there was a Fancy Dress Party in the Mess at RAF Tobruk, some 20 odd miles from EL Adem. The crews were invited to join in and they all turned up in Shirts and Slacks with a Yale Key attached to their collars.  When asked what they represented they replied “WE ARE THE KEY MEN.”  A great evening was had by all and a few days later they all departed to destinations unkown. Judging from some of the faces next morning it was a good thing that they were not ordered to fly out on New Year’s Day. That year turned out to be a really great Christmas for all concerned.
My best wishes for a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year to all Movers wherever they are.  Yours aye, Allan
From: Brian Spademan, Lanarca
Just like to take this chance to thank you for a great site and to wish both the muppets I know and don't know a very happy Christmas and a great 2015. The ones who are away from their families and loved ones keep safe and thanks for all you are doing for us.
From: Alan Potts, Temecula, CA
Each year I am sure that we all wish for a peaceful, less volatile world yet it has not happened for many years.  Therefore, it is with great admiration for all troops everywhere, fighting to help improve the lives of children and their often impoverished parents, that I sincerely wish them, and all my own former colleagues a very merry Christmas.  Thanks for all your good work Tony, you really are a stalwart.
From: Chris Clarke, Burlington, ON
Sent: Saturday, December 13, 2014 6:50 PM
Subject: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tony, I hope you have a great Crimbo and New Year! Happy Christmas to all the UKMAMS OBA community worldwide. I will give a thought to those currently serving and who won't be with their families.

A special mention to two of my old Delta Team members who I've recently reconnected with, Chizzy (Graeme) Chisholm in Calgary and Pete Kettell in Devon.

Merry Christmas!

Pig (Chris) Clarke
El Adem
El Adem

This is actually a picture of the Morris Cowley being loaded to a Hastings in El Adem, Libya. There is a full description in the November issue of the Old Bods Brief
(1. For the Sassenachs - Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year)
From: Wade & Mary Ellen Seymour, Kingston, NS
We would like to wish all movers throughout the world a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

From: Basil H J Hughes, Pattaya
Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2014 6:56 PM
Subject: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dear Tony,

May I take this opportunity of thanking you for all your hard work over the past years enabling us all to keep in touch. At times, I know from past experience, that it must seem like a thankless job but may I assure you that I for one really look forward to the newsletters.

My worst Christmas was on Christmas Island in 1962 -- tinned turkey (expiry date on the tins was two years before), mashed potato and dehydrated veg followed by tinned strawberries and evaporated milk. It was a mixed unit of RAF, Navy and Royal Engineers. The Army were not amused by the food and proceeded to march up and down on the tables smashing everything. We all left them to it and retired to the NAAFI and a few double rums in half pint glasses topped up with Australian wine (of very doubtful vintage) and listened to the Camp radio playing "How would you like to spend Christmas on Christmas Island." The RAF Base Commander made the RE Officers pay for all the damage as he said they had lost control of their men.

Tony - I wish you a very merry Christmas and every Blessing for you and your family for the future and please pass on my best wishes and every blessing to all the members and their families for Christmas and for the coming year


From: Jack Cross, Alicante
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Safe and Exciting New Year to all Movers, both new and old.  I hope to see some of you down here in the sun for a beer or two someday.
From: Chas Cormack, Lyneham Village
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2014 5:32 AM
Subject: Christmas Disruptions

My first disruption occurred in 1963 while serving at JATNE Nicosia when I was detached over Christmas to Akrotiri in support of the MAMS team which was to facilitate the fiirst evacuation of families from Cyprus.I was attached to the six man team from Abingdon as there were very few movers stationed at Akrotiri at that time.

Two years later in 1965 I ended up in Dar es Salaam at the start of the Oil Lift to Zambia before we were kicked out by Julius Nerere.

Fifteen years later I was again in Africa at the other side of the Rhodesian Border in Salisbury to assist in the handover to what was to become Zimbabwe which gave me three occasions on which my celebrations were disrupted by work.

From: Antony Dunphy
Thanks for the chance to wish all movers a very merry (and quiet) Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.  For all your hard work Tony my thanks and best wishes to you and yours.
From: John & Jean Bell, Desborough
Merry Christmas Tony and all Old Bods. May your 2015 be all you want it to be. (I am hoping for a white Xmas - and when the White is gone we can start on the red.)

I would like to wish all my movements friends past and present a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. As the years pass our thoughts return to those who are no longer with us and also those who have failing health and I shall be lifting a few glasses to those who are brought to mind at this time of the year.

I would also like to thank Tony Gale for his heroic efforts in keeping the movements world united over the past years and long may it continue, Cheers Tony!

From: Keri Eynon, Thatcham
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2014 6:49 AM
Subject: Greetings

Attached find two photos of me while on holiday in West Wales in September.  We were following part of the coastal path where the photo of the church is taken, it is part of the pilgrim way to St. David's.

The other photo taken the next day on the 12th September was at Aberporth (photo taken to prove to the daughter I did go into the sea in Cardigan Bay because the weather was so glorious, use which ever one or even both to go with the Christmas greeting that follows). Thought it might bring back warm thoughts as we prepare for Christmas and the cold weather in the UK.
Regarding the idea of having Christmas disrupted, well the nearest I came to that was in December 1972 when we were called back early to fly to Singapore on 27th December. We duly flew to Tengah by VC10 arriving there on the 29th their time having night stopped at Gan on the way. Why we were in Tengah so early I cannot remember as our only work was on the 5th Jan when we flew to Labuan then back to Tengah and then starting back for the UK via Gan, Masirah & Akrotiri on a Britannia arriving back on the 7th Jan. Cannot even remember what we went to Labuan for  we were only on the ground for 1hr 15mins.

The most memorable part of the trip was New Year's Eve at Tengah, when, even though the CO had given permission for the NAAFI bar to remain open until 00.05 to allow the toasting of New Year the local barman shut up the place at 22.30. We therefore ended up in the Tengah Bar and proceeded for most of the night and into the early hours, together with some men from a Scottish Regiment to toast various places by looking at a map of the world and working out when it was midnight in a certain place eventually finishing at 7.30 Tengah time when it would have been midnight in the UK! Such was life although it made for an interesting and enjoyable New Year. Hope the mention of a few places on that trip will bring back memories for others who remember those places or even were stationed there. Fond memories indeed.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Keri (Taff) Eynon.

From: Paddy Gallaugher, London
At the Christmas time may I wish you a very happy and joyful holiday!

From: Jim & Mary Marchant, Cupar
We wish all movers young and old a happy christmas and a prosperous new year

From: Murray Smith, Blenheim
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2014 7:05 PM
Subject: RNZAF Mystery Photo(s) #112814
The pictures were taken at RNZAF Base Woodbourne, Blenheim, New Zealand, between 4 & 5 hangars.

These are training airframes for what was 4TTS (4 Technical Training School) now NMIT Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology which trains aviation students for both RNZAF and civil sectors plus overseas students.

The Aircraft are:
Boeing 727 EX RNZAF NZ7272
BAC Strikemaster 167 Mk 88 NZ6365 & NZ6375
Mitsubishi MU-2F Qty 4 using for Marshalling training for RNZAF Trainees
Kaman Seasprites

Cheers, Murray Smith, ex-RNZAF Sgt Sen Supplier 1972-1992
From: Peter Chappell, Wellingborough
Happy Holidays to all UKMAMMERS past and present, sent from a wet and windy Prestwick. Looking forward to 3 weeks in Goose Bay in March

From: Steve, Carol and Luke Perry, Royal Wootton Bassett
May I take this opportunity to wish all movers wherever you are, a Great Christmas and a Happy, peaceful and above all a safe new year. A special thought to those away from their families.

From: Ian Stacey, Sleepy Hollow, IL
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2014 2:29 PM
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #112814

Hi Tony - your newsletter never ceases to amaze me -  I'm not trying to claim a prize - but what a surprise to see a photo of me taken 50 years ago that I had never seen before  (Dave Stevens letter). Apart from me on the left and Dave in the middle that is John Dunn on the right.

I stayed in touch with John for over thirty years but have not been in contact with him recently. After leaving the RAF and a few jobs in between John became a very skilled and professional potter specialising in a Japanese style called Raku. For many decades he has run the Beach Pottery on the sea front at Brighton and, assuming he is still in good health, I have no reason to suppose that he is not still there!

Anyway - keep up the good work - I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you and all my colleagues out there a Very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and healthy new year.

Ian Stacey

From: Andy Kay, Colorado Springs, CO 
I would like to wish all movers, past and present, a very happy Christmas and a safe and peaceful 2015.  I will raise a glass to remember those we have lost this year and hope you can all do the same.  Cheers lads you are missed.  God bless all of you, and thanks to Tony for this job he does, it is much appreciated.

From: Jon Felton, Gladstone, QLD
To all the "Old Bods" and still current "Bods"  Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and Festive Season!  Will have a few "coldies" whilst throwing some prawns on the Barbie!  Regards and Best Wishes to you and yours from Down under!
From: Len Bowen, Chisholm, ACT
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 8:30 PM

15th December 1966 saw FEAF MAMS Team 1 heading for Hong Kong via the Philippines in 34 Sqn Beverley XH116, to return a radar system that the Yanks had loaned us, from RAF Kai Tak to Clark Field.  We were to stay at Kai Tak each night of the four day task, and in anticipation of doing our Christmas Shopping spree in ‘Honkers’, we all had wallets stuffed with Hong Kong dollars.
Now all USAF Bases run on a cash economy.  No signing a bar chit in the RAF Officers’ Mess or Sergeants’ Mess for drinks and meals here.  The O Club wanted cash on the nail for goods and services, as did the NCOs’ Club and the Base Canteen.  No cash - no service!  We had a whip-round in the crew and my MAMS Team, and between the fourteen of us came up with about $49 ‘green’ - and over HK$50,000!  As we were supposed to be accommodated at Kai Tak, even the meagre Flight Impress was in HK$!

Our Yank hosts were very understanding, but equally unable to be of much help.  We had no Philippine visas, so could not leave the USAF Base, and all on-base financial institutions were closed for the weekend (no flexi-tellers or ATMs in those days!).  They even put out a broadcast over the Base PA system asking for anyone who wanted to exchange some currency.  We only got a couple of takers, however; both were from the Base Coin & Bank Note Collecting Club, and as they only wanted one of each denomination HK note, this didn’t swell the coffers very much!  However, and most importantly, we found that:

1)  The Pilipino house boy who ran our area in the camp gave extended credit to transit crews on cases of San Mig (‘San Miguel’, Philippine beer), Coca Cola and Manilla Blunt cigars [1].  I suspect that he was getting them on the black market, but beggars can’t be choosers, so for the weekend we dulled our appetites with cigars and our senses with San Mig.  By Monday morning we owed him about half the national debt of some Third World countries!

2)  Duty Crews were allowed one free meal (breakfast) at the Flight Line Canteen (aka the Greasy Spoon) each day.  Accordingly, each morning, we all got into our flying suits, trooped out to the aircraft, fired up one or two of the engines for just long enough for everyone within five mile to get covered in oil smoke, and to know that the crazy Limey Crew with that flying museum piece were working...and so were authorised to head for the Greasy Spoon.

Fortunately the Yanks were/are big on breakfasts, so we could pig out on enough to last us through to ‘dinner’ - which was usually one of the smallest and cheapest hamburgers you could buy at the Base All-Ranks Canteen for each of us.  The rest of our sustenance remained San Mig, Coke and cigars!

One aside from our semi-illicit visits with the Greasy Spoon was the encounter that one of my MAMS Team members had with American eating habits.  Mac was a big Glasgow lad who liked his food, so the weekend’s forced abstinence was especially hard for him.  On the Sunday morning he piled his meal tray (the type you see in WWII movies, with shaped areas for each food item, like little curved troughs for sausages, round hollows for ‘eggs over easy’, etc, etc) with one - or - two of everything on offer, from bacon, through eggs, sausages, beans, tomatoes and hash browns, to pancakes and waffles.  As we came to the end of the chow line, the big, black Sergeant cook who presided over the operation said to Mac, “Yah-all wan’ some sirrrup, Mack?”.  Mac, thinking (a) how did he know my name? and (b) yeah, some maple syrup on my waffles would be nice, replied,  “Aye, yes, please Sarge” - whereupon the Sergeant produced a ladle the size of a small spa bath and delivered about a pint and a half of maple syrup over Mac’s entire breakfast; eggs, bacon, sausages, the lot!

Beverley XH116
Beverley XH116

34 Squadron flew the Beverleys at RAF Seletar from October 1960 to December 1967

Mac was so surprised that he didn’t complain, and so hungry that he ate the lot - but he did admit that baked beans and tinned tomatoes with maple syrup must be something of an acquired American habit and taste.

Finally Monday came, XB262 arrived from Seletar with a new engine, a bunch of 34 Sqn techs - and a US$ Flight Imprest, as it had been decided that the operation would now be mounted from Clark Field, not Kai Tak. 

We never did get our Christmas shopping spree - or our ‘run ashore’ - in Hong Kong. However after converting all our HK$ to US$ with the Base Finance Office, paying off our mega-tab with the house boy, and having a major pig-out on steak and lobster at our respective Base clubs we still had enough to denude the shelves of the Clark Field PX to the point that 262 looked like Santa’s sleigh on the way back to Seletar.
Unfortunately, true to form, good old 116 got us back as far as Clark Field on the first shuttle on the 16th and no further. She blew an engine in a big way on start-up, so instead of returning to Kai Tak and a night of debauchery in the fleshpots of Kowloon and Aberdeen Village, there we stayed. 

Doubly unfortunately, 16 Dec 66 was a Friday, and by the time we bowed to the inevitable and made arrangements for accommodation in the all-ranks trailer park transit camp, every Base currency exchange facilities were closed.
A very merry festive season to you and yours and a safe and happy New Year.

From: Don Lloyd, Calgary, AB
To everyone in the UK/MAMS Old Bods Assoc., and especially those troops who are away fighting for “Peace on Earth”  wherever you live or may be over the holiday festive season, I along with my wife Judy want to wish you and your families all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a  HAPPY NEW YEAR.  
From: Clive “Taff” Price, Brecon
(a.k.a. the fat one who drank with Bob Turner)
Please pass on my best wishes for a Happy Xmas and New Year to all Movers worldwide and those who knew me at Abingdon in the sixties
From: David Powell, Princes Risborough
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 6:25 PM
Subject: UK Santa Alert

Hi Tony,

To those of you doubting the existence of Father Christmas, or with Children or Grandchildren with tendencies this way, you may wish to be aware that he and his sleigh may be seen overhead the UK, on Christmas Eve, coming from the West and heading South East between 17.23 and 17.25 Any resemblance to the International Space Station is purely coincidental!

Colleagues outside the UK may wish to consult the ISS web site to confirm that there are no risks of Santa near misses in their part of the night sky on the night of 24th December.

Ho Ho Ho

David Powell

From: Charlie & Patsy Marlow, Freshwater IOW
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Thank you for the splendid work and endless effort that you put into the OBA
From: Peter Clayton, Wroughton
Please send my Seasonal Greetings to all friends from UKMAMS and the Movements Trade in general. Also a special mention to all those that have lost a loved one in the past year, may they remember the good times and enjoy their Christmas even in times of sadness. To all those that may be away from their families, stay safe and return home soon.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2015.
From: Ian Envis, Crowborough
Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2014 4:33 PM
Subject: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


May all of my friends and acquaintances, plus all the Movers and shakers wherever you are, who have collectively contributed so much to my life over the years enjoy a fantastic Festive Season and may 2015 bring you health, wealth and happiness.

Importantly, may you, your companions, families and friends enjoy peace and goodwill in these troubled times.

Dare I say so - a special thanks to Tony for his outstanding work by keeping us all in contact, even during the sad times when we lose a friend to the Great Rest Room

Ian Envis
Per Ardua Ad Astra

From: Phil Overson, Swindon
Thanks for another excellent year of Old Bods updates.  I really enjoy and look forward to your emails - keep up the great work.  Wishing you a great Christmas and a happy 2015.  UKMAMS KILO team 1991-96
From: Kev Stanger, Calgary, AB
Wishing movers all over the world, active or retired a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New year.  Raise a glass to those who departed for the crew room in the sky.  Safe trails from Calgary
From: Mick Craner, Yeovil, Somerset
Sent: Wednesday, December 17, 2014 2:45 PM
Subject: Greetings

Guday Tony,

Greetings to All Girls and Boys, serving and retired.    I do not have a tale of abandonment at Christmas, but evidence of how difficult it was to be a Hercules AQM in the sixties, and how we managed to endure the trauma of visiting places in foreign lands.

On September 28th 1969, I flew from Lyneham to Gander, spent the night at the Gander Motel, and was obliged to attend festivities that were laid on.  The next day we flew from Gander to Andrews and delivered a mail bag. The reward was dinner and a night out on the town.

Next day Andrews to Chigago, and then to New York. On arrival I was taken sick with food poisoning, and grounded for a week by the British Airways doctor, the crew were delighted, but the delight did not last, as a message from Upavon said come home, you have a D category AQM on the crew and no passengers.

I was abandoned in New York, at the Royal Manhattan Hotel, fortunately the Co Pilot left me with a quantity of US dollars, and then I had the problem of what to do in New York for a whole week?  It was my duty to manage, this I did, Broadway, The Empire State, I tried very hard to see all the attractions, and spend the money.

At the end of the week, a message from Upavon, Go to the Lexington Hotel on Lexington Avenue, and make contact with the Captain of a VIP Comet, and come home with them, I had an enjoyable time with the Comet crew, and next day set off for the UK via Gander!   On arrival back at Lyneham I enjoyed a break from the trials and tribulations of working as an AQM.

This story is a one off, I spent a lot of time in less exotic places, Masirah, Sharjah, Muharraq and Khormaksar to name but a few.

Mick Craner

From: John Middleton, Huntingdon
NEAF MAMS 1970 -74 and also all other "movers" of that era, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
From: James Buchanan, Canterbury
Best wishes Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all those who know me and those who don't.  For those not with us now a cheery toast and seasons greetings to all family and friends
Handmade Model of Short Belfast for Sale!
I received an e-mail from Kenneth Hansell of Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, UK (about 30 minutes from London), who has a handmade display model of a Short Belfast (with accessories) for sale.

Kenneth has no connection with the aircraft or 53 Squadron; the model came into his possession through a house clearance.

The length of the fuselage is 55cm (22")

The dimensions of the custom-built packing case are 62cm x 31cm x 21cm  (24" x 12" x 8")

Kenneth is open to all reasonable offers - terms will be FOB Walton-on-Thames.

He can be contacted by e-mail:
Ottawa adding new C-17 to RCAF fleet
OTTAWA - Defence Minister Rob Nicholson has formally announced that the air force will get a fifth C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift transport plane.

The federal cabinet recently signed off on the proposal, which the military has been pushing for, calling it a uniquely time-sensitive chance simply because Boeing aircraft, the U.S. manufacturer, has closed the assembly line.

Nicholson made the announcement Friday at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ont., the household of the present C-17 fleet, and stated that the mammoth jets have provided the Canadian military a lot of flexibility to be in a position to move a large amount of cargo for both itself and allies.

Macro Insider
Have yourselves an enjoyable Christmas and New Year celebration!