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Win Win 70s sci-fi revival

Big interview Tokio Myers UK tour debut

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Win Win Birth of the RAF book l R'n'R p4-5

Friday April 6 2018 No 1440 70p


London calling See p2-3


Daz set for Aussie Games

Wonder Wall See p18

Celebrating 100 years

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Blues sink in Navy clash

The RAF's youngest recruit 16-year-old AC Adam Wood, gets the Service's 100th anniversary celebrations underway as he accepts the centenary baton from 94-year-old WWII veteran Charles Clarke. l See report p2-3

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P2


Baton charg RAF’s youngest gets national celebrations underway in London NEW GENERATION: WWII vet Air Cdre Charles Clarke hands the baton to AC Adam Wood

Next issue on sale April 20, 2018 Royal Air Force News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Email: Tel: 01494 497412

tribute: RAF Association standard bearers arrive at St Clement Danes Church

The RAF’s youngest recruit, 16-year-old AC Adam Wood, stepped centre stage alongside one of the UK’s oldest veterans, 94-yearold Air Cdre Charles Clarke, as the Service marked its centenary. The teenage Serviceman was handed a specially-commissioned baton by the WWII veteran and ran the first leg of a 100-day relay to begin the national celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the world’s oldest air force. Among many tributes was a message from Her Majesty The Queen, which was read by AC Wood at a reception at the site of the Hotel Cecil on The Strand, the first headquarters of the newly-formed RAF in 1918. The Queen wrote: “The anniversary of the world’s first independent Air Force is of great significance, and it is fitting to pay tribute to the tenacity, skill and sacrifice of the men and women who have served within its ranks over the last century, and who have defended our freedom gallantly.

Editor: Simon Williams Sports Editor: Dan Abrahams Features Editor: Tracey Allen News Editor: Simon Mander Sport: Tel: 01494 497563

We want people across the UK to be inspired to find out more about why the RAF is so extraordinary and to realise that the world-class training and opportunities that we offer make it an outstanding place to learn, develop and progress

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RAF News accepts no responsibility for unsolicited features, pictures, products or other materials submitted. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the RAF or the MoD.

RELAY: RAF runners pass the Cenotaph with the Centenary baton PHOTO: SAC Nicholas Egan

“Through its enduring focus on professionalism, excellence and innovation, the Royal Air Force stands as a shining example of inspiration around the world today and for the next generation. “May the glory and honour that all ranks have bestowed on the Royal Air Force light its pathway to the future, guarding our skies and reaching for the stars.” AC Wood said: “My grandfather was in the RAF, I never knew him but my Nan says he would be very proud of what I am doing.

“I’m really proud to have been chosen to read out the message from the Queen and then, as one of the youngest airmen in the RAF, to receive the baton from Air Commodore Clarke.” Hundreds of veterans and serving personnel from across the Service later attended a Founders’ Day service at St Clement Danes, the RAF church. The formal events in the nation’s capital are the start of a series of national celebrations which will include an aircraft tour visiting six British cities and a nationwide science roadshow Service chiefs hope will inspire the next generation of airmen and women. The RAF centenary celebrations will also include a parade in London and a flypast featuring up to 100 RAF aircraft over the capital in July. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, said: “Our 100th anniversary celebrations give us a unique platform from which to showcase the character of the RAF and the opportunities we offer. “We want people across the UK to be inspired to find out more about

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P3

ge launches 100th “

It doesn’t matter who you are - you can’t sign it unless you meet the criteria

Survival trainer Mark Fairhead on signing the Cranwell Wall of Gallantry – p18

t top brass: CAS (centre) & Air Chiefs past and presen

I can’t believe I used to get lovely warm hugs from Amy Winehouse

Pop star Tokio Myers – R’nR 4-5

RAF TV star: Hon Gp Capt Carol Vorderman COMRADerie: A veteran talks to serving personnel at the RAF church PHOTO: CPL BABBS ROBINSON (RAF)

why the RAF is so extraordinary and to realise that the world-class training and opportunities that we offer make it an outstanding place to learn, develop and progress. “We want young people to be ambitious and realise their potential, so that we can continue to be a dynamic force for good across the nation and can continue to protect the nation, as we have done so successfully throughout our first one hundred years.” For the hundreds of veterans invited to the service it was a time to reflect on their own experiences. Air Cdre Clarke bailed out of his Lancaster bomber after it was struck and burst into flames during a raid over Germany in 1944. He was captured by the Nazis and held at the notorious Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp in Poland, where the Great Escape took place. As the Nazis were driven back on the eastern front he was one of thousands of POWs forced to march hundreds of miles in sub-zero temperatures back across the border into Germany.

He said: “It is remarkable to be here. I am proud to have served my country and have so much admiration for the young airmen and women who serve today. “They have so much more training than we ever did. In my day training was jumping off a six-foot ladder into a pile of straw. “But I don’t think the ethos has changed. Today’s personnel are much more mobile and seem so busy but the comradeship is still there and that is what the RAF is built on.” Veteran Alan Bowley, chaplain to the National Service (RAF) Association, said: “Being here to celebrate the RAF’s centenary means a lot. I started my National Service aged 18 in 1947 and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. “It taught me discipline, how to get on with people and how to take orders. Looking back I wish I had stayed in for longer.” The team of six baton relay runners will be covering air stations across the UK before travelling to the US, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf states and the Falkland Islands.

This is just the start of something big and beautiful

service: Hundreds gathered at St Clement Danes for the Founders’ Day celebration

Among the team is RAF elite athlete and Forces medic Flt Lt Lucy Nell. She said: “It’s a huge honour to take part. The Forces are a big part of my family.” Relay teammate Fg Off Kurt Lee, currently stationed at Cosford as an air traffic controller, is also proud of his Forces credentials.

Malaysian-born, Kurt’s mother Patricia was a Malaysian Army captain who specialised in jungle warfare training. He said: “I’ve run a few marathons so the distance shouldn’t be a problem for me. I am looking forward to the reaction we get from the public.”

RAF Rugby Union chairman Air Cdre Steven Lushington – p34

“Every morning I drive past the Chinooks in the hangars and it makes me feel proud.” —Lucy Brown, Boeing Contracts & Pricing

“Every morning I drive past the Chinooks in the hangars and it makes me feel proud. They’re the backbone of the UK military. They provide emergency response, carry troops, and if ever I needed to be rescued, I would want to hear one of those in the background. My team is responsible for making sure the Chinooks are maintained, modified and upgraded. Being even just a small part of this bigger picture is really rewarding.”


Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P5


IN THE HOT SEAT AGAIN: Far right, Allan Scott climbs into the Spitfire for his Vic-formation flight over London. Below right, his victory roll

Great Scott! Allan, 96, is on a roll again

two of a kind: Allan with fellow Spitfire pilot Mary Ellis, 101, a former ATA member

Photo: adrian brooks/imagewise/RAFBF

FORMER SPITFIRE pilot Allan Scott returned to Biggin Hill 77 years after he was posted there, aged 19, with 124 Squadron. He took to the sky again as part of a Vic-formation of two Spitfires and a Hurricane to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force. Sqn Ldr Scott, 96, was watched by another former RAF World War II Spitfire pilot, Mary Ellis of the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). Following his time at Biggin Hill, where he had his first combat experience, Allan was posted to Malta – which was under siege with continual raids by the Luftwaffe – where he flew his beloved Spitfire, helping to defend the island. Mary, who at 101 is the oldest surviving member of the ATA, delivered around 1,000 aircraft on her own – including Spitfires and Wellington Bombers – from factory to frontline air bases during WWII. Giving a thumbs-up as he


arrived back after his flypast, Allan said: “I enjoyed every bit of it and I flew for quite a while in the air, some good steep rolls. And then we did a victory roll to show you all we could roll. Every time one shoots an aircraft down you’ve got to let your ground crew know you’ve got a victory. If you roll twice you’ve shot two down, if you roll once you’ve got one. “It was no trouble at all. Age doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter at all. I’m going to fly it on my 100th birthday, it’s all booked ready.” Speaking earlier about the RAF100 commemorations, RAF Benevolent Fund Ambassador Allan said: “The RAF have stood in defence of the UK for 100 years, just as the RAF Benevolent Fund has stood side by side with its personnel, past and present. I don’t know where the UK would be without the support of the RAF and I don’t know where the RAF would be without the support of the RAF Benevolent Fund.”




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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P7


Return to Telemark

RAF Reserves honed their winter survival skills near Telemark – scene of the daring World War II attack which sabotaged Nazi efforts to develop a nuclear weapon in 1942. More than 50 part-time personnel took part in the Wintermarch training exercise in Norway, skiing along routes taken by Allied fighters flown in by the RAF to carry out the raid deep in the Arctic Circle.

The drill included cross country skiing and Arctic survival skills supervised by Norwegian military experts. SAC Tony Robb, 51, from Liverpool works as a highways inspector but is also a chef in the RAF Reserves. He said: “It’s been brilliant to be here in the mountains learning these new skills. “It’s great to have the chance to do these sort of things which aren’t really

Miracle man who fell to earth joins RAF greats

A 93-year-old bomber veteran whose parachute went up in flames as he bailed out from his blazing Lancaster has added his name to the RAF’s list of living legends. Tail gunner Sgt Len Manning and his crewmates were shot down by notorious World War II Luftwaffe ace Herbert Altner. Len was one of the last to escape from the aircraft grabbing his parachute from the burning fuselage wall as the burning Lancaster went into a nosedive. The canopy caught fire as he descended from 9000ft, however

he survived the impact as he landed flat on his back. Despite serious burns and other injuries Manning managed to walk more than eight miles before collapsing on the doorstep of a French farmhouse. He was taken in and cared for by a French family before contacting the Resistance and spending the rest of the war in hiding in Paris. This month Sgt Manning was invited to add his name to the RAF Wall of Gallantry at Cranwell where he also spoke to graduating aircrew who have just completed their survival training.

available to civilians. It’s one of the reasons I joined the RAF Reserves”. The Walton man added: “Finding out about the Telemark Operation was very powerful. It was so hard to live and fight in this environment. “We skied in the same place which was special so you get a feeling for what they went through”. The airmen and women of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force were based in the mountain town of Rjukan, 100

miles north of the capital Oslo. Flt Lt Rosie Gilmore, who led the expedition, added: “The RAF has been training here for many years. “The guys have got so much out of it. It’s hard work, but they all help each other and you can see that they’ve given their all and they’ve had a great time.”

Arctic challenge: Main, Reservists hone survival skills, inset, Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris in The Heroes of Telemark

News bulletin

Race aces net defence award

UK GRAND Prix team Williams has scooped a defence award for designing a groundbreaking device to detect deadly chemical particles in the air. The Biological Surveillance and Collector System is currently being used by the RAF Regiment and uses F1 fluid dynamics to process airborne samples. The device has been developed with defence firm Thales.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P9

News News bulletin

£400 million Brimstone missile boost for Typhoon

The RAF’s Typhoon fleet is set for a £400m weapons boost under a deal to equip the swing role fighter with laser-guided Brimstone missiles. The ultra-accurate weapon is already in use on Tornado fighter jets in the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, and will see the missile upgraded for use on the swing role fighter. The new version will boast an upgraded seeker, rocket motor, warhead and guidance system and safeguard hundreds of UK defence

jobs, the MoD said. The move is part of the Project Centurion programme to give Typhoon unrivalled firepower which will also see the fighter fitted with Storm Shadow air to ground and Meteor air to air weapons systems. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This massive investment is a huge boost to the proud workforce equipping our Armed Forces and will create and protect hundreds of jobs across the country, bolstering both the power of the Typhoon jet and British

WO bowled out

prosperity.” Brimstone is among weapons being considered for use by the British Army’s new AH-64E

Apache attack helicopters and the RAF’s next-generation Protector unmanned aerial system, due to replace the Reaper fleet.

WITTERING WARRANT Officer Steve Poulton was given a traditional bowler-hatted farewell as he retired after nearly 40 years in the RAF. Steve joined as a logistics officer and has worked at stations across the UK during his service. Station chief Gp CaptTony Keeling said: “If anyone deserves a long and happy retirement and thanks, it’s Steve.”

Acropolis now Typhoon Top Gun joins the fight on Greek NATO drill Greek odyssey: Gp Capt Baulkwill at Andravida Air Base. Above, Typhoon prepares to take off on combat training sortie, left, Hellenic Air Force Phantom joins the fight. PHOTOS: SAC NICK EGAN

Simon Mander VIPs visiting RAF Top Guns in Greece were treated to a spectacular flypast by nations taking part in a major Nato air combat exercise. Among the visitors to Andravida Air Base in the NorthWest Peloponnese was former 6 Squadron boss and Typhoon pilot Group Captain Mike Baulkwill who couldn’t resist taking part himself. He said: “One of the pleasures of my role as Station Commander is to visit personnel from Coningsby on operations and exercises to see how well they are doing their jobs. “A bonus for this visit is that I also had the opportunity to fly a sortie on this exercise.” More than 70 fast jets including Lincolnshire-based 3 (Fighter) Squadron are taking part in Exercise Iniochos 18 simulating full-scale war fighting across Greek airspace. As reported in the last edition of RAF News, this year they were joined

by Greek Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000 and F-16 jets, and contingents from the United States, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, Cyprus and Israel. Despite the high intensity battle rhythm of the event, 3 (F) Sqn hosted

Greek Defence Minister Mr Panos Kammenos, the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis and the British Ambassador to Greece Ms Kate Smith CMG. The Ambassador joined Officer

Commanding 3 (F) Sqn, Wg Cdr Lewis Cunningham to meet some of the deployed personnel and was shown the high tech flying helmet all RAF Typhoon pilots are equipped with. Wg Cdr Cunningham said: “This

has been the first time that Typhoon has deployed to Greece. “This exercise offers us a great opportunity to prepare for future operations and strengthens our existing relationship with the Greek Armed Forces.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P10


Harry gives Gunners wedding call-up THE RAF Regiment has been called in to take part in Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle in May. The Air Force Gunners will be taking on ceremonial duties on the big day, alongside the Household Cavalry, Royal Marines, Army Air Corps and the Royal Gurkha Rifles. Members of the Regiment will line the route into the castle alongside other Forces personnel as the couple arrive for the service, to be held in St George’s Chapel. The Prince has strong links with the Royal Air Force Regiment and holds the rank of Honorary Air Commodore at RAF Honington.

The Prince presented the Regiment with their new colours at a ceremony at the Suffolk station last year. Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach,

said: “I am proud that members of the Armed Forces have been asked to take part in the ceremonial celebrations taking place on the royal couple’s wedding day. “It is a happy occasion for the whole country and reminds us of the role the Armed Forces play in marking important events in the life of the nation. “I am particularly pleased to hear that members of the Armed Forces who have a close relationship with Prince Harry will be taking part. Servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force will all be honoured to offer their support.”

Photo of the Week


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Help us to continue our work. If you are in need of support call 0800 169 2942 The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund is a registered charity in England and Wales (1081009) and in Scotland (SC038109).

HELICOPTER PILOT Flt Lt Peter Smiley takes the plunge during survival training. During his time with the RAF he has flown Merlin and Puma aircraft and served as a frontline Medical Emergency Response Team pilot during the conflict in Afghanistan. This shot was captured by Benson photographer SAC Amy Lupton as part of the station’s RAF100 celebrations.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P11


Corrie hunt ends as family slams suicide claims MYSTERY: CCTV captures Corrie in Bury St Edmunds on the night he disappeared:

Staff Reporter THE MOTHER of missing RAF Gunner Corrie McKeague has denied claims he may have taken his own life and says the family will continue to demand answers as the 18-month police investigation is wound up. Speaking during a BBC interview mum Nicola Urquhart slammed reports suggesting the 23-year-old RAF man may have been depressed over his girlfriend’s pregnancy and taken his own life. April Oliver, 21 gave birth to the couple’s daughter Ellie-Louise in June last year. However Ms Urquhart claims that the pregnancy ANGUISH: Mum was only confirmed Nicola Urquhart by a text message from Oliver from America where she was on holiday, after the young Gunner had vanished during a night out in Bury St Edmunds – close to RAF Honington where he was based. Speaking on the daytime Victoria Derbyshire TV show she said: “There was nothing to suggest he was depressed. There were no signs of drugs or alcohol addiction and there were no debts. “There was nothing in his medical records to suggest that he was depressed or having problems either. “Corrie may have thought April was pregnant. She said she had not been feeling well, but it was not confirmed until after he had gone missing.” Investigators believed the missing airman may have ended up at a 120-acre landfill tip after climbing into a bin to sleep after a FORCES LIFE: Corrie McKeague during adventure training with the RAF Regiment. PHOTO: MARTIN CAREY

drink-fuelled night out in Bury St Edmunds with his pals, in September 2016. However the search of the site for Corrie’s body has now been halted as police say they have exhausted all lines of inquiry. Ms Urquhart added: “ I understand the practical side of the decision. It was going to happen eventually. “The police have done a massive amount of work and we are grateful but they have turned this into a cold case before looking at all the information.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P12


Jon’s a medal citizen Simon Mander SUPERFIT CORPORAL Jon Ward not only celebrated the RAF’s centenary on April 1 but also joined the exclusive 100 Marathon Club. The 33-year-old Lossiemouthbased Logistics Mover was already weighed down by 99 medals won over the past year racking up races from London to the Scottish borders. But it’s the milestone 100th at Gravesend – dubbed the RAF 100 Challenge in recognition of his achievement – that counted most for him. He said: “Now it’s all done there is an element of relief. I set myself this amazing, crazy challenge and now it’s come to an end I feel a great sense of pride.” The achievement, the equivalent of running the 874 miles between Land’s End and John O’Groats three times, has also raised £3,200 so far for the RAF Benevolent Fund and Royal British Legion

PROUD: Jon displays his medal haul, inset, at the finish line of his 100th marathon

Poppy Appeal. Cpl Ward said: “It’s been a pleasure raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund. Being a serving member of the Royal Air Force I see first-hand how they support the RAF Family. “It’s my way of giving something back to the RAF and showing others that with hard work, determination and sacrifice you can achieve your goal.” Cpl Ward has funded and organised his fundraising feat himself while working in the busy movements section of the frontline Scottish airbase. He’s already set his sights on other events in the coming year and signed up for both the Paris and London marathons and the Great Britain ultra-marathon. He added: “The icing on the cake was when I found out I’ll be representing the RAF at the InterServices championship on April 22 at this year’s London marathon.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday,April 6, 2018 P13


Brunei honour for Shawbury graduates Nick Williams RAF Shawbury The Sultan of Brunei flew into RAF Shawbury to present the latest graduates from the Defence Helicopter School with their Wings. Among them was his own son, HRH Prince Abdul Mateen who joined the parade with RAF and Navy crew after completing the sixmonth flying course. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, said: “Prince Mateen’s graduation is an opportunity for us to reflect on the UK’s long and steadfast alliance with Brunei. I join His

Majesty in congratulating Prince Mateen and the other graduates, and wish them all every success in their future careers.” Marching behind the 60 Sqn standard and accompanied by the

Band of the Queen’s Division, the graduates formed up on parade for an inspection by HM The Sultan of Brunei before beings presented with their aircrew brevets. The graduation also marked a final outing for the RAF’s Griffin and Squirrel training helicopters which performed a last flypast before being formally decommissioned. The aircraft have been replaced with Juno and Jupiter helicopters under a £1 billion revamp of defence flying training.

Royal review: HM The Sultan of Brunei with his son HRH Prince Mateen at the graduation, left Griffin and Squirrel perform a flypast before the aircraft officially retire from RAF service PHOTOS: IAN FORSHAW

£8 million Mosquito rescue bid

Wooden wonder: Worldwide there are only three restored Mosquitos still flying

Simon Mander The team behind a bid to build the first British Mosquito fighter bomber for more than 75 years has launched an £8 million appeal for funds. Aviation enthusiasts behind The People’s Mosquito have signed a deal with Sussex-based restoration specialists Retrotech Ltd to recreate the iconic WWII combat aircraft. The group needs to raise an estimated £8 million to fund the three-year project. Project chief Bill Ramsey, the last RAF pilot to fly in Vulcan in service, said: “We’ve decided to build the FBVI version of the aircraft which is most people’s favourite and is instantly recognisable by the four cannons it has on the front.” Bill - who retired from the Royal Air Force in 2008 after a 36-year career, says airshow fans could see the Mosquito back in the air by 2021. “If we can get enough people interested in taking up sponsorship I’m sure we can do it, so far we’ve raised £150,000 and the amount donated is increasing every year.” The new Mosquito is based on RL249, an aircraft which crashed shortly after take-off from RAF Coltishall in February 1949. Some of its remains were

Air power: The Mosquito was the fastest bomber to see operational service in WWII, inset left, under construction during the war.

recovered in 2000 but few of them are in an airworthy state and have been stored in a shed in East Anglia. People’s Mosquito spokesman

Stewart Charman said: “We are taking over what is known as the ‘mortal remains,’ of RL249 but we will in effect be building a brandnew Mosquito.”

He said construction would be aided by a unique collection of 22,300 technical drawings obtained by the group after they were discovered by Airbus and about

to be thrown into a skip, when the company closed its Broughton office in 2017. “As we will be using original de Havilland drawings to do this and the same materials, our aircraft will be one of the most authentic examples in the world,” he said. Costs are expected to be £1.1m for the fuselage, £550,000 for the engines and propellers and £3.3m for fitting out and completing the aircraft. Mr Charman said that before September 2012, there were no flying examples of the Mosquito anywhere in the world. Today there are three: a T.III owned and operated by a museum in Seattle, an FB.26 fighter variant owned by a military museum in Virginia Beach, both restored in New Zealand, and a B.35 bomber variant restored in Canada. Mr Charman said the decision to build RL249 in Britain was made to ensure the best chance of obtaining a Civil Aviation Authority to fly it. Once the latest Mosquito, nicknamed the ‘Wooden Wonder’ is in the air, it is expected to cost £300,000 a year to run by a group of unpaid volunteers. The Project is looking at basing the aircraft in the Midlands – probably Lincolnshire or Cambridgeshire – to enable easy access to air shows. l For details and donations go to:

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P15

News News bulletin

Local hero: Air Marshal Atha, (centre), with MacRobert Trust chief John Strickland (left) and Poppy Scotland’s David Cooke

Chief pops up on home turf

Air Force combat chief Air Marshal Stu Atha has opened Poppy Scotland’s latest branch – in his own home town Kilmarnock. The MacRobert Centre will provide welfare advice and support to more than 30,000 Forces veterans and serving personnel in the area. Air Marshal Atha said: “As someone brought up in Kilmarnock and a member of the Armed Forces it is a great privilege to open the centre. “The challenges facing those who serve and have served have resulted in increasing numbers reaching out in their time of need.”

Handover: Wg Cdr Lock, (left), hands over to Wg Cdr Pickford at Benson

Pickford picks up where Lock left off Wg Cdr Marty Lock took a bow at Benson last month as he handed over command of 28 Sqn to Wg Cdr Mark Pickford. The squadron was set up following the merger of Puma and Chinook operational conversion flights to support helicopter training at the Oxfordshire station.

Salad dodging Brits bin the healthy option

SALADS DELIVERED with takeaway orders are Britain’s biggest source of food waste according to researchers who say 99 per cent are chucked away. A study by Businesswaste says 92 per cent are binned immediately, one per cent are put in the fridge and thrown away later and six per cent are handed straight Junked Food: Salad back to the delivery person.

UK-backed Afghan ‘Sandhurst’ graduates hit 3000 Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson flew in to Kabul this month as part of the UK’s support for the Afghan Army Officer Academy as the number of recruits to graduate passes 3000. Williamson joined some of the 650 UK military personnel stationed in Kabul during his first visit to the country. British Armed Forces are part of the Nato military mission set up in 2013 to train security forces. This year’s cadet intake at the Sandhurst-style academy includes more women than ever before, following the graduation of the first female soldier in 2017. Britain recently increased the number of UK military training officers while the RAF has two Puma II combat helicopters stationed in the capital to support Afghan security forces. Mr Williamson said: “A secure Afghanistan will help keep the

KABUL Mission: Defence Secretary touches down in RAF Puma II helicopter

Afghan First: Female recruit receives training award at Army Academy in Kabul

streets of Britain safe. “Building the security services that will be the foundation of stability and peace in Afghanistan remains top of our agenda and I have seen first-hand the crucial role our brave Armed Forces are playing in realising that vision.” Kabul has been rocked by a series of terror attacks by Taliban insurgents this year. In the latest incident militants armed with

rocket-powered grenades and automatic weapons opened fire on an Army post close to the academy, killing 11 soldiers. In an earlier attack more than 100 people were

killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives packed into a fake ambulance he drove past checkpoints close to government buildings and foreign embassies.

Bomber vets honoured as centre opens New archive holds records of 57,871 lost in WWII Simon Mander VETERANS, defence chiefs and celebrities will gather near Lincoln for the opening ceremony of the International Bomber Command Centre later this month. Survivors of the World War II campaign, which claimed the lives of more than 57,000 personnel, are to attend the event on April 12 near Lincoln. The event begins with an official ceremony compered by broadcaster and Strictly Come Dancing star John Sergeant, and includes a speech by Defence Minister the Rt Hon Earl Howe, a blessing by the Bishop of Lincoln the Rt Rev Christopher Lowson, a cutting ceremony and flypasts It will be followed by an evening concert compared by TV presenter and Air Cadets Honorary Group Captain Carol Vorderman. The event is the culmination of five years’ work by volunteers who launched the project in May 2013. The complex, in the tiny Lincolnshire village of Canwick, incorporates a

memorial to those who gave their lives, and the Chadwick Centre, an exhibition, education and research area, where the stories of those who served, supported and suffered are told. The centre will also include a database detailing the 57,871 Bomber Command wartime deaths and provides one of the most comprehensive records of the losses in the world. The document took volunteers four years to complete and brings together data from sources including national and international Rolls of Honour, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Squadron Association logs, the Chorley Volumes and prisoner of war records. It now contains more than three million individual pieces of information and work continues to record every single loss. There are also 10 acres of landscaped grounds which include the Lincolnshire & International Peace Gardens. The Spire was erected on May 10th 2015, and the Memorial Walls with just under 58,000 names of those that perished are now all in place.

IBCC: Bomber Command veteran left, the Spire Memorial above, inside the Chadwick Centre, inset


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© UK MOD Crown Copyright 2016 Photograph by: Ian Forshaw

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‘An ultimate professional’ Tributes to Red’s engineer killed in tragic Hawk crash AIR FORCE chiefs have paid tribute to Red Arrows engineer Cpl Jonathan Bayliss who died when a Hawk T1 aircraft used by the display team crashed at RAF Valley. The 41-year-old aircraft technician was described as an ‘ultimate professional with an infectious smile’ by team bosses. Senior Reds engineer Sqn Ldr Richard Bland said: “Jon was known as a top bloke with a cheeky grin and a dry sense of humour that could fill a room with laughter. He was the ultimate professional and embodiment of excellence.” Close colleague Sgt Will Allen added: “Jon had the ability to motivate and inspire a team and those around him – no matter the rank, role or person. “He was so proud to have been chosen to join the Circus. As one of the small group of engineers whose job it was to fly in a Red Arrows jet, he had fulfilled a schoolboy dream. “Jon had a big a presence on the squadron and with his wide, beaming smile could lighten up any dull moment or lift spirits when needed. “Both inside and outside of work, he was a generous, kind and caring man who could also always be relied upon.” Before joining the RAF in 2001, Cpl Bayliss studied at West Kent College and later completed a HND in engineering management at the University of Greenwich.

His main role with the team was to oversee the jet’s dye systems which produce the Arrows’ patriotic red, white and blue smoke trails. During his time with the Reds Cpl Bayliss supported successful tours to the Far East, including their first ever performances in China, as well as the Middle East and mainland Europe. He was a passenger in the two-seat aircraft flown by Red Arrows pilot Flt Lt David Stark which came down close to the station in Anglesey. Flt Lt Stark ejected from the Hawk and is receiving treatment for his injuries. Air Vice-Marshal Warren James, who commands the RAF’s 22 Group responsible for the Red Arrows, said: “Our heartfelt condolences go to Cpl Bayliss’ partner and family at what is a terrible, tragic time. “His death has understandably come as a great shock to his colleagues and fellow teammates at the Red Arrows. “The incident is a reminder of the risk present with all types of flying but also of the hard work and commitment shared by both air and ground crews alike.” Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “It’s clear from his colleagues that Cpl Bayliss was an incredibly skilled engineer and held in the highest regard as a teammate, a friend, and a shining example of what the British Armed Forces stand for. “

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P18

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Feature Service not in any particular order ) Mark Fairhead’s Wall of Honour Top 10 ( names Colonel (Former Sqn Ldr) FRANCISZEK KORNICKI Virtui Militari and Cross of Valour + 2 Bars Flew against the Nazis in defence of Poland before fleeing to France and fighting with the French Air Force, before being evacuated to Britain. In October 1940 posted to 303 Polish Squadron at RAF Leconfield. Flew Hurricanes and Spitfires and when asked the difference between them replied ‘you fly a Hurricane but wear a Spitfire’. Overwhelmingly voted The People’s Spitfire Pilot in a RAF Museum poll, he is also RAF News’ Greatest Ever Airman. Flight Lieutenant CHRISTOPHER GORDON DFC Led a force of two Chinook helicopters which rescued British and Afghan troops under attack in a known insurgent haven. On previous missions, his crewman and co-pilot had already been shot. During the operation, he used his helicopter to shield troops as they entered his aircraft and, under heavy enemy fire which shot out one of his engines, airlifted them to Camp Bastion. Corporal STUART ‘ROBBO’ ROBINSON RAF Regiment Invictus Games Gold Medallist Operating with 15 Squadron RAF Regiment Robbo was on patrol in a Jackal vehicle which hit an IED. His injuries included 18 spine fractures and he had both legs amputated. He stunned doctors with his recovery and won a gold medal at the inaugural Invictus Games. He is training for selection for the Team GB wheelchair rugby squad and fundraises for military charities. ERIC CARTER Despite flying Spitfires and Hurricanes on secret missions for the Russians as a Sgt Pilot during World War II Eric was infamously refused permission to sit in a Spitfire at a business event on health and safety grounds. After Mark Fairhead intervened and invited him to sign the wall he was finally allowed to fly a Boultbee Academy ‘Spit’ over Sussex, aged 91. Squadron Leader IAIN MACFARLANE CGC DFC MID Nicknamed ‘McHoot’ he won the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross in two separate missions to rescue British troops held hostage in Sierra Leone. Also Mentioned in Dispatches for his role in the infamous Bravo Two Zero SAS mission in Iraq. Believed to be the most highly-decorated RAF helicopter pilot.

Air Commodore SIMON FALLA DSO CBE Awarded the Distinguished Service Order for leading a Chinook flight of 7 Squadron during Operation Granby in Iraq, he was the first person ever to sign the Wall of Honour.

MACr PAUL ‘ELVIS’ HOLMES MBE, DFM, AFM Veteran 7 Sqn Chinook Air Loadmaster awarded the last Distinguished Flying Medal for his role in Gulf War special operations, including the infamous Bravo Two Zero SAS mission in which he was crewed with the then Squadron Leader Simon Falla (above) who won the DSO for the same action.

Group Captain PHIL ROBINSON OBE DFC ** MA RAF Chinook and Lynx helicopter pilot and veteran of operations in Afghanistan, Albania, Bosnia, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon and Sierra Leone and one of few airmen ever to win the Distinguished Flying Cross three times.

Flight Lieutenant IAN FORTUNE DFC Chinook pilot awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for extracting six casualties under fire in Afghanistan despite being shot in the face with the bullet ricocheting off his night vision goggles and exiting through the roof of his aircraft.

Lieutenant Colonel SHARON STEWART Awarded Associate of the Royal Red Cross (Nursing equivalent of VC/GC) for exceptional devotion to duty caring for the wounded in Afghanistan. She led the medical team that treated Flt Lt Fortune (above) for his injuries and was reunited with him when they were asked to sign the Wall of Honour.

HONOURING THE HEROES: Mark Fairhead at Cranwell’s Wall

Wonder wall A

Photo: Paul Saxby

non - descript building down a remote Lincolnshire lane on the edge of Cranwell airfield seems an unusual place for a living tribute to RAF heroes past and present but, as Simon Mander discovered, it’s home to a unique Wall of Honour. A Puma helicopter crash in Bavaria in 1997 which killed a comrade inspired survival expert Mark Fairhead to set up a lasting memorial to aviation heroes. The former RAF Regiment Gunner and veteran Chinook loadmaster, who now teaches aircrew, decided to use his life-changing experience and that of others to help future pilots who might one day find themselves behind enemy lines. He said: “My best friends died in helicopter accidents and during my own recovery I wondered if we could find a way to record the heroism of those who tried to save the pilot in my crash and to inspire others and give people who’ve been in those situations the chance to talk about their experiences.” And 18 years later, having left the Service to become a civilian trainer at the Cranwell-based Aircrew Survival, Evasion and Resistance (SERE) Training Centre, Mr Fairhead got the chance to turn his idea into

reality. In March 2015, the centre and its original Wall of Gallantry moved from Hangar 266, where it started life, to its current location on Rauceby Lane and its name changed to the Wall of Honour. The new Wall was opened by the then Air Officer Commanding 22 Group, Air Vice-Marshal Andy Turner. Mr Fairhead said: “His father, Bob, who ejected from a Javelin fast jet and survived to fly again, will be coming here to sign the wall in the next few months, which will be our first ever father-and-son signing.” The current ‘Wall’ is a large mural at one end of a classroom. Painted by Cranwell media graphics artist John Fox, it depicts a typical survival scene in black

silhouette with words that sum up the characteristics of a successful survivor – strength, honour, courage, determination, resilience, hope, knowledge. Mr Fairhead said: “The idea was to introduce some gravitas to the course. It’s hard to pass and we wanted something to give students a sense of achievement, so we had a wall made so that those who completed it could sign their names and we reserved an area on it for special guests who have done something outstanding.


ll SERE students are aircrew beginning flying training and can’t progress unless they pass. To graduate they must demonstrate they can survive indefinitely in only what they stand

in during a gruelling four-day, threenight exercise. The final day finishes in the classroom with a visit by a ‘guest of honour’ who also signs the Wall. Guests must have done something remarkable, notable, or inspirational that exemplifies resilience. The criteria are strict and include aviators who have won gallantry awards, crashed, ejected, ditched or abandoned an aircraft, or who have escaped and avoided the enemy to get back to fly – a feat performed mainly by World War II veterans. Recently it was broadened to include personnel who epitomise the centre’s motto ‘Animus Invictus’ (Unconquered/Unbroken spirit) by recovering from physical and mental injury, and Invictus Games competitors. Mr Fairhead said: “It doesn’t matter who you are, you can’t sign the wall unless you meet the criteria. “You have to be invited to do it – that’s the point.” The current Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, has signed because he is a winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross. The Wall contains imagery of aircraft no longer in service including the Harrier, in honour of jump jet ace and signatory Air Vice-

Marshal Sammy Sampson DSO, and a Lancaster tribute to legendary Dambuster Squadron Leader ‘Johnny’ Johnson DFM. The 617 Squadron veteran is the only guest to be allowed to sign where the students normally write – below the skyline in the landscape – as he was too frail to sign higher. Among the 80 guest signatories are Chinook hero Flight Lieutenant Chris Gordon – the only person to sign twice, as a student and as an honoured guest. Afghan roadside bomb survivor, Invictus Games gold medal winner and double amputee Corporal Stuart ‘Robbo’ Robinson climbed a ladder on his false legs to sign the wall. And the name of Search and Rescue winchwoman Sergeant Rachael Robinson, winner of the Queen’s Gallantry Medal for rescuing a seriously injured French fisherman during violent storms in the Irish Sea, also adorns the brickwork. Among the heroes Mark hasn’t managed to persuade to sign are Air Marshal Sir Barry ‘Baz’ North, former CAS Air Chief Marshal Sir Andy Pulford and Army VC winners Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry and Corporal Joshua Leakey. But the hero whose appearance has meant the most to staff and students at the centre is none of these.

Mr Fairhead said: “The signature that means the most to me and all of us is that of Franciszek Kornicki – the Spitfire ace who commanded 308 Polish Squadron.” Squadron Leader Kornicki, who died last year aged 100, won the RAF Museum’s poll to decide The People’s Spitfire Pilot. “When he was here, he was 98 years old and he had the most impact on us and the students,” said Mr Fairhead. “Many fantastic people come here but he stood out. He wrote to me afterwards saying it was one of the best days of his life. “To see him talking to young men in their flying suits you could tell that he saw himself when he was like them and he loved talking to future pilots who asked him questions about what it was like to survive so much and lead others into combat.” n If you know someone you think deserves to sign the Wall of Honour contact Mark Fairhead on CRNDSTO-ASTC-TrgOff or telephone: 01400 266494. n There is no hierarchy of heroism but RAF News asked Wall of Honour custodian Mr Fairhead to select the 10 signatories whose stories meant the most to him. His selections are listed opposite.

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Dan Snow UK tour

Bringing history to life D

AN SNOW is a busy man – last month he hosted the RAF Centenary Gala with Carol Vorderman at the Royal Albert Hall and on May 17 he’ll be back at the famous London venue to host a gala screening of a newly restored version of the classic war film The Dam Busters. In June the historian, broadcaster and TV presenter, who has a regular history slot on the BBC’s The One Show, starts a two-month UK tour, dubbed An Evening with The History Guy. Why did he decide to go on tour? He said: “When you’re making television and podcasts, it’s very lonely. You sit by yourself and think, “Is anyone watching?” That’s why TV presenters take to Facebook Live. “That gives you the number of viewers at the bottom of the screen. It might be only five people, but at least you know someone is there. “Doing live events at book festivals and book launches is a huge treat because you get to meet people. “The tour is the first time I’ve done this in an organised way where we’ve been able to build a proper show. “It’s a great chance to meet people and say thank you to those on whom my career depends. I’m really looking forward to it.” What will he be talking about in the show? “A large chunk of the show will be about local history. It will have direct relevance to the place we’re in. That’s not difficult to write. Just looking at the list of venues, I

Peter Rabbit (pictured below)

2 Pacific Rim: Uprising 3 Black Panther 4 Tomb Raider

SNOW HITS THE ROAD: History man Dan

5 The Greatest Showman 6 A Wrinkle in Time 7 Unsane 8

Blade Runner: The Final Cut

9 Red Sparrow 10 Game Night


can see I’m going to St Albans. That was an incredible Roman settlement that was destroyed by Boudicca. “I’m also visiting Shrewsbury. That was the site of the Battle of Shrewsbury, where Henry IV defeated a rebel army led by Henry 'Harry Hotspur' Percy. I’m going to Newark, too, which has really unusual fortifications.” Do the public help with research? “Yes they do. I get lots of messages on my Facebook page. There is so much history out there it’s ridiculous and I find the stories that people send me fascinating. “Also, it’s easier to become knowledgeable in an aspect of history. “It’s not like physics where you need a $300 billion particle accelerator in the house to become an expert. “I am really looking forward to interaction with the audiences at my shows.” Does studying history also help us to understand more about the present day?

FAMILY AFFAIR: Dan credits his broadcaster father Peter Snow, above, with inspiring his love of history


“Definitely. It explains so much about today. Why can’t you book a boozy holiday in Somalia? That is down to history. The country’s instability is the result of colonial interference, food scarcity and the interference of America. “If you’re curious about the world today, history can help you understand it.”

Did he inherit his love of history from his family? “Yes. My dad (radio and TV presenter Peter Snow) is fantastic on the heritage side. I inherited that from him. He has relentless energy and was always taking us to different places as children. “Also, my Welsh grandma, Nain, was a huge storyteller. She taught me to give history a human element and to bring it alive. I hope my history is very real and vivid because of her.” Was he introduced to the joys of history at a very young age? “Yes. Every weekend as a child, I was taken to a historical site, a castle, palace or a museum. I got History Stockholm Syndrome as a boy, and now I’m inflicting it on my own children. I don’t bother asking them how they feel about it. “They seem to tolerate it – they don’t know any better! Two weeks ago, I took my two-year-old daughter to HMS Victory. It was just another day in the office for shows.” Can he explain his passion for history? “I love history. It’s everywhere. It’s everything that ever happened to anyone who has ever lived on this planet. “It also means that I’m never bored on a train journey. As you travel, you see names that echo from the past. Every place has a history.” n For tour details go to: ticketline. or call: 0844 888 9991.

Spice it up in capital A TRIBUTE to the Spice Girls is due to open in London this summer at the Business Design Centre in Islington. #SpiceUpLondon – The Spice Girls Exhibition will be showcasing thousands of items of memorabilia alongside hundreds of the Fab Five’s iconic stage costumes, including their famous footwear (pictured above) – some of which have not been publicly displayed since they were first worn by the band in the 1990s. Curator Alan Smith-Allison

said: “#SpiceUpLondon has been a long time in the making, but it has grown beyond even my hopes for it. “The interest in the exhibition has been massive and I can’t wait to show off what we are achieving. The London exhibition looks set to be the biggest music exhibition ever and it continues to grow with new events and exhibits being added every day.” n The exhibition runs from July 28-August 20. For details go to: PHOTO: Thomas-James Fisher

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R'n'R The Big Interview Tokio Myers


PodPeople Top 10

The Birth of the RAF, 1918 Published by Allen Lane

Win history of RAF book

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Wg Cdr Piers Morrell is Principal Director of Music for the Royal Air Force – see our feature on p20. Here’s his iPod Top Ten:


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escribed as a ‘short, brilliant account full of new and surprising material,’ The Birth of the RAF, 1918, is distinguished historian Richard Overy’s latest title, published for the Air Force’s centenary on April 1. The dizzying pace of technological change in the early 20th century meant that only 10 years divided the Wright Brothers’ first flight and the clash of fighter aircraft in World War I. A period of terrible, rapid experiment at huge human cost followed to gain a brief advantage. A team that included carpenters, blacksmiths and sailmakers maintained each squadron and Servicemen’s diaries talked repeatedly of the debilitating cold of the open cockpit. Aircraft vulnerable to the slightest weather changes were loaded with explosives and primitive navigational tools sent aviators off over the water never to be seen again. By the end of WWI Britain had lost 36,000 aircraft and 16,600 airmen. The RAF was a revolutionary

response to this new form of warfare and both the Army and Navy resisted its creation fiercely, claims Overy in the book. He adds that without a number of powerful figures in Whitehall, including Churchill, the RAF’s formation could not easily have happened, explaining that it lit the flame for all the independent air forces that followed and had the most profound impact on the future of global warfare. We have three copies of this fascinating new book (published by Allen Lane) to win. For your chance to own one, simply answer this question correctly: On which date in 1918 was the Royal Air Force formed? Email your answer, marked The Birth of the RAF book competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by April 20.


Rich 3 Buddy Norwegian Wood

Buck Rogers


Fabulous Films/Fremantle Media 4 Radiohead Everything in its Right Place 5 Muse Take A Bow Monk 6 Thelonius Straight, No Chaser Giuseppe Verdi 7 Requiem – Dies Irae & Tuba Mirum Charles 8 Ray One Mint Julep 9 Bartok Bluebeard's Castle Murphy 10 Walter A Fifth of Beethoven

HEADQUARTERS: Wg Cdr Piers Morrell (front right) and his musicians at Northolt


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Don't pass the Buck…


f you’re a sci-fi fan, you’re in for a treat – you can now enjoy all 33 episodes across two seasons of the timeless classic Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, just released fully restored and in high definition. Armchair time travellers can sit back and follow the adventures of lone astronaut Captain William Buck Rogers (Gil Gerard), in his small starship Ranger 3. It’s 1987 and NASA has launched Ranger 3 as the last of America’s deep space probes. In a freak accident Buck and his starship are blown out of their trajectory into an orbit that freezes his life support system and returns him to Earth 500 years later. He is forced to readjust to a new world and its people – they blame his generation for a nuclear holocaust that left the earth a radioactive wasteland. Buck is soon enlisted to help save the Earth from an alien threat, working with Colonel Wilma Deering (Erin Gray) and a robotdroid known as Twiki. They roam space and planets to welcome back the lost and dispossessed. Twiki was mainly played by Felix Silla and voiced by Mel Blanc, famously the voice of legendary cartoon characters Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

We have two copies of the complete series of Buck Rogers In The 25th Century on Blu-ray (rrp £59.99) to win. For your chance to own one, send us the answer to the following question: What was the name of Buck Rogers’ starship? Email your answer, marked Buck Rogers Blu-Ray competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by April 20. Please note, entrants must be over 15.


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Commonwealth honour for charts hit Tokio


here's so much more to Tokio Myers than being the winner of Britain's Got Talent. Since claiming the BGT top prize last summer, his debut album Our Generation entered the UK charts at number four and has now sold more than 100,000 copies. He recently released the single for the official England Commonwealth Games anthem; a reworking of the classic Jerusalem, with vocals by track and field athlete Jazmin Sawyers, a 54-piece orchestra, 10-person choir and Tokio on a multitude of keyboards. He said: "I feel honoured and privileged to be able to put my own spin on such an iconic and powerful track. What a great piece of music, what a great song to get people fired up before they go and compete."

M u l t i - ta l e n t e d pianist, composer and producer Tokio Myers, the Britain’s Got Talent 2017 winner, is now on an almost sold out UK tour. Here’s his iPod Top Ten: 1

2 Ravel Gaspard de la Nuit


e's just started a nationwide tour that's on the way to becoming totally sold out. He said: "It's a massive, massive dream come true." Tokio's unique musical style sees him seamlessly integrate classical and contemporary to produce spectacular sound mash-ups, playing piano and synthesiser. Born and brought up in London, aged 11 he witnessed a highly traumatic event when he saw his headmaster, Philip Lawrence, collapse at his school in Maida Vale, having been stabbed outside the school gates by a gang member. Mr Lawrence later died of his wounds. Young Torville Jones (Tokio's real name) had been practising piano after school and his music teacher, Joe Morgan, tried to shelter him from seeing what had happened. Encouraged by Mr Morgan, he went on to study at the prestigious Royal College of Music. Tokio said: "My musical hero is Rachmaninov. He was probably one of my first classical inspirations and has definitely influenced the way I play today."


efore BGT, Tokio (below) was a session musician, recording and touring with some of the biggest names in music including Amy Winehouse, The Police, Kanye West and Erykah Badu. He said: "These are all people I never thought I would be in the same room with, so to have moments where I could play basketball with Kanye or get warm hugs from Amy every now and then,

Jay-Z/Linkin Park Numb

One Pilots 3 Twenty Heathens 4 MGMT Kids Blake 5 James The Wilhelm Scream 6 Radiohead Daydreaming 7 Woodkid Volcano 8 Sampha Blood On Me GAMES ANTHEM: Tokio with athlete Jazmin Sawyers

that's something I will cherish for the rest of my life. "Being in their presence definitely inspired me to believe in myself and just seeing their work ethic, they work incredibly hard. I get what it takes to be good at what you do. It was an amazing experience." Although well used to playing as part of a band, what's it like now that he's the one taking centre-stage? He said: "Never once did I think I would ever be a solo artist, that was never the dream. At first it was a very daunting experience going out on that stage alone, especially when you're not about to sing, which is something that people connect to more easily. "But now the stage feels like home, I love it."


Photo: Joel Anderson

e cites his father's great love of music as an early influence. He said: "We've got my Dad to blame for all this. He loves music, is always whistling a tune and actually he's got a good whistle, I'm not gonna lie. "He had a big record collection – the biggest I've ever seen to this day. He had a wall full of them and as a kid I just found it fascinating. When he went out I'd sneak into the room and go through his collection. He had everything from reggae to 80s funk." For someone with such a huge talent and well on the way to becoming a superstar, Tokio is refreshingly laid back and modest, almost humble. He revealed it didn't really occur to him that he might be the BGT winner when he first went on the show. He said: "I never thought to win it, I didn't go on the show to get any prizes. I just wanted to go on it and have a laugh

9 Disclosure When a Fire Starts to Burn Winehouse 10 Amy In My Bed

and it got more serious as the series went on." He hopes, one day, to use part of his prize money to set up a music school for disadvantaged children. He explained: "I really think it's important to do that, to give back. I've always wanted to build a couple of schools, one for disadvantaged kids and one for kids who want to do music all day. "I have been very, very fortunate to be guided into what I do now. I want other people to experience that. It's not just my thing, it's for everyone." Interview by Tracey Allen n for tour dates.

NADINE COYLE: Drive to succeed

Only the best voice Aloud on solo tour


he’s the ex-Girls Aloud star always considered band, featuring Cheryl (then Tweedy), Kimberley to have the best voice in the band. Now Nadine Walsh, Nicola Roberts and Sarah Harding won the title Coyle is celebrating the chart success of her new and Sound of the Underground, their debut single, was EP and looking forward to her solo tour, starting next the Christmas number one. month. The girls went on to have 21 top 10 singles – 20 of The Irish beauty is delighted to be collaborating them consecutively. once more with ‘pop alchemist’ Brian Higgins, the After the band took a break in 2009 to concentrate producer and writer who on solo projects, Nadine worked with Girls Aloud in relocated to LA. Last year their chart-smashing heyday. she moved back to the UK She said: “It feels with partner Jason Bell and wonderful working with their four-year-old daughter Brian again. We have such Anaiya (it means ‘she who a good relationship and I’m brings sunshine’) and is now so lucky, I have known him based in London. since I was 17.” It seems little Anaiya has Nadine’s delighted that the inherited her mum’s talent. four-track EP made number Nadine said: “She loves to three in the charts and said sing and act, everything is a she can’t wait to get out on performance with her. She’s the road. so much like I was at that age. As well as new songs she’s She’s also very laid back and written with Brian, she’ll be takes things in her stride.” including Girls Aloud hits in n top of her busy her show, that’s been hailed as music career, Nadine is ‘the ultimate party night’. considering branching out She said: “They are far too into acting. She revealed that good to ignore – like Sound she’s been in talks to appear of the Underground. I can’t in the hit new Channel Four believe that was 15 years ago, comedy Derry Girls, set, of that song hasn’t aged a day.” SOFA SO GOOD: Nadine Coyle's solo career is going well course, in her home town. The tour kicks off in She said: “I went to the same school as the writer, Glasgow on May 10, goes to Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, London and Dublin and finishes in Belfast on Lisa McGee, so a lot of things in the series are based on our joint experience.” May 20. And she hasn’t ruled out a Girls Aloud reunion one ailing from Derry in Northern Ireland, Nadine day. The band reunited briefly for a 10th anniversary tour in 2011 and finally split in 2013. said the Belfast concert will be ‘very special’. Nadine said: “I would definitely never say never. It She added: “I love going back to Ireland. My cousins will be coming to the show and we’ll have a party was such a great time in my life, I loved it so much and we have this legacy of wonderful songs. I have so much afterwards.” She’s certainly come a long way from the days of going on this year, but I would always be open to the Popstars: The Rivals back in 2002 when the five-girl possibility.” Interview by Tracey Allen



Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page. Send small jpg files (less than 1MB) to


In Memoriam

Gilbert David passed away peacefully on March 11, aged 77. His RAF number was 683504JTGILBERT. Service was held at Crewe Crematorium, Cheshire, on March 29. Donations to St Lukes Hospice, Winsford.

Dixon John Birkett ex WO Mess Manager, taken April 13, 2002. Another year has passed without you. Still never more than a thought away. Loved and remembered every day. Devoted wife Margaret and all your loving family.

Slater Barrie Air Frame Technician, Chief Technician, passed away peacefully on March 20 at home, aged 83. His sons David and Stephen, daughter Carol and wife Joyce will miss him greatly. He served at Changi, Malaya, Singapore Leeming, Dishforth Cyprus St Athan, Gutersloh, Brawdy, Coltishall and MOD. His funeral will be held at St Faith Crematorium Norwich on Wednesday, April 11 at 12.20. He will be sadly missed by all family and friends. Struthers Lynn, Flight Sergeant. ALM. Passed away suddenly March 19, aged 58. 10 Sqn Brize, 60 Sqn Wildenrath. Sister of Ian. Adventurous traveller, always fun, true friend, very sadly missed.


Looking for John Kenneth Kitching (above, left) ex 50th entry Boy Entrants. Best Man for Fred Watson December 14, 1968 Newcastle-on-Tyne. Email: hazelfarm@yahoo. Seeking Richard, Pete and George from Billet 77, RAF Fayed, Canal Zone 1954/1955. Remember

the good old days in the Education Dept? Many years gone by but memories have not faded. How are you all? Contact Brian on: 07980 189726 or email:

threats or attacks on RAF stations or personnel during 'The Troubles'? Please contact Father Keith Sawyer, 29 Field Gate Road, Luton LU4 9TA, call: 07773 591554.

Seeking Milton Clement Henry aka Milton Clement Robinson, a retired Sergeant who was stationed at RAF Gütersloh, Germany, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. We’re seeking him with regards to the estate of his aunt, Violet Guishard Hallpike. He is roughly 75 years old, retired from the RAF, and would likely be residing in England or Germany. We kindly ask anyone who has any information to call Anton Young, toll free, at: 1-800663-2255 ex. 6704.

Seeking whereabouts of John Bellsmith, Halton Apprentice 209th Entry. Later worked at Stansted. Location urgently required on behalf of sister Flt Off Bellsmith PMRAFNS. Any info please contact Mike Plimmer: 01403 275176.

Seeking RAF Boy Entrants of the 43rd Entry RAF Saint Athan from 1961-62. Contact: don43rdentrysaints@yahoo. com or via our website: 43rdentr yrafstathan. Does anyone have details of Irish Republican Army

How to use our service There is no charge for conventionally-worded birth, engagement, marriage, anniversary, death, in memoriam seeking and reunion notices. For commercial small ads contact Ten Alps: 020 7878 2319. Help us to avoid errors by typing your announcement or using block capitals. We cannot, under any circumstances, take announcements over the telephone. They can be sent by post to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe, Naphill, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UE or by email to:

Important Notice The publishers of RAF News cannot accept responsibility for the quality, safe delivery or operation of any products advertised or mentioned in this publication. Reasonable precautions are taken before advertisements are accepted but such acceptance does not imply any form of approval or recommendation. Advertisements (or other inserted material) are accepted subject to the approval of the publishers and their current terms and conditions. The publishers will accept an advertisement or other inserted material only on the condition that the advertiser warrants that such advertisement does not in any way contravene the provisions of the Trade Descriptions Act. All copy is subject to the approval of the publishers, who reserve the right to refuse, amend, withdraw or otherwise deal with advertisements submitted to them at their absolute discretion and without explanation. All advertisements must comply with the British Code of Advertising Practice. Mail order advertisers are required to state in advertisements their true surname or full company name, together with an address from which the business is managed.

Use the coupon for RAF News announcements Name........................................................................................................................................................... Address....................................................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................................................................... Please send to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UE.

Seeking Richard, Pete and George from Billet 77, RAF Fayed, Canal Zone 1954/1955. Remember the good old days in the Education Dept? Many years gone by but memories have not faded. How are you all? Please contact Brian on: 07980 189726 or email: 43rd Entry B/E's (Carpenters) St Athan 1961/2. There were only eight of us, found one, looking for the other six: D Beales, R Davies, (?) Fisher, (S?) Marks, D Shaw, (R?) Sims. Please contact John Phillips: 01380 871956; or you can email: john. RAF Administrative Apprentice Association. Seeking all Administrative Apprentices who trained at RAF St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton, Ruislip or Hereford. For details of YOUR association please visit the website: www.

Reunions RAF100 celebrations: The combined Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) organisation, in Westonsuper-Mare, are organising an RAF Locking reunion 'Token Fair' to be held on the Beach Lawns in front of the RAFA Home, Flowerdown House (BS23 1BH), on April 14 from 10am to 5pm. The RAFA Band will be giving a free concert. There will be a beer tent, food, rides and a bouncy castle. The Mayor has accepted an invitation. The entrance fee is 50p, in aid of the Wings Appeal. Contact Iain Norris on: 07788185389. Coltishall Old Boys will hold a Norfolk RAF mardle in Aylsham Town Hall, NR11 6EL on Saturday, April 21, from 10am to 4pm to celebrate the RAF's 100 years. Gulf War Display memorabilia, pictures and

Artist's tribute to RAF

ON SHOW: Spitfire and Hurricane Ad Astra by David Bent

LEADING MODERN aviation artist David Bent’s tribute to the RAF as it celebrates its centenary can now be seen at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. Tribute 100 is a new collection of work – the artist’s personal response and tribute to the legacy and ongoing contribution of the Royal Air Force. The free exhibition is at the Arboretum’s Remembrance Centre until June 30. Bent said: “The RAF’s attitude has always been progressive and cutting edge. From the earliest days, a century of hard work, imagination, skill

and courage has taken the Air Force to the extremes of modernity and 3D space. This has provided the inspiration for my new collection of work.” Sarah Oakden, the NMA’s head of marketing said: “This selection of vivid images from David Bent is a brilliant cultural addition and an important component of our programme marking the centenary of the formation of the Royal Air Force. “We will have a wide range of RAF100 events and activities taking place at the NMA between April and July.” n Go to: uk for more details.

book sale. Paper plane making for future pilots and engineers. Refreshments and cakes. Free entry.

416369; email Dom Owen: uk. Members are requested to complete and return application forms ASAP.

206 Squadron Association Annual Reunion April 2022 near Faringdon, Oxon. All past members of 206 Squadron and partners welcome. Programme includes visit to 206 Squadron at Brize Norton. Full details from: derek. or call: 01285 869437. ROYAL Air Force Catering Warrant Officers and Seniors Association (RAFCWO&SA). This year’s Annual General Meeting of the RAFCWO&SA will take place at RAF Wittering on April 26 and 27. Details and application forms can be obtained from either FS John Roberts, call: 01780 417282; email John Roberts: john. or FS Dom Owen, call: 01780

No 4 Squadron 309 entry RAF Hereford Annual Reunion will be held on April 26-28. This is a special reunion with a visit to a Lincolnshire RAF base. A formal dinner will be arranged on Friday 27th. For further information please email: robert.willis@ or: dave. or call: 07982 07982 190504. Please book early for this event, all ex Apprentices are welcome. RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF). The 22nd Annual Reunion and AGM will be on May 4-7 at the Novotel Hotel Nottingham NG10 4EP (off M1 Jnc. 25). Membership is open to all ranks and civilian

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements You can email photos for announcements on this page. Send small jpg files (less than 1MB) to personnel who served there during 1946-72. Contact our Membership Secretary: Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562 or email: or visit: for more details. THE 90th anniversary of No 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron will be celebrated by 504 Association, with a lunch at the ex RAF Hucknall, site where we were born (now Rolls-Royce) on Saturday, May 5. If interested with partners please email: RAF Regiment Association Somerset/Dorset Branch Social May 18-21. Warners, Cricket St Thomas, Somerset. Join the Social Club. Please contact Alec Hunt, Coordinator, on: 01793 704629 for details. 45TH Entry C Flt 3 Sqn Suppliers reunion July 13 and 14 at Three Counties Hotel, Hereford. Anyone interested please call Dave Bell in Hull on: 01482 377625. 313 Entry RAF Hereford Supplier General. 50 years

since we were at Hereford. Is anybody interested in a reunion? Please email David Johnson: DCJ440.313@ CSDE F4J(UK) Project reunion. Interested? Please contact Ted Stickley: 01271 377159 or: 07889 680041 for more information.

RAF 100 events RAF Woodvale is running a competition to design a new RAF Woodvale badge, to mark the RAF's centenary this year. The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and under and will run until April 30. The badge will be submitted for Royal approval and the winner will have their design professionally turned into the new station badge. The lucky winner will receive a framed copy of their design and will also be given the chance to be Station Commander for the day. Please see the RAF Woodvale website: raf. for full competition details. lestationbadgecompetition. cfm).


ITH military personnel located worldwide it is becoming increasingly important that training methods are developed in order to allow study to take place around pre-existing shift-patterns and responsibilities. At Resource Group, we strive to provide accessible solutions for everyone. With this in mind, we have developed a range of B1/B2 licence distance learning packages aimed exclusively for serving military personnel. Our distance learning option gives you the opportunity to train for EASA Part-66 B1.1, B1.3 or B.2 licenses, within your own time-frame and at any location. If you have already obtained a full license, it is also possible to use distance learning to extend to another license. Once you have booked a distance learning module, you will receive PDF course notes via an online student portal. Instructor support is available whilst you study, as well as access to supplementary example questions and revision sessions. These sessions are available prior to scheduled examinations, and are conducted at Cotswold Airport in Cirencester for four or more students per module. Once you feel ready to sit an exam for a particular module, you will be able to book onto an open exam session (with exams running 1st and 3rd Friday of each month). EASA Part-66 Category B (mechanical) licenses are made up of ten core modules, which are Maths, Physics, Electrical

STOW Maries Great War Aerodrome will host a programme of talks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; starting next month and continuing to May 2019 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to commemorate 100 years of the RAF. Each monthly talk will focus on different aspects of World War 1 and will be presented by Eric Simonelli, from Stow Mariesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; curatorial team. The talks take place on the last Sunday of every month at 2pm and will be held in the newly refreshed â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Dope Workshopâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. It was in this building that war-torn aircraft were repaired with the thin Irish Linen and â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Dopeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; treatment, before being wheeled out, back into the war. The first talk on April 29, will be interactive, giving advice on how to expand your research into aviation relatives during both World Wars. It will cover taking research further than Service records; how to find squadron diaries and looking further into the history of the air services. Those interested in attending are advised to bring along any information they may have as there will be time for research to be

Civilian aircraft maintenance licence training ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Fundamentals and Electronic Fundamentals, Digital techniques, Materials and Hardware, Maintenance Practices, Aerodynamics, Human Factors and Aviation Legislation. There are then further specific modules relevant to the different licenses available to study. Our EASA Part-66 Military Distance Learning programme is ELCAS approved, you will need to visit your Learning Centre in order to submit a claim for your Enhanced Learning Credits. You can then send a booking form to us to reserve spaces on your chosen modules whilst you are awaiting your Claim Authorisation Note (CAN), a copy of which we will also need. Resource Group has trained thousands of individuals from some of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading airlines and maintenance organisations over the last 14 years, and is renowned in the aviation industry for providing high quality and cost effective aircraft maintenance training solutions. To find out more about our EASA Part-66 Distance Learning please visit

carried out. On May 27 the subject is The First Daylight Gotha Bomber Raids and on June 24 Medical Services of the Air Forces in the Great War. Talks cost ÂŁ12 per person and include full access to the site plus a tour. Refreshments will be available in the Airmenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mess but not included in the entry price. There is no need to pre-book, just turn up to attend. For more information visit A concert at Lincoln Catherdral on May 24, featuring The Band of the RAF College under the direction of Principal Director of Music Wg Cdr Piers Morrell and Director of Music Sqn Ldr Richard Murray, will mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF. Organised and funded by the RAF Musical Charitable Trust the concert will be introduced by the Trust's President ACM Sir Michael Graydon and compered by TV personality and Air Cadets ambassador, Honorary Gp Capt Carol Vorderman. The event will raise funds for the Trust and other Service charities.

A THANKSGIVING church service to commemorate the centenary of the Royal Air Force will be held at St Petroc's Parish church, Priory Road, Bodmin, Cornwall PL31 2DT, (pictured above) on Sunday, April 8, starting at 10am. All are welcome to attend. Tickets, priced ÂŁ15-ÂŁ35, are available from Lincoln Cathedral Shop with a 15 per cent discount for all RAF Personnel, Air Cadets and Defence Discount Service cardholders on production of a valid membership or HM Forces ID card or go to the website: lincolncathedral. com

RAF Changi Assoc RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF). We are looking for new members, all ranks and civilian personnel who served 194672. Contact Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562; email:


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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 224

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the six letters in yellow squares to find an RAF word.

7. I leave famous actor in famous musical (6) 8. Jet illusion (6) 10. Iron Scotsman influenced by radio pioneer (7) 11. Lodging found in Idaho telephone directory (5) 12. Badgers tired horses (4) 13. Cinders shall go to this testing series (5) 17. When big shot meets Queen, he’s treacherous (5) 18. Thompson’s favourite Austen novel? (4) 22. Furious that cover embraces four…or six (5) 23. The Spanish dream about Beryl (7) 24. 100 leave the month mother returns to station (6) 25. Chopper takes Frenchman to stricken liner (6)

Fill in all the squares in the grid so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.


Name.................................................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................. RAF word........................................................................ Crossword No. 224

No. 233 An incorrect grid for Su Doku No.233 was printed in error in RAF News No 1439. The Su Doku No 233 grid right, is the correct version.


1. See 4 Down 2. Blowing one’s top from a great height (3,4) 3. One of two Spice Girls has returned no fruit (5) 4. And 1 Down. It served throughout WWII (7,7) 5. No more a staple of Italian cooking (5) 6. Terrorist group goes round instrument (5) 9. Maybe I seek rear of surveillance aircraft (9) 14. Type of strike employed by this helicopter? (7) 15. Pleasant walk round central Siam (7) 16. Doing this on a carrier involves great expertise (7) 19. Secure shellfish on Pier Head (5) 20. Floating voter is conspicuous (5) 21. Drive back social outcast moving north to south (5)

Prize Su Doku

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Prize Crossword' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE to arrive by April 20, 2018.

The winner of Crossword No. 221 is David Masters from Sheffield who wins a copy of A Spitfire Pilot's Story by Dennis Newton (

Solution to crossword No. 221: Across – 1. Rhea 8. Succulents 9. Choppers 10. Lend 12. Closet 14. Thieve 15. Aghast 17. Dredge 18. Stop 19. Take Note 21. Unromantic 22. Ease. Down – 2. High Flight 3. ASAP 4. Accent 5. Sunset 6. Hellfire 7. Used 11. Navigators 13. Scampton 16. Titian 17. Dakota 18. Slug 20. Nice. RAF aircraft – Mustang

Name.................................................................... .............................................................................. Address................................................................ .............................................................................. .................................................Su Doku No. 233

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by April 20, 2018. Su Doku No. 232 winner Bill Cornell from Saffron Walden wins a copy of The Royal Air Force A Centenary of Operations by Michael Napier.


Solution to Su Doku No: 232


Win special commemorative covers

RAF puts its stamp on history T

O CELEBRATE the centenary of the RAF the BFPS, the British Forces Philatelic Service, has produced a commemorative cover, released on April 1 – 100 years to the day the Royal Air Force was formed in 1918. This superb-looking cover (right) bears the images of the four founding fathers of the RAF – Lord Hugh Trenchard, Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, Air Vice-Marshal Sir Charles Longcroft and Sir Winston Churchill. It also bears the BFPS 3214 special handstamp featuring the RAF logo, used to cancel one of the Royal Mail’s specially issued first class RAF centenary stamps. Three versions of the commemorative cover have been issued: n a standard, unsigned version bearing a Hurricane Mk stamp (priced £6); n a limited edition version with a Lightning F6 stamp signed by the current Chief of the Air Staff, Air

Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hiller (priced £12); n a limited edition with a Lightning F6 stamp signed by DFC winner Flt Lt David Morgan, who served in the Falklands Conflict and remains the last RAF pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft (priced £18). If you buy the signed covers you will also receive a complimentary copy of the RAF centenary edition of the British Philatelic Bulletin that includes an interview with David Morgan about his experience during the Falklands Conflict, said a BFPS spokesman. These covers come with a double insert, featuring the history of the RAF on one and the story of Sir David Henderson, dubbed ‘the forgotten founding father’ of the RAF on the other. We have two unsigned commemorative covers to win. All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning one is send us the correct answer to the following question: Name the Field Marshal who

was one of the four founding fathers of the RAF Email your answer, marked Commemorative Covers competition, to: competitions@ or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High

Wycombe, to arrive by April 20. n Each of these three special covers can be ordered from the BFPS online shop: www.bfps, shop. Covers can also be ordered by post by sending a cheque (payable

to BFPS CIC) to: BFPS, The Old Post Office, Links Place, Elie, Leven KY9 1AX. BFPS fundraises for Service charities through philately and is a not-for-profit organisation run by a small team of volunteers, who are all veterans.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P20



get new look for RAF100

FINE tuned

hitting the right note: Bass trombonist Cpl Adam Smith models the new uniform

Tracey Allen


AF musicians will be at the forefront of celebrations for the Royal Air Force centenary this year – and to mark the landmark anniversary they will be sporting a brand new look. The updated ceremonial dress has been four years in the planning and acknowledges the Service’s history within its design. Principal Director of Music Wg Cdr Piers Morrell (right) said: “We wanted it to commemorate our past, celebrate our history and look to the future. “We have reintroduced some elements from past uniforms and added two new features. I’m very pleased with it, it looks fantastic and will create a really strong sense of identity.” Band members debuted the new look at a special service to commemorate the RAF’s 100th anniversary on April 1, at the Royal Air Force Church, St Clement Danes, in London. The public had their first chance to see it a few days later when musicians were on official duty for a graduation ceremony at Halton. The updated uniform features the cuff embellishment from the 1923 uniform and jacket embellishments from 1946. The gold-trimmed blue belt and buckle is reinstated from 1946 with the buckle from 1923, the aiguillettes have gone and the three-rope corded plait shoulder knots reinstated from the 1958 uniform. The trousers revert back from a double to a single stripe in gold, and the tunic has a revised dark

blue collar insert with gold trim that matches the jacket’s rear panel and cuff design. All RAFMS regular and reserve personnel now wear the same shoulder flashes that feature ‘RAF Music’ to clearly show the music service they represent. The headdress remains the same – the Ceremonial Cap, issued in 2011 prior to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton when the busby was retired – reflecting the original headdress worn by RAF Music Services personnel when it was formed in 1918. Each musician has had their new ceremonial dress made especially for them by specialist uniform tailors Turner Virr.


ass trombone player Cpl Adam Smith, from the RAF Regiment Band, said: “Having bespoke fittings means every musician’s uniform is going to work for him or her. It’s something they will live with for many years, so you need to make sure it’s right. “As a trombone player I need a decent amount of space across the back as I raise my arms to play and I also need extra sleeve length. “The old uniforms had been around for a long time and having everyone wearing a fresh new design for our centenary year with so many big events coming up is going to be great. “The big one for me will be playing at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 people marking RAF100 for the FA Cup final. It’s going to be a huge event and what better opportunity will there be

proud: RAF Musicians show off their bespoke uniforms at RAF Northolt PHOTOS: SAC BEN TRITTA

to show so many people what we look like and how we sound? The atmosphere’s going to be electric.”

I really like the bling on our new uniform. What we had before worked fine but it was a bit drab in comparison to what we have now


hf Tech Hannah I’Anson, who plays bassoon, violin and piano for the RAF Regiment Band, said: “I really like the bling on our new uniform. What we had before worked fine but it was a bit drab in comparison to what we have now. “I’m very excited about taking part in the RAF100 parade down the Mall on July 10 – we should stand out a bit more than we used to.” She added: “The new uniform is more fitted around the waist so you have to make sure you maintain

your weight a bit more carefully, but it’s a good incentive.”


AF Music Services has commissioned a new work to mark the centenary, Into The Skies, by Philip W Lawrence. Wg Cdr Morrell said: “Into The Skies represents not only the development of flight but also the history of the Royal Air Force during its first centenary and also looks to the future. “The RAF100 Committee have also commissioned a new work, as yet untitled, by Roderick Williams. This composition, modular in structure, will provide a musical legacy for the future.”

An abridged version of Into The Skies was performed for the first time at the Royal Air Force Centenary Gala at the Royal Albert Hall on March 31. The full version will be performed at concerts at Lincoln Cathedral on May 24 and at the Barbican in London on June 11, when Williams’ new work can also be heard.

bling-lover: Chf Tech Lisa l’Anson

n Go to: RoyalAirForceMusic for more details. n See RnR p4 for Wg Cdr Morrell’s iPod Top Ten.

Remembering the well-sized aviation watches of yesteryear, the bold new C8 P2725 Automatic is most recognisable for a dial inspired by the cockpit dashboard of the Hawker Hurricane. Featuring a layout characterised by an inner hour ring and alternating SuperLuminovaâ&#x201E;˘ numerals, the C8 will offer superb legibility throughout any night-time operation youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re deployed upon.

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P22


Lancaster pilot who flew jamming sorties


LIGHT LIEUTENANT George Harris, who has died aged 95, joined the RAF from school and did his initial training as a pilot in the USA before gaining his ‘wings’ at the RAF College Cranwell in September 1943. On the last sortie of his conversion course to be a bomber pilot, one of the two engines of his Wellington failed shortly after take off. He managed to make a semicontrolled crash landing into the trees of Sherwood Forest. The crew escaped but Harris was badly injured. Two months later he returned to complete his bomber training and on his last sortie dropped propaganda leaflets over France. On the return flight the Wellington strayed over Portsmouth and was damaged by ‘friendly fire’. He joined 101 Squadron in June 1944 to fly Lancasters from Ludford Magna near Lincoln. The squadron was part of Bomber Command’s main force but its aircraft were also equipped with special electronic equipment known as Airborne Cigar (ABC), which jammed enemy radio frequencies. To operate the equipment a German-speaking operator flew with each crew. It was his job to transmit different orders to enemy radar controllers and fighter pilots to cause confusion. When transmitting the Lancaster was easily tracked and attacked, resulting in the squadron having

radio pioneer: Flt Lt Harris (fourth from right ), pictured with his crew during WWII .

the highest casualty rate of any RAF squadron. Harris joined 101 Squadron at the time when Bomber Command was attacking targets in France in support of the Allied landings in Normandy. He bombed enemy lines of communication, storage areas

and fuel dumps before taking part on the attack on Gelsinkirchen, the first target in the ‘oil campaign’. After bombing the V-1 flying bomb sites in the Pas de Calais, Harris attacked more oil installations in Germany. He flew to Kiel on July 23, the first major raid on Germany

Chile’s first female aviator who later flew with the ATA


ARGOT DUHALDE, who has died aged 97, was Chile’s first female pilot. A country girl of French Basque ancestry she was born in Rio Bueno, 500 miles south of Santiago. She started flying lessons at the Aeroclub de Chile in Santiago when she was 16 and gained her licence two years later in the summer of 1938. She had family connections in France and when General de Gaulle issued his call to the Free French in June 1940 she immediately presented herself at the French consulate in Santiago to offer her services. With 13 other volunteers she sailed from Buenos Aires for Liverpool having told her parents a white lie that she was heading for Canada to be a flying instructor. She arrived in April 1941 to be told that the French forces did not require female pilots and she was assigned to domestic work. On discovering the ATA was recruiting foreign pilots, she applied and was accepted on September 1, 1941, despite her limited knowledge

of the English language. Initially, she worked with the engineers in the hangar until her knowledge of the language had improved to a stage where she was able to pass the pilot’s technical course. ‘Chili’, as she came to be called, flew from the women’s pilot pool at Hamble and remained with the ATA until the end of November 1945, by which time she had become a First Officer. She was a Class 4 pilot allowing her to fly all but the heavy fourengine bombers. She flew almost 70 types of aircraft including Spitfires and Typhoons in addition to twin-engine aircraft including the Wellington bomber, Beaufighter and Mosquito. In the latter stages of the war she delivered aircraft to RAF squadrons in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. During 1946 she served in the French Air Force as a transport pilot flying from Meknes in Morocco where she became France’s first female combat pilot. She later completed a tour of South America demonstrating French aircraft. Before returning to Chile in

1947 she was appointed a Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion d’Honneur and President Chirac advanced her to Commander in 2006. On her return to Chile she discovered that the national airline did not accept female pilots so she flew private aircraft before flying twin-engine passenger aircraft with a local Chilean airline. Later, she started her own flying school and was an instructor before becoming the first female air traffic controller serving with the Chilean Air Force. She finally retired when she was 81 years old and two years later made her last flight as a pilot. The role of the ATA pilots was largely overlooked until 2008 when the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, approved the award of an ATA Veteran’s Badge. At a ceremony in Santiago at the British Embassy on February 25, 2009, the British Ambassador, Howard Drake, presented her with the badge to add to her French and Chilean honours. After receiving the award, an excited Margot said: “For my age I think this will be my last decoration”.

for two months, when the jamming of enemy communications was particularly successful. By the middle of August, Bomber Command’s main effort returned to attacks against German industrial towns and ports when Harris twice attacked Stettin. There were still occasions when targets had to be attacked to support

the Allied armies as they advanced into the Low Countries and these included the French port of Le Havre where German forces were holding out and preventing the port being used to re-supply the Allied ground forces. 101 Squadron’s Lancaster crews continued with their radio jamming operations and their losses mounted. After flying 20 operations, Harris was offered a transfer to the Pathfinder Force but the crew did not want to lose their special operator and they chose to remain together on 101 Squadron when he was made a flight commander. Shortly after, Lewis had to make an emergency landing with a full bomb load when an engine caught fire. Over Stuttgart in October, his Lancaster was ‘coned’ by searchlights. He dived to escape but not before losing 15,000 feet and exceeding the maximum speed of a fully laden Lancaster in a dive. After attacking more German cities, the Harris crew flew to Cologne on October 28. It was their thirtieth and final operation. A few days later, Harris celebrated his twenty-second birthday. He was awarded the DFC. He spent the last months of the war as a bombing instructor and left the RAF in early 1946 as a Flight Lieutenant. In later life he always claimed that he and his colleagues had been a lucky crew but they mourned the loss of so many companions.

aTA GIRL: Margot Duhalde

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P23 n Please note letters must be a maximum of 300 words and any accompanying pictures sent as attached, hi-res jpeg files

Post: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE Email:

Gnat creamie putting us all in the picture I’m the first on the left in your ‘Farewell Gnat Flypast’ picture – taken in November, 1978 – from the centre spread of RAF News No 1438. In the picture, from left to right, are: Jonathan Baynton (self), Roger North, ???, Mike Keane, Boz Robinson, Paul Robinson, Doug MacGregor, ???, Gee Gray, Greg Tyrell, Paddy Mullen and Roger Moore. We were the QFIs on 1 Sqn 4 FTS plus the Station Commander, CI and standards. 2 Sqn had converted

Bentwaters call Vampire. I would like to find out if anyone is currently maintaining an association for these squadrons and who might be a source of information for our archives. We have some info, but there is much more to do to ensure a full history at Bentwaters is recorded. It would be greatly appreciated if any of your readers who know of anyone connected to the squadrons during this era or has information to share contacted me at the museum. Please email: simon.gladas@ or write to: Simon Gladas, Building 134, Bentwaters Parks, Rendlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 2TW. Thank you.

Chance to win bottle of spirits The writer of our star letter or email of the month wins their choice of either a bottle of Spitfire Heritage Gin or Supermarine Vodka ‘built to be the best’ from www. spitfireheritagegin. com. Spitfire Heritage Distillers has followed the successful launch of its single-estate, small-batch botanical gin with artisan vodka. Also created by the world

Star letter

to the Hawk. I was the last Gnat ‘creamie’ and managed one sortie as an A2 before the Gnat went out of service and I was posted to the Harrier. I spent 10 years flying the Harrier, ending up as OC Harrier GR5 Conversion Team. I left the RAF in 1990, joined BA and retired last week after a 28-year airline career in which I finished as a Training Captain, flying the Boeing 787 from its introduction into service. Jonathan Baynton, via email HISTORY: Mustang MkIII KH482 that was flown from Bentwaters by 126 Sqn commander Sqn Ldr John Garden DFC, who was lost when the aircraft was shot down by flak over Holland, Feb 10, 1945

I am a volunteer at the Bentwaters Cold War Museum and am keen to know more of the RAF squadrons that were based there between 1944 and 1949, especially as some are celebrating their 100th anniversary. We passed an important date in the history of 118 on January 1 and there are a few more centenaries coming up for 126, 129, 165, 234 and 245 – we’ve already missed 64 and 65, which were last year. The connection with these squadrons is that they all flew Spitfires and Mustangs from RAF Bentwaters 1944/45. I’m also interested in 226 OCU which operated post-war with Tempest, Hornet, Meteor and


award-winning master distiller John Walters, in Cambridgeshire, Supermarine Vodka, named after the company that created the iconic World War II Spitfire aircraft, has a smooth, creamy finish with a slight vanilla hint. It is 54 per cent proof and is so smooth it can be enjoyed neat. Spitfire Heritage Distillers support the Spitfire Heritage Trust.

Rule (RAF) Britannia In RAF News No 1438 you asked – did you serve in the RAF in the 1970s? The answer to that was ‘yes’, though I did not recognise myself in any of the photographs in your feature. The Britannia was an aircraft current at that time, not mentioned in your article – as a crew member I was operational from 1968 to 1975. It was an aircraft often the least mentioned in editorials publicising the RAF’s history. XM496 Regulus, the sole fully complete ex RAF Britannia in the world, resides at the Cotswold airport at Kemble. It is maintained by the Bristol Britannia XM496 Preservation Society. Recognition for the Britannia is something I have tried to rectify by donating copies of my autobiographical accounts to the RAF Museum Hendon, the Imperial War Museum London and the Royal United Services Institute Library of military history – a unique collection of national

BRITTANIA: C1 of 99 Squadron, based at RAF Lyneham, June 1959

historical and cultural importance. My book, Bull, Bombs and Britannias – My Careers in the Royal Air Force 1961 to 1975 covers route flying and operations in Britannias in addition to my earlier tales as an armourer on bomb disposal in Germany, at one point held at gunpoint by East Berlin’s police, while later in 1966 I became a prisoner of General Franco. Richard Ling Via email

Dakota irreplaceable In RAF News No 1438 you asked readers for their memories of RAF service in the 1970s. I remember this decade well as, in 1973, I retired after 31 years service. In 1970 I was coming to the end of my five-year tour as an ASC with the Vulcan and was then posted to join 84 Sqn in the Gulf who, at the time, were equipped with the Andover. I ended my time there by flying home to Thorney Island with one of the squadron’s aircraft. It was also a sad tour as soon after the Andover was disposed of, as was the Dakota. The latter of these played a big part in my early years in India and then in Singapore, where the Comms Sqn I was on started to receive replacement for the Dakota in the shape of the Valetta. We found ourselves always

Chance to revisit the battlefields from WWII It’s The Royal British Legion’s belief that every World War II veteran should have the chance to revisit the battlefield on which they served. Thanks to new LIBOR funding from HM Treasury, we are now able to offer a fully-funded trip to anyone who served in our Armed Forces during WWII. The trips will take place between spring and autumn this year and a family member and a carer will also be able to go and share this pilgrimage of Remembrance with them. Organised by Remembrance Travel, part of The Royal British Legion, the trip will give the WWII veterans – now mostly in their 90s – a chance to meet up with fellow ex-Servicemen and women, and pay their respects to the fallen. Veterans who may be interested in this opportunity need to apply through our tour operator, Arena Travel, on: 01473 660800, or visit: journeysofremembrance. Charles Byrne Director General Royal British Legion London SE1 1AA

Untimely end dakota: Sadly missed by many

having to have a standby Dakota because of the unreliability of the Valetta in these early years. Personally, I don’t think an aircraft like the Dakota can ever be replaced. After the Gulf I ended my career back on ASC duties, this time with the Nimrod at RAF St Mawgan. R.G. Lear Neston, Cheshire

I wish to point out a mistake in the WWII Timeline in RAF News No 1439. Under 24/25 January 1944 it says that 50 personnel who took part in The Great Escape were murdered. This cannot be, as the escape didn’t take place until March 24, 1944. Surely they didn’t shoot them before they escaped. Paul Scarbro, via email Editor’s reply: The executions took place in March and April 1944. We are happy to correct this error.

Are you confused about terminal benefits? YOU may be considering the prospect of Civvy Street and getting confused about terminal benefits. With the majority of Service personnel having been transferred to AFPS 15 with protected rights in their ‘old’ scheme, this confusion is understandable. Sometimes an ill-timed departure decision can result in a valuable benefit being narrowly missed out on. In this short article Mary Petley (pictured) of the Forces Pension Society sets out the basics on what is payable when. Looking at former AFPS 75 members first: Officers’ reckonable service (RS) counts from age 21 and, to qualify for an Immediate Pension (IP) they need 16 years RS. If they leave before IP but having given 9 or more years RS, they qualify for a Resettlement Grant (RG). For Officers with protected AFPS 75 rights the RG is a tax free lump sum of over £15.5K. For Other Ranks (ORs) RS counts from age 18 and, to qualify for IP they need 22 years RS. If they leave before IP but having given 12 or more years RS, they qualify for an RG. For ORs with protected AFPS 75 rights the RG is a tax free lump sum of over £10.5K. Those who leave before IP receive a Preserved Pension (PP) payable at age 60 for benefits earned up to and including 5 April 2006 and age 65 for benefits earned after that date. The part of the pension payable at age 65 may be claimed at age 60 – but at a reduced rate (this is called an actuarial reduction).

AFPS 15 benefits comprise: A Deferred Pension (DP) payable at state pension age for personnel leaving before age 60 plus Early Departure Payments (EDP) for those who give at least 20 years’ service and are at least age 40 on discharge (the 20/40 Point). EDP benefits comprise a tax-free lump sum of 2.25 times the AFPS 15 pension and an annual income of at least 34% of the AFPS 15 pension payable until state pension age. The DP may be claimed as early as age 55 with actuarial reductions. The table below illustrates what I have said: Leaving point




Officers Before 9 years’ service X from age 21 Before IP with 9 or more years RS X


After IP but before 20/40 Point






At or after 20/40 point but before age 60 ORs Before 12 years’ service from age 18



Before 20/40 Point with 12 or more years RS



At/after 20/40 Point but before IP



At/after IP but before age 60*







*If you leave before age 60 but at or after age 55, you can take your DP early with actuarial reductions without affecting your EDP payments – they will continue to your state pension age despite the early payment of the DP.

Turning now to former AFPS 05 members: AFPS 05 awards a PP, payable at age 65, to those leaving before age 55 plus EDP benefits for those who give at least 18 years’ service and are at least age 40 on

discharge (the 18/40 Point) – EDP benefits comprise a one-off tax free lump sum worth three times the AFPS 05 pension and an annual income of at least 50% of the AFPS 05 pension, payable until age 65. The PP may be claimed as early as age 55 with actuarial reductions. Those leaving before the 18/40 Point with more than 12 years’ service qualify for an AFPS 05 RG. The AFPS 05 RG is a tax free lump sum of about £11K. Combining this information about AFPS 05 benefits with the AFPS 15 information above, the table below illustrates when these benefits are payable: Leaving point PP


Before 18/40 Point with less than 12 years’ service Before 18/40 Point with 12 or more years’ service At or after the 18/40 Point but before the 20/40 Point At or after the 20/40 Point At or after age 55 but before age 60














Pension AFPS 05





*If you leave before age 60 but at or after age 55, you can take your AFPS 15 DP early with actuarial reductions without affecting any of your EDP payments –AFPS 15 EDP income will continue to your state pension age despite these early payments of pension. If you are Member of the Forces Pension Society and have pension-related questions, contact us at If you are not a Member but would like to know more about us, visit


Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P25



Memorial to Spitfire pilot in hit film Dunkirk

Pictures: James O’Hanlon, P&J


Seaside choir needs pianist

PROUD SONS: Jack Potter’s sons Tony, left, and Robert with personnel from 611 Sqn RAuxAF RAF Woodvale and the local RAF Association next to the plaque, also above right

A memorial to a World War II Spitfire pilot said to have inspired a scene in the recent hit film Dunkirk has been unveiled on the edge of the River Mersey. Wallasey-born pilot Sgt Jack Potter isn’t mentioned by name in the Christopher Nolan movie but the moment when the Spitfire ditches into the sea after an engine seizure is said to be based on Potter’s own experience. Jack also served in the Battle of Britain and took part in the rescue of 200 survivors from HMS Basilisk when it was sunk by German

diver bombers during the Dunkirk evacuation. He continued to fly with 19 Sqn during the Battle of Britain but was shot down again over the Channel on September 15, 1940. He was taken prisoner of war and remained a POW until April 1945. Wirral councillor and local historian Jerry Williams uncovered Jack’s story when he was researching for an article about ‘The Wirral Few’. The memorial was unveiled by Jack’s son Robert and the Mayor of Wirral, Councillor

Ann McLachlan, at Seacombe, overlooking Liverpool’s Pier Head. Family and friends – including some who had travelled from Australia and Canada – and personnel from 611 Sqn RAuxAF RAF Woodvale and the local RAF Association, attended the ceremony. The area of the promenade where the memorial is sited has been renamed Jack Potter Walk in honour of the WWII hero. After the war Jack settled in Brighton. He died in 1977.


Those who can, teach

Veterans who want to retrain as teachers will be able to benefit from a £40,000 bursary provided by the government. From September courses at universities nationwide will Armed Forces Covenant and offer the financial incentive will be offered on priority to veterans who have left undergraduate courses in full-time employment in the biology, chemistry, computing, RAF, British Army or Royal maths or modern foreign Navy in the last five years – languages. or anyone leaving before Defence Secretary training begins, the Gavin Williamson said: Department for “Our incredible troops Education has have unrivalled life announced. experiences and worldA spokesperson class skills that will said the incentive motivate and inspire a would help exgeneration of children Service personnel in classrooms across the make the country. transition to the “Through leadership, classroom to share teamwork and problemtheir expertise with solving, veterans are the next generation. ideally suited for a The bursary has career in teaching once been developed as part of the Department’s DEFENCE SECRETARY: they leave the Armed Gavin Williamson Forces. commitment to the

£40,000 bursaries up for grabs to help vets inspire school kids “This programme not only offers our valued veterans a new and fulfilling career, it will help our children achieve their aspirations and life goals.” Chief of Defence People, Lt Gen Richard Nugee, said: “This initiative is another great addition to our wider resettlement offer of courses, mentoring and advice – helping our serving personnel successfully transition into civilian life.” A Department for Education spokesperson said the new bursary would replace the existing Troops to Teachers Programme, delivered by the University of Brighton since 2013. RAF veteran Colin Grimes, a former

aerospace systems manager, and a University of Brighton trainee, is now a Year 4 teacher at Rothbury First School in Northumberland. He said: “Studying for a degree in education while being supported financially opened up exciting new career choices for me. “It’s great news that ex-military personnel will now be offered even more opportunities to train for a valuable and stimulating second career while still being able to support their families.” In addition to the bursary, trainees will also have access to further support through the government’s Get Into Teaching service. n Go to: getinto for details. people person: Lt Gen Richard Nugee

The chaplain of Worthingbased charity Care for Veterans is in search of a pianist for a new choir. Rev Beverley Miles is looking for someone who can accompany The Gifford House Singers that consists of resident veterans, family members, staff and volunteers. Reverend Miles said: “The choir is great fun and motivation for all who take part, especially our veterans, who just love to sing. The smiles on their faces as they perform is heartwarming.” If you can help, contact Care for Veterans on: 01903 218444. n The charity is also seeking volunteers to take part in a fundraising walk on May 12 at Goodwood Racecourse. For details email: christine. or call: 01903 218444.

Research into over-50s jobs

The Officers’ Association has been awarded a substantial grant to carry out pioneering research into the challenges Service leavers aged over 50 face when they transition to civilian employment. The organisation has been given more than £115,000 by the Forces in Mind Trust for the year-long project, that will cover all three Services and all ranks. Lee Holloway, the Association’s chief executive, said: “There are known barriers to employment for those aged 50 plus, and so this research project gives us an opportunity to define and document those that exist for Service leavers. “Given the investment made in the training of Service leavers, combined with their experience and leadership qualities, we want to ensure there is a level playing field for this key segment of our Armed Forces when they seek out civilian employment opportunities.”

Y O U TA K E C A R E O F U S . W E TA K E C A R E O F Y O U . T O G E T H E R W E G O F U R T H ER. C U R R E N T O R F O R M E R M I L I TA R Y P E R S O N N E L C A N S A V E U P T O 2 0%* O N A N E W F O R D .



C U S T O M E R S AV I N G .

TO FIND OUT MORE, VISIT FORD.CO.UK/MILITARYSALES Official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the Ford Focus ST-Line range: urban 33.2-67.3 (8.5-4.2), extra urban 60.1-83.1 (4.7-3.4), combined 46.3 -74.3 (6.1-3.8). Official CO2 emissions 140-99g/km. The mpg figures quoted are sourced from official EU-regulated test results (EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008), are provided for comparability purposes and may not reflect your actual driving experience. *Military Saving programme available to current and ex-Service Personnel. Including veterans and retired members of the UK Armed Forces. Customer savings of 5% to 20% off the Recommended On The Road price available across the Ford range (excluding KA+, Mustang and Focus RS) on vehicles contracted between 1st January 2018 and 31st December 2018 and registered between 1st January 2018 and 30th June 2019. Retail customers only. This promotion cannot be used in conjunction with other manufacturer promotions or incentives. At participating Ford dealers – for terms and conditions, including the eligibility criteria, eligible models and customer savings visit:

Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P27



CADETS from across the country lined the route at the Royal Courts of Justice as the RAF’s youngest recruit, 16-year-old AC Adam Wood, got the Service’s 100th anniversary celebrations underway, running the first leg of the baton relay which will cover the UK and locations across the world. PHOTO: CPL BABS ROBINSON

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P29


Email: Telephone: 01494 497563


7 pages of RAF Sport l Tough time for SRT stars: page 36


Double title joy for RAF boxing at UK Armed Forces Championships

Elite force

FLOORED: SAC Keiran Bailey puts down Diver Chapman PHOTOS: Sponge Beattie/SBS

Flt Lt Scott Boland Aldershot Barracks Royal Air Force Boxing added its name once more to the annals of history as RAF Elite Boxers took two UK Armed Forces titles and narrowly missed out on a third Aldershot Barracks. SACs Ricki Lyon and Keiran Bailey boxed their way through tough semi-finals earlier that week to join SAC Tom Simpson in final bouts against the sister Services. Lyon and Bailey put on fantastic performances to book their places; Lyon beating highly-rated Army bantamweight L/Cpl Khan and Bailey taking a well-earned unanimous decision against Sapper Webster at lightweight. Both fighters carried confidence and momentum into their final contests, and Lyon delivered another masterclass in footwork and shot selection to take the title against the Navy’s Reehan Ali. Ali later commented on how shocked he was by the tenacious Airman’s power and accuracy – high praise indeed from the Navy No.1. Bailey’s lateral movement,

countering and back-foot boxing saw him control his bout, taking a unanimous decision against RN Diver Chapman. Finally, Simpson was pitted against England belt holder and highly experienced welterweight L/Cpl Fisher. A very close contest gave the judges one of the toughest decisions of the night, but a split decision went the way of the Royal Marine. Such was the performance of the Airmen this year that a decision for Simpson would have seen the RAF share the UKAF trophy with the Royal Navy – who took the title for themselves; halting a run of 34 consecutive Army victories. Sqn Ldr Karl Whalley, UK Armed Forces Boxing chairman, said: “It has been over two decades since we contested more than two weights in the Elite UKAFBA Championships, and as we approach our own 100th year of boxing, our men truly outshone their opponents. “From a personal perspective, to witness the competitiveness of our team against the full-time professionals of the Army and RN/RM associations is incredibly



satisfying. Our investment with the coaching and officials’ cadres has continually been rewarded; this latest achievement, in an individual combat sport, has been the result of incredible teamwork and endeavour by the whole association.”

LYONHEART: Bantamweight SAC Ricki Lyon took the title against the Navy’s Rehan Ali

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P31



LEADER OF THE PACK: Above, Cokayne orchestrates another powerful Red Roses break, below right, the RAF girl is at the centre of things once again during a great win at the Ricoh Arena PHOTOS: SBS

Amy goes close Service girl fires England win but title is lost DESPITE A thumping 33-11 win over Ireland and a blistering try at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Cpl Amy Cokayne and her England colleagues had to settle for second in the Six Nations.

The RAF girl, who was described as ‘amazing’ by the England head coach Simon Middleton, had an impressive match to close out the series, but having lost late on against the French on the previous

match, the result in front of a crowd of more than 6,000 at the Coventry City FC home ground meant the Red Roses needed to not only win, but for Wales to beat France in the tournament’s last game, which they


Ladies get rough Inters ride A HARSH late goal saw the ladies RAF team lose out 2-1 after a battling display at Park Hall Stadium in their opening InterServices clash. The late venue change saw the match played at the home of New Saints FC, Oswestry and it was a speculative punt into the box from 50 yards, which bounced awkwardly in the box, before taking a slight touch to elude RAF goalkeeper Nicky Davies to nestle in the bottom corner and seal the tie for the visiting side. A slow start from the hosts saw the first real chance come after 17 minutes with Sam Wylie seeing a good effort hit the base of the post. The crossbar came to the visitors’ aid in the 25th minute after a Rachel Rutherford free kick. On 38 minutes Zara Macintosh beat the Army keeper, only for her effort to also hit the woodwork again as the half ended goalless. On 55 minutes the Army opened the scoring with Olivia Dixon. Fired up by falling behind, the RAF showed good character and pressed to get back into the match, levelling on 72 minutes, with great work down the left and a pinpoint curled pass from Robyn Stewart into the box for Zara McIntosh to side foot her effort home.

failed to do, losing 39-19. Cokayne found the scoreboard after 35 minutes following a great run, finally being substituted after 65. Cokayne said: “It was a very physical game, not the perfect

picture, but we are always working on improving. It’s great to end on a win and am looking forward to the Inter, the Stoop game is massive for the girls, but just as important is the opening clash against the Army and we are focusing fully on that.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P32


Sport Commonwealth games

Stars have Common touch Games selections prove value of sporting heroes in Service Staff reporter Air Command IT’S A Commonwealth Games one-two for the Service following the selection announcements of SAC Sian Williams as part of the Wales Sevens rugby team and WO Daz Chapple as Team Leader for England Boxing in Australia. The selections also mean that Chapple will lead out the team at the Games’ opening ceremony, with Williams’s selection coming as she was named in the 100 most inspirational women in Wales by Wales Online on International Women’s Day. Williams said: “I’m extremely proud and honoured to make the games squad especially making history with it being the first time women’s Rugby Sevens is played at the games. We have a huge three weeks away with travelling to Hong Kong, first for the women’s World Series qualifiers and then straight to the Gold Coast for the games.

“I couldn’t be more excited to get out there and play. Inter-Services are always the most exciting time of the year for any service rugby player.

I couldn’t be more excited to get out there

“The added excitement of the fixture being played at the Stoop and it being a huge celebration of 100 years of the Royal Air Force gives the girls that extra drive and determination to go out and really put on a class performance and that’s what they are building and working hard towards at the moment.” WO Chapple who, in his heyday fought in the 51kg division, before moving on to coaching roles, said: “The military has been very good to me. I put in a lot of extra hours but there are not many places you can work that would allow you the time or flexibility to be able to do this role.” In 2007 Chapple applied successfully for a role of England Boxing Team Manager and is now in the role of Director England Boxing, (Director of Talent and Performance and GB Talent Commission). He added: “It is an absolute honour for me. I have dedicated

First of many for RC A STUNNING first place for the Royal Air Force Rowing Club team at the Head of the River race on the Thames in London has bolstered the team as they prepare for the sprint regatta racing part of the season. RAF RC fielded two men’s eight crews, who performed admirably over the 6.8km course, with the crews beginning in places 228 and 302, with a final standing of 189 (20:32.2) and 271 (22:13.3) respectively. The RAF boat battled along the course with a Warwick Crew who had initially overtaken the Service crew in the early stages, but after the final bend the RAF pushed for the finish, retaking their position in the last kilometre. The Service’s B boat put in a strong performance and looked impressive passing through Barnes Bridge, where they easily overtook Putney Town, a resident Tideway Club. The Women’s Head Of the River Race saw the RAF Women’s VIII starting 191st, finishing in 148 (22.30.1) respectively a strong

GETTING READY: Left, WO Chapple in his England Boxing, above, SAC Williams seen before one of her many international displays for Wales  PHOTO: Jack Eckersley/SBS

my life to boxing and to be asked to lead the team out in Australia is incredible. “It just doesn’t get any better. “We have an incredibly strong team and I believe we will be very

successful.” The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be held in Queensland, Australia from April 4-15. Follow the action on: with updates in Twitter @rafnewssport.

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For further information visit OUT FRONT: Service team have clear water between the two club sides

performance that is testament to the dedicated winter training undertaken by the crew.    An association spokesman said: “The RAF Rowing Club are looking

to build on this performance as the season moves into sprint regatta racing, using the 100th anniversary of the Service to inspire personnel to partake in representative sport.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P33



Table stars net double I-S victory Podium slots galore on a day of total dominance for light blue players at Forces showdown THERE WERE wins galore as the Service’s table tennis stars stormed to Inter-Services glory with the Men’s and Women’s titles being retained in style. Day one saw both teams successfully retain their InterServices crown, overcoming strong competition from both the Army and Navy teams, while the Men’s A team consisting of Flt Lt Anth Barella, Sgt Richard Johnson, Cpl Matt Faulkner, Sgt Steve Buck and WO Tony Stead put on a dominant display, defeating the Army A team 9-1 in the final, with the RAF B team taking a welldeserved third place, piping the Navy A team to the podium. The Ladies team, led by Captain Cpl Kris Sumner and consisting of Sgt Becky Faulkner, SAC Louise Hart, SAC Lauren Pailing and SAC Nicola Hawsworth, also dominated in their competition, defeating a strong Army team 9-1 in the final. Day two was again dominated by the RAF Men and Women, winning all of the eight events they took part in. The men’s singles was an allRAF final with Sgt Rich Johnson coming out on top, defeating number one seed Flt Lt Anth

WINNING SHOTS: RAF action at the Inter-Services, above and below left

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Barella. Standout performance of the day went to WO Tony Stead, defeating the Army number one in a nail biting five-set thriller at the quarter final stage. In the Ladies event, Cpl Kris Sumner successfully retained the Women’s singles title with a dominating display against the Navy number one. Sgt Andy Cullen and Cpl Matt Faulkner returned to winning ways, securing the men’s doubles while

Cpl Sumner and SAC Louise Hart also secured the Women’s doubles title. Sumner secured her fourth title of the IS, partnering Sgt Rich Johnson to win the mixed doubles. LAC Mervyn Funston added to the RAF’s haul of trophies winning the men’s singles plate competition. Flt Lt Steve Preston, RAF B Team, said: “The competition has been an excellent example of the strength and depth of the RAF team.

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Daniel Abrahams HE’S OVERSEEN if not one of the most successful, definitely one of the most interesting periods in the history of Service rugby union and now Air Cdre Steven Lushington awaits the new dawn for his beloved sport with an historic clash at The Stoop in Twickenham. The game, which will see the Service’s men’s and ladies’ senior teams face the Royal Navy at the home of Harlequins RFU on April 20, signals a new direction for the Inter-Service championship with a professional venue being used for both matches. Lushington, chairman of the RAFRU, said: “It’s a really exciting time, the change of venue signals a time where we have halted the dominance between the Army and Navy. This began with some detailed and hard work from the ground up and this means there have been three different winners in the last three years. The progress we have made from around five years ago has dictated that we needed a bigger stage to play on.” The association’s eyes will be firmly fixed on the match and the outcome of it, which will then dictate where the future fixtures are held, how they are designed and how they are run. Lushington (pictured) said: “We will look to keep it at The Stoop next year, from there we will look to always play the fixture at professional clubs. “We have not forgotten how to stage a big event, but it was 21 years since we last did anything on this scale, so we are relearning, but we are confident that once this first match is played people will see it

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INTERS: A past RAF v RN match

as a permanent date in their diary.” So, with the players now taking the game on to a new level, there are

fireworks expected on the pitch on April 20. Lushington said: “I have given as much as I can to help make this clash a success, I am nervous about

Mark answers for the ticket competition ‘Tickets’ and for the shirt competition ‘Shirt’ and send to Sports Desk, RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE or email: Include full contact details. Deadline for entries is April 10. this year, I will not relax until the fixtures kick off, it is a brave new dawn for us, but we have taken this first step. This is the start of something big and beautiful.”

■ Tickets for the RAF v Royal Navy clash at The Stoop in Twickenham are available at: or via Ticketline: 02392 816255.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, April 6, 2018 P35



Mexico run too hot for Hall Overheating car ends RAF drivers’ bid to seal championships placing as crowds help them to finish STAFF REPORTER HQ Air Command BRITISH RALLY co-driver SAC Phil Hall was down Mexico way for a tough and testing WRC Rally stage alongside fellow Brit Tom Williams. Having recently signed up to the Junior World Rally Championship, Mansfield-based Hall had also planned selected outings on events outside the JWRC calendar and, in a bid for additional experience, headed to Mexico to contest the event in a Ford Fiesta R2 1600cc.

The Central American event, is dubbed one of the most challenging on the WRC circuit with extreme altitudes and tough, rocky stages to contend with and such was the nature of the contest, Hall and Williams were the only brave WRC3 entrants taking part. In a stark contrast to the snow banks and ice of last mont h’s stage in

Sweden, Hall battled 22 stages of the 345km event as temperatures hit almost 50 degrees C inside the car. In front of huge crowds Hall knuckled down to guide Williams through the tricky stages in the rising heat,

but sadly the soaring temperatures proved too much and caused the car’s electronics to overheat which meant the duo could not complete the day. They needed the crowd’s help to push their car over the finish line up a hill in the closing stages, before freewheeling to the finish. “I think I have had everything a co-driver could have had thrown at them this week” said an exhausted Hall. “We had done everything possible to get the Fiesta to the end of the rally, but it cut out in the searing h e a t on the final

I think I have had everything a co-driver could have thrown at them this week

stage. I’m gutted we couldn’t get it to the finish ramp to record a finish but that’s how it goes sometimes.” SPLASHTASTIC: Left, Hall and his driver Tom Williams get their Ford wet during a hot and testing Mexico WRC stage PHOTOS:

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Sport Elite boxers take two AF wins

Clean sweep of titles for table tennis stars

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WO part of duo off to Gold Coast Games O Sport P32


RAF all at sea Back-to-back defeats end great winning run GOT THE BLUES: Cpl Steve Norton slots in the second goal, right, Cpl Dave Webb tussles for the ball PHOTOS: SBS

Royal Navy RAF SRT

4 2

Daniel Abrahams HMS TEMERAIRE SRT HEAD coach Sgt Kev Barry described himself as ‘extremely disappointed’ after his side slumped to a 4-2 defeat in their final Inter-Services clash at the hands of the Navy in Portsmouth. In truth Barry and his backroom and playing staff would be well within their rights to feel shellshocked after the manner and score line of their two defeats with a 4-1 opening loss to the Army, who eventually won all three titles. Going into the tournament the

RAF men boasted a record of six wins in-a-row, claiming scalps from FC Manchester and Market Drayton. To succumb to such heavy defeats in both games will remain a mystery to all. Barry said: “After such a good season the performances in the IS were extremely disappointing. I felt that against the Army we really didn’t give a good account of ourselves. “Although we took the lead, some players were making very uncharacteristic decisions on the pitch. Against the Navy I asked the lads to be brave, work hard and play the football they have been playing all season. For parts of the game we did and at times showed good energy, however decision-making again was our undoing.”

As with the Army game where the light blue took the lead, things started well with a deflected strike from on form SAC Rhys Harbottle after 13 minutes and, despite the even tempo to the game, which was played in a muted atmosphere, the RAF side began to tighten their grip on the action. Harbottle was almost in the goals again in first half Extra Time after the hosts had levelled through AET Earl. The second half saw another bright start for Barry’s men – with the head coach imploring his players to ‘get the balls down and pass’, but his charges could only bring down a Navy forward and they slotted home the kick on 55 minutes, before extending their lead two minutes later amid vocal calls for offside that were not given.

The arrival of Cpl Steve Norton saw the RAF side come within one goal as he jinked on the edge of the box and fired home, but the hosts halted the fightback with a fourth goal to seal the win. Against the Army the RAF team had opened the scoring through a superb Cpl Alex Woodhouse 14th minute free kick, but their lead was snuffed out in the 25th minute. They were made to rue a missed penalty on the half-hour mark as the visitors took the lead after 41 minutes, making it 3-1 one minute later. The score line was then sealed with four minutes left. Barry added: “I have to say that after the season we have had, with great fixtures, playing some great football throughout the year, the commitment was second to none.

My staff and I definitely didn’t see those two performances coming. Going forward, I’ll assess the squad over the next few weeks.” His side face Airbus FC on April 17.

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RAF News 06.04.2018  
RAF News 06.04.2018