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Friday January 10 2020 No 1482 70p


Dark Destroyer

See p16-17

WWII's deadliest nightfighter Football End of era in UKAF cup

● Sport p32

Equestrian Stars shine over jumps

● Sport p26

RISING BRITISH NFL star Jamie Gillan made his professional debut Stateside – as airman dad Colin performed a flypast over the stadium in the RAF's new P-8 Poseidon subhunter. ● See p7

Minister's New Year giveaway VETERANS ARE to get guaranteed interviews for public sector jobs and employers taking them on will get tax breaks under new proposals. Better childcare is also to be made available to Forces families and veterans will be given better legal protection under the latest measures to boost morale in the military. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace (inset) announced the moves as he prepares to launch the deepest defence and security review since the end of the Cold War. The shake-up aims to deliver on election manifesto promises to support ex and serving members of the military and their families. Mr Wallace said: “2020 promises to be a fantastic year for Defence – we’ll be celebrating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, our second aircraft carrier will start flight tests, the new Poseidon submarine-hunting jets will be delivered to the RAF. “For veterans, we will bring forward proposals to end vexatious legal claims, a guaranteed job interview for any public sector role they apply for, as well as a proposed tax cut for every business that employs veterans by scrapping employer National Insurance contributions for a year.” He said the Department of Transport would launch a new railcard for veterans granting holders a third off train fares. And Armed Forces’ families will receive ‘wraparound’ childcare including breakfast and after school clubs to cover early starts and late finishes for working parents of youngsters aged 4-11.

ADVANCE YOUR CAREER WITH THE OPEN UNIVERSITY Preparing for the move to civilian life? Whether or not you already have a career option in mind, take a look into the H[FLWLQJDQGUHOHYDQWTXDOL¿FDWLRQVWKDWZHRႇHU<RX¶OO HQMR\WKHUHDVVXUDQFHWKDWZH¶UHDZRUOGOHDGLQJSURYLGHU of distance learning and that over 1,500 forces personnel DUHFXUUHQWO\VWXG\LQJZLWKXV

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Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P3

I have loved this whole tour, it could not have gone better

Flying over in the P8 while my son is down there on the pitch will be amazing

Cpl Luke Gosling talking after winning the Kentish Cup with UKAFFC in Holland p32

Sqn Ldr Colin Gillan on performing a flypast over the Cleveland Browns’ stadium as his son Jamie makes his NFL debut p7

There’s a relentless demand for what 39 Sqn provides

Wg Cdr Colin Welsh on operating Reaper from Nevada p13

Chief joins Mali mission RAF News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Editor: Simon Williams Email: editor@rafnews.co.uk Tel: 01494 497412 Sports Editor: Daniel Abrahams Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk Tel: 01494 497563 Features Editor: Tracey Allen Email: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk Tel: 01494 497622 News Editor: Simon Mander All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@rafnews. co.uk

CHINOOK CREWS supporting French troops battling Islamist terrorists in Mali have been visited by the Chief of the Air Staff. Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston joined 1310 Flight personnel backing French counter-insurgency operations in the troubled West African state. The visit was part of a wider tour of the Sahel region at the invitation of Chief of the French Armée de l’Air, General Philippe Lavigne, during which the two Chiefs visited the French deployments in Tchad Niger and Mali. It comes a month after 13 French soldiers died when a Tiger attack helicopter hit a Cougar military transport mid-air as it tracked militants fleeing on motorbikes and pick-up trucks. It is the biggest single day loss for the French military since 1986 when a surveillance aircraft crashed into a mountain in Djibouti, killing 19 soldiers. In Tchad, General Lavigne demonstrated the cockpit layout of the deployed French Mirage 2000 before the Chiefs toured the Chinook detachment at Gao.

FRONTLINE: ACM Wigston meets French personnel spearheading mission against Islamist insurgents at Gao

The Chinooks are based at Camp Roberts resupplying French Forward Operating Bases. “We are making a Chinook-sized difference on the frontline of insecurity

in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing tremendous support to French Armée de l’ Air colleagues and French forces. “People are making a difference tackling the root causes of insecurity in

the Sahel.” The French Army carried out its first Reaper strike during operations in Mali, targeting 40 jihadists.

This Week In History 1943

Subscriptions and distribution: JPIMedia Print Holdings Ltd 26 Whitehall Road Leeds LS12 1BE Tel: 020 7855 7574 Email: rafnews@jpress.co.uk

Daylight raids start

Mosquitos of Nos 105 and 139 Sqns began daylight raids in Berlin timed to coincide with speeches made by Joseph Goebbels and Herman Goering at the 10th anniversary celebrations of Adolf Hitler’s regime. 1943

Bomber Command order U-Boat raids An Air Ministry Directive was made to begin raids on U-Boat bases in France at Lorient and St Nazaire. The raids would target the heavily fortified bases.


Wellingtons hit back

The first major blitz on Malta, with attacks on Luqa and Hal Far airfields, were countered by Wellingtons operating from the island, bombing the Italian fleet in Naples.

Extracts from The Royal Air Force Day By Day by Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork (The History Press).

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P4


RAF New Year Honours 2020




l Air Marshal J. A. YOUNG CB


As Officers (OBE)

l Wing Commander (now Group

Captain) S. E. BLACKWELL

l Wing Commander T. BOTTRILL l Wing Commander G. J.


l Wing Commander D. J. P.


l Wing Commander T. J. RAND l Wing Commander M. E. A.

STOW l Group Captain M. J. STOWERS MBE As Members (MBE) l Squadron Leader H. R. BAILEY l Squadron Leader R. C. BEECH l Flight Sergeant M. C. CROLLA l Warrant Officer M. CROSS l Squadron Leader A. L. C. EDGELL l Sergeant D. W. GORDON l Flight Lieutenant T. E. PARTRICK l Flight Lieutenant C. J. STRADLING

BULLEMENT MBE FTRS l Flight Lieutenant S. R. DACHTLER Team Commendation l C Flight, 57 Squadron, 3 Flying Training School 90 SU RAF LEEMING CAS Commendation l Senior Aircraftman G. D. B. MACCABE AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Acting Sergeant R. J. CLARKE FTRS l Corporal D. V. WALTON Team Commendation l 90 Signals Unit Safety Cell

Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal (QVRM) l Warrant Officer N. F. A. DAVENPORT l Warrant Officer L. G. HOTSON MBE

COS CAP Meritorious Service Medal l Flight Sergeant N. S. BURDETT AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader S. A. WATKINSON

Associate of the Royal Red Cross (ARRC) l Squadron Leader S. J. FITZGERALD

DSA MAA D VCDS Commendation l Squadron Leader R. A. LLOYD AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader E. M. MEEHAN


HQ 1 GP AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Acting Flight Lieutenant J. BLAKE HQ 11 GP Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer M. G. RATTEN

CAS Commendation l Squadron Leader A. P. KERSLAKE HQ 38 GP AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader D. AYTON AO A4 Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer R. S. H. IRWIN AO A6 AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader R. A. P. GRAY ACOS CAREER MANAGEMENT DCom Cap Commendation l Squadron Leader N. J. STARTUP AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader M. R. SHARROCK AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Sergeant P. GOODFELLOW Team Commendation l Regional Career Management Advisors ACOS OPS AOC 11 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant E-J. LOGAN l Flying Officer (now Flight Lieutenant) C. J. NEWNHAM l Senior Aircraftman J. H. G. PATEMAN FTRS Team Commendations l HQ 11 Gp A7 Delivery l Joint Air Liaison Organisation Standards and Evaluation Team ACOS PERS DEL DCom Cap Commendation l Mr W. A. J. ORME ACOS PERS POL Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer J. W. SHEAN MBE ACOS WR&R Meritorious Service Medal l Flight Sergeant S. J. WILKINSON AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Corporal J. P. SIMON


SPACE & BM FORCE CDR DCom Ops Commendation l Sergeant A. P. FIELD AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader S. SEALE-

FINCH AOC 11 Gp Team Commendation l Area Radar Capability Support Integrated Project Team HQ AIR CADETS CRANWELL DCom Cap Commendation l Warrant Officer C. J. MARSH l Mr K. S. F. WATSON AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader A. I. ROSS l Flight Lieutenant C. G. BELL l Flight Lieutenant E. C. MOCKERIDGE l Flight Lieutenant A. F. SWADLING l Warrant Officer S. E. NASH l Mr A. W. WEBB Team Commendations l Central Gliding School Sting Aircraft Project Team l RAF Air Cadets Kent Wing Nijmegen Team London & South East Region HQ RAF RECRUITING AND SELECTION DCom Cap Team Commendation l Intelligence Specialist Recruitment Team AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Sergeant J. E. SHAW Team Commendations l Armed Forces Careers Office (Royal Air Force) Leicester l Armed Forces Careers Office Plymouth AIR 38 GP MED OPS Team Commendation l BATUK Forward Aeromedical Evacuation (MERT) Team AIR WARFARE CENTRE DCom Ops Commendation l Mr O. RANSON Team Commendation l Lightning Australia, Canada & United Kingdom Reprogramming Laboratory (ACURL) AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Corporal M. C. HENDERSON FTRS l Corporal D. D. WILSON Team Commendation l UK White Force Joint Strike Fighter Operational Test Team AOC 11 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader C. J. LYNN

DCTT Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer Class 1 A. P. J. BELLAMY l Warrant Officer P. FLETCHER l Warrant Officer D. JACKSON l Flight Sergeant S. W. PARTRIDGE l Staff Sergeant A. MOUSLEY CGS Commendation l Lance Corporal T. SINGH DCom Cap Commendation l Squadron Leader H. D. JONES FTRS AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Corporal D. M. FIGGINS l Senior Aircraftman T. C. PARKER RAuxAF AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Acting Flight Sergeant D. L. DIXON FTRS l Sergeant (now Staff Sergeant) D. S. CAVES l Sergeant (now Chief Technician) E. JEVONS l Sergeant M. R. EXTANCE FTRS l Sergeant A. LONGLEY l Ms. M. BENTLEY l Mr. A. CLIFT l Mr. D. EVANS Team Commendations l Kirkham Flight, No 1 School of Technical Training l RNAESS (DSAE(G)) 764 Initial Training Squadron HOCS Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer P. MCNEILL l Sergeant M. A. WORSENCROFT AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader A. D. SCOTT AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader D. T. RILEY JFACC DCom Ops Commendation l Major T. SMITH USAF JFC Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer K. R. MIDDLEMISS l Warrant Officer M. S. ROBINSON l Warrant Officer K. J. SKINNER l Flight Sergeant J. W. DOWLING l Flight Sergeant R. P. LAW AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Flight Sergeant G. D. B. SIMPSON l Sergeant S. L. DEVINE AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader S. E. READE MBE l Flight Lieutenant C. A. H. WATTS l Sergeant P. M. TAYLOR l Corporal L. B. ALEXANDER AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Corporal I. R. WILTON JHC Meritorious Service Medal l Master Aircrew A. W. D. RAYMONT l Flight Sergeant K. D. WYNN AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader A. GLASBY l Flight Lieutenant F. M. THOMPSON l Corporal D. A. BOWDITCH l Senior Aircraftman T. J. WINDIBANK l Mrs L. NEAL Team Commendations l RAF Benson Station Cinema Committee l Eng Flt, 606 RAuxAF Sqn AOC 38 Gp Commendation

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P5

l Flight Lieutenant J. P. EYLES


RAF BOULMER DCom Ops Commendation l Warrant Officer P. E. BILLINGTON AOC 11 Gp Commendation l Warrant Officer J. R. SPINK l Miss M. EASTON AOC 22 Gp Team Commendation l Trade Training Flight, School of Aerospace Battle Management RAF BRIZE NORTON Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer E. M. EVANS MBE l Flight Sergeant A. L. CLIFFORD CAS Commendation l Master Aircrew S. J. TAYLOR RAuxAF DCom Ops Commendation l Squadron Leader G. W. H. PARRY MBE l Chief Technician (now Acting Flight Sergeant) D. J. LEWIS RAuxAF AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Master Aircrew C. J. L. ADAMS l Master Aircrew S. H. DUNCAN l Flight Sergeant M. L. FLORY l Chief Technician B. R. JONES l Acting Sergeant A. J. BIELBY RAuxAF l Corporal C. J. FEE l Mrs T. GWINNELL Team Commendations l Airfield Support Mechanical Transport (ASMT) BLACKTOP Team l Logistics Operations Team – Logistics Squadron l Number 47 Squadron Engineering Response Team RAF CONINGSBY DCom Ops Commendation l Squadron Leader M. O. LONG Team Commendations l Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Engineers l Ground Support Systems Flight – Exercise RED FLAG Cyber 2019 Team AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Flight Sergeant P. S. ELDERKIN l Sergeant E. BURNS l Corporal S. C. CLUNEY l Corporal M. D. HOLLIS l Corporal A. J. POYNTON l Senior Aircraftman E. J. LUKER Team Commendations l Battle of Britain Memorial Flight – Dakota Parachute Regeneration l Operation SHADER Typhoon P3E Upgrade Team RAFC CRANWELL DCom Cap Commendation l Warrant Officer E. P. FEARON MBE FTRS l Senior Aircraftman N. NICHOLSON AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Flight Sergeant C. HOWES AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader S. R. PARSBO l Sergeant H. L. SINCLAIR l Senior Aircraftman L. J. EAGLE l Senior Aircraftman K. L. STURGESS Team Commendation l RAF College Cranwell Police and Security Flight RAF FYLINGDALES DCom Ops Commendation l Sergeant A. G. R. HINDS AOC 11 Gp Team Commendations

RAF SPADEADAM Meritorious Service Medal l Flight Sergeant J. D. MCGAFFIN DCom Ops Team Commendation l RAF Spadeadam Tactical Radar Section RAF VALLEY DCom Cap Team Commendation l Texan Qualified Instructors AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant J. S. FLEMING l Flight Lieutenant D. R. RODRIGUES l Sergeant H. L. SMITH

l Defence Fire & Rescue Service,

RAF Fylingdales l Plans Flight, Operations Squadron, RAF Fylingdales

RAF HALTON DCom Ops Commendation l Sergeant (now Chief Technician) D. J. HARDWICK DCom Cap Commendation l Flight Lieutenant L. D. HUMPHREYS AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader M. NOREY l Sergeant M. L. HARVEYPERKINS RAF HENLOW AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Sergeant P. C. TINDALL RAF HIGH WYCOMBE Meritorious Service Medal l Sergeant H. B. SMART DCom Ops Commendation l Flight Lieutenant J. F. BRAYSHER AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Warrant Officer D. T. RICHARDSON FTRS RAF HONINGTON CAS Commendation l Squadron Leader J. R. D. ANDREW l Flight Lieutenant G. BRYANT AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant C. G. H. DIXON l Sergeant A. I. FERGUSON l Sergeant E. P. HUGHES FTRS l Acting Sergeant G. FINLAY FTRS l Corporal M. F. JOHNSTONE l Senior Aircraftman (Technician) D. J. HOUSDEN l Mr. C. WALKER RAF LEEMING Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer A. M. TOWNEND l Flight Sergeant G. T. HUGHES l Flight Sergeant D. A. WALL DCom Ops Commendation l Squadron Leader D. J. ARLETT AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Flight Sergeant P. KANE l Corporal D. G. CAWTHORNE

l Corporal S. P. LEWIS l Senior Aircraftman F. E. PARISH

Team Commendations l Royal Air Force Leeming Logistics Support Squadron l Mechanical Transport Flight RAF Leeming RAF LINTON-ON-OUSE AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant K. M. MACMILLAN l Senior Aircraftman T. J. EMMETT Team Commendation l Tucano Display Team RAF LOSSIEMOUTH Meritorious Service Medal l Flight Sergeant C. J. A. JARRET DCom Ops Commendation l Mr. A. SMITH AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant N. SLATER VeRR l Flying Officer K. A. W. CARCARY l Flight Sergeant C. M. HEWETT FTRS l Chief Technician L. BIRBECK l Chief Technician M. C. MCDONALD l Sergeant S. M. STEWART l Corporal I. C. CHURCHILL l Senior Aircraftman (now Acting Corporal) K. WOOD Team Commendations l Number IX (Bomber) Squadron Satellite Safety Cell l Royal Air Force Lossiemouth Weapon Training Cell RAF MARHAM Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer M. WILKINSON DCom Ops Commendation l Flight Lieutenant A. J. R. HAWTHORN AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader D. KUPS l Squadron Leader R. WOODS l Flight Sergeant K. A. NORTON l Sergeant J. M. COLLINGS Team Commendation l Royal Air Force Marham Media and Communications Team AOC 38 Gp Commendation

l Sergeant (now Acting Flight

Sergeant) L. GRIFFITHS

RAF MUSIC SERVICES AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Sergeant W. P. RINGHAM Team Commendation l Band of the RAF Regiment PR Team RAF NORTHOLT AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant K. L. EVANS l Master Aircrew D. E. HEMPLEMAN l Warrant Officer M. L. HENRIQUES Team Commendation l Royal Air Force Northolt Medical Centre RAF POLICE CAS Commendation l Senior Aircraftman/Acting Corporal K. L. RACTLIFFE AOC 2 Gp Commendation l Flight Sergeant A. P. MYERS l Sergeant S. J. HILL l Senior Aircraftman/Acting Corporal A. P. PURNELL l Senior Aircraftman/Acting Corporal C. A. WILKINSON RAF SCAMPTON CAS Commendation l Flight Lieutenant K. T. BROPHY AOC 11 Gp Commendation l Warrant Officer P. A. TAYLOR RAF SHAWBURY Meritorious Service Medal l Master Aircrew S. A. VERNON DCom Cap Commendation l Sergeant M. L. JONES AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Squadron Leader M. D. CRAIG AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Warrant Officer A. G. COYLES FTRS l Sergeant P. T. WATERSON l Senior Aircraftman P. J. BRIGHT l Mrs J. H. CHADBURN Team Commendations l Central Flying School Helicopter Squadron l School of Air Operations Control Area Radar Training Course Delivery Team

RAF WADDINGTON Meritorious Service Medal l Flight Sergeant S. BARROW CAS Commendation l Squadron Leader G. T. EDWARDS l Flight Lieutenant G. O. GRIFFITHS l Flight Sergeant J. C. FOXALL Comd SJC (UK) Commendation l Squadron Leader E. B. WILLIAMS AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant A. K. DEARING l Flight Lieutenant G. W. ROBERTSON FTRS l Sergeant G. J. JOBLING l Sergeant M. E. PATCHETT l Corporal F. A. MORRIS Team Commendations l RAF Waddington Health, Safety and Environmental Protection Team l Sentry Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation RAF WITTERING Meritorious Service Medal l Warrant Officer S. J. SHERWIN CAS Commendation Corporal O. J. BRIDGE DCom Ops Commendation l Acting Sergeant A. B. BEER AOC 1 Gp Commendation l Senior Aircraftman N. HEATH AOC 22 Gp Commendation l Flight Sergeant (now Warrant Officer) L. R. BRETTELL AOC 38 Gp Commendation l Flight Lieutenant G. WARD FTRS l Flight Sergeant A. G. WRIGHT l Petty Officer J. BARLOW RN l Sergeant R. COURT l Corporal D. J. M. KERR Team Commendations l Air Traffic Control Squadron RAF Wittering l Ministry of Defence A Block 10, Number 1 Air Mobility Wing l Permanent Air Movements Detachment East Africa, Number 1 Air Mobility Wing l United Kingdom Mobile Air Movements Squadron D Flight Management RAF WYTON CAS Commendation l Senior Aircraftman L. K. BIRCH DCom Ops Commendation l Corporal G. A. BREAKINGBURY AOC 11 Gp Commendation l Senior Aircraftman D. J. RIMMER

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P7

News News bulletin

Top trauma doc signs up NHS TRAUMA chief Professor Keith Willett has been appointed as an Honorary Air Commodore for the RAF’s medical reserves. The current NHS medical director for acute care, he also heads up the emergency response to terrorist attacks, pandemic flu and infectious diseases.” Air Cdre Willetts said: “I have worked with Defence Medical Services on many occasions over the last 10 years, but I look forward to learning much more.”

FOOTIE FUNDRAISERS: Wycombe wonders take a break after 12-hour match

Soccer stars net veterans funds HIGH WYCOMBE-BASED airmen and women played an epic 12-hour five-a-side football match to help a veterans charity. The players hope to raise £500 for Royal Star & Garter that cares for veterans and their partners and opened a new home in the town in April. l Go to: justgiving.com/ fundraising/james-fleming-cm12hr-footy to contribute to the fundraising target.

Tactical error IN THE December 13 edition of RAF News (1481) in an article about a Medevac scramble we quoted Wg Cdr Joanne Brand of the Tactical Medical Wing. It should have read Wg Cdr Joanne Bland. We are happy to correct this error.

NFL rookie is Super-bowled over by P-8 Simon Mander

PROUND AIR Force dad Colin Gillan is marking his son Jamie’s NFL debut Stateside – by performing a flypast over the Cleveland Browns’ football stadium in the UK’s newest aircraft. The RAF took delivery of its first Boeing-built Poseidon P-8 at Jacksonville air base last month. The subhunter will make its first public outing as Scottish-born star kicker Jamie takes to the field in Ohio for his first professional league game. Jamie said: “Dad has dedicated many years to the military, and if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have this opportunity. “For me to be standing in the Cleveland Browns’ Stadium, watching my dad and his squadron fly over will be an incredible moment.” The Lossiemouth-based airman is currently stationed at the Patuxent River Navy air station with 60 Sqn preparing for the delivery of the new maritime patrol aircraft. He said: “To be flying over the stadium in a P-8 with my squadron is fantastic and the fact that my son is down there is amazing.” Jamie took up rugby in his native Lossiemouth as a youngster and has been dubbed the Scottish Hammer by Brown’s fans for his long distance kicking ability. Other family members are flying in from the UK to watch as his team take on the Cincinnati Bengals. Sqn Ldr Gillan will be returning to the UK when his posting with the RAF’s Test and Evaluation Squadron ends in 2021.

Jamie looks set for a bright future Stateside after attracting national media coverage from the Washington Post and the NFL website. The first of the UK’s Poseidon jets, dubbed Pride of Moray, was handed over to Air Vice-Marshal Harv Smyth at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, in October last year. It is the first of a £3 billion fleet of nine aircraft which will enhance Britain’s ability to track enemy shipping, protect the continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent, and conduct Nato missions across the North Atlantic.

Training ace makes a splash landing as Valley Buckles up Dave Williams RAF Valley FLYING INSTRUCTOR Wg Cdr Rob Caine soaks up the praise at Valley as he takes a bow from IV (AC) Sqn. Station personnel made sure it rained on his farewell parade by breaking out the fire extinguishers as he landed after taking his final flight on a Hawk T2 fast jet trainer. Rob handed over command of the squadron

to Wg Cdr Jamie Buckle, who started his frontline flying career on Tornados with 14 Sqn at Lossiemouth. Wg Cdr Buckle added: “It’s an honour and I’m delighted to be back at Valley training the next generation of fighter pilots.”

SOAK IT UP: Crews greet Rob on the runway after final flight, left, fond farewell from Valley team. PHOTOS SAC NATHAN EDWARDS

WORTH A PUNT: Rising US star Jamie Gillan kicked off playing rugby in Lossiemouth, below left, with proud dad Colin at the Browns’ stadium in Cleveland, Ohio

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P8

Reykcrew Iceland Coast Guards sink RAF hopes in Reykjavik

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P9


TRUSTED ALLY: 1(F) Sqn Typhoons support the Nato Icelandic Air Policing mission. PHOTOS: Cpl Cathy Sharples (RAuxAF)

Staff Reporter Keflavik Air Base, Iceland

SOCCER ACES FROM the Icelandic Coast Guard sank British hopes of victory in a nail biting penalty shootout to reclaim a trophy they lost to the RAF 75 years ago. A confident 1 Sqn team looked set for a comfortable 3-1 win before two late strikes from Iceland levelled the game forcing the spot kick showdown in Reykjavik. Former Iceland International and Bayern Munich keeper Stefan Magnusson halted a strong effort CRUISING: from Forces man Dale Boylan RAF team before taking aim at the RAF net looked set for win with early himself to hammer home the lead, below right, decider, handing the hosts a shock 1 Sqn Typhoon 4-3 victory. on Nato air Sqn Ldr Peter Lisney said: policing duty at Keflavik air base “Iceland is the land of fairy tales and I think we all saw one come true here tonight for the home team.” The arrival of the RAF Typhoon squadron to Iceland to police Nato skies last month gave the home team the first chance to take back a trophy they lost the last time British Forces were stationed there in 1944. After taking an early lead through a powerful longrange finish by Ashley Stott, the trophy holders dominated the first half. Just before the break, Asgeir Ingolfsson took the ball past RAF goalkeeper Khalid Daloub to draw level and keep the Icelanders in the game. After a second half Stott scorcher and a back-post tap-in from team mate Luke Duffy, the RAF entered the last five minutes 3-1 up.

Typhoon signs off on Nato mission FOUR TYPHOONS have returned to Lossiemouth after the RAF completed its first Nato Air Policing mission in Iceland. It’s the first time since World War II that a British fighter squadron has been based in the country which is five times the size of Wales with a population of just 360,000 and no military force. OC 1(Fighter) Sqn, Wg Cdr Mark Baker, who led the 129 strong team, said: “We’ve achieved the mission ensuring the integrity of Nato airspace. I think we’ve

ICED OUT: Harry Kane eyes striker Birkir Bjarnason as Iceland head to a shock 2-1 win over England in Euro 2016

Within moments of the RAF being refused a penalty Icelander Johann Eyfeld left the British keeper no chance with his clinically placed bottom left strike. With virtually the last kick of the match, Asgeir Gudjonsson’s hopeful right foot shot sailed into the top right corner squaring the match and sealing the Air Force team’s fate. The shock victory echoed the England national team’s defeat at the hand of the Iceland which ended their European championship bid in 2016. While victory against the RAF won’t match that Euro cup joy, match winner Stefan Magnusson Said the team will be delighted with the win. He added: “This is finally over. From a historical perspective when we look back on it this victory will mean a lot to the team.”

also developed some excellent relationships with the people of Iceland.” Iceland’s Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thór Thórdarson said: “We appreciate the support from a trusted ally and neighbour, and we look forward to welcoming the RAF back for its next mission in Iceland.” As well as being on 24-hour standby to scramble in response to unidentified aircraft, the Typhoons flew 59 training sorties and more than 180 practice intercepts.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P11


Juno’s long distance Lancaster tribute

A JUNO training helicopter has been christened Aries in honour of a Lancaster bomber which completed a record breaking round-the-world flight 75 years ago. Wg Cdr David McKinley and his crew from the Empire Air Navigation School took off from Shawbury in October 1944 and returned 53 days later after clocking up 200 flying hours and covering almost 36,000 nautical miles. The aircraft was retired in January 1947 and earmarked for preservation but was sold for scrap in August 1948. The historic flight has always been commemorated at Shawbury where the Aries nose sign was preserved and

Qatar call TYPHOONS FROM the RAF’s first-ever joint Qatari squadron staged a dramatic debut in the skies above the Gulf state. British fast jets flew alongside the Qatari Emiri Air Force over Doha to mark the country’s National Day. The squadron stood up last year to train Qatari pilots ahead of delivery of 24 swing role fighters to the Gulf state in 2022. Wg Cdr Chris Wright said: “The celebrations have been a sight to behold. We loved playing our part and we’re looking forward to next year when 12 Sqn will return to Qatar with our own Qatari pilots and ground crew.”

displayed in the Officers’ Mess. In addition, one aircraft always carried the Aries name but this ceased once the flying training was delivered by the former Defence Helicopter Flying School. Now the tradition has been revived with the Juno – part of the new UK Military Flying Training System. Gp Capt Chris Mullen said: “This has been a wonderful opportunity to remember the heritage of Shawbury. “The original Aries crew pushed the boundaries of aviation to perfect long-range navigation techniques at a time when bombs were still falling on London.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P13

News News Bulletin


Ops man goes the distance A SUPERFIT airman has run 1000kms over six months while on operations in the Middle East to prepare for a New Year marathon challenge in America. Flt Lt Thomas ‘Pez’ Perry, set himself the target of clocking up the clicks while deployed with 902 Expeditionary Air Wing to get in shape for a four-day endurance event in the USA in January He also organised a 10-mile running event which saw almost all 902 EAW personnel get involved. This in turn generated a 902 EAW running club, which completes weekly 5k runs. Pez said: “I have enjoyed the challenge I set myself, physically ticking each run off my tally chart motivated me to keep going. “Due to work commitments and weather there have been some very early and late night runs to ensure I stayed on track. “Keeping fit on operations helps with acclimatisation and physical and mental resilience. It’s fundamental to coping with the rigours of operations.”

Defence chief joins battle against PTSD FORMER FORCES Chief Lord Dannatt has joined forces with military mental health campaigners Combat Stress to highlight the plight of vets battling PTSD. The former Chief of the General Staff will be the guest speaker at a mental health conference event at Sandhurst Military Academy, on April 20. For more details and to book go to: combatstress.org.uk

Point Of Order IN RAF News No 1480, dated November 29, we mistakenly referred to Air Marshal Sue Gray as Air Vice-Marshal. We are happy to correct this error.

Afghan firefight hero signs on at Cranwell A CHINOOK pilot awarded a DFC for his leadership and bravery in Afghanistan is the latest Forces hero to sign the Wall of Gallantry. Sqn Ldr Mark Hammond and his crew came under intense fire on a series of missions over 24 hours while they attempted to rescue UK and Afghan personnel. A former Major in the Royal Marines, he is the author of the book Immediate Response, his story

of serving as a Chinook pilot in Afghanistan during some of the fiercest fighting since the Korean War. He spoke to the latest graduates from the Defence Survive, Evade, Resist, Extract Training Organisation at RAF Cranwell. Mark Fairhead, the Organisation’s OC, said: “Sqn Ldr Hammond was an outstanding guest and left the students both engaged and motivated as they embark on their own flying careers.”

Vegas stakes high for Reaper crews tracking terrorists REAPER CREWS tracking terror from Nevada have told of the relentless pace of 13 years of continuous operations. And America-based personnel of 39 Sqn say the bright lights of living Stateside mask the realities of protecting UK streets. Officer Commanding 39 Squadron Wg Cdr Colin Welsh, (pictured below) said: “It’s a different environment. It’s easy for people to look at the badge of where your address is and say, ‘hey you’re living in Las Vegas,’ and allow themselves to jump to a certain conclusion. “But the realities of life for the crews out here are they work antisocial hours, and they see and experience some fairly harrowing images in the execution of their duties.” His unit formed from 1115 Flight at Creech Air Force Base, spiritual home to US Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems in 2007, and the two allies’ crews have fought side-by-side ever since. Based at India Springs – a clutch of trailers and a gas station off Interstate 95 – the base is an hour from Vegas in the Nevada desert where summer temperatures top 46C (114F). He said: “That hour’s drive through the desert in each direction provides a very helpful buffer between the realities of normal family life or single life, and the very stark realities of an operational workplace, on a daily basis. “There’s a relentless demand for the capability that 39 Squadron provides. “The operational product the frontline

gets is absolutely exceptional and is universally highly regarded. “I’ve been fortunate enough to meet people afterwards with whom I worked on the ground and they really are consistently eternally grateful for the quality of service you provide.” And the former Puma Force officer says the combat effect his people have delivered is significantly greater than when he was flying combat troops into battle in helicopters. “I have no doubt whatsoever that the capabilities provided by Reaper are absolutely vital to the way we fight war today. “We’re not a replacement for fast jets, we don’t have their responsiveness and range of weaponry, but we’re a crucial part of the force mix, providing that permanence enabling a commander to have a flexible choice of how to prosecute a target.” And unlike conventional aircrew whose careers consist of operational conversion, training, exercise, workup, deploy, repeat, Reaper men and women train on live operations. Recent developments include the award of conventional RAF flying badges for ISR (RPAS) pilots and campaign medals for Operation Shader. Wg Cdr Welsh said:“There is a potential for them now to cross-over between remotely piloted and conventional fixed wing aviation. “They are now proudly wearing the same flying badge as their manned colleagues.”

AIR CDRE Suraya Marshall has been appointed as the new Commandant at Cranwell College. She took over from outgoing chief Air Cdre Peter Squires, who is moving on to the MoD in London. She said: “I’m genuinely honoured and looking forward to working with everyone involved in preparing the next generation.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P14


Cranwell College marks a century And when they can’t get out to chat up the landlord’s daughter, there’s the Mess games to divert them, including one called Bicycles, where volunteers joust with mops and dustbin lids. But if all this sounds like an environment akin to the antics of Oxford’s infamous Bullingdon Club, appearances ARE deceptive. In fact, by the late 1950s – thanks largely to the 430 Old Cranwellians killed in World War II and other college graduates who, between them, won an incredible 600 medals including one VC, two GCs, 82 DSOs and 269 DFCs – the democratisation of the RAF’s ranks is well underway.

Simon Mander


EXT MONTH sees the centenary of RAF College Cranwell. And to mark 100 years since the first Cadet Entry arrived at the Lincolnshire academy on February 5, 1920, author Roger Annett has produced his own tribute to his alma mater. It tells how the institution has changed in response to the RAF’s needs through the eyes of the cadets themselves – in particular, No 81 Entry, who arrived in September 1959 and graduated as Pilot Officers in July 1962. And to the 21st-century civilian reader, on the face of it it’s like being transported back in time to a cross between Billy Bunter’s Greyfriars and Charles Dickens’ Dotheboys Hall. In 1919, a year before its foundation, a Parliamentary committee under Lord Hugh Cecil stated that the RAF should select for training ‘boys who possessed not a particular degree of wealth or social position but a certain character, the quality of a gentleman.’ And to promote that ethos its first Commandant, ex-Charterhouse scholar and keen huntsman Air Commodore Charles Longcroft, even formed the college’s very own pack of beagles. By the time 81 Entry arrived the drive to transform a disparate group of young men into a military elite is in full swing. “The days proceed, with lectures from Squadron and Flight Commanders on rules of the game, expectations and requirements of cadets through to table manners and etiquette. “They are measured by Messrs Bates and Co for their officer-pattern Service hats with RAF badge, by Messrs Poulson Skone for one pair officer-pattern black shoes and by Gieves for a pair of unlined brown-leather gloves. “The Medical Officer arrives, to talk

I CEREMONY: Swearing the Oath of Allegiance

(embarrassingly and scarily) about personal hygiene, following which there’s a series of vaccinations which leave the arm swollen and stiff and makes the Friday evening bulling of ceremonial boots even more of a trial.”


y the start of the second term having survived the haircuts and hazing or ‘crowing’, with which more senior inmates ‘welcome’ newcomers, packed-timetablepermitting, the ‘chaps’ are allowed off base at weekends to explore local pubs. The Co-op dance hall in Lincoln and the Dancing Slipper in Nottingham are the top nightspots. However, they are firmly told, ‘Sleaford remains out of bounds to all College cadets, at all times.’ Apparently, that’s where the airmen drink and this could lead to unseemly encounters with Other Ranks.

n 1940, reservists from all walks of life and races provided a quarter of the Battle of Britain’s fighter pilots and at the peak of its wartime numbers one sixth were women and 400 were West Indians. From 1958 to 1959 MRAF Dermot Boyle became the first ex-Cranwell cadet to become CAS. The stage was set, says Annett for ‘a hierarchy based on merit rather than social standing,’ which would inevitably impact on the RAF’s Officer College. As ACM Sir Sandy Wilson, a former No 81 Entrant, points out in the book’s foreword, technological and social change such as the introduction of fast jets and a rapidly-expanding Higher Education sector has meant Cranwell has had to constantly reinvent itself to stay relevant. He says: “Within a few years (of No 81 Entry) it became obvious that such an academic task alongside exacting pilot and navigator training was too demanding to be maintained by all but a small minority of cadets. “The College was also failing to woo the stars away from university and into the depths of Lincolnshire.”

RAF CAPS: Came from Bates of Jermyn Street, London


y the 1970s it recruited graduates only, focusing on University Air Squadron members who already knew how to fly. The following decade it became an Initial Officer Training establishment whose intake included the first NCOs and today it is the sole point of entry for RAF officers of all trades. As a semi-autobiographical account of one intake’s experience Annett’s work would only be of limited interest, but by cleverly combining first person accounts with contextualising passages explaining Cranwell’s development over the century he superbly brings history to life. This is not an official history and is perhaps all the better for it. At 356 pages it’s perhaps a little long and the £30 price tag may deter a younger generation often addicted to getting free stuff on the internet and adverse to reading an actual book. But for anyone interested in what it was like to attend a unique institution at a key point in a 100-year history, which will be marked by a series of events throughout 2020, it’s a fascinating story. ■ We Seek the Highest, RAF College Cranwell: A Centenary Celebration, by Roger Annett, is published by Pen & Sword Books.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P15

CADET LIFE: (Clockwise) Arriving at Cranwell; final uniform adjustments; high jinks jousting on bicycles; an ad for outfitters Gieves; the Cranwell Beagles 1920-21; and bulling boots for inspection

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P16

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P17


by Simon Mander

Lone Wolf ace with something of the night about him A

MONG THE great fighter pilots of World War II man’s heroism has all but been

forgotten. While the likes of Bader, Lacey and Johnson became and largely remained household names this aviator’s fame died with him despite, in a single year – 1941 – destroying 15-and-a-half Luftwaffe aircraft – more than the rest of his comrades on 151 Squadron combined. And despite, on five occasions, shooting down two enemy bombers during a single mission, earning him the DFC and Bar. Not many people know the name Flt Lt Richard Playne Stevens – Britain’s greatest night fighter ace of the Blitz. Nicknamed ‘Cat’s Eyes,’ because of his extraordinary night vision and at the height of his success in July 1941 dubbed the ‘Lone Wolf,’ his remarkable story is told in Andy Saunders’ new book Lone Wolf. Another RAF legend, Gp Capt John Cunningham CBE, DSO and two bars, DFC and bar pays tribute to him in the foreword. “Stevens was probably the only successful night fighter pilot who when I couldn’t achieved success get our hero solely by the use to answer, the of his own eyes,” senior controller he said. would take the “My successes headset and call at night were him. almost entirely due “Once, the to the use of radar SEANCE: Clairvoyant Estelle Roberts Station Commander and an operator, as tried to contact him my own night vision capability but to no avail. I think he got was not exceptional.” into trouble that time, but just Flying a black Hurricane with smiled and claimed the mic and a fire-breathing demonic dragon headphones in his helmet weren’t as nose art Stevens stalked the working.” darkness for Nazi prey. But his hunger to kill Germans And like the other famous ‘lone knew no bounds. wolf ’ – Czech ace Josef Frantisek who shot down 17 aircraft in one Like the other month at the height of the Battle of Britain – Stevens didn’t cope well famous ‘lone wolf’ with military discipline. Josef Frantisek, As former deputy airfield flying control officer George Young Stevens did not cope recalled once he took off from well with discipline Wittering, Stevens was a law unto himself. “He just wouldn’t answer when After despatching a Heinkel called up on the R/T. Quite often with a one second 20mm cannon

burst, detonating the aircraft’s entire bomb load, his fitter Cyril Mead recounted the state of Stevens’ fighter. “When we got over to look at the Hurricane the next day, it was a mess. How he landed it in the dark I do not know,” Mead said. “The windscreen had a large hole in it, the oil tank was punctured and dented, and we found blood, hair and bits of bone and human remains stuck to the port wing, whilst the tips of the propeller blades were smeared with blood.” Stevens refused to let the ground crew clean his aircraft. Little is known about what drove his obsessive fanatical hatred of the Germans – Stevens himself put out the story that his family had been killed in an air raid on South London – which the author says is untrue.

Likewise, his death, as much as his life, is shrouded in mystery. He was killed on the night of December 15-16, 1941 after swooping on a Junkers 88 as it was about to land at Glize-Rijen airfield, setting it on fire. Roaring away his Hurricane hit the ground 600 yards from the runway’s end, and it seems pilot error was to blame. Stevens’ former CO Sqn Ldr JS Adams said of him: “He was not a good pilot. His flight commander described him as ham-fisted because he broke several Hurricanes when he joined the squadron. “But he was a clever pilot…and a shrewd bad weather flier.” The circumstances of his death were also confused by the bizarre claims of medium Estelle Roberts who said she’d spoken to ‘Dick,’

from beyond the grave at a séance attended by his widow and the famously superstitious air chief ACM Sir Hugh Dowding who is also said to have believed in fairies. Stevens’ demise, three days after his DSO was gazetted, prompted a flood of tributes with Secretary of State for Air Sir Archibald Skinner describing him as ‘one of the greatest night fighter pilots who ever fought in Fighter Command.’ ● Lone Wolf is written by Andy Saunders and based on 20 years of research by his collaborator Terry Thompson who sadly died before its publication. Published by Grub Street (£20), it’s an extraordinary biography of a true hero whose name deserves to be better known.

CRASH SITE: Stevens’ death was blamed on pilot error



Win tickets to Mountain Film Festival ● p5

Regulars Announcements ● p6-7

They will rock you ● p4

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 R'n'R 3

R'n'R Film review A Hidden Life

12A rating, out January 17

Poetic lament for hero's act of defiance


ERRENCE MALICK returns to the subject of World War II, this time using his philosophically meandering style to focus on one man's resistance in a small mountain town in Austria. Malick’s films have become rather divisive since his foray into the more heady and artistic, beginning with Tree of Life at the start of the decade. Using a combination of grand sweeping shots of stunning landscapes, and macro observations of intimate detail, he creates a poetic l a m e n t on lofty subjects s u c h as the nature of existence, usually through the lens of Christian morality. A Hidden Life fits perfectly into this mould, observing Franz Jägerstätter (August Diehl) with his family, the simple pleasures of harvesting crops and playing with

his children. This mountain life will soon be disrupted by the growing Nazi invasion as it demands support and allegiance – requiring everyone in town to contribute toward the cause and swear an oath to Adolph Hitler. Franz’s act of defiance will set him on course for execution, and so he must consider the morality of his actions, weighing the impact on his conscience against the consequences to his family. A question is being asked of the audience, not so subtly mind, of what it means to believe in something and to stand up for it at whatever cost. The slow pace and long shots ground the characters, so that without dialogue you feel as though you understand the complex emotions. The reflective nature of the film works to have you contemplate the ideas that are being presented, but this is pretty

NAZI INVASION: August Diehl, above, right with Valerie Pachner and inset, near left, stars as conscientious objector Franz Jägerstätter in Terrence Malick's A Hidden Life

much instructed by the whispered narration of characters’ thoughts, another Malick staple that could be distractingly heavy- handed if it weren’t the only element breaking the repetition. There are moments of profound beauty and connection, but


within a much longer and perhaps intentionally simple film, with a three-hour running time, the point is somehow both lost and overstated. The film is filled with comedy and darkness, more often than not holding one within the other. It is

reminiscent of last year’s Ladybird, with a tenderness that creeps in and takes over. Review by Sam Cooney (three out of five roundels)

UK Box Office Top 10


Exclusive Tornado F3 cufflinks

Icarus Originals (rrp £126)

Win cufflinks made from a Tonka


CARUS ORIGINALS, which makes metal from iconic UK aircraft into bespoke cufflinks, has launched two limited edition sets made solely from aluminium recovered from Jaguar GR3 and Tornado F3 aircraft. The new sets were made to celebrate the company’s association with the RAF Benevolent Fund and a proportion of the money raised from their sale and several other cufflinks sets the business produces will be donated directly to the charity, said RAF Typhoon engineer Sqn Ldr John Mercer, who runs the firm with Royal Navy veteran Alan Lock. John (pictured) said: “Finding the right material is one of our biggest challenges; all of the aluminium we use for our cufflinks comes from sources that allow us to certify its provenance. “We predominantly use aircraft restoration company Jet Art Aviation, who have 15 years’ experience restoring historic aircraft. As well as sharing our passion for preserving aviation heritage, their founder, Chris

that is durable enough to wear daily but retains all the unique character of the aircraft we’re paying tribute to, can sometimes involve up to six re-designs. “When we have the perfect master to take a mould from, each subsequent cufflink is individually cast using molten aluminium from the aircraft and hand finished in the UK by our master jewellers. “It’s a great source of satisfaction when you attend events and see people there wearing your cufflinks and you know just how much effort has gone into creating them.” We have a pair of Tornado F3 cufflinks (rrp £126) to win. For your chance to own them, send us the correct answer to this question:

CUFF LOVE: Tornado F3 links

Wilson, is an ex-RAF mechanic and has been a great supporter.” Once the aircraft material is cleaned, stripped and cut up, the design work begins. This involves taking millions of data points from reference models to build

a three-dimensional aircraft that looks exactly like the real thing, John explained. He added: “Once we have this, we use 3D printing and moulds to generate an initial cufflink that then becomes the master. To get the perfect design


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

2 Cats (below) 3

Jumanji: The Next Level

4 Frozen 2 5 Last Christmas 6 Knives Out 7 Dabangg 3 8

It's a Wonderful Life (4K Restoration)

9 Blue Story 10 Abominable

What is the name of John Mercer and Alan Lock’s company? Email your answer, marked F3 Cufflinks competition, to: c omp e t it i ons @ r af ne w s . c o. u k or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by January 24.

Source: BFI

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 R'n'R 4

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 R'n'R 5

R'n'R Music

Queen + Adam Lambert World tour

Back on the road

Queen reign UEEN + ADAM LAMBERT have added Q a further five shows to their June 2020 Rhapsody residency at London’s O2 Arena –

TOUR: Queen in front of an image of original frontman Freddie Mercury


Best Home Cook New series

bringing the total of London performances to 10. Guitarist Brian May added: “This is a fearsome new production taking the Queen legacy to a new place. I’m well proud.” Lambert added: “I can’t wait to get back to the UK and Europe, we had a blast on our last tour, and I am so excited to bring this new show over there.” The all-new Rhapsody show kicks off the New Year with 17 giant arena and stadium performances across South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. It arrives in the UK and Europe in late spring, as Queen original band members May and Taylor team up again with longtime frontman Lambert on lead vocals to perform shows across nine countries from late May into early July. The European tour will launch in Italy on May 24, with its final stop in Madrid for two shows in July. It will also visit the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Switzerland. The new show is the work of Stufish Entertainment Architects’ set designer Ric Lipson and lighting designer Rob Sinclair, who both have a long-term association with Queen including the band’s 2017-2018 News of the World-inspired touring show. Lipson said: “This new show delivers the band's most spectacular yet.” n Go to: queenonline.com for more details.

Chow down

The Big Event Seven Worlds, One Planet

Seven wonders TV giant hits arena ROSS SEA, ANTARCTIC: The seabed is a constant -2˚C, but it's adorned with colourful starfish ALL PHOTOS: BBC

BRASS MONKEYS?: No, golden snub-nosed ones, from China


Berry's new home comforts B

EST HOME COOK is back on our screens, with She added: “We’ve had a fiddle with the rounds the queen of home cooking Mary Berry and [for the new series]. Mary is always in charge of the Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett and fruit and first – the Ultimate. Chris then heads the Rustle Up veg expert Chris Bavin joining her as judges. challenge, where he gives our cooks an ingredient and Hosted by Claudia Winkleman, the eight-part series not a lot of time to come up with a dish. It really is a sees 10 talented home cooks embark on ‘the ultimate straightforward ingredient, something lots of us have immersive cooking competition’, living together in a at home – think baked beans rather than dragon fruit. shared house and competing against each other, while “Anyone who doesn’t completely impress the judges the trio of judges put their cooking prowess to the test. has to take part in the Eliminator, and follow a recipe Mary defined a good home Angela has picked. I try to look cook as ‘someone who will cook after them but bark time calls a with love and passion, and have little too much.” an understanding of, and a flair Chris revealed that he loved for, flavours’. the show’s Rustle Up Challenge Praising the set for the new because ‘it is what home cooks series, she said: “It is fabulous. It have to do on a daily basis’. means that we can move about He added: “You have to be more, go into a different room, inventive and adaptable. Often, make a cup of coffee and chat we have to use something up between us. The set is every or substitute an ingredient... or cook’s dream and the design is open the fridge and magically bang on trend. create something delicious out “I want to see our contestants’ of very little. joy of cooking and enthusiasm “There are many brilliant giving the best results. I do additions to series two, which not want to see disorganised JUDGES: (l-r) Chris, Mary, host Claudia, and Angela we’ve made whilst keeping all preparation and panic when the brilliant bits of series one. things don’t go right – an organised cook works in a There are a few twists this year that I can’t wait for tidy kitchen,” she added. people to see.” Claudia said: “I think a great home cook is someone Angela revealed that Mary Berry was the reason she who loves feeding family and friends. Whether they wanted to join the judging panel for the new series. make a great roast, a great fish pie or a sumptuous “The fact that I’d get to work with her, who wouldn’t curry. The contestants are all the type of people who want to do that?,” she said. make just really tasty delicious food. Not fancy, but off n Best Home Cook continues on BBC One on the charts tasty.” Thursdays at 8pm.



HE TV wildlife series that became BBC One’s most-watched factual TV show for 2019 will celebrate its UK premiere live concert performance at The O2 Arena in London in May. The one-off Seven Worlds, One Planet show promises to present the very best footage and music from the highly-acclaimed television hit. When the landmark series, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, was first broadcast in the UK last October it took viewers on an epic journey that celebrated the diversity of life on each of the seven continents, and highlighted the many challenges faced by nature in a modern world dominated by humanity. Seven Worlds, One Planet Live in Concert, on May 24, presents a selection of the most spectacular scenes from the television series displayed on a giant state-of-the-art 4K Ultra HD LED screen. The series took 1500 people more than four years to make, including 92 film shoots across 41 countries. Accompanying the footage on screen, the series’ score, written by Academy Award winner Hans Zimmer and Jacob Shea, will be performed by the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The score also features the song Out There, produced specifically for the TV show by Zimmer and the multi-award-winning artist Sia. Zimmer said: “Following up Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II was no easy task, but the BBC have outdone themselves yet again with the magnificent Seven Worlds, One Planet. It was a true honour to return to the series to compose the theme with Jacob Shea for Bleeding Fingers Music, and a special pleasure to collaborate with Sia for Out There. “These stories of nature are so important for us to show and preserve for future generations, and I am honoured to be a part of spreading this message. I am excited for everyone to get a chance to listen to the incredible score.” During the concert, the audience will be taken on a journey of discovery through the ‘seven worlds’ – from the colourful paradises of South America to Asia’s vast wilderness; from the unforgiving deep freeze of the Antarctic to the searing heat of Africa and from North America via Australia to wildlife closer to home in Europe.


IBERIAN LYNX: Back from the brink of extinction

RARE BEASTS: Sir David Attenborough with one of the last two northern white rhinos in the world

LLAMA DRAMA: Guanaco in Torres del Paines, Chile

ir David Attenborough is to present The Green Planet, a new five-part landmark series from BBC Studios Natural History Unit, dubbed ‘Planet Earth from the perspective of plants’. Attenborough said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to explore a neglected yet truly remarkable part of the natural world. Once again, the innovative approach of the BBC NHU and ground-breaking technology will reveal new and surprising wonders to the BBC One audience.” Executive producer Mike Gunton added: “This series will take viewers into a world beyond their imagination – see things no eye has ever seen. The world of plants is a mind-blowing parallel universe; one that we can now bring to life using a whole range of exciting new camera technology.” Across the series, Attenborough will travel to the USA, Costa Rica, Croatia and northern Europe, from deserts to mountains, rainforests to the frozen north, to find new stories and a fresh understanding of how plants live. He will meet the largest living things that have ever existed; trees that care for each other and plants that breed so fast they could cover the planet in a matter of months. The Green Planet is due for broadcast in 2021. n Go to: from www.seven-worlds-oneplanet-live.co.uk and www.axs.com for ticket details.



Spitfire Deserter

Wasp Spit's sting in tail I

T’S BEEN called a classic World War II Spitfire story with a twist – the true tale of Sgt Salvatore ‘Bud’ Walcott, an American who served as a Spitfire pilot with the RAF in 1942. In Spitfire Deserter? The American Pilot Who Went Missing (Amberley-books.com), author Bill Simpson examines what really happened when Walcott made his illfated attempt to fly to Malta. On April 20, 1942, 47 Spitfires from 601 and 603 Sqns of the Auxiliary Air Force launched from the deck of the USS Wasp, which was north of Algiers. The aircraft were bound for Malta at a time when the island was under heavy siege by Axis forces. Walcott’s Spitfire didn’t make it – he crash-landed in North Africa, part of Vichy-France, and was interned. After trying to escape, he was liberated at the end of 1942. He returned to the UK and joined the US Army Air Corps, continuing to serve as a

pilot until the end of the war and afterwards with the USAF during the Berlin airlift. Was that landing in Africa ‘an inexplicable defection’ as it’s been described? Did his aircraft’s undercarriage fail to retract as Walcott claimed, or did he lose his nerve? Walcott’s ultimately tragic tale is set against the larger narrative of Irish/ American and British/ Vichy France relations of the Mediterranean theatre, aircraft design and the US entry into the war. We have a copy of the book up for grabs. To be in with a chance of winning it, just answer this question correctly: What was Salvatore Walcott’s rank in 1942? Email your answer, marked Spitfire Deserter?| book competition to: competitions@ rafnews.co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by January 24.


Banff Film Festival UK & Ireland tour 2020


Great outdoors… indoors


HE BANFF Mountain Film Focusing on adventures ranging Festival world tour is back for from skydiving in Mexico to ice 2020, bringing a new selection of skating on the spectacular frozen action and adventure films to 60 lakes and fjords of Sweden, the venues across the UK and Ireland – tour’s films are chosen from from January 16 to May 26. hundreds of entries into the Banff The tour features two different Mountain Film Festival, held collections of films every autumn in the from top adventure Canadian Rockies. filmmakers, from We have a pair of the wildest corners tickets to the Festival of the planet. Each at the New Theatre, screening includes Oxford on January a free prize draw for 28. goodies from the For your chance tour partners. to win them, send us UK and Ireland the correct answer to tour director Nell this question: Teasdale said: “We can’t wait to share the How many venues latest inspirational are on the Banff films from the Mountain Film world’s most Festival UK and prestigious mountain Ireland 2020 tour? film festival on our STUNNING VIEWS: Mountains biggest tour yet. Email your “As well as exhilarating stories answer, marked Banff competition, starring intrepid characters and to: competitions@rafnews.co.uk pioneering journeys, an evening at or post it to: RAF News, Room Banff is a celebration of the great 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air outdoors, with a vibrant atmosphere Command, High Wycombe, HP14 and a real sense of community. 4UE, to arrive by January 20. We guarantee audiences will leave inspired to have an adventure of n Go to: banff-uk.com for more their own.” information and to book tickets.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page to: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk

100th birthday RETIRED Squadron Leader Robert Leslie Armstrong will celebrate his 100th birthday on January 26. He was an Apprentice at Royal Air Force College Cranwell in 1937 and was commissioned during the war. He served 37 years in the RAF, retiring in 1974. His family send love and congratulations on this special day.


Deaths HINDLE William McKechnie (Bill) Born September 16, 1933 died

December 11, 2019. Bill, Trade Group 12, served, from 1951 until 1985 in Aerospace Systems. This took him to, amongst other postings both home and overseas, RAF Seaton Snook where he met his wife Audrey, Cyprus (two terms), Malaya, and RAF Buchan (two terms) reaching Warrant Officer status.

for the CAB well into his eighties. Beloved husband of Audrey, father of Jeanette (passed away), Graham and Adrian, grandad of Mhairi, Calum, Fiona, Aileen and Colin. Funeral held on January 7 at Newbold Church, Chesterfield followed by cremation at Brimington Crematorium. Donations to the Royal British Legion.



I am looking to contact Stuart Taylor aged 49 approx. He was based at RAF Brize Norton in the 00s, I think as a member of the ground crew. He lived in Blackpool in the 1980s and worked in Blackpool Tower for a short time in 1987. If anyone can please help with any information please get in touch with Marie via email: whiskymac73@gmail.com.

After leaving the RAF Bill was a Bursar for the RNIB for ten years. Post ‘retirement’ he remained active on the fostering panel and as an Independent Person for Derbyshire County Council as well as a voluntary advisor

I am looking for a contact telephone number for the 97 Squadron Association. I do not have email or www facilities. A late relation, Gerald HR Polson served on 97 Sqn in World War II and was awarded a DFM

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 Edwin Rodrigues on: 07482 571535. 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: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk

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 ......................................................................................................................................................

and DFC and Bar. Please contact: Brian Polson, Flat 30, Victoria Court, Railway Street, Braintree Essex, CM7 3JZ. SEEKING Rod Crawford, member of the Falcons Display Team in 1983. Hi Rod, remember you and your comrades in September 04 and 18 in Germany?We spent a wonderful time together, you reached your team in the very last minute before getting on the lorries back to the airport. No chance to exchange further contact. I gave you our photo and an old German medieval song, called the Falcon song. In case, you are free, I would love to see you again. Ilse from Germany. Email: ilse. kueper@unitybox.de.

Association is very active and we want to contact any veteran or relative of a veteran. We are planning a Reunion and Memorial Service for autumn 2020. Please contact: KevB@ silenicus.com. 318TH Entry – 3 S of TT RAF Hereford. Admin/Craft Apprentices are organising a reunion to celebrate our 50th Anniversary on May 1, 2020. Any ex Apprentices who are interested in attending should contact Paul Leggott at: pleggott53@gmail.com. CALLING all 308 Entry Admin Apprentices. A 53rd Anniversary Reunion is being held at the National Memorial Arboretum on June 3, 2020 at Alrewas in Staffordshire. For further information, please contact Nick Nicholson on: 01691 682174 or email: www. nich33@btinternet.com. COASTAL Command Officers’ Reunion, October 10, 2020. Please contact Ray Curtis, call: 01264 735349 or email: hjn3@btinternet.com.

Reunions THE Red Arrows Association is calling for new members. It organises various events, has a Facebook page and biannual newsletter and holds a popular annual reunion. Membership is £5 a year and is conditional on having served on the Red Arrows (including the Yellowjacks) as either aircrew, ground crew or civilian support staff at any time since its formation in 1964. Associate membership is also available to people closely connected to the team. Please email: secretary@ redarrowsassociation.co.uk or visit: redarrowsassociation. co.uk.

..................................................................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................................................................... Please send to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP14 4UE.

31 Group Royal Observer Corps Association Annual Reunion will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2020 in the Magherabuoy Hotel, Portrush, Co Antrim. Email: paddyj31@btinternet.com. 158 Squadron Bomber Command. The 158

THE RAF Locking 119/219/404 Apprentice Entries 50th Anniversary Reunion will be held on October 23 and 24, 2020.An informal evening on October 23, 2020 will allow exapprentices to gather before the formal dinner on October 24. The formal event will take place in the ballroom of the Weston-super-Mare Winter Gardens BS23 1AJ, for all RAF Locking 119/219/404 Entry Apprentices and wives/ partners. For further details please contact Barry Cox at: barrycox124@hotmail.com. A limited number of tickets are available for all serving and retired members of the Mechanical Transport/Logs Driver Trade for the weekend of Friday, March 20 to Sunday March 22, 2020. Two nights’ B&B and a gala five course dinner on Saturday with first class cabaret and entertainment both nights at one of Blackpool’s most popular seafront hotels, all for the bargain offer price of £98 per person. For a great weekend in Blackpool with like-minded people ‘pull up a sandbag’… For further details please email: admin at: 2020rafmt@gmail.com. Tickets are selling fast – first come, first served.

5131 Sqn event APRIL 1, 2020 will see the formal disbandment of 5131 (Bomb Disposal)

Squadron, the last remaining bomb disposal unit in the RAF. To mark the event, the squadron will be taking part in a final parade followed by an evening of celebration at RAF Wittering. Anyone who has served on the squadron or undertaken EOD duties is invited to express an interest in attending. Final date to be confirmed but will be held in April, 2020. For further details please email: 5131bd75@gmail. com including name, rank held, and phone number and whether still serving or not. Once numbers of attendees are known, formal invitations will be sent.

Concert for RAFA TO celebrate 70 years since the formation of the Sheringham & District Branch of the Royal Air Force Association, a Big Band Concert by the Royal Air Force College Band will be held on February 29 at St Peter’s Church, Sheringham, starting at 2.30pm. The College Band’s first concert at Sheringham, in 2018, was sold out within days of tickets being released. All profits from the February concert will be donated to the RAF Association 2020 Wings Appeal. Tickets, priced £15, are available from Sheringham Little Theatre, either in person, online or by phone: 01263 822347. For more information please contact your local RAFA Branch on: 01263 479507.

Mess dress for sale TWO WO/SNCOs Mess dress for sale: 1 – 38" chest, 30" waist, 29" leg; 2. – 36" chest, 26" waist, 28" leg. Contact: marheat@hotmail. com.

Night with the RAF THE London Palladium hosts a glittering Night With The Royal Air Force on April 1, two days after its inaugural performance at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on March 30. Showcasing the Bands of the Royal Air Force and the Queen's Colour Squadron the concerts will feature a youth choir and guest rapper and are in support of the RAF Charitable Trust. For more details go to: thsh.co.uk/ boxoffice/ticket/882736 (for Birmingham); 1wtheatres. co.uk/whats-on/a-nightwith-the-royal-air-forceand-friends/ (for London Palladium).

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements

You can email photos for announcements on this page to: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk

Snow takes aim at Dresden

Betty celebrates her big day FORMER World War II radio operator Betty Ingram has celebrated her 100th birthday. At a party in Betty’s honour, at The Waveney House Hotel, Beccles, representatives of the local branches of the RAF Association and The Royal British Legion presented her

with a birthday card from The Queen congratulating her on reaching her centenary. After the war, Betty had a long career running her own hairdressing business in Lowestoft. She now lives in residential care home Beauchamp House in Chedgrave, Norwich. Brian Vousden, president

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of the local RAF Association, said: “We are honoured and privileged to have been given the opportunity to attend and show respect for Betty who served her country. “We arranged for Her Majesty’s card to be presented to her by Cpl Dean Cable of RAF Marham who is also a RAFA member.”

POPULAR TV presenter Dan Snow will be in conversation with best-selling author Sinclair McKay in a special event on February 4 at Coventry Cathedral to mark the 75th anniversary of the Dresden bombing. Historians Snow and McKay, author of top seller The Secret Life of Bletchley Park, will be discussing the impact of the devastating raids between February 13 and 15, 1945, carried out by Allied Forces. The event, a special oneoff occasion for the Stratford Literary Festival, marks the publication of Dresden: The Fire and The Darkness by McKay, literary critic of The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator. It is staged in association with the History Hit podcast, hosted by Snow, who is known as the ‘History Guy.’ Their discussion will cover the history of the city and the attack itself and the period of reconstruction

SPECIAL EVENT: Historian Dan Snow, above, and McKay's new title, inset

that followed, asking was Dresden a legitimate military target, or was the bombing a last of act of atavistic mass murder in a war already won,

to wreak revenge for the bombing of Coventry? For more information and to book tickets, go to: stratlitfest.co.uk.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 264

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

No. 274 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.

Across 1. Makes an offer, encompassing the right high-fliers (5) 4. An idiot reaches port (7) 8. Crash into messenger and go berserk (7) 9. Odd tribe, popular at joint promotion (3-2) 10. Star I would get to end of alcohol with (4) 11. Linchpin of Central Avenue outside Albany (8) 13. Open a container (4) 14. Speak in a seductive voice, like Pussy Galore (4) 16. Hid aroma from master of the waves (5,3) 17. Splitting atom as a defensive measure (4) 20. Bathe dishevelled bum that is outside (5) 21. We hear important relative is on the wine (7) 22. Crime committed by disgraced senator (7) 23. Be indifferent to woman’s clothing (5) Down

Name ......................................................................

1. This capital operation had RAF involvement…(6,7) 2. …while nothing came after capital lover (5) 3. See 6 Down 4. Austrian capital nears destruction of grounds (6) 5. And 15 Down. Fat culmination affects NATO exercise (8,6) 6. And 3 Down. Using it first was John ‘Jo’ Lancaster’s claim to fame (7,4) 7. Girl in pursuit of a distant object uses bicycle (5-8) 12. Aristocratic lady may bear sons (8) 13. Clear blue Welshman out of sorts (7) 15. See 5 Down 18. A little below, nervous landlord emerges (5) 19. Be late for young lady (4) Name ................................................................................................................... Address ............................................................................................................... .............................................................................................................................. ..............................................................................................................................

................................................................................. Address .................................................................. ................................................................................. ....................................................Su Doku No. 274

The winner of Crossword No. 262 is Michael Noble from Wellingborough, who wins a copy of Storm Over Europe by Juan Vázquez Garciá (pen-and-sword.co.uk). Solution to Crossword No. 262: Across – 7. Others 8. Corpse 10. Bottler 11. Donor 12. Role 13. Steal 17. Thick 18. Calm 22. Vicar 23. Ostrich 24. Reaper 25. Mid-air. Down – 1. Bombers 2. Whittle 3. Drill 4. Cold War 5. Spine 6. Beard 9. Protector 14. Charles 15. Magical 16. Amphora 19. Ivory 20. Scrap 21. Strip. RAF word: Reservists

RAF word ....................................................................... Crossword No. 264

Competition DVDs

Worzel Gummidge: The Complete Collection

Something to crow about HE ORIGINAL Worzel Gummidge TV series, starring Jon Pertwee, ran for four seasons on ITV and immediately became a cult classic. Although it was made as a children's series it quickly became a TV show the whole family could enjoy and, Jon Pertwee stated, apparently, that 65 per cent of its viewers were adults. Also featuring Una Stubbs (Sherlock), a ninedisc complete box set of series 1-4 is now out on DVD and we have a copy to win. Worzel is a walking, talking scarecrow who lives on Scatterbrook Farm, where he stands in Ten Acre Field. Made by The Crowman, Worzel (who can come to life and pass as human) is able to change his head to reflect his mood. The scarecrow has befriended children John and Susan Peters, who come to stay during the holidays on the Braithwaites’ farm. Worzel lands John and Susan in trouble, especially when he’s

mischievous, then goes into a sulk and once again becomes a lifeless scarecrow – leading others to blame the two children for all the trouble he causes. Worzel’s affection for Aunt Sally (a giant doll also able to pass as a human) is the cause of a lot of the trouble he finds himself in. The series was based on the books by Barbara Euphan Todd, first published in the 1930s. To be in with a chance of winning the Complete Collection on DVD (rrp £49.99), from Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises, answer the following question correctly: Who plays Aunt Sally in Worzel Gummidge? Email your answer, marked Worzel Box Set competition, to: comp et it ions@raf ne ws.co.u k or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by January 24.

Solutions should Solution to Su Doku No: 273 be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by January 24, 2020. Su Doku No. 273 winner Bill Cornell wins a copy of A Spy In The Sky by Kenneth B Johnson (pen-and-sword. co.uk).

Film review


(Fabulous Films/Fremantle Media Enterprises)


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 January 24, 2020.

Jojo Rabbit

12A rating, out now

Laughing at the Führer


COMING of age story set in the waning years of rule in Nazi Germany, Jojo Rabbit follows young Johannes (Roman Griffin Davis) and the relationships with his rebellious mother, the young Jewish girl hiding in the attic and his invisible friend and motivating confidant, Adolf Hitler. There are certainly moments of darkness in the film, the true horror of the situation can't help but push through the playfully subversive tone, but for the most part it plays as a cross between Moonrise Kingdom and Drop Dead Fred. The comedy is constant, propelled with flare by writerdirector Taika Watiti himself as Jojo's goofily imagined version of Hitler, offering encouragement when he has no one else. Living at home with his mother (Scarlett Johansson), Johannes wants to belong to something and so becomes a fervant fanboy of the Nazi party – Hitler and swastikas adorn his wall like band posters. As a member of a Nazi youth camp, headed by a literally and figuratively resigned Captain

SUBVERSIVE: From left, Roman Griffith Davis, Taika Watiti and Scarlett Johansson in Jojo Rabbit

Klenzendorf (excellently played by Sam Rockwell), here Johannes will learn how to hunt Jews and use explosives. That is until an accident has him thrown out, reduced to a position that has him spending more time at home where he makes the ideology-shattering discovery that his mother is hiding the enemy (Thomasin McKenzie). Led by his ardent but naive enthusiasm, Jojo knows that he can’t risk endangering his mother, and so decides to interrogate the intruder and learn all that he can about the Jews, how they have tails and sleep upside down like bats.

Although there is a deep and truthful resonance with how Nazi propaganda dehumanised Jewish people, the film cleverly refocuses this mythology to be spouted by a prepubescent boy, mocking the absurdity of it all and usurping the power of these historical villains. Waititi is continuing a precedent set by Charlie Chaplin almost a century ago when making The Great Dictator, stating that “Hitler must be laughed at”. Review by Sam Cooney (four out of five roundels)






from 63 countries 65,9% of international

65 startups at Eurosatory LAB


Total attendance (exhibitors, visitors, press, organisers)


Official delegations from 94 countries and 4 organisations (representing 760 delegates)



from 44 countries

75 Conferences 2,102 Business meetings made 2018 key figures

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P19


The art of aviation F

LIGHT THROUGH The Ages was the title of the first annual exhibition of the Guild of Aviation Artists in 1971. Now a sumptuous book of the same name has been published, celebrating 50 years of exhibitions and paintings by a hundred Guild artists, past and present, of aircraft from the earliest days of aviation to the present day. There are depictions of balloons and airships, fighters and bombers from World War I and II, including Spitfires and Lancasters, and airliners from the early years of air travel to today. Also included among the book’s 200 illustrations, most in full colour, are gliders, helicopters and the current generation of advanced aircraft. It features a short history of the Guild and a step-by-step approach by artist Chris French on producing an aviation painting. Every summer the Guild stages the major exhibition Aviation Paintings of the Year at the prestigious Mall Galleries in central London, where around 400 works are on show – the largest exhibition of its kind in the world. We have three copies of Flight Through The Ages (pen-and-sword.co.uk rrp £35) to win. For your chance to own one, send us the correct answer to this question:


ures Typhoons TOP: The work Thunder feat Vulcan on a bombing mission ABOVE: Brooding painting of

Become a RAF News regular

DOGFIGHT: RAF bi-planes fill the sky

Where does the Guild of Aviation Artists hold its annual exhibition? Email your answer, marked Aviation Artists book, to: competitions@rafnews. co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE to arrive by January 24.

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Royal Air Force News Friday January 10, 2020 P21


The b-last resort

When you are out of options and out of time, pulling the yellow and black handle is the only play you’ve got left IT’S THE toughest split-second call any pilot can make and unleashes extreme forces which test the human body to the limit. RAF flying instructor Bob Thompson punched out from a Jet Provost following a multiple bird strike, in 1971. He went on to be chief test pilot for ejector seat manufacturer Martin Baker and has worked on the ejection systems for the Typhoon and most recently the F-35 stealth fighter. He said: “I was a flying instructor with 3FTS at Leeming on the Jet Provost. I had a student engineering officer in the back seat. We used to put them through flying training in those days. “We were doing circuits over Dishford. A pigeon fancier from Huddersfield was looking for a place to release his birds and had stopped in a lay-by at the end of the runway. “We did a touch-and-go landing manoeuvre which was a standard training routine in those days. You touch down and skim the tarmac then power-up and take off again. “As we took off he released the pigeons. About 20 or so got airborne. We ran into them at about 300ft. There was no chance of missing them. “We suffered a multiple bird strike at about 110 knots. There was a massive shudder and a terrible grinding sound from the engine. The temperature gauges went off the scale. When that happens you have to close the throttle but if I did that we would go down. “I had a reflex action and ordered the student to eject while I fought the controls. I called out ‘eject eject eject!’ He did not hesitate and blew the canopy and was gone. That was when it got interesting. “The Provost had a MKP3 seat which operated on cartridges. When you pull it there is a half second delay to clear the canopy. “I felt the effects instantly. The adrenaline in my system kicked in and time really slowed down. “I had not figured that there would be so much smoke and debris flying about in the cockpit. You are very aware but everything happens in ultra slow motion. “It was like being underwater in a filthy debris-strewn swimming pool and there was an overpowering stench of cordite. “The nose pitched down by at least 20 degrees and I was going down fast. “I was aware that the minimum

HOT SEAT: Thompson conducting ejection seat testing in a Meteor, below, the pilot’s stricken Jet Provost in a field after the crash. Bottom, a Martin Baker ejection seat fitted to the RAF Typhoon.

height to eject is 10 per cent of the rate of descent. “Falling at 2000ft a minute that means the minimum is 200ft. The airspeed is now 100 knots and I am at about 100ft. “I grabbed the lever. Even though the canopy has already gone there is still a delay. I pulled the handle and nothing happened. I pulled it again. The seat fired and I went out. “There are three cartridges. The first gets you out and then the other two side charges follow. If all three went off at the same time it would kill you. “I felt it go bang bang bang. My eyes were closed tight and I felt I was tumbling. “A bullet is fired out to deploy the drone chute and once that happened I felt the seat stabilise. Then I opened my eyes which is a bad idea. “All I could see was the ground rushing up fast. I thought I was going to die. I even tried climbing up the chute rigging to avoid the impact. “When it came it was really hard. I hit the ground, rolled over and found myself in a cabbage field. I remember the smell and wondering where the hell I was. “I tried to stand which is the worst thing that you can do. I felt like I was disjointed from the middle. I pulled the chute over me to keep warm and passed out. “The next thing I know they

too – you have to ride through the pitch down.” He is now retired from that role but his love of flying has seen him work as an aerobatic display pilot and stunt pilot for TV shows. and movies including US comedy Top Secret! starring Val Kilmer. Bob said: “Film stunt flying is very dangerous. Directors want the shot they want and sometimes they don’t understand the technical limitations of the aircraft. Sometimes you just have to be firm and say no.” were putting me on a stretcher. I remember thinking that I didn’t want the Station Commander and the padre going to my house as my wife was eight months pregnant and she would immediately think that I had been killed. “I made them drive me home first

before going to the Army Hospital. “I had three crushed and cracked vertebrae and was hospitalised at Catterick for six weeks.” Bob lost almost an inch in height. He went on to fly more than 100 aircraft types. After retiring from the RAF he flew with aerobatic teams and later joined Martin Baker where he conducted dozens of ejector tests. He added: “At Martin Baker we used the Meteor as the test bed. When you do a test ejection at 450 knots and 200ft it is quite dramatic. “The aircraft lurches down. If you pull the stick too hard to correct that it really overstresses the aircraft. The dynamics cause a lot of turbulence on the tail


NEED TO TALK? SSAFA Personal Support and Social Work Service provides emotional and practical support to Regulars, Reserves and their families. Contact our conďŹ dential, independent service, call 03000 111 723 Available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, email psswsRAF@ssafa.org.uk Our offices are also open Monday-Friday 08.30-17.00

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P23


Flt Lt Mounsdon: one of the last of The Few W

ITH THE death of Flight Lieutenant Maurice Mounsdon, aged 101, there are just three surviving Battle of Britain veterans. He joined the RAF on a shortservice commission in August 1939 and, after completing his training as a pilot, was sent to No. 56 Squadron to fly Hurricanes. Operating from North Weald in Essex, he shared in the destruction of a Dornier 17 bomber on July 3. Three weeks later he probably destroyed a Junkers 87 ‘Stuka’. As the battle intensified in mid-August he destroyed two Messerschmitt fighters and probably destroyed a third. He was scrambled again early on the morning of August 31. At 15,000 feet his squadron attacked a large formation of enemy bombers over Colchester, when he engaged one of the escorting fighters and registered some hits. As he pulled away a Messerschmitt Bf 109 opened fire on him from behind and shot down his Hurricane. Mounsdon was wounded in the leg and the gravity tank behind the instrument panel exploded, spilling petrol over him. He recalled later: “Up it went and I was sitting in a blowlamp.” He managed to bale out and landed in a field a mile outside the village of High Easter with little left of his clothing, which had been burnt away. Farmers came over with pitchforks in hand and he had some trouble convincing them he was not German. The local ARP warden came to his aid and rushed him into the hospital at Black Notley, near Braintree, where he spent the next 11 weeks. Mounsdon had suffered severe burns to his arms and legs. Interviewed by the BBC in 2015, he described the initial sensation of his burns as ‘acute discomfort’ adding ‘The pain comes later.’ He spent much of the next two years in hospitals when he became a ‘Guinea Pig’ after numerous skin grafts and treatment by Archibald McIndoe at East Grinstead’s Queen Victoria Hospital. It was whilst he was convalescing that he met his wife Mary. After his long period in hospital recovering from serious burns, Mounsdon became an instructor at a number of elementary flying schools, first near Cambridge and then at Booker in Buckinghamshire. In later years he reflected on his time during the Battle of Britain and recalled: “The dogfights were pretty frightening. Everyone was firing at the same time. It was a matter of luck if you survived or not… but at the end of it all it was the happiest time of my life, though I lost a lot of good friends.” As the war ended he joined No.

AGED 100: Maurice with Reds pilot Martin Pert in 2018. And in flying jacket in 1940 (below)

It was a matter of luck if you survived or not… but at the end of it all it was the happiest time of my life, though I lost a lot of good friends”

8303 Air Disarmament Wing in Germany, based near Trier. The task was to disarm and disband the Luftwaffe, including the disposal of equipment and munitions in its allocated area. Some of the German personnel were retained to work for the RAF in Service units. The work of the wing included dismantling

the air defence artillery and the numerous industrial locations carrying out manufacturing and repair work for the Luftwaffe. Mounsdon was released from the RAF in February 1946 and worked as an engineer in areas around London. When he retired he moved to Menorca, where he spent the rest of his life. He was an expert model engineer, mostly building magnificent large-scale British steam locomotives. At the time of his 100th birthday, the RAF’s Red Arrows were visiting Menorca and the nine Hawk jets put on a spectacular display as Mounsdon watched from a friend’s apartment. The Reds even creating a ‘100’ in the sky for him with their coloured smoke. He later commented: “It was a real honour for me for the Red Arrows to come to Menorca and put on this display.”


We are excellent. We are QE.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) has found Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate to be ‘Excellent’ across all schools, praising our pupils’ outstanding academic achievements and personal development.

Queen Ethelburga’s has a long-standing relationship with the British Forces, welcoming students from military families for over 100 years. We currently have over 300 such students living as part of the QE family. We welcome day students from 3 months to 19 years and boarders from 6 years to 19 years. We are CEA accredited and in recognition of our commitment to Forces families, we offer a significant reduction in fees. In 2017/18 this meant that our Forces families paid just 10% of fees. In 2018/19 Forces families will pay just £955 per term, per child (with the benefits of Childcare Vouchers this figure can be as low as £614 per term). We pride ourselves on our wrap-around specialist pastoral care for our students, providing a secure and supportive home from home. We are focused on creating the right learning and living environment so that every one of them can thrive. For further information or to arrange a visit contact our admissions team on: Tel: 01423 33 33 30 Email: admissions@qe.org

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P25


Specialist navigator who flew over the North Pole

the RAF College of Air Warfare) to be the senior director for the specialist navigation department. He accompanied his students on flights to the North Pole using grid navigation and gyro steering techniques. His innovative ideas and drive resulted in his being appointed OBE. In addition to his numerous specialist duties, Grocott also filled more general appointments. He served in the training division of the Far East Air Force based in Singapore and in 1962 he converted to the Victor bomber before serving at RAF Marham as Wing Commander Operations. On promotion to Group Captain in 1966 he moved to the headquarters of the Near East Air Force in Cyprus where four Canberra bomber squadrons were based. In the latter part of his tour two Vulcan squadrons were transferred from bases in England and Grocock was much involved in developing and providing the operations support. On his departure after three years in post he was advanced to CBE. Grocott returned to more specialist appointments in the MoD responsible for operational requirements and in January 1975 he became the senior RAF representative at the Defence Operational Analysis Establishment at West Byfleet. He retired from the RAF in 1977.


IR COMMODORE ‘Pinky’ Grocott, who has died aged 96, was one of the RAF’s leading specialist navigators who flew long-range pioneering flights, including over the North Pole He joined the Royal Air Force at the end of 1942 and trained as a navigator in Canada. It was there that he gained his nickname of ‘Pinky’ – because of his rosy red cheeks – a name that was to remain with him for the rest of his life. After gaining his flying badge Grocott remained in Canada and joined No 231 Squadron of Ferry Command based at Dorval near Montreal. For the next two years he honed his navigation skills, ferrying American and Canadian-builts bomber and transport aircraft across the North and South Atlantic Oceans. On his return to Britain in February 1946 he joined No 242 Squadron flying York transport aircraft on trooping and re-supply flights to India and the Far East. He attended the Empire Air Navigation School and in January 1948 joined No 24 Squadron based in Cambridgeshire as the navigation leader. The role of the squadron was to fly passengers, and many VIPs, including government ministers and senior military chiefs – the latter including Lord Mountbatten – around the world. Grocott was awarded the AFC. For two years he was with the RAF’s Transport Command Examination Unit, checking and categorising crews flying on worldwide routes.

A passionate, clever and truly unique person

During a trip to Korea he flew in a USAF B-50 Superfortress attacking the Sinanju bridges

At the end of his time with the unit he left to join the second postgraduate course at the RAF Flying College at RAF Manby in 1951. During the year-long course he navigated the College’s modified Lincoln bomber ‘Aries III’ to conduct experiments and trials on polar flights including one that overflew the North Pole to Alaska. He also flew on other long-range trial flights to Ascension Island and some to the Far East including Tokyo. During a trip to Korea he flew in a USAF B-50 Superfortress

INNOVATIVE IDEAS AND DRIVE: ‘Pinky’ Grocott pictured in front of the modified Lincoln Aries III that flew over the North Pole. PHOTO: AIR HISTORICAL BRANCH

attacking the Sinanju bridges. In 1957 he moved to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE) at Boscombe Down where he became the chief experimental navigation officer

for the development and testing of navigation and weapon aiming systems. His flair for designing the techniques and methods of testing and evaluating these systems was recognised by the Guild of Air

Pilots and Air Navigators when, in 1962, they awarded him the Johnston Memorial Trophy for ‘his outstanding performance in the operation of airborne systems.’ His next appointment was a return to RAF Manby (by now

He joined the Royal Institute for Navigation in 1949. His record of service was unique and he was held in the highest esteem. He served on the technical committee before becoming its chairman and was a member of council, serving for 12 years when his RAF commitments allowed. Grocott was elected a Fellow in 1954, was vice-president and in 1996 was elected president, a position he held for three years. He was made an Honorary Fellow on his 90th birthday. He had a special interest in animal navigation and formed the Institute’s Animal Navigation Special Interest Group as well as the inauguration of its triennial conference in 1989; he remained a member of the organising committee until the 2019 conference. The leader of the Group described him as ‘A passionate, clever and truly unique person and our founder.’

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P26

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7 pages of RAF Sport starts here l Historic farewell for Service coach P32


LONDON CALLING: Action from a superb evening at the London Horse Show, Olympia PHOTOS: GEORGE PARISH

Duo’s capital effort Two top three spot as Olympia shines for RAF THEY MAY not have sealed top spot, but two top three places, and plenty of action and awards was the pay-off for the Service’s show jumpers at Olympia. Sqn Ldr Caitlin Wroe, team PR officer, said: “This was a nail-

biting Services jumping final at the London Horse Show. There was an extremely competitive field and our riders rose to the challenge.” A thrilling Inter-Services evening saw the Service riders Sqn Ldr Elise Kidd and Wg Cdr

Laurie Tostevin battle hard against eventual winner LCpl Holly Hall (Army reservist and racehorse jockey) who led from the first round with the fastest clear, and held on with another fast clear in the second round. The light blue

riders were unlucky to have four faults in the first round, however, both riders put in an excellent performance in the second round to both go clear and climb up the leader board into second and third places respectively. The runs were a particularly impressive performance from Kidd after her horse Impact lost a shoe in the first round, going on to complete the second round with just three shoes remaining. Along with her runner-up slot, Kidd also won a saddle donated by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers. Wg Cdr Laurie Tostevin was also crowned Best Newcomer and a leather head collar kindly donated by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers. The evening started badly for the team, as they lost their most experienced rider, Sqn Ldr Sam Martin. Martin was forced to withdraw just prior to the event

after his horse, Cruise Hero, acquired a tendon injury in the field. In spite of this crushing blow, Martin helped his colleagues fully behind the scenes and assisted the BFBS crew who filmed the evening for an episode to be broadcast in January on BFBS Sport.

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FOOTBALL RAF CUP: Saw Akrotiri soar to quarters

Rookies step up to make their claims Fresh blood brought in as stalwarts go Dutch

BACK-TO-BACK 2-2 draws against the Prison and Fire Services, along with a training camp at Cosford, saw out the year for the RAF SRT footballers. Head Coach FS Kev Barry introduced new players to the camp, with nine of his normal squad helping defend the Kentish Cup in Holland (see page 32 & 2930). Barry said: “Overall this was a very successful week for us, with two positive results against two very strong teams. All the White Cup and MDS personnel who stepped up did themselves proud and took their opportunity. “One of the most positive points to take away is that during both games we found ourselves behind, but we fought hard and stayed as a team and managed to claw the result back.” The period on the run-up to Christmas is always a busy one for the Service’s footballing association, with the week prior holding the annual Station Football OiC Conference at Carterton FC. This leads into the annual White Cup event, where players have the opportunity to vie for MDS or SRT selection. Barry added: “We used the first day to get all the old and new players introduced to each other. We put them through their paces with some intensive training. There was a positive vibe around the camp, with everyone putting in 100 per cent.” The opening away fixture saw

UK Prison Service RAF Senior Men

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the SRT face the UK Prison Service, and the annual tie against a tough and combative opposition didn’t disappoint. A slow start for the hosts saw them concede two goals in the opening 45 minutes. Barry shuffled his pack at the break introducing Cpl Robbie Priddle, who made a positive impact, having shone against Dorking Wanderers recently.

SATISFIED: RAF SRT head coach FS Barry

He caused the Prison Service defence some real problems, before eventually finding the net early after the restart. The hosts continued to press, but when they were caught on the break, an excellent one-handed save from SAC Dan Gorman kept the scoreline at 2-1.

RAF Senior Men Fire Service

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Some excellent switching of play by Cpl Tom Claisse in the middle and hard work down the right by SAC Mikey Branif resulted in Priddle being put through again, his effort producing an own-goal for the equaliser. In the closing minutes Claisse saw an excellent free kick well saved. The post-match recovery day, working on mobility and stretching, was held by Sgt Phil Morris. With plans to field a different formation for the second game, Barry moved players into other positions during training sessions. Against a robust Fire Service, the RAF settled quickly with some nice switching of play from both Claisse and SAC Tarren Moxon. On the left wing SAC George Barber was causing havoc, but an error allowed the visitors to score. Unbowed, a well-worked training ground move saw the Service side level with a lovely header from SAC Johnny Wiles. A motivational team talk from Barry again led to a good restart from the hosts, but another error let the Firemen in to lead 2-1. A series of substitutions midway through the half saw Cpl Ash Rowley introduced and, following a lively start, he netted to level things. n The SRT’s next fixture will be against AFC Wulfrunians on January 21. Follow the team on Twitter @RAFSRT.

It’s sunny delight for four-some Thornton SAC LIAM THORNTON proved to be the star man, netting four times for Akrotiri as they crushed Leeming 5-1 in this RAF Cup second-round clash in the sunny Mediterranean. The win secured a quarterfinal spot for the Cyprus station in the competition that has been freshened up this season with a straight knock-out format and the inclusion of the overseas base. Both teams supported the Rainbow Laces campaign, championing equal rights for all. The first real chance of the clash fell to Leeming’s SAC Nick Aston, who saw his 20-yard shot parried away for a corner by home goalkeeper SAC Stuart Grant after 25 minutes. The resulting corner kick saw Leeming captain SAC Jake Moore fire over. On the half-hour Moore was dispossessed and Akrotiri’s Thornton ran on and slotted past advancing goalkeeper Cpl Ross Martin. Thornton squandered an easy

RAF Akrotiri RAF Leeming

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chance from just six yards after 38 minutes, before he sent over a looping header from an SAC Jake Burns cross for 2-0. Any chance of a Leeming fightback ended when Thornton headed in his third just before the break, from another Burns cross. Into the second half Leeming forced a series of corners, but a Cpl Sean Kinsella through ball released SAC Allando Davis for Akrotiri. He showed his pace before rounding the goalkeeper and slotting the ball home to make it 4-0 after 50 minutes. Leeming snatched a consolation strike through Cpl David Holt, who smashed home from 20 yards. Thornton headed wide after 76 minutes, before SAC Ben Mearns was denied for Leeming and Thornton rounded off the scoring with his fourth and Akrotiri’s fifth, after 86 minutes.

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P28

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Hall’s well that ends well

THERE WAS a winning end to minute and delivering a fantastic the 2019 competitive season for drive. World Rally Championship co“RAF Rallying holds a very close driver SAC Phil Hall, after he took place in my heart and of course the Hall Trophy Rally. they have been alongside me on Hall’s result, sat alongside Ross every part of my WRC journey this Leach, meant he won the only season, so it was a really nice way to mandatory round of the RAF Rally end the year with my name on the Championship series – enough RAF Championship trophy.” to hand him the honour after a Hall, who is currently evaluating gruelling WRC season. The airman, who codrove with Briton Tom Williams for the season, also launched a unique programme with the RAF which saw fellow Reservists experience firsthand life on the World Championship. Part-timers from a range of trades headed to Rally Sardinia, Rally Finland and HALL: RAF Rally honour PHOTO: M-SPORT/JWRC the Wales Rally GB, visiting Hall and the M-Sport team to plans for the forthcoming year, sample life in different WRC roles. added: “My focus is on what Hall said: “It’s most certainly 2020 and beyond holds for me. I been a tough season in the Junior certainly won’t be standing still, WRC, but securing the RAF that’s for sure, and I have several Championship was important for opportunities to explore over the me to do this year. Thanks so much winter. It looks like another busy to Ross for stepping up at the last year ahead.”


Fighters put on the style at ‘Radisson Square Gardens’ THE LAST boxing association tour of 2019 saw several wins for a combined RAF team visiting Jersey to take on the Leonis Boxing Club at the Radisson Hotel in St Helier – which became the ‘Radisson Square Gardens’ for the night. The event took place on the famous waterfront, with the team facing not only stiff opposition, but a partisan crowd. RAF Boxing Association chairman Sqn Ldr Karl Whalley said: “Following such mutual success and opportunity, the RAF boxing team look to strengthen their relationship with the Jersey organisers, both

in a sporting context and force development activities in the very near future.” Despite a raucous welcome, by the second bout the home crowd was becalmed as SAC Sam Cook overpowered and out-boxed his Island foe, Eddie Croke. A fine display resulted in a well-earned points decision for the Odiham boxer. Next up for the Service squad was Brize Norton’s slick-boxing SAC Tom Elward. His opponent was the highly-rated former London boxer and now Jersey talent Kano Morgan. Although giving away weight, Elward took no time in stamping

his authority on the bout, and clearly outboxed the incredibly game and hard-hitting Morgan. Despite dominating the bout, the obscurity of a split decision was the result that came out in favour of the Forces fighter. Next up was Mancunian boxer SAC Olly Murray. Following some fine exchanges with his civilian opponent, Daniel Godfrey, the margin for error was clearly paper-thin. Following a quality bout the Jersey man justified his points victory over the Odiham fighter. The last contest of the evening that involved an airman was arguably the bout

of the night. Cpl James Thompson from Waddington faced national talent Tom Frame. With a flawless game plan, the likeable JNCO from the North East appeared to have dominated the first two rounds. His high-octane performance and the manful response by Frame raised the roof, with both sets of supporters sensing a victory. Sadly, following a toe-to-toe showdown in the final round, the decision went Frame’s way. n Follow RAF Boxing on Twitter @ RAFBoxing.


Bronze for game UKAF players A BRONZE medal was the just reward for the 14-man UK Armed Forces Martial Arts team at the recent Central England International Open. Four fighters from the RAF Martial Arts Association Karate team – Fg Off Tom Chambers, Flt Lt Joseph Birch, SAC Alfie Powell, and team captain SAC Jon McGorian – joined forces to compete in both the individual and team kumite (sparring) events, taking on fighters from countries including Norway, Iceland, France and Turkey. They were particularly successful in the team event (three fighters). Forming two teams with Army and Navy athletes, each team fought its way to the semi-finals in its brackets and achieved the Bronze. SAC McGorian said: “The RAF Karate team have a new wave of young, talented competitors. Some have joined the Association with a lot of experience, with others developing through our grassroots recruitment. We have

dominated the Inter-Services in recent years and we now have a squad capable of competing at such a high level on the domestic and international circuits. “With the

CAPTAIN: Jon (left) coaching

spotlight on sport karate debuting at the Tokyo Olympic Games, we hope the RAF team can kick on to more success in 2020.” Just a few days after, McGorian flew to Cadiz, Spain, to compete in the European Shotokan Karate Championships representing the KUGB England National Team. He fought in the individual event and as part of a five-man team. The team beat Spain and Portugal, before narrowly losing to Russia in the final, securing the silver medal. He said: “I have been competing at this level now for 15 years. I’ve gained so much experience and had many successes along the way but the competition is tougher than ever. Unfortunately, I had a disappointing individual event but as a team we always fancy our chances. “I managed to get an important win against Spain, but just missing out to Russia in the final was a tough one to take. “The motivation is now to work even harder next year, as the next championships will be hosted in Moscow.”

SUCCESS: UK Armed Forces team at international open (SAC McGorian centre)

Royal Air Force News Friday, January 10, 2020 P29

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Inside line

A fantastic UKAF four French crumble then Dutch succumb as TriService men end year on the highest of highs Dutch Defence Forces UKAF

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Continued from page 32: AFTER holding a week-long training camp with his charges in Portsmouth, De-Long and assistant manager FS Dyfan Pearce, ran their eye over the French and Dutch Defence Forces in the opening clash, as the visitors stormed to a 5-0 win. Expecting a tough opening match UKAF simply brushed aside the French, who did nothing to help their cause when Michael Goelier turned the ball into his own net following a low cross from Stoneman. RAF superstar Gosling then lit up the match, running at the French defence after 12 minutes, before burying a superb shot into the bottom right-hand corner. After 16 minutes the game was seeemingly done and dusted as Cpl David Webb saw the French keeper Cligno let the RAF man’s shot squirm under him for 3-0. Gosling was front and centre again lifting a corner in for team captain LCpl Rob Farkins, who had already seen a seemingly perfect goal disallowed, headed home. The French did evetually find the net through Vincent Destiney just

I’m extremely proud of my talented players and backroom staff, they really proved, once again, this is three teams playing as one

before the break, but despite the goal, they could not claw back the game. After the break the French, despite attacks from the livewire Lambert and Douniana up front, failed to produce any real pressure. Needing a draw to retain the cup, UKAF wasted no time in opening the scoring against the Dutch as Gibraltar international Gosling crossed to Stoneman who scored from 12-yards after two minutes. Gosling again was the perfect supply line firing in a corner which LCpl Ryan Paddock netted at the near post, smashing home the dropping ball. Cpl Mike Campbell then dragged a great effort wide, following a blistering run, before the much improved hosts scored, following a mix-up from UKAF keeper LCpl Luke Cairney, playing out from the back. The goal wasn’t enough for the hosts to close the gap and UKAF played out the game superbly. Follow UKAFFC on Twitter @ UKArmedForcesFA.

WING AND A PRAYER: Above, Gosling steams past the Dutch full back, above, the prized Kentish Cup PHOTO: SAC CONNOR TIERNAY



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TEAMED UP: Above, De-Long talks to his backroom staff in a rainy Holland, below, getting among his players before kick-off PHOTOS: SAC CONNOR TIERNAY

A fond farewell, as UKAF boss De-Long talks of his time

ACTION STATIONS: Clockwise from top, Paddock slots in the winner against Holland, Webb celebrates his goal, training at SHAPE in Belgium, Woodhouse not slacking off as the team prepare for their defence of the Cup


“AS I step down from more than 20 years of Service football, I feel honoured to have played with some decent players, and visiting some amazing countries. It’s as a coach I’ve had greatest success, although it came about after my serious heart illness in 2007. It was then a number of people saw my potential and for that I hope I have gone some way to justifying the decision to give me a chance. On a personal level, I was so happy for this talented group of players. The buy-in they have given me this season, in fact the 70 plus players and staff who have represented UKAF over the past five years has resulted in our success, us becoming the first British team to win four Kentish Cups in succession – those involved over the past five to six years must take part of the credit. As an Airman I am really proud to be a leader of the three Services. I am delighted with the success we had with the RAF, but to go on and lead and manage all three Services has been very special and something not many coaches ever experience in military sport, possibly even military careers and for that I’m very honoured to have had this chance. Over the past five years, we have developed a one-team mentality. For this we extracted the best behaviours and values from each

Service, Corps and Commands and developed something extremely unique. The UKAF position is a tough one for some to take, I, as much as anyone, understand single Service priorities, but as three teams we have something that is special and still has so much potential. The current talent pool needs support and appropriate opportunity to progress, this could take Service football beyond the ceiling it sets for itself – if an elite comprehension could be developed off the pitch. There is real talent across the three Services, and my current staff of FS Dyfan Pierce and Daryl White are an outstanding duo of the future. On a personal note I could never have expected to have worked for more than a decade as a coach and manager, without a competition loss. It sounds crazy, but it’s happened. I could not have imagined never losing to the other two Services, but it’s happened. Winning and winning and winning the Kentish Cup, beating the Irish, the French and Dutch all on foreign soil. Not forgetting that amazing night beating the Germans on home soil, 2-0, in front of thousands of supporters. If I was asked when starting out if I would take five Constantinople Cups, four Kentish Cups and one Cyprus Inter-Services I’d have laughed, but it’s happened.”

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IS title firmly in their sights Neptunes WPC RAF

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MALTA WAS the destination for the Service’s water polo stars as they kickstarted their InterServices winning bid. The RAF men’s water polo squad, one of the Service’s most successful teams, had their fiveyear winning streak derailed last time out, when they lost by a single point to the Army. The trip to the Med was organised as the first step to reclaiming the title. The emphasis was on building for the future, with a number of new

squad members and developing players embarking on their first overseas trip. A series of training sessions were held at Neptune’s Water Polo Club, to integrate new players and teach basic attack and defensive responsibilities. The remainder of the session was spent conducting a series of drills which included passing, shooting and player positioning in the pool. The team then took part in a match with the club’s development team, winning 11-10. Cpl James Nicholas scored in his first competitive match to seal the victory during the final attack. The team then travelled to

Exiles RAF

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Barracudas Sports Club to play their final two fixtures against the Masters teams of Barracudas and Exiles in the Mediterranean Sea. The opposing teams both featured high-calibre players with a former Serbian international in goal for the Exiles. Fielding six debutants, the RAF team quickly adapted to the demanding conditions of playing in the sea, complete with waves and swell. Against such experienced players, the RAF did extremely well to draw 6-6, with strong

performances from veteran players FS Mick Whiteley and Sqn Ldr Trevor Down. Whiteley netted the first goal, following a swift counter-attack started by SAC William Jones. Down rolled back the years to break away the length of the pitch and score. In the second game Sqn Ldr Konstantinos Stamatakis netted a brace of well-taken goals. The final match remained close throughout, but it was team manager Sgt Andy Huckle who ultimately made the difference. He had scored in both previous games and netted another two in the final quarter, with an assist from

Barracudas RAF

debutant SAC Fletcher Priestley, as the RAF won 9-7 over the Barracudas. SAC Jones, who joined the team this year, said: “These visits and the training camps have been critical in my development and to that of the squad.” l For anyone interested in finding out more about water polo, contact team manager Sgt Andy Huckle on: andy.huckle612@mod. gov.uk or Flt Lt Simon Almond: simon.almond394@mod.gov.uk.


Hang tough


IT WAS hot and high for the Service’s climbing fraternity as 12 association members took part in a week-long training camp in Spain. The Costa Blanca, in the south, was the destination to take climbers out of their comfort zones and build on their existing skills, at the camp organised by SAC Anna Duckett and Flt Lt Olly Pirkis. Pirkis said: “The RAF Champs and Inter-Service competitions are indoors,

but climbing outside provides a much greater challenge to the team, giving us the opportunity to improve our technique and the mental aspect of dealing with uncomfortable situations. “Having developed these skills outside, we can bring them to competitions and be better prepared to go up against the Army and Navy teams. “Not only was Spain an excellent training ground, it allowed us time to relax from the

busy life in the RAF and was a bit of a reward for the hard work put in to our training to make the team.” During the camp, the association members sported their Royal British Legion kit and jerseys as part of their ongoing partnership. l The final round of the Armed Forces Bouldering league will be held on January 15. Email: rafma.publicity@gmail.com  or follow @RAFMountaineer on Facebook for more details.

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HEAD FOR HEIGHTS: RAF climber in action

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Sport Barry’s boys end year on high

Climbers reign and train in Spain

Martial stars hit bronze at Open

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UKAF go Dutch History made after fourth consecutive win, as RAF coach bows out

ALOFT: Main, LCpl Rob Farkins lifts the Kentish Cup as his delighted teammates

UKAFFC French Defence Forces

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Daniel Abrahams Holland A THUMPING 4-1 win over the French, followed by a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Holland ensured UKAF footballers secured an historic fourth Kentish Cup. The win not only ensured the team’s place in the annals of the world’s oldest footballing cup competition, but also confirmed FS Nick De-Long as the Service’s most

successful manager ever. De-Long, who stepped down from the role, guided the team to each of the wins, following on from a hat-trick of Inter-Service wins as SRT head coach. He said: “I am extremely proud of my talented players and backroom staff, they really proved, once again, this is three teams

look on, inset, RAF stars Gosling and Cpl Alex Woodhouse celebrate a goal

playing as one,” after his side’s win over the hosts. (Full interview pages: 29-30). Speaking after the 2-1 win that sealed the Cup win, Cpl Luke Gosling said: “I have loved this whole tour, the team could not have gone any better, lots of goals scorers, we have bonded really well. It’s been an absolute pleasure. Coming in as I did, as the new player, I didn’t want to jinx the whole thing. “The lads had won three on the bounce, so I didn’t want to be the man who started on a losing side.


“It was really business as usual, the lads defended well, up top we are there to score goals, and to do so today with Stoney (SPR Danny Stoneman) was class.” Continued on page 29-30:


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