RAF News 17 June, Edition 1538

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The Forcesit' e favourer pap



Fantastic Win! aviation must-haves

l See p23, R'n'R3 and R'n'R8

Friday June 17 2022 No. 1538 70p



National treasures: Last of Air Force's conscripted pilots


l See p19


Op Bil-box-i

l See page 28


Hawks win

l See page 29


High North NATO drill

n i jo n o o h p y T d n a 8 1 F forces in Lapland on combat exercise

End of era UK TYPHOONS joined forces with Finnish and Swedish combat jets over Lapland on the latest Nato exercises in the High North. Flying from the remote Rovaniemi Air Base, 6 Sqn pilots honed their air combat skills alongside pilots from the two countries now bidding to join the Alliance in the face of recent warnings from Russia. l Turn to p3

l See page 31

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P2

We hope to inspire and encourage adventure”

I like to be challenged in my sport and marathons weren’t going to cut it”

I feel truly confident, for the first time ever”

Flt Lt Mike O’Hara, who is bidding to paramotor around the entire UK coastline with two RAF colleagues See page 5

Ultra-runner Sqn Ldr Lucy Nell, who has just completed a gruelling 125km event See page 32

BRIT-winner Mabel as she prepares to release her second album See R’n’R p4

UK pledge on military aid as Putin pounds Donbas Staff Reporter

RAF News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Editor: Simon Williams Email: editor@rafnews.co.uk Features Editor: Tracey Allen Email: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk News Editor: Simon Mander

THE UK is set to increase military aid to Ukrainian forces following talks between Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The British Defence chief travelled to capital Kyiv to discuss how UK lethal aid can meet the operational needs of Ukraine’s Armed Forces as Russian troops intensify attacks in the Donbas region. Britain recently announced it would gift M270 multiple-launch rocket systems to Ukrainian troops to counter Russian long-range artillery, which has been used to devastate population centres. Since the start of the invasion the UK has sent more than £750 million worth of military kit to the war-torn country, including thousands of anti-tank missiles, air defence systems and armoured vehicles. During meetings with President

AID VOW: British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace underlined UK support during talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and senior military figures in the capital Kyiv this month

Zelenskyy and Ukraine Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov, Mr Wallace discussed further support to embattled Ukrainian forces as the conflict enters its fourth month, the

“The Defence Secretary will ensure the insights and future requirements established from this visit will be used to support the wider international response.”

This Week In History

Sports Reporter: Daniel Abrahams Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk


All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@ rafnews.co.uk

THE V-FORCE Quick Reaction Alert is terminated as Britain’s strategic nuclear deterrent passes to Royal Navy Polaris submarines.

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MOD said. A spokesman added: “The UK has also played a key convening role in the international effort to supply weapons to Ukraine.

V-Force retires


Malta fighters THE FIRST Hurricanes arrive in Malta to reinforce the island’s Fighter Flight after transiting through France and Tunisia.


Hercules record A 70 Sqn Hercules flying from Ascension sets an endurance record of 28 hours and 4 minutes during a supply drop to a Rapier battery near Port Stanley.

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

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P3


‘NATO’s door remains open’ Sec Gen’s warning to Putin

NORTHERN GRIT: 6 Sqn Typhoons with Finnish F/A-18 Hornets. Inset, 6 Sqn OC Wg Cdr Noel Rees with one of the delegates

Simon Mander BRITISH, FINNISH and Swedish jets were flying together in the High North in response to the war in Ukraine, as Nato chiefs welcome bids by both Nordic nations to join the Alliance. Four Lossiemouth-based 6 Squadron Quick Reaction Alert fighters backed up by 70 RAF personnel have deployed to Lapland to train with their hosts’ state-of-the-art F/A18 Hornets on exercises to include cross-border missions with the Swedes. The move comes as Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

warned that Russia’s ‘cruel war against a peaceful neighbour’ made strengthening the Alliance in the region a priority, despite Turkish opposition. Speaking alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in Kultaranta, Mr Stoltenberg said: “Putin’s ambitions go beyond Ukraine. The applications by Finland and Sweden to join our Alliance send a clear message. Aggression does not pay. Intimidation does not work. Nato’s door remains open.” Mr Stoltenberg (right) added that the so-called

‘security treaties’ presented to Nato and the United States by the Kremlin last December amounted to the complete re-write of the European security order that safeguards ‘the right of each nation to choose its own path.’ Meanwhile, RAF Typhoons operating out of Rovaniemi Air Base will participate in the Finnish Air Force’s daily flight training with the Lapland and Karelia Air Commands’ F/A-18 Hornets as part of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force of 10 northern European nations. Officer Commanding 6 Squadron Wing Commander Noel Rees said: “Working with

the Finnish Air Force as part of the JEF provides an opportunity to integrate more closely and develop our skills in a different environment in the High North.” RAF jets are supporting Finland’s Fighter Squadron 11, that provides round-the-clock surveillance of its airspace flying recently upgraded F/A-18 Hornet fighters said to be at the peak of their performance. The JEF training was approved by Finnish Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen to strengthen the country’s defence capability and demonstrate partner nations’ support for Finland, which has been officially neutral since 1948.

It is being bolstered by Finnish and Swedish participation in what Nato describes as powerful demonstrations of its commitment to the strategically important area, including Exercise Baltops, currently underway with more than 7,000 forces from 14 Allies, and an Integrated Air and Missile Defence exercise across the Baltic region and Poland. Following his talks in Finland, aimed at building a ‘Strong, stable and responsible North’ – which included Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre –Mr Stoltenberg travelled to Sweden for meetings with Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson and her government.

Air power on display as Cosford show returns

FLYING THE FLAG: RAF Typhoon shows its power


MORE THAN 50,000 aviation fans were treated to breath-taking flying displays as the curtain came up on Cosford Air Show for the first time in three years. The event – back after a Covid-enforced hiatus – featured highoctane routines from the Typhoon, Chinook and F-35 Lightning, plus star turns by the Red Arrows and the BBMF. The RAF's display teams will now head for Fairford for the Royal International Air Tattoo, which starts on July 15.

REDS FAN: Watching the Arrows’ display


SHOW DEBUT: F-35 Lightning thrilled the Cosford crowds


Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P5


That’s fighting talk Jubilee musicians’ pride

HARRIER VET: Paul Tremelling

REAL-LIFE fighter pilots turned authors are to share their experiences in the cockpits of two iconic jets on combat operations next month. Typhoon veteran Wg Cdr Mike Sutton, who led 1 (Fighter) Squadron into action against ISIS in 2015, will tell how he scrambled in response to a potential terrorist hijacking and served on operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. And Commander Paul Tremelling, who was Mentioned in Despatches on Harrier operations in Afghanistan, will reveal what it’s like to be one of the few British pilots to


have flown the same aircraft as Tom Cruise in Top Gun: the F/A-18E Super Hornet. Both men’s exploits as part of a unique cadre of modern warriors have been featured in RAF News’ coverage of their memoirs; Typhoon and Harrier: How to be a Fighter Pilot. They will speak about their experiences, take questions from the audience, and be available to sign their books at the Marshall Auditorium, Imperial War Museum, Duxford on July 9 from 10.30am to 4pm. Tickets cost £40.

TWO of the RAF musicians who performed during Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations have told RAF News of their pride. Sergeant Jonathan Hill played in the Fanfare Team of the Central Band of the RAF at the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. He said: “It was an honour to play for Her Majesty. This once-in-a-lifetime event was broadcast live to an audience of more than two million and with a congregation of over 2,000, the huge sense of occasion contributed to a memory I’ll never forget.” Sergeant Matthew Edwardson performed with the Fanfare Trumpets of Royal Air Force Music Services at the Platinum

CENTRE STAGE: Sgt Edwardson with Dame Jessica and Sgt Hill, inset below

Party at the Palace. He said: “Standing centre stage in front of Buckingham Palace, looking at and hearing the noise of 20,000 people filling The Mall, was a special experience. Having met celebrities such as Dame

Jessica Ennis-Hill, George Ezra and Sam Ryder, the most memorable moment I’ll take away was when our future King, the Duke of Cambridge, offered his congratulations to us simply saying, ‘Well done boys’.”

UK flight record bid Charity British coast feat celebrates RAF landmarks Simon Mander

HANG TOUGH: Training runs

THE SKY’S the limit for three RAF personnel as they prepare to become the first people ever to paramotor around the coastline of the United Kingdom. Intrepid trio, Gunners Sqn Ldr Tim Taylor and Flight Lieutenant Michael O’Hara and Police Flight Lieutenant Andrew Whisker are taking up the challenge to celebrate the RAF Regiment turning 80 and the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Air Force’s Armoured Car Companies Mike, who joined up in 1978, started Paragliding in 2006 before converting to Paramotoring in 2016. He said: “I am looking forward to the challenge and hope t o inspire and promote adventure to the young and old within the Air Force and the Corps.” The team will carry out four training

FLT LT O’HARA: Hopes to inspire

flights to prepare them for the pitfalls they may come across navigating through cluttered air space while covering undulating terrain that will test their aviation skills. They include: l Exercise Cassino – when the team will attempt to cover the 75-mile length of Hadrian’s Wall in a single day. l Exercise El Alamein – a one-day training flight across the Peak District to Derwent dam and on to the crash site of a B29 before returning to the Derbyshire and


Lancashire Gliding Club, covering nearly 25 miles. This attempt will be the first for the RAF and the Armed Forces, as no Service currently has a paramotor team. Although not a new sport, a paramotor combines the easy flying characteristics of a paraglider wing with the autonomy and range of powered flight. The challenge is part of the Regiment’s 80th birthday fundraising drive for the RAF Benevolent Fund and Centurion Fund. AOC 2 Gp Air ViceMarshal Suraya Marshall said : “This challenge will test the skill, knowledge and endurance of these aviators. “This epitomises the RAF’s spirit of innovation challenging the ‘Higher, Faster, Further’ boundaries of aviation. “I wish the team luck in their endeavour.”


l You can follow their progress during August on Facebook and Instagram. R

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P7


Combat air rocks NATO war games

In Brief

PARENTAL GUIDANCE: Childbirth expert and Forces mother Nicola Flanagan

Mum’s the word CLOSE AIR SUPPORT: NATO military chiefs monitor exercise in Romania

Simon Mander ROMANIAN-BASED RAF Typhoons launched a live firing exercise during the latest mass armoured war games by Nato allies. Fighter jets from 140 Expeditionary Air Wing simulated Close Air Support sorties to protect tanks launching a final attack on simulated enemy forces. The week-long Exercise Scorpion Legacy involved 250 armoured vehicles, Romanian Air Force IAR-330 Puma helicopters and 1,800 troops from Romania, Bulgaria, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the United States. Sqn Ldr Paul Griffin said: “Exercise Scorpion Legacy has allowed us an opportunity to train in a multinational environment and has seen RAF planners, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers and aircrew involved. “It’s crucial that we train alongside out Nato partners to build

GROUND ATTACK: RAF Typhoons blast ‘enemy’ armour during exercise to test NATO ground forces in Eastern Europe

interoperability and ensure that we continue to show our commitment to the Alliance.” The annual exercise took place at the Smardan Training Area in the south of the country.

Awards joy for Mike CUT ABOVE: Wg Cdr Mike Ainsworth, left, picks up his award at RAFBF event

Staff reporter A CYCLIST whose Dambuster rides have raised thousands of pounds for the RAF Benevolent Fund rode to victory at the charity’s 10th annual awards. Hundreds of personnel, veterans and supporters packed Plaisterers’ Hall in London to see Wg Cdr Mike Ainsworth pick up the ‘Above and

Beyond,’ title for his achievements organising the heritage rides that returned to Lincolnshire again this year. And the accolade of RAF Station of the Year was won by Valley, which set up the first RAF Benevolent Fund Committee to organise fundraising events on the base. Fund Controller Air Vice-

It involved forces from Nato’s Multinational Brigade, Southeast and the firepower demonstration was watched by both the Romanian and Portuguese Chiefs of Defence Staff.

The 3(Fighter) Sqn Typhoons of 140 EAW are deployed for four months until July 2022 to conduct enhanced Air Policing and Vigilance missions in support of the Romanian Air Force.

A MILITARY wife and mum-ofthree is offering free antenatal courses for Service families. Childbirth expert Nicola Flanagan’s Me And My Baby website provides pregnancy and parenting classes and is offering free courses for UK military serving families. She said: “As a mum of three small boys, and wife to someone in the military, I am all too familiar with the challenge of moving to a new community when either pregnant or with a newborn. “Education which is up to date and evidence based is what modern mothers need to be able to have greater understanding and control over their labour and birth, and to navigate the health care system confidently.” The course consists of four 90-minute sessions on labour and birth physiology, breathing techniques for labour, pain relief options and the role of the birth partner. Go to: mambauk.com/armedforces for more information.

RAFBF Awards Airplay Youth Work er: Ian Savage, Marham Fundraisers of the year: Scottish Torque Show Team Outstanding Suppor t: Wimbledon Foundation Station of the Year: RAF Valley Stations Challenge Cup: Leuchars Special Recognition : April Fools Club Caseworker of the Year: Pip Iles

Marshal Chris Elliot said: “The awards are a fantastic opportunity to recognise all of the great work that allows us to continue supporting RAF veterans, serving personnel and their families and make a real improvement to their lives.”

Flt Lt Henry Fuller, 27 Sqn pilot

IT TAKES an enormous amount of work to get 70 plus aircraft in the sky at once but it was worth it to congratulate Her Majesty on 70 years of service. I’m fortunate to fly the Chinook on the day. Seeing the reactions of the balcony and the public to the flypast when we landed was a terrific end to the day

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P9


Anglo-French sorties eye Channel threat Simon Mander

BRITISH AND French fighter jets scrambled together to intercept a simulated enemy aircraft closing in on the English Channel. Two quick reaction alert Typhoons from Coningsby launched with their French counterparts to intercept, identify and escort the potential foreign military intruder. The RAF and French Air Force pilots were given no notice and had to take off within minutes. French jets initially escorted the Allied aircraft acting as an enemy jet through their airspace before handing over to the Typhoons as it approached the UK. As it turned back towards France, the FAF resumed escort duties. The fighters were backed up by a Brize Norton-based Voyager tanker. Typhoons are scrambled under the direction of RAF controllers from Boulmer’s 19 Sqn supported by 78 Sqn personnel at Swanwick. 19 Squadron’s Wg Cdr Chris Misiak said: “These exercises

HEAD WEST: Parliament postings will suit Forces veterans, says Speaker Lindsay Hoyle.

Hoyle calls vets to order

ALLIED EXERCISE: FAF Mirages and RAF Typhoons join forces to combat simulated threat; inset right, refuelling from a Voyager tanker over the Channel

are deliberately complex and challenging for all involved. This demonstrates the preparedness of the RAF to defend the UK’s skies while providing a strong deterrence to any adversaries.” The aircraft was tracked throughout its sortie across a wide area using well-rehearsed

procedures. Close cooperation between Nato partners is critical to collective defence, a spokesman said. UK airspace is continuously monitored by the RAF’s control and reporting centre, which uses a network of radars to produce a recognised air picture.

Funding lift safeguards UK’s frontline space kit

FLOWER POWER: The RAFBF garden exhibit won a silver award at the RHS Show in Chelsea; inset below, actor Stephen Merchant strikes a pose

Staff Reporter

Biggin’s in bloom THE STRIKING statue of a lone airman staring skywards is heading for Biggin Hill after scooping a silver award at the Chelsea Flower Show. The 12ft aluminium figure built by gardening guru

THE SPEAKER of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has called for more military veterans to work at the Palace of Westminster. An Honorary Colonel, Sir Lindsay said the range of jobs available at the Palace include parliamentary security, doorkeepers, chefs, engineers and maintenance workers and he wants the number of ex-Forces personnel working in Parliament to return to the levels seen many years ago. He added: “You’ve served your country, why shouldn’t we be giving you a second career? We need you, and want to say thank you for serving your country.”

John Everiss for the RAF Benevolent Fund’s entry will open to visitors at the famous Battle of Britain airfield on September 15 – the anniversary of the epic fight for the nation’s skies during World War II.

UK DEFENCE is set to launch ground-breaking weather sensors into orbit to safeguard GPS signals vital to frontline operations as part of a £2 billion lift in funding for military space kit. The miniature devices will be fitted to two shoe-box-sized satellites due to be fired into orbit from Virgin Orbit’s specially adapted 747 Cosmic Girl in the first-ever launch from Britain’s new space port in Cornwall. The sensors will monitor conditions in the ionisphere, 1,000kms above the earth where environmental changes can interfere with GPS and communications kit in space. AVM Paul Godfrey, Commander of UK Space Command, said: “Defence science and technological activity in space has never been more important, whether it is in support of military operations or helping to combat climate change, Defence innovation is at the forefront of this work. “After it enters orbit from Spaceport Cornwall, the weather suite will enhance our

SPACE STORM: The UK’s shoe-box-sized satellites will be fitted with new weather sensors and launched from Virgin Orbit’s 747 later this year

understanding of space weather and help us to keep critical satellites safe from the many hazards associated with operating in space.” The latest package of funding will also boost research and development into the use of artificial intelligence software and weapons demonstrators capable of

operating at hypersonic speeds. Minister for Defence Procurement Jeremy Quin added: “Exploring and using space is crucial for developing cutting edge Defence capabilities that will ensure our Armed Forces can operate at the highest level anywhere on the battlefield.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P13

News In Brief

Stations hatch bird conservation plan Simon Mander

SHOW ME THE HONEY: Cranwell beekeepers prepare new hive

Taking care of bees-ness STATION ECO volunteers at Cranwell have set up beehives as part of a national campaign to halt a decline in insect numbers. The station’s Community Beekeeping Project brought in a local honey producer to develop the insect colony, dubbed Bee-Force One. The hives are home to thousands of Buckfast honeybees which will produce honey the team hope to sell to finance the project.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Charity chiefs join ACM Sir Mike Wigston at new Cosford centre

CAS checks in at Astra STUDENTS considering an RAF or aerospace career can stay at a new purpose built accommodation block at Cosford. The Astra complex has been built to house people studying science, technology, engineering and maths projects at the Midlands base and nearby museum. The centre offers en suite affordable accommodation for up to 25 students and four support staff and is aimed at youngsters across the UK. The RAF Association, RAF Benevolent Fund, the Charitable Trust and the RAF Museum teamed up to form the RAF100 Appeal to pay for the centre as a legacy to the Service’s Centenary and to encourage young people’s interest in aerospace. The centre was officially opened by Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston.

ENDANGERED BIRDS whose eggs have been rescued from RAF bases are being given a helping hand by a recovery project in Norfolk. Eurasian curlews – Europe’s largest wader – have suffered a severe decline in population over the past 40 years. The ground-nesting species gravitate to airfields which mimic the natural open grasslands they prefer, protected by security fencing that deters predators such as foxes. Previously eggs laid on airbases were destroyed under licence to prevent the risk of collisions between aircraft and birds. But now they are collected by Natural England staff and some are starting to hatch at Pensthorpe Natural Park and WWT Slimbridge. RAF Inspector of Safety Air Cdre Sam Sansome said: “The Air Force is so proud to be supporting this fantastic project again this year. “It is brilliant that all the organisations involved have pulled together, again, to ensure the future of this iconic bird.” Later this summer the fledged curlew will be tagged and released at Wild Ken Hill and Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, and on Dartmoor. And more GPS tags and radio transmitters are being fitted to them

UNDER THREAT: Conservation Trust team collect eggs at Waddington as part of a UK-wide programme to protect Curlew numbers PHOTO: CPL STEVE BUCKLEY

to track their movements. Pensthorpe Conservation Trust Head of Species Management Chrissie Kelley said: “By rearing and releasing chicks saved from the airfields, along with changes to the management of their habitat, we and the partners of this project hope to

safeguard the future of the curlew.” The first year of the project in 2021 saw 79 young birds reared at Pensthorpe released in Norfolk. The British Trust for Ornithology fitted colour rings to all the birds and satellite or radio tags to some to obtain information on how they disperse, use

their habitats, and survive. Up until the beginning of May, 26 birds of those released had been spotted, most around the Wash near the release sites but others with flocks further afield in Lincolnshire, Somerset and on the Exe estuary in Devon.

Exhibition marks squadron date

THE ONLY Reserve squadron based in Wales marked its 85th anniversary with a photographic exhibition celebrating its historic links with the country and wartime service. Among the images on show at 614 Squadron’s HQ in Cardiff are a shot of a Halifax bomber after making a rough landing in Italy in 1944, alongside shots of Mk 22 Spitfires and Hawker Hector aircraft over Cardiff’s Cathays Park in 1938. In 1939, the squadron left RAF

Pengam Moors for their first wartime base and did not return to Wales until the end of the war. 614 Sqn crews took part in the 1,000 Bomber raids before deploying to North Africa. The squadron operated from Italy until the end of the war as the only Pathfinder squadron to fly outside the UK. Reformed in 1946 as a fighter unit, 614 Sqn flew out of RAF Llandow in the Vale of Glamorgan. Today the squadron has more than 100 personnel supporting

operations in the UK and across the world. 614 Sqn’s Wg Cdr Oliver Walker said: “We’re thrilled that families of our veterans were able to come and see our display. “We’re proud of the service the squadron has given from wartime operations to supporting the response to the coronavirus pandemic and look forward to the squadron growing and continuing to serve the people of Wales and the wider UK.”

SQUADRON ARCHIVE: A pilot walks away from Halifax in Italy in 1944; above, veterans’ families at the exhibition

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P15


y l p m a S t s e b e th

UK EUROVISION star Sam Ryder catches up with RAF musicians at the Platinum Party at the Palace after performing his hit Spaceman on the Buckingham Palace stage.

In Brief

TECH CHALLENGE: School teams fight it out at Honington


Typhoon tests US sea power RAF FIGHTERS tested the defences of the US Navy’s latest warships in simultaneous sorties over two seas. Lossiemouth-based Typhoons teamed up with F-35Bs from Marham and Czech Air Force Gripens to exercise with Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Gravely in the Baltic. The UK combat jets flew a seven-hour sortie refuelling from a Brize Norton-based Voyager before

coming under the control of the ship in the Baltic Sea to defend it against simulated airborne attacks. Meanwhile 83 Expeditionary Air Group Typhoons launched from Akrotiri to protect the USS Gonzalez in the Red Sea by intercepting and carrying out fighting manoeuvres against USAF F-16s simulating enemy jets.

FORCES FRIENDLY: Broughton House

Vets’ home run

phoon pilot BALTIC DRILL: Ty

Simon Mander

YOUNG ENGINEERS battled it out at RAF Honington in the annual search for Britain’s next generation of robotic pioneers. Students from six schools across the Eastern region went head to head in the Robotics Challenge event, supervised by industry experts and volunteers from the station’s Cyberspace Flight. St Albans Secondary School and the City of Norwich International School both won places to compete against the other regional winners at the Big Bang UK event later this month.


THE UK’S first residential complex built for elderly Forces veterans is set to open following a £12.5 million development programme. Broughton House Veterans Care Village, near Salford, includes a care home and retirement apartments and boasts a military museum and Forces welfare centre alongside gym facilities, hairdressers and a restaurant. Broughton House chief Karen Miller, pictured right, said: “It is immensely pleasing to reach the milestone of seeing our new Veteran Care Village completed. We have delivered a superb, 21st century care home for veterans with high quality accommodation.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P16


HEAVY DUTY: C-130J Hercules

k EYE SPY: Chinoo

CREW VIEW: Glimpse of A400M Atlas from C-17

AIR POWER icons past and present led the RAF’s tribute at Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. A flight of 15 Typhoons from Coningsby and Lossiemouth had a starring role in the proceedings by forming a stunning ‘70’ formation across the London skyline. They were joined by the everpopular Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, whose two Spitfires, two Hurricanes and the sole airworthy L a n c a s t e r in Europe thundered down The Mall as a tribute to the Monarch. BBMF OC Squadron Leader Mark Sugden said: “Every time you fly for BBMF it is a privilege, when you take part in important state occasions it is even more so, and the magnitude of this event, reflecting Her Majesty’s astonishingly dedicated period of service, makes it a momentous, oncein-a-lifetime occasion.” Other highlights included: Three Brize Norton-based C-130J

Hercules which flew in a V-formation over Buckingham Palace as part of a 72-aircraft display crewed by members of 47, 24 and 206 Squadrons. They were joined by a Globemaster C-17, an Atlas A400M under the call sign ‘Grizzly’ and a Voyager operated by 99, 70, 30, 10 and 101 Squadrons, also from the Oxfordshire Base. And Chinooks from Odiham’s 18 and 27 Squadrons linked up with a Puma for an Air Force helicopter tribute. Meanwhile on the ground, RAF personnel treated the crowd of thousands to a display of military timing and precision leading the pageant in the opening section titled For Queen and Country. The parade down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace by around 1,800 military personnel and bandsmen included representatives of air stations that enjoy a special relationship with The Queen, and was the final event of the four-day official celebrations.

Photos by Sgt Donald C Todd, Sgt Jimmy Wise, SAC Tomas Barnard, SAC Natalie Adams, Cpl Lee Matthews, Cpl Victoria Goodall, SAC Conor Morgan and Matthew Pearman

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P17

ND COUNTRY BBMF: Lanc and Spitfire

FLIGHT NUMBER: Typhoons form a 70 for Her Majesty

H: BEST OF BRITIS s Voyager and F-35 PUMA

ROYAL SEAL OF APPROVAL: The Queen and Her Family watch the RAF flypast CROWD PLEASERS: Public take part in the celebrations

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P19


By Tracey Allen

National treasures

Last of the conscripted pilots

MAIN PHOTO: Aircrew Selection Centre, Hornchurch, April 1953 INSET LEFT, FROM TOP: A young Michael in a Cessna; proudly receiving his wings and ready for take-off BELOW: Author takes to the skies again, aged 80


ICHAEL MORRIS was one of the last young men to train as an RAF pilot during National Service. Now Lord Naseby – formerly MP for Northampton South for 23 years, whose parliamentary career culminated in the role of First Deputy Speaker – he gained his wings in April 1957. His new book The Few Who Flew (unicornpublishing.org) is a memoir about fellow National Service RAF pilots who served from 1955-57 and his own experience training as a pilot. He said: “It is my hope that the experiences recorded in this book and the important lessons that I learned during my time as a National Service pilot will inspire similar values in those who read it: thinking before acting, being independent and adventurous.” In his foreword to the book Marshal of the RAF, Lord Stirrup, writes: “…the story of air power is not just one of machines. The people who flew and supported the aircraft were equally important: without their dedication, skill and courage our history would look very different. “This book gives a personal, close-up look at one particular group of those people, of whom the author was amongst the last: National Service aircrew. In doing so, it chronicles the close of an

era and a system that enabled the contribution – and, indeed, sacrifice of most of those who flew and fought for this country during the Second World War. It is thus an important record of a concept that was central to our national survival and to the freedoms we enjoy today.”

AUTHOR: Naseby in RAF bow tie he helped make popular again



f the almost two million young men who were conscripted into the British Armed Forces to serve for two years from 19471963, nearly one million chose to join the RAF. Michael Morris was called up in late September 1955, but his love of flying began in childhood, inspired by Capt W.E. Johns’ stories about the daring pilot Biggles. In January 1955 Michael’s father was appointed chief architect to the Punjab government, based in Lahore, Pakistan. Michael and his two younger brothers sailed there during their school summer holidays. The author, now 85, said: “I still distinctly remember our first dinner [there] when my father announced to my brother Tristram and me, ‘You two are going to have the opportunity of a lifetime; you are going to learn to fly.’ We were both dumbfounded and amazed.” He added: “After eight flights totalling 5 hours, 15 minutes’ flying time, I was allowed to

Instructor that said ‘I consider his aptitude for flying markedly above average and …I am sure he would have a very promising career in aviation’ – Michael said: “I consoled myself with the thought that whatever National Service held for me, it would have to be in the Royal Air Force as a pilot.”


RAF News competition WE HAVE copies of The Few Who Flew to win. For your chance to own one, answer this question correctly: In which year did Michael Morris gain his wings? Email your answer, marked Lord Naseby 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 July 1. l See review of the book on RnR p8. go solo…I can still remember the nervous excitement as I completed the external checks of the Auster AP AFC, followed by the deep concentration I needed

to really focus on every detail and procedure.” Returning home to England – with a letter of recommendation from Lahore Flying Club’s Chief

fter being summoned to sign on for National Service at the employment exchange in Catford, south London, he was sent to RAF Hornchurch for a two-day assessment. He was later selected for flying training in Canada with fellow British and Nato pilots from seven different countries. Initial training was on Harvards at RCAF Moose Jaw in the Prairies, then jet flying on the T33 Canadair Silver Star – then the world’s best trainer. The photograph on the book’s front cover is of the same T33 he flew. Michael had hoped to join the Royal Auxiliary Air Force after he gained his wings, and continue as a ‘weekend flyer,’ but that wasn’t to be as the 1957 White Paper on Defence produced by Defence Minister Duncan Sandys prompted the end of the Auxiliaries. Going on to study Economics at the University of Cambridge, Michael said: “My life would now take a very different route but flying would always remain a very special part of it.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P21


By Tracey Allen

Military wife Sam cooks up a Valley horror story M

ILITARY WIFE Samantha Fisher is aiming to make her name in the world of horror fiction with a series of novels – the first two set around RAF Valley. Samantha, who writes as S.C. Fisher, is married to RAF Police Cpl Thomas Fisher and the couple live with their four children, aged 10 to 16, in married quarters at the Anglesey station. Her first book in the Base Fear series, recently released by specialist horror publishers Raven Tale, is called Deadly Secrets and its protagonist is teenager Paige Daniels, described as ‘a military brat from England’ whose family is posted to the island in North Wales, known locally as Ynys Môn. Paige usually embraces the challenges that come with having a parent serving in the Forces, but when her family are posted to Ynys Môn she discovers their new quarter comes with a grislier history than most. Plagued by an unknown entity

with a malicious streak, she must join the pieces of a decades-old puzzle if she hopes to save the ones she loves. Samantha revealed that her story was inspired by a particular house near where she lives. She said: “It looked very creepy before recent refurbishment and that got my imagination going.” The second title in Samantha’s six-part series, Deadly Ground, that continues Paige’s story, is ready for publication and the busy author, who works at Valley’s Child Care Centre as a cook, is now writing the third book, set in Mildenhall and focusing on the local legend of a young woman tried as a witch who is said to haunt nearby woods. Samantha explained: “The idea of the book series is to set three pairs of titles in a different place each time, with different characters, so that the full diversity of life in military families can be explored.” She said her husband, family and friends are delighted with her

success so far and supportive of her writing career. She added: “Tom and I have known each other since we were 17, he has known for a long time that being a published author is an ambition I have always had – it’s a dream come true.” Before Deadly Secrets was published Samantha, who started writing aged 12, had published several short stories and another one, Cepheus Rising, will be featured in the horror magazine Trembling With Fear, due for publication next year. She explained: “I read a lot of horror and watch a lot of it on television and film. It’s a subject that’s always appealed to me, the idea of there being something more behind what we can see, it’s really intriguing. Horror to me is perfect escapism.” n Deadly Secrets is available on Amazon, in paperback and on Kindle. Samantha can be followed on Instagram and Facebook under ‘S. C. Fisher Author’.

AUTHOR: Sam Fisher

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P23


By Tracey Allen

Dambuster hero of the High Peak

Sgt Jack Marriott

Flight engineer Sgt Jack Marriott was one of the 56 who didn’t return from legendary bombing raid


PERATION CHASTISE, the RAF’s raid on the Ruhr valley dams, is one of the most famous airborne attacks in history. On the night of May 1617, 1943, 133 men in 19 speciallyadapted Lancaster bombers – the legendary Dambusters of 617 Squadron – set off on their mission to attack six dams deep in the heart of Germany. Eight of the aircraft, and 56 aircrew, didn’t return. Three of the airmen who took part were from Derbyshire’s High Peak region; among them was Sgt Jack Marriott, the flight engineer on Lancaster ED937 during the attack. His aircraft, Z-Zebra, reached the Möhne Dam only to find it had been breached and five bouncing bombs had already been released at it. Led by Sqn Ldr Henry Maudslay DFC, the crew then flew to the Eder Dam where their bouncing bomb exploded underneath the Lancaster after it hit the structure’s parapet. The damaged Lancaster struggled towards home, but was shot down on the Dutch border. Jack and his crew were killed in the crash. He was posthumously awarded the DFM and his aircraft was later featured in the iconic 1955 epic film The Dambusters. In a new biography The High Peak Dambuster (pen-and-sword. co.uk) author Frank Pleszak delves into Jack’s life, his RAF service before he joined 617 Sqn, and the events leading up to and during the celebrated raid. Pleszak said: “For Operation Chastise there were, including [Wg Cdr Guy] Gibson (the commander of the attack), 21 crews that trained for the attack. Each of the 19

TRIBUTE: Plaque at Jack’s former home

Lancasters that departed for the raid had a crew of seven, so there were 133 young men, most of them not much more than boys. The average age was just 22, Gibson himself only 26. “Three of the Lancasters turned back without using their ‘bouncing bomb’. Eight crashed or were shot down and only three of the aircrew survived to be taken prisoner of war. Fifty-three young men lost their lives during the night of May 16 and 17.”

AT THE READY: 50 Sqn Lancasters at RAF Swinderby

MISSION: Guy Gibson’s crew climb aboard


he three men who took part that fateful night from the High Peak area of Derbyshire were pilot Flt Lt Bill Astell, from Coombs near Chapel-en-le-Frith, killed after flying into electricity pylons on the way to the dams; navigator Sgt John Nugent, from Stoney Middleton, who survived the Dambusters raid but was killed later in the war, and Sgt Marriott, from Chinley. Pleszak added: “Jack’s memory has been kept alive for more than 80 years by his niece, Norma Bagshaw.” Pleszak stressed that, contrary to popular belief, Gibson didn’t know or choose all the Operation Chastise pilots personally. Among them was ex-Etonian athlete Flt Lt Maudsley, transferred from 50 Sqn, with 42 operations under his belt. The author explained: “After transferring back to operational duties at 50 Sqn his [Maudslay’s] crew was eventually finalised. They were experienced and highly competent and all moved with him to 617 Sqn.” They were: Marriott, navigator Canadian Fg Off Robert Urquhart, another Canadian, wireless operator Sgt Alden Cottam, bomb

aimer Plt Off Michael Fuller from Surrey, front gunner Fg Off William ‘Johnny’ Tytherleigh from

EX-ETONIAN: Sqn Ldr Henry Maudslay, DFC


WE HAVE signed copies of The High Peak Dambuster to win. For your chance to own one, answer this question correctly:

What was Sgt Jack Marriott’s role on Lancaster ED937 during Operation Chastise? Email your answer, marked Dambusters 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 July 1. Cambridge and rear gunner Sgt Norman ‘Bunny’ Burrows from Liverpool. Pleszak said: “The secrecy of Operation Chastise had ensured that in Chinley Jack’s family were completely oblivious to the activities of the previous 24 hours. When Jack was on operations his family would always attentively listen to the BBC news at 8am for information about bomber operations the previous night. They hoped and prayed that Jack’s squadron was not listed in those that had aircraft which had failed

to return. But Jack had told them he was non-operational, they had nothing to worry about – so they thought.”


ut less than 12 hours after Jack’s squadron was shot down, a telegram was sent to Chinley with the news that he was missing. Two days later, on May 19, as the Marriott family waited for news, Jack’s body, and those of the six crew members he had spent the final few hours of his short life with, were taken to the Northern Military Cemetery in Düsseldorf.

They were laid to rest in seven plots, from 35 to 41. Pleszak added: “Jack was buried in 37 and Cottam in 38, the others simply identified as ‘Unbekannt Eng. Flieger’ (unknown English aviator). “Gibson completed his letter to Jack’s father on May 20. Though it was based on an accepted format it contained Gibson’s personal observations of the events as he witnessed them and the hope that Jack with his crew may still be alive. Though the majority of the letter is typed, the salutation and close is handwritten by Gibson.” In August 1943, Jack’s father received an official confirmatory letter from the Casualty Branch of the Air Ministry, saying that his son’s status would be recorded as ‘missing believed killed.’ Jack’s details were added to his mother’s gravestone in the chapel at Chapel Milton, near the family home in New Smithy. The engraved inscription said: “Also Flt. Eng Sergeant John Marriott/Missing night of 16th-17th May on Ruhr Dam Operations. Interred at Düsseldorf 19th May 1943, aged 23 years. One of the best.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P24


Flt Lt Sydney Grimes

Syd helped sink Tirpitz

‘THE BEAST’: But the pride of the Nazi fleet was sunk by 617 Sqn and men like Flt Lt Sydney Grimes, pictured


LIGHT LIEUTENANT Sydney Grimes, who has died aged 100, flew with 617 Squadron on the raid that finally sank the German battleship Tirpitz. Born near Southend-on-Sea he worked for the EKCO radio company before joining the RAF to train as a WOP/AG. After completing his training and converting to the Lancaster in April 1943, he joined 106 Squadron at Syerston as a wireless operator. His arrival in April 1943 coincided with the Battle of the Ruhr. On the 4th he flew his first operation when he attacked Kiel. A week later the target was Frankfurt. On April 13 he attacked the docks at La Spezia in Italy, a sortie in excess of 10 hours. Over the next few nights he went on three more very long-range operations, to Stettin, Pilsen and a return to La Spezia. Returning from Stettin, his Lancaster was badly damaged by flak. The ground crew counted more than 100 holes in the aircraft when they landed and it had to be written off. Duisburg was the target on May 12 and over the next three months he attacked targets in Germany, the majority in the Ruhr. By this stage, the Pathfinder Force had become well established and the raids were increasingly accurate, but losses were heavy. On July 24 Bomber Command turned its attention to Germany’s second city and major port, Hamburg. Grimes and his crew were amongst the 791 aircraft that

attacked the city. Three nights later the city was the target again, a devastating raid that caused a firestorm. Grimes returned for the third time on July 29. His final operation was on August 23, when Berlin was the target. This proved to be Bomber Command’s greatest loss of aircraft in one night so far in the war. Grimes and his crew returned safely. In a post-war interview he commented: “My crew was only the second one to finish a tour whilst I was there.” He was mentioned-indespatches.

On March 14 the important viaduct at Bielfeld was finally destroyed.



fter serving as an instructor, Grimes and his New Zealand pilot, Flt Lt Barney Gumbley DFM, joined 617 Squadron at the end of September 1944. Their first operation on October 29 was to attack the Tirpitz, described by Prime Minister Winston Churchill as ‘The Beast’. The battleship was moored in a fjord near Tromso in Northern Norway. At the extreme range of the Lancaster carrying a Barnes Wallis 12,000lb ‘Tallboy’ bomb, the bombers mounted the raid from airfields in North Scotland. Thirty-seven Lancasters of IX and 617 Squadrons took off from Lossiemouth, Milltown and Kinloss. As they approached the battleship, the clouds rolled in to obscure it and bombs were dropped on the estimated position but no hits were registered. On November 12 another raid was mounted. This time the weather was clear and two direct hits and several near misses

resulted in the Tirpitz capsizing with great loss of life. Over the next few weeks Grimes attacked dams in south Germany and E-boat pens in the Netherlands using Tallboys. His crew bombed the synthetic oil plant at Politz

and on December 31 attacked German cruisers in Oslo Fjord. During an attack on U-boat pens near Rotterdam, his Lancaster was damaged by flak. This was followed by a series of attacks against key railway viaducts using the Tallboy.

n March 21, his crew were allocated a Lancaster B.I (Special) aircraft. This carried a crew of five and Grimes was stood down. His crew took off to attack a railway bridge near Bremen. They failed to return. Waiting for his friends back at Woodhall Spa, Sydney Grimes watched the other Lancasters return from the raid, and his anxiety turned to dread as the minutes, lengthening into hours, dragged by with no sign of them. The agonising suspense finally ended when one of the returning crewmen broke the news to him. His crew had perished. “These were my friends who I’d fought alongside,” Grimes said, “and been through so much with. If I’d had my way, I’d have been on that aircraft too.” After the loss of his crew Grimes left 617 Squadron having completed 41 operations. He joined IX Squadron briefly before finishing his flying career in September 1945 after three months with 50 Squadron. He served with the RAF in Germany before being released in the summer of 1946. He returned to work at EKCO and became an accountant rising to be a finance director. To celebrate his 100th birthday, members of the current 617 Squadron visited him in his care home. Grimes commented: “I felt honoured – it definitely made it extra special.” He died three weeks later.

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P27

Honda CR-V


The people’s choice Honda’s CR-V has something for almost everyone TIM MORRIS Motoring Correspondent SOME PEOPLE love to moan, they’re always looking for new ways to be annoyed. Petrol costs too much, electricity costs too much, coal costs… Oh wait, we’re not even allowed to buy that any more. You get the idea? Then there’s the touchy subject of cars. It’s too fast, it’s too small, it’s too big, it’s not tall enough to see over all the other SUVs in a traffic jam and it’s exhaust pipe is, quite frankly, far too round. Short of politics, people find more to moan about on the roads of Great Britain than at any other time during the average waking day. So finding a car that has universal appeal is virtually impossible. That said, Honda has got pretty close with the CR-V. The company shifts hundreds of thousands of these things every year to people who want something reliable and comfortable. It’s a great car for doing the school run, towing a caravan or hauling a horsebox and you can be confident that it will never miss a beat. It’s now in its fifth-generation and has become one of the world’s bestselling compact SUVs. There are many reasons for this but top of the list is that it’s pretty agile for its size. On The Road Honda claims the new CR-V is the “most dynamic car in its class” and I can see where they’re going with that. Its secret is that it has a relatively stiff steel chassis with a wheelbase that pushes the wheels well to the corners. As a result it may look like a big SUV but behind the wheel it feels far more like a car than many of its rivals. It’s not quite as sharp as Mazda’s CX-5 but it clings on to the tarmac well and the steering is nicely weighted. The tidy handling doesn’t come at the expense of comfort either because the ride is helped by hydraulic suspension bushings that iron out bumps well. Wind and road noise are minimal. On the performance front the

CR-V is exactly what you might expect. Our car was the top of the range EX CVT all-wheel drive petrol. 0-62 in 9.2 seconds, with a top end of 112mph. The plus side of that is that fuel economy is a respectable 39.2mpg on a combined cycle, so it’s not going to break the bank. The engine is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder hybrid that produces 184bhp. There’s no longer a diesel option. Japanese car manufacturers love CVT gearboxes but I’m not a fan. Floor it and you get a massive overrevving effect that feels a bit like a badly slipping clutch. It’s not an experience that I ever really enjoy but, in Honda’s defence, the CR-V’s box isn’t a bad one, as they go. Personally I’d prefer a six-speed manual every time. Exterior styling The CR-V is a practical family SUV so it’s little surprise that it’s not the most eye-catching car on the road. What it does have going for it however is a set of carefully crafted

contour lines. These add definition to the front end and draw the eye to muscular haunches around the wheel arches. It’s a trick that works well because although the fifthgeneration CR-V is the same length as the previous model, it looks bigger. The pronounced side steps and the 19 inch alloy wheels help to complete the picture. Inside Space is important in a family car and the CR-V hits the sweet spot. The wider track and longer wheelbase provide masses of legroom. The front seats are comfortable and, thanks to a good range of adjustment, it’s fairly easy for most drivers to get comfy. There’s plenty of storage in the cabin too, with cubby holes aplenty. The dashboard is very similar to the one featured in the new Civic and everything is logically laid out. It’s well built, using some nice materials..

The infotainment system works well once you’re used to it but it’s not the best in class so don’t expect lightning-fast operation or razorsharp graphics. The touchscreen is conveniently positioned on the dashboard but even the biggest screen is only 7in, which is a bit stingy by modern standards. The really impressive bit is the boot, which is the motor car equivalent of a C-17 in proportions. That’s to say, the load bay is a classleading 1,860mm long. With all the seats folded it gives a total of 1,756-litres of usable volume. Safety and Warranty The CR-V boasts a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and ‘Honda Sensing’ tech is fitted as standard. This includes collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control. You can also opt for blind spot assistance. Honda’s default warranty is three years/90,000 miles, including breakdown assistance.

Honda CR-V Pros l Comfortable l Super-economical hybrid l Plenty of passenger space l Big boot Cons l Mediocre infotainment system l Noisy engine l Pricey, our test car was £40k+ l No seventh seat Verdict Honda performs well in this segment. Toyota’s RAV4 is still arguably a better allrounder but the CR-V is a strong rival for models such as Skoda’s Kodiaq or Hyundai’s Santa Fe. It’s economical, roomy for passengers, comfortable and easy to drive and Honda builds things to last. It’s one of the most sensible buys in this class.

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P28

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WORKING UP A SWEAT: RAF personnel use the FOB lockers


We're on Op Bil-box-i Staff reporter SERVICE PERSONNEL deployed on Operation Biloxi have been the first to test out a new portable gym, thanks to the RAF Central Fund and BeaverFit. The Central Fund has purchased two of the shipping container-style ‘gyms in a box’ for use by personnel on deployment. When not out on ops the gyms, dubbed FOB lockers, will be based at RAF Wittering. “Fitness classes are generally difficult to organise and dependent on availability of facilities and goodwill of the host nation,” said 11 Gp A1 Operations Project Officer, WO John Risk. “The new gyms will ensure RAF personnel have access to first-class, robust and safe equipment that may not otherwise always be available

Crate gyms are keeping personnel fighting fit in Romania while on deployment.” CEO of the RAF Central Fund, Ross Perriam, added: “Our charity looks to support all serving personnel through the provision of access to sport and physical activities with a view to safeguarding health and wellbeing.

“This is particularly important for those on deployment. The new FOB lockers will support large numbers of personnel and we have already had lots of positive feedback following their arrival at Op Biloxi.” Since the gyms arrived in Romania, they have been used extensively by the deployed personnel of 140 Expeditionary Air Wing, currently conducting the Nato-enhanced Air Policing mission. They have become a centrepiece for organised c i r c u i t s with many personnel also taking the opportunity to make use of them in their free time.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P29


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Jewels in the Crown


IAN LEE: One of RAF's Banbury Stars

Whitworth is king of the Hill TWO top 20 finishes proved a worthy end to the Banbury Star Men’s Road Race and first outing of the season for the RAF cycling development team. The riders took to the start line on the outskirts of Banbury for three laps of the 14-mile circuit, knowing the leg-stinging Edge Hill – with an average gradient of 10 per cent over one kilometre – would play a pivotal role in the day’s proceedings. The RAF team guessed correctly with the peloton splitting on the hill section after the first lap. The move left SAC Tom Whitworth in the breakaway group and the rest of the team worked tirelessly to disrupt the chasing pack, to enable Whitworth to come home seventh. Cpl Ian Lee finished 12th, while SAC Rich Summernell was 32nd and AC Bailey Brown 35th.

RAF Hawks retain the CS trophy

THE RAF Hawks ladies volleyballers swooped to defend their Crown Service tournament trophy in style in Sheffield, while the men narrowly missed out. The Hawks – who won the title the last time the event was held in 2019 – stormed to a superb win over tough Army opponents, who they had succumbed to in the group stages earlier in the tournament. Team captain Cpl Jasmin Bushnell and Sgt Lucy Sheppard produced some excellent play and, coupled with continued strong serving from FS Helen Crawford, they cruised to a comfortable 2522, 25-11, 25-23 win. Bushnell said: “I’m super proud of the girls and how well we all played throughout the tournament. It’s great to keep hold of our trophy from 2019 and we’re already looking forward to next season.” The prestigious tournament sees the service enter three teams, men’s (Harriers), women’s and a mixed (Typhoons) to face off against Army, Royal Navy and emergency

STILL CHAMPS: The RAF Hawks won in Sheffield led by captain Cpl Jasmin Bushnell, attacking left. The men went close led by Cpl Alex Clare, right PHOTOS: BILL SKELLY

Service teams police, fire and prison service sides. The Harriers faced the Army in the final, having already beaten them in the group stages. Having got off to a winning start in the five-setter, the RAF men

pulled back the fourth set to level the game but just fell short, losing the deciding fifth set 9-15. Harriers captain Cpl Alex Clare said: “We played our hardest against a very powerful Army side, some of their hitting was the best this competition has ever seen. I am proud of the guys and how we played, but now we turn our focus


to the Inter-services later this month, where we will get another chance to take them on, and hopefully get the win.” The Army-hosted Inter-Services are due to be held in Aldershot. n Anyone interested in Service volleyball should email: tracy. down999@mod.gov.uk


Come along for the ride Marham magic

Daniel Abrahams THE SERVICE’S BMX team may have conquered the world and European competition, but it’s still trying to win over the hearts and minds of new members. The team, headed up by manager Sgt Matt Haywood, has steadily built from club rides to this year boasting entry into the Race of Champions in America, the UCI World Championships in France and the UEC European championships. There, two riders, Haywood and Off Cdt Taylor-Lei Mohan (UAS Boscombe Down), will strut their stuff. Haywood said: “We hope these successes will help spread the word about the sport, which in cycling circles is basically seen as a new sport. “It is also seen by many as a young person’s sport, but those involved know how big the over-50s group is becoming and we are hoping to increase interest in the RAF and show what we have to offer.” For now, all eyes are on Peckham and The London

HAYWOOD: Leads from the front, right, and Taylor, inset below, will be making a welcome return

BMX Track venue. It plays host to round four of five in the 2022 British Cycling BMX National Series, in which Mohan has already produced two podiums finishes. The national events feature two qualification rounds, making Peckham technically rounds seven and eight – with six needed to be eligible for Worlds selection. Stalwart Brize Norton

rider Cpl Chris Taylor will be bolstering the Service team’s ranks for Round Four for the first time this season. Haywood added: “We are competing in the nationals for World Championships spots in Scotland (Glasgow) 2023 with the European Championships venue yet to be selected. The 2024 World Champs return to Rock Hill in the US, which we also hope to attend.”

Closing out the year Haywood will head to Tulsa for the Race of Champions and the USA BMX Grand National Finals, with plans for an Inter-Service Championships currently in the pipeline. n Follow the team on Instagram @ RAFCABMXRacing, Facebook: @Royal Air Force BMX Race Team and Twitter @RAF BMX Racing.

MARHAM NOVICE tug of war team came home with a 3-1 win from their recent Army League Event 2 trip to Bicester. With just two training days under their belt, the RAF pullers beat their 10 Signal Regiment hosts before triumphing in the 600kg and 640kg events. Starting in the 680kg category, Marham managed to take an end from 3 RLC, forcing it to a deciding third end. Unfortunately, SAC Martin Jones lost the coin toss and Marham ended up with the less favourable side and just didn’t have enough pulling power, losing 2-1. Next up they took on the event hosts 10 SR, with each team winning an end on the favourable side. Once again things went down to the third end, with Marham winning the toss and favourable side and the match. In the 600kg category Marham performed well, with admittedly limited experience. Drawn against the hosts again the match went the same way as the previous with a 2-1 outcome in favour of the RAF team. Finishing the day was the highly contested elite 640kg event, where six teams faced off. SAC Brennan Sturman and Sgt David Petrie were now pulling in their third weight category of the day – an immense ask of the RAF men. Holding their own against the best drilled teams, Marham finally faced 10 SR again. With a series of wins under their belts at this weight, the Signals team were confident of victory over the RAF side, but once again the light blue team dug deep to win 2-1. Next up for the team is the REME Champs at Lyneham on June 29, before steadily building towards the Princess Royal Tournament in August and, hopefully, earning an invite to the prestigious Royal Highland Gathering at Braemar in September.

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P30

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It was huss or them ANGLING

Novice anglers reel them in at RAF sea festival SHORE THING: Ev was very popularent

FISH OF THE DAY: SAC Annie Hilton proudly displays a huss, as does Cpl Gareth Bennett, inset below

Daniel Abrahams SAC JAMES Becker and Cpl Martin Williams were the top two at this year’s RAF Sea Angling Festival at Holyhead and Amlwch. Rod fans old and new headed to RAF Valley for the annual event – the largest in the Service’s sea angling calendar – which pairs novice anglers with mentors for two

days of shore and boat fishing. More than 35 anglers made the journey with the opening day’s action in the Shore event on Holyhead Breakwater, seeing fishing from mid-afternoon to midevening. Novices Sgt Matt Spiller (Benson), Sgt Carl Findon (Wittering) and Cpl Martin Williams (Lossiemouth) won their respective zones, with Williams taking top spot. The boat match took place the following day out of the port of Amlwch. There were catches of huss,

dab, wrasse, pollack, coalfish, whiting and the inevitable dogfish keeping everybody busy throughout the day. Boat winners were Sgt Richard Clarke (RAF Wittering), Cpl Gareth Bennett (RAF Boulmer), SAC James Becker (RAF High Wycombe) and Cpl Martin Williams, with SAC Becker picking up the overall win. Chairman of RAF Sea Angling, Sqn Ldr Gareth Pickard, said: “Not only is this the gateway into competitive angling for many serving personnel, it is also the prime event for identifying talent for the RAF shore and boat teams.

“This event has clearly identified at least one angler who will immediately be put into the RAF boat squad for the forthcoming Inter-Service Boat Championships, who otherwise would not have been known about. I would urge any RAF Sea Angler, at whatever level, who has never fished competitively before, to make contact to ensure they book a place at next year’s event.” n Email Sqn Ldr Pickard on: gareth. pickard561@mod.gov.uk or association development representative FS Billy Bowdler: billy.bowdler312@mod.gov.uk.

Challenging keeping up with the Joneses WE'LL ANGLE-SEY YOU NEXT YEAR: Service boat team will be out for revenge in 2023

IT WAS a rough time for the Service’s sea anglers in their first challenge against the Welsh National Boat Team for two years. Despite the RAF dominating during heavy weather on the second day of competition, a powerful Welsh side saw the military men off in the prestigious two-day event, first staged in 2015 from the port of Amlwch in Anglesey. RAF Sea Angling Chairman Sqn Ldr Gareth Pickard said: “It was great to be able to compete against the Welsh team again after a two-year cessation [the event was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak]. “The ability to compete against internationally-known sea

anglers is an honour and we look forward to trying to regain the trophy next year.” With the RAF Boat Team having been awarded the RAF Team of the Year sports award last year, after a string of successes stretching back to 2007, and the Welsh Team preparing to compete in the forthcoming Home Nations Championships, the event promised to provide a stern test with both sets of anglers at the highest possible level. The first match saw a sixhour bout of action; producing large catches of whiting, dogfish, coalfish, pollack, dab and huss. An incredible effort by Welsh angler Ger Jones saw him catch 219 fish, 58 more than any other

angler. That resulted in a strong lead for Team Wales with 628.84 per cent against the RAF score of 554.39 per cent, at the end of the first day. Heavy winds on day two kept the boats closer to harbour and reduced the number of fish caught, but there was still plenty of action. Despite the RAF dominating the second day, their recovery was not enough to overhaul the Welsh first-day lead. Wales were declared winners with a total score of 1,259.27 per cent against the RAF’s 1,207.50 per cent. Ger Jones was declared the individual champion, with WO Darren Rose (RAF Wittering), coming second.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P31


Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk CRICKET

Newcomers get first win under their belts THE RAF Cricket Association’s Senior Men began their preparation for the 2022 IST20 competition with a double header against the travelling Free Foresters CC. Limited selection numbers for skipper SAC(T) Tom Shorthouse meant there was the opportunity for numerous new faces to display their skills for a chance of playing on the MCC’s hallowed turf at Lord’s. Shorthouse sent the Foresters in to bat in the opening game with pace man Sgt Kieran Pearce opening the bowling at Vine Lane, looking for the team’s first win of the season. After a strong start for the Foresters, spinners Shorthouse and Flt Lt Avish Patel dragged the RAF back into the game. Shorthouse removed opener Caleb James for 34, before Patel trapped Bermudan international Dominic Sabir LBW for a scratchy 28.

Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals with SAC Jack Fuller and Shorthouse having success in the middle overs, but the visitors finished on 127-5 after 20 overs. In response, wickets fell in short order for the RAF with Shorthouse and Sgt Ross Diver back in the pavilion after just two overs. SAC Sam Beales and Cpl Adam Sutcliffe set about rebuilding the innings, pulling the RAF to 43 before Sutcliffe departed. What looked like a good score ended up a bridge too far, as the Service side were bowled out for 94. Opening the batting for the second game, Shorthouse and Diver got the RAF off to a flying start finding the boundary with ease in the Power Play. Shorthouse eventually fell for 23, with Beales and Diver taking the score to 79 before Beales was bowled for 19. Diver was joined by Sutcliffe, who scored briskly to take

the final score to 159-2; Diver finishing on 84 and Sutcliffe 30, both not out. Foresters’ Australian first grade batsman Lachie Bangs set about chasing the score by dominating the early exchanges. In a fine display of clean hitting, he hit six fours and four sixes in a devastating knock of 59 from 29 balls. The introduction of Patel changed the momentum of the innings, picking up three wickets during his four overs. When Bangs was removed by Fuller with the score on 95, Shorthouse, Pearce and Hawk tidied up the tail, with a final Hawks over leaving them three short of the RAF’s target to ensure the military men’s first win of the season. n Anyone interested in RAF cricket can follow the association’s two teams on Instagram @ royalairforcecricket and @rafwomenscricket or for more details email: rafcricket@gmail.com.

We Sal-ute you, Sir Hill signs off with classy final bout



Tri Nations 2nd for Scot SAC Devine FOLLOWING HIS recent success in the Scottish National Championships, SAC Arran Devine was selected as the Scottish Middleweight entry for the GB Tri Nations 2022, fulfilling a boyhood dream of representing his country. Trained and cornered by former World Champion Ricky Burns, Arran was pitched against English Champion Dan Toward, following both boxers receiving a bye to the final. Devine’s opponent, originating from the famous Birtley ABC, is regarded as a future Olympian – making him the firm favourite to take the Tri- Nation Crown. Although the underdog, the Serviceman had different ideas. Boxing out of the red corner, he started the bout confidently, controlling the centre of the ring and catching Toward with a number of clean jabs. Clearly shocked, the Englishman went on the retreat to gather his composure, which gave him the space to deliver some timely counters of his own; making the first round hard to score.

FIRST RAF WIN OF NIGHT: Fg Off Katie Bosson, left

KING OF THE HILL: Former Development Champ Flt Lt Sal Hill against Tino Bellot BRIZE FIGHTER: SAC Harry Davies (left) beat Dale Youth's Aspro PHOTOS: SAC IAIN CURLETT

BOXING BENSON HOSTED the penultimate station show of the season after what has been the most memorable so far for RAF boxing. The gala night pitched an RAF Select Team against boxers from Islington ABC, Dale Youth ABC, Thames Valley and Cambridge University. With 10 bouts contested in front of the iconic Puma Helicopter and more than 250 members of the Puma Force, the evening provided closely-fought and well-contested matches throughout. The Service won four of the bouts on the evening’s card, with one all-RAF affair seeing SAC Cory

Rivers (Coningsby) beat SAC Alex White (Benson). The opening match of the night saw SAC Dan Ellis (Northolt) come out second best to University fighter T. Wang, while Fg Off Katie Bosson (Odiham) got the first win on the board for the Service beating University fighter M. Munro. Coningsby’s Cpl Sam Anderton then beat Thames Valley ABC’s C. Ockwell, before SAC Kaine Brooks beat N. Ullah from Islington ABC. Dale Youth ABC fighter A. Howard beat SAC Tyler Goligher (Leeming), before Thames Valley’s J. Charles won the bout against SAC Henry Wilson (Benson), after Wilson retired injured. SAC Harry Davis (Brize) then beat Dale Youth’s J. Aspro, before

crystallised in the very special final bout, which saw Flt Lt Sal Hill enter the ring for the last time for the RAF. Following an eightyear absence from the ring, the 2011 National Development Champion rolled back the years with glimpses of his former self, in an extremely well-matched contest against the highly decorated Tino Bellot of Dale Youth. ANOTHER RAF WIN: SAC Kaine Brooks (left) A close and tactical Leeming’s SAC Mikey Lennon lost affair unfortunately went the way out to T. Ramsey of Islington ABC of the Londoner, while a standing in the penultimate bout of the night. ovation greeted Hill’s final walk The memorable evening was from the ring.

The second began in similar fashion, with Devine (pictured) taking the centre of the ring, dominating territory, while Toward looked to counter and box on the outside. Some slick footwork and elusive head movement made the Englishman hard to pin down, however Devine continued to take the initiative, matching his opponent for clean shots. With both maintaining discipline and concentration, the result was by no means clearcut at the final bell. As it was the judges narrowly voted in favour of the Englishman, however, a stirling performance from Devine earned him a Silver medal and a place on a six-month programme with the Scottish national team. Next up for Devine is Europe’s biggest event for amateurs – the Haringey International Box Cup at Alexandra Palace – where he looks to consolidate an outstanding season both for him and the RAFBA as a whole.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 P32

Sport ––

l See p29


Women Crown their season off with trophy win

A Nell of an achievement League pays its respects : ULTR A PROUD

Sqn Ldr Nell

THE ULTRA X Scotland 125’s a tough ask for seasoned athletes but as only her third ever ultradistance race, for Sqn Ldr Lucy Nell it was a baptism of fire. Looking for a sport to concentrate on while going through her GP training, Nell said: “Being a big fan of a personal challenge, it turned out 5km, 10km, half-marathon and marathon were not going to cut it. I’d done enough road pounding in my triathlon days and I soon got the bug for off-road trail running. The obvious choice was ultra-distance.”

The 125km two-day event takes runners around Loch Ness and requires athletes to camp overnight. Nell said: “The start was mixed with nerves and people unloading their backpacks to reach the required 6kg weight.” A field of 81 runners

hit the start line and headed out to Inverness, with much of the route following the Great Glen Way or the South Loch Ness Trail. The opening day featured the challenging 699 metre climb to the top of Meall Fuarmhonaidh at the halfway

mark. Then after a night of broken sleep and a huge feed, Nell headed out for the second day of gruelling effort. She said: “The event was tough, my knee was labouring near the end, but I am honestly hooked now. This was an unbeatable experience.

I am now excited to see how the sport develops in the Service.” n For details on the sport email: Sgt Thomas Phillips: Thomas. phillips113@mod.go.uk or FS Caroline MaynardBurrows: caroline. maynard-burrows393@ mod.gov.uk.

IT WAS the calm before the Challenge Cup final storm as the Service and sports world paid its respects at the annual wreathlaying ceremony at the Cenotaph. The event, which is organised by UKAFRL and in its eighth year, is held the day before rugby league’s biggest event – played this year at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London. The match saw Wigan Warriors overcome Huddersfield Giants 16-14 with a late try, in a thrilling final. Personnel from all three Services stood alongside representatives from the sport’s governing body the RFL, MPs, the Challenge Cup finalists and the Royal British Legion. Padre Matthew Stevens from RAF Northolt conducted the service. Event organiser Sqn Ldr Damian Clayton (pictured above), UKAFRL chief operating officer, laid a wreath as did SAC Connor Morris – a RAF rugby league star who played in the early rounds of the tournament for the RAF.


Military men lose the battle but win the war Daniel Abrahams IT WAS back-to-back President’s Cup wins for the UKAFRL men, but the Service side could not make it a clean sweep of victories, losing to England Universities 26-14. The defeat at Leigh Miners Rangers ground against a lively Universities team came after a closefought match, with UKAF winning the cup on points difference. Head coach Danny Johnson PTe (Ret’d) said: “It


UKAFRL England Universities

14 26

was disappointing on the evening to lose, we have worked hard and improved each game, but I think the loss of players due to deployment and injury were a telling factor, but we were also on the wrong end of some decisions on the night that did not go our way. “That said, it led to us showing a lot of character, we still had to

win on points so we had to fight to the end and on another day with a couple of breaks we could have got our noses ahead and won three out of three, but we won this over the whole competition, and I could not ask any more from the players.” A defensive error from a high ball saw the students punish UKAF in the first half, bundling over the ball for 0-6 lead. The military men levelled 6-6 with a good passing try but came up short 3-2 on tries during the opening 40 minutes of

the game to trail 16-10 at the break. The Service side pulled things back with a great try after the restart, but as the gloom descended the students ran home two further tries to seal the win, but with UKAF lifting the silverware. Cpl Liam Bradley returned for the match as hooker and added a different dimension through the middle for the military men. Sadly, his sizeable impact was halted prematurely as he went off injured after 25 minutes. The reshuffle

more pages of RAF Sport inside

following his departure proved costly for UKAF, while SAC George Mosey and Cpl Adam Middleton – who came off the bench – both put in good stints for the team. n The next Service rugby league action will be the Inter-Services Championship in the autumn.

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 R'n'R 1



Win tickets to Folk by the Oak See pages 4-5

Going solo – Mark Owen Announcements l P6-7

Puzzles l P8

See p3

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 R'n'R 3


Novels evoke bygone times

WWII classics back thanks to the IWM A

SERIES of novels from the Imperial War Museum’s archives, all set during World War II, have been newly published by the museum (iwm.org.uk). An IWM spokesperson said: “Originally released to considerable acclaim, these titles were written either during or just after the Second World War and were out of print. Each novel is written directly from the author’s own experience and takes the reader right into the heart of the conflict.” Among the 13 titles is Pathfinders by Cecil Lewis, in which, over the course of one night in 1942, the crew members of Wellington bomber ‘P for Pathfinder’ reflect on the paths of their own lives, as they embark on a fateful mission deep into the heart of Nazi Germany. Another in the series is Squadron Airborne by Elleston Trevor, set in the summer of 1940 while the Battle of Britain rages in the skies over southern England. Nineteen-year-old Pilot Officer Peter Stuyckes arrives at RAF Westhill

Film Review Benediction (12)

Cinemas now and trailer: youtube/6L38k6l9DFQ

and is immediately put to the test. Based on the author’s own service as an RAF flight engineer, the novel takes place over one unforgettable week that summer, depicting the work of the many groundcrew and other staff as they support The Few in their fight against the Luftwaffe. Author Trevor went on to write the classic The Flight of the Phoenix. Monica Felton’s 1945 novel To All The Living gives a lively account of the experiences of a group of men and women working in a munitions factory during WWII and provides a fascinating insight into a vital aspect of Britain’s Home Front with its vivid portrayal of factory life. And Mr Bunting At War by Robert Greenwood is a reprint of a 1941 classic, again set in 1940 as the Battle of Britain takes place and bombs start to rain down on London. The museum is currently offering three IWM Wartime Classics (rrp £8.99) for the price of two. n Go to: ishop.iwm.org for a full list of IWM Wartime Classics.


ALSO JUST out from iwm. org.uk is The Spitfire by Adrian Kerrison, one of four titles from a new visual series focusing on aspects of the museum’s photography collection and showcasing the most interesting, popular and well-known images the IWM holds. The other titles are Cecil Beaton, Royals and Animals. The Spitfire includes 50 images from the IWM’s unique collection, following the Supermarine Spitfire’s remarkable evolution over a decade of production and featuring several rarely publishing photographs of the iconic aircraft. We have a copy of this highly collectable book (rrp £12.99) to win – for your chance to own it, just answer this simple question: Images museum’s collection Spitfire?

from which photography feature in The

Email your answer, marked IWM Spitfire 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 July 1.

Haunted by The Great War T

WAR WEARY: Siegfried Sassoon (Jack Lowden)

ERENCE DAVIES’ Benediction focuses on British war poet Siegfried Sassoon as he returns from the battlefield decorated for his gallantry, but ultimately shaken by the horrors of war and the motivations of those in power. Returning, haunted, from World War I, Sassoon refuses to take part in any further war efforts in protest, and so is duly treated for having a nervous breakdown. We join him at a place of rehabilitation in Scotland, here he discovers relationships that both enrich and torment, but will never be able to clear his conscience. Davies’ (The Long Day Closes, Distant Voices, Still Lives) delicacy in both writing and direction is matched by the oppressed performance of Jack Lowden at the centre as Siegfried. Managing to evade selfrighteousness, his thoughts are bounced off Dr Rivers (Ben Daniels) and contemporary poet Wilfred Owen (Matthew Tennyson) – their exchanges witty and charged, offering a much-needed nourishment. Beginning minimally, almost theatrically, with intimate exchanges between two people, the film comes to

WHO AM I? The older Sassoon (Peter Capaldi) turns to the Catholic Church

accommodate Sassoon’s later relationships including popular entertainer Ivor Novello (Jeremy Irvine). Evidently his sexuality is another feeling that must be repressed, and his tumultuous affair with this often-cruel musician, as well as other heartbreaks along the way, only add to the despair. Throughout the film we jump backwards and forwards in time, broken up by sequences that play Sassoon’s poetry, read in Lowden’s measured pace, over archive footage of WWI. There is a

tempered spiritualism under the questions of morality – especially in Sassoon’s later years when he is played by Peter Capaldi, his search for meaning leading him to the Catholic Church. It has a quality of Terrence Malick (Badlands), though the spiritual is more inhibited, experienced cerebrally through poetry. Lowden draws you into his nuanced performance but under a malaise of tragedy that can be tough to endure. 3 roundels out of 5 Review by Sam Cooney

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 R'n'R 4


Edited by Tracey Allen

Win! Summer festival tic

GOOD MUSICAL PEDIGREE: Mabel's mum is pop star Neneh Cherry

LOST WORDS SPELL SONGS: (l-r) Jim Molyneux, Kris Drever, Seckou Keita, Rachel Newton, Beth Porter, Karine Polwart, Jackie Morris and Ju

All the best fo

Willing & Mabel M

ABEL HAS revealed the release date for her second album About Last Night… out on July 15, featuring the singles Let Them Know and Good Luck. About Last Night…. follows the BRIT Award winner’s debut album High Expectations, which saw her catalogue surpass 4.5 billion streams. The new album was conceived between Mabel’s West London home, Angelic Studios in Oxford and Los Angeles. The singer-songwriter, who performed at the BBC’s Party at the Palace for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, will star in a headline show at London’s Somerset House on July 17 to celebrate the launch of About Last Night…. Just before the world went into lockdown, Mabel won her first BRIT award for British Female Solo Artist (which she collected exactly 30 years to the

day her mum, Neneh Cherry, won International Solo Artist in 1990). She presented her mother with her Icon Award at the NME Awards at the start of 2022. During lockdown Mabel temporarily moved back to her parent’s home and started to spend more time in the studio. She said: “I thought, let me just make music for myself again.” She added: “I feel truly confident for possibly the first time ever. I’ve lived a lot of my life caring about what other people might think and enough is enough. “Own who you are and stop being apologetic. It’s exhausting to apologise for your existence. What I love most about this album is its fearlessness. More than anything, it’s a really good pop record.” n Go to: mabelofficial.com and somersethouse.org.uk


OLK BY the Oak, the annual family-friendly, one day festival of live folk, roots and acoustic music, celebrates its fifteenth year when it returns to Hatfield House on Sunday, July 17. This year’s headliners are much-loved Scottish duo The Proclaimers, renowned for their global anthems such as I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and Letter from America. They will also be performing newer material from their catalogue of music

from the past 34 years. Also starring on the main stage will be Ivor Novello Award-winning legend Richard Thompson, former Fairport Convention band member

HEADLINERS: The Proclaimers

Impressiv for Hatfie music spe and one of the most influential artists on the music scene today, plus folk festival favourites The Unthanks, and two not to be missed collaborations in the form of Spell Songs and AKA Trio. Commissioned by Folk by the Oak, Spell Songs is the musical companion piece to the acclaimed Lost Words and Lost Spells books by renowned author Robert Macfarlane (Underland: A Deep Time Journey), and award-winning artist Jackie Morris. The band comprises seven well-known folk musicians including Karine Polwart, Julie Fowlis, Seckou Keita and Kris Drever and will feature Jackie Morris painting live on stage to the music. AKA Trio comprises Senegalese kora master Seckou Keita, Italian guitarist Antonio Forcione and

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 R'n'R 5

FOLK LEGEND: Richard Thompson



I Am Zlatan (15)


Cinemas and digital platforms now. Signature Ents

Remarkable rise of Swedish ace Zlatan KIDS: Family

HOT SHOT: Zlatan is played by Granit Rushiti (left) and Dominic Andersson Bajraktati (above)

-friendly fun


AKA TRIO: Multicultural

ulie Fowlis

olk come here

ve line-up eld House ectacular

Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale. Seckou is one of the world’s foremost kora players, Antonio has released 20 albums and collaborated with many major artists and Adriano has worked with Bobby McFerrin and Joanna McGregor among others and composed music for orchestra and dance theatre. The festival’s location in the leafy Queen Elizabeth Oak Field at Hatfield House makes for a memorable family experience, with the fun-packed family area within sight and sound of the main stage, so the grown-ups can keep the smaller members of their party amused without missing the main stage action. The festival is within walking distance of Hatfield train station and there’s a substantial array of makers and creators in the Vintage and Craft Tents, and free fun for all ages in the form of everything from music workshops to rock climbing, say the organisers.

Am Zlatan is the entertaining rags to riches biopic of the extraordinary meteoric rise of Swedish football legend Zlatan Ibrahimović. Facing adversity in an urban jungle, a young Zlatan, born in Malmö to Balkan immigrant parents, finds salvation in football and soon discovers his remarkable talent. Against all the odds his confidence and skill catapult him to the top of international football, where he fulfils his dreams playing for Malmö, Ajax and Juventus. The film stars Dominic Andersson Bajraktati as young Zlatan Ibrahimović and Granit Rushiti as the older Zlatan. In Sweden it has already surpassed blockbusters such as The Batman and Uncharted to hit the number


Mark Owen Land of Dreams

one spot in cinemas and become the largest opening of a Swedish picture since Christmas 2019. Directed by Jens Sjögren, it’s based on the book I am Zlatan by David Lagercrantz with Zlatan Ibrahimović and adapted for the screen by Jakob Beckman with David Lagercrantz. We have copies of I Am Zlatan on DVD up for grabs. To be in with a chance of winning one, send us the correct answer to this question: Where was Zlatan Ibrahimović born? Email your answer, marked I Am Zlatan DVD 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 June 17. NEW MUSIC: Single and album (below)

Owen solo record first in nine years

H RAISE A GLASS, OR TWO: Folk by the Oak is a laid-back affair for music lovers of all ages

RAF News has a family pass to Folk by the Oak for two adults and two children worth £133 to give away. For your chance to win this great prize, simply answer the following question correctly: What is the venue for this year’s Folk by the Oak one-day festival?

by email. Tickets are transferable but cannot be exchanged for any other goods. Ticket holders agree to abide by festival and estate rules. Please email: info@folkbytheoak. com for full competition T&Cs. n Don’t want to leave it to chance? Go to: folkbytheoak.com for ticket and full line-up details and ticket information.

Email your answer to: info@ folkbytheoak.com, subject RAF NEWS COMPETITION, to arrive by July 1, 2022. The winners will be selected at random on July 4, 2022 and notified

* By entering the competition, you agree to subscribe to Folk by the Oak’s e-marketing database. Folk by the Oak is managed by JSL Productions. JSL Productions will never share your personal data with third parties who intend to use it for their own purposes without your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time using the unsubscribe option on JSL Productions' marketing emails.

AVING RELEASED the single You Only Want Me last month, Take That star Mark Owen has announced the release of his forthcoming album Land of Dreams – out on September 23 and his first solo record in more than nine years. He has also announced a UK headline tour, going to Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow and London. The Land of Dreams tour kicks off in Bristol on October 16 and tickets are on sale now. Mark appeared on ITV’s Big Jubilee Street Party on June 5 and is due to take the stage at two of the UK’s biggest festivals this summer – the Isle of Wight Festival on June 18 and Latitude on July 24. As a member of Take That, he has won eight BRIT Awards, scored 12 UK No.1 singles, eight UK No.1 albums, sold more than 45 million records and played live to millions of fans around the world.

He released his first solo album, Green Man, after Take That first split in 1996 and, since then, has recorded a further four solo albums. His last, 2013’s The Art of Doing Nothing, was his highest charting album to date. n Go to: markowenofficial.com to pre-order the new album and for tour details.

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

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



DROVER John Chf Tech (RAF no 1922521). He joined the RAF as a cadet in the early 1950s and served at St Athan, Colerne, Lyneham, Cyprus Akrotiri, Malta, Aden, Iraq-Habbaniya with 6 Squadron (1954). He passed away at home quietly but suddenly aged 89 on May 17 of prostate cancer (get it checked) and biological frailty. He is survived by his wife Rosemary of 67 years. His family – Richard, Jon, Louise and Charlotte – and surviving friends will miss him very much. The funeral took place at Barham Cemetery, Kent on June 13.

CAN anyone provide information/contact details for Dick Sheasby – Solihull School 1952-58 and subsequently short service commission pilot? Please contact dskidmore@doctors. org.uk if you can help.

SILVER David (Dave), Warrant Officer MSM. Passed away May 22 (aged 87). Husband of the late Janet Silver. Served from May 1962–May 1990, following 12 years in the Royal Navy (1950-1962). Served at RAF Odiham, Bentley Priory, SHAPE (Paris and Brussels), RAF Bicester, RAF Brampton, RAF Valley, British Embassy Lima Peru, RAF Northwood, RAF Gutersloh and RAF Boscombe Down. Beloved father of Wendy, Andrew, Mandi and Neil. Missed by all the family and friends who will remember his stories of his 40 years of service. Funeral was June 15 at Colney Wood, Norwich, Norfolk.

In Memoriam WATT Catherine Grace (née Leech) Former WAAF Corporal Passed away 12 June 2002. “Twenty years gone The pain and sorrow lives on.”

I am trying to contact Sqn Ldr Charles Slatter (Ret’d), ex C-130 pilot. Please email: j on @ t he p owe rc omp any. co.za DOES anyone know the whereabouts of Steve Welburn and Steve Butterworth? Steve Welburn was the OC RAF Swanton Morley detachment at BAe Woodford Nimrod AEW project. Steve Butterworth was on 16 Sqn Buccaneers RAF Laarbruch in the early 80s. Email: Ron ThompsonPeate: lindaro146@yahoo. co.uk LOOKING for any members of the 47th entry TG19 Hereford 62-64. Any still about? Please contact Jim Cummins on: Carol_ cummins@aol.com or: 01302 532865,07517 416702. LOOKING for any of the class of IFN4/66, nav inst fitters course held at RAF Newton from April 1966 to March 1967. Please contact Malcolm Hodgson on: hodgson8448@gmail.com LOOKING for anyone stationed at RAF Safi, Malta and RAF Idris, Libya, between June 1963 and December 1965. Also, anyone on the RAF flight on Floriana parade ground for Independence Day in September 1964 in Malta. Please contact Geoff Stevens on: moomin33@hotmail. co.uk or (01795) 479803.

WATT Alfred Warrant Officer retired. Passed away Reunions May 25, 2009. Both remembered with love THE RAF & Defence Fire and sadly missed.

Services Association was formed in 1995 and would like to attract new members of all ranks, serving and retired. The annual subscription fee is £16 and for that you receive three Association magazines a year called the Flashpoint, to which members are invited to contribute their stories. We meet for a reunion and AGM once a year. For more information about us and how to join visit the website: rafanddfsa.co.uk – we would love to hear from you. The RAF & DFS Association also has close links with the Museum of RAF Firefighting, visit: firemuseum.uk.

MAJOR PROJECTS: Newark Aviation Museum's Vulcan surrounded by scaffolding; inset, the museum's Shackleton WR977

60TH Reunion, 45th entry, C. Flight 3 Squadron suppliers reunion July 8 and 9 at 3 Counties Hotel, Hereford. For further information please contact Dinger Bell on: 01482377625.

RAFAA Association IF you trained as an RAF Administrative Apprentice (or are related to one) we’d be delighted to welcome you to the RAFAAA. Our aim is to promote friendship and general wellbeing among our veterans, via social gatherings and assorted activities, as devised by an elected committee, and a regular newsletter. Please see the website: rafadappassn.org or you can contact the Membership Secretary on: 07866 085834 or Chairman on: 01933 443673.

Catering Association RAF Catering WOs’ and Seniors’ Association (RAF CWO & SA): all serving or retired TG19 WOs or FSs and all former Catering Branch Officers are invited to join the RAF CWO & SA. We meet twice yearly. For more information please email: davescott10@hotmail. co.uk

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. We cannot, under any circumstances, take announcements over the telephone. They can be sent by email to: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk. Please note that due to the coronavirus pandemic we are currently unable to accept notices submitted by post.

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.

Museum's Avro airframes appeal FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGNS for major projects on two of Newark Aviation Museum’s Avro airframes – Shackleton WR977 and Vulcan XM594 – were launched recently. In December 2021 the museum took ownership of the Shackleton, with the understanding that some significant structural repairs were required on both main undercarriage structures. The campaign aims to raise £4,500. A museum spokesman said: “Until this work has been completed we are unable to reopen this particular aircraft for our cockpit tours. “So that we can undertake this work in a safe and secure manner we need to construct two concrete jacking plinths; one under each aircraft wing. “In addition to this civil engineering work, we also need to fabricate jacking pads/heads to fit on the jacks that we purchased last autumn. “We have tried to source these amongst the aviation community but without success.” Last month scaffolding was erected at the nose and on the starboard wing of Vulcan XM594, also acquired by the museum last

December. This will allow the NAM’s painting teams to carry out some much-needed refurbishment and repainting work during the summer, the spokesman explained. He added: “It is anticipated that this work will take up to 10 weeks and on certain occasions it could limit the public’s access to the aircraft. “We have a fundraising campaign to support this vital restoration work, which will help secure the long-term future of this particular exhibit. “The work should not interrupt the external tours of XM594, which have been a regular feature of our weekend opening sessions. “These are led by former Vulcan crew members and provide a fascinating insight into Vulcan operations during the Cold War.” The Vulcan appeal’s target is £5,000. The spokesman said regular updates about both projects will appear on the museum’s website, where you can also find details of how to donate to the projects. n Go to: newarkairmuseum.org for more information.

Battle of Britain memorial service

THE ROYAL Air Force commemorates the Battle of Britain each year at a service in Westminster Abbey. We would very much like to hear from the widows, family descendants and any other family members of those who participated in the Battle. We are seeking to improve our knowledge of this unique demographic and to offer places at the formal Battle of Britain Thanksgiving Service, this year on Sunday, September 18, and in subsequent years. If you are a family member, or know someone who is, please write to: Mrs Michèle Small (RAF Ceremonial Office, Bentley Priory Building, RAF Northolt, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6NG), providing details of your relationship to your relative who served in the Royal Air Force between July and October 1940 and your email address and a contact phone number. Additionally, for the purpose of allocating tickets, please send your full name, home address, date and place of birth and passport or driving licence number. This information is also required for any additional guests who wish to attend the service with you.

Royal R oyal Air F Force o ce N or News ews Fr Friday, iday, JJune une 17, 202 2022 22 R'n'R 7

R'n'R R 'n' nR Your Y our u Ann Announcements ouncements

You Y oou can em email ail photos photos ffor or ann announcements ouncements oon n tthis his pa page ge tto: o: tr tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk acey..allen@rafnews.co.uk

Spitfire S pitffir ire tour tour u adds add ds dates dates e

A R RARE ARE blue blue reconnaissance reeconnaissance S Spitfire, pit itfiire, pictured, pictureed, ffrom rom the R RAF AF Museum Museum Mi Midlands, dlands, is heading heading to to Birmingham Birminghaam in July, Julyy, as ffive iv i e new new dates dates e are aree added added to to the aaircraft’s ircraft’s ttour our of of the region. region. To celebrate museum’s T o ce lebrate tthe he m useum e ’s 50th 50th anniversary, anniversary, Spitfire Spitfiirre PR. PR. XIX ggoes on display outside oes o n di splay o utside

tthe he ci city’s ty’’s New New Street Street Station Station ffrom rom JJuly uly 6-10. B Before effore h heading eading to to B Birmingham, irmingham, tthe he ico iconic nic aaircraft ircraft w will ill visit visit Coventry Coven ntry on on JJune une 18-19 aand nd SShrewsbury hrewsb w ury on o n JJune une 25-26. It It finishes fini i shes tthe he Leicester on ttour our in L eicester o n JJuly uly 1617. Manufacturers M anufacturers in Birmingham produced B irmingham p roduced more more

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aatt C Castle astle B Bromwich. romw wicch. The The V Vickers-Armstrong iicker e s-Armstrong aaircraft ircraft fac factory tory at at Castle Castle B Bromwich romw wich p produced roduced 11,939 Spitfires Spitfir i es aand nd 305 Avro Avro Lancasters. Lancasters. Th Thee fac factory tory cclosed losed in December Decem mber 1945 and and the the Castle Castle Vale Vale housing estate wass bbuilt on h ousing es tate wa uilt o n tthe he ssite. ite. Q Go Go to: to: rrafmuseum.org/ afmuseum.org/ midlands mi dlands ffor or mo more. re.

Coltishall Co ltish hall connection connection WERE YOU YOU stationed stationed at at RAF R AF Coltishall, Coltishall, tthe he fformer ormer ffighter iigghter b base ase a ffew ew mi miles les north n orth o off N Norwich? orwich? W Were eere yyou ou aamong mong tthe he sstation’s tation’s ci civilian vilian staff? staff ? P Perhaps erhaps yyou ou aare re a hi historian storian with w ith an an interest i terest in in i tthe he R RAF, AF F, a lo local cal resident resident or or were were a cchild hild of o RAF personnel, lived li ved onon base b ase and and aatt t e n d e d tthe he lo local ca l sschool? chool? T h e SSpirit pirit of Coltishall C o l ti s h all Association A ssociation ( S o C A ) welcomes enquiries en quiries from people p eople interested d in jjoining, oining, whatever whatever e ttheir heir connection co nnection tto o tthe he sstation. tation. SSoCA oCA wa wass fformed ormed in 2007, shortly shortly aafter fter R RAF AF Coltishall C oltishall cclosed. losed. The The Association’s A ssociation’s o objectives bjectives are are off tto o ffoster oster the o the memory mem e ory o unique tthis his uniq que establishment establishment which w hich rremained emained a ffighter iighter base b ase throughout throughout iits ts 66yyear ear operational operational existence, existence,

to en to ensure sure iits ts h heritage eritage iiss rrespected, espected, and and tto o m maintain aintain tthe he station’s station’s rrenowned enowned sspirit pirit tthrough hrough p providing roviding members m embers w with ith ssocial ocial aand nd other o ther o occasions ccasions to to celebrate celebrate comradeship co mradeship tthrough hrough ttheir heir connection co nnectio i n with with the the station. statio i n. Thee A Th Association ssociatio i n holds holds formal and and informal infformal functions ons throughout throughout the year yyeear aand nd organises ganises co coach ach trips ips aand nd overnight vernig n ht stays stays to o places places o off interest nteres e t acr across oss the he co country. ountry. Its Its volunteers olunteers act act as guid guides des in tthe he Coltishall ishalll R Rooms ooms housed d in n the the Air Air Defence R Radar adar M Museum useum at Neatishead aand nd aalso lso ttake ake an an original original Jaguar Jaguar aircraft aircraft cockpit cockpit to to shows shows in i N Norfolk orfolk aand nd SSuffolk. ufffolk. Q IIff you you aare re in interested terested in jjoining oining SSoCA, oCA, o orr w would ould li like ke more m ore inf information, formatio on, email: email: orr ccall: sspiritofcoltishall.com piritofccoltishall.co om o all: 07930739166. ABOVE: T ABOVE: Trying rying out the the Jaguar Jaguar ccockpit ockpit aatt H Heartsease eartsease school, school, Norwich Norwich

Royal Air Force News Friday, June 17, 2022 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Crossword

Su Doku

No. 318

No. 328

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the 11 letters in yellow squares to find an RAF word

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. It defends Nathaniel’s duck (4) 8. Announce the wedding…Friday? (4,3,3) 9. Where pilots take off for, we hear, successor’s holiday (8) 10. He peeks over a wall in Africa? (4) 12. In Crewe, a seller sold a mammal (6) 14. Party for beginners with a right bill (6) 15. Nailed badly, he was threatened by lions (6) 17. She doesn’t stop talking about Georgia’s reticule (6) 18. Originally, dotard examined and found hard of hearing (4) 19. Older men drag sand around (8) 21. Planes reach ruins in a terrible state (10) 22. RAF team expressed great pride (4) Down 2. Wield words with wondrous wisdom (10) 3. Where our responsibility lies? (4) 4. Am speaking in an unscrupulous way (6) 5. 3.14159 embraced by lover – ridiculous! (6) 6. The girl’s clues solved by strongman (8) 7. By the sound of it, I had looked (4) 11. Couple of unique originality (4,3,3) 13. What dragon does to plane (8) 16. It’s left behind at one stage in middle of megacycle (6) 17. Rough cereal at the end of the day (6) 18. What Homer says is a capital (4) 20. Saucer for Diana’s century (4)

Solution to Su Doku No: 327

Solution to Crossword No 317: Across – 1. Sago 8. Brilliance 9. Count Ten 10. Eras 12. Hussar 14. Clique 15. Scrawl 17. Orkney 18. Snap 19. Neoprene 21. Venomously 22. Stew Down – 2. Avro Vulcan 3. Oban 4. Victor 5. Clinic 6. Maverick 7. Jets 11. Acute Angle 13. Scampton 16. Linton 17. On-Ouse 18. Save 20. Rays RAF word – Navigator

Book Review

The Few Who Flew, by Michael Naseby


(rrp £20, unicornpublishing.org)

A pilot's passion L

IKE MANY boys of his generation, Michael Naseby’s love of flying was stimulated by reading the adventures of Biggles, the ace pilot created by the author W.E. Johns. During a summer holiday in 1955 visiting his parents in Pakistan, young Michael was able to spend the two months learning to fly and gaining his private pilot’s licence. On his return to England, he was called up for his two years’ National Service and he successfully applied to train as a pilot. He was awarded his ‘wings’ in April 1957, making him one of the last to be trained under this scheme. In the space of two years, he graduated from being a teenage schoolboy to a fully qualified jet pilot. Having outlined the background to the National Service Act, the author describes his experiences travelling to Canada where he joined other aspiring pilots from the RAF and from Nato air forces. He describes in detail his course, first on the Harvard before graduating to fly the Lockheed T-33, an aircraft based on the Shooting Star fighter. He devotes a whole chapter to a summer holiday with three friends when they drive a dodgy Dodge

from their base near Winnipeg to California and back. Added to the thrill of flying jets, this period of his life, at barely 20 years old, is a nostalgic reminder of heady days.

After gaining his wings, he had hoped to join the Royal Auxiliary Air Force as a ‘weekend flyer’, but this was thwarted by the infamous Sandys Defence White Paper of

1957, which saw the demise of the Auxiliaries. The author devotes the rest of his book to a chapter about the secret wartime airfield at Tempsford, Bedfordshire, near his residence. He describes a 50-year reunion, organised by his friend and fellow course member, David Cobbold, when the close bonds formed in Canada are reinforced. He devotes a further chapter to the future of aviation, making some interesting points on topics that have an impact on climate change – such as Sustainable Aviation Fuels and the development of zero-emissions flight – and he makes a strong plea for the development of the Airlander, a hybrid air vehicle which he describes as ‘the modern queen of airships.’ He concludes with a brief chapter ‘National Service Revisited’ in which he raises the possibility of reinstating the scheme. Throughout his book, the author’s passion for flying is evident. A champion of the Royal Air Forces Association, Lord Naseby is donating some of the proceeds from the sale of his book to RAFA. Review by Air Cdre (Ret’d) Graham Pitchfork n See p19 for our competition to win a copy of The Few Who Flew

Another look back for W in! air electronics officer S INCE HE was a child in the 1950s watching Vampires and Meteors operating from RAF Turnhouse, Jim Walls wanted to fly aircraft – but he never envisaged that his flying career would be spent in the back seat as opposed to the front. In Flying Forwards, Facing Backwards, subtitled Captivating Tales from a Vulcan and Nimrod Air Electronics Officer, (grubstreet.co.uk), he guides readers through his 40-year RAF career that started as a Boy Entrant at Cosford, then as an air radar tradesman, before specialising as an air electronics operator (AEOp) in the Nimrod MR1, and later as an air electronics officer (AEO) who flew in Nimrod R1s and Vulcan B2s. With detailed insight into the world of radar, electronic countermeasures and signals intelligence, the author highlights the role they played in warfare for numerous operations during the Cold War, the Falklands campaign, First Gulf War and Bosnian War. He also recalls the peacetime role of the Nimrod and Vulcan with stories from his time on 51, 120 and 617 Squadrons. As well as

focusing on his career, Jim gives his viewpoint on matters such as Operation Black Buck and the Vulcan’s reduced war-fighting capability as it neared retirement. This fascinating book showcases the vital role AEOs held and the importance of radar and electronic warfare in the fight against enemy forces. It is also a tribute to muchloved Cold War icons the Nimrod and the Vulcan. With photography throughout, mainly from the author’s personal collection, this title will appeal to Cold War enthusiasts and fans of the iconic jets of that era. We have copies of Flying Forwards, Facing Backwards (rrp £25) to win. For a chance to add one to your collection, tell us: How long was Jim Wallis’s RAF career? Email your answer, marked Jim Wallis 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 July 1.

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