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Strictly speaking Du Beke to the future with Anton

Win Win Life in a day of Service l R'n'R p8

l R’n’R 4-5

Win Win Cult 1960s Ollie Reed war romp l R'n'R p3

Friday December 1 2017 No 1432 70p


Justice for Rita DNA breakthrough could catch 60s Halton killer Rugby Union

RAF man leads historic win

l Sport p33

Winter Sports Boarders camp it up in Austria

l Sport p31

See p7

617th heaven Dambusters squadron reborn with debut UK F-35 Lightning flight Staff Reporter

The commander of the RAF's legendary Dambusters has taken his first flight in the UK's new F-35 Lightning stealth fighter as the famous squadron prepares to bring the fifth generation fighter into service. Wg Cdr John Butcher said: "It was a thrill to fly. The capability and potential of this aircraft is immense. This is the most exciting time to be a military fast jet pilot. F-35 exceeds my expectations." Air Force and Navy pilots are currently training on the F-35 at the Beaufort Air Base in South Carolina ahead of the return of 617 Sqn to RAF

Marham in Norfolk next summer. The Dambusters will be joined by 207 Sqn in 2019. The aircraft is expected to be operating from the deck of Britain's new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier by 2020. Wg Cdr Butcher added: "This flight certainly marks the beginning of the end for 617 Sqn’s time at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort as we already look forward to our arrival back at RAF Marham in the summer of next year." DAM DEBUT: Right, Wg Cdr John Butcher after Lightning flight

Fit for heroes – the Forces’ favourite newspaper

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P3


As a team we are a bit disappointed with the performance, but we will take it

” Cpl Amy Cokayne after helping England to a win in the Old Mutual Wealth series – p36

It has been a lifetime of waiting for closure for my sister Rita

I couldn’t be more pleased for UKAF rugby to secure this first win

The capability and potential of this aircraft is immense

I spent my 20s and my 30s penniless with just a lot of dreams

airwoman Rita Ellis, was murdered at Halton in 1967 – p7

the UKARU team to a historic Remembrance Game win– p33

617 Sqn Commander Wg Cdr John Butcher on his first flight in an F-35 Lightning – p1

Strictly Come Dancing star Anton Du Beke after recording his first album – R’n’R p4-5

” Tina Streeter, whose sister,

” Fg Off Rob Bell, who captained

Next issue on sale December 15, 2017

emotional: Hundreds gathered at Odiham for the ceremony before FS Irwin’s body was flown to Stafford

Odiham farewell to Afghan hero Anna Irwin Hundreds of mourners from across the RAF gathered to pay tribute to Millie winner and Afghan hero FS Anna Irwin, who lost her battle with cancer last month. The 37-year-old airwoman won a Millie award in 2014 for taking on Taliban fighters during a daring mission to rescue British troops caught in an ambush in Afghanistan. Her body was flown by Chinook helicopter from RAF Odiham to her home town of Stafford. An emotional ramp ceremony was held at Odiham conducted by the station Padre. A firing party gave a 12-gun salute followed by a flyover by two Chinooks, which carried out a ‘missing man’ formation over the hangar where family members, friends and serving personnel gathered to pay their respects. FS Irwin served with the Territorial Army in Iraq before joining the RAF. She was posted to 18 (B) Sqn at Odiham in 2007 and was deployed to Afghanistan

on numerous occasions. In 2013 she was awarded ‘Airman of the Year’ at The Sun Millies awards for her courage under fire. She was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer in 2016 and despite her failing health dedicated her last months to raising money for charity through a series of demanding physical challenges. She climbed Ben Nevis, skydived from a Chinook and took part in a halfIron Man in Barcelona. She continually spoke of returning to work to celebrate the RAF100 Anniversary in 2018. To date, her fundraising has surpassed £70,000. Anna died before a charity auction and 1940s themed hangar party she organised took place at Odiham, raising another £24,000. FS Liz Wood said: “Anna Irwin was truly amazing, her smile was infectious and everyone who had the honour to meet her will say the same. Her legacy will stay with us all at Odiham forever.”

Respected: FS Irwin served with 18(B)Sqn at Odiham, left, receiving her Millie award in 2014

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Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P5


Polish WWII legend Kornicki dies Polish war hero Franciszek Kornicki has died a month before his 101st birthday. The last World War II Polish Squadron Commander, he died with his wife Pat and sons Peter and Richard by his side. He had been married for 69 years. Richard Kornicki said: “Poland has lost a son who defended the country throughout his life; many people have lost a good friend and neighbour; but most importantly we have lost a dearly loved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.” Franciszek Kornicki joined the Polish Air Force Academy and in 1939, when Poland was invaded by Germany and the Soviet Union, he escaped to Romania, then France, where he fought with the French resistance until the German

invasion in 1940. He made his way to Britain and was posted to 303 Squadron in February, 1943. When, aged 26, he took command of 308 Sqn that operated Spitfire Vbs, he was the youngest squadron commander in the Polish Air Force. After the war ended Poland was under Communist control so he decided to remain in exile, joined the RAF and served as an officer for more than 20 years, retiring in 1972. Col Kornicki recently topped an RAF Museum poll to find ‘the people’s Spitfire pilot’ with 325,000 votes. Col Kornicki’s full-length image will be turned into a life-sized cut-out to stand beside an iconic Spitfire VB BL614, forming part of the museum’s centenary exhibition next year. l See full obituary on page 23

Voyager’s 8000 mile sub hunt mission RAF fly in elite Navy team as hopes fade for San Juan crew Simon Mander A UK Voyager aircraft launched one of the longest flights in UK military history to help hunt missing Argentinian submarine San Juan which vanished in the South Atlantic. The RAF aircraft made the 8000-mile flight to the Comodoro Rivadavia base in the south of the country carrying kit for a 16-strong Royal Navy specialist Submarine Parachute Assistance Group. As RAF News went to press, a Falkland Islands-based Hercules aircraft was conducting a visual search for the vessel. The ARA San Juan disappeared with 44 crew 268 miles off Argentina’s southern Atlantic coast and is understood to have had a seven-day supply of oxygen. The UK’s ice patrol ship HMS Protector also arrived in the vicinity of the submarine’s last known location last week and is using its sonar equipment to search below the waves. Offshore patrol vessel HMS Clyde was returning from South Georgia in order to be able to assist with the search. ARA San Juan was travelling from Ushaia to Mar del Plata,

International rescue: ARA San Juan disappeared in South Atlantic, left RAF crewman carries out visual search from C-130, centre, RAF Voyager takes off from Brize Norton

250 miles south of Argentina and reported an electrical malfunction before disappearing. The mission was launched following an offer of assistance to the Argentinian Government. Argentina is leading the search and rescue operation for their personnel and the US

is coordinating the international response. Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said: “If there is some extra resource, no matter where it comes from, we have to resort to it – locating our compatriots depends on it.” Argentinians took to Twitter to thank the Royal Air Force while Argentinian press reports

welcomed the arrival of British military aircraft in the country for the first time since before the 1982 Falklands War. The Assistant British Defence Attaché Major Adam Wise said: “We have made the longest flight in the history of British military aviation. “When people are in danger there is no other option but to show solidarity and we are experts in problems with submarines.”

News bulletin

Science shapes RAF centenary

MORE than 240 students from schools across the West Midlands took part in the launch of the RAF100 Youth and STEM programme in England. The Service wants to use its centenary to inspire up to two million 9-15 year olds to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. The Scotland programme was launched in Glasgow in September and the scheme will launch in Wales in early 2018. Students attending the event at the RAF Museum at Cosford took part in STEM activities including coding, building rocket cars and aircraft riveting. Run throughout the centenary year, the programme includes 1000 STEM boxes distributed to schools, 100 curriculum-based school activity days, residential courses at RAF bases and a new Air Researcher Badge for Scouts. Air Officer Commanding 38 Group and head of the RAF’s Engineer branch Air Vice-Marshal Sue Gray said: “For almost 100 years, the RAF has been a leading force in technological advancement and innovation. “Today we are looking to the next generation for innovative ideas to shape our second century and ensure that we will always be first to the future”.

Bergen charity bid for Jordan GUNNERS at RAF Halton have carried out a gruelling 24-hour march dubbed a Bergathon in aid of a comrade diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. They hope to raise £350,000 in total to enable 18-year veteran FS Jordan Brown to receive lifesaving treatment at a cancer centre in the USA

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Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P7


Young airwoman Rita Ellis was murdered at RAF Halton in 1967

Help find my sister’s killer TRACEY ALLEN HQ Air Command The sister of a young Aircraftwoman murdered 50 years ago whose attacker has never been found has appealed for new information on the anniversary of her death. The body of 19-year-old Rita Ellis was found at RAF Halton in November 1967. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled by a ligature made out of her underwear. Now new DNA evidence found at the murder scene has given Thames Valley police a full DNA profile of the offender and almost 200 potential suspects have been ruled out. Rita’s sister Tina Streeter, who was 10 when her sister was killed, said: “It’s been a lifetime of waiting for closure for Rita. Her death changed our whole family and my mother was never the same again. “Mum and Rita were very close, like sisters. She died on the same day as Rita did, on November 11. That was in 1994 when she was only 69, it was just so tragic. “Rita and I used to share a small box room at home in Stevenage. She was shy, not that out-going.

After she died I used to read the newspaper cuttings and it used to give me nightmares. I just kept thinking about whether she suffered – those things went through my head even as a 10-year-old

“My father was in the RAF during the war and he encouraged her to join, to help give her more confidence. It was so nice for Rita to have her own space when she moved to Halton. “After she died I used to read the newspaper cuttings and it used to give me nightmares. I just kept thinking about whether she suffered – those things went through my head even as a 10-yearold.” Tina, 60, a nurse, added: “Rita always wanted to look after children, that was her aim. After

she died I was determined to live my life for her, I wanted her to be proud of me. I still have the rag doll she made me, wrapped in tissue paper.” Police said the young airwoman was last seen alive in her accommodation block at about 8pm. She had arranged to babysit that evening for a Wing Commander and his wife. Rita was due to be picked up from her accommodation by the Wg Cdr but she wasn’t there. Her body was found on the camp the next morning by a dog walker near a disused railway at an old coal yard about 250 yards from the main road from Wendover to Tring. The body had been covered by leaves and foliage. Peter Beirne, head of the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Review Team, said: “I believe the offender would have been a young man, possibly in his teens to mid-20s at the time, so it is likely he will now be in his 60s to 80s. “A number of arrests were made during the initial investigation but no one has ever been charged with Rita’s murder. “On the night she was murdered Rita was wearing a coat, cardigan, skirt, underwear and shoes. She was also carrying two handbags. All of these items were recovered at the scene.” Tina said: “I remember there was a suspicion at the time that the murderer might have been in the RAF and my father felt it was all hushed up, but that might not be true. “Of course, the murderer might be dead now. If anyone has any information please, please come forward to give us closure and allow Rita to be at peace.” Mr Beirne added: “Rita’s family has waited too long for justice and I now hope the public can help us find her killer.” She joined the RAF in April 1967, doing her initial training at RAF Spitalgate and moving to Halton in June. She was a trade assistant and was obtaining extra qualifications as part of her RAF training. On the day she was murdered she had been working in the camp’s

APPEAL: (Clockwise from left) Tina Streeter, newspaper cutting from the time, Rita’s Halton accommodation block, Rita with pet guinea pig, the young AC’s things were found at the murder scene on camp (two pictures)

kitchens from 11am to 7pm. That night bingo and a disco were being held at the camp. Mr Beirne added: “There would have been hundreds of people in the vicinity of where Rita was waiting for her lift. “The person responsible for Rita’s murder will have had this horrific act on their conscience for 50 years, and there has to be a possibility that they have confided in someone during this time. If you have any information, even if you think the information is insignificant, please come forward.

“In the time that has passed allegiances may have changed or perhaps you couldn’t come forward at the time for whatever reason but now you can. “Please do the right thing and contact us either by calling 101, visiting your nearest police station or emailing helprita@thamesvalley. and quoting reference 604 (7/11). “If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.”



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Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P9

News News bulletin

UK and France sign anti-terror pact Staff Reporter UK AND France have agreed to step up security across the channel in a bid to reduce the risk of terror attacks and to target illegal migration between the two countries. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson met with French Armed Force Minister Florence Parly (pictured) in London to

strengthen Anglo French cooperation to counter possible terror threats and organised crime. Mr Williamson said: “As we leave the European Union we will continue our relationship with our European allies and a vital part of this will be through our defence relationship. “The Channel is of huge importance to both our countries and this new agreement demonstrates our commitment to work with international partners to help tackle the threat of piracy and terrorism around the globe and protect our people at home.

“The United Kingdom will always do what is necessary to protect ourselves and will work with our allies, like France, to achieve this.” The agreement builds on existing maritime cooperation between the Royal Navy and French Navy, which includes joint exercises and intelligence-sharing. UK and French Defence chiefs are expected to hold a summit early next year to discuss ongoing military cooperation established in the Lancaster House Treaty signed in 2010.

Ideas App bidding to reboot military mind me to o c l e W eSky u l B F RA

RAF CHIEFS are hoping to reboot the military mindset and harness the creativity of personnel across the ranks with a new app designed to boost the Service’s spirit of innovation. The phone and tablet based RAF BlueSky project will allow personnel to upload their ideas on how to solve problems set by stations, branches and senior leaders. The project is launching a trial on six stations involving up to 5000 personnel. If successful it will be rolled out across the Service in 2018. Crowd-funding ideas projects are already used by some of the UK’s biggest blue chip firms including supermarket giant Waitrose, HSBC, John Lewis, and insurance group Aviva. Users of the RAF’s BlueSky website will be able to log on and submit their ideas on how to solve problems

ranging from reducing waste to improving operational capability. RAF BlueSky project manager Gp Capt Si Bellamy said: “In some ways we have lost our curiosity about things and are often conditioned by horizons we have set for ourselves. “We don’t want people just to accept the status quo – we want them to come into the workplace and see things through a different lens.” The RAF currently offers cash rewards for people who submit ideas through the longstanding GEMS scheme. RAF BlueSky will also offer financial incentives for ideas that help reduce costs. But by providing a site which gives users instant recognition, RAF BlueSky bosses are hoping it will encourage personnel to put the ideas forward. Gp Capt Bellamy added: “This is all about making connections and collaboration. As a Service we often tend to have the same conversation with the same people. “RAF BlueSky changes all of this. If you have an idea you can put it out and let in breathe and get instant reactions to it. “We want our people to be more entrepreneurial. RAF BlueSky is totally transparent in that if you contribute or collaborate people can see it. “It is a brilliant way for units to recognise who the game changers are and who is helping to make a difference. “Like the G E M S scheme we BLUESKY THINKER: Gp Capt Bellamy

are looking at ways of incentivising people. Some of that will be remunerative some of it will provide different rewards. “You could get a day’s stand down, a parking space, retail gift vouchers or simply a shout out at the next town hall meeting.” The app has been developed in partnership with software firm Wazoku and will go live at RAF Leeming with the station’s 90 Signals Unit this month. Other trials are due to take place at Benson, Coningsby, Cosford and

Wittering before the scheme gets the green light and is rolled out across the Service. The app has taken nine months to develop and funding for the project has been agreed. Gp Capt Bellamy said: “Ideas have no rank and it is often the quietist voices that have the best solutions. “People have been sceptical but by the time the app is on their phones they suddenly see the potential. “Everything about BlueSky is a huge step forward – the way it looks and works will get people energised.”

Bomber Command campaigner dies TONY WORTH, chairman of the Lincolnshire Bomber Command Trust and the inspiration behind the International Bomber Command Centre has died. Mr Worth, a former Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, passed away after a brief battle with cancer. He was 77. An LBCC spokesperson said: “Tony was the creator and driving force behind the project which is being built to ensure that the story of Bomber Command can be preserved and told for future generations, and that the service and sacrifice of those who lost their lives can be honoured. “The team are more determined than ever to ensure that the project creates a lasting and fitting legacy.”

Bowled over RAF PERSONNEL are to benefit from a refurbished bowling centre courtyard at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Improvements including 12 new tables and chairs and three outdoor sofas and cushions have been made thanks to a £6,615 grant from the RAF Charitable Trust.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P10


Nato mission wins Benson RAF accolade Puma and Chinook training unit named as best station PRESTIGIOUS: CAS presents the trophy to RAF Benson Station Commander Gp Capt Hamish Cormack

RAF Benevolent Fund Christmas cards are on sale now!

PHOTO: SAC Amy Lupton

Simon Mander RAF BENSON personnel are celebrating belonging to Britain’s best Air Force station after scooping the prestigious Stainforth Trophy. Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier presented the award to the Oxfordshire base after top brass decided it had contributed the most to the delivery of air power in the past year. He said: “It is a real pleasure and privilege for me to be here to make sure we properly recognise some fantastic achievements. “The Stainforth Trophy is a combination of the awards presented today and the achievements of RAF Benson as a whole, at home and overseas. My congratulations to the whole station.” During 2016, RAF Benson was heavily committed to operations and exercises across the world, including the ongoing Puma deployment in Afghanistan,

while several squadrons marked significant anniversaries. In addition, community events continued throughout the year, including a Cadet Muster where more than 700 youngsters experienced helicopter flights, Armed Forces Week where a Chinook visited Wallingford, and the Puma Force delivering Santa to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital. RAF Benson Station Commander Gp Capt Hamish Cormack said: “It is a genuine honour to command RAF Benson and I am truly delighted that the quiet professionalism consistently shown by the men and women here has been recognised by this award. “The Benson team can feel justifiably proud of the part they have played, and continue to play, in our many achievements.” Air Chief Marshal Hillier also presented good conduct and long service medals to personnel from across the Station and 20 personal commendations in recognition of individual achievements.

Leeming stars net awards

Staff Reporter

Help us to support the RAF Family. Order online at or call 0300 770 1350 The RAFBF is a registered charity in England and Wales (1081009) and Scotland (SC038109).

CROSS-COUNTRY RUNNERS and an NCO who encourages youngsters to take up careers in engineering are the toast of RAF Leeming after their achievements were recognised at an Annual Awards Dinner. The station’s Men’s Cross Country Running Team won the Contribution to Sport Award for consistent competitive successes throughout the year and Sgt Kev Stannard took the Wg Cdr David Bye Memorial Sword of Merit for his work as a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics ambassador. Running team member and

Station Operations Officer Flt Lt Alasdair Stewart said: “I was shocked to win the award. “It was a really nice feeling to stand up in front of the station and gain the recognition for the hard work that we had put in.” Sgt Stannard said: “Being nominated was a real surprise, unexpected and very humbling. Working as a STEM ambassador gives me a chance to encourage and inspire the next generation.” Earlier 190 personnel from across the airbase heard guest speaker Al Sylvester, leader of the RAF’s first unsupported attempt to reach the South Pole, relate the arduous conditions he and his team experienced on the expedition.

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P11

News News bulletin

WWII Spitfire pioneer Joy Lofthouse dies Chief of the Air Staff, ACM Sir Stephen Hillier, has paid tribute to pioneering airwoman Joy Lofthouse who has died aged 94. The former Air Transport Auxiliary pilot delivered Spitfires and bombers from factories to airfields during World War II. CAS said: “She was an inspiration to all and a true

ambassador for women.” She joined the ATA in 1943 and was one of only 164 female pilots known as ‘Atta girls’ who ferried aircraft for the civilian organization. Mrs Lofthouse, (right) from South Cerney in Gloucestershire, learned to fly before she could drive.

Forces tour hits Cosford

When the war ended she had delivered more than 50 aircraft. In 2010 she told RAF News she was ‘bereft’ at the thought of having to stop flying after the war. In 2015, aged 92, she flew in a Spitfire once again, and took the controls 70 years after last flying one. l See p23 for full obituary

All fired up Injured ex-Gunner takes on the world’s highest volcano with double record bid

DEFENCE SECRETARY Gavin Williamson met RAF trainees at Cosford during his first Forces tour since his appointment, last month. The Minister spoke to Air Force apprentices at the mechanical engineering training facility during the visit.

RAF charity nets Budget windfall

Chancellor: Hammond confirms charity to receive £1 million from Libor fund

Tracey Allen A RAF Regiment veteran who was so badly injured in Iraq he was told he would never walk again is attempting to set a new world record for high-altitude driving. Chris Bailey broke his back in three places, almost lost his left foot and was in hospital for five months after an abseiling accident in Basra during operational training in 2004. He was also wounded in action.

He was medically discharged from the Service in 2007, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and is still classed as disabled but has fought back to regain the use of his legs and can now walk without crutches. Chris, 35, and Australian vet

Paul Warren, 38, who was also wounded in action, are currently in Chile to tackle the recordbreaking truck drive that aims to reach the highest point on earth accessible to motor vehicles – the 6890-metre Ojos del Salado, the world’s highest volcano. Chris, 35, said: “It’s daunting, but I feel really optimistic, I think we can do this. “Paul and I have got to 6,150 metres so far, which was hard work. Your breathing becomes very shallow because you’re working on 40 per cent less oxygen. “The main challenges are the weather and the terrain. At night it can get to minus 35 degrees. He added: “We are planning to set another world record, for the highest construction site ever, by building two refuges on the route, at 6,150 metres and 6,500 metres to provide shelter for mountain climbers.” Although the volcano has not had a full scale eruption for more than 1000 years Ojas caused a scare when it started spewing gas and ash into the air in 1993. Sponsored by German company Rheinmetall, the 15-strong team, which includes off-road expert Matthias Jeschke, are equipped with two Rheinmetall MAN HX trucks.

blast off: Chris, (left) and Australian veteran Paul are hoping to raise £25,000 for charity. Far left, Chris being medevaced from Iraq

The trucks were specially modified in a few areas to make sure they could handle the challenging environmental conditions and the steep, volcanic slopes with stoney, slippery surfaces. Jeschke said: “Temperature fluctuations and the thin mountain air will put our bodies to the test as well as demanding the utmost from our vehicles. “But we’re still confident of being able to reach our altitude goal of at least 6,690 metres within our six-week window.”

Chris is aiming to raise £25,000 for the Royal British Legion and Walking With The Wounded. He added: “It was a very long, drawn-out process to get myself back to fitness. I want to inspire other veterans. I run a veterans support group back home in Herefordshire on a voluntary basis and they really do work – we support each other.” l You can follow the team’s progress at: truckexpedition. To sponsor Chris go to:

THE CHANCELLOR Phillip Hammond has approved a £1 million bid from the Libor fund for the RAF Benevolent Fund. The decision was announced in the autumn budget. The money will be used to support serving RAF personnel and their families, said a spokesperson for the charity. The RAFBF’s Welfare director Air Cdre Paul Hughesdon said: “This grant will allow the Fund to do even more to complement the services already on offer to serving personnel. Following research into the current needs of the RAF Family, the Fund will be launching a package of emotional and mental wellbeing initiatives, including a partnership with Anxiety UK, in the New Year.” Libor funding comes from fines levied on the banking industry for manipulating the benchmark rate some of the world’s leading banks charged each other for short-term loans.

War bunker is so des res A WARTIME bunker used by the RAF for training has been offered for sale in Scotland. The underground stronghold, capable of withstanding a nuclear attack, was constructed in 1941 and upgraded during the Cold War. Owner Highland Council is seeking offers for the property, which is close to Inverness city centre, by December 6.



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Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P13


Game’s on for Xbox powered combat kit Simon Mander A HOVERBIKE unmanned aerial vehicle that can deliver supplies to frontline troops and trucks driven by X-box controllers have been trialled by the UK military for the first time. The British-developed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle is an advanced prototype quadcopter drone which could also be used for humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions according to its inventors. MOD Defence Science and Technology Laboratory technicians teamed up with US Army specialists testing how the UAV, working with an all-terrain 4x4 vehicle controlled by an Xbox-style controller, could lead driverless trucks in a convoy to get equipment to troops in the most dangerous part of the battlefield during a week-long exercise in Michigan. Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin (pictured) said: “This project is spearheading solutions to the notoriously dangerous operation of supplying the frontline. Delivering crucial food, fuel and ammo remotely will help save soldiers’ lives.” The convoy is the first UK-US collaboration of its kind, with a British Army 6-tonne truck leading, followed by two US vehicles at speeds of up to 25mph,

News bulletin

Festive fundraiser A RAF reservist battling cancer has written and recorded a Christmas song to raise money for charity. SAC Graham Wyllie from 602 Sqn is currently being treated for prostate cancer and recorded A Christmas Wish to raise funds for the charities that have supported him and his wife Elimar. He said: “Being kept on as a Reservist allows for a stress free lifestyle. I will forever be grateful to the RAF, my colleagues and friends for their support.” Graham’s song is now on youtube and can downloaded

sci-fire power: Direct energy weapons under development

robo-truck: Remote controlled vehicle undergoes testing, inset left, hoverbike takes off

using robotics to make decisions about speed, steering and other driving functions. The 4x4 vehicle tested was a teleoperated Polaris MRZR, fitted with advanced sensors, cameras and satellite navigation, and operated by a joint UK-US trials team using an adapted Xbox game console controller. DSTL innovation autonomy challenge lead Peter Stockel said: “We are delivering on the commitment announced at the Farnborough Airshow in 2016.

Ultimately lives can be saved, as a result of harnessing this rapidly-evolving technology.” The latest trials follow defence projects to develop laser powered direct energy weapons which could be fitted to RAF combat and unmanned aircraft. The Ministry of Defence awarded a £30m contract to a consortium, UK Dragonfire, to develop a prototype. Tests using an optical fibre laser producing a 25mm-wide beam have already been carried out at DSTL’s site at Porton Down in Wiltshire.

The 10kw laser can generate up to 1000 degrees of heat – enough to melt metal plates used in testing. Directed energy weapons could be used to destroy drone aircraft, missiles, mortars, roadside bombs and a host of other threats. The laser system would offer an endless magazine – able to be fired all the time the aircraft, ship or land vehicle it is fitted to is producing energy. If tests are successful the first laser weapons could come into service in the mid-2020s, defence chiefs say. MoD bosses have also set up

an £800 million innovation fund to develop other cutting edge battlefield equipment to give British forces the edge on the battlefield. Among projects under consideration are micro-drones designed using biometric technology and smart clothing able to monitor and transmit medical data in real time. The MoD spends just over one per cent of its £36 billion defence budget on science and technology. In September it announced the 25 winners of the Last Mile Challenge, up-and-coming tech start-ups and entrepreneurs, hoping to bring innovative solutions to resupply the frontline.

Crusader shakes his money maker In the money: Sgt Ben takes a selfie after finishing his latest fundraising run. He has raised more than £11,000 in six months

Tracey Allen

Fundraising supremo Sgt Ben Kay has raised more than £11,000 in less than six months for charity – and has pledged to raise more. The tireless airman has taken part in money-making stunts, including sponsored head shaves, runs, raffles and bake sales to benefit various charities ranging from Combat Stress to World Vision. His latest efforts, for Macmillan Cancer Care, were in memory of his late father who passed away in June. Ben said: “I wanted to raise £10,000, and passed that figure in October. I’ve got a place on the Liverpool half marathon next May, so will be continuing up until then. I’d love to carry on, see if I can get to

£100,000.” “Over the years I must have raised almost £25,000 in total for different charities. “I’ve had so much support from family and friends who have volunteered to get involved along the way. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have my military friends around, as they’re used to getting involved when times are hard.” He added: “I’ve ‘braved the shave’ more than once – I spent the day with the top half taken off and the bottom left on. Most recently I found another 19 people to get involved, a mixture of military and civilian personnel.” Ben now wants to hold an auction of items donated by celebrities. He said: “If anyone has contact with any celebrities that may be able to provide something to auction, please let me know.” l Ben’s fundraising site is at:

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P15


Prince honours Typhoon hero who saved Iraqi fighters Simon Mander

A TYPHOON pilot who saved two groups of Iraqi soldiers trapped by Islamist terrorists has been decorated for bravery. Sqn Ldr Roger Cruikshank was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for rescuing troops under attack from Daesh despite his fast jet running dangerously low on fuel. The RAF Lossiemouth-based Scot said: “I’m fortunate that I made the right decision in what was a couple of seconds to make the right call. “They were cornered and in a place where they just couldn’t escape from Daesh and they were taking casualties. We had to do something and do something very quickly.’ “I made a big judgment call on whether the Typhoons could attack

Royal reward: HRH Prince William presents Sqn Ldr Cruikshank with the DFC

and get to the refuelling tanker. “It was a big call but we got

there and it was a really successful day. Although it was also quite a stressful day in the office I’m glad it all went well.’ His citation said: ‘He showed phenomenally quick-thinking, supreme technical knowledge and sheer determination to successfully destroy enemy targets while his formation ran critically low on fuel, nevertheless, he still managed to achieve the mission and get his formation safely back to base.’ Sqn Ldr Cruickshank, who has campaigned for better mental health since his mother committed suicide in 2010, said he was proud to have received the medal from Prince William. He said:”I was raising money for different charities but then I watched Harry and William speak

Afghan ‘Sandhurst’ awards woman top training honour

Pioneer: Cadet Somaiya receives her award at Afghan Academy graduation ceremony

Staff Reporter Afghan Officer Cadets have passed out of the Afghan National Army Officer Academy during the 10th graduation ceremony held at the site in Qargha, on the western outskirts of Kabul. UK personnel, working with mentors from Australia, New Zealand and Denmark, are helping to train the next generation of

Afghanistan’s military leaders using a ‘Sandhurst’ model at the academy. More than 3000 cadets have commissioned from ANAOA since September 2014, including more than 100 women. This year saw the first female Officer Cadet awarded the ‘Duntroon Sword’ for the best overall Officer Cadet to commission from the Academy. One of the latest female

graduates, Somaiya, 24, received training from British Army instructors and will be travelling to the UK next year to further her military skills. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “The graduation is an important milestone. “We are dedicated to building a capable and professional Afghan Army that will be the foundation of a strong and secure Afghanistan.”

at different events. “What they were saying about their view on mental health and how they were attacking the stigma was exactly what I had been thinking and trying to do myself. “I think they are doing a fantastic job, I said that when I received the award. I mentioned my mum and how proud I was that he was

presenting the award because of his fight for mental health, and I thanked him for that.” Before becoming a pilot Sqn Ldr Cruickshank represented Great Britain at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, competing in the downhill and Super G events just a year after he suffered a horrific injury, shattering his left leg.

Jud’s the man for the job Cosford-based Warrant Officer Jud Pringle marked a milestone as he clocked up 40 years service with the RAF. The radio school instructor signed up in 1977 – in the same year HM The Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee and the first Star Wars film had just been released. Station pals gathered for a surprise celebration at the No 1 Radio School to congratulate Jud on his outstanding service He said: “I’ve enjoyed my RAF career immensely; it was something I have always wanted to do after spending time in the Royal Air Force Cadets.”

Long service: WO Jud Pringle marks 40 years service PHOTO: SAC ALEXA THOMPSON

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P17

News Hero Slosher’s Dutch courage earns tribute

Dog gong it Mali scoops animal ‘VC’ for taking on Taliban bombers MILITARY BOMB dog Mali has earned the animal world’s Victoria Cross after facing down a fire fight to sniff out a bomb store and locate enemy fighters during operations at the height of the conflict in Afghanistan. The Belgian Malinois braved a hail of bullets to enter an enemy stronghold before being caught in a grenade attack. Despite serious injuries to its chest and legs, the dog completed its mission allowing UK troops to close in on the enemy and retake the compound. Mali and his handler were presented with the PDSA Dickin Meal – the highest

RAF PILOT ‘SLOSHER’ RAW: He and two of his brothers were killed in WWII

Simon Mander A MEMORIAL to one of three brothers killed while serving in the RAF during World War II has been unveiled in Holland. Flt Lt Peter Edward ‘Slosher’ Raw who flew with 183 Squadron, died after his Typhoon crashed while strafing barges on the River Maas in Holland in 1944. He was one of four RAF brothers. Plt Off John Frederick Raw was killed in April 1941 and Sqn Ldr Anthony William Raw, was killed with a Bomber Command Pathfinder unit in September 1944. AIRMAN HONOURED Both Peter and Anthony Raw earned the Distinguished Flying Cross during the conflict – one

award for animal bravery. Last year RAF station chiefs at Waddington unveiled a memorial to RAF police dog Buster (below) credited with saving thousands of lives during five frontline tours of Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia. The Springer Spaniel, who died in July last year, earned a row of campaign medals after serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia. Since its inception in 1943, the Dickin Medal has been won by 31 other dogs, 32 WWI messenger pigeons, four horses and one cat.

WWII navigator and actor Cy gets the blues Tracey Allen

MEMORIAL: Serving RAF personnel joined family for unveiling in Holland

of the British military’s highest bravery awards. The final brother, Michael Raw, was too young for wartime service, but served later and was awarded the Air Force Cross in 1955. Serving personnel from 54(R) Sqn from RAF Waddington, provided an Honour Guard for the unveiling of the memorial attended by 200 people including 20 family members and his daughter Maureen, after extensive research by local residents and aviation experts uncovered the remains of his aircraft. In his DFC citation Flt Lt Raw was described by his senior commanders as ‘a pilot of exceptional courage and ability, always eager to hunt and engage the enemy displaying the offensive spirit to a very marked degree.’ He is buried at the Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery along with almost 700 other allied casualties.

A BLUE plaque celebrating the life of wartime RAF navigator Cyril – known as Cy – Grant has been unveiled at his home in Highgate, north London. Grant (pictured), from Guyana, joined 103 Squadron based at RAF Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire. His aircraft crash-landed in The Netherlands during the Battle of the Ruhr in 1943 and Cy became a prisoner of war in the notorious Stalag Luft III camp – made famous in the film The Great Escape. In the 1950s he appeared daily

on the BBC’s Tonight show, singing news stories in calypso style. He was also a stage and screen actor and voiced the character of Lieutenant Green in Gerry Anderson’s 1960s TV series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. A month after he died in 2010, aged 90, Cy was honoured by the Bomber Command Association at a ceremony at the House of Lords for being an


Hunt is on for medal citizen AN EAGLE-EYED participant in the Remembrance Sunday Parade in Whitehall, who found a medal on the ground after the event, is anxious to unite it with its owner. Christopher Johnson took part in the annual parade in central London with his RAF Regiment veteran father Paul and Dave Page, also a former Gunner, who is Christopher’s godfather. Mr Johnson said: “I was proud to join my father and Dave this year as it’s the 75th anniversary of the RAF Regiment and family members were allowed to take part

in the parade. “I saw the medal on the ground – without its ribbon. It looks exactly like the Campaign Service Medal my father was awarded for his service in Northern Ireland. It has the name and rank LAC S G Gillen and the Service number: C8221677. “I imagine the owner must be feeling annoyed and worried. I know my father would feel that if he had lost his.” O If you are the medal’s owner please contact Mr Johnson via email on: christopherjohnson1984@

‘inspirational example’ of how black men and women fought alongside white Service personnel in both world wars. Cy lived in Jackson’s Lane, Highgate, with his wife Dorith for 50 years. The blue plaque ceremony was organised by the Nubian Jak Community Trust. His four children issued a joint statement, saying: “This is a huge honour and we are delighted with this commemoration.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P18

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P19

Feature Hawker Harrier

A JUMP INTO THE UNKNOWN When British engineer Sir Sydney Camm designed the first Vertical Short Take-Off and Landing jet it was to be a game changer for military air power


HIS MONTH sees the 50th anniversary of the maiden flight of the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier – the world’s first jump jet. The aircraft first took to the skies on December 28, 1967, successfully demonstrating the viability of the jet-powered vertical short take-off and landing (VSTOL) concept. In his new photographic history Hawker Siddeley Harrier (, Mark A. Chambers explores the background that led to the development of the jet, charting the history and output of Hawker Aircraft Ltd from Sopwith onwards through the Harrier’s development, production, flight testing and operational and combat history. The book features a wealth of rare and previously-unpublished photographs. Chambers said: “The Harrier has proven to be a highly versatile and effective strike fighter for several nations for over 47 years and will soon be replaced by the stealthy, supersonic Lockheed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in the UK, US, Italian and Spanish military services. This longevity serves as a testament to the practical design and viability of this truly unique combat aircraft.” The Hawker Siddeley Harrier was the brainchild of Sir Sydney Camm. Chambers said: “Immediately prior to and during the Second World War, Camm designed fighter aircraft that would serve as the backbone of the RAF’s fighter force during the war. These historically significant aircraft included the famous Hawker Hurricane, Typhoon and Tempest, which helped the RAF wrestle air supremacy from Hitler’s Luftwaffe. “Camm went on to design the revolutionary Harrier jump jet.”

See 3 R’n’R p nce ha for a c n the to wi k boo


CARRIER: A GR7 performs a vertical landing aboard HMS Illustrious on March 12, 1998


fter the war, he developed the design of what became the Hawker Hunter. The Hunter entered production in March 1950, with the first production variant, the Avon

113 turbojet-equipped Hunter FT making its first successful flight on March 16, 1953. The Hunter MkIII prototype broke the jet aircraft speed record on September 7, 1953. During the historic flight, with Neville Duke as pilot, the aircraft achieved a speed of 727.63mph. Chambers said: “RAF radarequipped Hunter F1s became operational in July 1954. RAF Hunters were eventually replaced by the faster English Electric Lightning and McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom supersonic fighters in the interceptor/air superiority fighter role and by the Hawker Siddeley VSTOL strike fighter in the ground-attack role.”

NEW BOOK: Photographic record


he birth of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier began with Camm’s conceptualisation of the P.1127 (the first Harrier experimental prototype). In his book, Chambers claims: “During the late 1950s politicians with socialist leanings controlled the British Parliament and sought to weaken the RAF. Consequently, at the time of the P.1127’s conception, engine power plant shortcomings, as well as a general lack of interest in advanced military projects by politicians, threatened the continuation of the Harrier’s initial developmental programme.” So Camm turned to foreign countries interested in the P.1127 concept and the USA’s NASA Langley Research Centre stepped in. Chambers said the RAF was so impressed with the Harrier GR1’s (the first Harrier production variant) successful maiden flight in December 1967 that the aircraft type became SPEED RECORD: Duke operational with the Air

A HOVER’S NO BOTHER: RAF pilot Tom Plank before setting down at RAF Wittering on March 24, 1975 PHOTO: US National Archives

Force on April 18, 1969, when RAF Wittering’s Harrier Conversion Squadron acquired several. In 1970, two Harrier squadrons became operational at RAF Widenrath in West Germany, followed by another at RAF Wildenrath. The three squadrons were later transferred to RAF Gütersloh. Chambers said: “RAF Harriers served primarily as ground-attack/ reconnaissance platforms with the full understanding that they could excel in the combat arena as strike fighter to counter an all-out Soviet/ Warsaw Pact invasion of Europe.”


he jet played a major role in the 1982 Falklands War – 28 Sea Harriers and 14 GR3s were assigned to aircraft carriers HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes. During the war Harriers performed more than 2000 missions – each aircraft flying six missions a day. The Harrier GR5 successfully made its maiden flight on April 30, 1985 and became operational with the RAF in December 1989. Chambers added: “When war broke out between Croatian and Serbian ethnic factions in Yugoslavia in 1995, an RAF Harrier II unit was deployed to Gioia del Colle Air Base in Italy. The Harriers conducted both attack and recon sorties. More than 126 attack missions were performed.”


n 1997, RAF GR7s began operating from Royal Navy aircraft carriers. Several of the jets were used in combat operational missions over Iraq in 1998. The next year the RAF deployed 12 GR7s as part of NATO’s Operation Allied Force to take part in combat in Kosovo. The aircraft again saw extensive combat in 2003 for Operation Telic over Iraq and proved their worth in the war on terror in Afghanistan, relieved by the more advanced GR9 from January 2007. During the Afghan war, UK Harriers performed 8,500 missions – the Tornado GR4 finally relieved them. All RAF Harriers were retired in March 2011. Chambers said: “It can only be hoped that the Harrier’s replacement, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, will live up to the legacy left behind by the Hawker Siddeley Harrier.”

TEST RUN: A Meteor IV of the High Speed Flight on the course to be used for Neville Duke’s record bid in 1953 and, below, Sqn Ldrs Duke (in cap) and Bill Waterton are briefed on weather conditions by Section Officer Mary Crichton, the Senior Meteorological Officer of the RAF High Speed Flight

MISSION: USMC AV-8A Harrier on USS Nassau

ENGINEER: The visionary Sir Sydney Camm at the Windsor Model Aeroplane Club in 1915. As well as the Harrier, he designed the Hurricane (above, right), Typhoon and Tempest

FALKLANDS: 1453 Flt GR3 at Stanley in 1984

Regulars Announcements l P6-7 Prize Crossword and Su Doku l P8

R'n'R Win!

Win panto tickets l P3

All about Anton l P4-5



dŚŝŶŬ>ŽŶĚŽŶƚŚŝŶŬhŶŝŽŶ:ĂĐŬůƵď Your Military ID is all you need for you and your family. 020 7928 4814









Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 R'n'R 3

R'n'R Competition

Win DVD and Blu-Ray titles

Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises

UK Box Office Top 10

Win! Cine Asia

Comedy, action and romance We have three contrasting titles to win on DVD or Blu-Ray – a British war comedy, a steamy American romantic drama and a Hong Kong-Chinese action film. Hannibal Brooks stars the legendary Oliver Reed as the eponymous hero, a British prisoner of war assigned to care for an elephant in a Munich zoo. W h e n the zoo is bombed by the Americans, Brooks is ordered to transport the elephant, called Lucy, to a safer zoo in Innsbruck, Austria. En route, Brooks accidentally kills the Nazi member of the escort (Peter Carsten) so with the elephant he makes a run for the Swiss border and freedom. Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon and triple Emmy winner

James Spader give powerful of Flying Daggers) plays Officer performances in the smouldering, Cheung, a senior inspector in critically acclaimed love story the Hong Kong Police Force, the White Palace. most respected member of the Spader plays Max, a successful Explosive Ordnance Disposal St. Louis advertising executive unit. Before rising through the who’s been in mourning since his ranks, Cheung worked undercover young wife's death. A chance late- within a criminal gang, led by a night encounter introduces him ruthless crime boss notorious for to Nora Baker (Sarandon), and his expertise in explosives. After unexpectedly Cheung’s undercover turns his life work led to the upside down. An gang's break up and earthly, vibrant the arrest of the and fiercely boss’s brother, the independent gang boss swears woman, Nora to take revenge on works in a Cheung. hamburger Explosive attacks joint, lives on break out across the wrong side the city, escalating Win! of town and until a shocking is at least 15 hostage situation years older than unfolds within one Max. Yet despite of the world’s busiest the differences, tunnels, the CrossMax finds himself Harbour tunnel. With hopelessly in love in this touching the city facing what seems to be an offbeat romance. impossible threat, only Cheung has In Shock Wave Tunnel Hong the skills needed to end the crime Kong superstar Andy Lau (House boss’s revenge spree.


Win tickets to pantomime


Festive family fun TV FAVOURITE Su Pollard stars as boo-able baddie the Wicked Queen in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs at the Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury, with diva La Voix as Nursie and BBC 3 Counties Breakfast Show presenter Andy Collins as Muddles. The festive family panto also features ITV Superstar’s finalist Jon Moses as Prince and Jenna Innes – nominated for 'Best Actress in a New Musical' in Broadway World’s West End Awards 2016 – playing Snow White. The panto runs from December 8-31 and we have two tickets to win to see the seasonal show on

What fruit poisons Snow White in the classic fairytale? a) Banana


Paddington 2 (pictured


Murder on the Orient Express

5 A Bad Moms Christmas 6

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

7 The Death of Stalin 8 Jigsaw 9 The Florida Project

To win Hannibal Brooks or Shock Wave Tunnel on DVD or White Palace on Blu-Ray, answer this question correctly: Who starred in the film Hannibal Brooks as Hannibal? Email your answer, marked Film Giveaway to our usual competitions email address and postal address – see below, to arrive by December 14. Please remember to state on your entry which title you prefer to win. White Palace and Shock Wave Tunnel winners must be over 15.


The Exterminating Angel – Met Opera



Win Harrier books


Harrier's half century IT'S 50 years since the first flight of the Harrier jump jet. In celebration, Mark A Chambers' book Hawker Siddeley Harrier The World’s First Jump Jet, published by The History Press, explores the background that led to this unique aircraft’s development and traces its history. This comprehensive title examines prototype, test and operational/ combat variants and provides an overview of other Hawker military aircraft. We have three copies of the book (rrp £25) to win. For your chance

to own one, simply answer this question correctly:

UNIQUE: The GR1 at Wittering in 1975

Who publishes Hawker Siddeley Harrier by Mark A Chambers? Email your answer, marked Harrier book competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by December 14. n See our feature about the Harrier on p18-19.

b) Grapefruit c) Apple Email your answer, marked Snow White panto tickets competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by December 14.


Justice League

4 Thor: Ragnarok

SNOW GO: The cast of popular panto Snow White, above, and left, rising star Jenna Innes

Wednesday, December 27 at 6pm. For your chance to win all you have to do is send us the correct answer to the following question:



Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 R'n'R 4

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 R'n'R 5

R'n'R Music

Military Wives Choirs National tour

The Big Interview Anton du Beke

Anton's dancing to another tune

Strictly's favourite releases

B NATIONAL TOUR: The Military Wives Choirs are performing at cathedrals and churches

Military Wives in record pledge call



Edited by Tracey Allen

he Military Wives Choirs, now on their Home For Christmas tour, are appealing to the public to help them raise the funds to record an album to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I. Through the site Pledge Music, choir members are asking the public to pre-order the album now to allow them to get into the recording studio early next year. The commemorative album will feature four new songs written specially for the Military Wives Choirs by composers in the pop, film and classical worlds around the themes of remembrance, patriotism and military life, as well as music from the past and present referencing WWI, marching songs and iconic Service marches. Choir member Anita said: "Most of us understand how difficult it is to say goodbye to

someone in the Forces, whether the person is going to a war zone or not. It is this unique perspective which means that we can do something very powerful with music, a medium that speaks far louder than words. "However, we need the support of the public if we are going to make this a reality." The Military Wives Choirs charity has more than 70 choirs in British military bases across the UK and overseas. The current tour runs until December 18 and visits cathedrals and military churches including: St Clement Danes, Strand, London (December 2); Peterborough Cathedral (December 9); and Guildford Cathedral (December 18). n Go to: for ticket details. n Go to: to support the album project.

est known as one of the longestserving professional dancers on TV favourite Strictly Come Dancing, now Anton du Beke is making his mark in music. He has just released his debut album, From The Top, featuring the classic songs that have inspired him throughout his 30-year career. Anton revealed that the album is a tribute to two very special people: his wife Hannah and his great friend and mentor, the late Sir Bruce Forsyth, Strictly's longrunning co-presenter. Anton said: "I've been singing for almost as long as I've been dancing. I've sung at my dance shows and I've sung on Strictly but I never believed I would finally get the chance to make an album.


A Sleigh Ride/Epic Encounters

RAF festive offering will sleigh 'em


he Bands of RAF Music Services are in full festive spirit on their Christmas recording A Sleigh Ride. Based at RAF Northolt and RAF Cranwell, Royal Air Force Music Services consists of 170 musicians divided between the Central Band of the RAF, The Band of the Royal Air Force College, The Band of the RAF Regiment, the Salon Orchestra of the RAF and Headquarters Music Services. They can perform all genres of music, from Bach to Count Basie. A Sleigh Ride is a collection of favourite festive tunes including the Troika from Lieutenant Kije Suite by Prokofiev, O Little Town of Bethlehem, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Away in a Manger, Russian Bell Carol Schedrifka, The Dance of the Tumblers from Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Snow Maiden, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear and music from the children's animated film Polar Express. We have three copies of A Sleigh

Ride and two copies of the CD Epic Encounters by The Central Band of the RAF to win. Epic Encounters features music from the stage, big and small screen including The Professionals and The Avengers theme tunes, Don't Cry For Me Argentina and War of the Worlds. For your chance to win one of these great CDs, answer this question correctly: How many musicians in total are in the bands of RAF Music Services?

Email your answer, marked RAF CDs, to: competitions@ or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE to arrive by December 14. Please mark on your entry whether you prefer to win A Sleigh Ride or Epic Encounters. n You can buy a full range of CDs from as little as £4 at www.rafmct., and go to: www.raf. for more about RAF music.

Michael McIntyre's Big Show BBC One

STRICTLY: With partner Ruth Langsford


Bruce was always a huge hero of mine and I was lucky enough to call him a friend

"Bruce was always a huge hero of mine and I was lucky enough to call him a friend. We'd play golf, we'd have a laugh and we both loved all the old stars like Fred Astaire and Sammy Davis Jnr. "He was so supportive. When I did a tiny show at the Hippodrome in London, Bruce did me the greatest honour by coming down and singing with me." One of the songs they sang, Me And My Shadow, is featured on From The Top alongside other favourites including Putting On The Ritz, It Had to Be You, Fly Me To The Moon and Something Stupid. nton said: "All these songs are hugely emotional to me. Music and dance has been my world since the age of 14. I was dancing ballroom before Strictly was even a ghost of an idea. "I had to be in work at 3am in a bakery and I would finish work and go straight to dance practice. I had


RAF Music


LORD OF THE DANCE: Anton's new album, inset left, is a tribute to wife Hannah and former Strictly presenter Sir Bruce Forsyth, inset top


TRIBUTE: Members of the Military Wives Choirs singing their hit We Will Remember Them

album tribute


holes in my shoes and absolutely no money but I'd stand in my one suit and a band would play one of these great classic songs, all my troubles would

melt away and I would be in heaven. "What I wanted to do with this album was to perform the songs I love in the absolute best way I possibly

could. I was able to work with the best musicians, the best backing singers and wonderful performers like Connie Fisher – who sings City of Stars."

ne of the few original dancers from the very first series of Strictly in 2004, Anton, 51, added: "This album is for everyone who loves swing, who loves romance and who believes dreams come true. "I spent my 20s and 30s penniless with just a lot of dreams. I never stopped working as hard as I could to be the best dancer I could be. "It has now created an opportunity for me with my singing and with the belief and encouragement of my family, friends and colleagues at Strictly making this album has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. "I got a record deal within months of becoming a father to my gorgeous twins and then marrying my beautiful wife. I never thought this would happen to me." Anton's celebrity partners in Strictly's 15 series have included Ann Widdicombe, Judy Murray, Jerry Hall, Katie Derham and Lesley Garratt – with whom he came third. In the latest series Anton and partner TV presenter Ruth Langsford were eliminated after their foxtrot to Mac The Knife failed to impress the judges. n The BBC has revealed the celebrity line-up for this year's Strictly Christmas Special – to be shown on Christmas Day. The stars taking part are Katie Derham, Judy Murray, Kimberley Walsh, Colin Jackson, Robbie Savage and Jeremy Vine.

Big Mc is back on Saturday nights C

omedy favourite Michael McIntyre has returned with his Big Show for prime time Saturday night viewing on BBC One. The irrepressible McIntyre revealed that the third series of the family entertainment show is 'much more ambitious' than its predecessors. He said: "We have Unexpected Star, as in the previous two series, but these are much more ambitious – the stunts we are pulling to get them into the theatre. We've got a guy on a horse actually on the stage this year, where the curtain falls down and he's on the horse. "We've got a photo booth, where someone thinks she's having a photo taken and then there's a countdown and the wall in front collapses, the camera collapses and she's in the middle of the stage." Unexpected Star is one of the show's most popular segments, where talented unknowns find themselves on stage and have to perform in front of an audience of more than 2000. Series three has a new element, The Midnight Gameshow, where viewers nominate their partners to be a contestant. McIntyre added: "It basically amounts to them giving me the

STAR GUEST: Actor Danny Dyer, left

McINTYRE: Even bigger stunts planned

keys to their home and in the middle of the night I break in with a camera crew and we perform a gameshow in their bedroom. "Celebrities come with me and

all sorts of surreal people – giants, a one-man band – walk into their room one by one, and I ask different questions. It's been such fun. "It's exciting because we are surprising people and we're trying to pull things off. As we do them, we don't know if it's going to work – so the tension is real. It is real when I walk into someone's bedroom in the middle of the night, when we're trying to get someone into a room on the stage so it can collapse. "It's ambitious and – touch wood – it has worked so far. We're just trying to make you laugh as hard as possible. I'm thrilled to be hosting it and learning from each show we make, they are getting better and better." n Michael McIntyre’s Big Show continues on BBC One at 8.10pm on Saturdays.

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

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


Seeking information about friends and colleagues of my Dad Dick Roberts (above right), particularly a gent by the name of Raymond 'Ray' Gilbert (above left) who worked with my Dad and was his best man at my parents' wedding in September 1972. Sadly they lost touch over the years. Dad served at Belize, Cyprus, Germany, Gan and various UK locations. Dad's email is: dickroberts4@ As a Christmas surprise for my Nana and my Mum, I am trying to get in contact with any RAF friends of my Grandad, Kenneth Sedman, now deceased unfortunately. He served with the RAF during World War II, and I suspect he was based in the Yorkshire area. Please contact Mark Perfect by email at: markperfect2@ Seeking information on railway workers who volunteered for RAF service during World War II (especially interested in those serving with Bomber Command). A stone has been commissioned in their memory, to be placed at the International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln in 2018. I would appreciate any memories/stories concerning these personnel, to help with my research. Please contact Jon Crisp (East Midlands Trains) via email: Seeking CPL John Arthur Hyder stationed at RAF Brugen in mid 60s then Coningsby. Please contact daughter Suzanne via email: SEEKING information about crews of RAF Lancasters W4171 EM-J (207 Sqn) and ND715 (12 Sqn) killed on April 27, 1943 and April 23, 1944 in MolBelgium when their aircraft crashed in World War II. 207 Sqn crew were – Sgt Iorweth Jones (pilot); Sgt Geoffrey Glare (navigator);

Sgt John Gillespie (engineer) RCAF; Sgt William Hollett (wireless operator); Fg Off Basil Hyland (bomb aimer) and Sgt Benjamin Jones (tail gunner). 12 Sqn crew – Flt Sgt James Harvey (pilot), Sgt Robert ‘Speedy’ Smith (engineer); FS Frederick Barnett (navigator); Plt Off Douglas Malyon (bomb aimer) RCAF; Sgt Clifford Thompson (wireless operator) Sgt William Harbour (top gunner) and FS Rex Donowa (tail gunner), RAAF.All the airmen are buried in the Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerp. Contact Wim Govers via email: wim. SEEKING information about No 2771 Sqn RAF Regiment personnel who served between April 1942 and June 1946. My late father William David Alderman, served with 2771 Sqn from formation to disbandment. During that time he made many notes about his and the squadron’s activities. With regards to 2771 Sqn history, any helpful information will be most gratefully received. For first contact please email David Alderman:

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

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

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

I AM trying to arrange the erection of a memorial for seven fallen RAF personnel who were killed in an air accident at RAF Locking in North Somerset in November 1946. Any information would be greatly appreaciated, especially with links to any surviving family members that I could speak to. Please contact Jonathan Gould via email: Ethanjee@ SeekinG RAF Hospital Wegberg Germany, 19651966. Were you medical staff there? Need information on remains of WWII airman recovered from Rotterdam Harbour and brought to Wegberg. Any information appreciated. Contact Roger Braga: Planeman@hotmail. com/call: 01621 786290. ThE Chairman and Committee of the 607 (County of Durham) Squadron Association hand over to new members of the recently re-formed squadron, now based at RAF Leeming. The incoming committee are trying to trace anyone who has served (or whose family served) with the squadron from 1930 up to disbandment in 1957. For further information contact Sqn Ldr Alfie Hall, XO 607 (CD) Squadron, RAF Leeming, Northallerton. DL7 9NJ or email: 607AUXXO SEEKING WAAFS from Hut 5 RAF Kirkham 101 PDC from 1947-50. Was Demob Centre where you got those lovely demob suits. Please contact: Mrs R KyneJones, Somerford, Ashleigh Close, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 8RA.

Bandmates wanted for Pipes and Drums

MEMORIAL: The RAF Waddington Pipes And Drums band at Waddington Air Show, above and in 1967 at the Lincolnshire Show, below

RAF Waddington’s Pipes and Drums band is looking for new members. The band has celebrated its 50th anniversary this year and is taking part in a major event to mark the RAF’s centenary in 2018. It will join the RAF’s Pipes and Drums in the parade along The Mall in London for The Queen on July 10 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. Pipe Major Finlay MacGhee said: “A lot of work has gone into our participation in the parade already – we have been practising a new set of tunes and drill. “We need players to be fit because there will be a lot of marching – from The Mall to Buckingham Palace and back to the barracks.” The band will also take a main role at next year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo,

to be led by the Air Force. Former Chf Tech Sean Cleary is the band’s longestserving member – he joined when it formed in 1967. He said: “We had a really busy summer season, both locally and abroad and we are booked up two years in advance.” Finlay added: “We have about 50 engagements a year, including Service funerals, freedom parades and appearances at air shows. “Everyone in the band needs to read music but we can teach that.” Members include serving personnel, and civilians. n If you are a current piper or drummer who wants to progress or a beginner who would like to learn to play the pipes or drums contact the Pipe Major on: 01522 727531; mobile: 07909 881757 or email:

SEEKING Corporal Bill Roche, RAF Regiment, stationed Wroughton, near Swindon, Wiltshire, 1956-57. Please contact Doreen Freegard, 7 Glevum Close, Purton, nr Swindon, Wiltshire SN5 4HA, call: 01793 770178.

Reunions 205TH Entry RAF Halton 50th graduation anniversary reunion, the Halfway House, Dunstable on December 5. Any former members interested in attending please contact Dave Ellis via email: or call: 07881 620889. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF next year Trade Group 6 MT are combining their annual

RAF riders' success

A TEAM from three RAF stations were among 150 cyclists who took part in the 2017 Ride to the Somme. FS Lesley Woodley and SSAFA caseworker Karen Gilling from RAF Digby, FS Sharon Wyatt from Waddington and Wittering's FS Martin Kenworthy raised more than £6000 for Forces charity SSAFA.

PEDAL POWER: From left, Sharon, Lesley and Martin

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements You can email photos for announcements on this page. Send small jpg files (less than 1MB) to reunion weekend with an Anniversary Dinner and Ball in Blackpool over the weekend of April 2018. For more details or to attend the weekend email: tg6mt17@ Everyone welcome from MT, all ranks. RAF Regiment Association Somerset/Dorset Branch Social May 18-21, 2018. Warners, Cricket St Thomas, Somerset. Join the Social Club. Please contact Alec Hunt, Co-ordinator: 01793 704629.

War Memorials Trust THE War Memorials Trust is looking for Regional Volunteers. Activities RVs can be involved in include: monitoring and reporting on the conditions of war memorials, listing and researching the history of memorials and representing the Trust at rededication ceremonies. If interested in becoming a RV, please contact Rachel on: 020 7233 7356; email:rv@ or go to:

RAF100 Service THE 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force will be celebrated in central London on Tuesday July 10, 2018. A limited number of tickets are available for the Service in Westminster Abbey (including reception), or access to the reception only on Horse Guards Parade, from where you will view the flypast. Applicants should provide the names, addresses, place and date of birth, Passport or Driving Licence number of individuals wishing to attend. Applications should be made in writing, and are to be accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope. Applications should reach: Mrs Michèle Small, SO3 RAF Ceremonial Events, RAF Ceremonial Office, RAF Northolt, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6NG to arrive before April 3, 2018. Please clearly mark the rear of the envelope â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;PARADEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. To assist with the categorisation of tickets, applicants are requested to state which of the following is appropriate: either a


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

member of the general public, or veterans of the Royal Air Force or its Royal Auxiliary Air Force/Reserve Force who should provide their Service number. Please state if you are a wheelchair user. Tickets, and a note on dress and timings for the occasion will be issued four weeks before the Service. Those applicants wishing to attend the Service at Westminster Abbey should plan to be at the Abbey at 0845. Reception guests only should plan to be at Horse Guards Parade no later than 1045.

RAF Changi Assoc RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF). We are always looking for new members and are open to all ranks; ex RAF/ WRAF/WAAF and civilian personnel who served there during 1946-72. Please contact our Membership Secretary: Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562 or email: or visit the website: www. for more details.

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

Dutch Stirling tribute THE FALLEN crew of a 214 Squadron Stirling bomber attacked by a Messerschmitt in The Netherlands in World War II are to be commemorated with a memorial stone at a special ceremony next February. It will be laid in the area where the aircraft came down, near the Dutch town of Leusden and the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Historical Association will dedicate the stone to the eight-strong crew, five of whom were Canadian. Stirling R9197 was shot down an hour and a half after taking off from Chedburgh on February 3, 1943, on a mission to Hamburg by a German night fighter whose

MEMORIAL: The stone will be laid at the crash site, in a field just beyond the starboard tip of the aircraft's wing, above

pilot also died during the action. The only survivor was German navigator Kurt Bundrock. Peter Walker, Secretary of the 214 Squadron Association, said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bundrock later filed a report to the Luftwaffe that the gunners in the Stirling had put up a very brave fight to hit the night fighter, causing it to crash. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Its pilot was either killed in the air by the gunners or in the crash. Bundrock escaped by taking to his parachute.â&#x20AC;? The RAF Stirling crew who died, and were buried at Rusthof cemetery in Leusden,

were: Plt Offs Dennis Hedley Smith, (captain) and DG de Garis (co-pilot) and Sgt R Evans (flight engineer). The RCAF crew were: Fg Off J I MacKenzie (navigator, pictured), FS W K Murdoch (observer/navigator) Sgt W Powell, FS Daniel O'Neill and Sgt Arley Theissen (all gunners). The memorial event is due to take place on February 3, 2018 which will be the 75th anniversary of the attack. Mr Walker added: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If anyone reading this would like to attend please contact me on: 01603 713754.â&#x20AC;?


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Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 216

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the 17 letters in yellow squares to find an aviation term

Name.................................................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................. ..............................................................................................................................

No. 226 Fill in all the squares in the grid above so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 7. Take five central keys, everyone included from RAF station (6) 8. And 9 Down. A loftier pioneer involved in RAF initiative (6,9) 10. Covering injured cow during break (7) 11. And 18 Across. It’s a means of communication, that’s the long and short of it (5,4) 12. In middle of Morocco, friend finds precious stone (4) 13. Second area for curlers on the edge (5) 17. In Kashmir, thirteen discover Joy (5) 18. See 11 Across 22. Join Manchester club, just about (5) 23. Eggs heavyweight with one round of applause (7) 24. Victorian man reaches endless prairie province (6) 25. Losing right: angrier about royal figure (6) Down 1. So naïve, terribly upset by equivocation (7) 2. In the race but not really competitive (4-3) 3. Not cheap, he’s now NATO’s top military officer (5) 4. Mine explodes during part of race to RAF station (7) 5. Lie about important part of a healthy diet (5) 6. Near the tail of an aircraft with queen in pursuit (5) 9. See 8 Across 14. Brigades, penniless and confused by Blyton character (3,4) 15. Big fish in charge of the Italian supplement (7) 16. Stop awful old woman taking eastern cushion (7) 19. Helicopters collect a sump, by mistake (5) 20. Don’t involve gentlemen buying your first RAF station (5) 21. RAF legend sighted in Islamabad erroneously (5)

Prize Su Doku

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Prize Crossword' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE to arrive by December 15.

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by December 15.

The winner of Crossword No. 213 is Paul Hartman from Norwich who wins a copy of the Haynes RAF 100 Technical Innovations Manual by Jonathan Falconer ( from

Solution to crossword No. 213

Su Doku No. 224 winner Geoff Cropper from Witney wins a copy of War Stories by Peter Snow and Ann MacMillan (johnmurray.

Name.................................................................... .............................................................................. Address................................................................ .............................................................................. .................................................Su Doku No. 226

Solution to Su Doku No: 224

Across – 1. Malta 4. Prussia 8. Unclean 9. Flair 10. Toys 11. Basilica 13. Keep 14. Elan 16. Agnostic 17. Ewer 20. Adorn 21. Estonia 22. Tussled 23. Piste. Down – 1. Mount Pleasant 2. Lucky 3. Apex 4. Pen-pal 5. Unfairly 6. Station 7. Aerial Warfare 12. Personal 13. Kinloss 15. Bin End 18. Wings 19. Stop. RAF word – Waddington

AVIATION TERM:........................................................ Crossword No. 216


Competition RAF100 books

Win books celebrating RAF's centenary


ext year marks a milestone for the Royal Air Force – its 100th anniversary. The Service was formed on April 1, 1918 and a host of events will celebrate

the centenary. Publishers The History Press have brought out three titles commemorating the anniversary. A fully updated edition of The Royal Air Force Day by Day (rrp £50) by Air Cdre Graham Pitchfork, is presented as a daily diary of significant events and battles, along with examples of the activities, culture and traditions of the world’s oldest air force. It is illustrated with around 500 photographs. For The RAF in 100 Objects (rrp £25) Peter Jacobs has gathered the most poignant objects from the Air Force’s 100-year history and describes their significance. From aircraft and memorials, uniforms and equipments, the objects and their stories form a unique history of the Service. In The RAF at 100: A Century in Photographs (£12.99), vivid and evocative images from the treasure

trove of the Mirrorpix archive trace the story of the Royal Air Force, from its earliest days through wartime and peacetime and into the modern age.



Many key aircraft such as the Spitfire and Lancaster, the Vulcan and the Tornado are included and the selection of ph ot o g r aphs also depicts the varied roles of RAF personnel over the years and the close i nv o l v e m e nt of the Royal Family. Mirrorpix is home it one of the world’s largest photographic libraries with more than 100 million images. We have copies of these three excellent titles up for grabs. For your chance to win one, simply answer the following question correctly: What is the date of the Royal Air Force’s


centenary? Email your answer, marked RAF100 books competition, to: c omp e t it i ons @ r af ne w s . c o. u k or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe HP14 4UE, to arrive by December 14. Please remember to mark on your entry which of the three books you prefer to win.

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P21 n Please note letters must be a maximum of 300 words and any accompanying pictures sent as attached, hi-res jpeg files

Beware of pensions ‘clawback’

I read with interest the advertorial on p24 of RAF News No. 1431 (November 17) – ‘How pensions are split after a break-up.’ In it was an explanation of how Pension Sharing Orders (PSOs) are implemented. What was missing was the hidden clawback made by HM Treasury when the pension comes into force and the impact that has on the Pension Owner (not the Pension Credit Member (PCM)). Because on the date of divorce the pension has no real value, the Cash Equivalent Transfer Value is used by the court, but when the pension comes into force and then has an actual monetary value, the Pensions Authority revalues the actuarial value then. Dependant upon the date of the divorce and the date the pension comes into force, the difference between the PSO award and pension creation varies. The greater the time between the two dates the greater the difference in values. The result is that the pension owner loses out. In my case this was some £1800 per annum as the difference between PSO award and retirement was only five years. The beneficiary of this is the Treasury only. This comes about due to the manner in which PSOs are implemented in law and the MoD Pension Authority has no say in the matter. This is a problem that, I believe, only affects MoD personnel as the pensions in that organisation have no value until the date of implementation. I still feel, some six years after retiring after more than 40 years service in the RAF, aggrieved that no one can or is willing to address this iniquity. I have tried to address this issue, all the way up to the Prime Minister’s Office, but the apathy I met with regarding this was appalling. Keith Irving Flt Lt (Ret’d) By email

Be ready for Civvy Street

The article about the conditions faced by Forces leavers on return to Civvy Street is of critical importance (RAF News No. 1431, p25) Some years ago I had a letter published in RAF News in which I drew attention to the situation then and advised that all personnel should engage in early protective planning regarding their retirement. Since then matters have become a lot tougher. It is imperative that this is taken seriously. Civvy Street is no place for the unprepared. Do your homework NOW! G McClure-Hall Gp Capt (Ret’d) By email

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


Retired top brass should keep schtum A recent newspaper article quotes retired General Sir Richard Barrons as saying UK Armed Forces ‘could not withstand an attack by a major power like Russia’. Fortunately, I do not think such an attack is ever likely, unless America does something stupid and drags us all into an Armageddon. Let us look at the reasons for the current unrest across the world. The USA holds regular large military exercises on the North/South Korea border, which is a serious provocation to the North. The US has more than 23,000 troops in South Korea, which are perceived to be a constant threat to the North.

I believe that this is the main reason the North is attempting to improve its defensive capabilities by developing its nuclear weapons. In Eastern Europe America destabilised the whole region by engineering a regime change in Ukraine. The previous government there was pro Russian, the US caused that to be changed to a proWest regime, hence the unrest on the Ukraine/Russia border, and also caused Russia to take back the Crimea, to protect its Black Sea fleet, which is totally understandable. Then we have the mess of the Middle East, again this was caused by America. After the Gulf War, America dismissed the Iraqi Army

after the fall of Saddam Hussein. This meant that 250,000 Iraqi soldiers were out of a job with no means to feed their families and, following that, senior members of the Iraqi Army went on to found ISIS, and we all know what happened then. Getting back to retired General Barrons, nothing has changed from my time in the RAF, 1971-1993. The pattern is always the same, you get a retired senior military officer bitching about conditions and the state of the military and its capabilities. This is all well and good, but what really annoys me as a retired SNCO is why these senior officers did not open their mouths

until after they had retired. I personally think it is because they did not want to jeopardise their knighthoods or peerages, and, if that is the case, then they are being disloyal, not only to the country, but also to the soldiers, sailors and airmen who serve under their command. I think it is time the government had a serious look at such awards. I feel that some SNCOs are more deserving of these honours for it is they, after all, who keep the military at such a high level of proficiency and professionalism. John Fair FS (Ret’d) County Mayo, Ireland

We had cars in Aden Star letter

ADEN: (Clockwise from left) The crater and RAF Khormaksar, a scene from The Last Post and Ma’alla Street

I was very cross when I read the letter from A.R. Powis in RAF News No. 1431 (November 17) where he writes he never knew a Serviceman with a private car in Aden and that wives driving there was ‘laughable’. I lived in Aden twice, from 1957-59, in the crater, and from 1961-63 in Ma’alla Strait. What your correspondent has written is completely wrong. I learned to drive in Aden and so did my friends. Our husbands had to suffer teaching us to drive. We had a clapped-out old banger, as a lot of my friends did – they got us to where we needed to be.

Some of us who were in Aden still meet up every year to reminisce. I was first there with my parents – my father was in the REME – and the second time I accompanied my husband, who was in the RAF. We got married at RAF Steamer Point. I watched The Last Post and enjoyed it, but no one could recreate the smell and the heat and the flies. However, when offered a second posting to Aden, many people accepted. We had some good times. Mrs Heidi Gardner East Yorkshire

n The writer of our star letter or email of the month wins a bottle of Spitfire Heritage Gin from www.spitfireheritagegin. com. Spitfire Heritage Distillers also produce artisan Supermarine Vodka and support the Spitfire Heritage Trust.

Merlin book a magic addition to my collection My luck’s in I was surprised and very pleased to receive the book The Merlin EH(AW)101 as my prize for Sudoku 223. Many thanks, I shall enjoy this addition to my aviation collection. I’m an occasional reader of RAF News, just to keep in touch. I did two years National Service, from 1950-52, then our elder son, Neil, 30+ years to 2015; a proud record including Puma, Tucano, Canberra

PR9 (I saw the prototype then first in service at Binbrook), Sentinel and with the BBMF, Lancaster, rising to Bomber Leader. There were many proud moments including the flypast for the Royal Wedding in 2011 and, for TV, Bomber Boys with the McGregor brothers. My younger son, Bryan, is long-serving with British Airways – Boeing 757, 747 and 777 – and both my wife and I, on separate

trips, enjoyed now-forbidden flights in the cockpit. Apart from that and some light aircraft flights, I enjoyed civvy club gliding, first in Norfolk then 20-odd years later in Yorkshire, when our boys started flying – ‘brainwashed’ my wife Anita says. They’ve both enjoyed their very different careers. Thanks again. Keith Taylor (SAC Ret’d) By email

I entered a competition to win a CHT+80 Headlamp and today my winning headlamp arrived, unexpectedly but very happily received as it will be great for running and walking the dog. Thank you very much. Miss Sandra Jones REC, Learning Centre RAF Shawbury

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P22


The U-boat hunting hero of the RAF’s Coastal Command A

IR VICE-MARSHAL Ted Hawkins, who has died aged 97, was twice awarded the DFC for maritime patrol and antisubmarine operations during World War II. The son of a master mariner in both sail and steam, Hawkins was born in Essex. Shortly after leaving school he joined the Territorial Army as a rifleman. His colonel recruited him to undertake an undercover intelligence-gathering mission in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia during the winter months of 1937-38. The mission was to infiltrate the Hitler Youth Movement, which could be achieved quite openly by joining the British Youth Hostel organisation, which was affiliated to the Wandershaft of the Hitler Movement. During his 1000-mile trek he used German youth hostels and fraternized with the Hitler Youth organization along the way. His adventures included sketching Krupps armament works by moonlight, attending a mass rally in Cologne addressed by Hitler himself, being questioned by the suspicious Gestapo (who failed to find the drawings in the lining of his rucksack) and being entertained and debriefed by British Ambassadors in Innsbruck and Berlin. He was then taken by car to Hamburg to join a British cargo ship arriving in London to be debriefed at the end of January 1938. Two months later he joined the RAF on a Short Service commission and trained as a pilot before being assigned to No. 1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit flying a variety of aircraft acting as targets for antiaircraft units. In 1941 he converted to flying-boats before joining No. 240 Squadron based in Northern Ireland in September. After a winter of flying on Atlantic patrols and anti U-boat sorties, Hawkins was tasked to carry out a top secret reconnaissance to obtain information about the sea ice between Jan Mayen Island and Spitsbergen Island in the high Arctic. He was also to report on the state of ice conditions in the fjords of West Spitsbergen and to determine if enemy forces were on the island. He took off from the Shetland Islands on April 4, 1942.

flying-boat operations. On return to the Shetlands after a flight of 2000 miles the Catalina had been airborne for more than 24 hours.

One mission was to infiltrate the Hitler Youth Movement, which could be achieved quite openly by joining the British Youth Hostel Association, which was affiliated to the Nazi’s Wandershaft organisation

Flying through severe weather en route, he was greeted by brilliant sunshine when he reached the edge of the ice to complete a reconnaissance

before heading for Spitsbergen. The crew saw no evidence of the enemy and were able to confirm that sea conditions were suitable for

Hawkins and his navigator were both awarded the DFC. The citation concluded, ‘these officers showed great powers of endurance and their outstanding performance is worthy of the highest praise’. After the Arctic sortie the squadron was ordered to Madras. Four aircraft, including Hawkins’, were detained at Gibraltar in June 1942 to carry out anti-submarine patrols in support of the convoys sailing to Malta. On June 6 he spotted a surfaced U-boat near the Balearic Islands and dived to attack. Avoiding heavy anti-aircraft fire he dropped four depth charges. The submarine submerged leaving a large pool of oil on the sea. It soon resurfaced and was observed settling by the stern. Its crew began to arrive on deck as others jumped into the sea. Shortly after, the Italian U-boat Zaffiro sank. Hawkins decided to land to pick up survivors and leave life-saving equipment but the heavy swell damaged the Catalina’s hull and he was forced to abandon his rescue attempt and return to Gibraltar. For this attack he was awarded a Bar to his DFC. Having returned the patched aircraft to the UK for repair, Hawkins and his crew were sent to assist the scattered Archangel convoy PQ 17, going on to alight at Murmansk. From there they joined the hunt for survivors and for the Tirpitz

and its escorts – a task he regarded as near suicidal in an aircraft as slow as the Catalina A month later, he set off to rejoin his squadron in Madras. From August 1942 to October 1944 he flew on convoy escort duties, anti-submarine patrols and special duty operations including dropping agents along the coasts of Burma and Malaya. He was mentioned in despatches. After a spell on the air staff in Ceylon, he took command of No. 230 Squadron in Singapore flying the Sunderland on relief operations to isolated garrisons in New Guinea and to repatriate sick POWs and Dutch internees from Malaya and Java to hospitals in India. In April 1946 he returned to England to command the flying boat base in Pembrokeshire before taking charge of the Maritime Aircraft Experimental Establishment at Felixstowe. He was later in charge of administration at RAF Kinloss in Morayshire, one of the RAF’s largest maritime air bases. He left for Malta in January 1955 to command No. 38 Squadron equipped with Shackletons. For his services during the Suez crisis he was again mentioned in despatches. In 1964 he took command of RAF Tengah, the RAF’s largest operational base in the Far East – the station complement was some 15,000 people. His Strike Wing of Canberra, Hunter and Javelin squadrons were heavily involved during the Indonesian Confrontation campaign. At the end of his tour he was appointed CBE. On promotion to Air Commodore in 1968 he commanded RAF Lyneham when he collected the RAF’s last Hercules C-130K aircraft from the Lockheed factory in the USA. As an Air Vice-Marshal he was the senior air staff officer at HQ RAF Strike Command at a time when a new generation of combat aircraft were being introduced into service. He was appointed CB in June 1971. Hawkins spent the last three years of his service before retiring in July 1974 as the Director General of Personnel Services (RAF) in the MOD. He then joined the Services Kinema Corporation as the deputy managing director, a post he held for six years. He retired to Lymington in 1981 where he continued to enjoy his lifelong love of sailing with the Royal Lymington Yacht Club.

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P23


‘People’s Spitfire Pilot’ Kornicki dies aged 100 Franciszek Kornicki, the last surviving Polish fighter pilot to command a squadron during World War II, has died a month before his 101st birthday. Kornicki was flying outdated fighters when Germany invaded his country on September 1, 1939. Despite a brave fight, the Polish squadrons were hopelessly outclassed. With the arrival of Soviet forces on the eastern border on September 17, the surviving pilots were told to escape to Romania. Kornicki travelled overland and reached the Black Sea port of Balchik, where he boarded a ship sailing for Marseille. He was completing his flying training in France when the government capitulated and he headed for the Spanish border and caught a boat to Liverpool. He joined the Polish Air Force in the United Kingdom before joining No. 303 Squadron, resting at Leconfield before transferring to No. 315 Squadron in January 1941 to fly the Hurricane. The squadron soon re-

equipped with the Spitfire and later in the year Kornicki started flying sweeps over France. He remained with the squadron for almost two years before being given command of No. 308 Squadron at Northolt in February 1943. At the age of 26 he was the youngest squadron commander in the Polish Air Force. When the squadron moved north two months later, Kornicki transferred to command No. 317 Squadron. Over the next eight months he flew and led many sweeps, bomber escorts and attack sorties over the occupied countries. In January 1944 he was rested after three years of flying on operations and joined the Polish Air Force staff before completing the Staff College course. He then joined air staff of the Rear HQ of No. 84 Group, part of the Second Tactical Air Force, which he joined in Belgium before the group and its squadrons advanced into

polish fighter co: Franciszek Kornicki in his Service days and, inset, in 2017

the Netherlands and Germany. After the war he decided to remain in England following the Soviet occupation of the homeland he had fought so hard to save. He married and managed a hotel but rejoined the RAF in the summer of 1951, when he resumed his flying career. Two years later he

transferred to the Catering Branch and over the next 20 years served at various RAF stations at home and overseas including tours in Malta, Cyprus and Aden. He retired as a squadron leader in 1972. For his long and outstanding wartime service he received Poland’s highest honour for

courage, the Virtuti Militari. He also received the Cross of Valour with two Bars. In June 2011 he was made a Commander of the Order of Polonia Restituta, which was presented to him by the President of Poland a year later. During the 70th anniversary celebrations of the Battle of Britain in 2010, Kornicki was reunited with one of the Spitfire Vbs he flew when commanding No. 317 Squadron. The airworthy Spitfire flew into Northolt and Kornicki was able to sit in the cockpit of the aircraft he had once flown. In his final years, the humble and modest Kornicki became a national celebrity when he was voted The People’s Spitfire Pilot in a poll launched by the RAF Museum. A life-size display of him and his story will be featured at the museum at Hendon in an exhibition to celebrate the RAF’s centenary. Earlier this year he visited the RAF College Cranwell and signed the Wall of Gallantry in recognition of his wartime experiences before meeting RAF officer cadets. Franciszek Kornicki died on November 16 and Pat, his wife of 69 years and their two sons, survive him.

Air Transport Auxiliary legend Joy Lofthouse Joy Lofthouse, who has died aged 94, was one of the last two surviving Spitfire Girls who flew the iconic World War Two fighter whilst serving with the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). Joy (née Gough), was born in Cirencester on February 14, 1923 and educated at Cirencester Grammar School. After leaving school she worked as a cashier in the local Lloyds Bank until she saw an advert in Aeroplane magazine and joined the ATA. In the summer of 1943, sport-mad, 20-year-old Joy and her elder sister Yvonne, whose bomber pilot husband had recently been killed over Berlin, answered an advert for pilots to join the ATA. The two applied with 2000 others and just 17 were accepted, including the sisters. Neither had any flying experience and Joy had never even driven a car. Living in Cirencester, she had been drawn to aviation because the town was close to numerous airfields and she had met many young pilots. In later life she commented, ‘I wanted to keep up, know more about what the boys in uniform talked about. That’s why I started reading Aeroplane. You couldn’t just stand there, useless, dumb, when the boys were talking about planes’. The sisters were amongst the first ab initio pilots to be trained by the ATA’s own flying school at Thame, near Oxford. Joy flew solo after 12 hours of dual

SPITFIRE GIRL: Joy Lofthouse in her ATA uniform

instruction and, after completing her training, remained at Thame to ferry light aircraft such as the Tiger Moth and Magister

from factories to RAF flying schools. She then joined the all-female ferry pool at Hamble, near Southampton, situated close to various aircraft manufacturers including the Supermarine factory where Spitfires were built. Over the next two years she flew 18 different types of aircraft, the majority single-engine. She delivered naval fighters to airfields in Scotland and during the run up to D-Day she was busy taking Typhoons, Tempests and Spitfires to squadrons on the south coast. Her favourite was the Spitfire and she delivered more than 50 of them from the factory to RAF squadrons. She described it as ‘an iconic plane’ and sitting in it ‘like wearing a well-fitting dress’. By the end of the war, Joy had converted to flying light twin-engine aircraft. The two young women were the only sisters to fly with the ATA and were amongst the 164 female pilots who flew with the organisation. They were the forgotten women who broke through the maledominated barriers to fly fighters and decades later were the inspiration for many women to join the RAF and fly combat aircraft. Joy left the ATA in September 1945 and never flew as a pilot again. She became a schoolteacher and brought up her family. Throughout her life she remained in contact with her female ATA friends and

attended reunions. With seven of her wartime friends she was invited to the RAF’s Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre at Biggin Hill in May 1990 to meet the first female candidates aspiring to become RAF pilots. She later wrote to the Commandant, ‘Our visit to Biggin Hill brought back many happy memories – we were all made to feel young again for a short while’. Joy remained a vivacious, adventurous and eloquent lady who was in demand as a guest on radio, at airshows and many events. In 2010 her sister visited from the USA and they were guests at the Kemble Air Day near Cirencester when the two were reunited with a Spitfire, the first time they had been together with the fighter since the war. In 2015 at the age of 92 Joy took to the air again in a Spitfire, the first time she had flown in the aircraft for 70 years. Flying from Goodwood in a dual control version of the fighter she professed to be, ‘not as confident as I was when I used to fly them alone when I was young’. After the flight she said: “It was lovely. It was perfect.” The video of her flight became an internet sensation. Joy Lofthouse died on November 15. She married Jiri Hartman, a Czech fighter pilot, in 1945 and the marriage ended in divorce. In 1971 she married Squadron Leader Charles Lofthouse, a former Pathfinder Lancaster pilot who died in 2002.

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P25



Basic training should include mental health new study

A new report into veterans’ mental health recommends integrating mental health training into basic military training. The report, by King’s College London for the Forces in Mind Trust, says if mental health training was introduced ‘all future veterans would receive some degree of education on maintaining good mental health.’ The study revealed that the decision to seek help is mainly influenced by a veteran’s perceived need for treatment. It also showed that stigma does not have a significant impact in preventing ex-Service personnel from seeking help for mental health problems. For the report in-depth telephone interviews were carried out merger

ROC veterans can get hand from RAFBF

The Royal Observer Corps Benevolent Fund has merged with the RAF Benevolent Fund. An official handover was held at Bentley Priory, the ROC’s headquarters from July 1936. Former ROC veterans will now be supported by the RAFBF and be entitled to the additional welfare benefits the Fund provides. These include a wider range of financial grants, services such as advice and

MERGER: RAFBF chairman Lawrie Haynes with ROCBF trustees chairman Christopher Howard (right)

advocacy, welfare breaks at Princess Marina House (the Fund’s respite care home on the south coast), telephone friendship groups and the charity’s new bereavement support service. Air Cdre Paul Hughesdon, the Fund’s Director of Welfare and Policy, said: “The convergence of the two charities is in the best interests of ROC Benevolent Fund beneficiaries as it gives them access to a greater scope of help.” The ROC was disbanded in 1995. It is estimated that around 60,000 former members are eligible for support. Their dependants may also qualify for assistance.

Report calls for more to be done to make it easier for those with problems to seek help with male veterans who had left the Armed Forces in the last five years, focusing on their perception of their own mental health, barriers and facilitators to seeking help, and their mental health care experiences.

Ray Lock, the Trust’s chief executive (pictured right), said: “This timely research shows that the barriers to accessing mental health support are far more complex than stigma alone, and that stigma seems to play a far smaller role than previously thought.” He added that bureaucratic issues around waiting lists,

eligibility issues, services being withdrawn prematurely and poor treatment experiences ‘appear to have a much larger impact on the likelihood of veterans seeking and remaining in mental health support through to a successful outcome’. Two of the report’s authors, Dr Sharon Stevelink, Lecturer in Epidemiology at King’s College London, and Professor Neil Greenberg, Professor of Defence Mental Health, said: “Many veterans with mental health problems fail to seek help because they just cannot define what constitutes a mental health problem. Once they do recognise they probably have a condition they cannot sort themselves, they feel unworthy of seeking care. “Stigma is an important barrier to seeking care but only for those who have never sought mental healthcare before. Those who have


successfully sought care before are rather likely to do so again if they develop another mental health problem. “We also found that any initial poor treatment-seeking experience led to a lack of seeking help if a mental health condition persisted or if the individual developed a subsequent disorder. “We now hope to develop interventions, based on the key treatment-seeking levers the research identified, to improve help seeking for mental health within the UK military veteran population.” Other recommendations include packaging support options to vets in a way that better ‘sells’ these services as meeting veterans’ needs; and employing vets as guides to help others through their journey to mental health support. n Go to to read the full report. WWII movie

Pupils honour 614 Sqn RAF Malta

experts call

PUPILS from a Cardiff school joined RAF personnel to mark the 80th anniversary of Wales’ only RAF Reserve unit. No. 614 (County of Glamorgan) Squadron was founded in 1937 at what was then RAF Pengam Moors. The site also served as Cardiff ’s first airport and is now home to Willows High School, which joined the anniversary ceremony. Squadron members and pupils laid a wreath at the squadron’s memorial stone, erected by the 614 Sqn Association, in the city’s Tremorfa area, sited near where the runway of their former base once stood. Fg Off Wade of 614 Squadron said: “This was a special day at a special place. From 1937 men from Cardiff and across Glamorgan joined the squadron, as we do now, to serve in their spare time. “From this ground they maintained and flew their aircraft – Hawker Hectors, Hinds and later Lysanders and Halifaxes –

all names that are recalled in the street names of the estate which stands here today.” Willows High School pupil Nevaeh Hamilton laid the wreath at the memorial. Also present was Caroline

Wright, who, while serving in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force at RAF St Athan in the late 1980s, helped revive the squadron association. Disbanded in 1957, 614 Sqn RAuxAF was reformed at Cardiff in 2014.

THE LARGEST employment development specifically for Scottish veterans in decades is to open at veterans’ charity Erskine’s headquarters next June. Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company is set to help more than 40 of the country’s ex-Service personnel every year through direct, flexible

employment – whilst also offering tailored wrap-around welfare support and accommodation in collaboration with Erskine, said a spokesperson. The development is a direct response to a 2015 study into the employment support needs of Scottish veterans which found that ex-Service personnel are

more than twice as likely to be unemployed as civilians across the country. SBMC will offer opportunities including short to long-term, part-time and full-time roles – all tailored to the specific needs of each veteran, many with lifechanging physical or mental disabilities as a result of service.

RESPECT: Pupils from Willow High School at the memorial PHOTO: SAC CATHY SHARPLES

Jobs boost for Scottish veterans

The RAF Association is supporting new war film The Burning Sky and is keen for association members and the public to help the filmmakers achieve historical and technical accuracy. Set mainly in Malta in 1942, the movie, based heavily on real events, follows the fortunes of two pilots as they struggle through the most intense air battle of World War II. The film is in early pre-production and is also supported by the Maltese government. Producer Alec Mackenzie said: “We are keen to get this exactly right. We need advice on various issues, from what the ground camouflage for the aircraft was like, to the procedures and tactics employed at that time and the accuracy of equipment used. There may be opportunities for someone to be formally employed to help us with this.” Rachel Huxford, director of fundraising at the RAF Association, said: “We are delighted to help the producers get the film’s accuracy spot on. They have also generously agreed to share seven per cent of the profits of the film, once it gets to screen. This will be used to support our vital welfare work with serving and veteran RAF personnel and their families.” n To help or learn more about The Burning Sky, contact Motley Film Productions at RAFA@ motl e y f i lmpro du c ti with ‘attn. Alec Mackenzie’ in the subject heading of the email.



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Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P27


CAS makes recruits’ day THERE was a special honour for graduating recruits at RAF Halton when their Reviewing Officer was Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier. Beckett Intake, Flights 3 and 4, graduated from Recruit Training Squadron after 10 weeks of basic training. CAS was visiting the station to attend the Halton Apprentice Annual Act of Remembrance. He presented trophies and awards to:

n LAC Joe Gladstone – The Mayor Of Aylesbury Trophy. Awarded for the best overall performance in all aspects of training on Number 1 Flight and The Rothschild Trophy, awarded to the recruit who achieves the highest overall standard in Initial Force Protection Training. n AC Declan Murphy – The Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire’s Trophy for the best overall performance in all aspects of training on Number 4 Flight. n AC Elliott Lund – n AC William Astill The Halton Aircraft – The Dusty Miller Apprentice Shield. Trophy, as voted for by Awarded to the recruit their fellow recruits. who has displayed n No. 3 Flight – The the highest overall Lord Trenchard standard of effort, Trophy. Awarded Halton to the Flight whose determination and achievement in performance has physical education. been the best overall in general n AC Liam Brown – Royal Air Service training and general Force Benevolent Fund Trophy. Service knowledge. It was For displaying the greatest collected on their behalf by AC effort and determination on Smith. Number 3 Flight. n AC Elliott Ashton – The Musical accompaniment Station Commander’s Cup. For was by The Band of The Royal displaying the greatest effort Air Force Regiment with Band and determination on Number Master Wing Commander 4 Flight. Piers Morrell.

meet the boss: New recruits are inspected by Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier

PHOTO: kate rutherford

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6 pages of RAF Sport starts here l Debutant jumpers show their skills: page 33 indoor hockey

teamwork: Main, an attack is launched by RAF player at Aldershot, below, close combat during the Inters

Stick men in class IS show Pace and power from light blues as the cruise to win Staff Reporter Aldershot ALDERSHOT WAS the venue, the Inter-Services indoor hockey crown the aim for the Service’s teams with the men battling their way to glory. Lieutenant Tom Godding said: “We’re really, really happy. If we carry on that mentality into the outdoor season... it (will be) really good for RAF hockey. “We’ve got a really good bunch of players. We’ve got young guys coming through [and] we’ve got the more experienced guys like Cpl Ben Lowe who, at the age of 34 and

nearing masters hockey, are really quite keen to stick around because it’s quite an exciting camp to be in at the moment.” The team retained the trophy after seeing off the Royal Navy, with both sides going into their showdown in buoyant mood, with the light blue men having seen off the Army 5-2 with goals coming from Flt Lt Tom Godding (3), A/Sgt Scott Perry and Cpl Harry Harbage and a solid defensive display from Cpl Ben Lowe, SAC Thom Fowler and Flt Lt Dave Jones, with the trio only conceding four short corners in 40 minutes of indoor hockey. Despite taking the game to the defending champions, the Navy

were up against an Air Force side loaded with talent, and it was they who drew first blood. The airmen launched a devastating counter attack to take the lead, with Flt Lt Godding lashing in the opening goal. Another RAF assault secured a second, before the umpire spotted an illegal use of the stick, giving him no option but to award a penalty. A/Sgt Scott Perry made no mistake as his team took control. Although missing GB/England international Liam Sandford, the airmen, with new players in SAC Ben Anning, still had too much firepower for their opponents. Continued on p31:


BOARDING SCHOOL EDUCATION (6-page advertisement feature) AT LINCOLN Minster School, we pride ourselves on putting our pupils first seeking to ensure that their talents and abilities are nurtured and encouraged to flourish in an environment of support and appreciation. Our intention is to provide an inspiring education for life, from nursery all the way through to sixth form. Individual needs are catered for across all age groups where boys and girls, of differing abilities and interests, excel in our vibrant community. We encourage our pupils to stretch and challenge themselves, to test new skills outside their comfort zone, not to worry when they make a mistake, but to learn from it. This way our boys and girls develop resilience, grow in selfesteem and become more equipped to face the challenges that lie ahead. Lincoln Minster School is served well by staff who share this philosophy. Their professional expertise and commitment helps to ensure high levels of achievement both inside and outside the classroom. We have a blend of day pupils and boarders, both from overseas and from the UK. This broad social and cultural mix ensures the school has a truly national and global outlook.

Outstanding results Our Sunday Times Top 100 rated Preparatory School achieved outstanding SATs results in 2017, far exceeding the national average in all areas: Reading: 93% (national average 71%) Mathematics: 93% (national average 75%) Spelling, punctuation and grammar: 80% (national average 77%) Likewise, our sixth form excelled again this year with 86% of our pupils achieving grade A-C and the vast majority going on to attend their first choice destination after leaving school.

An inspiring education for life Excellent co-curricular programme Our comprehensive co-curricular programme offers our pupils the opportunity to develop their confidence and skills by taking part in a wide variety of activities including sport, music, drama and the Duke of Edinburgh Award as well as a new Combined Cadet Force due to launch in September 2018. Our sports teams including hockey, squash, tennis and rugby enjoy local and regional success across all age groups. The school benefits from outstanding facilities for both music and drama with pupils able to perform in remarkable concerts and productions throughout the year. Our choristers recently took part in the recording of the charity single “Tears of the World” to raise funds for the International Bomber Command Centre.

Pupil focused pastoral care Our staff understand the important role that excellent pastoral care and a focus on pupil wellbeing plays in developing confident and assured young adults that are able to fulfil their potential both academically and socially. The best way to find out whether Lincoln Minster School is right for your child is to visit us, enjoy a pupil led tour of our facilities and meet with our dedicated staff.

For more information about our open days or to book at taster day for your child, please contact our Registrar, Mandy Stuffins on 01522 551 300 or email


- ‘Outstanding’ Nursery accepting 2 year olds from September - Sunday Times Top 100 Preparatory School - Excellent opportunities in music, sport and the arts - 88% of pupils achieve their first choice University destination - Flexible boarding options Go to or call 01522 551 300 for details of our Open Days

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Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P31


Sport winter sports

Camp down for success Winter wonders have white stuff for coming events THERE WERE frontsides, backsides board slides, boxes, rails kickers, 180s, 360s and even a 540 on show at Kaprun, Austria for the Service’s snowboarders as its annual winter camp took place. The camp forms part of on average three overseas camps the association holds each year, but with the RAF championships and Inter-Services on the horizon it was some riders’ chance to hone their skills before the business end of the season. A spokesman for the association said: “The camp was early this year to maximise training opportunities prior the Inters. We have an additional camp happening in December, with monthly sessions at Milton Keynes and Castleford.  “We have stepped up our gate training activity with the purchase of a freelap timing system that allows riders to track and gauge the improvement of their performance on a race piste, and to understand the benefits of what our coaches teach us. “But one thing we cannot conquer is the weather which was pretty awful, but we still managed a mix of racing and freestyle. “We had a healthy showing of 24 boarders made up of seasoned team riders and new riders who have previously participated in our development camps, with training conducted at 4000m on the Kaprun Glacier. It is a mixture of performance and slopestyle training to ensure that we cover the three racing events that riders participate in at both the RAF Championships and the Inters.” The spokesman added: “There

are a few reasons why RAF snowboarding trains so early in the season; one is that riders start with a strong platform to build on throughout the season and the second is we can maximise on the season passes we have purchased with the financial support of the Charitable Trust. “The ability to train early has increased the rate of riding progression and it is truly inspirational which is largely due to the riders’ pride, passion and commitment to the sport, not forgetting their innate desire to win and having achieved a RAF Snowboard win at the 2018 InterServices, there is definitely a longing to succeed again.” The sports has grown considerably in the Service, with excellent tie-in with UK Snozones, and station support, helping provide monthly sessions. The camp itself is not only open to riders, but also for training tutoring to find those capable of being put forward for the BASI 1 coaching badges. The association is aiming for a 10-day freestyle camp to be held in Mammoth, USA next year. The spokesman added: “It is safe to say, the future is very bright for snowboarding and as riders quickly progress the numbers interested in representing the Service has grown. This provides the RAF Snowboarding Management with a greater pool to select from, which ultimately means a greater chance of bringing back the bling from the Inter-Services.” Find out more about the association and training days on its Facebook page: rafwintersports.

TON UP CLUB: Above, all smiles and slopestyles on the glacier at Kaprun show off a RAF 100 banner during their busy Winter Camp, below left, a boarder rides a rail during the camp

DATES FOR THE DIARY: RAF Alpine Ski and Snowboard Championships, Austria, January 14-28. RAF Alpine Ski and Snowboard Inter-Services, France, February, 3-10.

RAF handle IS pressure

POINTING THE WAY: Above, Cpl Cockayne inspires another England attack PHOTO: SBS

Amy fires Rose Continued from page 36: The second game of the threematch series, which culminates at Twickenham following the men’s game against Samoa, will see the England team collect the trophy whatever the result. The series win caps an incredible year for Cokayne, who shone in the women’s world

cup in Ireland and was awarded RAF Sportswoman of the year last month. She said: “As a team we are a bit disappointed with that performance, obviously we will take the win and the series of course. “I didn’t manage to get a try this time, I generally get them off the back of a driving line out, so I cannot take full credit, it’s not a key part of my game, it’s just nice.”

Continued from page 29: Although missing GB/England international Liam Sandford, the airmen, with a new player in SAC Ben Anning, still had too much firepower for their opponents, with Cpl Kyle Barnes sweeping them further in front. The Navy did manage to claw a goal back early in the second half as they looked to gain a foothold in the contest, but the keeping exploits of Cpl James Page denied them from achieving this. The rampant RAF players continued to exploit the Senior Service’s defensive frailties as the game opened up. A sweet strike from SAC Thom Fowler made it 4-1 to take the match away from the Navy, with further goals making it 7-3, meaning the Air Force notched a clean sweep of the indoor and outdoor titles.

attack: Above, RAF go on the attack during a highly successful Inter-Services PHOTOS: CHARLES JACKMAN

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P32

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Hawks show talons


HAWKS IN FLIGHT: Above, action from the powerful display by the Hawks team as they prepared for the IS challenge

Daniel Abrahams Cardiff Arms Park IT WAS another hard last step to Inter-Services glory as the RAF Hawks rugby union team succumbed to a 40-17 defeat to HM Prison Service at the iconic Cardiff Arms Park. The military team gave as good as they got in a hard-hitting clash that proved to be not for the fainthearted, but they just ran out of legs as the game went on. A lively start from SAC Nick Slaney out wide halted HMP’s attempts to break out during the early stages with SAC Rob Tyreman and SAC Dougie Ireland all sparking quick attacks, that looked to have proved fruitful in the eighth minute when Slaney went over for a try that was called back for an earlier infringement. SAC Tom Carpenter nearly went

over a few minutes later, with SAC Dale Jones producing a powerful run that took four HMP players to halt him 20 metres out in front of the posts. The first half was blighted by continual line out issues for the RAF team, some appeared very harsh, who having got into good positions were unable to finish things off with a score, and after 24 minutes they went behind as HMP scored an unconverted try. Unbowed the Hawks produced a terrific break with Carpenter producing a brilliant basketball style offload to release Fg Off Tom Carpenter over the halfway line that was pure entertainment, but again another flawed line out halted any chance of a score. The Hawks followed this up with a good period of defence, but were finally undone by a clever chip and charge after 36 minutes for 12-


0. On the stroke of half-time the Service side’s efforts paid off as SAC Sean Hall went over for a converted try and a 12-7 score, but the HMP managed to get over again for 19-7 at the break. Bucking the line out trend after the break, Sgt Dave Petrie sealed the deal to steady the Hawks ship, but HMP went over for 26-7. But the Hawks would not be buckled and they produced a good period of pressure that finally paid off just before the hour after a brilliant series of passes from SAC James Norrish, SAC Dale Jones and team captain SAC Nick Arnell who went over. That unconverted score was followed by HMP for 33-12, going close late on a further HMP score did not deter their effort as the Hawks kept pushing with Arnell going over again to higlight the continued effort of the team.

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Poppy Cup trouncing sees SRT smash five past East Riding to win THE SENIOR men’s football team bounced back in style from its heartbreaking 1-0 Birmingham FA County Cup opening round loss, with an emphatic 5-0 victory over East Riding to claim its first trophy of the season in the shape of the Poppy Cup. Head coach Sgt Kev Barry spoke about altering the level and quality of fixtures his charges would face earlier in the season, with the two cup clashes coming before a high profile fixture in Guernsey at the end of the month. This was another great test for the lads and they showed what a great group they are. They put the disappointment of getting knocked out of the Birmingham County Cup to work collectively and individually to tidy up many aspects of their game. It was great to score a few goals but it was

equally as good to have a clean sheet. Barry said: “The East Riding Fixture is an extremely important fixture in the SRT calendar. It is one we look forward to every year as it is run so well, the people of the East Riding FA are outstanding.” He added: “The fixture against the Guernsey FA will again give the SRT another tough challenge in their quest for IS success and we are honoured to be invited. The lads are showing great commitment this season so it’s important to keep the momentum going and a trip to Guernsey will make the group stronger. We will finish the year with two fixtures in December against Halesowen Town FC and the Prison Service.” The Poppy Cup action started almost from the kick-off as SAC Hayden Pain scored the opener

after two minutes from a wellworked corner. In the 10th minute, with East Riding hassled and harried Cpl Tom Claisse picked up a loose ball and curled a sweet strike into the top corner from 20 yards. East Riding settled into the game a bit more after 15 minutes and were very competitive and physical. It was this side of their game that continued throughout, resulting in three yellow cards for the hosts.  On 35 minutes LCpl Liam Morris sidestepped a couple of challenges on the edge of the Riding penalty area, before firing in from 18 yards to make it 3-0 at the break, with Barry wasting no time to ring the changes bringing Cpl  Mike Atkinson on for his first game of the season in place of Morris, with SAC Dan

Gorman coming on for SAC Mike Carr. The Air Force side came out even more fired up in the second half, more than matching the physical challenge of the hosts, while being first to every ball. On the hour, Man of the Match Cpl Dave Webb scored a superb free kick, securing a brace five minutes later with a stunning strike from the edge of the box to cap an outstanding individual performance.  LAC Rhys Harbottle replaced SAC  Chris Peel to get his SRT debut and grasped it with both hand, adding fire, bite and guile to the closing stages of the game.  New Skipper Sgt Carl Evans, who himself gave another master class performance, lifted the trophy for the second time in three years for the team.  He said: “It’s an honour to be

made captain, I wasn’t expecting it and it’s not something I’d imagined doing if I’m honest. I have been in the set up for about nine years and have played alongside some great captains, some of whom have gone on to lift trophies which has got to be my aim. “The cup was our second competitive fixture of the season. We really enjoy the fixture and we were looked after by the East Riding FA and it’s for some really good causes. Our first aim was to win a competitive game with a trophy on the line. We did that. Secondly, it was to implement a game plan and produce a good performance as individuals, units and a team. We played some really good football and scored some good goals and it sets a platform for us to build on going forward.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P33

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Sport Paragliding

A three and easy debut Three RAF tandem paragliders made their debut flights together in the skies above Westbury. Flt Lt Chris Williams, a former RAF pilot, flew a brand new Advance Bi Beta 6 plane for the jumps, in the passenger seat was Fg Off Sarah Lucas, a recently qualified Club Pilot paraglider and trainee RAF helicopter pilot.

Despite the short time in the air, great fun was had by all involved

The other tandem jumpers were flown by WO (Ret’d) Sean Simmons with his son Daniel and Hannah King, a BFBS journalist as passengers and Sgt Dave Neal flying with his children. 

 A spokesman said: “The tandem shoots, owned by the RAF Hang Gliding and Paragliding

Association, are used to introduce potential paraglider pilots to the sport as well as to show the public the wide range of activities available to all Servicemen and women. “In the end we only flew for 20 minutes in very light conditions before the wind died completely, giving the opportunity for a bit of formation ground handling practice. “Despite the short time great fun was had by all involved.”

BANDING TOGETHER: Above and above left, a jumper rolls up a shoot, tandem jumpers land


rugby union

UKAF rugby men

RINGING THE CHANGES : Above, team captain Fg Off Rob Bell led the team superbly, right, Cpl Toby Mann, who ran in a brace of tries PHOTOS: ALLIGIN PHOTOS LEE CRABB

A HISTORIC 26-42 win in the rescheduled Remembrance Day match saw the UKAF team featuring three RAF players and team captain Fg Off Rob Bell stand front and centre at Ashton Gate in front of 3000 spectators. WO Tug Wilson, UKAF backs coach, said: “It was a good performance after a fast start by a strong Bristol side. We changed a few things at half-time which made a big difference and used how we play normally as Services sides as a strength. Players worked really hard during the couple of days build up and then took what we asked for into the game. The team bonding and work to a single goal was phenomenal.” The team was led superbly by Fg Off Rob Bell at open side, playing the whole 80 minutes in an exciting back row, Bell’s fellow Serviceman Cpl Toby Mann at winger ran in two tries showing great pace when put in to space to finish off good

moves, created by an exciting back line and powerful pack of forwards. Coming off the bench Fg Off Stu Philpott at hooker and Fg Off Matt Tibbatts at Number 8. He helped out UKAF on the front foot, continued the momentum and shored up the defence as Bristol tried to rally in the last quarter. The first half saw the hosts lead 21-7, but after the break UKAF came into their own with Mann going over five minutes after the restart, sparking an exhilarating second half display. Bell said: “I couldn’t be more pleased for UKAF Rugby to secure their first victory in the annual remembrance fixture. “Being 21-7 down at halftime to go on to score 30 plus points in the second half against a fully professional outfit is hugely satisfying. All of the support staff and all the players were a credit to their Service and themselves throughout.”


Signing up RAF GOLF Association is ringing the changes with its membership subscriptions scheme. Due to current legislation, the way the RAFGA Membership Scheme (MS) will collect its annual subscriptions must be done using the new Pay Subs OnLine (PSOL) system, with all MS personnel needing to register onto it. Current members have  until December 31, 2017 to transfer  to PSOL, with current Standing Orders not being accepted after this date. To transition/register on PSOL, simply use links contained on the RAFGA website front page: raf.  - there is a FAQ page on the website to assist with any queries.  Any questions should be sent via email to Sqn Ldr Andy Wilson at:

Power lifting

Boss town BOSTON WAS the end of year tour destination for the Service’s powerlifters. This tour to the American city, coincided with the World Drug Free Powerlifting Federation (WDFPF) Full Power Championships and provided Service lifters with not only the highlight to their seasons, but a real chance to shine on such a prestigious stage. Holding training sessions at The Strength House gym in Worcester with coaches Tony Bonvechio and Greg Robins, the lifters went through final preparations, plus technique and warm up drills. The Championships event featured five lifters, who had qualified for the event back at the British Nationals in February. Flt Lt Scott Edmed in the 75kg class lifted 185kg Squat, 145kg

Bench and 240kg Deadlift for a 570kg total and finished second in his weight class, while Sgt Nath Harvey in the 100kg class lifted 255kg Squat, 160kg Bench and 320kg Deadlift for a 735kg total, finishing third in his weight class. Cpl Ben Poole in the 67.5kg class lifted 195kg Squat, 120kg Bench and 217.5kg Deadlift for a 532.5kg total to take top spot in his weight class, Cpl James Benson secured fourth in the 110kg class and lifted 240kg Squat, 190kg Bench and 270kg Deadlift for a 702.5kg. SAC Natalie Marsh blew away all comers in the 80kg class, lifting 147.5kg squat which is a new World Record followed by 95kg Bench which was another World Record and 175kg Deadlift giving her a 417.5kg total. Although not qualifiers for the main event, three other members of the tour team SAC (T) Zac Aisthorpe, SAC Ash Copping and SAC Joshua Simpson all lifted well in their guest appearances.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P35


Sport showjumping

An Olympia effort Staff Reporter RAF Honington

THIS YEAR’S Royal Tournament proved well worth the wait as The Defence Animal Centre saw a partnership of Sqn Ldr Sam Martin and Cruise Hero book their place at the season’s highlight event at Olympia. Normally hosted in June, commitments forced the tournament to be moved into autumn with the three-day competition having an extra edge in unsually windy conditions for the RAF three combinations of Sqn Ldr Martin with Cruise Hero, Sqn Ldr Laurie Beynon with Ellatine and Cpl Alice Prior with Woodland Picasso taking the charge to the other Services. The first day saw all three riders taking part in the highly competitive team jumping class, which was made up of 16 teams from the Army, Navy and the Police. The course was set at a height of 1.05m and proved to be appropriately challenging. All three of the RAF rides had two fences down, resulting in a respectful score of 24 faults, to secure a superb third place at the prestigious event. Finishing the opening day, all the combinations entered the Prince of Wales class, with the fences set at 1.10m.   Cruise, ridden by Martin, went first with an unfortunate, but solid two fences down resulting in eight faults. The combination of Woodlands Picasso with Cpl Alice Prior went next. Prior was making her debut bow

at senior level and she tackled the course with a poise that belied her experience at this level. The pair completed the course with 12 faults having three fences down. Last out was Sqn Ldr Laurie Beynon and her relatively new horse Ellatine, making another debut bow at this level and they produced a worthwhile round. Day two saw Sqn Ldr Martin take on the second of the larger senior classes, The Kings Cup, which has fences set at 1.15m. Martin rode a very respectable round, finishing just outside the placings with three fences and 12 faults, however it would set him up nicely for the Senior Derby on the final day, he and his horse were coming into good form when it mattered. The challenging course consists of a mixture of show jumping and cross-country fences, with two of the RAF riders entering the Intermediate Derby, where the course was set at 1.10m. Prior was the first RAF rider to go, finishing with two fences down and had a very credible eight faults to earn third, with Beynon up next and going well until the seventh fence, which saw a refusal, but the gutsy rider completed it finally to seal the round. In the Senior Derby, where the fences were set at heights up to 1.20m, in deteriorating conditions Martin and Cruise went superbly, finishing with just two fences and a score of eight faults to earn a well-deserved second place. This sets the partnership up brilliantly for the pair’s next major show at Olympia, London. For more information visit: raf.  

NO FEAR: Above and below, action from the recent Royal Tournament



Bouldering champs proves a Tri hit MASSED RANKS of climbers battled it out not only at the RAF bouldering championships, but also round three of the Armed Forces bouldering league at The Depot in Nottingham. A field of more than 70 competitors from all threeServices overcame 25 pink problems of varying difficulties set at wall, with large holds, others tiny crimped holds that were tough on the fingers. Varying approaches were used, from serious amounts of balancing, to long powerful moves, with one of the problems requiring a running jump to start. RAF climbers sported the brand new Royal British Legion T-shirts. Flt Dan Heath won the Best Overall Male, showing once again his climbing prowess. In the women’s event three

Sophies took the spots: with SAC Sophie Andreas third, SAC Sophie Weaver second and Flt Lt Sophie Foxen first. In the senior men’s category Cpl Lee Thistleton was third, SAC James George second, and Sgt Paul Easton first. In the junior men’s, SAC(T) Louis Greenwood took third, SAC

Joshua Fitzpatrick second and SAC Alex Whitmore first. Masters Men’s Sgt Paul Easton won the event, Cpl Emyr Jones was second and Andy England third. To find out more about the RAF Mountaineering Association email: RAFMA.Publicity@gmail. com.

hang on in there: Above left and above, Cpl Lee Thisteton shows his bouldering skills

Royal Air Force News Friday, December 1, 2017 P36

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Corporal Cokayne inspires Red Roses test series win

POWER PLAY: Above, Cpl Amy Cokayne powers into attack at The Allianz Stadium, below, crossing the whitewash during the crushing defeat of Canada PHOTOS: SBS

Daniel Abrahams The Stoop, Twickenham HAVING CRUSHED their Canadian opponents in the opening class of the Old Financial Wealth Series Cpl Amy Cokayne

helped Englandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rugby union women sideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grind out a series win at The Stoop. The RAF hooker, who continued to find her way over the whitewash with a stunning jinking run

Still under development from 20-yards during the 79-5 at Allianz Park, London, was ever present as the Red Roses hit the ground running for their first game following their world cup final defeat earlier in the year. Continued page 31:

A GUTSY but otherwise failed display against the Army at Aldershot kicked off the U23 Inter-Services rugby union series as the RAF slumped to a 19-13 defeat. It started so brightly for the light blue side with a penalty from fly half from Fg Off James West, with a second by West that saw them lead 6-0 at the break. On the hour a converted try

for the hosts began a second half come back and two further tries saw the RAF men trying to defend constantly and somehow spring an attack. A show of guts produced a 77th minute converted try to draw the scores close, but an exhausted RAF just could not raise another score. ON CHARGE: Above, a RAF U23 star attacks PHOTO: SBS

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