RAF News 20 May Edition 1536

Page 1

The Forcesit' e favourer pap

Competition

Competition

WWII 1st day cover stamps Win!

TV star Win! Tobin's eco tips

See R'n'R p3

Friday May 20 2022 No. 1536 70p

See p19

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Forces musicians going Platinum

See p21

Swimming

Large pool of talent

See page 29

Table tennis

IS victory

Ukraine war fuels Defence race for space

See page 31

Boxing

National honours

See page 32

SPACE SHOT: UK will be launching new satellites from Cornwall later this year

THE FIRST British rocket launch from Cornwall later this year will lay the foundations for a UK constellation of Defence satellites as Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine highlights how future conflicts could be fought and won off-planet. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston (pictured left), said: “Russian satellites continuously make approaches to other satellites. It is possibly an indication of espionage activity or a rehearsal for something more sinister. “Meanwhile China is developing cyber, electromagnetic and kinetic weapons that potentially threaten other users in space. “Space operations are the new vital high ground for our defence and security and they are See an essential element of our ges a p multi-domain integrated 16-17 force of today.”


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P2

Working with our Nato allies has been a great experience”

It’s going to be quite a weekend and viewers will have a front row seat for it all”

To play a part in The Queen’s celebrations is an absolute privilege”

RAFP Cpl Amy Carré on Op Biloxi See page 12

Kirsty Young is back with the BBC, taking the reins for the channel’s Queen’s Jubilee schedule See R’n’R p5

RAF Musician SAC Sarah Smith as she prepares to perform at Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee See p21

Chinook and C17 deliver on NATO Macedonia drill Simon Mander

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

CHINOOKS AND Hercules transporters delivered crack troops to the frontline as the British Army’s global response force showed its readiness to combat any crisis. The UK’s elite 16 Air Assault Brigade commanded more than 3,500 soldiers from eight Nato countries on Exercise Swift Response in North Macedonia. The training is part of a wider exercise with airborne units from four multinational forces under the direction of the US Army and European and African military commanders conducting simultaneous training across Europe. Brigadier Nick Cowley said: “This exercise has absolutely showed me that we are ready for anything.” “Multiple Army and RAF units

world, providing leadership in uncertain times.” North Macedonia is Nato’s newest member since joining in 2020 and hosted troops deploying

by parachute and helicopter to conduct simulated offensive and defensive operations in hostile territory on its rugged Krivolak training area.

This Week In History

Sports reporter: Daniel Abrahams Email: sports@rafnews.co.uk Tel: 07966 429755

1982

Harrier Hermes sortie

A PAIR of 1(F) Sqn Harriers launch their first ground attack sorties from HMS Hermes in the South Atlantic during the Falklands conflict.

All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@ rafnews.co.uk Subscriptions and distribution: RAF News Subscriptions c/o Intermedia, Unit 6 The Enterprise Centre, Kelvin Lane, Crawley RH10 9PE Tel: 01293 312191 Email: rafnewssubs@ subscriptionhelpline.co.uk

truly demonstrated the lethality, agility and expeditionary capabilities of the Global Response Force. “We have deployed thousands of miles across Europe to link up with our Nato allies to conduct arduous training in a challenging environment to make sure that we are ready to deploy on the most demanding missions, at short notice. A total of 2,000 British troops and 500 vehicles from the 2 PARA Battlegroup, RAF Chinooks from 18(B)Sqn and Apache attack helicopters deployed for the sixweek-long exercise. Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey MP, said: “Exercises alongside our partners and Allies are necessary to maintain our advantage in a complex and everchanging world. “I remain proud of our Armed Forces who continue to serve their country on postings around the

1940

Dunkirk evacuation THE EVACUATION of British and French forces from the beaches of Dunkirk begins supported by more than 200 Hurricanes and Spitfires.

1991

C-17 enters service THE C-17 Globemaster III heavy lift transporter enters RAF service with 99 Sqn at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire

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


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P3

News In Brief

ALASKA: Exercise Red Flag

University challenge

PHOTOS: SAC TOM CANN

RAF PERSONNEL were quizzed on their mission by Officer Cadets at the Romanian National Defence University in Bucharest. Three logistics and communications specialists from 140 Expeditionary Air Wing, who are currently supporting 3 (Fighter) Squadron Typhoons, were asked about how the RAF operates alongside Romanian Forces as part of the Nato Air Policing mission. Event organiser Flight Lieutenant Patrick Morris said: “Engagements such as this are intended to reassure our hosts and allies that we are committed to collective defence by communicating why we are here and how we operate.”

Celebrations with Romania

AIR FORCE officers joined representatives from other Nato nations supporting missions in Romania at the country’s national military celebrations. 140 Expeditionary Air Wing chief Wg Cdr Dutch Holland and OC 3 (Fighter) Squadron Wg Cdr Francois Buchler joined US detachments currently deployed to Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base at the event. The annual Land Forces Day ceremony was attended by Romanian Chief of Defence, General Daniel Petrescu and Land Forces Commander Major General Iulian Berdila.

Rock upgrade MILITARY PERSONNEL posted to Gibraltar are being promised better maintenance and repairs to Service accommodation under a £155 million deal. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation has awarded a seven-year contract to Mitie, starting in the autumn, to manage the MOD’s estate on the Rock. It’s the first of a series of agreements, with similar arrangements set to come into force in Cyprus, Germany, the Falkland Islands and Ascension Island. The next contract to be awarded will be for Cyprus in early 2023.

Bear necessities for RAF Regt Red Flag for Gunners over grizzlies and wolves Staff Reporter GUNNERS BRAVED wild bears on their latest exercise in the frozen wastelands of Alaska. And RAF Regiment snipers teamed up with elite US Army Green Berets to simulate rescuing a pilot shot down behind enemy lines in one of the largest training areas in the world. Marham-based 15 Squadron personnel were issued with bear repellent spray by the USAF to counter wildlife threats that included a pack of wolves passing through the exercise terrain. Sqn Ldr James Woodcock said: “The survival training we received before we rolled out onto the ground gave us good ‘actions on’ procedures on what to look for. “When they weren’t scanning for enemy forces activity, they were scanning for wildlife activity in real-life safety measures.”

More than 100 aircraft, including F-35 stealth fighters from across the USA and Canada, gathered for the two-week exercise in an area a fifth of the size of America with 10 times more airspace than the Red Flag exercise at Nellis Air Force Base. Among them was an RAF C-130J aircraft and four crews from Brize Norton-based 47 Squadron, operating from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson near Anchorage. But the training focus was on the ground where, backed up by advanced sniper teams, Gunners flown in by US Army Chinooks, supported by Apache gunships, seized and secured a remote gravel airstrip defended by enemy forces. And, having cleared six-foot banks of ice and snow, specialist RAF Tactical Air Traffic Controllers established a functioning airfield so C-130 and C-17 aircraft could land. Regiment personnel also fast-

EVER VIGILANT: 15 Sqn Gunners scan the area for enemy forces…and grizzlies (inset)

roped from a hovering Pave Hawk helicopter to simulate giving urgent medical treatment to an injured pilot before being hoisted into a 210th Rescue Squadron helicopter. Flying up to 11 hours each day the Hercules airdropped supplies of food, water, and ammunition to Gunners on the ground.

Officer Commanding 47 Squadron, Wg Cdr James Sjoberg, said: “The exercise has hammered home the lesson that fighting a modern air war is about teamwork and cooperation within a large package of aircraft with partners on the ground and domains like cyber.”



Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P5

News

Hero of Kabul Kev leads Royal awards d e g d o d r a t s C-17 m e h y a m p i r t s r i a s d e r d n u h e v to sa

See p23 for Honours listing Simon Mander

A C-17 PILOT whose flying skills narrowly avoided disaster when a convoy of vehicles appeared on the runway of Kabul airport as his giant Globemaster transporter was taking off has been awarded the Air Force Cross. Wg Cdr Kev Latchman, whose actions saved 365 Afghan refugees on board, is recognised in the latest operational honours awards as ‘demonstrating exceptional leadership and gallantry in the face of imminent danger,’ during Operation Pitting – the largest British evacuation since WW II. After the drama he told RAF News: “As we went to take off, three vehicles suddenly turned onto the runway – a pick-up truck, a bus in the middle, and then another truck, with passengers heading for another aircraft. “They couldn’t see us because we had our lights off and I didn’t have enough space to stop the aircraft because they were 1,000 feet ahead

RESCUE MISSION: C-17 pilot Wg Cdr Kev Latchman in the cockpit. Right, evacuees packed onto his aircraft as Taliban seized control of Kabul

of us, so I lifted the aircraft off about 15 knots early and we wallowed into the air clearing the convoy. “I asked the loadmaster – ‘how close do you think we were?’ and she used some interesting colourful language then said, ‘10 feet maybe less,’ she was looking out of the lefthand troop door porthole window and could see the bus as it went underneath the left undercarriage and number two engine.” Brize Norton-based RAF crews airlifted more than 15,000 people in 165 sorties as the Taliban seized control. At the height of the exodus seven of the Air Force’s eight C-17s were involved, backed up by Voyager tankers, A400Ms and C-130s. The last aircraft out was flown by fellow 99 Squadron pilot Flt Lt Ben Mountfield, with a record 436 passengers including 135 paratroopers. Wg Cdr Latchman, who captained three sorties rescuing 1,156 people, said: “Operation

Pitting was an incredible experience for all who took part, and I was very proud of 99 Sqn for their courage and professionalism in such a

dynamic environment. For me, this was the most significant occurrence in my career, and I am honoured to receive recognition.”



Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P7

News

How Invictus changed my game Injured PTI Kelly’s on a mission after medals haul at The Hague WHEN INJURED Air Force PTI Kelly Leonard drove to the trials for the Invictus games she sat in her car outside the training camp gripped with insecurity and anxiety. “I sat there thinking ‘I shouldn’t be here. I’m a fraud’. Even when I eventually got through the door I was about to turn around and flee but I was grabbed by a coach who put me in a rugby wheelchair. That’s when it all changed.” The 44-year-old veteran’s Service career ended when she suffered life-changing injuries in a motorbike accident. Hit by a Land Rover pulling out onto the carriageway, her lower leg took the force of the impact and her foot was detached. During rehab at Headley Court she met other injured veterans who suggested she sign up for Invictus in 2019. The 2020 Games was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic but she finally got the chance to compete at this

In Brief

A REVIEW of Service terms and conditions is to be carried out, aimed at modernising the way members of the Armed Forces are rewarded. PM Boris Johnson has approved the appointment of Rick Haythornthwaite to chair the probe, which will look at how Defence recruits, incentivises and retains the skills it requires, and how it reflects changing expectations of work and lifestyles.

year’s event at The Hague as Vice-Captain of the UK team – coming away with an impressive haul of six Silver and Bronze medals. She said: “When I had my injury sport was my world and to lose that was devastating. Invictus has given me the chance to pursue sports again.” Now she’s on a mission to encourage her Force’s comrades hit by physical and mental injury to sign up. Twenty years after her career-ending accident, mum-of-three Kelly still faces the prospect of losing her injured foot. She added: “Compared to others who have lost limbs and been blown up in Afghanistan, my injuries are nothing. You wouldn’t look at me and think that I am disabled. “I wasn’t able enough to do able-bodied sports but always thought I wasn’t disabled enough to take part in something like Invictus.”

Her medal haul included three silver medals in the swimming events and bronze medals for rowing and basketball. She added: “The medals are just the icing on the cake. As a PTI I was super-competitive and believed in winning at all costs. Invictus is all about the journey we have all made and the shared experience. There is so much respect amongst the competitors. “Prince Harry conceived the idea and he’s just one of the lads. He’s very relaxed and there’s a lot of banter. He really understands mental health and how it affects military people. “We really have to get the message out to people who have been injured in Service. Being part of the team is being part of a family. You rely on each other and there is no judgement. “There are 19 other nations taking part and that makes the world feel small. You realise that there is another version of yourself from a different country who shares your experiences.”

Charity crusade for battling veteran Cliff Tracey Allen

Service probe

INVICTUS SPIRIT: RAF vet Kelly Leonard on court during the wheelchair rugby event. Above, receiving her silver medal from Prince Harry; inset left, celebrating another medal win in the pool

AN RAF veteran who is living with a deadly brain tumour has inspired his daughter to raise thousands of pounds for a charity to help find a cure for the disease. Jo McGregor has raised more than £3,000 for Brain Tumour Research in support of her dad, 63-year-old former Chief Tech Cliff Comber. The former radar technician realised he might have a problem when he struggled to remember the simple passcode to get into the building where he works for the police as a civilian. He later collapsed and was rushed to his local hospital in Rotherham, before being moved to Sheffield. He was initially misdiagnosed with a brain infection. Another MRI scan revealed

needed to be operated on as soon as possible. Jo added: “Dad’s amazing surgeon, Shungu Ushewokunze, told us the tumour had grown from a ‘dot’ to a mass the size of a tangerine. He said it had ‘tentacles’, which would make it difficult to remove.” The battling veteran had a fivehour operation to debulk the tumour last November. Jo said: “They were confident they’d got it all and described Dad as a ‘star patient’ and allowed him to come home after a few days, with a prescription of steroids and antiseizure medication.” The results from

the biopsy confirmed Cliff had an aggressive tumour, which would require further cancer treatment. He underwent a six-week course of daily radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy, which finished in February. He then started a course of more intensive chemotherapy in March. Despite the debilitating treatment, Cliff still managed to complete a five-mile run. He will undergo scans every three months. Jo added: “We live in hope that each scan will produce positive results. Dad is aware of his prognosis and struggles with the idea that there is no cure.” She signed up to the 10K Steps a Day Challenge to fundraise for Brain Tumour Research and with daughter Franchesca raised £3,105. Jo said: “I’m really proud and grateful to everyone who has supported me. It’s been such a hard

FUNDRAISER: Cliff’s daughter Jo McGregor and granddaughter Franchesca. Inset left, the veteran during his RAF days.

time but this is something positive I’ve been able to focus on.” Go to: braintumourresearch.org/ fundraise for more details.



Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P9

News

Bristol fashion HERCULES CREWS practised low level close formation airdrops over land and sea to hone their combat skills. Brize Norton-based 47 and 24 Squadron C-130Js took part in the training over the Bristol Channel. Pilot Flt Lt Robert Manson said: “Flying these large aircraft in such proximity is a special skill that requires regular practice, especially at night. “Closure speeds and distance are hard to judge as you simply don’t have the same visual references. “Even with night vision devices attached to our helmets, it can be almost impossible to make out the other aircraft in any real detail, so we need to be exact in knowing what we’re seeing to accomplish the mission.”

70s chart star Jim’s Dambuster mission

In Brief

VIP VISIT: Flt Lt Kyle Morel (left) and Flt Lt Toby Boyle with US First Lady Dr Jill Biden at the Mihail Kogălniceanu air base

UK welcome for First Lady

US FIRST Lady Dr Jill Biden joined UK crews policing Nato skies from Romania during an official tour of the country. She spoke to members of the RAF’s 140 Expeditionary Air Wing and US Forces stationed at Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base as part of the Nato Response Force in Eastern Europe.

Tracey Allen

AS LEAD vocalist of 70s chart stars The Dooleys, Jim Dooley notched up 17 million record sales and was one of the first Western musicians to tour the USSR. Now he’s using his talents to help raise funds for a commemorative stained-glass window for 617 (Dambusters) Squadron in its 80th anniversary year, for Scampton church. Jim and business partner Mark Montgomery run Living Pictures, which produces 3D ‘lenticular’ wall art from Jim’s photographs, making an image animated. His picture of a 617 Squadron Lancaster over Beachy Head will be auctioned at the RAF Club in London on June 5 in aid of the 617 Sqn memorial window appeal. He said: “It’s a totally unique item currently on display at the Club and will be auctioned at a special reception there. “The aircraft moves across the sky whilst the background stays still.” The framed artwork also features the signatures of eight 617 Sqn veterans: John Bell, George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, Leonard Cheshire, Lawrence ‘Benny’ Goodman, Tony Iveson, Gordon Hawthorn, Ray Grayson and Colin Cole. The memorial window fund has so far raised more than £7,000 towards its £10,960 target. Extra funds from the auction will go towards two Guy Gibson flying scholarships for the disabled, which cost £3,500 each, Jim said. The 75-year-old singer helped raise more than £12 million with Bee Gee Robin Gibb for the Bomber Command Memorial in

UPGRADE: New system will centralise ATC at RAF Coningsby

Radar revamp

CAMPAIGNER: Jim Dooley at the Bomber Command Memorial; right, with the Dooleys in the 70s; and below, signed picture of Lancaster which is being auctioned

Green Park, unveiled by HM The Queen in 2012. An ambassador for the 617 Sqn Association, Jim added: “As youngsters we were reminded that the freedom we enjoyed was achieved through great national effort, skill and sacrifice. Films such as The Dambusters and TV series ensured our generation had an awareness of how great the achievements were. “It saddens me to note today there are many of the younger generation who have never heard of 617 Sqn or the Dambusters. “Robin Gibb and I felt it behoves us to do all we can to ensure their legacy endures and that we never forget the price paid for our freedom.” Email: fundraiser617@outlook. com for auction details.

MILITARY AIR traffic management is being upgraded in a £1.5 billion revamp. Under Marshall programme changes, RAF Waddington-based radar operators will move to Coningsby to allow personnel from different units to operate from one centralised control centre. The system mirrors the civilian London Air Traffic Control Centre at Swanwick and aims to integrate modern equipment with existing RAF infrastructure at airfields across the UK and abroad. Lincolnshire TATCC Commander, Sqn Ldr Kirsti Fordham, said: “The introduction of these advanced systems will provide us with increased capacity, flexibility and reliability to support military flying; now and into the future.” New Air Traffic Management equipment was brought into service in March at Coningsby and transmits radar, weather and other data from Waddington. Personnel running Cranwell and Barkston Heath radar services are expected to move into Coningsby later this year. The Marshall contract was awarded in 2014 by Defence Equipment and Support to Aquila Air Traffic Management Services Ltd and is expected to save the UK taxpayer up to £317 million over the next 22 years.




Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P12

Crew View

Op Biloxi 3 (F)SQN Typhoons supported by 140 Expeditionary Air Wing are currently policing Nato skies over the Black Sea from the Mihail Kogălniceanu airbase in Romania. RAF News spoke to some of the personnel guarding the Alliance’s Eastern flank.

SAC Sam Dewick, RAF Regt Gunner, 51 Sqn, RAF Lossiemouth

This is my second deployment having previously deployed with 51 Sqn to Nigeria as part of a Short-Term Training Team. I’m looking forward to providing Force Protection in a new environment

Cpl Amy Carré, RAFP, RAF Lossiemouth SAC(T) Sam Cooper, 90SU, RAF Leeming

This is my third deployment with 90SU, but my first working with fast jets. I am looking forward to working in the fast-paced environment

I have enjoyed the challenges of being deployed on Op Biloxi so far. Working with our Nato allies has been a great experience and I look forward to strengthening our partnership over the coming months

Cpl Jake Allen, 93(EA) Sqn, RAF Marham SAC Jake Burns, 2MT Sqn, RAF Wittering

SAC Dan Nevin, Firefighter, RAF Waddington

This is my fourth deployment with 93 (EA) Sqn and my second time in support of Op Biloxi. I’m proud of the work we do, as Lord Trenchard said ‘without Armourers, there is no need for an Air Force’

I’m looking forward to working with other Nato partners, increasing our interoperability and winning some volleyball tournaments

SAC Harry Roberts, Photographer, RAF Leeming

SAC Jamie Duggan, RAF Medic, RAF Benson

Sgt Si Stone, PTI/ATI, RRC Grantown-on-Spey

This is my first out-of-area. I’m looking forward to working as part of the Information Effects Team to explore new and exciting opportunities for photography in a deployed environment

This is my first deployment and I am happy to be here. I look forward to being able to use my skills and knowledge but also to learn as much as I can whilst out here

This is my first deployment to Romania and I am looking forward to creating an in-depth Adventurous Training package and exploring the local area

This is my third detachment. I have previously deployed to BFSAI and Operation Shader. My role is to provide aircraft fuelling requirements to allow 3(F) Sqn to conduct Nato missions


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P13

News

The write stuff Royal Mail issues Post War tribute Simon Mander SPITFIRE WOMEN who kept Britain’s frontline supplied with fighter aircraft during WWII are among the unsung heroines celebrated in a new series of stamps. The collection, entitled Unsung Heroes: Women of World War II, contains 10 stamps showing the range of work of women at the time – including a rare photograph of female codebreakers at Bletchley Park. A further miniature sheet showcases the Ferry Pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary – known as the ‘Spitfire Women.’ And a main set features Women’s Auxiliary Air Force ground crew keeping the RAF flying. Royal Mail spokesman David Gold said: “These stamps are a tribute to the millions of women who contributed to the war effort and Allied victory. “Their bravery and sacrifice is often overlooked, but their work helped to drive some of the postwar social changes that eventually saw equal opportunities and equal pay legislation. “We must also remember the women who supported the

war effort at home, managing households despite the unceasing demands of total war.” The women’s auxiliary services were established at the outset of the war: the Auxiliary Territorial

Service in 1938, and the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and Women’s Royal Naval Service in 1939. More than one million women also served with the Women’s Voluntary Services and their contribution is commemorated by the Women of World War II memorial in London. Royal Mail worked with historians Professor Lucy Noakes and Professor Richard Overy on the stamp issue. They are available on general sale with a presentation pack containing all of them priced at £16. n See R’n’R p3 for our competition to win Royal Mail Unsung Heroes: Women of World War II presentation packs.

Theatre crash crew memorial unveiled

A MEMORIAL to wartime aircrew killed when their bomber crashed in the grounds of the Rowntree Theatre in York has been unveiled 80 years after their deaths. Their Hampden was one of a six-strong 50 Squadron force that took off from Skellingthorpe in Lincolnshire in February 1942 targeting Coblenz, near Frankfurt. Five returned home, but AE394 came down nearly 100 miles from its destination after the engines stalled. Pilot and sole survivor WO Ivor Mapp gave the order to abandon the crippled aircraft and after seeing Air Gunner Sgt Philip Ballard bail out and believing all the crew had left, jumped himself. WO Mapp safely SURVIVOR: Mapp landed but Sgt Ballard’s parachute failed and he fell to his death. Mapp went on to win the DFC with 57 Squadron.

MEMORIAL: Families at the unveiling in York PHOTO: DAVID HARRISON

The aircraft crashed with Wireless Operator Sgt Francis Law and Navigator Sgt Hector Thompson still on board. It is thought the lower escape hatch was iced up. Sgt Law was on his 14th mission – all of them flown with WO Mapp. He and 22-year-old Sgt Thompson are buried together in Thurlby, Lincolnshire, a few miles from their base. Sgt Ballard is buried in the family’s local parish church in Chatham, Kent.

A C-130J HERCULES comes into land at RAF Akrotiri after a shuttle flight delivering military personnel and equipment in the Middle East. PHOTO: CPL WILL DRUMMEE


People who serve in the RAF are trained to be self-reliant. All too often, when life gets tough, they suffer in silence. Our Listening and Counselling Service provides confidential support. We also offer online mindfulness training through free Headspace memberships. If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, anxiety, stress or low self-esteem, we’re here to help.

Find out more: rafbf.org CALL 0300 102 1919 The RAF Benevolent Fund is a registered charity in England and Wales (1081009) and Scotland (SC038109).

SCAN ME WITH YOUR CAMERA


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P15

News

Village that never forgets honours WWII Spitfire hero Boštjan Kurent A SPITFIRE hero shot down and killed helping Yugoslav partisans just before the end of WWII has been remembered 77 years after his death. 249 Sqn pilot Sgt Edmund Ramsbotham died stalking German road and rail transports near the Slovenian village of Suhorje, near Brkini. The 21-year-old airman’s fighter was hit by debris when an ammunition truck exploded and crashed near Suhor where he was buried in the village cemetery. Shortly after the war, his remains were excavated and moved to the military cemetery in Belgrade, where he rests today. But his memory has never faded in Suhorje. This year’s anniversary saw Slovenians and diplomats gather at a short ceremony at the crash site. Park director Janko Boštjančič’s said: “The place of the unfortunate death of Sgt Ramsbotham has become an important symbolic place of remembrance for many Allied pilots who gave the most – their young lives – for a free Europe.” He said the monument’s message was more relevant today, as young boys and the elderly, women and children are dying in the war in Ukraine.

TRIBUTE: Residents of Suhorje in Solvenia placed wreaths at the crash site; inset right, military and civic officials join UK Ambassador Tiffany Sadler for the ceremony

Romania rendezvous for UK and US chiefs Simon Mander PERSONNEL PROTECTING Nato’s eastern flanks met the RAF’s 11 Group chief on a visit for talks with Romanian and US top brass on the situation in the Black Sea region. Air-Vice Marshal Phil Robinson visited 140 Expeditionary Air Wing to see the accommodation at Mihail Kogălniceanu Airbase, current home to 200 personnel supporting 3 (Fighter) Squadron Typhoons from Coningsby. He said: “The RAF is providing partnership, resilience and solidarity with our Nato partners all the way from the High North in northern Norway, through central Europe, and down into the Mediterranean through our presence in Cyprus.” It’s the fourth time the Royal Air Force has carried out the Operation Biloxi mission providing Quick Reaction Alert and enhanced vigilance activities alongside other Nato partner nations. During his visit AVM Robinson

NATO MISSION: Gp Chief AVM Phil Robinson, left, meets US Army’s Col Kendrik Traylor

also met the Romanian Chief of the Air Staff in Bucharest, Lt General Viorel Pana, and the US Black Sea Region Commander, Col Kendrick

Traylor, whose troops are part of Nato’s standing commitment to the collective defence of Eastern Europe.

He said: “It seems far away to us, and we often hear and read comments that the war does not concern us. “But even Sgt Ramsbotham did not know about Suhorje and where the Brkini lay, and it was here that he gave his life.” Wreaths were laid by the President of the Slovenian National Council, Alojz Kovšca, and UK Ambassador Tiffany Sadler. Mr Kovšca said: “May the memory of all those who laid their life on Slovenian soil in the fight for freedom never die.” Brass quintets from the British and Slovenian Armies performed at the ceremony.

Star turn Goolistan Cooper STAR AND Garter medic Reggie Ballos is taking over the running of the veterans charity’s High Wycombe home – as the UK marked International Nurses Day. Phillipines-born Reggie joined 13 years ago as a nurse and worked her way up the organisation before landing the top job at the Buckinghamshire home, which provides life care for military veterans struggling with dementia and disability. She said: “The opportunity that Royal Star & Garter has given me has helped me find myself and who I really want to be. “I want to create something and give back because of the opportunities that have been given to me. As Home Manager, I will do the best I can to repay that trust.”


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P16

Feature

by Simon Williams

War on NATO’s eastern border is becoming a proving ground for military space technology

P

UTIN’S BRUTAL war in Ukraine has defined space as the new high ground of modern conflict and international security. While Russian ground forces bombard towns and cities in Ukraine, its space vehicles have been recently tracked making approaches to other orbiting satellites in what Defence chiefs say could be a rehearsal for espionage or attack. UK Defence is ramping up its space programme to counter the threat to Allied satellites and from Russia and China, backed by a £24 billion lift in military funding. The launch later this year of the Prometheus II satellite from the Spaceport in Cornwall on board Virgin’s Launcher One will lay the foundations of the Minerva defence constellation of intelligence and surveillance devices and help develop the infrastructure for future space operations. Speaking at the recent Defence Space Conference, UK Defence Director of Space, AVM Harv Smyth, said: “In Ukraine, we are seeing the importance of space and how it is enabling armed remotely piloted vehicles to destroy Russian heavy armour and maritime assets. “This is integrated warfare in its most raw sense, which is proving that by operationalising space in an agile manner even the most wellequipped adversary can be stopped in its tracks.”

L

ast year’s UK Forces Integrated Review laid out the challenges of securing resilient space-based platforms to enhance land, sea and air operations. Backed by a 10-year budget increase, it pledges to provide funding for UK Defence to develop sovereign space capabilities in conjunction with Nato allies and industry partners. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston (pictured right), added: “Last April, before the ink was dry, Russia first threatened military action against Kyiv. “It was a chilling foretaste of what we are now seeing unfold there – the outrageous and unprovoked and unjustified invasion of a sovereign country in Europe – something we

SPACE DIRECTOR: AVM Harv Smyth

thought we had consigned to history. “The review could not have been more prescient. It recognised that in an uncertain and increasingly dangerous world we face fastevolving threats to our nation and our allies. “It recognised that in this era of strategic competition the UK must be prepared and able to act globally as a problem-solving and burdensharing nation, amplifying effect through deeper relationships and partnerships. “With a £24 billion uplift in funding the Government cannot be clearer on the British military’s integral role in protecting and projecting the UK around the world.

“Since then we have published the National Space Strategy and the Defence Space Strategy. We now have a clear statement of the UK’s national mission in space. “It is about defending and protecting our national interests through and in space. This means being able to identify and attribute threats to our systems and then to respond in a proportionate and coordinated way. “We must integrate space operations into Defence and security multi-domain operations, including the delivery of resilient and assured services such as crucial satellite communications and intelligence gathering. “We must develop and upskill our cadre of experts from across the RAF, Army and Navy and our Civil Service, equipping future generations with the skills to combat the threats of the future. “China, and most recently, Russia have tested satellite weapons recklessly creating debris fields which will linger for decades posing threats to satellites and systems on which the world depends. “Russian satellites continuously make approaches to other satellites, carrying out rendezvous and proximity operations. It is possibly an indication of espionage activity or a rehearsal for something more sinister. “Meanwhile China seeks to become the world’s pre-eminent space power by 2045. As part of that it is developing cyber, electromagnetic and kinetic weapons that potentially threaten other users in space. “Space operations are the new vital high ground for our defence and security and they are an essential element of our multidomain integrated force of today.”

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new age of industry collaboration will be a launch pad for Britain’s off-earth ambitions and establish the UK as a major space nation, air chiefs say. SpaceX supremo Elon Musk’s intervention in the bloody battle for Ukraine provided the country with satellite-based internet connectivity and a lifeline to expose Russian brutality after land-based systems were obliterated. Ukraine has quickly become the largest user of Musk’s satellite-powered Starlink internet system and now accounts for more than 60 per cent of its users worldwide. Satellite images beamed across the world have laid bare the brutality of the Putin military machine

Putin’s shows w UK mus protect nationa interest and tho of our a – in spa and have reinforced Russia’s status as a pariah state. AVM Smyth added: “Who would have thought that a single tweet by the Ukrainian Vice-Prime Minister to Elon Musk asking for space support would result in a reply and a solution a few hours later – there’s agile acquisition for you in a digitally connected world.” For Ukrainians facing the daily barrage of Russian armour and air attack, access to space-based tech is emerging as one of their biggest weapons against Putin’s invaders.


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P17

war why st its al ts – ose allies ace In a recorded speech to the Defence Space conference from Odessa, former Ukrainian State Space Agency Chairman Volodymyr Usov (pictured left), said: “Space is helping preserve our country at this critical moment. Without support globally and in the UK we cannot count on the victory we are getting closer to. “We are thankful to the people of the UK who are our number one ally and who are supporting us in every aspect of our defence strategy. It is priceless.

UK TECH LANDMARK: Left, The new Prometheus II satellite will be the first launched from Britain. It will begin its journey on Virgin’s Launcher One rocket . Right, the Carbonite II satellite launched in 2018

BLITZ: Kyiv under attack from Putin’s rockets, inset above, launch of SpaceX rocket carrying Starlink satellite providing vital internet connectivity to Ukraine

“One of the main challenges for our military and intelligence services was the lack of remote sensing services. It was hard for the Ukrainian Army to figure out the real time movements of Russian forces

and with satellite images we see the terrible atrocities and war crimes which need to be documented. “Imaging radar capabilities have been critical for our armies. It is game-changing and shaping

strategy, helping us figure out what the next move is on the battlefield. “I hope after our victory over dictatorship in Europe we can apply our resources in a more peaceful direction, developing exploration missions.

“Space infrastructure is vital. In the future we need to be absolutely sure that we have everything that we need to fight for our own freedom and everything we need to keep our people safe.”



Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P19

Feature

By Tracey Allen

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OOD MORNING Britain’s Laura Tobin has fond memories of her time with the Royal Air Force. The popular TV weather presenter used to work at Brize Norton. She delivered aeronautical meteorology reports and briefings to RAF transport crews and also worked for the British Forces Broadcasting Service. Laura said: “I absolutely loved working at RAF Brize Norton, I loved the variety, the air-to-air refuelling, plus briefing the crew to the many destinations. I learnt so much about world weather. “There were a team of Mobile Met Unit forecasters who would forecast in Iraq and Afghanistan, I didn’t do this training but all my friends who were in the MMU loved it.” A passionate climate change campaigner, Laura has just written a book Everyday Ways to Save Our Planet (mirrorbooks.co.uk), dedicated to her young daughter Charlotte. The meteorologist explained: “I really enjoyed all the research but was also alarmed by some of the facts. Only 10 per cent of all plastic ever produced has been recycled. Nearly 70 per cent of us have a reusable coffee cup but only one in six actually use it. “Forty per cent of all rubbish in landfills is from bathroom waste that can be recycled. Food waste accounts for 10 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions (four times the emissions of flying – around two and a half per cent).”

TV’s former RAF meteorologist shines light on everyday ecology with new book

new winter activities inland. “I also saw the impact on nature, polar bears having to swim further for food due to melting ice and changing water currents with many starving to death, plus reindeer populations declining. I thought I knew the impacts of climate change, but it was just the scientific angle, it was so important to see the impacts in real life.”

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he family got an allotment during the pandemic and there are some lovely pictures in the book of Laura and Charlotte working on it. Laura said: “It’s been great showing Charlotte where food comes from, how we can grow and eat seasonally and also reduce food miles. I’d argue our carrots and potatoes are much tastier.” Subtitled 200+ Sustainable Swaps for You and Your Family, the book features ‘Tobin’s Top 10 tips’, a summary of what Laura considers the most important of the ideas covered. She said: “No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Once I started making changes I realised there were so many things I could change that would save me money, often make me healthier and also save the planet. There are multi benefits.” She cited her top three suggestions for changes people can make, relatively easily, to help counteract the impact of climate change. S h e explained: “Tackle food waste – we throw away on average six meals a week in the UK, this is not only wasteful

GMB STAR: TV weather forecaster Laura

SOWING THE SEED: Laura plants spuds on her allotment with aptly-named daughter Charlotte

but also costly. Plan meals, freeze leftovers and compost food waste. “Insulate our homes – with rising energy bills, lowering a thermostat 1˚C will reduce your bills by 10 per cent in a year, but actually insulating walls and roofs, while an initial cost, will repay themselves in one to two years and after that you will save money. Closing curtains at dusk reduces heat loss by around 15 per cent. “Reduce meat intake – this is a big topic, I’m not saying give up meat but start with one meat-free day, vegetables are cheaper than meat so again you’ll save money. When you do eat meat, make sure it’s local.”

Laura revealed that she’s ‘always loved the weather.’ She said: “When I was 14 my teacher taught a topic on the jet stream and I immediately fell in love with the weather. I called the Met office to see what GCSEs and A levels I needed to do for a career in meteorology and did them. I’ve loved talking about the weather to the RAF, Army, and the public on TV, radio and online. But increasingly I’ve been talking about more and more extreme weather. As the world warms we get more frequent and more extreme weather and this is all linked to climate change.” Laura’s broadcasting career has taken her to some amazing places – Svalbard, an archipelago in the high Arctic, is the most memorable she said. “They are warming faster than anywhere else on Earth, nearly

six times faster. I witnessed firsthand how quickly the landscape is changing, glaciers retreating at a rapid rate, all this going into the oceans and along with ice sheets is causing sea levels to rise. Their tourism is changing as the snow season is shorter, the fjord no longer freezes over so they can’t go out on ice scooters, so they have to find

part from her GMB work, Laura said she’s ‘very excited’ to be the national champion of the climate ambassadors’ scheme. She explained: “The UK government is getting climate in education in every setting and has big plans – one initiative set up by Reading University is a team with a great knowledge and understanding of climate change and the natural world who want to communicate it to others, doing talks at schools, talking to teachers and helping to give the most credible and up-todate sources. We are still looking for people to join.” How does she cope with getting up so early every morning for GMB? She said: “The early starts are fine as it’s five days a week, it was much harder doing 12 to 13-hour shifts as a forecaster for the RAF as it was a mix of days and nights, so it was very difficult trying to figure out sleep. “I make sure I wind down in the evening, set multiple alarms and also have a daytime nap some days while Charlotte is at school.” What’s Laura’s favourite kind of weather? “I love thunderstorms, I find them so exciting, especially in the evening when they light up the sky,” she said. “I like recording on slow motion and playing back the lightning strikes. I explain what is happening to Charlotte, so she isn’t scared.”

Win her book WE HAVE copies of Laura’s book to win. To enter, just tell us: At which RAF station did Laura work? Email your answer, marked Laura Tobin book competition, to: competitions@ rafnews.co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 8, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by June 3. Please include your full postal address.



Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P21

Feature

By Tracey Allen

RAF PRINCIPAL DIRECTOR OF MUSIC: Wg Cdr Piers Morrell

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HIS YEAR – and especially next month – is a particularly important and exciting one for the musicians of the RAF. They are playing a major part in The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, at three of the main events. On June 3 The Fanfare Trumpets of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force will take part in the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral and The Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra and a Woodwind Quintet from the Band of the RAF Regiment will play for the invited guests at a reception at London’s Guildhall following the Service. On June 4 The Fanfare Trumpets of Royal Air Force Music Services will perform as part of the Platinum Party at the Palace and on June 5 the Combined Bands of the Royal Air Force will lead the RAF contingent in the Pageant Jubilee Parade. Speaking after RAF Music Services’ annual formal inspections for the Central Band of the RAF and The Band of the RAF Regiment at RAF Northolt, RAF Principal Director of Music, Wg Cdr Piers Morrell, said: “Although we’ve already completed some ceremonial activity, the parade is a chance to make sure, with final checks and balances, that e v e r y t h i n g’s right and as perfect as it can be ahead of the Platinum Jubilee. “Our core job is to support state ceremonial but

SENIOR DRUM MAJOR: WO Paul Phelan

RAF MUSICIANS: Ceremonial duties

The musicians providing the soundtrack to Queen’s Jubilee there’s always a real sense of occasion for these major events, particularly when it is for Her Majesty The Queen. “When we perform at the Platinum Jubilee events there will be that level of professionalism we always deliver and that extra little bit because of the events that they are and to make sure we showcase ourselves and the Service.” He added: “It gives us a great sense of pride because this is a unique job: it’s not that we become complacent but we do this all the time. These events are a reminder of how privileged we are to be able to perform

at what is not only a national occasion but will no doubt be broadcast worldwide.”

Although a new composition hasn’t been specifically written for the Platinum Jubilee, Wg Cdr Morrell said a special piece of music has been chosen to be performed during the Pageant.

There is no RAF S School chool of Music, everyone has to be professionally trained before they are accepted

He explained: “At a set point in the Pageant we will be performing Health which is very much Here’s A Health, a royal nod to Her Majesty. It was written for a king centuries ago and it’s an arrangement done by a previous RAF Principal Director of Music, Wg Cdr Duncan Stubbs. “We thought it would be very appropriate and it is a moment when we know the cameras will be on us – so that will be our musical tribute to Her Majesty.”

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AF Music Services has a very high standard – members have to be qualified musicians before they join the RAF. Wg Cdr Morrell said: “There is no RAF School of Music so everyone needs to be professionally trained and with professional experience. The interest is high and we have recruited some exceptional musicians over the last few years.” Among them is Band of the RAF Regiment Trumpeter SAC Alan Thomas, who was Principal Trumpeter of the City of Birmingham Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and will be taking part in next month’s special events. Leading the musicians for the Pageant on June 5 will be Senior Drum Major WO Paul Phelan, who joined the RAF in 2000. He studied the French Horn at the Royal College of Music in London and was principal horn player for the Central Band. Promoted to WO last month, he is now also Bandmaster for the RAF Regiment. His

wife Naomi is Band Sergeant Major for the Scots Guards. He explained: “As a Drum Major you come away from playing and oversee all the ceremonial for music services. “The Pageant will be our main Platinum Jubilee event. We’ll have an 80-piece band led by myself and Wg Cdr Morrell. The route takes 35 minutes – you need plenty of stamina.” He added: “It’s a complete privilege to take in these celebrations, there is no other job where you can be on The Mall marching in front of a band on such a huge international occasion – it’s fantastic.” Also taking part is Saxophonist SAC Sarah Smith (below left), who studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and joined the RAF four years ago. She said: “I wanted to play for a living and there aren’t many opportunities as a classical saxophone player. I’ve loved my career so far, in my first year I went to Sydney to perform at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The job is definitely not monotonous. “I’m looking forward to the Platinum Jubilee events, it’s an absolute privilege.” SAC Austin Blackburn (below) joined Music Services just a few weeks ago and has been busy learning how to march and play an instrument at the same time. Formerly a self-employed music teacher, he plays various woodwind instruments, the guitar and piano and is an oboist for the RAF. He said: “It takes about four weeks to perfect marching and playing simultaneously. I’ve been told it becomes second nature after a while. “I joined the RAF because I wanted a change from teaching, I missed playing. It’s also a stable job because I have a young family to support. It’s a good career, I hope a long one, with lots of potential for development.” RAF Music Services is currently looking to recruit musicians across a range of instruments, and specifically clarinet and horn players. Email: andrew. keegan212@mod. gov.uk for more information.



Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P23

Feature

Army Pathfinders polish their HALO Ronan Carey THE PATHFINDERS leapt from a C-17 Globemaster during their high altitude low opening (HALO) jump into Northern Macedonia. The vanguard of the British Army’s global response force were the first to parachute into North Macedonia on Exercise Swift Response. The team of reconnaissance experts took off from RAF Brize Norton, jumping from 18,000ft to discreetly drop into the Krivolak training area for the major multinational exercise. On the ground, the Pathfinders located enemy positions and marked drop zones for the main body of British, Italian and French paratroopers. A Force of more than 3,500 soldiers from eight Nato countries are working under the command of 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team to hone their ability to cope with international crises. Some 2,000 British troops and 50 vehicles from the 2 PARA Battlegroup and Aviation Task Force 1 travelled across Europe by road, rail, air and sea for the sixweek long exercise. The drill started with preparatory training to build the joint force’s skills and relationships before deploying by parachute and helicopter to practise offensive and defensive operations. The manoeuvres in North Macedonia are one element of a wider exercise involving four multinational forces under the direction of the US Army, and European and African military commanders conducting simultaneous training for airborne operations across Europe – from the High North to the Caucasus.

DROP ZONE: Pathfinders leap from RAF C-17 over Macedonia during NATO’s Exercise Swift Response. PHOTOS: CPL ROB KANE

Queen’s Birthday Honours Order of the British Empire As Commander Air Cdre S Strasdin As Officer Wg Cdr (now Acting Group Captain) T Stevenson

Air Force Cross

Wg Cdr K Latchman

Joint Commander’s Commendations

Wg Cdr (now Group Captain) N Badel, Wg Cdr S Bell, Wg Cdr S Bloomer, Wg Cdr M Brammer, Wg Cdr S Lamping, Wg Cdr Y Williams, Sqn Ldr D Bird, Sqn Ldr N Clark, Sqn Ldr C Gray, Sqn Ldr

C Lynn, Sqn Ldr N Pollock, Flt Lt E Davey, Flt Lt G Millard, Fg Off J-M. Woodhouse, Cpl C Chaplin, Cpl K Lawler, SAC A Motriuc

Team Commendations

Air Mobility Force, Force Movements Control Cell, 99 Squadron Aircraft Ground Engineer Team, 121 Expeditionary Air Wing – Medical Support Team, 121 Expeditionary Air Wing – Operational Communications Delivery Team, 906 Expeditionary Air Wing, 906 Expeditionary Air Wing LXX Squadron Engineering Detachment


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P24

Feature

By Tracey Allen

Legacy of ATA Girl Molly Rose secured

Portrait now hangs on wall of RAF Club A PORTRAIT of World War II aviatrix Molly Rose has been unveiled at the RAF Club in Piccadilly, London.

Molly was a member of the Air Transport Auxiliary – one of the famous ATA girls – civilian pilots who ferried thousands of military

Georgia wins pilot scholarship MOLLY ROSE died in 2016, aged 95. The Attagirls Molly Rose Pilot Scholarship, set up by Paul and Andrew in 2021, has been awarded to Georgia Pescod, 18, from Cambridge. Forty-two applications were received from young women aged between 17-24 and Georgia was selected from five finalists. Valued at £15,000 the scholarship was created by Aetheris Films and funded by Marshall of Cambridge (founded by Molly’s father) in association with

the British Women Pilots’ Association. It is the only one of its kind in the UK which entirely funds all elements of attaining a Private Pilot’s Licence, said Paul. Georgia, who joined the Air Training Corps aged 12 and is a member of 104 (City of Cambridge) ATC, will receive full pilot training at the Cambridge Aero Club over the summer with all costs covered. She said: “My dream is about to come true.” GEORGIA: Flying lessons

aircraft around the UK in support of RAF operations. The painting, by Jeremy Houghton, was presented to the Club by Paul Olavesen-Stabb and retired Sqn Ldr Andrew Rawcliffe, who both commissioned it. Paul wrote the novel Attagirls, that dramatises Molly’s story – one of the youngest female pilots of the ATA. With Sqn Ldr Rawcliffe he adapted the novel as a screenplay. Paul said: “I first heard about the ATA around three years ago after which Andrew and I decided that their incredible ‘untold story’, in particular that of the 150 female pilots, deserved to be told to a wider audience in a feature film and a novel. “The RAF Club’s extensive library and incredible art collection provided a wonderful source of information and inspiration, and

IMMORTALISED: Painting of Molly Rose (left) based on photograph inset above

meeting a number of Club members helped to bring the story alive. The RAF Club’s raison d’être is synonymous with the story of Molly Rose and the ATA – love of country and courage under pressure.” He added: “It is our honour to present to the RAF Club a token of

gratitude; a painting of Molly Rose created by one of most wonderful British artists we know. The image of Molly conjures up the very spirit of freedom which was the code of the ATA, and is apparent throughout the Club itself.” Paul and Andrew’s company Aetheris Films is seeking coproduction partners for the film.

Obituary Frank Rogers

One of the last of the Bomber Boys

WEATERTON’S WONDERS: Crew with Frank Rogers second from right

ONE OF the last of the ‘Bomber Boys’ has died aged 100, shortly before his 101st birthday. Frank Rogers passed away 15 hours after Stella, his wife of 71 years, died. Frank was born in March, 1921 and brought up in Leytonstone, East London. He left school at 14 to join his father in the Post Office as a boy messenger delivering telegrams within the City of London. His daughter Helen Dowsett said: “He said that the best deliveries were to The Tower of London, as you had to be escorted by a Beefeater.” Frank volunteered for the RAF in 1940 and trained as a navigator with his training taking place mostly in Leconfield. With 640 Squadron he flew wartime missions in the Lancaster and the Halifax. Helen said: “At the end of the war WEDDING: Frank and Stella wed in March 1951 he was involved in flying British POWs home and by the end of Berlin and enjoying a cooked breakfast the operation a total of 354,000 before or after sorties. ex-prisoners were returned “However, on reading 640 Squadron home by the RAF. Wartime Bombing Operations, the “Like most World War II battle for Berlin was a bleak time veterans, he spoke little of his time for bomber crews, and 640 Sqn in the RAF, except for stories were in the thick of it.” of his pilot J Weaterton saying She added: “He was very ‘good luck chaps’ to his crew honoured to be invited to of ‘Weaterton’s Wonders’, SERVICE: Frank flying upside down over take part in the unveiling by

The Queen of the Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park in June 2012. “After the war ended Frank rejoined the Post Office and worked in the building next to United Dairies, the deli that Stella ran. “The boys caused havoc when calling in for their lunch by putting elastic bands under the grill.” Frank and Stella got married in March 1951 and Helen was born in 1956. Frank gained promotion and moved to Colchester in 1958. He stayed in the Civil Service until he retired almost 35 years ago. Helen said she found a letter Frank had written to Stella in December 1949 saying how he loved her very much and so long as they were together he was quite content. Stella and Frank were parents to Helen and in-laws to Chris, aunt and uncle to Sandra, Hazel and the late Jacqueline, great aunt and uncle to James, Neil, Rob, Liz, Emma and Matt, great-great aunt and uncle to Gemma, Steven, Maisie, Charlie, George, Jack, Henry, Harry and Sophie and great-great-great aunt and uncle to Charlotte. Helen said: “Stella and Frank were a lovely couple who enjoyed their long, happy lives to the fullest, cherished their family and friends and were loved and respected by everyone who knew them. They are much missed by their family.”



Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P26

Travel

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EW PLACES compare to Cornwall for sheer beauty and it is deservedly a staycation favourite. The beaches are magnificent, surfing fantastic, many of the towns and villages beautiful and there is always plenty of great food and drink to be found – with more than a handful of top chefs plying their trade here. All of which make the county incredibly popular – and sometimes rather busy. But if you’re looking for quiet spots, you can find them. Penzance is always a joy, while Porthcurno has vivid green waters. Take in a show at the outdoor Minack Theatre, with its stunning ocean backdrop, or head down to Kynance Cove at ‘The Lizard’, with its white sand beach. Even during the height of holiday season madness you can still get away from it all on Bodmin Moor. Enjoy walks to the spectacular granite tor at Stowe’s Hill, or go pony trekking through the soulstirring locations where Poldark was filmed, stopping for an ice-cold pint in one of the many ancient pubs along the way. Bring a bicycle and you can cycle along the scenic Camel Trail to Padstow or one of the other stunning beaches and enjoy your day with no parking/ traffic woes. During the summer holidays it’s the perfect staging post for your Cornish adventure.

Stay The most intriguing place to stay in this part of the world, by far, is the luxurious Bodmin Jail Hotel. Built in 1779, it was constructed by Napoleonic prisoners of war, using 20,000 tonnes of granite quarried from the Moor. It started life as a debtor’s prison, but switched to operating as a facility for more serious crimes in 1869, when imprisonment for debt was abolished. During the rest of its time as a prison it saw 55 executions for crimes including murder and burglary before its final residents were transferred to Plymouth in 1927 and the jail was officially decommissioned. For almost a century it stood as a ruin, attracting ghost hunters from around the world and it’s easy to understand why. After intensive redevelopment however it now stands as a modern luxury hotel, providing lavish 4 star accommodation. It’s one of the most impressive architectural feats that I’ve seen in my 30 years as a journalist, retaining almost all of the Grade 2 listed building’s original features. All rooms in the hotel are made up of three cells and options consist of doubles, twins, family, accessible and executive governor. Our room was surprisingly spacious and we entered through the middle cell door. The other two cell doors were sealed shut but remained in place for effect. One cell was occupied by the king-sized bed and a wardrobe. This cleverly concealed the minibar and the climate control unit. The middle cell provided the lounge area of the room, with a comfortable settee, a coffee table and an espresso machine. A large TV dominated the lounge wall. Passing through a heavy door I stepped into the third cell space,

by Tim Morris

Escape the mundane with a spell in Bodmin Jail

A Cornish vacation? Always a simple cell

PRISON CHIC: The hotel hallways

tuary

BEAUTY: Camel Es

CLEVER REVAMP: Many of the jail's original features were retained and there is a grisly Dark Walk experience, right

now a luxurious bathroom with a heated floor. This had an incredibly classy feel, sporting a bathtub and a separate rainfall shower. The room was full of character and had a pleasant atmosphere that I just wasn’t expecting in a former jail. However, there was a plaque remembering a former prisoner, telling the story of their crime and the time they spent here. Our cell had been occupied by Francis Docking, a 14-year-old boy convicted of neglecting his master’s work. He had been sentenced to one month in prison and whipped. Eat Food is always an important part of a hotel stay and The Chapel Restaurant didn’t disappoint. The old prison chapel has been converted into an open space with smart marble tables and curved

booths along the edge of the room. Original features, including the tall windows and pulpits, remain. A projection of the Sistine Chapel ceiling adds to the effect and dramatic music reverberates softly around the room. Our starters arrived accompanied by soft blue lighting and Mozart’s Lacrimosa. Beautiful. The standard of food was excellent, up there with the best restaurants in the country. Presentation was lovingly crafted and flavours were combined to explode in the mouth. In all, some utterly wonderful dishes were available. To keep things fresh, the menu adapts to fit the season. Each visit therefore offers something new. For my main course I ordered the Cornish Ruby Red Beef Fillet. The centre piece of the

dish was a perfectly cut piece of top-quality meat, enhanced by lovingly presented potato lattices, cauliflower, roast carrot and broccoli. An outstanding plate of food. Service is fast and efficient, delivered by amiable staff members. After their meal guests can retire to the well-stocked champagne bar or take drinks outside in the jail courtyard, relaxing underneath the magnificent stars and the imposing shadow of the towering building. Relax The jail is a 20-minute walk from Bodmin General station, which is on the Bodmin and Wenford heritage steam railway if you fancy an old-fashioned rail outing. Alternatively, enjoy a quiet stroll on the moor, or cycle down to the coast at Padstow.

Adventure Take the interactive ‘Dark Walk’ experience at the Bodmin Jail visitor centre. The 4D attraction is a brilliant way to learn about the jail’s grisly past and the events that produced several of its most notorious ghost stories. Life-size models of inmates and the longdrop execution pit recreate, with impressive detail, how prisoners lived and died here. Downsides There are very few downsides to a stay at Bodmin Jail. A pool would have been a welcome addition and you will have to travel to reach the coast but otherwise it’s ideal. It’s not cheap, with a double or twin room costing around £200 per night in May, but that’s on a par with other exclusive hotel experiences in the UK.


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P27

Volvo XC40 Recharge

Motoring

TIM MORRIS Motoring Correspondent THE XC40 Recharge is Volvo’s first fully electric model. It utilises the same tech found in its Polestar cousin and will take on the likes of BMW’s iX3, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Jag’s brilliant I-Pace, and VW’s ID.4. Exterior The XC40 P8 is based on the same platform that underpins the Polestar 2. It looks almost identical to the ICE and PHEV variants but there are a few subtle differences. The blanked-off body colour grille, Recharge badging and the charging port on the nearside front wing give it away. It also has bespoke alloy wheels and comes in a range of new exterior colours. Our car was metallic Onyx Black. Interior Even though the XC40’s exterior dimensions are relatively compact there’s plenty of space inside. There’s lots of head room and the cabin is wide enough to avoid bumping shoulders. It’s full of clever details too. The cabin can be pre-heated or cooled and it comes with features such as Park Assist Pilot, a 360° Parking Camera and a Harman Kardon sound system, with Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound.

The instrument binnacle houses a crisp 12.3 inch high-resolution digital display. You can configure the set-up to your own preference and have the navigation map directly in front of you if you so wish. In standard display everything is smart and exactly where you expect it to be, apart from the range counter, which simply displays as a percentage of battery life left (inset above). I found that slightly disconcerting on the tiny lanes of Anglesey as I wondered whether it would make it to Valley. Fortunately it did. The central display is easy to operate, based on an Android operating system. The navigation shows charging points and can plan your route with ease. The door pockets are carpeted to cut down on the sound of objects clattering around and you get a pop-out rubbish bin between the front seats. Sliding drawers under the front seats keep any clutter neatly hidden. Rear seat passengers enjoy enough leg room to ensure that their knees won’t be bashing the front seats and three adults can easily fit side by side. The boot is a useful shape that makes the most of the 452 litres of space. In addition it has a ‘frunk’, a front trunk, under the bonnet

Volvo XC40 P8

that provides an extra 31 litres of storage (above right). It’s perfect for charging cables. On The Road Volvos are naturally weighty bits of kit and batteries add heft to any large EV. You’d therefore expect it to be a bit cumbersome… but it isn’t, it’s amazingly rapid. Even though it weighs half a tonne more than the

equivalent ICE XC40 it’s one of the most impressive Volvos ever. This is a 4x4 that will go from standstill to 60mph in just 4.7 seconds, developing 408 hp. The power is so predictable however that you can choose to potter silently or slingshot yourself out of corners with a good dose of G. The combination of a tidy chassis and clever electronics allows it to

display impressive body control in all situations and traction in spades. It’s genuinely fun to drive. It’s also well damped, with McPherson strut suspension at the front and a multilink set-up at the rear. Its versatility is a virtue to be respected, for sure. The official range is 256 miles, which you will absolutely not get if you drive it with enthusiasm.

Pros Impressive performance Handles well Good range if careful High-quality interior Solid build Cons Pricey next to rivals Poor range display Lack of PCP options Verdict The Volvo XC40 Recharge P8 has a high-class interior, a substantial electric range and impressive safety credentials. It costs from £49,950, but higher-spec cars will set you back at least £56,700. It’s therefore expensive compared to many rivals, but it’s rammed with kit and has enough oomph to make it worth the outlay. In my book, it’s currently the most dynamic Volvo on the market and makes one hell of a case for going electric.



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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P29

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Sport

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Large pool of talent

SWIMMING

Rookies impress at Swim Champs NEWCOMERS SHOWED the old hands they won’t be having it all their own way this year at the RAF Swimming and Water Polo Championships at RAF Cranwell, the first since the Covid pandemic began. Sixteen units were represented in the tournament overall as the athletes battled it out in the pool, with Coningsby beating Wyton 11-3 to take the honours in the water polo final. In the swimming competition rookies had a good showing, with RAF Cosford’s LAC Phoebe Finch taking two golds: in the 50m

BACK WITH A SPLASH: Championship returned after Covid hiatus

Butterfly and 100m Freestyle. She also narrowly missed out in the 50m Freestyle, collecting silver.

Also excelling was newcomer SAC Luke Williams of Odiham, who beat a current RAF Inter-

Services squad member to take first place in the 400m Freestyle in an impressive time. But there were many successes for established swimming association squad members too. Leading the way was Cpl Beth Newton of Halton winning golds in the 50m and 100m Backstroke and 200m Freestyle. Also on three firsts was fellow association athlete Sgt Jordon Youngman of Odiham, who powered to victory in the 50m and 100m Freestyle and 100m Individual Medley. On the team front, RAF

Waddington’s men led the way, taking first place, while RAF Wyton (including Brampton and Henlow) claimed the women’s crown. The championship overall was won by RAF Wyton, deservedly taking the Mounsey Trophy. Sqn Ldr Trevor Down (Deputy Chairman RAFSA) and Ms Niki Graske (RAF Central Fund) presented the medals and Gp Capt Anne-Marie Houghton led the officials. New players spotted at the water polo event could now feature in the sport’s Inter-Services competition in July.

ATHLETICS

We're going to be in it for the long run THE 10K GREAT Birmingham Run was a little greater than expected for some RAF athletes… it ended up being nearer 11k. The Service runners were taking part in the famous race as a training exercise, but they got more than they bargained for after a route blunder by organisers. It started and finished on Jennens Road and the Aston University Campus Charity Village, with RAF, Army and Navy athletes taking up a number of free places arranged by Sqn Ldr Simon Bell.

The race gave an opportunity for people who would not normally get selected for the Inter-Services to run a big race with a field of 5,000 and access to the ‘Elite’ end of the field. The course takes runners past the Bullring, Edgbaston Cricket Ground and Calthorpe Park, before a grandstand city centre finish. Unfortunately, confusion on the course led to many taking a route more than 600m longer than intended. SAC Simon Birch led the way

for the RAF, staying on track and finishing an outstanding 3rd place in 31:19, with Cpl Iain Bailey (Vet 40) in 6th with 33:57. SAC Phillipa Baxter was one who ran the extra distance but went through 10km in a personal best of 38:50. The other leading RAF athletes were: 19th Cpl Conor Pacey 34:52, 20th Flt Lt Stephen Iwanek 34:52, 21st FS Matt Allen (Vet 40) 34:56, 23rd Sgt Greg Southern (Vet 50) 35:00 RAF, 33rd Flt Lt Alasdair Stewart 35:57 and 60th LAC Martin Fraser (U23) 40:13.

GOOD SHOWING: RAF athletes

Would you like to see your sport featured in RAF News? Send a short report (max 300 words) & two or three photographs (attached jpegs) to: Sports@rafnews.co.uk


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P30

Sport

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TOWN: Sqn Ldr Philip JohnstonDavis in the Sprint event, held at Swansea Uni campus and Singleton Park

ORIENTEERING

COUNTRY: Air Cdre Rob Woods (RAFO President) in full terrain concentration early on in the Middle Distance race

RAF Orienteers make a welcome return to mass events at JK 22

FAMILY AFFAIR: Air Cdre Woods was joined by his daughter Esther

SEVENTEEN MEMBERS of the RAF Orienteering Association took part in the sport’s premier UK event, the Jan Kjellstrom 22 (‘the JK’), in South Wales. JK 22 was four days of intense competition over some of the most difficult orienteering areas South Wales has to offer including Sprint, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Relay events in Swansea, the Brecon Beacons and Caerwent Military Trg Area. The areas were chosen either for their navigationally intricate difficulty alongside the physically demanding nature of the terrain, as an example the similarity of urban buildings within Swansea University campus for Sprint, or the intricate quarry/ coal workings and strength-sapping heather hilltops of Pwll Du and Clydach Terrace for Days 2/3. The competition itself was worked out from combined total times of the Middle (Day 2) and Long (Day 3) races with separate individual competitions for the Sprint (Day 1) and Relay races (Day 4). Another draw of the JK was the chance to run alongside GB and international elite orienteers. RAFO runners did extremely well with Wg Cdr Rachel Sullivan topping off her IS 3rd place and CS selection, and British Middle Distance Championships 2nd place result earlier in the season, with a 1st place in the JK W40 Short course. Flt Lt David Jolly and daughter Elspeth Jolly (although running under their civilian club HALO) won M45 Short and 2nd W18 Long respectively.

WELL ATTENDED: RAFO team (above) and other athletes and marshals (top)


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Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 P31

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Sport

TABLE TENNIS

Double IS triumph for RAF table tennis stars DOUBLES CHAMPS: SAC Ben Law and Flt Lt Antony Barella

CHAMPIONS: The Men's A Team, with Central Fund representative

Top pair take title as men retain their Inter-Services crown THE RAF men’s A Team have retained the table tennis Inter-Services crown after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid pandemic. They faced a strengthened Army outfit in a familiar final but soon came through as deserving winners. Looking to challenge a formidable Army team for the title, the Ladies began brightly triumphing over the Navy but the Army proved too strong on this occasion. The RAF enjoyed further success however when Flt Lt Antony Barella and SAC Ben Law secured the men’s doubles trophy.

Preceding the IS tournament were the RAF Championships, which enjoyed a good turnout with players competing in InterStation and Individual events. RAF Brize Norton pipped Benson to take home the A Cup, with Boulmer beating Wittering to take the B Cup. There were no great surprises with the men’s finalists. Flt Lt Barella flawlessly defeated Chf Tech Richard Johnson to retain the trophy in a repeat of the 2019 final. Newcomer SAC Sophie Wodecki had an amazing debut, resulting in being crowned

ladies champion, before the competition concluded with a thank you and goodbye to several longstanding committee members who have dedicated themselves to making RAF Table Tennis a great success. With 30+ years ‘experience’ each, WOs Tony Stead and John Partington said goodbye with the RAFTTA thanking them along with Chf Tech Johnson and Cpl Lee Fullerton, who’ll all be leaving the service, with a belated goodbye to WO (Ret’d) Martin Jones. Both competitions were supervised under the watchful eye of veteran coach DREAM DEBUT: RAF Ladies Champ SAC Sophie Wodecki

Mr Ian Denton, who offered advice and encouragement throughout with Mr Steve Smith volunteering his time to expertly oversee the IS. The RAFTTA welcomes players of all abilities and runs multiple academies throughout the year with the Festival of Table Tennis the next event in October. n Like & Follow the association’s Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest updates, with additional information on its MODNet page. DOUBLES PAIRING: SACs Lauren Pailing and Wodecki



Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 R'n'R 1

Announcements P6-7

Puzzles P8

Win!

R'n'R

Win top TV series: p4

God save our Queen – Platinum Jubilee tributes pages 3 and 4-5



Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 R'n'R 3

R'n'R Cinema

Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts (12) In cinemas May 27 and on Prime Video June 1 (Embankment Films Signature Entertainment)

Queen of the silver screen

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HE FINAL film by director the late Roger Michell (The Duke, Four Weddings And A Funeral) is his fascinating documentary Elizabeth: A Portrait

in Parts, that celebrates the long reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Producer Kevin Loader (Nowhere Boy, The Lady in the Van) said: “Until his sudden death

Competition

Win!

Hell Hath No Fury (18) Out now on DVD and digital platforms (Dazzler Media)

One Helluva woman

STAR: Bergman as DuJardin

W

AR FILMS have always enjoyed big audiences worldwide and continue to do so, often with new takes on familiar tropes. This is the challenge taken up by female-driven World War II film Hell Hath No Fury, which tells the story of one woman captured in conflict. Branded a traitor by her countrymen, French national Marie DuJardin is rescued by American soldiers on one condition – she must lead them to a rumoured stash of buried gold, before the Nazis return to claim it for themselves. British director Jesse V. Johnson has made many popular action films, most notably with martial arts star Scott Adkins, such as Triple Threat and Avengement. Johnson also started his career working as a stuntman, with credits including Total Recall, Charlie’s Angels and Avatar. He told RAF News: “The script was subversive and edgy, about French resistance fighters who were anything but enamoured by the US forces, they were suspicious of them. War will bring out the very best in man and, by the same token, it will cause a man to act in the very worst way imaginable. I felt the writing was fresh, authentic and original.” In the film’s testosteronedriven environment, the lead role is played by actress and model

Nina Bergman, best recognised from the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 video game. What made her the right choice? Johnson explained: “We had worked together before. Prior to the huge Wonder Woman movies, I made a proof-of-concept trailer with her. We had a smash success, and the trailer went viral online, a million hits in 48 hours! “In Hell Hath No Fury, she inhabited the character for the duration of the shoot. We all bled, sweated, got scratched and bitten by bugs and endured insanity to make the movie, and she was there with me every step of the way.” The film also features Daniel Bernhardt (John Wick), Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and Timothy V. Murphy (TV’s Sons of Anarchy), all playing complex and morally ambiguous characters and, much like Marie, their motives are unclear. We have copies of the movie on DVD to win. For your chance to own one, tell us: Who stars as Marie in Hell Hath No Fury? Email your answer, marked War Film DVD competition, to: competitions@rafnews.co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by June 3. Entrants must be over 18.

last September, Roger Michell was one of the best directors working anywhere. As his producer for over 30 years, and on many of his films, I can vouch for the fact that he was as detailed and creative an author as any other director I know. “When Covid 19 rendered our chance of shooting our next drama easily, he rang me and said: ‘Let’s make an archive documentary – we can do that during these months when other things look impossible.’ “We agreed to send some possible subjects back and forward – top of Roger’s list was our Queen. I was sceptical: How to find an approach that was nothing like the plethora of royal documentaries we’ve all seen before and turn up regularly on television. But Roger had done a lot of thinking – and told me what he had in mind. He sent me the following statement – what we used to convince everyone else that this was a film we needed to make. “She is the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch. Ever. “She is the longest-serving female head of state in the history of the world, the world’s oldest living monarch, the longestreigning current monarch, and the oldest and longest-serving current head of state. “But... she’s now so much more than any of these things. She’s entrenched as part of our collective unconscious, the stuff of our dreams, our projections, our sense of ourselves, by far the most famous female face in the history of the world. More people

ENDURING PRESENCE: HM The Queen at Buckingham Palace, March 12, 1953

dream about the Queen than any other living person. She’s the Mona Lisa, instantly recognisable, and yet elusively and perpetually unknowable.” The film has been described

as a ‘unique and inventive feature documentary’ about the life of Queen Elizabeth II – a nostalgic, uplifting and fresh modern chronicle of the extraordinary 70year reign of The Queen.

Competition

Unsung Heroes: Women of World War II Presentation Packs: shoproyalmail.com

Win!

First Day Covers: bfps.org.uk

Win limited edition stamps sets A

NEW series of commemorative stamps – Unsung Heroes: Women of World War II – features 10 stamps showing the roles women played during the war. Royal Mail has a presentation pack to buy, priced £16, containing all 10 special stamps from the issue with a separate Miniature Sheet carrier card with the four stamps depicting the ‘Spitfire Women’. And the British Forces Philatelic Service has a numbered limited edition of 100 First Day Covers for sale for £20 each. Go to: bfps.org.uk and see: shop. royalmail.com for more details. See story on p13 of main paper. n We have 10 Royal Mail Presentation Packs to win – for your chance to own one, tell us:

How many stamps are featured in Unsung Heroes: Women of World War II? Email your answer, marked Royal Mail Presentation Packs,

to: competitions@rafnews.co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Bldg, HQ Air Command, HP14 4UE to arrive by June 3.


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 R'n'R 4

R'n'R

THE BLACK (and white) COUNTRY Two Tone 80s drama set in West Midlands

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HE BBC has commissioned a new, six-part drama series from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight. Its working title is Two Tone and it tells the story of an extended family and four young people who are drawn into the world of ska and two-tone music, which grew from the grass roots of Coventry and Birmingham in the late 1970s and early 80s. Knight said: “This is a project that’s literally very close to home and I’m developing characters and themes that are set in the early 80s but hopefully are very contemporary. Of course, the soundtrack will be sensational.” ITV has announced it has commissioned a second series of the hit new game show The 1% Club, hosted by Lee Mack. The show’s format sees 100 contestants begin every show – but to make it to the end and win the top prize of up to £100,000 they must correctly answer a question only one per cent of the country would get right. Contestants of all ages and backgrounds can take part, because, unlike most quizzes, no swotting up on general knowledge is required to do well. Logic and common sense are the key to success. Mack said: “Delighted to be back. Once again, I have been trusted to correctly give away up

FAME AND FORTUNE: But megastar George Michael's life was cut tragically short

STEVEN KNIGHT: Scaling new peaks

SECOND SERIES: The 1% Club will return

to one hundred thousand pounds with no mistakes. Good luck, ITV.”

chef and broadcaster Andi Oliver. Each hour-long episode sees Brooker and his pal try three pursuits, from the popular to the obscure. Brooker said: “I’ve realised that I’m now in my late 30s and still only really like the same things as I did when I was 12 – basically football and Ghostbusters. And while most people used lockdown to find new hobbies or carry on their existing ones, I mainly watched children’s TV to keep my kids happy, so I’m delighted Channel 4 have made me their Hobby Man. “It’s been amazing travelling around Britain with our brilliant guests and getting out of my comfort zone trying new hobbies. From learning to knit, making my own beer and getting panicked 3000ft in the air in a glider – it’s been some experience! I hope the audience enjoy it as much as I have.” Broadcast dates are to be confirmed.

And Channel 4 is to show a new four-part series, Hobby Man, where The Last Leg star Alex Brooker and guests travel the country trying out various pastimes. The series follows him as he takes a crash course in British hobbies accompanied by a raft of famous faces including comic, writer and actor Joe Wilkinson, TV personality Scarlett Moffatt, The Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas and

HOBBY MAN: The Last Leg's Alex Brooker

George has the Final word T

HE FEATURE-LENGTH documentary George Michael Freedom Uncut, His Final Work will be released on June 22. In the trailer George talks about his feeling on early fame, saying: “I can’t really explain how overwhelming that kind of hysteria can be… I remember thinking I really don’t know if I’ll ever do this again.” He later adds: “I want to leave songs, I believe I can leave songs, that will mean something to other generations.” A host of famous names have contributed to the film, including Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Jean Paul Gaultier, James Corden, Tracey Emin, Tony Bennett and supermodels Cindy Crawford,

Competition

Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Tatjana Patitz. The autobiographical feature documentary is narrated by the late Grammy Awardwinner and has been hailed as a poignant and moving tribute to the legacy of one of Britain’s greatest performers. In his final work George reclaims the narrative of his career, personal life and controversies in collaboration with codirector, producer and friend David Austin. George’s third studio album Older will be rereleased on vinyl on July 8 as part of a box set which also includes an Upper vinyl, an essay recounting stories behind the album and previously unseen photos.

Win!

Around the World in 80 Days (12) On DVD, Blu-ray and download now (Dazzler Media)

Dr Who star Tennant a time traveller again in Verne's classic D

ADVENTURES: Phileas Fogg (Tennant, centre), Passepartout (Koma) and Fix (Benesch)

AVID TENNANT (Doctor Who, Good Omens) stars as intrepid Victorian traveller Phileas Fogg in the TV adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic novel Around the World in 80 Days. In 1872, in London, on the day Fogg’s world is turned upside down by a postcard from a lost love, he is inspired by an article about the exciting advances in travel to take on an almost impossible wager – to circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. As a man who has spent the last 20 years in a comfortable leather armchair at The Reform Club, he will need all the resilience he can muster and, of course, would be nowhere without the assistance of quick-witted Frenchman Passepartout (Ibrahim Koma, Asphalt Playground). Joining them on the road is the Daily Telegraph journalist who came up with the whole crazy

idea in the first place, Abigail Fix (Leonie Benesch, The Crown). Now lucky RAF News readers get the chance to experience this epic, globetrotting adventure from the very beginning in our competition to own a copy of the complete television series on DVD. For your chance to win one, simply tell us the correct answer to the following question: Who wrote the novel Around the World in 80 Days? Email your answer, marked 80 Days DVD competition, to: competitions@rafnews. co.uk or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by June 3. Please include your postal address with your entry.


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 R'n'R 5

Beeb pulls out all stops for Queen's Platinum tribute

The Jubilee on your TV T

HE BBC is marking The Queen’s momentous Platinum Jubilee with ‘an unprecedented range of special programming.’ Kirsty Young returns to the Beeb for the first time since 2018 to anchor a full weekend of Jubilee programming, joined by presenters including Huw Edwards, Clare Balding, AJ Odudu, Roman Kemp and Anita Rani. The biggest names from across the BBC will also host a variety of programmes celebrating The Queen’s 70-year reign, including documentary The Crown Jewels, presented by Clive Myrie. Young and Kemp will lead live coverage of the Platinum Party at the Palace, on BBC One, iPlayer and across the entire BBC network, bringing together the world’s biggest entertainers to perform for a night of musical tributes. Reporters across the UK will cover the historic celebration, including Jermaine Jenas at Buckingham Palace, Gethin Jones in Wales, Carol Kirkwood in Scotland and Holly Hamilton in Northern Ireland. BBC One and iPlayer will lead the broadcast of Platinum Jubilee content showing special

BARGAIN HUNT: Teams will have to buy an item with royal connection

CLIVE MYRIE: Explores the Crown Jewels

YOUNG: Returns to Beeb to anchor Jubilee weekend LIFE OF SERVICE: Her Majesty The Queen visits RAF Marham in Norfolk back in 2010

programmes such as Platinum Jubilee: Trooping the Colour and Platinum Beacons: Lighting Up The Jubilee to warm up the weekend, followed by the main event – The Platinum Party At The Palace. Special programming across BBC networks continue this month up to June 5. The Beeb’s Charlotte Moore said: “The BBC is marking The Queen’s momentous Platinum Jubilee in spectacular style with an unprecedented range of special programming. “In celebration of Her Majesty’s 70 years of service the BBC will bring the people of the UK together with something for

everyone to commemorate this historic anniversary culminating on the extended bank holiday weekend.” Young added: “I’m delighted to be back on the BBC for such an historic, unique, and happy event. It’s going to be quite a weekend and our coverage will bring viewers everywhere a front row seat at the celebrations. I can’t wait!”

HOST: AJ Odudu

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here will also be special programmes throughout the Jubilee weekend including Bargain

Hunt, The Repair Shop specials, and a Songs of Praise Jubilee special. To mark The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee RHS Chelsea will be paying tribute to her longstanding support of the event and taking a look at how Chelsea has shaped gardening tastes over the past 70 years in a one-hour Sunday evening show on May 22 with Sophie Raworth and Joe Swift. The duo will take an exclusive first look at the gardens and exhibits set to make headlines. On June 1 two teams of royal enthusiasts go head-to-head at Cheshire Showground for a Bargain Hunt with a royal twist. Master of ceremonies Charlie Ross challenges them to buy an item with a royal connection. He takes an exclusive tour of the royal carriages at the National Railway Museum in York, going behind the scenes to see the elaborate palace on wheels used by Queen Victoria, the first British monarch to travel by train, as well as the carriages used by her successors to the throne. In The Repair Shop Jubilee Special Jay Blades and the team mark the occasion by bringing four treasured heirlooms with a royal connection back to life. They include an unfinished Pearly Whites suit, a very special lantern steeped in royal tradition that’s still in use every day at the Tower, a hand-painted commemorative plate made to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887, and a tandem bicycle created by welding two normal bikes together in 1977 – The Queen’s Silver Jubilee year.

T

he following day, as the nation celebrates the Platinum Jubilee, so do the residents of Albert Square

PRESENTING DUTIES: Anita Rani

in EastEnders. With The Queen Victoria pub at the heart of the celebrations, Mick Carter has an idea for Walford’s residents to celebrate the special occasion. It doesn’t take long for Linda Carter to take control as they pull out all the stops with a special street party in honour of Her Majesty, making it a day to remember. In The Crown Jewels on June 3, Myrie travels across Britain to explore the dramatic stories behind these precious jewels from before the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066 to today. On June 4 in The Day I Met The Queen Winifred Robinson hears stories from people who have met the monarch at various moments during her long life, and recall their encounters with her. And in The Queen: 70 Glorious Years, narrated by Julie Walters, Britain’s bestloved stars share memories of the changes they have lived through during Elizabeth II’s reign. On June 6 The One Show will look back at the highlights of the historic weekend. BBC BIG GUN: Huw Edwards


Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

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

Deaths COLLINS Trevor, Chf Tech, G1927923 served at Duxford, Gibraltar, Scampton, Borneo, St Mawgan, Brampton and Wildenrath. His funeral is on May 23 at 2pm at Vinters Park, Maidstone, Kent. Trevor was a loving husband to wife of 59 years Jacqueline, and a loving father to sons Kevin, Michael and Peter. We all miss him dreadfully. PIKE Thomas Sgt, serving at RAF Coningsby. He died after complications of Covid in Boston Hospital. Greatly loved son, brother, husband and father of three, taken too early on November 22, 2021. He volunteered at Boston Rugby club for his son’s under-nine team. He was a senior engineer and did a tour of Afghanistan. Hope to meet again one day. Many thanks to the camp padre Katherine Bruce for all her support, his dad Keith. WATTS Robert Cecil WO 592465 Passed away on May 3 after a short illness at the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham. Will be much missed by wife Pamela and daughters Sharon, Marion and Elaine.

Seeking I am trying to contact Sqn Ldr Charles Slatter (Ret’d), ex C-130 pilot. Any help would be appreciated. Please email: j on @ t he p owe rc omp any. co.za LOOKING for any members of the 47th entry TG19 Hereford 62-64. Any still about? Please contact Jim Cummins on: Carol_ cummins@aol.com or: 01302 532865,07517 416702. DOES anyone know the whereabouts of Steve Welburn and Steve Butterworth? Steve Welburn was the OC RAF Swanton

Morley detachment at BAe Woodford Nimrod AEW project. Steve Butterworth was on 16 Sqn Buccaneers RAF Laarbruch in the early 80s. Email: Ron Peate, now Ron Thompson-Peate: lindaro146@yahoo.co.uk LOOKING for any of the class of IFN4/66, nav inst fitters course RAF Newton April 1966 to March 1967. Please contact Malcolm Hodgson on: hodgson8448@ gmail.com LOOKING for anyone stationed at RAF Safi, in Malta, and RAF Idris, in Libya, between June 1963 and December 1965. Also, anyone on the RAF flight on Floriana parade ground for Independence Day in September 1964, in Malta. Please contact Geoff Stevens on: moomin33@hotmail. co.uk or (01795) 479803.

Reunions THE RAF & Defence Fire Services Association was formed in 1995 and would like to attract new members of all ranks, serving and retired. The annual subscription fee is £16 and for that you receive three Association magazines a year called the ‘Flashpoint’ which members are invited to contribute their stories to. We meet for a reunion and AGM once a year. For more information about us and how to join visit the website: rafanddfsa.co.uk – we would love to hear from you. The RAF & DFS Association has also close links with the Museum of RAF Firefighting, visit: firemuseum.uk AFTER 55 years, the RAFAA 308 Entry Reunion will be held at the National Memorial Arboretum on June 15. A guided tour is being arranged in the afternoon and there is also an option for dinner, bed & breakfast at the Cathedral

Hotel in Lichfield. Please contact Nick Nicholson on: 01691 682174 or email: nich33@btinternet.com. RAF Admin Apprentice Association Annual General Meeting and Reunion June 17-19, Northampton Marriott Hotel. For full details and options please contact the Association’s Social Secretary on: 01403 581324 or email: socialsecretary@ rafadappassn.org. Our first reunion since lockdown, it will be a great chance to catch up with old friends and indeed make new ones. 60TH Reunion, 45th entry, C. Flight 3 Squadron suppliers reunion July 8 and 9 at 3 Counties Hotel, Hereford. For further information please contact Dinger Bell on: 01482377625.

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

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

How to use our service There is no charge for conventionally-worded birth, engagement, marriage, anniversary, death, in memoriam seeking and reunion notices. For commercial small ads contact Edwin Rodrigues on: 07482 571535. We cannot, under any circumstances, take announcements over the telephone. They can be sent by email to: tracey.allen@rafnews.co.uk. Please note that due to the coronavirus pandemic we are currently unable to accept notices submitted by post.

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

Aden vet's artistic vision RAF VETERAN David Bellamy, now an artist and author, has an exhibition at the Osborne Studio Gallery in London until May 27. The exhibits on show include this stunning watercolour painting of a Beverley transport landing at Thumier airstrip in the Radfan mountains in 1964. David said: “I painted it as part of my latest book, Arabian Light, which collects together my response to the incredible landscapes of desert, mountain and wild coastlines, the souks, hammams, the ostentatious Islamic architecture and the people and places of the Middle East. “It includes features on the early explorers and Oriental artists and many other topics, as well as a short piece on my Aden experience.” David joined the RAF in 1961 and served in Aden 1963-65, based at RAF Khormaksar.

He added: “It was my introduction to the Arab world which has fascinated me ever since, as I mention in Arabian Light. “The watercolour shows a Beverley of 84 Squadron creating a veritable dust storm as it lands on the sandy strip amidst the Radfan mountains to supply the forces engaged in the battle. “84 Sqn was based at Khormaksar, the busiest of all RAF airfields during that period and about 50 miles south of the Radfan area. Beverleys had the endearing look of a flying cowshed but they could carry enormous loads and were able to land on a short runway. These were the final days of the British Empire and the Aden base was closed down two years after I returned to the UK.” n Go to: davidbellamy.co.uk for more information.

Rehab centre hosts royal visit

HER ROYAL Highness Princess Alexandra visited the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Stanford Hall, Nottinghamshire recently, as patron of both Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service (QARNNS) and Princess Mary’s Royal Air Force Nursing Service (PMRAFNS). The Princess was the first member of the Royal Family to visit the DMRC since February 2020. She was received by Sir John Peace, the Lord-Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, and the Commanding Officer of the DMRC, Gp Capt Christopher Rowley. The visit’s focus was a short tour of the DMRC, which included meeting patients and staff in the John Wood Gym, the aquatic facility and the Headley Ward day room. Gp Capt Rowley, said:

TOUR: The Princess meets nursing staff and, inset, signs the visitors' book

“The DMRC was honoured to host the visit of HRH Princess Alexandra. “It was a privilege to escort HRH on a short tour, where she was able to meet our patients and learn a little of the excellent work completed by DMRC staff during the

testing past two years.” Following her tour Princess Alexandra signed the visitors’ book, was photographed with nursing staff and was presented with a bronze and copper poppy, handmade by patients in the workshops.



Royal Air Force News Friday, May 20, 2022 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Crossword

Su Doku

No. 316

No. 326

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the 10 letters in yellow squares to find an RAF word

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

Across 1. Designated driver asks a question about 6 June, 1944 (1-3) 8. Alien abbot may be in circulation (10) 9. Perhaps pair wore what RAF has to offer (3,5) 10. Theatre seating causes arguments (4) 12. Swerve round fashionable bottle of wine (3-3) 14. Cunning Kane’s upset at day’s end (6) 15. Reg returns holding covering for aircraft (6) 17. Relaxed accountant’s polite to Capone (6) 18. Nicholas was the second and the last (4) 19. Box second bird in base (8) 21. Wanting odd station created (10) 22. Snatch some Viagra, buddy (4)

Down 2. I almost ask God’s favour after disturbing rigid airships (10) 3. At first, you only make preliminary march with difficulty (4) 4. Deposited southerner to get hitched (6) 5. Headgear Astaire endlessly adopted (6) 6. Hounds RAF planes (8) 7. English marshland with iron, without nitrogens (4) 11. It’s a Chinook, by the sound of it (5,5) 13. The Spanish ruined road party to golden city (2,6) 16. Frenchman leaves numbers to find artist (6) 17. Waves paid this king no heed (6) 18. Place to win without heart (4) 20. Give Gollum’s precious a call (4)

Solution to Su Doku No: 325

Solution to Crossword No 315: Across – 7. The Ton 8. Gemini 10. Colerne 11. Teeth 12. Iowa 13. Again 17. Slate 18. Pity 22. Atlas 23. Impasse 24. Bomber 25. Paella Down – 1. Stick In 2. Bellows 3. Board 4. Certain 5. Miles 6. Night 9. Wedgetail 14. Ulysses 15. Missile 16. Lyneham 19. Bambi 20. Flame 21. Spray RAF legend – Frank Whittle

Impressions of Back to the golden Camille Pissarro age of Italian jazz Music Boom!

Italian Jazz Soundtracks

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EATURING SOME of the most iconic soundtracks from the late 50s to the 60s, Boom! Italian Jazz Soundtracks At Their Finest (1959-69) includes scores by Ennio Morricone and contributions from artists such as Chet Baker. The 33-track compilation, released recently by CAM Sugar, celebrates the golden age of Italian jazz music. Eleven of the tracks were previously unreleased and a further nine will be available on vinyl for the first time. For a whole decade, spanning the second half of the 1950s to the second half of the 1960s, jazz took over Italian screens. Italian jazz became Italy’s soundtrack in its economic boom, representing the country’s industrial, social and cultural transformation following World War II. The golden years of Italian jazz came after the genre was

banned by the Fascist regime – and jazz was secretly listened to on records smuggled into the country from the United States or through the BBC’s Radio Londra broadcasts. After this period, jazz venues in Italy – also known as hot clubs – started opening across the country’s major cities, and in 1949 Piero Piccioni hosted a show introducing the country to jazz and its culture on Italian public service broadcaster RAI. CAM Sugar is the most extensive and representative catalogue of Italian original s oundtr acks, with more than 2,000 original scores from over 400 composers. S oundtr acks from the archive have won over 500 international awards, including an Oscar for Best Original Score for Il Postino. n Go to: sugarmusic.com for more details.

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MAJOR EXHIBITION about the work of artist Camille Pissarro is on at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford until June 12 and you can now view Pissarro: Father of Impressionism in cinemas nationwide. Born in the West Indies, Pissarro found his passion in paint as a young man in Paris, and by the age of 43 had corralled a group of enthusiastic artists into a new collective. Their first show was scorned by the critics, but the group had acquired a new name: the Impressionists. As one of the most celebrated artists of 19th-century France and a central figure in Impressionism, Pissarro was considered a fatherfigure in the collective. His work was enormously influential to many artists, including Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne. Pissarro: Father of Impressionism reveals the artist’s life and work through a series of intimate and revealing letters he wrote to his family. The film draws largely on the first major Pissarro retrospective in four decades at The Ashmolean and the remarkable Pissarro archive housed there. The 90-minute film also highlights works from a comprehensive exhibition at the Kunstmuseum, Basel last year,

Haymaking at Éragny, 1892 and, below, Woman Bathing Her Feet in a Brook, 1894-95

which aimed to show the artist as the galvanising force that propelled modern art forward and without whom there would have been no Impressionism. It features experts from both The Ashmolean and the Kunstmuseum. n Go to the website: exhibitiononscreen.com. films.pissarro or check your local cinema for details and see: ashmolean. org or call: 01865 278000.