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Friday March 23 2018 No 1439 70p


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Celebrating a century of icons, heroes and legends 15 pages of features marking the anniversary of the world's oldest independent Air Force 1918-2018

NEVER SURRENDER: Spitfire pilot Sqn Ldr BJE 'Sandy' Lane, Officer Commanding 19 Sqn pictured in 1940 after a mission PHOTO AHB

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P2


RAF Typhoons’ RAF Typhoons are taking part in one of Europe’s biggest military exercises for the first time to bolster NATO’s ability to respond to aggression By Simon Mander Andravida Air Base, Greece

Next issue on sale April 6, 2018 Royal Air Force News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Email: Tel: 01494 497412 Editor: Simon Williams Sports Editor: Dan Abrahams Features Editor: Tracey Allen News Editor: Simon Mander Sport: Tel: 01494 497563 Special thanks to Lee Barton, AHB All advertising: Edwin Rodrigues, Tel: 07482 571535 Email: edwin.rodrigues@ Subscriptions: Adelle Johnson Sheffield Web Caxton Way Dinnington Sheffield S25 3QE Tel: 01909 517331 RAF News accepts no responsibility for unsolicited features, pictures, products or other materials submitted. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the RAF or the MoD.

Six jets from Coningsby-based 3 (Fighter) Squadron are in Greece to test their skills alongside the Hellenic Air Force’s F-16 Vipers and other nations. It’s the RAF’s debut appearance at the annual Exercise Iniochos at Andravida Air Base in the Northwest Peloponnese. Typhoon crews are using the opportunity to practise current air tactics in a multinational environment as Nato steps up its military presence in Eastern Europe and Coalition operations continue in the Gulf. UK Detachment Commander and Officer Commanding 3 (Fighter) Squadron, Wing Commander Lewis Cunningham, said: “This is the first time that Typhoon has deployed to Greece. This exercise offers us a great opportunity to prepare for operations and strengthens our existing relationship with the Greek Armed Forces. “Greece offers terrain that gives us the ability to practise some of the skills that it would be very hard to replicate in the UK in winter and springtime – particularly Close Air Support dynamic targeting skills.” The Lincolnshire-based jets are operating 1,466 miles from home alongside their Suffolk neighbours – the US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles of the 492nd Fighter Squadron from RAF Lakenheath. Also participating are Italian Air Force Tornados and Mirage jets from the United Arab Emirates. But by far the biggest contingent is from all three Hellenic Armed Forces, including 30 F-16s, upgraded F4 Phantoms, unmanned air vehicles, tanks and frigates. Between March 12-23 aircrews will conduct a variety of simulated missions in what has become one of the most competitive exercises in the Mediterranean region. Wg Cdr Cunningham said: “It’s realistic training for operations and it’s always useful for us to integrate into a bigger force of different types of aircraft, performing different missions with different nations, all of whom have a different way of doing business. There’s a huge

amount we can learn from each other.” Exercise Iniochos missions follow a familiar Nato format, but as new territory for the Typhoons, the change in terrain and climate from operating in Greece poses challenges. Wg Cdr Cunningham said: “We already have a respectful and close relationship with the Hellenic Air Force, the Red Arrows enjoy the good weather and warm hospitality of Greece to conduct their spring training as they work up to their display season, and we also use Athens as a stopover for Voyager aircraft.

This exercise offers us a great opportunity to prepare for operations and strengthens our existing relationship with the Greek Armed Forces

“This exercise takes that cooperation and friendship one step further and it enables our personnel to practise being part of an expeditionary Air Force to get out and about and go to new places and practise new missions. “In the past we have been unable to take part in this exercise due to other competing priorities and operational commitments, but this year my squadron was in the best position to go, we received notification less than a month ago and here we are.” Over the last 12 months 3 (F) Sqn has carried out a Nato Baltic Air Policing Mission in Romania and three separate short deployments to Estonia. And Exercise Iniochos – named after the Charioteer of Delphi, one of the most important sculptures of ancient Greece – is designed to beef up the UK’s contribution to the defence of Nato and EU allies. The scenarios provide training at an intensive battle rhythm that includes multiple threats to test

WG CDR LEWIS CUNNINGHAM: OC 3 (Fighter) Squadron and UK Detachment Commander

both the physical and psychological endurance of personnel. They cover the full spectrum of missions currently performed by the Hellenic Air Force including attacking airfields, bridges, power

stations, vehicle, close air support and combat search and rescue. UK Typhoon Force Commander Air Cdre Ian Duguid said: “The opportunity to train and fly in one of Europe’s biggest air exercises provides

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P3


Greek odyssey ancient greek: An elaborately-decorated tail fin on a Hellenic Air Force aircraft

Typhoon meets Phantom in an unusual encounter

sortie: 3 (F) Sqn Typhoon takes off from Andravida Air Base PHOTOS: CPL ROB BOURNE

Hellenic Air Force chiefs have welcomed the first visit by Typhoon Top Guns to Exercise Iniochos. And the event provided the stage for an unusual encounter between the RAF’s latest fighter and Greece’s updated F4E Phantom II jets. The US-made veteran of the Arab-Israeli conflicts of 1973 and 1982 and Vietnam War has, since 1974, served with the HAF – one of the last Air Forces in the world to still fly it. A total of 36 of the aircraft have been upgraded with advanced electronics, extending their operational life. HAF Phantom pilot Major Labros Karantzinis said: “We are very happy that the RAF are here. “Their Typhoons are very modern aircraft flown by professionals who are experienced in battle and know their business.” He said Exercise Iniochos was first conducted as a small-scale tactical level exercise in the late 1980s for training in Combined Air Operations, but its success led to it being established as an annual event.

In 2005, it moved to the Air Tactics Centre and Fighter Weapons School at Andravida Air Base, two kilometres from the town of the same name in Elis, Greece, housing the 117th Combat Wing. He said: “In November 2013 the exercise was upgraded to medium scale to create a more realistic and demanding environment, with an intensive and prolonged 24/7 battle rhythm.” The UK Phantom, which entered operational service with Coningsby-based 6 Squadron in May 1969, was retired from the RAF in 1990. But the twoseat, twin-engine, multiple role fighter-bomber used for interception and reconnaissance missions, in its distinctive Aegean Ghost camouflage, is still a common sight in the region and has contributed to Nato’s strength since Greece joined the Alliance in 1952. Today the F4E Phantom II operates with 338 Fighter Bomber Squadron and in 2014, 117 Combat Wing celebrated 40 years of F-4E presence in Greek skies.

A century of history has borne witness to acts of supreme courage and created legends

CAS, ACM Sir Stephen Hillier on the centenary of the Royal Air Force - p18

I love Sri Lanka. It’s a beautiful country with beautiful people

Amanda Redman on filming the new series of Good Karma Hospital for ITV – R’nR 4-5

This competition has given us a good platform to build on for the Inter-Services at Cranwell in July

golden oldie: The Hellenic Air Force has operated the FE4 Phantom II since 1974

outstanding training value and great opportunities for 3(Fighter) Squadron to hone their close air support skills. “Working and exercising with Air

Forces and Joint Terminal Attack Controllers from other nations really helps build our capabilities and preparations for future operations.”

Major Labros Karantzinis: HAF Phantom pilot was delighted to host the RAF

Fg Off Lee Davies on the recent RAF Martial Arts Association Championships – p41

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P4


Crew View

Exercise Iniochos

TYPHOONS from Coningsby-based 3 (Fighter) Squadron are taking part in Exercise Iniochos in Greece for the first time. RAF News caught up with some of the 140 personnel keeping the fast jets flying, to find out how they are doing: Sgt Brendan Bonner from RAF Coningsby’s Movements Section

SAC Sam Whyld of Witteringbased 1 Expeditionary Logistics Squadron

We transported equipment by road in a 10-day move from the UK and have unloaded two A400M aircraft, which dropped off supplies at Andravida Air Base. All the local Greek people have been really helpful in moving and storing the kit.

SAC (T) Sam McKenzie of 90 Signals Unit from RAF Leeming

This is the first time we’ve deployed our FALCON communications vehicle by road and the journey took eight days from North Yorkshire through France, the Alps and Italy. I can’t fault the location, the weather and the people out here and it’s good working with 3 (F) Sqn.

It’s been great working alongside the other nations, particularly the Italian and US Air Forces, and seeing how they do their work. This deployment is definitely the highlight of my career so far.

LAC Sam Argyle, 3 (F) Sqn Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic

Sgt Mark Bull, 3 (F) Sqn Avionics Engineer

SAC Sean Hopkins, 3 (F) Sqn Survival Equipment Specialist

This is my first overseas exercise. It’s great to be away from the snow in the UK and it’s certainly a lot warmer out here. It’s good to be doing something different day to day and meeting new people.

We were looking at going to RAF Lossiemouth instead, so Greece is a big improvement. It’s great to have escaped the snow caused by the Beast from the East back in the UK.

I usually work with Odiham helicopter crews. I’ve deployed with fast jets before, working with Tornados, but this is my first Typhoon detachment. I’m a very willing volunteer because this is a great experience.

Flt Sgt Julie Gorman, RAF Air Command, Exercise Cashier

It’s a very welcome change to my normal office job at High Wycombe to be on a deployment and it’s great that it is in Greece, especially as you get to have the sunshine and escape the snow in the UK.

SAC Rebeca Skeldon, 3 (F) Sqn mission support

This is my third detachment, I’ve been on operations in Romania and Kosovo, but this is my first overseas exercise. It’s great to see how the squadron can just pick up and go anywhere in the world. It’s what I joined up to do.

Fg Off Tim Doyle, deputy logistics group commander

This is my first time with a fighter unit and it’s great being attached to 3 (F) Sqn, working with them and personnel from other countries and the host nation.

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P5


Gunners combat Novichok threat Air Force chemical team brought in to contain deadly nerve agent Staff Reporter A specialist team of RAF Gunners continue to work alongside emergency services to contain the threat from a deadly nerve agent believed to have been used in the attempted assassination of a former Russian agent and his daughter, in Salisbury. The 22 strong team from the RAF Regiment’s Defence Chemical Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Wing are supporting emergency services following the attack earlier this month. Former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skirpal and his daughter Yulia are still both in a critical condition following the incident. Forces chemical teams including personnel from 20 Wing and 27 Sqn RAF Regiment have removed a number of vehicles from the affected area and carried out the decontamination of police and ambulance staff working at the crime scene. Air Force chemical specialist Cpl Jules Plowman said: “The team is intensively trained and well equipped to tackle this kind of problem, and in this instance to support the civilian police service. “Although this is a hazardous role it is rewarding to know that we are

Quarantine: Vehicle is removed from the site of suspected Novichok attack

making a critical contribution to protecting the British public and assisting the emergency services.” Bio chemical experts: Cpl Jules Plowman is part of the team brought in to contain threat

Military chemical specialists were brought in by Wiltshire Police chiefs investigating the attack. The Royal Air Force Regiment’s CBRN team routinely train to support emergency services and respond to any biochemical or nuclear incidents. They are also trained to carry out testing for deadly chemical agents and decontamination of areas where toxic substances may have been used.

Decontamination: Military chemical teams in Salisbury

Defence chiefs pledge £48 million for new chemical defence centre Staff Reporter Bristol

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced measures to maintain the UK’s chemical analysis and defence capability, as he warned of the intensifying threats the country faces. Branding the use of a nerve agent on a British street as a ‘reckless attack’ the Defence Secretary claimed Russian poses a threat to UK citizens. Outlining plans to modernise defence during a speech at Rolls Royce’s factory in Bristol he said: “The choice before us as a nation

is simple - to sit back and let events overtake us or step forward. “Our Modernising Defence Programme will make sure our country can respond to the changing nature of warfare and the new threats we face to British interests. Russia, in particular, is ripping up the rulebook – we only have to look at the reckless attack in Salisbury.” Under the programme, Defence chiefs are funding a £48 million chemical weapons defence centre at Porton Down. Williamson also announced that frontline military personnel on high readiness will be offered the anthrax vaccine.

Construction of the chemical centre is set to begin next month. The facility it will contain cutting-edge chemical analysis laboratories with the capability to identify any chemical agent through forensic analysis, a spokesman said. Williamson added: “The new facility will maintain our cuttingedge in chemical analysis and defence. “The decision to offer the anthrax vaccine to our forces at the highest readiness, will provide vital protection against a deadly danger. “By using all our power, hard and soft, Britain will continue bringing light to a darkening world.”

Deadly threat: Investment improve defence against chemical attack says Gavin Williamson

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

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


Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P7


SARprise Surprise Reds: Sqn Ldr Collins with young RAF fan

Red Arrows are Bang on target The Red Arrows joined leading blue chip tech firms at the Big Bang event – one of the UK’s largest science fairs. The four-day event in Birmingham attracted hundreds of young students from across the country. Government Business Minister Greg Clark joined the Arrows as team bosses gave young guests a briefing on the world’s most famous aerobatic display team. Air Force recruitment chief Wg Cdr Russell Barnes said: “Big Bang is the biggest event in the RAF youth programme.

UK drive: Minister Greg Clark

“We are here to build interest in science and engineering careers and inspire a new generation to write the next chapters in the RAF’s story.” The event also featured a full size replica of an RAF Typhoon swing role jet and flying training simulators. Red 10, Sqn Leader Adam Collins, was on hand to give youngsters a tour of a replica Red Arrows T1 Hawk. He said: “It is fantastic to come here and meet hundreds of young people who are passionate about aviation, engineering and science.” The RAF is supporting a nationwide drive to boost interest in science and technology as part of the RAF100 celebrations.

Rescue ace is party guest of honour 18 years after saving new born Luke’s life Tracey Allen The first time Search and Rescue winchman Mark Vickery met Luke Atherton he was flying him to a specialist hospital on a Royal Air Force Sea King for emergency life-saving surgery just hours after his birth. Now the pair have been reunited as Luke celebrated his 18th birthday – after doting dad Duane launched a search to find the crew who saved his son’s life. Former RAF man Vickery was part of the crew called in to transfer new born Luke from a maternity hospital to a specialist unit 100 miles away where surgeons were on standby to perform a life-saving procedure. Luke made a full recovery after undergoing extracorporeal membrane surgery and the family wanted to share his 18th birthday celebrations with the RAF crew who saved him. Luke said: “Without Mark I wouldn’t be here today. There can’t be many people out there who can say they have saved someone’s life – but Mark has saved many. “I had no idea he was going to be there at my party. I am amazed to be able to say thank you to the man who saved me all those years ago.” Dad Duane launched a hunt for the Search and Rescue crew as a birthday surprise. He contacted RAF recruiter Cpl Gary Keegan at his local Forces office in Hull who, with colleagues,

was able to trace the Sea King crew and contacted Mark Vickery and Sea King pilot Dave Kenyon, who both now work for HM Coastguard. Mark, who works at Lydd Search and Rescue base in Kent, was delighted with the invitation to be guest of honour at the party. He said: “Rescue teams often get to see people at their worst but rarely meet them when they are better or recovering. Getting to meet the people you have helped out is a really emotional experience. “I remember that day 18 years ago. All the stars were aligned for Luke that night. It is the best outcome we could have hoped for. “It is a great feeling to know that Duane’s son made a full recovery and was able to celebrate his 18th birthday in good health.” David Kenyon, who is now the chief pilot at Caernarvon SAR base, was unable to make it to the event but has arranged to meet up with Luke later this year. Dad Duane added: “ It is difficult for me to express my gratitude to these brave men – thank you will never be enough. They will be in our hearts forever for what they did that night in 2000. These guys are real heroes.”

Bloodhound hits the pace with South Africa trial The UK-BASED Bloodhound rocket car is set to hit more than 600mph in its first tests in South Africa ahead of a bid to smash the 1000mph barrier. The team will be mounting their recordbreaking attempt across the remote Hakskeen Pan – a dry river bed in South Africa, next year. The project was hit by financial problems last year but team boss Richard Noble says the rocket

powered supersonic car is now ready to begin high speed testing. Noble said: “Bloodhound was always going to be a hell of a fight but we are going to be getting the car up to more than 600mph this year with our first tests in South Africa. “At 1050mph we will be going faster than any aircraft ever at low level. “We will accelerate like hell and then brake just as hard before we run out of track.”

Reunited: SAR star Mark Vickery with Luke Atherton, below, dad Duane watches over his newborn son’s incubator after life-saving surgery in 2000

Bloodhound is powered by an EJ200 Typhoon jet engine and a hybrid rocket developed by the European Space Agency delivering a total of more than 130,000 bhp. The team has also erected a 70m radio mast in the Kalahari desert to broadcast data from the car’s 200 sensors to millions of fans worldwide. Noble added: “The record run will be followed by people in more than 200 countries. “The only places we will not be watched in will be North Korea and Vatican City.” l See p34

Speed King: Bloodhound chief Richard Noble

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Photos P hotos credit: credit: Israeli Israeli Air Force Force

Elbit Systems congratulates the Royal Air Force Force on a ements. t TThrough hrough century of historic aviation achievements. gy and innovation, innovation, Elbit Elbit Systems System ms is proud proud technology tto o support ssupport the Royal Royal Air A Force Force as it sets sets n ne w rrecords. ecords. new Visit us a Visit att TThe he Royal Royal International International Air Tattoo Tattoo 13-15/7/2018 13 -15/ 7/2018 International Airshow FFarnborough arnborough o International Air rshow 16-22/7/2018 16 -22/ 7/2018

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P9


Duke is back in the flying seat Former Search and Rescue pilot Wills checks out Typhoon at Coningsby Staff Reporter RAF Coningsby HRH PRINCE William shares a joke with frontline Typhoon crews during his recent trip to Coningsby. The Duke of Cambridge chatted to personnel who guard UK air space around the clock from the Lincolnshire station, home to the RAF’s Typhoon Force. Wills served as a RAF Search and Rescue helicopter co-pilot during his three years with the Service before leaving to concentrate on his Royal duties. As part of the Royal visit, the Duke, who is an Honorary Air Cdre, attended a science and technology event for local school children at the station. A spokesman said: “School pupils were given the challenge of designing a device which would allow an egg to be dropped

without breaking and the Duke was there to judge their efforts and present the winners with their certificates.” As part of the Royal visit RAF Typhoon display pilot Flt Lt Jim Peterson showed off a few of the aerobatic moves he will be performing at this year’s air shows across the UK and Europe. Station Commander Gp Capt Mike Baulkwill said: “It is always a great privilege and hour to welcome the Duke of Cambridge to Coningsby.”

Volunteer: Support a century of service This year, the Royal Air Force celebrates 100 years in the air. We’re proud to support servicemen and women both past and present, and we need your help. We’d love you to be at the heart of the celebrations in a city near you as we honour veterans and serving personnel with flypasts, parades and special events. Can you do your bit? Help us collect for the charities that care for the RAF family. Everyone can be a part of history. Find your nearest collection and volunteer at Volunteers must be 18+ The RAF100 Appeal is a joint venture that supports:

JOKING DUKE: HRH The Duke of Cambridge shares a joke with Royal Air Force personnel at Coningsby, left, checking out the cockpit of an RAF Typhoon PHOTO: SAC ED WRIGHT

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P10


CAS awards for Air Force apprentices

The RAF’s best honoured across Service trades at annual ceremony Cameron Rennie RAF Museum, Hendon


The RAF Benevolent Fund has been standing side by side with members of the RAF Family since 1919. Back then we spent £919 helping young airmen get back on their feet. Today we spend almost £18m every year helping veterans, serving personnel and their dependents in their time of need.

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

TWENTY-EIGHT ROYAL Air Force apprentices have been honoured with awards by the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier. The very best of the RAF’s 2,700 apprentices, along with their families, were brought together for a celebration at the RAF Museum in Hendon. The Service scheme netted a major national apprenticeship award as the UK’s best ‘macro employer’ earlier this year. SAC Amy Lupton from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire won the award for the photographic trade. She said: “It means a lot that your hard work is celebrated and it’s really important to recognise the history and what the Air Force has gone through. One hundred years is a big turning point and it’s special being here at the RAF Museum.” SAC Chloe Smith, from Marham in Norfolk has qualified as a Catering and Hospitality Specialist. She said: “My training has been really good; my instructor is the reason why I’m here today. I have been given opportunities I never thought I’d be able to achieve. I can’t thank all my colleagues enough.” SAC Joseph Harry was recognised for his apprenticeship in Warehousing and Storage. He received an additional award from the Federation of Apprentice and Boy Entrant Associations. He said: “This has made me hone skills I didn’t think I had. I’ve been given so many opportunities whether it’s sport, adventure training or going away on detachment.” Other winners included Leeming based 90SU communications specialist SAC Ayrton Boyd and chef SAC Prem Lama. Sir Stephen said: “Apprentices have always taken a vital role in our Service. They are as vital today as they have been throughout our 100 years of history. “My advice is always to set your aspirations high and look at how you can

develop yourself and realise those ambitions. “Young men and women can do that in the Air Force. I can absolutely promise that it is no ordinary job.” WINNERS: Above, SAC Chloe Smith, left, photographer SAC Lupton. Top Chief of the Air Staff ACM Sir Stephen Hillier with chef SAC Prem Lama

An Officer asked for confirmation of the advice he had been given by his admin staff on the issue of accrued rights from AFPS75 “Many thanks for your response. Your knowledge, as ever, is impressive and your assistance invaluable. Morale had taken a tumble. I am now off to a certain Admin Officer to teach him the error of his ways and suggest that he should probably subscribe to the Forces Pension Society as well.” PENSION HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT


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At the Forces Pension Society, we value our independence. It enables us to serve the interests of the Armed Forces community as the Forces Pension watchdog. We hold governments to account, arguing for better pensions and campaigning against unfairness in the schemes. For example, our campaign won the right in 2015 for all future widows to retain their pension on remarriage.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P12


UK Daesh pledge: ‘We will bury you’ RAF strikes on terror group will continue to protect British streets vows Williamson

REAPER ATTACK: A Daesh target is destroyed by RAF Reaper, inset left, Typhoon armed with Paveway IV bombs launches mission over Syria

Staff Reporter THERE WILL be no respite in UK operations against Daesh until we can guarantee their absolute defeat, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has told Iraqi Forces minister Erfan al-Hiyali in a meeting in London. Mr Williamson said: “We will not rest until we hammer the final nail in the terrorists’ coffin. “While Daesh’s territory is diminishing, the threat they pose to our security at home and abroad through their evil and barbaric beliefs remains stark. “That is why RAF jets continue to strike them in Iraq and Syria to eliminate the threat they pose to our way of life.”

In the latest strikes Typhoons, Tornados and Reapers have destroyed armoured vehicles, terrorist bases, and weapons stores and disrupted supply routes. Typhoons destroyed a mechanical excavator used by the terrorists to construct fortified positions near the Euphrates river in eastern Syria. Operations have continued in eastern Syria where Typhoons and Tornados provided close air support to Syrian Democratic Forces still battling Daesh fighters, destroying five terrorist positions. A RAF Reaper patrolling the

Euphrates valley attacked and killed a group of terrorists, including a pair who attempted to flee at high speed on a motorbike. Typhoons also attacked two Daesh armoured vehicles northeast of Abu Kamal. A second Typhoon flight destroyed a key road in the area used by Daesh truck bombers In other strikes Typhoons demolished a tunnel network used as a terrorist arms cache, located in a remote area in Northern Iraq. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “With Daesh losing control of its last remaining pockets of territory, they are once more looking purely like the terrorist organisation they are. Yet the threat they pose within the region and more widely across the world remains. “As we have discovered in previous conflicts, if we let up, then we run the risk that Daesh will return. “It is vital that we stay the course, alongside our allies, until the job is done.” RAF aircraft have carried out nearly 1,700 strikes against Daesh in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

TERROR PLEDGE: UK Defence chief Gavin Williamson says RAF strikes on remaining Daesh fighters in Iraq and Syria will continue

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P13

News Falklands fundraiser: Odiham-based Padre Michael Chatfield hopes to complete full course in comedy bird suit

News bulletin

Padre ruffles some fund raising feathers Keen birdwatcher Padre Michael Chatfield is going the extra mile for charity – taking part in the Stanley marathon on the Falkland Islands dressed as a penguin. Padre Michael, based at RAF Odiham, is returning to the Falklands in November

in a bid to raise £1000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund. And he’s invited friends and family to donate a suitable song to his running playlist – for a fee to boost his fundraising total. He said: “They include Spitting Image’s Chicken Song and Sesame Street’s Doin’ The Penguin to help me run faster.”

Pledge: Defence Secretary Williamson

Forces dodge Scots tax hike

Top dog Tornado takes a bow at Crufts show Tracey Allen Crufts, NEC Birmingham Air dog Tornado took top military honours at Crufts – with a display of agility in front of a packed 8000-strong crowd. The seven-year-old military working dog and his handler Cpl Leanne Hallworth led the RAF Police dog team through a series of agility and obedience routines at the world’s largest dog show. WO Phil Brown, technical director of the RAF Police Dogs Demonstration Team, said: “It’s very special to be here. “As well as celebrating the RAF’s centenary, this year is also the RAF Police’s 100th anniversary and we’re celebrating 80 years of police dogs on duty.” He added: “Due to operational commitments we had to get the display team together in a shorter time than normal. “It usually takes about six months, but we had about eight weeks. “Crufts is a gigantic event and putting on a demonstration here involves a lot of hard work. “It’s not just about jumping over shiny obstacles. The handlers have to have perfect uniform, march in unison and have great-looking dogs that are fit, healthy and extremely well groomed. “Once they leave the arena the handlers don’t switch off. The dogs have to be cared for, fed and walked. These are all fully trained operational patrol dogs.” The Crufts demonstration team was made up of four Belgian Malinois and two Czech Shepherds. WO Brown said: “We currently have more Malinois in service than any other breed – they are athletic, fast, extremely agile and generally easy to train.” He added: “The dogs don’t necessarily stay with the same handler throughout their career. Handlers can be promoted, leave the Service, go on maternity leave

UK DEFENCE chiefs have pledged to protect military personnel serving in Scotland from the latest round of tax increases. A decision by the Scottish Parliament to increase tax rates on those earning £26,000 a year could hit more than 8000 Forces workers. However Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson says he will ‘counter’ the moves to ensure Service personnel do not lose out.

DOGS HAVE THEIR DAY: Main, Cpl Leanne Hallworth and Air Dog Tornado show their skill at Crufts, inset, Cpl Kieran Jones and Air Dog Hurricane in action. PHOTOS: SAC Will Drummee, RAF Honington. Below, Leanne and Tornado take a break

steam age: Tourism guide

Full steam ahead for bomber county Traders in Lincoln are hoping the RAF roundel will give business a lift this summer – by featuring the Royal Air Force badge on the city’s tourist guide. The roundel will appear on the cover of the publication which also promotes one of the world’s largest Steam Punk festivals that takes place in Lincoln every year.

or out of area – there’s a multitude of reasons why we may have to consider re-teaming a dog with a different handler.” Team leader Cpl Leanne Hallworth and Air Dog Tornado, based at RAF Brize Norton, are the exception to that, he said. WO Brown added: “Leanne has had Tornado for five years – that’s one of the reasons why they have

such a marvellous rapport.” Tornado will retire later this year to live with Cpl Hallworth and her two other dogs, Dalmation Skye and Staffie Loki. Cpl Hallworth said: “Tornado has served with me at Brize Norton, Coningsby, Marham and the Falkland Islands. “He is a very chilled-out, relaxed dog, but he still packs a punch.”

Hugh bears all for RAF100 year AIR BEAR Hugh, named after RAF founder Sir Hugh Trenchard, is notching up as many flights on RAF and USAF aircraft as he can this year to promote the RAF centenary. See: facebook/hughtheflyingbear

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Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P15

News in

Photo of the week

PHOTOGRAPHER SAC Chris Thompson-Watts took this selfie in the back of a Hawk T2 during filming for a forthcoming ITV Wales programme on the RAF’s Top Gun Academy at Valley, on Anglesey.

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Shader swansong for 12 Sqn Tonkas Staff reporter THE RAF’S 12 Sqn has flown its last combat mission with the Tornado GR4 ending a 25-year association with the veteran bomber. Squadron commander Wg Cdr Nikki Thomas carried out the last mission, flying a reconnaissance sortie over Iraq. RAF Tornados will continue to support coalition operations against Daesh following the return of 12 Sqn piots to their base at Marham. The squadron standard was lodged at the RAF College Cranwell to mark the event. Wg Cdr Thomas said: “I am immensely proud of all the squadron has achieved over the last three years. It showcases the RAF at its best; reacting swifly and decisively to world events, to protect the interests of the UK and its allies.” RAF Tornados have flown more than 1000 missions against Daesh in Iraq and Syria since 2015. The Tornado GR4 fleet will retire in 2019.

CEREMONY: Members of 12 Sqn with standard at RAF Cranwell, below left, Wg Cdr Nikki Thomas

Above and beyon Above A beyond b nd ffor or 100 0 yearss Since the Royal Air Fo Since Force’s orce’s formation 100 0 years ago, we havee been w working in partnersh partnership ip and alongside the e RAF to deliver tech technical hnical aand nd operational adva advantage. antage. In n the RAF’ RAF’ss centenary centenarry year, yearr, we are are proud proud d to support RAF100 0 and proud p roud to continue to deliver an essential edge to our partner. partnerr. w www .baesystem b t Copyright Co opyright @ 2018 BAE Systems

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P17



100 years of RAF Air Power

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23 2018 P18

1918 – 2018

RAF Centenary

Born above the mud and blood of WWI French killing fields B

Y THE time the Royal Air Force was formed in the closing months of World War I the principal uses of Air Power had already been forged above the killing fields of Flanders. And it was the Army, with its early balloon experiments, and later the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service that discovered and developed the military potential of aerial reconnaissance and attack. Today, there are 15 RAF squadrons from 11 stations across the UK with Ypres 1917 Battle Honours who can trace their ancestry back to those early pioneers. Among them is RAF Waddingtonbased 56(R) Sqn, one of the most famous fighter Sqns of the RFC and early RAF. In March 1917, it was the first unit to receive the SE5 fighter/scout aircraft into service. By the end of the war, the Sqn claimed 427 victories –

The Battle of Britain may have been its finest hour but the RAF’s combat prowess owes much to its illustrious First World War predecessors By Simon Mander all with the SE5/5a. And it was the heroics of 56 Sqn pilots which helped establish the legend of the Air Aces. In September 1917, at Passchendaele, a 56 Sqn patrol was involved in an epic dog fight with German ace Lt Werner Voss who holed seven S.E.5s in his Fokker F1 Triplane but without wounding any

of the pilots. Voss was then shot down by 56 Sqn ace 20-year-old 2nd Lt Arthur Rhys-Davids who himself died a month later. Voss (20), was, at the time of his death, second in the list of successful German fighter pilots with 49 Allied aeroplanes to his credit. One of 56 Sqn’s flight commanders

was VC winner Capt James McCudden who scored 57 victories by his death on July 9, 1918. McCudden wrote: “If I live I shall never forget my admiration for that German pilot, who, single-handed, fought seven of us for 10 minutes, and put some bullets through all of our machines. His flying was wonderful, his courage magnificent, and, in my opinion, he was the bravest German airman whom it has been my privilege to see fight.” An integral part of the Air Warfare Centre, today 56(R) Sqn develops the RAF’s command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. Another RAF Waddington-based unit, 54(R) Sqn, which trains E-3D Sentry and Sentinel R1 aircrews also started life as a fighter unit flying Sopwith Pups and Camels. Other existing RAF Sqns with Ypres battle honours include three Typhoon

Force units whose contemporary role defending the UK around the clock on Quick Reaction Alert is the latest chapter in a rich heritage of aerial combat. Two of them, 1 (Fighter) Sqn, the oldest flying Sqn in service in the world, and 6 Sqn, are based at RAF Lossiemouth. Established on April 13, 1912, 1 (F) Sqn was sent to France in March 1915 where it flew Nieuport Scout

Vision that built world’s first independent Air Force Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier Chief of the Air Staff

RAF100 embodies a century of Royal Air Force operations, from our founding moment in 1918, in the final months of the bitter fighting of World War I, through to this – our centenary year– when a much changed yet surprisingly similar RAF continues to defend our airspace and engage our enemies, wherever they may be. Today’s Royal Air Force upholds a tradition of professionalism, skill and technological advantage that is as old as the Service itself. These qualities, combined with the excellence of our personnel and our rich heritage, ensure we remain one of the world’s leading and most respected air arms, continually engaged on operations and making a

decisive impact in every type of conflict. A century of RAF history has borne witness to many acts of supreme courage, generated heroes and created legends, through famous actions and in desperate times. Warfare in the third dimension changed the character of the First World War and allowed visionary thinkers of the day to understand what needed to be done to ensure this new environment could best be exploited in the future. Their vision led to the formation of the RAF, the world’s first independent air force, on April 1, 1918, and helped to lay the enduring foundations upon which the Service has been built. Their vision and commitment to the development of airpower’s potential not only ensured that in the Second World War

the RAF was successfully able to defend our skies and save our nation in the summer of 1940, but that it would make a decisive impact in every theatre of conflict, engaging the enemy every day from first to last. The level of courage and sacrifice was frequently immense, especially in Bomber Command where more than half of all the aircrew involved were either killed, wounded or taken prisoner, but the spirit and memory of those airmen lives on in the ethos of today’s RAF. The Cold War era brought subsequent challenges, of readiness and a constant battle to retain technological advantage against a potent potential enemy, whilst at the same time fighting smaller wars, ensuring that the preparedness, flexibility

and adaptability which the RAF prides itself on were constantly put to the test. And then as fast as the Cold War ended, a new era arrived, of expeditionary operations, precision ISTAR and weapons, enduring conflicts and new (and sometimes not so new) adversaries. With an inherent ability to respond, engage and disengage rapidly, and to offer political choice, the Royal Air Force has constantly used the full range of its air and space power capabilities – Combat Air, ISTAR, Air Mobility and Precision Strike – and been engaged in combat operations without respite for what is now nearly three decades. All this time we have been developing new and improved capabilities – aircraft, weapons, information, systems integration, training and, most important of all, in our people. It is our highly skilled and motivated people who have always been

Royal Air Force News Friday,March 23, 2018 P19

DARK DESTROYER: 100 Sqn F.E.2b Night Bomber, right, a crashed 27 Sqn Martinsyde G102 Elephant captured in August 1917 in Northern France, inset, WWI propaganda

aircraft on ground attack missions and provided bomber escorts. On October 9, 1917, No 1 Sqn patrols fought 14 German aircraft destroying three and sending down another two for the loss of one of their own pilots, bringing the total number of enemy aircraft destroyed since its formation as a fighter Sqn the previous February to 200. 6 Sqn was established on January 31, 1914 and sent to France on September

9. In April 1917, the unit, was reequipped with R.E.8s with forward firing machine guns and continued with reconnaissance, artillery support and bombing missions until the end of the war. 29 (Reserve) Sqn, which today trains Typhoon pilots at RAF Coningsby, was formed on November 7, 1915 and allocated DH.2 fighters to carry out escort missions on the

Fifth generation Lightning II: arrives this year. Below, left, ace Lt Arthur RhysDavids in 1917

the cornerstone of RAF capability, and we continue to attract highly talented men and women from all backgrounds, with the ambition to seize opportunities, develop themselves and realise their full potential, within an organisation that prides itself on merit being the only determinant of success. In our centenary year, we will welcome the famous 617 Squadron back to RAF Marham, equipped with our outstanding new combat aircraft, the F-35 Lightning.

When 617 Squadron was last based at RAF Marham it was flying the Tornado, which is still in service after 36 years and remains fully committed on current operations. The Tornado will be retired in 2019, after frontline service covering well over one third of the RAF’s history. It has written many new chapters in that history, but as the Lightning now arrives and a new chapter starts, it is a reminder that the RAF is constantly evolving and adapting, exploiting

Western Front. By the end of WWI, the Sqn claimed 385 victories with 26 of its pilots designated aces. For some Sqns a century of operations has left them performing essentially the same role but with more advanced technology. Among these is RAF Marhambased IX (Bomber) Sqn whose Tornados have been in service for new technologies and improving its capabilities so that it can continue to remain at the leading edge of air and space power into the future. Our 100th anniversary provides a unique opportunity to Commemorate, Celebrate and Inspire. We will Commemorate 100 years of extraordinary success, courage and sacrifice. We will Celebrate the achievements of today’s RAF, adding to our rich heritage and strong ethos daily. And we will reach out to future generations, to Inspire them towards realising their ambitions and potential, through air and space power and the example of the RAF. Most important of all will be the legacy we leave beyond 2018 and through into the RAF’s second century. I want that legacy to be about the education and development of young people, providing opportunity to every part of our society. These ideas have been at the heart of the RAF’s ethos and tradition since its inception and through RAF100 we are taking them even further.

36 years – a third of the Air Force’s existence – and most recently saw combat on Operation Shader in support of the fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. Established on December 8, 1914, No 9 Sqn joined the effort in France in April 1915 flying B.E.2cs and R.E.8s on reconnaissance and bombing tasks. At Passchendaele, No 9 Sqn R.E.8s photographed enemy positions and assisted artillery. According to the official history The War in the Air, Vol IV by H A Jones: “The [artillery observation] work of No 9 Sqn was outstanding; in their determination to report the progress of the infantry with which they co-operated, and to keep watch on German counterattack movements, the pilots flew with great persistence through the barrage. “They and their observers gave invaluable information at a cost of two officers killed, two missing and one wounded.” Other units have taken their combat expertise on to new aircraft types, including two RAF Odihambased Chinook Sqns: 27 Sqn was established on November 5, 1915 and transferred to France with the Martinsyde G.100 Elephant aircraft – the animal that still features on the unit’s badge. Used initially in the escort fighter role, by the time of Passchendaele the G.100 was used in daring daytime low flying bombing raids on enemy aerodromes. 7 Sqn was formed in May 1914, as the last RFC unit to stand up before WWI. It was deployed to France in April 1915 using R.E.5s for reconnaissance and later re-equipped with the R.E.8 for bombing missions. Four of the Air Force’s current training units began service in a very different role, among them RAF Leeming-based 100 Sqn. Established in February 1917, 100 Sqn was the first RFC unit created specifically for night bombing using the F.E.2b. In October 1917, 14 F.E.2bs

of 100 Sqn attacked the German Burbach works near Saarbrucken to stop German Gotha bomber attacks on London. The Gotha raids led to the Cabinet decision to amalgamate the RFC and RNAS into the first independent RAF. Three other units who today train the fast jet pilots of the future originally learned their trade above Flanders fields. Valley-based IV (Reserve) Sqn was formed in September 1912 and deployed to France in August 1914 to fly R.E.8s for reconnaissance, photography, tactical bombing, machine gunning and dropping agents behind enemy lines. Wittering-based 16 (Reserve) Sqn was formed on February 10, 1915 and became the first Sqn to use wireless when reporting on troop movements. And RAF Cranwell-based 45 (Reserve) Sqn was created on March 1, 1916 and flew Sopwith Camels, perhaps the best known single seat aircraft of the First World War, creating 30 aces. Three squadrons of the RAF’s modern transport fleet began life in a very different role. Northolt-based 32 (The Royal) Sqn today moves VIPs and military commanders in its BAe 146 and AW109 aircraft, but in Flanders it fought German Fokker E series monoplanes with DH.2 scout aircraft. 70 or LXX Sqn at RAF Brize Norton operates the A400M Atlas but it was the first RFC Sqn to re-equip with the Sopwith Camel and by the end of the war it claimed 287 victories, with 19 pilots becoming aces. At Passchendaele on October 20, 1917, 11 Sopwith Camels of 70 Sqn, each carrying two 25lb bombs, carried out a spectacular attack on Rumbeke aerodrome strafing the Germans with machine guns from as low as 20 feet. At the same time eight other 70 Sqn aircraft shot down four German fighters. Another RAF Brize Nortonbased unit, 101 Sqn, today flies Voyager transporters but in France it flew the F.E.2b on bombing and strafing missions notably on night raids against German aerodromes.






Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P22

1918 – 2018

RAF Centenary

100 years of a Former fighter pilot Michael Napier celebrates the achievements of the world’s first independent air force. The 58-year-old Tornado veteran joined the RAF in 1978 and his military career spanned the Cold War and missions over Iraq after the Gulf War


INCE ITS birth in the final year of the First World War, the RAF has been involved in almost continuous air operations around the world and many of the missions it carries out today would have been familiar to its personnel nearly a century ago. When Tornados and Typhoons deployed to the Baltic to contain Russian aggression in 2004 and 2014, they were following in the footsteps of their forebears who deployed in support of the White Russian army fighting the Bolsheviks in 1919. Likewise, the TriStars, Hercules and C-17 Globemaster transporters, which flew personnel out of Kandahar in the 2000s and 2010s, were not the first to do so – the world’s first large-scale airlift, the Kabul Airlift, was carried out in Afghanistan by the RAF back in 1928. And although Typhoons attacked enemy tanks in the Libyan desert in 2011, so did Hurricanes in 1942. The RAF motto ‘Per Ardua Ad Astra’ was coined by Frederick Sykes, a man pretty much forgotten by a Service which looks upon Hugh Trenchard as The Father of the RAF. But while Trenchard played a major role in the formation of the RAF and was the first Chief of the Air Staff, his first tenure in the top job lasted only a few weeks. The two key founders of the Service were South African statesman Jan Smuts – whose report recommended the amalgamation of the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps into a single independent service – and Frederick Sykes, Officer Commanding the Military Wing of the Royal Flying Corps before the First World War. Sykes, who succeeded Trenchard as CAS in 1918, was an experienced aviator who wrote many of the operations manuals for the RFC, and was also an accomplished administrator who nurtured the RAF through its first year of independence. Unfortunately, Trenchard hated him and when he was reappointed as CAS in 1919 he ensured his rival’s good work was excised from the public memory – but at least his motto survives.

LONG DISTANCE SPECIALIST: Vulcan in air-to-air refuelling on the way to the Falklands in 1982 © Air Historical branch (RAF)

TORNADO VETERAN: Michael Napier in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, during his RAF service


he cult of the individual cuts right across the team ethos of the RAF: we are in awe of the fighter pilots of the Battle of Britain, but we must never forget that behind every successful Spitfire flight was several hours of hard grind by the fitters and riggers who serviced the aircraft. However, the history of the RAF is largely defined by its aircraft rather than its people, especially the Sopwith Camel, the Spitfire, Lancaster and Vulcan. While it is true that the Camel was one of the outstanding aircraft of the First World War, it was the decidedly unglamorous R.E.8, a plodding workhorse of an aeroplane, that formed the backbone of the RFC squadrons whose work was so vital to the success of the land operations in 1918. The Lancaster still enjoys tremendous popularity, but if I were to choose the most outstanding four-engine aeroplane of the Second World War, I would go for the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. The Liberator swung the balance of the Battle of the Atlantic and without the vital part played by Coastal Command in that campaign, there could have been no D-Day. The Liberator also saw important RAF service in the Mediterranean, Central Europe and Balkans as well as playing a crucial role in Burma. It is right that the Vulcan should be held in such esteem: armed with

the Blue Steel stand-off missile, the delta-winged bomber took its place on the frontline as part of the UK’s nuclear deterrent and in later years it also played an important part in the liberation of the Falkland Islands. But the Handley-Page Victor also served as a nuclear bomber and it was the Victor in its role as an air-to-air refuelling (AAR) tanker that enabled the Vulcan to reach the Falklands in 1982. The Victor was the longest serving of the V-bombers and in its AAR role it contributed far more to RAF campaigns from the Falklands to the Persian Gulf and air defences of the UK than the Vulcan. Of all the aircraft types in the history of the RAF, it is the Spitfire which stands out as the unanimous champion of the skies. It was arguably the only truly modern aeroplane in the RAF inventory on the outbreak of the Second World War and it was one of the only type (other than perhaps the Wellington) that remained in largescale production and frontline service throughout the conflict. Spitfires fought in all the major theatres of war, from the Battle of Britain to the Burma campaign, and in every case they tipped the balance of air superiority in favour of the RAF. The Spitfire rightly deserves its reputation as a superb machine and one of the most effective aircraft ever to have been operated by the RAF.

VICTOR: A Victor B(SR)2 strategic reconnaissance aircraft of 543 Squadron banks away to display the reconnaissance equipment. Fitted inside the bomb bay in three sections, the equipment could be varied to suit the task and could include a F49 vertical, F96 oblique or nightcapable F89 camera, photo-flash flares, air sampling equipment and/ or extra fuel tanks © RAFM

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P23

air operations RE8: The Royal Aircraft Factory RE8 was, arguably, the most important aircraft type in service with the RAF during World War I. Known to its crews as the ‘Harry Tate’ after a music hall comedian of the day, it was the mainstay of the Corps squadrons, equipping a total of 19. It saw active service in all theatres © Pitchfork SOPWITH CAMEL: Extremely manoeuvrable and armed with two forward-firing Vickers machine guns, the Camel was perhaps the most successful RAF fighter aircraft of World War I. By October 1918, the RAF had more than 2,500 of the aircraft © Flintham

LIBERATOR: A Liberator B VI of 354 Squadron over the Bay of Bengal. The last bombing mission of the war was carried out by Liberators of 99 and 356 Squadrons operating from the Cocos Islands on August 7, 1945 © Pitchfork

BRISTOL F2b: Returning from a raid on the Jelal Khel during ‘Pink’s War’ on the northwest frontier of India in 1925. Wg Cdr RCM Pink showed air power could secure the submission of dissident tribes, causing the Indian Army to re-think its attitude to the aeroplane © Jarrett

CROSSOVER: The ‘Securing the Skies’ team’s Typhoon and Spitfire, from Coningsby, perform a manoeuvre during their 2015 display at RAFC Cranwell Families’ Day


MERCY MISSION: Douglas C-47 (DC-3) Dakotas of 267 Squadron were deployed to evacuate more than 1,000 partisan casualties from Yugoslavia in August 1944. Some 2,000 of the type were supplied to the RAF and saw operational service in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East ©Flintham

DH9A: An Airco DH9A in northern Russia in 1919. Operating from Lumbushi on the northern tip of Lake Onega, these aircraft were flown by volunteers in support of the White Russian army fighting Bolshevik forces © Jarrett

SPITFIRE: A Spitfire Mk I of 602 City of Glasgow Squadron. The first Luftwaffe aircraft to be shot down over the UK was a Heinkel He111 bomber which was intercepted by Blue Section, ‘B’ Flight from the squadron on October 16, 1939 © Pitchfork

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P24

1918 – 2018

RAF Centenary

No account of the RAF would be complete without a tribute to the Battle of Britain pilots who halted the Nazi invasion. Between July 10 and October 31, 1940, aircrew from the UK, Poland, New Zealand, Australia and other allied nations fought and won the first major military campaign conducted entirely in the air. Here, RAF News recalls the Top 10 Aces, as recorded by the Air Historical Branch, who make up The Best of The Few

Battle of Britain Top 10 1. Sgt Josef Frantisek (Czech): 17 kills Josef Frantisek was born in 1912 and joined the Czechoslovakian air force in the 1930s. After the fall of Czechoslovakia in 1938 he escaped to Poland and joined the Polish Air Force. After Poland fell, he escaped to France and after the fall of France arrived in the UK. Although Czechoslovakian,

he opted to stay with the Poles and joined No. 303 Squadron at RAF Northolt. He claimed 17 enemy aircraft (11 of them fighters) becoming the Top Allied Battle of Britain Ace before being killed in a crash on October 8, 1940. An unruly pilot, he favoured breaking formation and embarking on solitary ‘lone wolf ’ missions.

SPITFIRE: Battle of Britain icon

2. Plt Off Eric Lock (UK): 161/2 kills Eric Lock was born in Shrewsbury in 1920. He joined the RAFVR in 1939 and served with No. 41 Squadron seeing intensive action throughout the Battle of Britain; about two thirds of his claims were enemy fighters. He was shot down and badly injured on November 17, 1940, and was in hospital until May 1941. He returned to flying in July 1941, with No. 611 Squadron, and made several more claims. He was killed over France on August 3, 1941, and has no known grave.

6. Fg Off Witold Urbanowicz (Poland): 15 kills

3. Sgt James Lacey (UK): 151/2 kills James ‘Ginger’ Lacey was born in Wetherby, Yorkshire, in 1917. He joined No. 501 Squadron as a Sergeant Pilot and fought in the Battle of France in May and June 1940. During the Battle of Britain he claimed more than twice as many enemy fighters shot down as bombers, and was himself shot down twice. He left the RAF in 1967 and died in 1989.

4. Fg Off Brian Carbury (NZ): 15 /2 kills 1

Brian Carbury was born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1918. He travelled to the UK and joined the RAF in 1937. He claimed several victories over the winter of 1939-40, and in August 1940 entered the Battle of Britain with No. 603 Squadron.

He would claim four times as many enemy fighters destroyed as enemy bombers during the Battle, and unusually received the Distinguished Flying Cross and a Bar during that period. Later he became an instructor and left the RAF in 1944. He died in 1962.

5. Plt Off Robert Doe (UK): 15 kills Robert ‘Bob’ Doe was born in Reigate, Surrey, in 1920, and joined the RAFVR in 1938. During the Battle of Britain he claimed 12 victories (10 of them enemy fighters) with No. 234 Squadron before transferring to No. 238 Squadron and claiming several more. On October 10, 1940, he was shot down and injured, not returning to operations until the end of the year. On January

3, 1941, he was severely injured during a crash landing and underwent reconstructive facial surgery. He returned to flying again in May 1941. Doe was posted to the Far East in December 1943, taking command of No. 10 Squadron Indian Air Force, which he commanded for the rest of the war in Burma. After the war he held several staff posts before retiring in 1966. He died in 2010.

Witold Urbanowicz was born in Poland in 1908 and joined the Polish Air Force in 1930. After the fall of Poland in 1939, he escaped to France and then the UK, joining No. 145 Squadron in August 1940. He made several claims, and within a few weeks was posted to No. 303 (Polish) Squadron at RAF

Northolt. Here he continued to build his score, claiming roughly equal numbers of enemy fighters and bombers shot down. In the autumn of 1943 he flew briefly with US forces in China, claiming two Japanese aircraft destroyed. He left the air force in 1945 and returned to America where he settled down. He died in 1987.

7. Plt Off Paterson Hughes (Aus): 14 kills (3x1/2 kills) Paterson Hughes was born in New South Wales in 1917. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1935, and transferred to the RAF in 1937. He flew with No. 238 Squadron during the Battle of

Britain, claiming 14 enemy fighters shot down, and sharing claims on three enemy bombers. He was shot down and killed on September 7, 1940, and is buried in St. James’ churchyard, Sutton, Hull.

8. Plt Off Colin Gray (NZ): 14 kills (2x1/2 kills) Colin Gray was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1914. He joined the RAF, after several attempts, in 1938. He flew with No. 54 Squadron, claiming his first victory in May 1940. During the Battle of Britain almost all his claims were for enemy fighters. He remained on operations until early 1942. He was posted to the Middle East to command a squadron in January 1943, and later commanded a wing in Malta, continuing to add to his score. At the end of the war he was a Station Commander, and held staff posts until his retirement in 1961. He returned to New Zealand and died there in 1995.

9. Flt Lt Archie McKellar (UK): 141/2 kills Archibald McKellar was born in Paisley in 1912. After gaining a civilian pilot’s licence, he joined No. 602 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force, in 1936. Mobilised in August 1939, on October 28 he shot down the first enemy aircraft to be brought down over British soil during the war. In June 1940, he was posted to No. 605 Squadron, which he took command of in late September. While fighting with the squadron he claimed roughly equal numbers of enemy fighters and bombers shot down. He was shot down and killed on November 1, 1940, and is buried in New Eastwood Cemetery, Glasgow.

10. Flt Lt Carl Davis (UK): 111/2 kills Carl Davis was born in South Africa of American parents, in 1911. He went to school in Britain, and joined No. 601 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force, in 1936. He was mobilised in August 1939, and took part in an air raid on a German seaplane base at Borkum in November. He continued to fly with No. 601 Sqn during the Battle of Britain, with most of his claims against enemy fighters. He was shot down and killed on September 6, 1940, and is buried in St Mary’s churchyard, Storrington, Sussex.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 R'n'R 3

R'n'R UK Box Office Top 10

Film review

Stories of Love that Cannot Belong to this World Cinema Made In Italy

Breaking up is hard to do


ILMS THAT revolve around the break-up of relationships can sometimes make for teary, difficult viewing, but in most cases they miss the subtle nuances and intrinsic dialogue that are the real reasons behind this reaction –

not so with Francesca Comencini’s Stories of Love that Cannot Belong to this World (Amori Che Non Sanno Stare Al Mondo). Forming part of the ever excellent Cinema Made in Italy festival at the Ciné Lumiere, Institut RELATIONSHIP WOES: Thomas Trabacchi and Lucia Mascino play fragmenting couple Flavio and Claudia


Northern Exposure on Blu-Ray Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises

Francais, London, this powerful movie is a masterclass in the reality of romance – in this case relating to the break-up of 50-year-old couple Flavio (Thomas Trabacchi) and Claudia (Lucia Mascino). While watching the birth and subsequent death of the couples’ relationship, director Comencini delicately shows the slip away from love as we see the couple slowly break, seemingly unaware of the impending end – while dreamlike sequences from the golden age of Italian romance are intercut, beautifully highlighting the hopes and dreams of all couples and lovers – balanced against the reality of the risk that needs to be taken to become happy in love. Morrissey’s song lyric: ‘I am human and I need to be loved, just like everybody else does’ – seemed to sum up this amazing film to me, as we follow first Claudia’s experiences and then flip over to Flavio’s, never really finding blame or finger-pointing at either as they swoop and dive through this chaos. Scenes where the couple tackle the highs and lows of love are breathtakingly well-written, almost


1 Black Panther 2 The Greatest Showman 3 Red Sparrow 4 Game Night 5 Lady Bird 6 Finding Your Feet 7 The Shape of Water 8 Coco (pictured below)

SUBTLE: Stories of Love director Francesca Comencini, above, left

unbearable at points, as they strike a chord with the viewer – who has never experienced heartache and break-ups? The particular issues pertinent to restarting your life at the age of these characters is thoughtfully and intelligently portrayed. This excellent film, adapted from Comencini's own novel, has proved, once again, the value of this special festival that runs every year in March. Review by Daniel Abrahams

9 I, Tonya 10

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


R'n'R Rating:


The Big Audition

Win cult classic complete set

THE HEART-WARMING comedy drama Northern Exposure has become a cult classic since it won seven Emmy awards and was awarded a Golden Globe for best drama series in 1992 and 1993. Now fully restored and in high-definition, all six seasons of the show, featuring 110 episodes, can be enjoyed again as The Complete Series is released on Blu-Ray this month. Joshua Brand and John Falsey, the team behind the hit US medical drama St Elsewhere – voted one of the 50 greatest TV shows of all time – created Northern Exposure that tells the story of young, Jewish New York City medical school graduate Joel Fleischman (Rob Morrow) whose education has been financed by the state of Alaska. In return, Joel has to fulfil a four-year contract to work in the far-flung state, and is assigned to

the small town of Cicely, with just 215 inhabitants. The quirky show’s guest stars included Adam Ant, Jack Black, Peter Bogdanovich and Joanna Cassidy. Ex con and DJ Chris Stevens is

Sex and the City fans as Carrie’s former flame Aiden. Morrow went on to star on the big screen with the legendary Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List. The Complete Set of Northern Exposure on Blu-Ray retails at £149.99 and we have one to win. Extras include four-anda-half hours of bonus content with deleted scenes, gag reels, promo reels and unexposed footage. For your chance to win this great prize, simply answer this question correctly: Who are the two creators of Northern Exposure?

Win! played by John Corbett – well known to

Email your answer, marked Northern Exposure competition, to: competitions@ or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE to arrive by April 6. Please note: entrants must be over 15.

FANCY YOURSELF as a TV star in the making? Taking part in The Big Audition could be the first step on your road to stardom. Twenty Twenty Productions Limited – the makers of First Dates – are looking for people for their show for ITV. The Big Audition is a new factual entertainment series which goes behind the scenes of the casting world and will give you the chance to audition in front of real casting panels for real jobs. These could be anything from presenting, hand modelling, being a body double, a football mascot, featuring in a film or television commercial, or being the new face of an ad campaign. Whether you’re a seasoned professional and no stranger to an audition, or a first-timer and would love to step inside the casting room, they want to hear from you. For details on how to apply visit: Applications close on March 30, 2018 (the producers reserve the right to extend the closing date at their sole discretion). On p8 of RnR in RAF News 1438 re: No Ordinary Pilot by Suzanne Campbell-Jones (, the following picture credits were inadvertently omitted – Bob Allen image: Suzanne CampbellJones, Suzanne Campbell-Jones image: Zuleika Henry.

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 R'n'R 4

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 R'n'R 5


The Big Interview The Good Karma Hospital


Hairspray The Musical CAST: Matt Rixon (left), Rebecca Mendoza and Norman Pace, of Hale and Pace fame


Musical helps Brenda after cancer diagnosis usical theatre star Brenda Edwards (Chicago, We Will Rock You) has revealed that starring as larger-than-life Motormouth Maybelle in the UK tour of Hairspray helped her stay positive after a cancer diagnosis. Brenda, who found fame on The X-Factor, said: "It really helped to get me through what I was going through when, after the first half of the tour, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. "The songs in the show are uplifting in so many different ways and performing helped me not to focus on the chemotherapy. One of the songs I sing, and especially drew strength from, was I Know Where I Have Been. The words already had so much meaning to me and helped me to stay positive and keep thinking of brighter days. It was very therapeutic and just what I needed." Based on the 1988 film by John Waters, Hairspray The Musical, set in Baltimore in 1962, tells the story of Tracy Turnblad (Rebecca Mendoza), a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart. She's on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. Tracy's audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way. The tour visits Manchester Opera House from March 26 to April 7, is at Milton Keynes Theatre from April 9-14 then goes to 15 venues across the country including the Liverpool Empire,


There's a different look to the Indian hospital drama

UK tour



Edited by Tracey Allen

BRENDA EDWARDS: As Motormouth Maybelle

Wycombe Swan, Cheltenham Everyman, Swansea Grand Theatre and Bournemouth Pavilion. The cast also features Norman Pace as Tracy's dad Wilbur and Matt Rixon as her mum Edna. Pace described Wilbur as 'fascinating'. He said: "He is quirky, wise, I just seem to turn into him as soon as the costume is on." Pace became well-known to TV viewers for his double-act with comedy partner Gareth Hale – their ITV show ran for a decade from 1988-98. He's also performed on stage in Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show and One Man Two Guv'nors He said: "I prefer the stage [to recording for television and film]. It is the party atmosphere and if you get a mistake then you have another seven chances that week to make it right. "There is a lot more pressure with television, the pressure is enormous when the camera is right there in front of you, in your face. "You have very little rehearsal and there is a shorter time to give a convincing character performance, every time. "There isn't the freedom to learn, discover the character and the different ways you can do it, like on stage." He added: "When musical theatre is at its best it bypasses your brain and just grabs your heart and shakes you around a bit. "I would love to play Alfred Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Gareth played that role on the Cameron Mackintosh tour in 2006 and it is the only time I have been jealous of him." n Go to: for tour details.

t’s back to the sun for TV favourites Amanda Redman and Neil Morrissey as they return for the second series of medical drama The Good Karma Hospital. Set in Kerala in southern India, the six-part show is actually filmed in Sri Lanka, to avoid India's rainy season. Redman (New Tricks) has reprised her role as the formidable Dr Lydia Fonseca and Morrissey (Line of Duty, Men Behaving Badly) plays her love interest, bar owner Greg McConnell. It’s a year since Dr Ruby Walker (Amrita Acharia) first arrived in Kerala, looking for a job and a distraction from heartbreak. She’s now settled in India and Lydia feels it’s time for her apprentice to take on more responsibility. Series Two sees Ruby deepen her understanding of India and move closer to Dr Gabriel Varma (James Krishna Floyd), while Lydia’s relationship with Greg hits a rocky patch and leaves them wondering what the future holds. Dan Sefton, the show’s writer, said: “For this series we break out of our location and see other parts of India. We go to a tea plantation in the hills, where Ruby and Gabriel explore. That’s a real change in feel and topography, we’ve seen the gorgeous beaches and coastline of Kerala and now we’re seeing the greenery and mountainous areas of India.” He added: “Lydia is still very much our main character and the heart of the hospital. She’s looking for someone to be her partner and she sees in Ruby someone who could be with her at the hospital for a long, long time. But there are challenges to that.”

It's Karma chameleon GOING PLACES: Some members of the cast will be travelling away from the hospital to explore the mountainous areas of the country – really Sri Lanka

hat can audiences expect from Series Two? Sefton said: “It’s a little bit more mature [than the first series] and because the characters are in a slightly different place emotionally we’re telling slightly different stories, it’s more grounded in its location and feels less like the focus is on somebody coming to a new place. I really like that about this series, that it feels like it’s moved on and has become more about India and how it really is.” Redman said of her character: “Lydia is formidable through and through. I don’t think she could ever change as a

William Edwards Home


Win a special china mug to celebrate centenary T

The locations this year are incredible, in particular the markets


Centenary Mugs

DR FONSECA: Amanda Redman

person. If anything she’s just going to get worse as she gets older, more stubborn and perhaps stuck in her ways. She has this undeniable belief that she is always right.” Redman revealed that she loved shooting scenes in the colourful local markets. She said: “The locations this year are incredible, in particular the markets where I got to shoot quite a lot. They’re real working markets and pretty spectacular with local people walking about and real vendors selling their wares and the smell is just extraordinary. It’s so authentic, all of which helps enormously when you’re playing a scene. “I love Sri Lanka. It’s a beautiful country, with beautiful people and incredible food. It’s a real joy to work on this show. At the beginning of the shoot we had a welcome party when we first arrived back with all the Sri Lankan crew (who were the same as last year) and they welcomed us back with huge smiles and flung their arms around us. It was wonderful, just joyful.” She added: “I think what

makes The Good Karma Hospital special is the world it’s set in. It’s such a vibrant and rich world. If you’re sitting in the front room, in front of the fire on a Sunday night in March, you see this and think there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It brightens everything up.” n The Good Karma Hospital continues on ITV on Sundays at 9pm. RUBY: Amrita Acharia

o mark its centenary on April 1, leading fine ceramics company William Edwards Home have created a special RAF100 range to celebrate the Royal Air Force’s landmark anniversary. Crafted in the heart of the worldrenowned Potteries in England, each piece in the collection draws on the exceptional heritage of the RAF. There are four pieces in the range; a mug, coaster, plate and cufflink box, each one bearing the inscription ‘To Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of The Royal Air Force 1918-2018’ and the RAF’s motto ‘Per Ardua ad Astra’ – Through Adversity to the Stars. Ten different aircraft have been skilfully hand-decorated onto each plate and mug, representing a decade in the life and development of the RAF. Each of these fine bone china items comes in a beautiful navy blue Royal Air Force presentation box. Prices for items in the RAF Centenary collection range from £15 to £40. Williams Edwards Home, based at the historic Anderton Works in the centre of the Potteries, in Stoke-on-Trent, makes exclusive chinaware for the world’s most

RAF 100 china mug: A great souvenir to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force

discerning restaurants, hotels, clubs and for royal palaces. Clients include Fortnum & Mason, Blenheim Palace, Harrods, Claridges, The Dorchester and the Café Royal. Go to: williamedwardshome. for more information. We have 10 RAF100 commemorative bone china mugs (rrp £18 each) to win. For your chance to win one, send us the correct answer to this question: In which English town is Williams Edwards Home based? Email your answer, marked


FULL SET: Mug, plate, coaster & cufflink box

RAF100 Mugs competition, to: c omp e t it i ons @ r af ne w s . c o. u k or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE to arrive by April 9. n Please note: This competition is open to readers living in Britain only (excluding Northern Ireland).



ITV Studios Global Entertainment

Island life is never dull in Shetland


reated from the novels by award-winning writer Ann Cleeves (Vera) and set against a hauntingly-beautiful landscape, gripping crime drama Shetland follows DI Jimmy Perez (Douglas Henshall) and his team as they investigate complex crimes within a close-knit island community. In Series 4 Perez finds himself facing murders from the past and present with unsettling similarities. When Shetlander Thomas Malone has his conviction for the murder of teenager Lizzie Kilmuir overturned after 23 years behind bars, Perez must reopen the investigation. Many in the close-knit island community still believe Malone to be guilty, so when his return coincides with the murder of a local journalist, he’s very firmly in the frame. As both cases become increasingly complex, stretching to Norway and into the murky

world of far-right extremist groups, Perez is pushed to the limit both professionally and personally. He’s as determined as ever not to give up, but, as he closes in on the truth, the investigation will lead him closer to home than he could ever have imagined. Shetland Series 4 is out on DVD on March 26 and we have two copies (rrp £19.99) to win. For your chance to own one, just answer this question correctly: Who stars as DI Jimmy Perez in Shetland? Email your answer, marked Shetland DVD competition, to: competitions@rafnews. or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14

4UE to arrive by April 9.

Henshall revealed that he relates to his character, Perez. He said: “When I read the script at first, the things that sprung at me were that he seemed to be quite kind, empathetic and wanted to find the best in people. “Also he seems to genuinely like women, which I thought was quite unusual in a police show. “All of those things drew me in and I try to put my own self in there as well. “I felt Perez was far removed from a typical police television character.” n The Complete Shetland Series 1-4 is also released on March 26 (rrp £39.99).

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 R'n'R 6

R'n'R Your Announcements

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

Death DODIMEAD Derek James (Doddy), Group Captain, OBE RAF (Ret'd) passed away peacefully on March 3, aged 93, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Very much loved Daddy of Lou, Jil, Woo and Sue; beloved Grampy of Tessa, Kellie, Sebastian and Lewis; Great-Grampy to Alicia, Oliver, Willow, Isabelle and Finn. Loved and missed beyond words; his humour, his silliness and sense of the ridiculous will live on in our hearts forever. Daddy, you have slipped the surly bonds of earth, navigating the stars and skies one last time. Fly safely.

In Memoriam In Memoriam – Wing Commander Chin Seng Lim RAF (Ret'd) passed away on March 22, 2016. Always remembered and loved by family and friends.

Seeking Seeking Richard, Pete and George from Billet 77,

RAF Fayed, Canal Zone 1954/1955. Remember the good old days in the Education Dept? Many years gone by but memories have not faded. How are you all? Contact Brian on: 07980 189726 or email:

Looking for John Kenneth Kitching (above, left) ex 50th entry Boy Entrants. Best Man for Fred Watson December 14, 1968 Newcastle-on-Tyne. Email: hazelfarm@yahoo. Seeking Milton Clement Henry aka Milton Clement Robinson, a retired Sergeant who was stationed at RAF Gütersloh, Germany, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. We’re seeking him with regards to the estate of his aunt, Violet Guishard Hallpike. He is roughly 75 years old, retired from

the RAF, and would likely be residing in England or Germany. We kindly ask anyone who has any information to call Anton Young, toll free, at: 1-800663-2255 ex. 6704. Seeking RAF Boy Entrants of the 43rd Entry RAF Saint Athan from 1961-62. Contact: don43rdentrysaints@yahoo. com or via our website: 43rdentr yrafstathan. Does anyone have details of Irish Republican Army threats or attacks on RAF stations or personnel during 'The Troubles'? Please contact Father Keith Sawyer, 29 Field Gate Road, Luton LU4 9TA, call: 07773 591554. Seeking whereabouts of John Bellsmith, Halton Apprentice 209th Entry. Later worked at Stansted. Location urgently required on behalf of sister Flt Off Bellsmith PMRAFNS. Any info please contact Mike Plimmer: 01403 275176. Seeking Richard, Pete and George from Billet 77, RAF Fayed, Canal Zone

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

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

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

1954/1955. Remember the good old days in the Education Dept? Many years gone by but memories have not faded. How are you all? Please contact Brian on: 07980 189726 or email: 43rd Entry B/E's (Carpenters) St Athan 1961/2. There were only eight of us, found one, looking for the other six: D Beales, R Davies, (?) Fisher, (S?) Marks, D Shaw, (R?) Sims. Please contact John Phillips: 01380 871956; or you can email: john.sandie723@ RAF Administrative Apprentice Association. Seeking all Administrative Apprentices who trained at RAF St Athan, Bircham Newton, Halton, Ruislip or Hereford. For details of YOUR association please visit the website: www.

Reunions To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the RAF this year Trade Group 6 MT are combining their annual reunion weekend with an Anniversary Dinner and Ball in Blackpool over a weekend in April. For more details or to attend the weekend please email: Everyone welcome from MT, all ranks. RAF100 celebrations: The combined Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) organisation, in Westonsuper-Mare, are organising an RAF Locking reunion 'Token Fair' to be held on the Beach Lawns in front of the RAFA Home, Flowerdown House (BS23 1BH), on April 14 from 10am to 5pm. The RAFA Band will be giving a free concert. There will be a beer tent, food, rides and a bouncy castle. The Mayor has accepted an invitation. The entrance fee is 50p, in aid of the Wings Appeal. Contact Iain Norris on: 07788185389. Coltishall Old Boys will hold a Norfolk RAF mardle in Aylsham Town Hall, NR11 6EL on Saturday, April 21, from 10am to 4pm to celebrate the RAF's 100 years. Gulf War Display memorabilia, pictures and book sale. Paper plane making for future pilots and engineers. Refreshments and cakes. Free entry. 206 Squadron Association Annual Reunion April 20-

22 near Faringdon, Oxon. All past members of 206 Squadron and partners welcome. Programme includes visit to 206 Squadron at Brize Norton. Full details from: derek. or call: 01285 869437. ROYAL Air Force Catering Warrant Officers and Seniors Association (RAFCWO&SA). This year’s Annual General Meeting of the RAFCWO&SA will take place at RAF Wittering on April 26 and 27. Details and application forms can be obtained from either FS John Roberts, call: 01780 417282; email John Roberts: john. or FS Dom Owen, call: 01780 416369; email Dom Owen: uk. Members are requested to complete and return application forms ASAP. No 4 Squadron 309 entry RAF Hereford Annual Reunion will be held on April 26-28. This is a special reunion with a visit to a Lincolnshire RAF base. A formal dinner will be arranged on Friday 27th. For further information please email: robert.willis@ or: dave. or call: 07982 07982 190504. Please book early for this event, all ex Apprentices are welcome. RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF). The 22nd Annual Reunion and AGM will be on May 4-7 at the Novotel Hotel Nottingham NG10 4EP (off M1 Jnc. 25). Membership is open to all ranks, ex RAF/WRAF/ WAAF and civilian personnel who served there during 1946-72 and we are always looking for new members. Contact our Membership Secretary: Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562 or email: or visit: for more details. The 90th anniversary of No 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron will be celebrated by 504 Association, with a lunch at the ex RAF Hucknall, site where we were born (now Rolls-Royce) on Saturday, May 5. If interested with partners please email: RAF Regiment Association Somerset/Dorset Branch Social May 18-21. Warners, Cricket St Thomas, Somerset. Join the Social Club. Please contact Alec Hunt, Coordinator, on: 01793 704629 for details.

45th Entry C Flt 3 Sqn Suppliers reunion July 13 and 14 at Three Counties Hotel, Hereford. Anyone interested please call Dave Bell in Hull on: 01482 377625. 313 Entry RAF Hereford Supplier General. 50 years since we were at Hereford. Is anybody interested in a reunion? Please email David Johnson: DCJ440.313@

RAF100 Service The 100th anniversary of the RAF will be celebrated in central London on Tuesday July 10, 2018. A limited number of tickets are available for the Service in Westminster Abbey (including reception), or access to the reception only on Horse Guards Parade, from where you will view the flypast. Applicants should provide the names, addresses, place and date of birth, Passport or Driving Licence number of individuals wishing to attend. Applications should be made in writing, and are to be accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope. Applications should reach: Mrs Michèle Small, SO3 RAF Ceremonial Events, RAF Ceremonial Office, RAF Northolt, Ruislip, Middlesex, HA4 6NG to arrive before April 3, 2018. Please clearly mark the rear of the envelope ‘PARADE’. To assist with the categorisation of tickets, applicants are requested to state which of the following is appropriate: either a member of the general public, or RAF or Royal Auxiliary Air Force/ Reserve Force veterans who should provide their Service number. Please state if you are a wheelchair user. Tickets, and a note on dress and timings for the occasion will be issued four weeks before the Service. Those applicants wishing to attend the Service at Westminster Abbey should plan to be at the Abbey at 0845. Reception guests only should plan to be at Horse Guards Parade no later than 1045.

RAF 100 events Parade and church service on April 1 at midday at St Johns Church, Westonsuper-Mare and then at the RAFA Club, Alexandra Parade, afterwards. The Mayor is attending. RAF Woodvale is joining the celebrations to mark 100 years since the formation of the Royal Air Force by

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 R'n'R 7

R'n'R Your Announcements You can email photos for announcements on this page. Send small jpg files (less than 1MB) to launching a competition to design a new RAF Woodvale badge. The competition is open to anyone aged 16 and under and will run until April 30. The badge will be submitted for Royal approval and the winner will have their design professionally turned into the new station badge. The lucky winner will receive a framed copy of their design and will also be given the chance to be Station Commander for the day. See the RAF Woodvale website: for full competition details. lestationbadgecompetition. cfm). TO commemorate the forming of the RAF 100 years ago, the Beccles and Southwold Area Branch of the RAF Association, on Saturday, March 31 is holding a Wings Appeal collection in Exchange Square, Beccles and an exhibition of RAF memorabilia in Hungate Church Hall, together with a film show, 'The History of the RAF'. Our local MP, Mr Peter Aldous, the Mayor of Beccles and other civic leaders together with an RAF contingent from RAF

Honington and our local ATC Cadets have been invited to support us. There will also be Pipe Music from a City of Norwich Pipe Band Piper. All are welcome to attend. Further details from Secretary on: rafabeccles@ or call: 01502 711519. STOW Maries Great War Aerodrome will host a programme of talks – starting next month and continuing to May 2019 – to commemorate 100 years of the RAF. Each monthly talk will focus on different aspects of World War 1 and will be presented by Eric Simonelli, from Stow Maries’ curatorial team. The talks take place on the last Sunday of every month at 2pm and will be held in the newly refreshed ‘Dope Workshop’. It was in this building that war-torn aircraft were repaired with the thin Irish Linen and ‘Dope’ treatment, before being wheeled out, back into the war. The first talk on April 29, will be interactive, giving advice on how to expand your research into aviation

relatives during both World Wars. It will cover taking research further than Service records; how to find squadron diaries and looking further into the history of the air services. Those interested in attending are advised to bring along any information they may have as there will be time for research to be carried out. On May 27 the subject is The First Daylight Gotha Bomber Raids and on June 24 Medical Services of the Air Forces in the Great War. Talks cost £12 per person and include full access to the site plus a tour. Refreshments will be available in the Airmen’s Mess but not included in the entry price. There is no need to pre-book, just turn up to attend. For more information visit A concert at Lincoln Catherdral on May 24, featuring The Band of the RAF College under the direction of Principal Director of Music Wg Cdr Piers Morrell and Director of Music Sqn Ldr Richard Murray, will mark the 100th anniversary of the RAF. Organised and funded by

the RAF Musical Charitable Trust the concert will be introduced by the Trust's President ACM Sir Michael Graydon and compered by TV personality and Air Cadets ambassador, Honorary Gp Capt Carol Vorderman. The event will raise funds for the Trust and other Service charities. Tickets, priced £15-£35, are available from Lincoln Cathedral Shop with a 15 per cent discount for all RAF Personnel, Air Cadets and Defence Discount Service cardholders on production of a valid membership or HM Forces ID card or go to:

RAF Changi Assoc RAF Changi Association (inc. HQFEAF). We are always looking for new members and are open to all ranks; ex RAF/WRAF/WAAF and civilian personnel who served there during 194672. Contact Membership Secretary Malcolm Flack on: 01494 728562; email: MemSecChangi@telco4u. net or visit for more details.

BE BETTER EQUIPPED WITH AN OU DEGREE Find out how we can help you become better equipped for civilian life visit

Bill's high-flying career

THE FRIENDS of Metheringham Airfield are hosting an evening with Bill Ramsey, the last Vulcan captain, on March 28 at 7.30pm in the Peter Scoley Hall, Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre. Bill (inset, above) has piloted the iconic delta winged bomber 64 times. He retired from the RAF in 2008 after a 36-year career. During his service he amassed around 6,700 hours in some 35 or so aircraft types – mainly the Vulcan, Jet Provost, Tornado GR1 and the Hawk. He has flown the Lancaster and Dakota with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and has served in Germany and Saudi Arabia. He is now Operations Director for The People's Mosquito project. Bill will talk about his RAF career that included four years with the Red Arrows, two as the Grob Tutor Solo Display Pilot and five with Vulcan XH558, culminating as captain of its last ever flight. Admission is £5 for non-members to include refreshments and entry is free to members of Friends of Metheringham Airfield and 106 Sqn veterans. For enquiries email:

Preparing for the move to civilian life? Whether or not you already have a career option in mind, take a look into the exciting and relevant TXDOL¿FDWLRQVWKDWZHRIIHU<RX¶OOHQMR\WKH UHDVVXUDQFHWKDWZH¶UHDZRUOGOHDGLQJSURYLGHU of distance learning and that over 1,500 forces SHUVRQQHODUHFXUUHQWO\VWXG\LQJZLWKXV

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 223

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the nine letters in yellow squares to find a bomber.

Name.................................................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................. BOMBER......................................................................... Crossword No. 223

No. 233 Fill in all the squares in the grid above so that each row, each column and each 3x3 square contains all the digits from 1 to 9.

Across 7. See 15 Down 8. After article, apple squashed on request (6) 10. Either I confused wise men with Japanese art (7) 11. Timber initially enhanced by our natural yew (5) 12. And 20 Down. After cricket match, I may plot against high-flier (4,5) 13. Go away before the first sucker appears (5) 17. See 4 Down 18. Incentive for Harry Kane, say (4) 22. Without sailor exploiting and taking drugs (5) 23. Spotted, plain doughnut (7) 24. See 6 Down 25. During attack, a rat employed martial art (6) Down 1. They offer protection when Queen involved with Highlanders (7) 2. Sounds like ‘Fatherland’ author uses a hot sauce (7) 3. State of southern mountain (5) 4. And 17 Across. Flying faster than this involves sonic boom (5,2,5) 5. Colour scheme has company in variety of scarlet (5) 6. And 24 Across. PM involved in RAF creation (5,6) 9. Elemental stealth fighter? (9) 14. Formerly want a trial (4,3) 15. And 7 Across. How Royal Mail is marking RAF centenary (7,6) 16. So rugged, lacking nothing: may cause grievances (7) 19. Obscure hero embraces grand official (5) 20. See 12 Across 21. Some of his tea-leaves are a bargain (5)

Prize Su Doku

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Prize Crossword' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE to arrive by April 6, 2018.

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked 'Su Doku' with the number in the top left-hand corner to RAF News, to arrive by April 6, 2018.

The winner of Crossword No. 220 is Ms J Ball from Nottingham who wins a copy of No Ordinary Pilot by Suzanne Campbell-Jones ( Solution to crossword No. 220:

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

Su Doku No. 231 winner Dion Peacock from RAF Wyton wins a copy of Air War Varsity by Martin W. Bowman (pen-and-sword.

Solution to Su Doku No: 231

Across – 7. Shadow 8. Artist 10. Rapture 11. Joker 12. Lark 13. Stick 17. Myrrh 18. Rich 22. Earth 23. Officer 24. Meteor 25. Serene. Down – 1. As A Rule 2. Car Park 3. Bogus 4. Project 5. Risky 6. Storm 9. Centurion 14. Typhoon 15. Aircrew 16. Charles 19. Teams 20. Crate 21. Offer. RAF aircraft – Nimrod

Chipping Norton Literary Festival

April 26–29

Big names in Festival line-up


OINTLESS STAR Richard Osman, ITV’s Robert Peston, Reggie Yates, Lionel Shriver and Radio 2's Jeremy Vine and Liza Tarbuck are among the big names appearing at this year’s Chipping Norton Literary Festival. More than 50 authors, publishers, booksellers and literary agents have been lined-up to take part in the four-day festival that

POLITICAL EDITOR: Robert Peston PHOTO: Alan Davidson

runs from April 26 – 29 at various venues around the picturesque Oxfordshire town near RAF Brize Norton. TV personality, producer and comedian Osman hosts a Mystery Book Club on April 28, joining novelist and Festival favourite Mark Billingham to battle out their ‘world cup of books.’ Billingham is one of the UK’s most acclaimed and popular crime writers whose series of novels featuring D.I. Tom Thorne has sold more than five million copies worldwide and twice won him the Crime Novel Of The Year award. Later the same day Reggie Yates launches his new book Unseen: My Journey, an explanation of his fearless documentary filmmaking investigating everything from gun crime in Chicago to life as a refugee in Iraq. Reggie will

take the Festival audience behind the scenes on his journey from TV host to documentary storyteller. On April 29, Peston, political editor of ITV News, talks about his new book WTF – a thoughtprovoking analysis of Britain’s recent political past. Also that day Jeremy Vine, whose latest title is What I Learnt, will discuss the value of wisdom phoned in by some of the seven million listeners to his BBC Radio 2 show over the past 15 years. Actor and p r e s e n t e r Tarbuck, who hosts her own show on Radio 2 on Saturday nights, will be talking about her 'annual for

FEARLESS: Reggie Yates PHOTO: Israel Peters

About Music and AJ Pearce, whose debut novel, Dear Mrs Bird, is set in London during the Blitz. A special programme for children and young people will also run alongside the main Literary Festival programme, featuring authors including Andy Riley, creator of King Flashypants and performance poet and playwright Joseph Coelho sharing tips from his book How To Write Poems. n For more details and to book tickets go to:

grown-ups' I An Distracted By Everything. We Need To Talk About Kevin author Shriver will discuss her first short stories collection Property, on April 27. Also taking part in the Festival are Rachel Joyce author of best-seller The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, on her new book Words


Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P25

RAF Centenary 1918 – 2018

Just four weeks to live for the men who were Churchill’s last hope

TARGET: The industrial Ruhr valley – the heat of the Nazi war machine


ITH THE British Army defeated in mainland Europe in 1940, Winston Churchill turned to Bomber Command to stem the Nazi tide and turn the fortunes of the war. Relentless bombing from the air was seen as preferable to the slaughter Britain’s military leaders had witnessed barely 25 years earlier in the WWI trenches. The unbearable truth for the young RAF bomber crews was that their life expectancy would be lower than their war-fighting forebears cut down on the killing fields of Northern France. With an average age of just 22, they faced the statistical horror that less than half of them would live through the conflict. On average, their lives were measured by that of the aircraft they flew, which was just four weeks. Initial daytime bombing raids were a disaster as German guns sliced through airborne raiders who struggled to even hit their targets. Ground-breaking radio navigation aids such as the GEE radar system and a switch to night bombing raids gave RAF crews more of a fighting chance; but the human cost of waging total war was immense. You would get better odds flipping a coin to see if you would get back alive. A staggering 55 per cent of those who flew with Bomber Command never made it home.


ric Thales joined the RAF in 1942, at 17 years old, and moved to Bomber Command in 1944 as a Sergeant pilot on 625 Sqn, flying Wellingtons, then the Halifax and Lancasters. He said: “It was a hectic place to fly – dangerous. After the first five or six missions you thought, ‘these people are trying to kill me’. “I was terrified at first, but you

didn’t admit it in front of the rest of the crew – although they probably thought the same as you did.” Eric flew 33 missions, including the bombing of Dresden. He said: “We had one hairy moment when one of the chaps in front of us had his bomb doors open and two incendiaries stuck in our wing. “When we got back the ground engineers said ‘what’s that stuck in your wing?’ “When we came back from the 30th trip the crew just looked at each other and didn’t say a word.”

I was often scared, but never terrified. I always thought that I would survive, everyone did


qn Ldr John Rowland, DSO, DFC, flew 50 bombing missions with Bomber Command. In May 1944 he was posted to 625 Sqn as Flight Commander and captained dozens of varied bombing missions deep in occupied Europe. Recalling his WWII experiences he said: “I was often scared, but never terrified. I always thought that I would survive, everyone did. “Like all aircrew in Bomber Command we thought highly of Sir Arthur Harris and had great faith in him. We referred to him as ‘Butcher’ Harris, but this was a term of endearment.”


ollowing the success of the famous Dam Buster raids in May 1943, Air Marshal Harris intensified raids against the German industrial machine, targeting factories along the Ruhr valley. Alf Huberman flew 38 missions to France and Germany with

Bomber Command. He said: “The Ruhr was horrendous. You always went there full of fear and trepidation because the hardest targets were there. “You cannot describe to anyone how terrifying it was going to the Ruhr, with so many big cities crowded together and the German defence was fierce.” Survival rates for aircrew who were shot down were low – but for Alf the consequences of capture would have been brutal. A practising Jew, he proudly bore the fact on his dog tags. He added: “I was proud of who I was, of being Jewish. A lot of people thought it was a brave thing to do.”

YOUNG HEROES: The average age of bomber crews was just 22


avigator Flt Lt Gordon Mellor did survive being shot down near Maastricht, parachuting into Belgium. Speaking at the opening of the Bomber Command Memorial in London in 2012, Mr Mellor, who died last month at the age of 98, said: “I didn’t know what had happened to the others. I saw where the plane had crashed, near a village, and I thought ‘now is the best time to do a runner’. “Gibraltar was the only place to head for, so I found the North Star and headed south west, towards Spain, on foot.” After four days on the run, surviving on Horlicks tablets and chocolate, he was helped by a French farmer and members of the Resistance. He made it home to his mother’s house on his 23rd birthday. Alf, one of the founders of the Bomber Command Association, said: “We played a major part in winning the war. Albert Speer [Reich Minister of Armaments and War Production for Nazi Germany] said to Bomber Harris that if it hadn’t been for Bomber Command Germany would have won.”

BRISTOL BLENHEIM: Used extensively in the first two years of the war

AVRO LANCASTERS: The undisputed king of Bomber Command’s heavy aircraft

Royal Air Force News Friday March 23, 2018 P28

1918-2018 WWII Timeline

Moments That Made The RAF The modern image of the Royal Air Force was forged during the nation’s dramatic fight for survival between 1939-1945. Epic operations like the Battle of Britain and the Dam Buster raids still define the ethos of the world’s oldest independent Air Force

1939 January At the turn of the year the RAF had 135 squadrons and the Auxiliary Air Force 19 squadrons. 17 July The Bristol Beaufighter and 25 Avro Manchester fly for the first time. 1 September Nazi Germany invades Poland beginning World War Two. Hitler says: “I will not wage war against women and children. I have ordered my air force to restrict itself to attacks on military objectives,” yet early bombing raids target cities.

1941 3 September Britain declares war on Germany and a 139 Sqn Blenheim takes off from Wyton for the RAF’s first wartime operational sortie– to photograph the German naval base at Wilhelmshaven. 4 September The first RAF losses are five 9 Sqn Wellingtons shot down in a raid against German warships in the Elbe estuary.

19/20 March Bomber Command attacks its first land target when 41 Whitleys and Wellingtons bomb a seaplane base in the island of Sylt but fail to damage the target. 10 May Germany invades Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. British and French fighters claim 85 victories while 33 Blenheims and 32 Battles attack advancing enemy columns. Chamberlain resigns as Prime Minister and is replaced by Winston Churchill. 26 May-4 June DUNKIRK – under the command of Air Vice Marshal Keith Park 32 squadrons protect the evacuation of Allied troops during Operation Dynamo. 11 June The Italians make the first of seven attacks on Malta. The RAF attacks the Italian airfield at El Adem in Libya destroying all 18 aircraft on the ground. 12 August THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN begins.

12/13 August The RAF drops 82 tons on Berlin in a single raid - its highest tonnage yet.

6 February The RAF’s Air Sea Rescue Service is launched.

27 August A 269 Sqn Hudson makes the RAF’s first U-boat capture.

10 February 51 and 78 Sqn Whitley MkVs drop paratroopers in the UK’s first airborne raid - against a viaduct at Tragino, Italy.

11 September 151 Wing Hurricanes begin combat operations over the USSR

29 March Bomber Command targets the battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in the first of 2,928 sorties against the port of Brest. 10/11 May THE BLITZ ends with the last major Luftwaffe raid killing 1,212 civilians and seriously injuring 1,769.

1940 March 11 An 82 Sqn Blenheim becomes the first RAF aircraft to sink a U-boat earning pilot Sqn Ldr Miles Villiers ‘Paddy’ Delap the DFC.

February The Supermarine Spitfire Mk V and the Curtiss Tomahawk Mk 1 enter service.

13 August The Luftwaffe launches Adler Tag (Eagle Day) targeting RAF air defences and fighter stations. 16 August Flt Lt James Nicholson remains with his burning 249 Sqn Hurricane to shoot down a Messerschmitt Bf110 winning the VC. 20 August Churchill says of Fighter Command’s efforts: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

15 May THE JET AGE begins with the first flight of a Gloster E.28/39 at RAF Cranwell. 24-27 May A combined RAF/Royal Navy operation sinks the Bismarck.

20 September The de Havilland Mosquito makes its first operational sortie. November The Avro Lancaster Mk II flies for the first time. 7/8 November 400 bombers strike Berlin with 37 lost. 8 December Japanese attack PEARL HARBOUR, the US and UK declare war. 11 December Germany and Italy declare war on the US.

22 June Germany invades the Soviet Union. August The Hawker Typhoon and Vickers Wellington MkIV enter service.

9 October The Western Desert Air Force is established in North Africa.


11 November The RAF attacks Greece in a Blenheim raid on Valaca airfield.

February The Luftwaffe resumes attacks against Malta.

15 November The prototype de Havilland Mosquito takes off for the first time.

1 February The RAF Regiment is formed to guard airfields. 22 February Air Marshal Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris appointed C-in-C Bomber Command. 30/31 May The first 1,000-bomber raid against Cologne destroys 250 factories, 18,400 houses and kills 469 people, 41 aircraft are lost.

17 October 94 Lancasters stage daylight raid on munitions factories 300 miles inside France. 24 October Bomber Command strikes Italy from the UK for the first time in daylight.

Royal Air Force News Friday March 23, 2018 P29

1943 30 January Six Mosquitos from 105 and 139 Sqns interrupt a rally in Berlin marking the 10th anniversary of Hitler’s rise to power. 5 February The Allies begin round-the-clock strategic bombing in Europe with more than 2,000 sorties in two days. 5 March The only RAF jet to serve during WWII the Gloster Meteor flies for the first time. 5/6 March Bomber Command begins the Battle of the Ruhr targeting Germany’s industrial heartland.

30 June RAF night fighters use Serrate radar for the first time. 9/10 July Disastrous launch of Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, using glider borne troops. Of the 137 gliders released only 12 made the landing zone. 15 November Fighter Command subsumed into new Air Defence of Great Britain organisation and 2TAF. 16. Bomber Command blitzes Berlin conducting 9,111 sorties over four months with the loss of 492 aircraft.


25 March RAF Transport Command formed. 16/17 May 617 Sqn launch Operation Chastise the DAM BUSTERS raid.

20 January Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder becomes Deputy Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force. 24/25 January The Gestapo murder 50 RAF and Dominion personnel who took part in THE GREAT ESCAPE from Stalag Luft III in Poland. 30/31 January Bomber Command suffers heaviest losses of the war when 95 bombers failed to return from a raid on Nuremberg.

8/9 June 617 Sqn drops a 12,000lb Tallboy bomb for the first time on a French rail tunnel blocking German armour moving towards the beachheads. 9 June The Avro Lincoln flies for the first time. 13 June London attacked by V1 flying bombs – over the next three months the RAF destroyed 1,771 of them. July The RAF reaches its peak strength of 1,185,833 personnel.

June Allies defeat the Japanese army near Rangoon supported by 23 squadrons of transport aircraft protected by Spitfires and Mustangs.

15 September 27 Lancasters from 9 and 617 Sqns attack the battleship Tirpitz at anchor in Norway.

5/6 June D-DAY – the Normandy landings are supported by 5,656 RAF sorties in the first 24 hours with nine Spitfire squadrons protecting troops on the invasion beaches.

17-25 September Operations Market and Garden began the airborne invasion of Holland. Of the 10,000 men dropped at Arnhem, more than 7,500 were killed and the survivors were evacuated.

1945 14 February RAF and Allied bombers hit Dresden. Estimates of the dead range from 35,000 to 220,000. 22 February Operation Clarion almost 9,000 allied aircraft attack roads, railways, bridges and ports used by the Germans across 250,000 square miles of territory.

2 May Axis forces in Italy surrender. 2/3 May 8 Group Mosquitos attack airfields in Bomber Command’s last wartime mission. 8 May VE Day.

24 April 616 Sqn Meteors conduct the RAF’s first jet combat mission against an airfield at Nordholz. 26 April Bomber Command flew the first of 75,000 ex-POWs back to the UK. 30 April Hitler commits suicide. All photographs from Air Historical Branch, RAF Northolt.

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P31

1918 – 2018

RAF Centenary

Cold War comfort As the Iron Curtain came down the RAF’s V-Force maintained the balance of terror in the Nuclear age

FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH: Clockwise, from top, nuclear weapons testing on Bikini Atoll, Vulcan B2 XJ783, Victor refuels two Phantoms, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, 15 Sqn Buccaneer on Quick Reaction Alert

Graham Pitchfork

Following the end of the Second World War, relations between the Western powers and the Soviet Union quickly deteriorated. During a speech in the United States in March 1946, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously said that an ‘Iron Curtain’ had descended across Eastern Europe as the Soviet Union consolidated its hold over the states in the region by installing communist regimes. On June 24, 1948, the Soviets imposed a blockade on Berlin by cutting all surface links with the Allied sector controlled by the West. A massive airlift began, which lasted until the lifting of the blockade in May 1949. In the meantime, RAF aircraft carried more than 300,000 tons of freight and almost 70,000 passengers in and out of the city. This increased tension, together with intelligence that the Soviets had exploded an atomic weapon in September 1949, led to the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The international situation deteriorated further on June 25, 1950 when North Korea invaded the South. Very soon after, the RAF’s Far East Flying Boat Wing based in Singapore started a permanent

detachment in Japan when Sunderlands began continuous patrols in Korean waters for the next three years. More than 80 RAF aircrew, mostly fighter pilots, flew on operations with the Royal Australian Air Force and the United States Air Force. From the end of the Second World War the RAF had a very large presence in Germany where fighter squadrons

maintained a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) capability, as did strike and attack squadrons loaded with a tactical nuclear weapon. Support of 1 (British) Corps was a key role for the RAF with helicopters and Harriers used in later years. As the nuclear arms race accelerated during the 1950s, the first of the RAF’s three V-bombers, the Vickers Valiant, entered service soon followed by the Avro Vulcan and the Handley Page Victor. On October 11, 1956, a Valiant of 49 Sqn dropped the first British atomic weapon during trials at Maralinga in Australia.

For 12 years from 1957, the V-Force provided the British strategic nuclear deterrent with a number of aircraft holding a 15-minute QRA posture. For a period, Thor intercontinental ballistic missiles based in the east of England formed part of the UK’s nuclear forces. In 1969 the Royal Navy’s Polaris submarine force assumed the responsibility. The air defence of the United Kingdom has always been, and remains, one of the RAF’s most important roles. With modern fighters such as the Hunter, the Javelin and later

the Lightning, Fighter Command provided protection for the V-bomber bases. The fighters were supplemented from 1958 by squadrons of Bloodhound surfaceto-air guided missiles. Throughout the Cold War, fighters made regular interceptions of Soviet bombers approaching UK airspace. To increase the range of its V-bombers and fighters, and provide an improved rapid reaction capability for overseas deployments, the RAF created a force of air-toair refuelling squadrons, and they have provided an essential ‘force multiplier’ ever since. Following the Cuban missile crises of 1962, the expanding Soviet Navy developed a global capacity and the Shackletons and Nimrods of Coastal Command, and then18 Group, shadowed the surface fleet and tracked the increasingly capable submarine fleet. Support of Nato’s Central Region in Europe was a key aspect of RAF operations but some squadrons also had commitments to reinforce Nato’s Northern and Southern Flanks when RAF transport and air-to-air refuelling forces were crucial for rapid deployment. The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 effectively brought the Cold War to an end. For 40 years, RAF squadrons and personnel had maintained a state of great vigilance and, adhering to the Nato policy of flexible response, maintained an ability to react quickly to any threat across Europe and the East Atlantic.

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23 2018 P32

1918 – 2018

RAF Centenary

Flying into Iraq’s The US led Coalition delivered Shock and Awe – but Saddam’s vow to fight the ‘Mother of All Battles’ was an empty threat The RAF was fast to deploy following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 - sparking Britain’s biggest military campaign since World War II. Just 48 hours after a government decision to help defend Saudi Arabia Tornado F3s were flying combat air patrols from Dharan alongside the US Air Force. Two days later Jaguars were positioned in Oman and shortly after Nimrods arrived in the region to track the movements of Saddam Hussain’s forces. The speed of response was remarkable and relied heavily on the air transport force and many support organisations. More than 40 Tornado GR1 and GR1As, a squadron of Jaguars and a further squadron of Buccaneers attacked Iraqi airfields and other military targets – dropping some 3000 tons of ordnance. Six Tornado GR1s were lost in combat with five aircrew killed in action and seven captured to become POWs – they were later released. The tanker force of Victors, VC 10s and Tristars played a crucial role in theatre and on routes between the UK and the Gulf. In the six-week air war these aircraft flew 730 sorties and offloaded 13,000 tonnes of fuel to almost 3000 aircraft. Ahead of the air campaign began, the nature of Nimrod operations changed from the search for vessels seeking to break the embargo to the direct support of allied warships operating at the northern end of the Gulf. Throughout the campaign the Tornado air defence force flew constant patrols. The air transport force established an air bridge to the theatre on the first day of Operation Granby and a sizeable force operated in theatre. By the end of the conflict, these aircraft had logged over 50,000 flying hours and carried more than 30,000 tonnes of freight and 66,000 passengers. It was the largest overseas deployment of RAF helicopters ever operated by day and night in support of 1st (British) Armoured

Gulf War Warriors: Main, A pair of heavily armed Tornado GR1s in distinctive desert pink camouflage launch an attack, Left, Jaguars enter the battle, below left, a 55 Sqn Victor refuels Tornado and Buccaneer

Division and Special Forces. In addition to the flying squadrons and the RAF Regiment, whose strength rose to 1000 men in theatre, the Tactical Supply Wing, Tactical Communications Wing, Mobile Catering Support Unit, Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and the Mobile Air Movements Squadron were heavily committed throughout Operation Desert Storm. The highly effective air campaign paved the way for a swift and decisive land offensive and was a graphic illustration of the reach and flexibilty of air power. CRIPPLED: Iraqi tank against backdrop of burning oil wells in the desert PHOTO: PA

TYRANT: Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein

Royal Air Force News Friday,March 23, 2018 P33

Heart of Darkness Beaten but unbowed: Flt Lt John Peters and Flt Lt John Nichol (right) as they appeared on Iraqi TV after their capture

White knuckle Tornado ride Tracey Allen

Wg Cdr John Broadbent was with the first detachment of Tornados to fly out of Bahrain at the start of Gulf War I, in 1990. As Commanding Officer of XV Squadron he led the first eight-ship formation from Muharraq, followed by Sqn Ldr Pablo Mason’s four-ship. It was the first – and last – combat mission of the war for Tornado navigator Flt Lt John Nichol and pilot John Peters. Downed by Iraqi forces, the duo were captured and tortured before being paraded on Iraqi state TV. Their bruised and battered faces became one of the defining images of the war. Wg Cdr Broadbent said: “The RAF was dropping the JP233, a very large, heavy weapon that can only be delivered from low level – it made runways and taxiways useless for operational purposes. “We were committed to low level and trained for it. But we were not used to using a weapon as enormous as the JP233, which weighed 10,000 pounds. He added: “I believe the start of the war was pushed back a few hours – that meant we were taking off at about 2am. We had no idea how things were going to work out. “There was a significant amount of nervousness among the boys. “I looked at my map and my watch and thought the fireworks I could see were the first American bombs dropping and we would be eight minutes later. “That firework display was anti-aircraft fire. I realised we would have to fly through it at low level. “It was on the nose and we were 200 feet over the ground at 600mph. It was like trying to run through a shower without getting wet. “Our knuckles were white when we headed

first in: Wg Cdr John Broadbent, Commanding Officer of XV Sqn, pictured beside his Tornado GR1 after a raid

across that target. It took about 11 seconds for the weapons to empty – the big canister ejected and suddenly the aircraft was 10,000 pounds lighter and we were right out the other side. I just wanted to know if my colleagues had got through too.” Broadbent’s aircraft landed safely back at Bahrain two hours later. He said: “I cannot tell you the exhilaration we felt at the time. I was just relieved all my guys had made it back.” The ill-fated Nichol and Peters were at the back of Pablo Mason’s four-ship that took off next. Wg Cdr Broadbent said: “Although Pablo’s four-ship should have been over the target in the dark, we were in daylight because the start of the war had been delayed – and that led to the shooting down of Nichol and Peters. “My bubble of relief was burst a few hours later when Pablo came back with only three aircraft. That really deflated us. “He and his colleagues on that formation shed quite a few tears – I did not think it was appropriate to

show how I was feeling then, I felt I should be leading from the front. My job was to look after the guys. “In the next three days we lost another two aircraft – three lost in the first four days. Then we went to medium level and lost one aircraft, flown by Flt Lts Rupert Clark and Steve Hicks. “Of eight guys we got five of them back as ex PoWs. The relief was amazing but three of our guys had been killed. Most of us thought before we started that we would lose more than that.” AVM Bill Wratten was then Air Commander British Forces Middle East. Wg Cdr Broadbent said: “Bill came to us not long before the war started and said if the conflict comes about it was going to be our chance to put air power on the map. “He was right – in retrospect the Gulf War should be considered a great success for the RAF and for air power. He added: “Since then the RAF has played a very significant if not the most crucial role in Afghanistan, Syria and, before that, Libya. Each

one of these campaigns has been expertly conducted through air power. It prepares the ground in order to minimise troop losses. “There’s no question it was an extremely important event – it was almost a turning point in the use of air power.” “We showed we could cope with many modifications at short notice and changing tactics from low to medium level at short notice, developing our tactics in hot war. We demonstrated that we were able to cope with changing situations and able to maintain that ability. “Tactics needs to change quickly if you are to survive – you need to get it right and quickly, there are no prizes for coming second in war. “In Gulf War I we got very close to exhausting our stocks of weapons – we were in danger of running out. Since then we have learnt. “The aircraft is useless if you do not have weapons to equip them, so having the correct stockpiles and the ability to replenish them as you need to is absolutely fundamental.”

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23 2018 P34

1918 – 2018

RAF Centenary

Lightning strikes twice as Bloodhound boffin Richard Noble

Introduced in 1959, the English Electric Lightning raised the supersonic stakes to Mach II and remains the RAF’s fastest ever fighter British Engineering of speed admits that without the maverick Richard Noble is the support of the RAF his first world brains behind the supersonic record bid may never have taken Bloodhound car bidding to off. shatter the 1000mph barrier. Noble cites the influence of Air Noble drove himself into Chief Marshal Sir Patrick Hine, the the record books in 1993 Joint Commander of British by setting his own Forces during the first Gulf land speed record of War and later head of 663mph in Thrust RAF public relations II powered by as instrumental in the a Lightning jet project. engine. He added: “With He later projects like Thrust handed over and today with driving duties to Bloodhound you RAF combat pilot get the privilege of Wg Cdr Andy meeting extraordinary Green who set the Lightning powered Thrust II people who can make existing record important decisions. of 770mph in Noble’s RAF “Paddy helped us get a Lightning Phantom-powered Thrust SSC in engine and that got us on the road. 1997. “We had so much help from the The duo will be hoping to put RAF. One of the stations had a few the record beyond the reach of old Lightnings and they let us strip mortals in South Africa in the next one down for parts. 12 months by hitting 1050mph in “It was fascinating to see how it Bloodhound – powered by an RAF was put together and how hard they Typhoon engine and a hybrid rocket. had worked to minimise the cross sectional area to give it immense performance and how they used The design the huge fin for stability. “The wheels fold process started outwards into the wings in 1947 and the which means that the tyres had to be performance is incredibly thin. astounding even by “We have always used Lightning tyres today’s standards on the cars and we are using them on Noble said: “I am biased towards Bloodhound. “We tested Thrust II the Lightning. It was the RAF’s only ever Mach II aircraft and a stunning at Greenham Common air base on the short technological achievement. “My first land speed record car, runway there. I remember Thrust II, was built around the lower the day we offered Paddy a ride in it. There was a engine installation of the aircraft. “The design process of the moment when he wasn’t quite aircraft started in 1947 and the sure but he accepted. “We had it up to over 250mph performance is astounding even by before breaking on the short today’s standards. “It was incredibly innovative. Greenham runway. He said he had The use of staggered engines and never felt acceleration like it. “I will never forget what he the shock cone in the intake to produce Mach II performance is helped us do. Sir Paddy is one of a very few people that others will astonishing.” The world’s undisputed king happily follow. He is a real leader.”

SKYROCKET: Lightning remains the fastest ever RAF combat jet with the ability to hit Mach II PHOTOS: AHB

SPEED KING: The RAF has powered all three of design boffin Richard Noble’s world-beating cars

Royal Air Force News Friday,March 23, 2018 P35

and TV petrol-head James May name their RAF favourite


ve been asked to name my favourite Royal Air Force aeroplane, and I admit I’ve been struggling a bit. The number of aircraft operated by the RAF over a century is really quite staggering. Many of them are ingrained in the public conscience – Spitfire, Vulcan – but some are incredibly obscure. I bet no one reading this can sketch a Blackburn Iris from memory. My favourite WWII aircraft is the Curtiss P40, which the RAF operated extensively. But it’s American, and didn’t perform well at altitude. At least, not until they put a proper British engine in it. Disqualified, then. There’s a case for nominating one of the many trainers the RAF has used. There would be no RAF without training aircraft, and many of them have gone on to train private flyers as well. The air is still pretty well populated with Tiger Moths, Chipmunks, Harvards and even Folland Gnats, all being stick-andruddered by people with nothing more than a Private Pilot’s Licence and an interest in other airfield cafes.


he Eurofighter Typhoon? I’ve flown one from the back seat, and it’s truly incredible. The Harrier? It was a bonkers idea and no one else could make it work. I’ve had a go in one of those as well. Tremendous. There are hundreds of worthy candidates. But, in the end, I’ve selected the English Electric Lightning. It remains the RAF’s only Mach 2 interceptor, was significant in the development of early ideas about

Original Lightning was just Electric to watch supersonic flight, and remains a potent symbol of what the Cold War was all about. More to the point, it looked brilliant. I think the Lightning appeals because of its singularity of purpose, in the way that your favourite screwdriver is somehow nicer than an elaborate multi-tool. It could be scrambled in a very short time, made a terrific racket as it swept down the runway on full reheat, climbed vertically at up


to 20,000ft/min to over 30,000ft, intercepted a Tupolev, plummeted back to Earth and landed at an alarmingly high speed on very spindly-looking undercarriage, in the process consuming more fuel than a typical family hatchback needs in three years. I saw this as a small boy, at air displays at RAF Finningley, where simulated Lightning scrambles were the highlight of the show. It was the most exciting thing I’d

james may: Grew up watching air displays at RAF Finningley

ever witnessed; terrifying, even. It’s a testament to the Lightning’s effectiveness that it never had to be used in anger. At a later Finningley display, we had our first sight of the aircraft that would replace the Lightning and many of its brethren; something that would come to be called the Tornado but was known then as the MRCA – the Multi-Role Combat Aircraft. A much better idea, obviously. Lacked purity, though. the full English: Electric Lightnings of the 56 Sqn display team during a practice flight from Wattisham, Suffolk, in 1963

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

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P37

RAF Centenary 1918 – 2018

History man Dan votes for ‘difficult’ Dowding NICKNAMED ‘STUFFY’ by colleagues because of his dour demeanour, Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding lacked the charisma and star appeal of other Battle of Britain legends venerated today. However military historian Dan Snow has named the controversial chief of the RAF’s Fighter Command as one of the Service’s greatest figures. The famously taciturn airman’s chief legacy was the highly effective Dowding System of air defences which fused Britain’s nascent radar stations with human observers, the telephone network and aircraft radio. Snow said: “There are so many figures from that time to

Tribute to the heroes of Bomber Command CAROL VORDERMAN has chosen the men of Bomber Command as her RAF heroes from the Service’s past 100 years. The TV personality, an ambassador and honorary Gp Capt for the Air Cadets, said: “I have known about Bomber Command all my life and I had a lot to do with the Bomber Command memorial that was erected in London in 2012. “I did not realise until later in life just how appallingly those young men had been treated after World War II. “They were treated so badly by the politicians and not given the respect they deserved – they were just young men taking orders. “I found it just extraordinary that we would do that as a nation, treat them like that. “Their average age was early 20s and 55,573 of them died. It would be the equivalent nowadays of the entire RAF and half of the Royal Navy dying in battle then being ignored – it’s unthinkable today.”

admire but I have huge respect for Dowding. “He was an unglamorous and uncharismatic man who none-the-less was central saving Britain in the dark days of 1940. “The creation of the world’s first integrated air defence system was a huge achievement and he understood pilots, aircraft and the logistics of war. “He was the total opposite of German commanders he was facing. They were all about heroic leadership and charisma. “That left them with problems and vulnerabilities. “With Dowding, although he was eccentric and quiet, the Battle of Britain was in safe hands. “He really epitomises the modern efficient delivery of air power and its operational effects and he should be recognised for it.”

HUGH AND CRY: Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding has divided opinion since the end of the conflict.


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Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P39

RAF Centenary 1918 – 2018

gulf war: A Buccaneer is attended to by ground crew, 1991

KOSOVO: RAF Chinooks bring in reinforcements to a bridge guarded by Gurkhas OP TELIC: RAF Tristar refuels F3 Tornados on ops in Iraq in 2003

An Air Force specialising in expeditionary warfare T

he United Kingdom emerged from the Second World War with its colonial role largely intact but with a growth of nationalistic movements and a spread of communism. As a result, small-sale conflicts and internal security operations remained a feature of RAF activities for 30 years until the final British military withdrawal from the Middle and Far East. The RAF saw action, some of it heavy, in Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, the Arabian Peninsula and Borneo, the latter culminating in the fouryear confrontation with Indonesia. With the final withdrawal of the British military presence from ‘east of Suez’ in the 1970s, virtually all RAF forces were committed to the UK’s major role in NATO. The Argentinian invasion and occupation of the Falkland Islands in 1982 unexpectedly saw the RAF making a significant contribution to the liberation of the islands, an operation extending over many thousands of miles. The air transport force played a key role in establishing the forward base at Ascension Island. Nimrods and Victors were tasked with longrange reconnaissance sorties before a Vulcan attacked the runway at Stanley Airport on the first of a series of Black Buck operations. None of these sorties could have been completed without a huge effort by the Victor air-to-air refuelling force. Operating from the aircraft carriers of the Naval Task Force, Harriers of No. 1 Squadron

BY GRAHAM PITCHFORK Aviation historian, Air Cdre (Ret’d) and author of The Royal Air Force Day By Day 1918-2018

played a vital role in support of the ground forces.


ollowing the collapse of the Soviet Union, the RAF was increasingly called on to support NATO and coalition-led operations worldwide. These resulted in a great deal of action allowing the RAF to display its flexibility across a broad spectrum of air operations. During the First Gulf War to expel the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, the RAF made a major contribution to the US-led coalition and in January 1991 Tornados and Jaguars, supported by air-to-air refuelling, were prominent in the first wave of attacks against Iraqi airfields and ground targets. Over the next six weeks, all the RAF’s operational capabilities, including the largest overseas deployment of helicopters, were in constant action.


n 1991 war broke out in the former Yugoslavia. Initially the RAF policed a ‘no-fly’ zone and for almost four years delivered 19 million pounds of humanitarian aid. In August 1995 Harriers and Jaguars attacked targets in Bosnia with precision-guided weapons in support of British and NATO ground forces. In March 1999,

SUPPORTING GROUND TROOPS: Harriers of No. 1 Squadron had a vital role in the liberation of the Falkland Islands in 1982

Harriers launched attacks against Serbian military installations in Kosovo. Operations reached a peak in late May with Harriers operating from Italy and Bruggen-based Tornados conducting intensive operations. With the withdrawal of Serb forces on June 12, RAF support helicopters assisted in the rapid deployment of British troops in Kosovo.

F FAR EAST: 267 Sqn Pioneer, Borneo, 1958

aden: 84 Sqn Beverley at Thumier

ollowing the First Gulf War, the RAF retained a presence in the Gulf region policing Iraqi airspace until March 2003, when Harriers and Tornados made precision attacks against targets during the opening phase of the Second Gulf

War. All the RAF’s main operational assets were heavily engaged in the operation together with six RAF Regiment squadrons and personnel drawn from 15 specialist RAF ground support units. In more recent times, the RAF deployed large forces to Afghanistan to attack targets with precision weapons and to gather intelligence and provide surveillance and targeting information. Chinook and Puma helicopters played a vital role supporting ground forces and evacuating casualties from the battlefield. The RAF Regiment deployed in force to provide protection of ground installations and to conduct patrols.


oalition operations, particularly in the Mediterranean area and the Near East, have continued to need extensive RAF support with many operations mounted from bases in southern Europe and from RAF Akrotiri. In March 2011, Tornados flew the first RAF strike mission launched directly from the UK since 1945 when targets in Libya were attacked. In September 2014 the first of many offensive operations by Tornados, Typhoons and Reaper Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) were mounted against Daesh targets in Iraq and Syria. These forces, together with ISTAR aircraft, remain in the area available to conduct operations.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P41

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8 pages of RAF Sport l Ice stars make it look so threesy: page 48


Hat-ll be the day

Three IS title wins for hockey stars at Aldershot Daniel Abrahams Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre “This has been an outstanding Inter-Services for us winning three out of five competitions and narrowly coming second in the other two. It demonstrates the strength and depth of wins across all age categories and is much deserved given the hard work and commitment shown by all the squads. We are now focusing on the hockey tour to Japan in June,” said Gp Capt Andy Portlock speaking to RAF News after his association’s success at Aldershot. The first day’s action saw the service securing vital second match placings on the final day of play. The U25 men’s team drew 1-1 with the Army in their opening match, with Fg Off Michael Jones scoring, winning on penalties after goalkeeper SAC Tom Vaughan made two excellent saves. The Army then slumped to a 4-1 defeat to the Royal Navy, setting up a winner-takes-all clash which the RAF duly won 2-1. Having started brightly in their opening half of action the ladies team saw their 1-0 lead through Sqn Ldr Sharon Evelegh-Hall

swing to 4-1 down against the hosts, with the final score of 5-2. A resounding 5-0 win over the Navy secured second place. The ladies masters team had started with a brilliant opening win over the Army, despite going 1-0 down early on. The 2-1 win was followed by the hosts beating the Navy 2-0, but the RAF team were not going to let their chance slip, winning 4-0 to take the title. The men’s masters team battled out two nip and tuck contests, succumbing to the hosts 3-2 in their opening game, before a thrilling encounter against the Navy saw

the same score line in favour of the RAF. The margin of victory was not so close for the senior men’s team, who, without the helping hand of England international SAC Liam Sanford, stormed to a thumping 8-2 win over the Army in their opening clash. Lightning surely couldn’t strike twice and it didn’t as the Navy only managed one goal to the Service eight in their second match. Follow RAF Hockey on Twitter @RAFHockey. POWERPLAY: Above and below, action from the recent IS hockey PHOTOS: CHARLES JACKMAN


A look back through the pages of Service sport HEADLINES AND deadlines have been part of the RAF News sports section since its conception in the 1960s. In the Service’s 100th anniversary year, we take a look back at the back pages that have traced sporting triumphs, near misses, landmarks and fun moments and that have seen personnel play their sport of choice at Station and InterServices level and across the globe at international level along with winter and summer Olympics. See pages 44 & 45:

OLYMPIC EFFORT: Above, in the summer of 2012 RAF News Sport took over the front and centre pages of the paper reporting on the work carried out to enable the London Olympics to run

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P42

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Aiming to get to grips with the Inter-Services martial Arts

A BUMPER Martial Arts (RAFMAA) championships at Cranwell recently signalled a potentially great Inter-Services in July. Association spokesman Fg Off Lee Davies said: “We are hosting the IS event on July 21-22, at Cranwell, and in our centenary year we are feeling very confident after the displays at this championships that there is a solid platform to build upon and they can be optimistic.” The championships featured the disciplines of Karate, Taekwondo, Brazilian Ju-jitsu, weapons and self-defence. The junior kata event was contested by three competitors in a round-robin format with the gold medal going to Chf Tech Ross Fisher over Sgt Andy McClements. An engrossing female event saw Cpl Natasha Balyckyi defeating Flt Lt Alice Hamling. In the blue-ribbon events, the senior kata final was between Cpl Balyckyi and Flt Lt Joseph Birch, with Birch winning 5-0, to clinch gold. The senior male kumite final

CPL REID: Armbar attempt

CPL HOLLERAN: Triangle choke

getting their kicks: RAFMAA members in action at the recent championships

was between KUGB England team member SAC Jon McGorian and Scottish Karate team member SAC Chris McDonald, with the contest decided on the disqualification of McGorian for unintentional excessive contact.

In the junior grade Taekwondo SAC Rich Pope took gold with Flt Lt Lynsey McMillan in second place, in the senior category SAC Mary Westmoreland took gold with Fg Off Pete Clements taking silver and SAC Samuel Moore, bronze. volleyball

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In the Ladies Junior sparring SAC Jessica Day took gold in both the light continuous and point stop sparring, while in the Ladies Senior Grade Cpl Shannon Peckett followed suit. In the male junior grade continuous sparring SAC Rich Pope was beaten into second place by Cpl Tony Fowler. SAC James Morgan took gold in the black belt category in both the continuous sparring and points, over SAC Adam Stanton. The Brazilian Ju-jitsu opened with the No Gi competition, with Cpl Josh Holleran losing to Cpl

Gordon Reid, who was awarded his Blue belt on the podium. Holleran then won the Absolute (Open Weight) category over Sgt Jason Hooper, while in the Blue belt category SAC Gavin Davies took gold, beating Cpl John Evans in the No Gi absolute final. Sgt Jason Hooper won gold in the Heavyweight division beating Cpl Jim Taylor while Holleran also sealed gold in the absolute division. SAC Tom Strathearn beat Sgt Pete Ashmore to win the Middle Heavy division, with Chf Tech Mark Hayson taking gold in the Gi absolute over Cpl John Evans.

Dark day for UK Armed Forces volleyball teams

March 9, 2018

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IT WAS a bad day at the office for the UK Armed Forces volleyball teams as the men and the ladies both suffered heavy defeats at RAF Cranwell. Battling out a quarter-final berth against Derby Darkstar in the English Volleyball National Cup at the Shaq Hamad Gymnasium, the women were sunk 3-0, while the men struggled to contain their Black County Volleyball Club opponents – going down by the same scoreline.

NET LOSS: The UKAF ladies were beaten by Derby Darkstar PHOTO: GORDON ELIAS

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Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P43



READY FOR ACTION: Above left, the men’s team , led by captain Fg Off Stu Philpott celebrate their 16-14 win over the Royal Navy at Halton last year, above right, women’s team captain Flt Lt Chrissy Siczowa who led her side to a thumping 72-0 win over the Navy, will be looking for a repeat performance this year at The Stoop PHOTOS: KATE RUTHERFORD/LUKA WAYCOTT/RAF HALTON

RAF aim to Stoop and conquer Historic first clash at Quins ground signals bright future for sport in the Service IT’S BEING billed as the sporting highlight of the spring, but one thing is for sure – the Service’s rugby union clash at The Stoop, Twickenham against the Royal Navy on April 20 looks set to be a landmark match in the history of the sport. To mark the magnitude of the clash RAF News has teamed up with the Service’s rugby union stars to offer an anniversary version of the ‘original’ RAF rugby union shirt, the original of which is believed to have been worn by the team for their first game. Photographs of the team show them wearing the shirt in their 26-3 win over the Army in 1921, pictured right, as the players are introduced to King George V. The shirt replicated the Service’s colours with its origins from the Royal Engineers through to the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service. We have one XL size RAF100 Centenary shirt to give away, along

with five pairs of tickets for the upcoming clash, priced for adults at £10 per ticket. There is also the amazing chance for two RAF rugby union fans to mark this historic clash in the 100th anniversary year of the Service by being mascots for the game, which is sure to attract a bumper crowd. It comes hot on the heels of the Service’s opening match against the Army at Halton, Coslett Pitches on April 11 – which will see the Vultures play at 10.30am, women’s team at 12.30 and the senior men’s 3pm. Action at The Stoop will see the men’s game kick off at 7.45pm,

while the women’s match starts at 3.15pm. Philpott said: “The RAF vs Navy fixture at The Stoop is the culmination of a lot of hard work both on and off the field. “For us there is the added incentive of it being the RAF’s 100th anniversary which will add to the drive and desire to not only put on a good performance, but to add to our win over the Navy from last year. “For some this game will be the pinnacle of their playing careers, we do not have the privilege of playing at Twickenham to look forward to at the end of every season and so we are determined that all the hard work that has gone into delivering this fixture will not go to waste and we will ensure that we utilise it as a spring board for the RAFRU to continue to develop into the future.” Tickets for the clash at The Stoop are available at: navyrugbyunion. or via Ticketline: 02392 816255.

For a chance to win one of our five pairs of tickets for the clash, simply answer the following question correctly: Where is The Stoop? For a chance to win the Xl men’s Centenary RAF100 shirt just answer this question correctly: What year did the RAF team first play in the original maroon shirt? Mark answers for the ticket competition: Tickets, and for the shirt competition: Shirt – send to Sports Desk, RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP14 4UE or email: sports@ Include full contact details. Deadline for entries is April 9. We have also teamed up with the Royal Navy to offer two rugby union mad youngsters the opportunity to walk out onto The Stoop pitch as match day mascots for the historic Senior RN versus RAF clash. The game will feature a total of eight mascots – four Royal Navy

and four RAF and RAF News Sport has been given the opportunity to fill two of the RAF spaces. Entrants should be from Service families, aged between eight – 11, on the day of the clash, April 20. As part of the competition, one ticket will be provided for the accompanying adult. The draw winners will be provided with a full kit to wear, but we are unable to cover travel expenses for the child of accompanying adult to get to and from the event. The deadline for entries is March 25, with the draw made on the same day. The winning serving member will need to provide their full name and their current station, along with the child’s name and kit size requirements. Email full contact details, age of child, full name, ranks and Service number of parent or guardian to our email address: with Stoop Mascot in the subject line.

SERVING RAF/RESERVIST? The future of sport is up to you... The RAF Sports Lottery operates as a society lottery within the Royal Air Force Central Fund and is licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission ( under the licence numbers 000-0055199-N-305452-012 and 000-005199-R-322422-002. The Royal Air Force Central Fund is a company registered in England and Wales 8555984. Charity registered in England and Wales 1152560. Charity registered in Scotland SC044299. Registered Office Royal Air Force Central Fund | Hurricane Building | HQ Air Command | RAF High Wycombe | Bucks | HP14 4UE Principal Office Rm 1.15 Clare Charity Centre | Saunderton | Bucks | HP14 4BF| 01494 569068

Royal Air Force News Friday, March 28, 2018 P44

timeless: Right, the Services’ IS winning Tug of War team from 1918 and then repeated by the 2018 team, below, a selection of front and back pages featuring RAF sport milestones, clockwise from top right, the Service SRT footballers made Inter-Service history sealing a fifth-in-a-row win after drawing 2-2 with the Army, the first medal wins of this centenary year as the Alpine winters sports stars bring home three from France, GB bobsleigh team stars SAC Jon Baines and Cpl Stu Benson prepared to shine at the Sochi Winter Olympics, (Benson finally gained his bronze this year), the men’s cricket team retained the T20 crown at Lord’s, Flt Lt Stu Quinn celebrated the RAF Regt’s 70th anniversary by claiming an unconquered mountain peak in Antarctica, AC Amy Cokayne helped raise the profile of RAF women’s rugby union further with a Six Nations England win 

PHOTOS: SGt neil bryden, sbs, kim brenchley, gd pics, pa

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Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P45

THE WAY WE WERE: Below, a series of lesser seen images of sport and sporting endeavours from diving lessons wearing working boots, to cricket being played on a wicket complete with aircraft and fuel drums PHOTOS COURTESY OF AHB

FORMER SERVING RAF? The future of sport is up to you... The RAF Sports Lottery operates as a society lottery within the Royal Air Force Central Fund and is licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission ( under the licence numbers 000-0055199-N-305452-012 and 000-005199-R-322422-002. The Royal Air Force Central Fund is a company registered in England and Wales 8555984. Charity registered in England and Wales 1152560. Charity registered in Scotland SC044299. Registered Office Royal Air Force Central Fund | Hurricane Building | HQ Air Command | RAF High Wycombe | Bucks | HP14 4UE Principal Office Rm 1.15 Clare Charity Centre | Saunderton | Bucks | HP14 4BF| 01494 569068

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Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P46


Sport JUDO

All throwing well New club opens in Cyprus for sport of Judo

Ice stars tri-umph in Iglis

SERVICE JUDO laid down its first roots on the island of Cyprus at RAF Akrotiri at the Station’s Martial Arts Centre recently. Service judo head coach, FS Fred Harris, held training sessions after the official opening at the busy

AKROTIRI ACTION: Athletes get to grips at the new club

Joint Operating Base – which will provide sessions for both seniors and juniors from age five upwards. Association chairman, Sqn Ldr Steve Parlor, said: “We are very proud to have been able to assist through the loan of judo mats


to the Akrotiri Judo Club. I have been particularly impressed by the enthusiasm and hard work that has gone into the setting up of this fledgling club.” For more information on Service judo email:

A United front

Continued from page 48: Flt Lt Aly Phippen (brake), with Cpl Melissa Benfield, Sgt Caz Gray and Sqn Ldr Maddie Smith after Gray was injured on the first day’s racing and could not take any further part. They then went on to take the team title. In the men’s Cpl Ross Brown and SAC(T) John Baines came second DANCING ON ICE: Above and below, action from the recent clean sweep in Austria PHOTOS: MARK HAMILTON

and Sgt Keith McLaughlin and Cpl Jonny Anderson third, ensuring the team event. Team manager Flt Lt Stephen Preston said: “It has been a fantastic two weeks on ice with both the athletes and staff performing to the highest levels. “To take a clean sweep for all three disciplines is an unbelievable achievement.”

THERE MIGHT not have been any Inter-Service crowns taken home by the Service’s orienteers, but four UKAF selections proved an amazing return at Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire recently. Sqn Ldr Philip JohnstonDavis, Flt Lt Richard Crabb, Flt Lt David Jolly and Sgt Karen Wilson were all chosen to don the TriService colours to face the British Universities and Colleges teams. A competent RAF team were simply not able to match the speed and youth of the Army teams who dominated both the men’s and ladies’ team and individual events run over a 12.8km and 7.5km course respectively on a physically challenging area of complex mature woodland. RAF Orienteering Chairman Gp Capt Rob Woods said: “I was absolutely delighted to see such a tremendous attendance from RAFO athletes at the competition. All the work put in by the committee over the past two years is starting to pay dividends. We have greater participation, especially among the younger personnel, and have many more promising stars of the future who will begin to challenge the Army in the next couple of years.

ROUTE FINDer: Above, RAF athlete plots a route PHOTO: SAC BEN LONSDALE

“This year’s courses were tough, but everyone gave it their best shot. It is fantastic to see that we have secured four places in the Armed Forces team as a result.” Good course planning by Hertfordshire Orienteering limited path running considerably.

Avoidance of the very slow marshes and not getting lost in the various thickets was key to a clean run. Team member SAC Geena Austin said: “After a quick pep talk between the girls about making sure we avoided drowning in notorious swallow holes we powered through the cold with determination. “Below zero temperatures weren’t for going for a little swim.” To find out more about the association and sport of orienteering visit: www.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, March 23, 2018 P48

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Sport Cyprus judo school is a real belter

Hockey stars are just too hot at Aldershot

Win RAF100 union shirt and Stoop clash tickets

O Sport P46

O Sport P41

O Sport P43




Game of two halves for RAF BACK IN BLUE: Cpl Josh McNally in storming form PHOTO: SBS

SLIDE ON TIME: Above, a skeleton slide on the start line for another run on a bumper Inter-Service championships for the RAF PHOTOS: MARK HAMILTON

Igls landed after clean sweep

Richmond Vikings RAF Senior Men

33 17

Daniel Abrahams Richmond Athletic Ground THE SERVICE’S men’s rugby union Inter-Service warm up clash at Richmond started with a bang and ended with a whimper as they lost 33-17. A brilliant all-round opening first 40 had seen the light blues secure a competent 7-17 lead over their hosts the Richmond Vikings at the Richmond Athletic Ground, with the only area for improvement being the kicking of conversions on a tricky gusty evening. Team captain Flt Lt Stu Philpott made his presence felt with a brace

of tries, while London Irish star Cpl Josh McNally proved class is permanent as he bundled over for his side’s opening score in his first game back for his Service after a lengthy lay off due to surgery for a heart condition. McNally said: “On a personal level I felt alright tonight, good to get a nice 50 minutes and to be back in the light blue shirt. “Richmond didn’t do too much to hurt us we just got put in the corner and they got two driving mauls tries. The first-half was a good performance we just need to learn from the second half.” In a combative opening period Sgt Lee Queeley was sin-binned in the first minute for a high tackle, with a 10th minute penalty going wide. It was the hosts who got

on the scoreboard first, but the Servicemen hauled back the lead with a well-worked kick and good recycling of the ball with McNally making it 7-5 after 21 minutes. Philpott put his team in the lead after 27 minutes, with his second try going over on the stroke of halftime. The lead was no more than the military men deserved, but they just never got going after the break, conceding a try in the 51st minute when Rhodri went over. McNally was taken off and a quickly conceded penalty try four minutes later set the pattern for the half. Penned in their own 22 the visitors shipped another try on 57 minutes to be 28-17 down with a final score for the hosts coming after 66 minutes.

A STUNNING hat-trick of title wins at the recent Inter-Service ice winter sports in Igls, Austria further bolstered the Service’s sporting medals haul in its 100th year. The luge team kicked off the glory run with individual wins in both disciplines and then the team titles. Flt Lt Gav Arnold said: “It was an incredibly exciting race in which the RAF held their nerve putting down consistently fast runs across the board to take overall victory. “In the ladies debutant SAC Sophie Ellis of RAF Honington capped a remarkable first season with third place.” This began the gold rush for the RAF, with team and individual titles. Following a fabulous run at the recent winter Olympics in Pyeongchang Cpl Rhys Thornbury took the individual title in the skeleton men’s event, with SAC Benji Fulker second to seal the team win, while Cpl Louise Webb took first and SAC Chelsea Ainsley took third to seal another individual and team victory. Sqn Ldr Maddie Smith said: “The men’s race saw the RAF ahead of its nearest rival, the Army, by more than 10 seconds after the first two runs.

“This was built upon hugely in the final day of racing with the competition being between our own sliders and resulting in four being placed within the top five. In the ladies race SAC Ainsley was absolutely flying, placing third ,while the placing of Cpl Webb in first wrestled the team crown off the Army.” The bobsleigh team closed out the action with individual crowns in the women’s event going to Sgt Natalie McLaughlin (driver) Continued on page 46:

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RAF News 23 03 2018  
RAF News 23 03 2018