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Win Win Devilish fun with Burton and Taylor

Win Win Nav comes in from the cold

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Woman on the edge Hedda Gabler l R'n'R p4-5

Friday February 9 2018 No 1436 70p


More than just The Few – WWII rewritten Spe1e8 Rugby Union

Cokayne set for Six Nations

Oxford super sleuth Endeavour returns

Chinooks hit the deck as Big Lizzy prepares for F-35

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Winter Sports

Austrian injury agony hits Inters

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The first landings by a Chinook helicopter have taken place onboard the UK's new carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. Two choppers touched down on the ship's vast landing strip as the carrier prepared to sail from Portsmouth to conduct its first rotary wing sea trials. The tests will assess the operating parameters of the aircraft before Chinooks declare full operating

capability from the carrier. Tests on Merlin, Wildcat and Apache attack helicopters will take place later this year before the UK's new F-35 Lightning stealth fighter begins sea trials from the carrier. Chinook co-pilot Cdr Matt Grindon said: “It is a tremendous honour to have been on the first deck landing onto HMS Queen Elizabeth by Chinook. "It is a fantastic capability and

we're really looking forward to the opportunity to take part in the forthcoming trials. I have landed on previous carriers, but this flight deck is much bigger; it was an easy landing.” The rotary wing trials must take place before the fixed wing F-35 Lightning II trials later this year, as helicopters will be used to provide a Search and Rescue capability.

See R'n'R

Royal approval for Lightning nerve centre

The RAF's new operations centre for the UK's F-35 Lightning stealth fighter has been officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen. The state of the art facility at RAF Marham in Norfolk will provide technical support for Britain's fleet of 138 Lightning aircraft. Britain has already taken delivery of 14 F-35s which are due to land at Marham later this year where they will be operated by the RAF's 167 'Dambusters' Sqn. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "The Royal opening of the operations hub brings us another step closer to these pioneering jets flying from their UK home, and their take off from the aircraft carrier which proudly bears Her Majesty's name." During the visit The Queen presented Marham station commander Gp Capt Cab Townsend with the Firmin Sword of peace – the RAF award for community relations. l Cont p3

Fit for heroes – the Forces’ favourite newspaper

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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P3


It’s a shame the season ended in such a controversial way, but it has been great

Our Atlas fleet plays a global role and it needs a home to match

It’s a huge honour to be the first serving Armed Forces member to take on the job

SAC(T) Lewis Ward after losing the Toyota MR2 championship at Snetterton – p32

Defence Procurement Minister Guto Bebb on the Atlas’s new £70 million hangar at Brize Norton– p15

Sgt Scott Hill on becoming the first serving ambassador for the Royal British Legion– p10

Sgt Martin Wood after his side’s 12-4 win in round one of the Challenge Cup– p34

Prince Harry and Meghan sparkle at awards night Meghan Markle showed her support for Prince Harry’s military welfare crusade as she joined her Royal fiancé at an awards ceremony to honour injured Servicemen and women. The couple mingled and chatted with wounded veterans at the Endeavour Awards at Goldsmiths Hall in London before taking to the stage to make the presentations to the nine winners. The Endeavour Fund was set up in 2012 by Prince Harry and Prince William’s Royal Foundation to fund adventure challenges for injured ßervicemen and women. Speaking at the event Prince Harry said: “I am fortunate enough to meet many of those who take part in the endeavours that

It was a great display, I don’t think the score line did us justice

We’re from the days where a No 14 bus and a supermarket trolley got us around

Soul II Soul founder Jazzie B on the band’s early years - RnR p5

Military debut: Meghan Markle arrives with Prince Harry at Endeavour awards PHOTOS: PA

Next issue on sale February 23, 2018 Royal Air Force News Room 68 Lancaster Building HQ Air Command High Wycombe Buckinghamshire HP14 4UE Email: Tel: 01494 497412 inspiring: Royal couple meet nominees

Editor: Simon Williams Sports Editor: Dan Abrahams Features Editor: Tracey Allen News Editor: Simon Mander Sport: Tel: 01494 497563

we support and I am continually amazed by the tenacity, fortitude and unshakable humour displayed by men and women who sign up to run races, cross oceans, climb mountains or take on challenges few would contemplate.”

RAF Puma scrambled in Kabul terror attack Staff Reporter

l Cont from front As she left the station Her Majesty was presented with a posy of flowers by youngsters from the nearby Cherry Tree Academy. Gp Capt Townsend said: “We are honoured that this was Her Majesty’s first RAF engagement in its centenary year.” PHOTOS: RALPH MERRY

A Royal Air Force Puma crew evacuated a seriously injured Afghan soldier following a deadly Taliban attack against an Army post in Kabul. A group of militants armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles attacked an Army post near the Marshal Fahim military academy in the Afghan capital killing 11 soldiers and injuring 16 more. The RAF crew landed near the scene shortly after the attack to fly the casualty to a military hospital. The attack comes a day after a Taliban suicide bomber drove an ambulance laden with explosives past a military checkpoint in

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.

Kabul and detonated it close to foreign embassies and government buildings, killing an estimated 100 people. The Toral Aviation Detachment based in Kabul operates the Puma in a support and liaison role as part of continuing NATO efforts in Afghanistan.

“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, February 9, 2018 P5


UK strikes halt Daesh truck bomb carnage Staff Reporter


Daesh fanatics planning a massive bombing campaign against civilians in Eastern Syria were blown to bits by their own explosives when RAF crews struck. An unmanned Reaper aircraft supporting advancing Syrian Democratic forces unleashed a Hellfire strike on a truck crammed Aleppo with explosives killing a group of terrorists in a massive blast, close Raqqa to the border with Iraq. In another strike Reaper crews launched an attack on a lorry bomb, igniting the explosives it was carrying. An RAF spokesman said: “The truck was spotted parked CYPRUS on a main road ahead of a Syrian Democratic Forces advance. Abu Kamal “The Reaper used a Hellfire missile to eliminate the threat and the very large explosion that resulted confirmed that it posed a very dangerous risk to advancing forces and the civilian population.” RAF and coalition aircraft are DAMASCUS continuing to track remaining Daesh fighters following the collapse of the group’s selfproclaimed caliphate. Royal Air Force Typhoons and Tornados based at Akrotiri in Cyprus have also launched attacks aircraft flew in to support Syrian Daesh fighters have continued to on remaining Daesh fighters in Democractic Forces engaged in target ground forces in sporadic the region. close combat fighting, launching a attacks, defending positions in The UK fast jets destroyed six series of Paveway IV strikes against the Euphrates river valley which terrorist positions – including another enemy positions. separates the two countries. truck bomb – in a single sortie. Following the liberation of Raqqa Defence Secretary Gavin PALESTINE Operating in low cloud the in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, retreating Williamson has warned Daesh

Handover: Wg Cdr Prescott, left, passes the baton to Wg Cdr Rowley at St Athan

Dad’s the word for Athan chief







JORDAN Carol leads tributes ISRAEL EGYPT to Bomber Command hero Gordon Mellor TV personality Carol Vorderman was among those paying tribute to Bomber Command veteran Gordon Mellor, who has died aged 98. Mr Mellor, who was shot down over Belgium and managed to evade capture helped by the Comet Escape Line, was among a group of RAF veterans who campaigned for the Bomber Command memorial. Carol, an honorary Gp Capt with the Air Cadets, said: “We had a wonderful day together in 2012 and laughed outrageously at funny tales. “Gordon was one of a generation made of hardy stuff, with a twinkle in the eye at all times.” A navigator during World War II, he was among the crew of a Halifax returning from successfully attacking Aachen in Germany on the night of

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October 5-6 1942, when his aircraft was hit by enemy fire. The eight-man crew bailed out, but three were killed. Mellor landed in a tree and was smuggled back to London along various evasion lines, arriving on his birthday, November 1. The four surviving crew members were taken captive. Mellor became a navigation instructor until he left the RAF in May 1946 as a Flt Lt. He published a memoir in 2015. The Bomber Command Memorial was officially opened in London’s Green Park by The Queen in 2012. Speaking about the memorial, Mr Mellor said: “The Memorial recognises the input of the youth of our country and our Allies in times of

may be regrouping to launch terror attacks in the UK and other coalition nations. He said: “Only by defeating this barbaric group will we reduce the deadly threat Daesh poses to us. We will not stop until their global network is destroyed.”

Technical training chief Wg Cdr Steve Rowley has taken command of MoD St Athan. The move means he will also command the School of technical training – where his father graduated as one of the last Boy Entrants. Wg Cdr Rowley, who takes over from outgoing station chief Wg Cdr Kiley Prescott, said: “I am proud to be Station Commander at St Athan and command the technical training school. “My dad often talks about it with fond memories.”

Top spot for apprentices

SAUDI ARABIA Job lot: from right, SAC Guidi, AVM James and LAC Fuller

HEROES: Mr Mellor far left, with fellow Bomber Command veterans meeting Carol Vorderman in 2012. Inset, Gordon as a young airman

emergency. It is a symbol not only of the casualties, which were very high, but of all who took part. “The war was thrust upon them. They didn’t have a say in it. “At the end of the war the armchair people came out and were quite derogatory about the effort of Bomber

Command. The balance is being put right.” Staff and trustees at the RAF Benevolent Fund, the memorial’s official guardian, paid tribute to Mr Mellor. A spokesperson said: “Gordon will be remembered by the Fund as a wonderful supporter.” l See page 22 for full obituary.

The Royal Air Force has been named as one of the UK’s top employers for apprentices. The Service was voted the ‘macro employer’ of the year at the National Apprenticeship Service awards, this month. The award was presented to Air Vice-Marshal Warren James and two recently qualified RAF apprentices, SAC Lauren Guidi and LAC Andrew Fuller. AVM James said: “In our centenary year the world’s oldest independent air force is proud to be providing the next generation of trainees with world class skills and opportunities.” The RAF currently employs just under 3000 apprentices in more than 20 different trades. The Service was also listed in the Top 100 Apprenticeships Employers list for 2018.



For further information visit


Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P7


Upgraded Airseeker fully operational Simon Mander THE RAF’S newest electronic surveillance aircraft has been declared fully operational. The three-strong Waddingtonbased RC-135 Airseeker-Rivet Joint unit has already taken part in the campaign against Daesh terrorists in the Middle East. Now it can be sent on missions worldwide as part of the RAF’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Force which includes Sentry, Shadow, Sentinel, Reaper and the reconnaissance capabilities of Typhoons and Tornados. Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief

Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, said: “The Royal Air Force’s Airseeker-Rivet Joint system has achieved full operational capability. “A vital part of our ISTAR Force, it provides critical information and understanding to decision-makers in an increasingly complex, congested and contested battlespace. “It offers essential support not only to air power operations but also to every aspect of joint capability across defence.” The Airseeker capability includes the RC-135W Rivet Joint aircraft and a ground-based analysis unit. It replaced the Nimrod R1 which retired in 2011 and is expected to contribute to the UK’s airborne

electronic surveillance capability until 2035. ISTAR Force Commander, Air Commodore Dean Andrew, said: “Airseeker complements the widerange of ISTAR assets under my command at RAF Waddington, and I am pleased to welcome this worldleading capability to the fleet.” The Airseeker programme has been delivered in close cooperation with the United States including L-3 Mission Integration in Greenville, Texas, which converted KC-135 air-air refuelling aircraft to RC-135 standard. In addition to the aircraft, the US Government also provided personnel training and ground support systems.

News bulletin PHOTOS: SAC Matt Aherne

Minister backs calls for Sikh memorial PLANS FOR a national memorial to honour Sikh Servicemen made in both world wars have received backing from government Communities Secretary Sajid Javid. More than 80,000 Sikh troops died and an estimated 100,000 were injured fighting during both conflicts.

THE RAF came to the National Trust’s rescue in North Wales recently – hauling a 5-tonne slate bridge halfway up a mountain. The 27 Sqn chopper was called in to transport a 20ft stone walkway up a peak in Snowdonia National Park and place it over a stream to create a route for walkers and protect rare arctic-alpine plants from being trampled. The crew had to herd a flock of sheep to safety before landing at the site and battled 40 knot winds as they lowered the slate into place. FS Pete Welsh said: “We had to harness our ‘inner sheepdog’ and herd the animals into another field, away from danger. “Working on a 40 degree slope, at 45 feet in strong winds was challenging but very rewarding.”

Backing calls for the new memorial, Mr Javid, pictured, said: “We are indebted to all those Servicemen who volunteered to serve and fought to defend the freedoms we enjoy today. “That is why a Sikh memorial in our nation’s capital will honour their sacrifice and ensure this part of our shared history is never forgotten. I am delighted to get behind this campaign and ensure its success.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P9

News maritime training

Sub hunters to go head to head in international battle

NIMROD veterans are hoping to resurrect an international competition to find the world’s best anti-submarine warfare unit. Flight Sergeant Justin Morris recently discovered the prestigious Fincastle Trophy awarded to the most deadly sub hunting unit, which has been in storage since the MR2 maritime reconnaissance aircraft went out of service in 2010. But with the arrival of its successor, the P-8A Poseidon, at RAF Lossiemouth in three months, he hopes the Air Forces of Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand will once again battle to win it. FS Morris, currently an air controller at Northwood’s Maritime Air Operations Centre, said: “The

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Museum man Woodgate dies

Fincastle Trophy is the most prized award for a Maritime crew and will be displayed here until 120 Sqn stands up. I’m sure that once the new unit is up and running all the Allied nations will want to compete for it.” Nine new P-8A Poseidon aircraft will be operated by 120 Squadron and 201 Squadron from Lossiemouth in Moray. 120 Squadron was the RAF’s highest scoring anti-submarine unit in World War II with 14 kills and will reform from April. 201 Squadron will reform in 2021. The Fincastle Competition began in 1961 when the parents of Sergeant Nairn Fincastle AirdWhyte, who was killed in action in

1943 while flying with RAF Coastal Command, presented a silver tray in memory of their son. Initially the competition tested depth charge bombing but evolved to include anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, intelligence and surveillance gathering. Former Nimrod ground engineer Chris Herbert added: “The last Fincastle competition was held in 2008 with the planned 2010 contest cancelled when the MR2 fleet was withdrawn.” The RAF still heads the contest’s leaderboard with 18 victories followed by the Royal Australian Air Force with 13, RCAF 8 and RNZAF 8.

Maritime surveillance: Poseiedon P-8A takes off from Lossiemouth. Left FS Morris with the rediscovered Fincastle trophy.

scholarship winner

Afghan tragedy drives Cpl’s Phd Chris beats senior officers to win prestigious scholarship place Ed Palmer RAF Wittering

Len Woodgate, the founder of the RAF Museum at Cosford, has died aged 89. Born in Middlesbrough in 1928, at 16 he achieved his aim of joining the Royal Air Force and became an apprentice engineer. After getting married in February 1953 and being posted to France, Len (pictured above) started the first of three major historical aviation projects – the reconstruction of RD253, a Bristol Beaufighter TF Mk X, still on display at the RAF Museum in Hendon, north London. His second major project involved the recovery and rebuilding of L5343; a Mk.1 Fairy Battle Bomber. Following restoration, the Fairy Battle also went on display at the museum in Hendon. In May 1975, while based in Germany, Len started his third major project – an extensive restoration of PL965, a Supermarine Spitfire PR XI. After retiring from the RAF as a Flt Lt after 38 years’ service he became curator of the fledgling RAF museum at Cosford, a position he held for 10 years. In 1986 he organised an air show at the West Midlands base that attracted 48,000 visitors. His funeral took place at Scarborough Crematorium in January. l See RnR p6 for full obituary

A JUNIOR NCO at RAF Wittering is celebrating winning a soughtafter award that will allow him to study for a doctorate in memory of a close comrade who was killed in action in Afghanistan. Corporal Chris Hargreaves beat applicants up the chain of command to scoop the RAF Portal Fellowship which he hopes will enable him to research how UK Forces can learn from past conflicts. The 27-year-old’s research will focus on how the lessons of Britain’s post-war counter-insurgency operations were applied, forgotten or misapplied from one conflict to another and will explore their effects on the war in Iraq from 2003 to 2009. He is determined to ensure his work helps save lives by ensuring that military force is applied better in the future, he said. Cpl Hargreaves added: “At no

point during the process did I feel like I was being judged on my rank – only on the strength of my research and my ideas.” The Portal Fellowship gives serving personnel the opportunity to study for a PhD on a part time basis on a subject related to Air Power and benefits the Royal Air Force The fellowship is named after wartime Chief of the Air Staff Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Charles Portal and is one of only seven awarded every year. After submitting the paper for his master’s degree with Salford University, Cpl Hargreaves now has his sights set on a six-year doctorate programme. RAF Wittering Station Commander Gp Capt Tony Keeling said: “Cpl Hargreaves’ selection proves to us that higher education in the Royal Air Force is not just for officers, he has won this on merit alone and deserves his fellowship.”

Artist puts RAF anniversary in the frame AVIATION artist Chris Draper is hoping his portraits of RAF personnel will win top prizes at a national exhibition to celebrate the Service’s centenary. The painter, who normally specialises in architectural illustration, hopes that capturing some of the many faces of the Air Force will impress the judges at this year’s Guild of Aviation Artists’ showcase competition.

He said: “The Guild’s 2018 annual exhibition will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the RAF, and my idea is to paint the people rather than aircraft. I have had quite a bit of interest since posting on a few RAFrelated Facebook pages.” He hopes his six portraits of serving and retired airmen, include a chaplain and a navigator, will feature among 400 works at the prestigious Mall Galleries in

Central London in what is billed as the largest exhibition of its kind in the world Chris, who has a close relationship with 815 Naval Air Squadron at Yeovilton, where he has painted nose art on Lynx helicopters, has displayed his work at the Guild’s annual exhibition since 2000. The Guild’s ‘Aviation Paintings of the Year’ exhibition runs from July 9-15 and admission is free.

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P10


Iron man Scott joins the Legion Endurance star honoured to be the first serving Forces ambassador for charity Staff reporter RAF GUNNER and endurance star Sgt Scott Hill says he is ‘honoured’ after becoming the first serving military ambassador for the Royal British Legion. He was appointed to the post as part of a drive by the famous military charity to lose its image as a ‘veterans only’ welfare group. Scott, who boasts four generations of military service in his family, won recognition for achievements as a triathlete and charity crusader – raising thousands of pounds for charities supporting homeless vets He said: “It is a huge honour for me and for the RAF to be the first serving member of the Armed Forces to take on the job.” Part of his role will be to raise the profile of the RBL amongst today’s Servicemen and women. He is one of the RAF’s most successful endurance athletes and will be competing in the Iron Man World Championships in Hawaii later this year for the second time – another first for the Royal Air

Force. Scott added: “My stepfather was in the RAF, his father was a WWII Spitfire pilot and my great grandfather served in WWI. “My own dad was a Royal Marine and his father also served as a Navy gunner. The military is in my blood and this is a great privilege for me.” Along with his sporting achievements Sgt Hill has also raised the charity fundraising stakes sky high by completing a 900-mile cycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats in four days. During his epic fundraising bid he slept rough to highlight the plight of homeless Forces veterans. Since then he has continued to support military charities. Sgt Hill said he hopes to use his position as one of the Service’s leading sportsmen to promote the Royal British Legion to a new generation of military personnel.

A CHINOOK fitted with landing skis takes off from a Tactical Refuelling Area alongside a Bell 412 Norwegian helicopter, in Bardufoss, in the Arctic circle. The RAF combat choppers from Odiham were taking part in the annual Joint Helicopter Command’s Exercise Nordic Eagle. PHOTO: SI ETHELL

Muddy hell Down and dirty in Lichfield for RAF women

O Sport p33

Y O U TA K E C A R E O F U S . W E TA K E C A R E O F Y O U . T O G E T H E R W E G O F U R T H ER. C U R R E N T O R F O R M E R M I L I TA R Y P E R S O N N E L C A N S A V E U P T O 2 0%* O N A N E W F O R D .



C U S T O M E R S AV I N G .

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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P12


One in four homeless could be Forces vets, probe warns STAFF REPORTER

A STUDY into why Forces veterans end up homeless, in prison or suffering from mental health problems has been launched as a housing charity reveals one in four living on the streets in one major UK city could be a Services veteran. The probe by Queen’s University in Belfast and funded by campaign group the Forces in Mind Trust hopes to explain why so many veterans can struggle to cope on Civvy Street, end up homeless or turn to crime. According to Help Birmingham’s Homeless, a charity backing the research, a quarter of those living on the streets in the city once served in the military. Researchers are looking into why life events such as divorce, the death of a close relative, or unemployment might hit Forces veterans harder because they can lack the resilience needed to cope after years of living in a cossetted military environment. Professor John Brewer, who is leading the project, said: “We aim to interview those with problems to capture their life experiences in their own words. “It is pioneering work, focusing

VETS IN CRISIS: Homelessness is a major problem for Service leavers struggling on Civvy Street PHOTO: PA

on uniquely qualitative research. “Lots of surveys have been done but they tend to reduce ex Service personnel to a statistic. “While those statistics are really

important in terms of policy and so on we want to access the lived experience that lies behind the numbers.” The study will also examine the personal backgrounds of those who

have fallen on hard times, examining their education record, family background and other factors such as class, status and culture. However the Queen’s research

team say they want to expose the myth that being protected by military life where accommodation, food and employment are all provided is the main reason service leavers can struggle. Prof Brewer added: “A quarter of those seeking help in one of the UK’s largest cities are ex-Forces and another recent study indicated there is a sizeable ex Forces prison population in East Anglia alone – nearly 150 prisoners are Forces veterans. “We want to find out whether this is due to their pre or postService life and experience. “It is time we understood the factors that lie behind homelessness, mental ill-health and the prison experience of former Service personnel from their own perspective and in their own words. “We really want this research to make a difference with policy makers, the statutory and the voluntary sector and the Ministry of Defence. “We want to help ex Service personnel avoid negative transitioning in future.” O If you have struggled with life after military service and want to share your experiences call RAF News on: 01494 4976136.

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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P13


Cake that

IN SHAPE: Fitness modelling contest. PHOTO MATT MARSH

Muscleman bans mum’s puds to win fitness title

THE DELIVERY of the last edition of RAF News (1435) was delayed in some areas following a distribution problem outside our control. We would like to apologise to subscribers who did not receive their copy on time and assure all our readers that the issue has now been resolved.

Time to relate THE RAF Benevolent Fund’s partnership with relationship counselling service Relate is being extended to include veterans and their partners. The service includes access to a free online, Building Stronger Families course, as well as subsidised mediation sessions for couples going through separation or divorce, and family counselling. OCall 0845 077 5556 for details

RAF MUSCLEMAN Craig Watts has banned his mum from making him his favourite cheesecake – because it could ruin his chances of becoming a champion fitness model. SAC Craig has started a gruelling four-month fitness and nutrition regime in a bid to win a prestigious title at two ‘muscle model’ fitness competitions. The US based fitness craze is designed to produce the perfect physique through strict diet and exercise and is gaining popularity across Europe. Craig said: “I can’t go home to Doncaster to visit my parents or see my friends as I don’t want to be distracted from the programme and eat the wrong thing, especially my mum’s cheesecake.” In April he will be entering the UK’s biggest fitness modelling event before competing in the largest competition in Europe. SAC Watts, 27, based at RAF Brize Norton’s Parachute Training School, said:

“I’m not taking part just to make up the numbers, I’ve put a lot of work into this and I want to win. I want to compete professionally. “I get up at 4.15am and I’m always first in the gym. I do two hours gym work every morning – I can’t afford not to train. “I am an MT driver – we don’t have a reputation for being the fittest in the Air Force.” Craig is currently on a ‘carbcycling’ nutrition plan, balanced with days when he follows either a high or low natural fat diet. He said: “The diet can be quite boring and I love food, but at the end of the day what I want to achieve outweighs the temptation to break the diet. “I miss pizza the most – that’s the first thing I’ll eat after the competitions are over.”


Air icons deliver for RAF’s centenary celebrations

THE ISLE of Man Post Office has commissioned a set of eight commemorative stamps to mark the RAF’s centenary year. The collection features iconic RAF aircraft – from the Sopwith Camel, to the Typhoon and details of key airfields, personnel, medal ribbons and flags. Each stamp includes a secret message in Morse code, which is only visible under UV light, and once deciphered reveals the poem High Flight by Spitfire pilot John Gillespie Magee. The collection was designed by Ben

Glazier, whose grandfather Geoffrey Glazier was a Royal Flying Corps pilot on active duty in France on April 1, 1918, and one of the first RAF pilots. RAF Benevolent Fund Controller Air Vice-Marshal David Murray who helped write the booklet accompanying the collection said: “These innovative and striking stamps are unique in their design and pay a great tribute to the exceptional people who have contributed to the success of the RAF in the last 100 years.” Q Go to: to find out more

DISCIPLINED: Craig is training hard to win

The majority of you have benefits in more than one scheme Former AFPS 75 Officers: l Leaving with less than 16 years service: a AFPS 75 preserved pension (PP), payable at age 60 for benefits earned up to 5 April 2006 and age 65 for benefits earned from 6 April 2006 to 31 March 2015, PLUS an AFPS 15 deferred pension (DP), payable at state pension age (SPA) PLUS the AFPS 75 Resettlement Grant (RG) for those with at least 9 years paid service from age 21. l Leaving with 16 or more years RS from age 21 but before age 40 with at least 20 years paid service (the AFPS 15 Early Departure Payment (EDP) Point): an AFPS 75 immediate pension (IP) PLUS an AFPS 15 DP payable at SPA, but no RG. The IP would be based RS in AFPS 75. So if leaving at the 16 year point with 12 years AFPS 75 RS: 75% of the 16 year pension rate for the Officer’s rank for pension at the time of discharge, together with a lump sum of 3 times pension. l Leaving at or after the AFPS 15 EDP 20/40 Point: the benefits listed above PLUS, on discharged, an EDP tax-free lump sum worth 2.25 times the DP and an annual income worth at least 34% of the DP, payable until SPA. An extra 0.85% of DP is paid as EDP income for every year served after the EDP 20/40 Point. l Leaving at age 55: The benefits listed above BUT the AFPS 15 DP may be claimed early with actuarial reductions without affecting the EDP benefits.

The majority of you have benefits in more than one scheme. Mary Petley of the Forces Pension Society sets out the basics on benefit trigger points for Regulars who transferred to AFPS 15 (excluding invaliding). 0.85% of DP is paid as EDP income for every year served after the EDP 20/40 Point. l Leaving with more than 22 years RS and having reached the EDP 20/40 Point: AFPS 75 IP PLUS an AFPS 15 DP and EDP benefits (as above). The IP would be based RS in AFPS 75. So if leaving at the 22 year point with 18 years AFPS 75 RS: approximately 80% of the 22 year pension rate for the OR’s rank for pension at discharge, together with a lump sum of 3 times pension.

Former AFPS 75 ORs: l Leaving with more than 2 years RS from age 18 but before the EDP 20/40 Point: an AFPS 75 payable at age 60/65 PLUS an AFPS 15 DP payable at SPA PLUS the AFPS 75 RG for those with at least 12 years paid service from age 18. l Leaving with less than 22 years RS but having reaching the EDP 20/40 Point: Benefits as above (but no RG) PLUS, on discharged, an EDP tax-free lump sum worth 2.25 times DP and an annual income worth at least 34% of the DP, payable until SPA. An extra

l Leaving at age 55: The benefits listed above BUT the DP may be claimed early with actuarial reductions without affecting the EDP benefits.

Former AFPS 05 members: l Leaving with more than 2 years RS but before age 40 and 18 years paid service (the AFPS 05 EDP 18/40 Point): an AFPS 05 PP, payable at age 65, PLUS an AFPS 15 DP payable at SPA PLUS the AFPS 05 RG for those with at least 12 years paid service. All paid service counts as RS. l Leaving having reached the AFPS 05 EDP 18/40 Point but not the AFPS

15 EDP 20/40 Point: The benefits above (but no RG) PLUS, on discharge, an AFPS 05 EDP tax-free lump sum of 3 times AFPS 05 PP and an EDP income worth at least 50% of the AFPS 05 PP, payable until age 65. An extra 1.6667% of PP is paid for every year served after qualifying for EDP.


l Leaving on or after the AFPS 15 EDP 20/40 Point: The benefits listed above PLUS AFPS15 EDP benefits. AFPS 15 EDP benefits comprise an EDP tax-free lump sum worth 2.25 times DP and an annual income worth at least 34% of the DP, payable until SPA. An extra 0.85% of DP is paid as EDP income for every year served after the EDP 20/40 Point. l Leaving at age 55: an immediate AFPS 05 pension and a lump sum of 3 times pension PLUS AFPS 15 EDP benefits (as above) PLUS an AFPS 15 DP payable at SPA. The DP may be claimed early with actuarial reductions without affecting the EDP benefits. A final word for those of you leaving with EDP benefits – remember to claim your preserved pension. If you do not, your EDP income will stop but the pension will not start! If you are a Member of the Forces Pension Society and have questions about this, contact us at

Example: Cash price £21,900 UK tax paid on the road including 12 months RFL. Deposit £900. Interest £3,855.84. Monthly Payments £345.22. Term 72 months. Total payable £25,755.84. Saving after all interest over UK list price £4,144.16. APR 5.9%

If you are not a Member but would like to know more about us, visit

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P15

News PAWS FOR REMEMBRANCE: Memorial visitor with pet pug

New radar boosts Nato defence against Russia Remote Shetland facility ready to power up

The National Arboretum is opening its gates to dog owners for the day with a three-mile track for walkies around the 150-acre site dedicated to the memory of those killed during military service. The Paws for Remembrance event at the Staffordshire

memorial on February 11 will also provide vets from the PDSA animal welfare charity offering free canine health checks. A spokesman said: “We set up the event following requests from dog owners visiting the site who wanted to bring their pets.”

A new high-powered RAF radar centre based on a remote island in the Shetlands is set to be powered up to strengthen defences against the growing threat from Russia. The new £10 million facility on the tiny island of Saxa Vord will extend UK and Nato surveillance of airspace across the Norwegian Sea. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This radar is a vital part of the UK’s defences as we react to intensifying global threats and reinforce our ability to tackle them. “Russia’s actions are not limited to Europe’s eastern borders – the threat to British livelihoods is severe and real.” The radar system will boost the UK’s surveillance capability and help track any aircraft closing in on Nato controlled airspace, the MoD said. RAF Typhoons are on constant standby to intercept any unauthorised aircraft and have been scrambled 69 times in the last five years. In the most recent incident two

SKYNET: Saxa Vord radar will increase Nato reach

Typhoons from RAF Lossiemouth intercepted two Russian military aircraft which failed to respond to air traffic control authorities. Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff, said: “This is an important part of ensuring that the RAF can fully protect both the UK’s airspace and that of our Nato allies, in the face of increasing pressure from Russia.” Army chief Gen Sir Nick Carter recently described Russia as

Britain’s most ‘complex and capable state based threat’ and called for more investment in air defence. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute Gen Carter said Nato states face a growing threat from Russian cyber warfare, business corruption, propaganda and the spread of fake news. He said: “We have seen a marked shift to cyber, subversion and coercion as well as sophisticated use of smear campaigns and fake news.”

Italy heads up Euro Air Group

Italian Air Force chief General Enzo Lieutenant Vecciarelli (above right) has been appointed as the new director of the European Air Group. Senior military personnel from across the seven member states attended the ceremony at RAF Air Command at High Wycombe, the permanent home of the organisation. He takes over from Spanish Air Force chief General Javier Salto (left).

Tribute to WO Ted

PERSONNEL from RAF Cosford said farewell to Warrant Officer Edward ‘Ted’ Littlewood at a ceremony to celebrate his life. The former Station Warrant Officer, who served in Malta, RAF Shawbury and RAF Cosford died at his home in Albrighton in December aged 89. Ted enlisted in the Army as a Royal Fusilier in 1945 before qualifying as an RAF Air Gunner in 1950. He retired in the 1980s and was one of the last people to wear the Air Gunner brevet. Ted flew in Lincolns with 101, 9, 49, 61 and 148 Squadrons and saw service in Egypt and Kenya.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Hangar can accommodate three Atlas A400Ms

£70 million Brize Norton home for Atlas Staff reporter Brize Norton A £70 million hangar large enough to contain three of the RAF’s new Atlas transport aircraft has opened at Brize Norton. The new facility which covers 24,000 metres squared and is 28 metres high, will support military and humanitarian missions from the Oxfordshire station. Minister for Defence Procurement Guto Bebb (pictured right) said: “From deploying troops and armoured vehicles to a war zone, to getting vital support to

humanitarian disasters, our Atlas fleet plays a global role and it needs a home to match. “This huge hangar provides exactly that, and will see Brize Norton ready our Atlas fleet for action wherever they are needed in the world.” The RAF currently operates a fleet of 18 Atlas aircraft from a total order of 22, due to be competed in 2022. The UK heavyweight transporter

delivered aid and UK military personnel to storm-hit British territories in the Caribbean in the wake of Hurricane Irma last year. Atlas also supports a number of current military operations including missions in Africa, Iraq and Syria and the Falklands. The aircraft can carry up to 37 tonnes over a range of 2000 nautical miles and is designed to

operate from extreme regions with the ability to land and take off from dirt strip runways. Wg Cdr Ed Horne, the Officer Commanding 70 Squadron RAF which operates the UK’s Atlas aircraft, said: “This new hangar provides us with a world-class maintenance facility to match the world-beating capability of the Atlas aircraft.” The hangar project is funded through a £400 million Ministry of Defence agreement with manufacturer Airbus which sustains 8000 defence jobs in the UK, a spokesman said.

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P17

News BORN SURVIVOR: Mr Maxwell with his two sons at RAF Cranwell, inset below, Sqn Ldr Bryce signs on PHOTOS: GORDON ELIAS

Escape artist hits the wall Staff Reporter A WWII gunner who had a miracle escape from a blazing Lancaster shot down during a raid over Germany added his name to the list of RAF greats as he signed on at Cranwell’s Wall of Gallantry. Flt Lt Tom Maxwell was dragged out of the burning bomber by a slipstream and only managed to attach his parachute as he hurtled towards the ground. The 94-year-old war hero landed safely in a pile of manure in a field in France and was taken in by locals. He joined a Resistance ‘ratline’ operated out of the cathedral in Pau in a daring escape bid across the Pyranees with a group of 30 other allied aircrew, eventually making it to the British Embassy in Spain. Maxwell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross when he finally made it back to Britain for his ‘outstanding gallantry and complete disregard for personal safety.’ He went on to fly a total of 32 missions before leaving the RAF after the war, only to sign up again later as an air traffic controller.

Flt Lt Maxwell arrived at Cranwell with his two sons and spoke about his audacious escape bid to the latest graduates from the RAF’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance Escape course at Cranwell. Also invited to sign the wall of gallantry was survival expert Sqn Ldr Steve Bryce who has led Forces training expeditions across the Arctic, deserts and jungles during his 29-year career. He trained as a physical education officer and later became the first serving British officer to receive an honour from the Joint Services SERE agency in the US. Sqn Ldr Bryce became a parachute instructor but was seriously injured during a jump, forcing him to return to physical training. He took on survival training for fast jet pilots at RAF Linton-on-Ouse before moving to Brize Norton where he is currently commander of Force Protection at the station. SERE instructor Mark Fairhead said: “Sqn Ldr Bryce is the first of his branch to be invited to sign the wall in recognition of his outstanding services to survival training.”

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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P19

Feature WWII

THE ‘MYTH’ OF THE FEW Controversial new book claims the iconic image of the dashing RAF fighter pilot was more to do with Churchill’s political spin than reality


HE ICONIC status of the pilots of RAF Fighter Command as the key to Britain’s salvation in 1940 comes under scrutiny in a new book by historian Harry Bennett. Re-examining Churchill’s ‘Finest Hour’ speech alongside official accounts by key senior commanders the author considers whether the status afforded ‘The Few’ should include ‘the many’ – the still powerful Royal Navy and an Army still largely intact after Dunkirk. Professor Bennett says the mythical stereotype of good-looking, ex-public schoolboy English pilots fighting the Luftwaffe has been challenged by the acknowledgement of the contributions of Czech, Polish, Commonwealth and other non-British aircrew. And he says, far from being all-conquering, recent research shows that the Luftwaffe itself was undermanned and overconfident after its early successes in Europe. His book, entitled Desperate Victories, claims that the series of battles Britain faced in 1940 would define the early years of World War II and, with it, British identity for the next 70 years. Subtitled Military Despatches From Dunkirk to the Battle of Britain, the volume (published by – compiled in association with The National Archives – describes first-hand the plans that would mean either defeat or survival for Britain as Europe collapsed under the Nazi storm. The accounts cover Dunkirk, the withdrawal from Western France, the retreat from Norway and the fight of The Few in the Battle of Britain. The documents, said Bennett ‘have an immediacy and authenticity which modern popular history can never approach.’ He added: “The writers of these despatches did not seek to be controversial, but their subject matter was at the time (and in some cases still is today) a matter of heated debate.” He said: “The victory of The Few encapsulates a range of positive national images ranging from the heroism of RAF pilots, the stoicism of the British public faced with aerial bombing, through to the genius of British engineers whose contribution to victory in 1940 included radar, the beauty of the Supermarine Spitfire and the utter dependability of the Hawker Hurricane. “The intricacies and outcomes of the military campaigns, the political and public responses to changing military fortunes in the critical months of that year were infinitely more complex and difficult to interpret than the public recognised at the time. “Victory was anything but certain, or even likely, despite the assurances of the leading politicians of the day.”


ennett argues that Churchill’s Finest Hour speech on June 18, 1940, drew on the mythic imagery of RAF aircrew to overcome uncertainties about the future – a trend

Win a free copy W E HAVE copies of Desperate Victories by G.H. Bennett to win – to enter, answer this question correctly: On which date did Churchill make his Finest Hour speech? Email your answer, marked Desperate Victories competition, to: competitions@ or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command,High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by February 23.

that continues to this day. He said: “Widely regarded today as one of Britain’s finest Prime Ministers, Churchill headed a coalition government rocked by political intrigues, concerns at national failures and confronted with the looming possibility of defeat. This was not a nation united behind a powerful leader – but a divided country pondering the possibility of foreign invasion and annihilation. “Some elements within the upper ranks of British society considered better a peace deal with Hitler than another ruinous world war leading, perhaps, to the triumph of world communism.” He said the Finest Hour speech was intended to send a very clear message to Germany that a negotiated peace was not an option under Churchill’s leadership and that Britain’s Prime Minister envisaged the aerial battle as just one element, and first phase, in a wider battle. Prof Bennett said: “Against the odds, Britain was able to stem the tide of the German forces that had enslaved the rest of the European continent. While Britain’s security did not rest solely on RAF Fighter Command, the images of fresh-faced fighter pilots running to their Spitfires to climb into the sky to engage streams of enemy aircraft retain their potency. “They represent the perfect combination of idealism, patriotism, bravery and professionalism with the aesthetic and engineering perfection of airframe and British industrial design. “While Churchillian rhetoric continues to frame public memory of the events of 1940, the despatches in my book take us to the heart of the fighting – to the sharp end of the battlefield and the commanders trying to grasp victory in the face of desperate odds.” AIR MSHL SIR ARTHUR BARRATT: AOC British Air Forces in France in 1940

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Hawker Hurricane Mk 1s of 73 Sqn, based in Rouvres, France; Sir Hugh Dowding, Commander-inChief Fighter Command; RAF wireless operators at a fighter station in France in 1940; the eightgun Supermarine Spitfire, icon of the Battle of Britain; German ME-109 after crashing on July 11, 1940 and British wartime PM Winston Churchill

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R'n'R UK Box Office Top 10

Film Festival Preview Cinema Made In Italy March 7 - 11

See Italy's best movies


HEN CINEMA Made In Italy returns to London’s Ciné Lumière, Italian cinema lovers will once again be able to sample some of the best recent Italian productions on offer, in a diverse programme. The Italian film festival, back for its eighth year, takes place in London from March 7 – 11. Screenings will be followed by filmmaker Q&A sessions. The line-up includes eight new Italian films plus the 1977 classic title A Special Day (Una Giornata Particolare), directed by the late maestro Ettore Scola and starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. The opening night film is Paolo Taviani’s World War II drama Rainbow (Una Questione Privata), featuring Luca Marinelli (They Call Me Jeeg, Don’t Be Bad) and Valentina Bellé, recently seen in the Italian-British television drama series Medici: Masters of Florence. One of the highlights to look forward to this year is Andrea Pallaoro’s heart-rending drama Hannah, which earned Charlotte

Rampling the Best Actress Award at the 2017 Venice International Film Festival. Other titles in the festival lineup that premiered in Venice are the musical Love And Bullets (Ammore e Malavita) by Antonio e Marco Manetti; the slick and creative animation Cinderella The Cat (Gatta Cenerentola) by Alessandro Rak; and Sebastiano Riso’s impressive second feature Una Famiglia. Leonardo di Costanzo, who presented his award-winning film The Interval in London in 2012, will return with his latest feature The Intruder (L’Intrusa), which screened in Directors’ Fortnight at last year’s Cannes International Film Festival. Sergio Castellitto’s social melodrama Fortunata also premiered in Cannes, in Un Certain Regard, landing Jasmine Trinca with the section’s Best Actress Award for her gritty performance as a poverty-stricken single mother. Lucia Mascino also delivers a stunning performance in Stories Of Love That Cannot Belong To This World (Amori Che Non Sanno Stare



Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Early Man (pictured below)

6 The Post 7

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

9 Downsizing 10 Padmaavat

WARTIME DRAMA: Rainbow, above, set during WWII, is the festival's opening night film

al Mondo), by acclaimed director Francesca Comencini. Cinema Made In Italy is organised by Istituto LuceCinecittà’s promotional department in Rome (Filmitalia), with the

Win latest aviation titles




Adventures of a Cold War Fast-Jet Navigator by David Herriot Fighter Jets by Franck Schwede

defending the flanks of Nato. n The world’s first jet engines were already available shortly before the end of World War II, but they had not been developed to a high enough standard to take part. This changed after 1945 when, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, one technological development surpassed the others and records tumbled almost every week. The era of the piston engine was finally over and jet fighters now dominated the skies. By the mid-1950s their speed had already reached double that of the speed of sound; an achievement which a few years earlier would have sounded to many like science fiction. Part of the new Pen & Sword

2 Coco

4 The Greatest Showman


AVID HERRIOT served for almost 40 years in the Royal Air Force as a navigator, first on the Buccaneer S2 and subsequently on the Tornado GR1. Now he has written Adventures of a Cold War Fast-Jet Navigator The Buccaneer Years (rrp £25) – described as ‘a riveting a first-hand account from a Buccaneer navigator …who lived life to the full both in the air and on the ground.’ The book recounts Herriot’s early career operating the Buccaneer on three operational flying tours plus a tour as an instructor on the Operational Conversion Unit. With almost 2500 hours on an aircraft that was operated at high speed, in all weathers and at ultra low level, his task in the rear sear was a demanding one. But Herriot was more than just the guy in the back of the Buccaneer; he was, quite routinely, and often to the exasperation of his seniors, the life and soul of any party that was taking place either at his home base or when overseas

1 Darkest Hour

Fact File series, Fighter Aircraft by Frank Schwede (rrp £12.99) provides a wealth of information a v i a t i o n enthusiasts will welcome. We have copies of Fighter Aircraft and Adventures of a Cold War Fast-Jet Navigator to win. For your chance to own one of these great books, simply send us the answer to this question: For how long did David Herriot serve in the RAF? Email your answer, marked Pen & Sword books competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by February 23. Please mark on your entry which of these two books you prefer to win.

support of the Italian Cultural Institute in London, the official agency for the promotion of Italian language and culture in England and Wales. Visit: for more details.


Book review

Churchill's Secret War With Lenin Damien Wright Helion & Company

How Britain played its part in Russia's civil war EVERY SO often a book comes along that you know adds significantly to a subject's historiography. Damien Wright has achieved this with this first attempt to tell the story of Britain and the Commonwealth's intervention in the Russian civil war. Britain was drawn into a fight that eventually saw elements from all three Services and personnel from around the Empire deployed into Imperial Russia. Elements of this story are quite well known such as the Royal Navy's actions in the Baltic and the fighting in North Russia around Murmansk and Archangel. The author has drawn these stories together, expanded on them using primary sources then built links to each with far less well known activities in Southern Russia centred on the Black Sea, an area very relevant today. The story of the push west across Siberia from Vladivostok and the intelligence war is also found here. No contemporary published official history was produced as this

intervention was in many ways kept secret. At its conclusion there appears to have been no appetite to draw attention to the British involvement in the conflict. A real strength of this book is its liberal sprinkling with personnel vignettes. These add colour to the narrative and shine a light on some extraordinary characters, like Lt Vashon Wheeler, who served on the Western Front. Despite being wounded and losing two fingers he became an early airline pilot then flew fighters and bombers in WWII. He received a DFC and bar before being killed in 1944 as a Wg Cdr leading 207 Squadron – an extraordinary story worthy of a book in its own right. For me one element of the story that was completely new was the RAF involvement. This is well covered and sheds new light on previous studies, critically examining these earlier works. The context of these air operations is also given which is a real strength of the book. I strongly recommend this title. Review by Peter Singlehurst

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R'n'R Theatre

PodPeople Top 10

Calendar Girls On tour

Now playing

Lyn Paul (The New Seekers) returns to the role of Mrs Johnstone in Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre from February 13-17 and on tour until the end of May. Here’s her iPod Top 10: 1

Chris Stapleton I'm a Traveller

Jack Jones 2 What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? 3 The Beatles Please Please Me Underwood 4 Charlie I Know You Won't Bobby Vee 5 The Night Has a Thousand Eyes New Seekers 6 The I Can Say You're Beautiful Tim McGraw 7 and Faith Hill The Devil Calling Me Back Bocelli 8 Andrea The Prayer Keith Urban and 9 Carrie Underwood The Fighter Cooper 10 J September

TOUR: Lyn in musical Blood Brothers


Edited by Tracey Allen

KEEPING THEIR CLOTHES ON: Tim Firth (right) and Gary Barlow with the new Calendar Girls

Make a date with the Calendar Girls


he critically acclaimed and award-winning show Calendar Girls is back on tour – with an all-new cast featuring some famous faces. Daring to bare in the latest production are novelist and TV presenter Fern Britton – her return to the stage for the first time in 30 years – with Denise Welch (Loose Women, Coronation Street, Waterloo Road) and Ruth Madoc (Hi-De-Hi). The hit show, which was made into a film starring Dame Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, is a musical comedy inspired by the true story of a group of women from a Yorkshire village, who decide to pose nude for a Women's Institute calendar to raise funds for their local hospital, in memory of one of the women's husbands. To date they have raised almost £5million for Bloodwise, a UK specialist blood cancer charity, and Bloodwise will continue to receive money from this production. Calendar Girls tells the story

of how a group of ordinary women achieved something extraordinary. Take That's Gary Barlow composed the music for the play, written by Tim Firth. They grew up in the same village in the north of England and have been friends for 25 years. Barlow said: "What a phenomenal new cast we have. Tim and I sat in – and indeed played – on the auditions and have been so lucky to have put together such talented ladies." The cast also includes Lorraine Bruce (Kay Mellor's The Syndicate), Anna-Jane Casey (Stepping Out in London's West End), Sara Crowe (Bedroom Farce, Hay Fever in the West End) and Rebecca Storm (Willy Russell's Blood Brothers). Calendar Girls is at the Sunderland Empire then the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, in March and at the New Theatre, Oxford, from April 16-20. n Go to: for details.

Lord of Rings creator works magic on WWI


4-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the World War I centenary, and Imperial War Museums have commissioned internationally-acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson – of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit fame – to create a new film about WWI. The new work was made exclusively with original footage from the IWMs’ film archive and audio from the BBC collection. It will be broadcast on BBC One for Armistice this November following a UK-wide premiere as part of the BFI London Film Festival. The BBC will accompany the film with a ‘making-of ’ documentary

with behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with Jackson and an in-depth look at the creative and technical process behind the work. Jackson said: “I’ve always been fascinated by the First World War due to my own family history and the centenary felt like a unique opportunity to make a personal contribution to the commemoration. “I wanted to find a way to bring new life to the stories of ordinary people living through extraordinary times.” The film includes never-beforeseen WWI archival footage restored with the finest digital technology: in full 3D, hand-colourised and with original audio.

The Big Interview Hedda Gabler


Hedda looks back in anger


here's still time to catch the National Theatre’s acclaimed production of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece Hedda Gabler, which has been touring the UK following a sold-out run at the NT. Adapted by Olivier Awardwinning playwright Patrick Marber (Closer) and directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge), this bold and modern new production tours to the Grand Opera House, York, from February 20-24 and is at Milton Keynes Theatre from February 27-March 3. The play was premiered in 1891 and is recognised as a classic of realism. Lizzy Watts play the title role of the free-spirited Hedda Gabler, considered one of the greatest dramatic parts in theatre and regarded as the female Hamlet. Hedda and Tesman have just returned from their honeymoon and the relationship is already in trouble. Trapped but determined, she tries to control and manipulate those around her, only to see her own world unravel. Watts (whose TV credits include The Durrells and Midsummer Murders) said: "Hedda is a young woman who has decided against following her inner drive and so she has chosen to settle down, to conform, to accept the security that marriage will bring her. "In doing so, however, she is living a life she does not want to lead. She's terrified by the outside world but she also wants to be free in the way that only a man is free in this society." Watts sees distinct parallels between the choice Hedda makes and what is available to the character's modern-day counterparts. She said: "I was talking about it with a group of my female friends and we discussed the pressure we feel to think about having children while pursuing a career and what that entails. We felt that as women we hadn't ticked all the boxes." She praised the production's creative team, saying: "The design is very beautiful and aesthetically pleasing and they have created a space that seems very free. Patrick's version is quite sexy. They have been very willing to allow me to explore Hedda in my own way. It has been a very enjoyable process." Watts’ theatre credits include Strife at Chichester Festival Theatre, The Angry Brigade and Artefacts at

HEDDA: Lizzy Watts

Soul II Soul UK tour

Still life and Soul of the party I

t's hard to believe that 2018 marks 30 years since the release of iconic British band Soul II Soul's influential debut album Club Classics Vols 1. To celebrate the anniversary the double Grammy Awardwinning and five-time Brit Awardnominated band will play 12 dates in the UK in October and November 2018, including one at London's Palladium. With huge hits including Keep On Movin' (which sold more than a million copies in the US alone) and the UK number one Back To Life (However Do You Want Me), Soul II Soul progressed from being one of the leaders of the 1980s warehouse scene to pioneering British black music around the world. The band's tour starts at Birmingham Town Hall on October 19 and includes dates in Liverpool, Brighton, Guildford, Hull, Manchester, Cardiff and Glasgow before finishing at the Sage, Gateshead, on November 4. Soul II Soul founder Jazzie B (right) said: “We’re from the days when a number 14 bus and a supermarket trolley got us around.” what That's he and a school friend used to do

Young newly-wed finds marriage isn't all she hoped it would be in new production of Ibsen classic

in order to play dances with their first sound system when they were just 13. Their first North London sound system, Jah Rico, played mainly reggae, but after three years changed to more soul and funk and Soul II Soul was born. The band quickly achieved a name in their community, but were in no position to give up the day jobs, and at 18, Jazzie was working for cockney pop legend Tommy Steele, as a tape operator. He found himself one of the few black people employed in a London recording studio. By the mid 1980s the warehouse scene was in full swing – a natural fit for Soul II Soul's creativity. Jazzie said: "We were very arty as an early sound. We never had conventional speakers, we used pyrotechnics in a dance, we had banners and strobes in a house party." Nothing summed them and their crowd up better than their regular Sunday night spot at the Africa Centre in London’s Covent Garden. Jazzie remembered it as unique. He said: "You had people from all walks of life at the Africa Centre, a very eclectic crowd." In 2008 he was awarded an OBE for services to music and in the same year he won


Dr Faustus

Fabulous Films Ltd/Fremantle Media Enterprises MARRIED STRIFE: (Clockwise from left) Brack (Adam Best) holds a gun to Hedda; on the couch with Lovborg (Richard Pyros) and with husband Tesman (Abhin Galeya). Inset, director Ivo van Hove

The Bush, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Globe – and she plays Ivy Layton in the continuing BBC Radio Four drama Home Front. She graduated from drama school in 2006 and has managed to make a living, although she's also had periods of unemployment. She said: "Whenever I am out of work, I look to find something that has nothing to do with acting, simply to stop myself going mad. I couldn't work in a box office or at a stage door. It would be too close to where I want to be. "Acting was originally a hobby for me which I decided to take up professionally, despite my parents being

less than delighted with my decision. It was seeing Michael Gambon in Pinter's The Caretaker that made up my mind." Conscientiously, she filled the hefty gap between being cast as Hedda and the start of rehearsals by immersing herself in a substantial helping of Ibsen's plays. She said: "I read A Doll's House, Ghosts, Pillars of the Community and they all tend to feature a woman who is fighting against social conformity. Take Ibsen's Enemy of the People – that play could have been written now and you wouldn't have to change a word. He is a writer both for today and for all time." Interview by Al Senter

n Milton Keynes Theatre have teamed up with the National Theatre to offer anyone aged 26 or under the chance to see Hedda Gabler for just £5. Tickets are valid for all performances of Hedda Gabler at Milton Keynes Theatre, subject to availability, and are bookable online, via phone, or in person at the box office, using the code IBSEN5. ID will be requested as proof of age on collection or presentation of tickets. n For tickets at other venues (and for those over 26 wishing to see the play at Milton Keynes), go to: atgtickets. com for purchasing details.

the coveted Ivor Novello Award for inspiration. Jazzie said it's of paramount importance for him to remain a part of the club scene. He added: "Being a sound system is very important to me, I still DJ in clubs. And our record label is run like a sound system. It’s all exactly the same as before, except that the times have changed. Technically we are still a sound system. The singers and artists are our MCs, and instead of mix tapes we now make records and CDs.” n Go to: for tour details.

Burke to tour

n X-Factor winner and Strictly Come Dancing star Alexandra Burke’s mother, Melissa Bell, who died last year, was one of Soul II Soul’s lead singers in the 1990s. Burke (right) has announced she will be embarking on her ‘The Truth Is’ tour this autumn. Her new album of the same name is released on March 9. Her first UK headline tour since 2010, it starts on September 1 in Southend and finishes at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on September 18. Go to: for details.


Burton's Dr is Taylor-made for evil


he legendary Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor star together in a classic adaptation of Dr Faustus – featuring members of the Oxford University Dramatic Society. Released in 1968, the film is a permanent record of a theatrical performance of Christopher Marlowe's 1588 play, The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. Neither actor was paid for their performance. Instead all the money earned went towards building a studio-theatre extension at Oxford University, now known as the Burton-Taylor Rooms. After the success of the production that played to a full house every night, Burton

expressed an interest in turning it into a film. A year later the movie version was released, co-directed by Burton and literary scholar Nevill Coghill. Faustus (Burton) is a scholar at the University of Wittenberg when he earns his doctorate degree. His insatiable appetite for knowledge and power leads him to employ necromancy to conjure Mephistopheles (Taylor) from hell. He bargains away his soul to Lucifer in exchange for living for 24 years during which Mephistopheles will be his slave. Faustus signs the pact in his own blood and Mephistopheles reveals the work of the devil to Faustus.

It is believed that Marlowe influenced Shakespeare's writing and conspiracy theories suggest Marlowe was a spy. He died, aged 29, after being stabbed, supposedly due to a disagreement over a bill.

Win the DVD

We have three copies of Dr Faustus on DVD, rrp £14.99, to win. For your chance to own one, answer this question correctly: Who wrote the play on which the film Dr Faustus – starring Burton and Taylor – is based? Email your answer, marked Dr Faustus DVD competition, to: or post it to: RAF News, Room 68, Lancaster Building, HQ Air Command, High Wycombe, HP14 4UE, to arrive by February 23.

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 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


LEN WOODGATE Woodgate Len, Flt Lt ex curator RAF Museum, Cosford. Passed away on January 17, aged 89. Born in Middlesbrough in 1928, Len’s introduction to aviation was when his father took him to an Empire Air Day in 1936. The air show impressed him so much that from that day onwards he wanted to join the RAF. At 16 he became an apprentice engineer with 49th Entry of the RAF Halton Apprenticeship Scheme. On completion, he was posted to RAF St Athan as Engineering Officer. Following his marriage in February 1953 and a posting to France, Len started the first of three major historical

aviation projects; the reconstruction of RD253, a Bristol Beaufighter TF Mk. X, still on display at the RAF Museum in Hendon, north London. His second major project involved the recovery and rebuilding of L5343; a Mk.1 Fairy Battle Bomber. A squadron of these bombers had been based in Iceland in World War II, when one suffered an engine failure. The pilot attempted a crash landing on what he thought was a snow covered field, but it was a frozen lake. As Deputy Team Leader Len took a team of RAF personnel to Iceland in 1972 and recovered the aircraft back to the UK. Following restoration, it went on display at Hendon. In May 1975 while based in Germany, he started his third major project; carrying out an extensive restoration of PL965, a Supermarine Spitfire PR XI. Just before completing 38 years' RAF service in the UK and overseas, which involved 32 house moves, Len became the instigator for the RAF Museum, Cosford. Once retired he took on the full-time and demanding job of curator of this fledgling

museum. He did this for 10 years. He also organised an air show in 1986, which attracted 48,000 visitors. He wrote a memoir Planes, Aims and Happiness. Len's coffin was carried into Scarborough Crematorium to the sound of the 'RAF March Past'.

In Memoriam Anderson Derek Pitcairn Flt Lt Doctor February 14, 2014. Throughout your life you met people that you have an instant connection with. And Derek and I had that. Still sadly missed. Your ambulance driver, Mick Scarbrough. Quanborough Syd, ex Chief Technician. Remembering my dearest husband who died on January 28, 2006. The years pass, but your memory lives on in the hearts of your children and grandchildren and I, your devoted wife Margaret, will always love you.

Seeking RAF


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.

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 www.rafadappassn. org. No 6 Squadron (RAF) Association – a thriving group of serving and exmembers of 6 Sqn awaits your application to join. Renew acquaintances with your old friends – before it is too late! No one is too old or too young, if you have served on 6 or have a link. Annual functions either at the squadron’s new location or in London. We also have a specific group on the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph parade. A three-monthly online magazine has all the latest on squadron news, and contributions from past members are always welcome. Applications to the Membership Secretary at: 6sqnassociation@gmail. com or go to the website:

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. 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 and all interested parties can obtain further information

Church service for pilot hero A COMMEMORATIVE SERVICE to mark the centenary of the death of a World War I fighter pilot will be held on February 11 at St John the Baptist Church in Aldenham, Hertfordshire. Second Lt Peter Francis Kent (inset, below) was shot down in flames on February 6, 1918 above the Western Front. For decades, the story behind a plaque (below) in the church in memory of the young No 3 Sqn Royal Flying Corps officer remained something of a mystery. But with the help of former RAF Gp Capt Michael Peaker and others, church volunteer Stan Robinson has painstakingly pieced together Kent’s brief life story. Those attending the service will include Air Cdre The Viscount Hugh Trenchard, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and grandson of the founding father and Marshal of the RAF, 1st Viscount Trenchard; and Peter Alderson, the son of Lt A G D ’Grey’ Alderson, who flew alongside Peter Kent that day. Lt Alderson, Lt William Dennett and 2nd Lt Kent – led by Capt Charles Sutton

– in F1 Sopwith Camels – engaged six German Albatross aircraft in a deadly dogfight. Years later, ‘Grey’ Alderson paid a lasting and personal tribute to Peter Kent, by naming his son after him. Peter Alderson said his father only ever had two pictures on his dressing table – one of his parents and the other of Peter Kent. Peter Alderson also remembers his father saying one of the first things he did when he returned home from France in December 1918, was to visit to Mr and Mrs Kent in Aldenham. There, he was presented with a photograph of the plaque they had placed in the church. It is believed that Second Lt Kent was shot down north of Rémy in northern France after making his first ‘kill’ of the war. He was just 19 years old. His body was recovered and buried by the Germans at Lecluse, east of Arras and later moved to the Commonwealth War Graves’ Honourable Artillery Company Cemetery at Ecoust-St.Mein, where it remains.

by emailing: robert.willis@ or: dave. or call: 07982 07982190504 Please book early for this event, all ex Apprentices are welcome.

partners please email:

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 5, May 5. If interested with

RAF Regiment Association Somerset/Dorset Branch Social May 18-21. Warners, Cricket St Thomas, Somerset. Join the Social Club. Please contact Alec Hunt, Coordinator: 01793 704629. 313 Entry RAF Hereford Supplier General. 50 years since we were at Hereford. Is anybody interested in a reunion? Please contact

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 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 David Johnson via email at:

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.

RAFA charity concert RAF Association Cranwell Branch’s Wings Appeal charity concert with a performance by Sleaford Concert Band will be held on March 10 at St Georges Academy, Westgate, Sleaford, Lincolnshire NG34 8PP from 7pm until 10pm (doors open at 6.30pm). Tickets cost £7.50 each and are available from: Hockmeyer Motors Ltd, Holdingham Garage Lincoln Road, Holdingham,


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

Sleaford NG34 8 8NP. (open 8am – 10pm); The Arcade Cobbler 9 Bristol Arcade, Sleaford, Lincs, NG34 7ST; HKS Filling Station & Spar Convenience Store, Lincoln Road, Leadenham, Lincoln LN5 OPQ, (open 8am 8pm); Spar Shop, RAF Cranwell, Delhi Square, Cranwell, Lincs NG34 8HE, (open Mon - Fri 7am – 9pm, Sat & Sun 9am – 9pm) or by post from: Mr S Hanson, RAFA Cranwell Branch Wings Appeal Organiser, Stocks Heath Farm, The Heath, Leadenham, Lincoln LN5 0QE. Please note: payment by cheque only, a stamped selfaddressed envelope must be included and the number of tickets required clearly stated. A bar selling beer, wine, soft drinks, tea and coffee will be open on the night. All profits from the concert will go to the RAFA Wings Appeal Charity which provides help and support to serving and veterans of the RAF and Air Forces of the Commonwealth, their spouses and dependants, by providing welfare visits, emergency financial grants and funding, respite care,

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

long term care for the elderly, sheltered accommodation, holiday chalets and caravans. The RAFA works very closely with the RAF Benevolent Fund, the Royal British Legion, SSAFA and other Service charities. This year’s concert celebrates the RAF's centenary.

Listen to the Band

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 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 or email: MemSecChangi@telco4u. net or visit for more details.

TO CELEBRATE 100 years since the formation of the Royal Air Force, the Sheringham & District Branch of the RAF Association is promoting a concert by the Band of the Royal Air Force College on Saturday, March 10 at St Peter’s Church in Sheringham, Norfolk, The concert, held in the afternoon, will be the College Band’s only local performance in a very busy year. Led by renowned conductor, Sqn Ldr Richard Murray, the band, who are based at RAF Cranwell, will play a full repertoire of military and popular music, with soloists demonstrating individual skills. Tickets are available from Sheringham Little Theatre, either in person, online or by telephone, call: 01263 822347. Q For more information please contact the local RAFA Branch on: 01263 479507.


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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 R'n'R 8

R'n'R Prize Crossword No. 220

Solve the crossword, then rearrange the six letters in yellow squares to find an RAF aircraft

7. See 6 Down 8. Garfunkel is the first performer (6) 10. Great joy sun god portrait lacks intensive care (7) 11. A card, obviously (5) 12. Clarkson sheltering bird (4) 13. Not oneself holding the first baton (5) 17. Christmas gift making you really, really happy initially (5) 18. Wealthy Shakespearean king, in short (4) 22. Planet hideaway (5) 23. Person in charge a non-skater? (7) 24. Long-range missile hit eastern fjords centrally (6) 25. Renee’s upset but becomes peaceful (6)

Solutions should be sent in a sealed envelope marked Name.................................................................... 'Su Doku' with the .............................................................................. number in the top left-hand corner to Address................................................................ RAF News, to arrive .............................................................................. by February 23, 2018. .................................................Su Doku No. 230


Name.................................................................................................................... Address................................................................................................................ .............................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................. RAF aircraft..................................................................... Crossword No. 220

No. 230 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.


1. How a law operates usually (2,1,4) 2. Unusual place for a fish boat to be left? (3,4) 3. Deceptive stench reaches Gustav (5) 4. And 9 Down. Programme to improve 14 Down’s capabilities (7,9) 5. In Paris, Kylie becomes insecure (5) 6. And 7 Across. Bunker buster missile (5,6) 9. See 4 Down 14. Fighter in tropical storm (7) 15. RAF personnel wire damaged car (7) 16. Blacken the French Prince (7) 19. Mates confuse United and City, say (5) 20. Dilapidated plane 100 value highly (5) 21. Bid made for most of 23 Across (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 February 23, 2018.

The winner of Crossword No. 217 is CMF Webster from Waddington who wins a copy of Air War Varsity by Martin W Bowman ( Solution to crossword No. 217:

Su Doku No. 228 winner is Moira Solution to Su Doku No: 228 Dawson from Innsworth who wins a copy of Combat Over The Trenches by Chris Clarke (

Across – 1. Idol 8. Apolitical 9. Squadron 10. Nibs 12. Finale 14. Raptor 15. Portia 17. Fogeys 18. Bear 19. Spitfire 21. Biggin Hill 22. Leek Down – 2. Don Quixote 3. Lama 4. Hoarse 5. Dinner 6. Winnipeg 7. Alps 11. Booby Prize 13. Alter Ego 16. Absent 17. Frigid 18. Baby 20. Fall  RAF word: Aircraft


Endeavour ITV

New dawn for Endeavour and trusty sidekick S

haun Evans and Roger Allam are back as the young Endeavour Morse and his boss DCI Fred Thursday in the fifth series of hit TV detective drama Endeavour. This is the longest series so far, featuring six episodes – and Morse has now been promoted to Detective Sergeant. He has finally passed his Sergeant’s exams just as Oxford City Police merges into Thames Valley Constabulary, creating uncertainty for everyone at Cowley CID. Series creator Russell Lewis said: “Many of the global tensions of that most turbulent year, 1968, have found their way into our new Endeavour

mysteries. 1967’s Summer of Love seems already a distant memory. Dark clouds are gathering at home and abroad as, after almost 100 years, the long history of Oxford City Police comes to an end. “A terrible storm is set to blow through the professional and personal lives of newly-promoted DS Morse and Oxford’s finest, leaving devastation in its wake.” Filming for the new series started just after the death of Morse creator Colin Dexter. Evans said: “It was very sad to lose him, but Colin was still in our thoughts as we made this series. We want to try and stay as true to his original vision as possible while also taking it in new directions. “There was something

FACING CHANGES: Endeavour and Thursday

brilliant about having Colin on hand. When we first started he’d go through all of the scripts with a fine toothcomb, not unlike myself. And he wasn’t backward in coming forward about expressing his opinions. We were very fortunate to have that.” What does having six featurelength films in this series mean in terms of story? Evans said: “It gives the writer, and therefore the cast and production, the opportunity to tell the story over a longer period of time, to look at it more fully and

really have a trajectory for those at the police station and for the other characters as well. “You really see what’s going on and don’t feel as obliged to shoehorn bits of character stuff around the plot. Six films give you breathing space to do a little bit more with that.” Does this series reveal more about Morse and his relationships with the opposite sex? Evans said: “There’s a little bit of action, not before time if you ask me. It’s interesting as well. It shows you another side of the character.

He is a young man in 1968. His relationships with other women show a slightly more rounded version of the character.” He added: “With his new rank there’s new responsibilities for Endeavour, so he’s less in Thursday’s pocket and we, sadly, don’t spend as much time together. But that relationship is still, I think, the lynchpin of the whole story.” Dakota Blue Richards, inset left, returns as WPC Shirley Tewlove. n Endeavour continues on ITV at 8pm on Sundays.


Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P21

Feature RAF photographer Sgt Mike Jones captured this image of an Airseeker surveillance aircraft on the pan at Waddington – home of the Royal Air Force ISTAR fleet. The aircraft carries an array of sensors to intercept communications and data used in strategic and tactical intelligence.

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P22


Mozzie that bit Goering Wg Cdr Reg Reynolds: DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar Wing Commander Reg Reynolds, who has died aged 98, led a small formation of Mosquitos to interrupt an address by Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe. The number two Nazi was due to address a mass rally in Berlin commemorating the 10th anniversary celebrations of Hitler’s regime and his speech was to be broadcast to the nation. During the early morning of January 30, 1943, three Mosquitos of No. 105 Squadron, led by Reynolds and his long-serving and brilliant navigator Ted Sismore, took off from Marham on the RAF’s first daylight bombing attack on Berlin, a round trip of 1150 miles. Their task was to drop bombs on the capital at exactly 11am, the time Goering was to begin his address. After take-off the three aircraft remained at low level and headed across the North Sea. They stayed clear of the Frisian Islands before turning due east. As they crossed the River Elbe they commenced a climb to 25,000 feet and headed for Berlin. The attack was delivered exactly on time, with the bombs falling near the broadcast station and the explosions heard over the radio. A few years earlier Goering had famously boasted that no enemy aircraft would ever bomb the German Reich. It was reported that he was ‘boiling with rage and humiliation’ and had to postpone his speech for an hour. The raid was a complete success and a major propaganda coup, which was covered

extensively in the press and on the BBC news. All the crews were decorated and Reynolds received an immediate DSO for his ‘calm courage, resolution and endurance’. Born in Cheltenham, Reynolds worked at the Gloster aircraft factory for a year before joining the RAF on a Short Service Commission in August 1937 to train as a pilot. He joined No. 144 Squadron in August 1938, flying the Hampden bomber. During the Phoney War he flew on shipping sweeps and after the German invasion of the Low Countries and France in May 1940 he dropped mines in the Baltic and bombed targets in Germany. In the summer of 1940 he attacked the German invasion barges gathering in French ports. After 30 operations he was awarded the DFC and rested, spending six months instructing on a bomber operational training unit (OTU). He returned to operational flying in April 1941 to fly the ill-fated Manchester on a number of bombing operations over France and Germany. Three months later he was sent as a flight commander to form the nucleus of No. 455 Squadron, the first Royal Australian Air Force bomber squadron. This involved returning to fly the out-dated Hampden on 12 more operations over Germany and to lay mines in the waters around the Netherlands and north Germany. During a further tour as a flight commander on an OTU he flew one of the unit’s Whitleys on a bombing raid to Dusseldorf on July 31, 1942. Bomber Command had required a

DREAM TEAM: Reynolds (second right) and Sismore

maximum effort so experienced instructors were tasked for the operation. Later in the year he converted to the Mosquito before joining the first squadron, No. 105, where Sismore became his navigator. Over the next nine months, they led many daylight attacks against targets in France, the Low Countries and Germany. These included railway workshops, power stations, steel plants and armament works. On May 27, 1943, Reynolds led a

formation of 14 aircraft to attack the Schott Glass Works and the Zeiss Optical Instruments Works at Jena, deep in the heart of Germany and the longest low-level daylight raid mounted by the RAF. The weather and visibility deteriorated as they approached the target surrounded by cloudcovered hills. Balloon defences surrounded the target and the Mosquitos encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire. As Reynolds released the bombs, his aircraft was hit by flak and one engine was damaged. He was wounded in the hand and leg and a piece of shrapnel ripped the collar of his jacket. The long journey home was spent monitoring the damaged engine and avoiding enemy defences. Reynolds was awarded an immediate Bar to his DSO and Sismore received the DSO. In January 1944 he became Wing Commander flying operations in No. 140 Wing of the Second Tactical Air Force. On October 31, 1944, Reynolds, again flying with Sismore, led a force of 24 Mosquitos to bomb the Gestapo HQ located in one of the buildings of Aarhus University in Denmark. The surprise attack in misty weather was delivered from low level and was a complete success. As the formation crossed Denmark many Danes waved and a farmer stopped ploughing, stood to attention and saluted as SHOT DOWN: Gordon Mellor as a young the Mosquitos swept passed. For airman, above, and below left, Mellor’s false their outstanding leadership, both papers, used during his escape, showing him Reynolds and Sismore received a as ‘Maurice’ Bar to their DFCs. flight lieutenant. After attending the RAF Staff He was a keen member and College, Reynolds left for Canada supporter of the Escape Lines in September 1945 and was based Memorial Society and he served at Dorval, near Montreal, where he on the committee of the Bomber served as the Wing Commander Command Association when he in charge of operations at HQ 45 played an important role in the Group – responsible for ferrying establishment of the Bomber aircraft across the Atlantic. Command Memorial in Green He left the RAF in January 1946 Park. to pursue a long career in civil His memoir ETA, A Bomber aviation. He returned to Canada in Command Navigator Shot Down 1951 and when he retired he had and On the Run was published in accumulated 22,000 hours flying 60 2015. types of aircraft.

Evader who made it back home Flt Lt Gordon Mellor

GORDON MELLOR, who has died aged 98, was shot down over Belgium and managed to evade capture. With the help of the Comet Escape Line, he made his way to Spain and eventually reached England. Mellor had joined the RAF in 1940 and trained as an air observer in Canada before returning to the UK to train on bombers. He joined No. 103 Squadron in May 1942, when the squadron was still flying the Wellington. He flew on all three of the Thousand Bomber raids, the first to Cologne on May 29, 1942

followed by those to Essen and Bremen. The squadron then reequipped with the four-engine Halifax and he attacked major industrial cities including Kassel, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt. He was shot down on his 17th mission. Mellor and his crew successfully attacked the target at Aachen on the night of October 5-6, 1942. On the return flight, the bomber was attacked by a German night fighter and set on fire. The crew attempted to bale out but three of them were killed. Mellor landed in trees six miles from Tongeren in Belgium. Unable to recover his parachute, he immediately left the area. Late the following night he knocked on the door of a remote farmhouse. He was fortunate and immediately received help and shelter. False papers were made for him in the name of ‘Maurice’ and he was taken to Brussels where he stayed for a few days in a safe house. On October 16, couriers took him and another evader to Paris by train where he met Dedee de Jong, the young leader of the Belgian ‘Comet ‘ Line. After two days, she and another courier took them on the express to Bayonne where they caught a local train to St Jean de Luz near

the Spanish border. After a brief stay, they said goodbye to Dedee and two young women took them to the ‘Last House’ on a farm close to the border. After supper on October 19, the Basque guide Florentino and Albert Johnson (another key member of the Comet Line) took the small party, now four evaders, to the border where they waded through the rushing waters of the River Bidassoa into Spain. They crossed the mountains and arrived at an isolated farmhouse in Spain where Florentino and Johnson said goodbye before returning to France. The four men were taken to San Sebastian before being driven to the British Consulate in Bilbao and then to Madrid. They arrived in Gibraltar and on November 1 were flown back to England. Mellor was the 69th evader to be aided by the Comet Line and reach Spain. It was Air Ministry policy that evaders would not return to operations for fear that they could be shot down again and be taken prisoner with the risk that escape lines could be compromised. Hence, Mellor became a navigation instructor at various flying training units until he left the RAF in May 1946 as a

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P23


Air chief who flew bombers in WWII Air Chief Marshal Sir Douglas Lowe: GCB, DFC, AFC Air Chief Marshal Sir Douglas Lowe, who has died aged 95, was a wartime bomber pilot who later had a major influence on RAF operational capabilities and procurement during a series of senior appointments. Throughout the early years of his service he was closely involved with the bomber force. After completing his training as a pilot in the USA, he returned as a sergeant pilot. He was just completing his conversion to the Wellington when he flew on a 1000-bomber raid to Bremen.

An outstanding captain who was an inspiration to the squadron

He converted to the fourengine Stirling and after flying five bombing operations as a second pilot, he was commissioned in January 1943 and posted to join No. 75 (NZ) Squadron flying from Newmarket. His arrival coincided with the so-called Battle of the Ruhr and he attacked industrial targets at Hamburg, Essen and Berlin, amongst others. On more than one occasion he was attacked by German nightfighters and anti-aircraft fire damaged his aircraft a number of times. Once he was almost forced to ditch but he managed to land at an airfield. At the end of his tour he was awarded the DFC. The citation described him as ‘an outstanding captain who was an inspiration to the squadron.’ Lowe became a bombing instructor and was mentioned in despatches. At the end of the war in Europe he was appointed as a senior instructor at MASSIVE INFLUENCE ON THE RAF: Air Chf Mshl Sir Douglas Lowe © Air Historical Branch

Bomber Command’s Instructor School, flying the RAF’s heavy bombers. He was responsible for ensuring that instruction techniques were standardised and taught correctly to the Command’s instructors. His expertise was recognised in June 1946 when he was awarded the AFC. After attending the RAF Staff College, he was posted in May 1955 to the Operational Requirements Directorate in the Air Ministry, where he was involved in the TSR 2 bomber project – which was later cancelled. In December 1958 he returned to flying and converted to the Vickers Valiant, the first of the RAF’s three V-bombers, tasked with maintaining the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent. Initially he was responsible for operations at RAF Marham before taking command of No. 148 Squadron. By the end of his tour he was one of the RAF’s most experienced bomber pilots and in October 1961 he left to fill an appointment at the HQ of the USAF’s Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Offutt

FLYER: Lowe (far right) with the crew of his Stirling bomber during World War II

Air Force Base in Nebraska. Before joining the Department of Operations and Training, he flew the eight-engine Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and the Boeing KC 135 tanker aircraft. His time at HQ SAC coincided with the height of the Cold War and he was on duty when the Cuban missile crisis developed. At various times during his tour he joined teams of officers to carry out no-notice inspections of SAC bomber units and he was responsible for implementing a low-level training plan for the B-52s. On leaving the USA in November 1963 on promotion to Group Captain, the commanding general thanked Lowe for his ‘outstanding job in support of SAC’. For two years Lowe was the Station Commander at RAF Cranwell and after attending the Imperial Defence College he was again promoted and returned to the MoD to be a director of operational requirements with special responsibility for maritime, transport and training aircraft. This included the Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft, which was a development of the Comet airliner. At the end of 1969 he became the

Senior Air Staff Officer at the Air Headquarters of the Near East Air Force in Cyprus. In May 1971 Lowe began his third appointment in RAF operational requirements, this time as the Assistant Chief of Air Staff in the rank of Air Vice-Marshal. The RAF was assessing the requirements for future aircraft and capabilities and this included negotiations with potential international partners and with the USA. Amongst the most important was the development of the collaborative Tornado strike attack aircraft with German and Italian manufacturers. His next appointment in March 1973 was in command of the RAF’s maritime forces as the Air Officer Commanding No. 18 Group, which he held in parallel with a Nato appointment responsible for operations in the Eastern Atlantic and the English Channel. His squadrons had recently been reequipped with the Nimrod and were involved in searching for and tracking the increasinglypowerful Soviet Navy. In May 1973, his aircraft began surveillance flights to establish the positions of Icelandic government gunboats and UK trawlers within the 50-mile zone proclaimed by the Icelandic government in what became known as the Cod War. In November 1975 he was appointed to the Air Force Board as the Controller of Aircraft (CA). He had already gained considerable experience identifying and planning for the RAF’s future operational requirements. In addition to his wide flying experience Lowe had a very firm understanding of technical issues. He exerted a strong influence during meetings of the Air Force Board Standing Committee, particularly when grappling with issues following the Nott defence review of 1981.

The introduction into service of the tri-national Tornado and its further development with new weapons for the strike/attack role and the reconnaissance version with its sensors occupied much of his time. He also sanctioned the evolution of the national air defence fighter variant, the F3, with British avionics. Other significant aircraft programmes that came under his scrutiny included the ‘stretching’ of the Hercules transport, the conversion of both military and civil VC10 aircraft into air-to-air refuelling tankers and more capable and advanced helicopters. Lowe was a major influence in obtaining agreement from both the aircraft industry and the Government in the early joint funding of the EAP (Experimental Aircraft Project), which eventually led to today’s frontline fighter, the Typhoon. In 1985, after his retirement, he was invited by British Aerospace to attend the roll-out of EAP at Warton, when much credit was given to him for his major contribution ‘getting the show on the road’. After seven years in post, he became the first military officer to be appointed as the Chief of Defence Procurement with responsibility for naval, military and air force systems. His extensive knowledge of RAF capabilities gave him the opportunity to pay particular attention to the needs of the other two services. A wellinformed and skilful negotiator, he was highly regarded in military, Nato and defence industry circles. He retired in 1983. Throughout his long career he enjoyed the devoted support of his wife Betty, who died in 2008. He was appointed GCB (1977), KCB (1974) and CB (1971). In 1982 he was made a Companion of the Royal Aeronautical Society. At the time of his installation in the Order of the Bath Chapel in Westminster Abbey, he chose as his heraldic motto ‘Fere Non Satis Est’ (Near Enough is not Good Enough) – a motto that summed up his attitude to life and to work. For nine years, he was a nonexecutive director of Rolls-Royce and was chairman of Mercury Communications, a consortium set up by Cable & Wireless, BP and Barclays to develop a competitive system based on digital technology and the use of fibre optics. The Air Chief Marshal, who died on January 25, made a huge contribution to the operational efficiency of the RAF and the Service still benefits from many of the major procurement projects that he oversaw.



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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P25


Search for all who served during WWII

The travel arm of the Royal British Legion is on a mission to find all surviving World War II veterans, to join a series of free tours for vets to return to where they served to pay their respects to their fallen comrades. The tours are funded by LIBOR funds (from banking fines), and will enable a WWII vet to travel with a family member and carer. The RBL has been running tours for Normandy veterans for the past four years and, due to additional LIBOR funding, is now able to widen the tours to all WWII vets. Nichola Rowlands-Smith, the charity’s head of travel, said: “The tours have been a very moving experience for all. We have been campaigning to widen them for all WWII veterans, we’re delighted the Treasury has made this possible.” They will take place from spring to autumn and will give the former Service personnel – now mostly in their 90s – the chance to meet up with fellow veterans, visit significant battlefield sites, cemeteries and memorials. A medic and a RBL guide will join the tours. There is no database of WWII veterans still living and the charity is asking the public to spread the word to ensure every surviving vet gets the chance to go back one last time. Ms Rowlands-Smith said: “We’re relying on everyone to help us find every single living WWII veteran. If you’re a grandchild, neighbour or carer and know someone who fought in WWII, please tell them about these amazing tours.” WWII veterans wishing to go on a tour should apply via Remembrance Travel’s tour operator, Arena Travel, on: 01473 660800, or visit: arenatravel. com/our-holidays/remembrancetravel. Remembrance Travel will also offer group travel opportunities for WWII veteran associations.

Radio advice on transition

Officers’ Association (OA) career consultants will give weekly employment and transition advice to Service personnel on Forces radio station BFBS. BFBS Catterick presenter Chris Kaye will discuss a different aspect of starting a new career after leaving the Armed Forces with an OA career specialist. Topics include coping with the challenge of transition, preparing for interviews and networking. The interviews will then be shared across the Forces Network. n You can listen to the interviews on:


Worth the wait heritage

Bomber Command Centre a lasting tribute to veterans… and man who championed it VIP veterans including Great Escaper Air Cdre Charles Clarke and Sqn Ldr George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, the last British survivor of the famous World War II Dambusters squadron, were among the guests invited to a pre-opening viewing of the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln. After six years of planning and construction, the IBCC has now been completed. The special guests had a preview, including a tour of the Memorial Spire and the International Peace Garden. In 2011, Tony Worth, then Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, formed a trust with the goal of creating a memorial and education centre in recognition of the service and sacrifice of all those involved in, or affected by, Bomber Command. Sadly, Mr Worth (pictured below) did not live to see the fulfilment of his dream – he passed away in December, aged 77, after a brief battle with cancer. An IBCC spokesperson said: “Tony was the creator and driving force behind the project. The team are more determined than ever to ensure that it creates a lasting and fitting legacy.” Funding for the project came from private donations and grant funding

bodies including the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Chancellor’s LIBOR Fund. The spokesperson added: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project has been working, in partnership with the University of Lincoln, to create a free-to-access digital archive which records the first-hand testimonies of those involved and preserves documents and photos from private sources.

So far the archive team has preserved more than 180,000 documents and photographs

“Once live on the website, this archive will provide one of the most comprehensive free resources on the Command’s work. “So far, the archive team, supported by volunteers from nine countries, has preserved more than 180,000 documents and photographs and has recorded 800 oral testimonies.” The website carries the names and details of nearly 58,000 men and women who perished in the service of the Command and their names appear on the

VIP PREVIEW: Guests including Great Escaper Air Cdre Charles Clarke (inset top) and Sqn Ldr George ‘Johnny’ Johnson (also inset) toured the Memorial Spire and International Peace Garden

walls at the Memorial – providing the only place in the world where every loss is memorialised. It has taken four years work by a team of more than 100 dedicated volunteers to create the database.

The centre will be officially opened on April 12 as part of the national RAF100 centenary commemorations. It will open Tues-Sun, from 9.30-5pm. n Visit: internationalbcc. to find out more. TOUR: Vet Betty Bascombe

freedom of IoW

Isle of Man honours the last ATA ‘girl’ The last-known surviving ATA female pilot, Mary Ellis, has been awarded the Freedom of the Isle of Wight. Mary, who celebrated her 100th birthday last year, delivered Spitfires and other aircraft to RAF airfields during World War II for the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). Mrs Ellis, who, as Mary Wilkins, joined the ATA in 1941, delivered around 1000 aircraft, including Wellington bombers, on her own. After the war she went on to become Europe’s first female air commandant. She managed the airport at Sandown on the Isle of Wight, from 1950 to 1970. During that time she inspired women to learn to fly at the Isle of Wight Aero Club, which she founded. Isle of Wight council leader Dave Stewart said: “Mary is a national, international and Island heroine and she is quite simply most deserving of the Honorary Freedom of the Isle of Wight. She is one of the last of the finest generation who did so much to guarantee our freedom 70 years ago.” Receiving the award, Mary said: “I am very honoured to be given this award, although

birthday treat: Mary in a Spitfire again on her 100th and with her pilot for the day

I have travelled extensively during my life, the Island has always been home and is such a special place to me. Thank you for granting me the freedom of this wonderful island.” Cadets from 1024 Squadron Ryde, with their leader Flt Lt Tony Gear, attended the ceremony and formed a guard of honour as Mary


entered the council chamber. Others awarded the Freedom of the Isle of Wight include the late Oscar-winning film director Antony Minghella and recordbreaking yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur. presentation: Mary with IoW councillor

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P27


DOUBLE JOY: AC Clitheroe




big effort: AC Dhillin

Recruits make the grade Flights 9 and 10, Thompson Intake, have graduated from Recruit Training Squadron after 10 weeks of Basic Recruit Training at RAF Halton. The Reviewing Officer was Air Vice-Marshal Alison Mardell, Director of Legal Services to the Royal Air Force. Flight Commander was Flt Lt Harry Dowden and The Reverend (Sqn Ldr) David Skillen led the prayers. The Colour Bearer was Flt Lt Claire Hobbs. Musical accompaniment was by The Band of The Royal Air Force College with Bandmaster Warrant Officer Ian Laidler. There was a flypast by a Tucano from 72 Squadron, based at Linton-OnOuse. AVM Mardell complimented the Flights on their achievements and the high standard of their parade. She paid tribute to the families for their support and thanked them for attending. n AC Fiddler was awarded The Halton Aircraft Apprentice Shield – awarded to the recruit who is judged to have displayed the highest overall standard in physical education. n AC Dhillin won the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund Trophy, awarded for displaying the greatest effort and determination on


Number 9 Flight. n AC Savill got The Station Commander’s Cup, awarded for displaying the greatest effort and determination on Number 10 Flight. n AC Thomas received The Mayor of Aylesbury Trophy, awarded for the best overall performance on Number 9 Flight. n AC Sinclair took home The Halton Aircraft Apprentice Trophy, awarded for the best overall performance in Drill and Deportment. n AC Clitheroe won The Rothschild Trophy, awarded to the

Halton LEGAL EAGLE: AVM Alison Mardell runs her eye over Flights 9 and 10, Thompson Intake, at RAF Halton

recruit who achieves the highest overall standard in Initial Force Protection Training and The Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire’s

Trophy for the best overall performance in all aspects of training on Number 10 Flight. n The Lord Trenchard Trophy,


awarded to the top Flight in General Service Training and General Service Knowledge, went to No. 9 Flight.

Flypast by Coningsby Typhoon No. 604 Course, Pearson Intake, also graduated from Recruit Training Squadron at RAF Halton. Air Commodore Mark Chappell was the Reviewing Officer with musical accompaniment from The Central Band Of The Royal Air Force with Warrant Officer Gardner as Bandmaster. The flypast was a Typhoon from RAF Coningsby. Of the 69 graduating recruits, eight were awarded trophies and awards, seen pictured with Air Commodore Chappell. They are: n AC Louis Crimmons – The

GRADUATION: Pearson Intake at Halton

Halton Aircraft Apprentice Shield. n AC Samuel Sheppard – The Rothschild Trophy. n AC Connor Taylor – The Halton Aircraft Apprentice Trophy.

n AC Peter Shergold – The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund Trophy. n AC Aliyah Kidd-Sanadjan – The Station Commander’s Cup. n AC Michael Jones – The Dusty Miller Trophy. n AC Matthew Harri – The Mayor of Aylesbury Trophy. n AC Amber Sudbury – The Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire’s Trophy. n The Lord Trenchard Trophy was awarded to No. 11 Flight and collected on their behalf by AC Newton.

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8 pages of RAF Sport l Stunning RL cup win: page 34

Rugby union

Full time for Amy? Has RAF’s England star set date for Service sign up? Full story p31


Championship shots SAC and Jamaican teammates denied Staff Reporter Air Command The Services Operational Shooting Team (RAFOST) continued their triumphant performance during the second leg of the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration (CAFSAC) with successes across

the board. Chf Tech Guard led the four-man Close Quarter Battle (CQB) fire-team into first place. The competition involved the transition from rifle to pistol, in various positions, which was followed by rapid pistol, firing a ‘double-tap’ followed by an accurately placed shot wearing body armour. Cpl Michael Keightley

demonstrated his efficiency with both weapon systems, winning the open and overall in match 24. Another open and overall gold was won by Flt Lt Ady Waters, clearing up in match 20, which is designed to test the shooters’ ability to engage targets from multiple positions from behind a barricade. l Continued on page 32:

SHARP SHOOTER: RAF man takes aim

Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P30

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A five-medal haul for RAF Judo in Scotland judo

Amy & Andy lead the way with gold

MEDAL winners: RAF Judo players FS Fred Harris (above left) and Sgt Robert Sabella (above right) with their silvers and (left) SAC Tommy Mercer on the podium with his bronze

Honington’s Sgt Amy Atkins was in unstoppable form in Glasgow recently, adding the Scottish Open title to her British Masters crown. She led an impressive medal haul for RAF Judo at the prestigious event at the Emirates Arena. Sgt Atkins put on a masterful performance, dominating her category (U57kg/U63kg) and making short work of her opponents with her dynamic style and impressive skills in Newaza (ground fighting). Reaching the final round in impressive fashion, she easily outfought her opponent to take the title. SAC Ashley Price (MoD) – at a weight disadvantage – battled hard in her contests, taking several vastly more experienced opponents the distance. Next up was FS Fred Harris (RAF Waddington) and Sgt Robert Sabella (TSW Stafford). Harris, competing in the under 90kg Masters division, dispatched his first three opponents with ease before losing out to the Swedish Champion in the final and taking silver. Sabella also claimed silver, after bravely fighting on despite suffering a badly-sprained ankle in his first bout. SAC Tommy Mercer (RAF Brize Norton) and Cpl Andrew Melbourne (RAF Odiham) also put in masterful performances. Cpl Melbourne dominated his division on his way to what is becoming a routine first place finish for the giant RAF Policeman. His performance further strengthening his position as GB Number 1 in the over 100kg class.

SGT aMY ATKINS: British Masters champ has now added Scottish Open title

SAC Mercer, competing in the under 81kg Senior class, found himself in arguably the most competitive of divisions. He lost out on a place in the final but won the bout for bronze in just 15 explosive seconds. Also in action was SAC Liam Hart (RAF Brize Norton). RAF Judo chairman Sqn Ldr Steve Parlor said: “RAF Judo is performing way above any previous

time in its history. It is testament to the players for all their hard work and commitment to their sport, and is a credit to the coaching staff, led by FS Harris. “I am honoured to be chairman during this outstanding period of results during RAF100.” n For further information on RAF Judo visit: rafjudo; Facebook: RAFJudo; Twitter: rafjudo.

rugby union

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For the first time in the history of the annual RAF v Navy Inter-Services Championship rugby matches, the Women and Senior XV fixtures will take place at The Twickenham Stoop – home of Harlequins. The teams will battle it out for the prestigious Babcock Trophy on April 20 – in the shadow of the hallowed turf of Twickenham Stadium, home of England rugby. First up will be the women, at 3.15pm, followed by the men at 7.45pm. Tickets are £10 for an adult and £5 for a junior – group offers are also available. There is also pre-match entertainment. n Visit: for more information.

hard-fought: It is always full on when the RAF play the Navy in the Inter-Services

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Sport rugby union

Cokayne aiming for Six Nations glory in RAF100 Reservist to be a regular IT’S the start of another year of women’s international rugby union and SAC(T) Amy Cokayne is set to be front and centre of the England team in the Six Nations. Reservist Cokayne, who is aiming to be full-time RAF in May, is well aware of the importance on the calendar of 2018, and she will be sporting her Red Roses shirt and subsequent RAF shirts with increased pride for the 100th year of the Service. Speaking from the England team’s Bisham Abbey training camp, she told RAF News: “We have been here for a week now. This is the first full Six Nations camp, we have had. We had one in January – based around fitness testing – this is now where the real focus starts.” England take on Italy first on February 4, at the Stadio Mirabello, after RAF News goes to press. Then they face Wales at the Stoop, Twickenham, on February 10, KO 8.15pm. Cokayne has been working hard with her England colleagues as she aims to win a 15th Six Nations title for her country. She said: “We are just going through processes, to get into the best place possible to win the title. “We will be taking one game at a time, like any tournament our sole focus at the moment is going over to Italy, that’s always a tough challenge, so we are simply focusing on what that challenge involves and it’s just a bonus. It would have been making sure we take things game great to face my RAF colleagues by game. in SAC Sian Williams and Charlie “I got a few tries in last year’s Murray, opponents when we play tournament, but as I said then if it against Wales in this tournament, happens it happens, I only get them but to have them in the Sevens and from our forward drives, so if our me in the full version of the game backs are working well then I may really shows the strength in depth benefit, but it is not a focus of mine, of RAF women’s rugby.”

pride in the shirt: SAC(T) Amy Cokayne would like nothing more than to win the Six Nations with England during this special year for the RAF

Correction: IN EDITION 1434 of RAF News we incorrectly stated the UKAF men’s volleyball team were playing netball. We are happy to clarify this point


On the topic of the centenary year, she added: “The whole RAF100 thing is huge, we are buzzing about it, we want to win the Inter-Services this year that’s for sure. “We have been putting in the hard work over the past years and things really clicked last season. We have some real quality players in the team, so the RAF100 year will add an extra bit of spice and drive for us. “To wear the RAF colours and to represent it at international level is always a great moment and brings a great sense of pride. I will hopefully be going full-time in May, so it will become an even bigger part of my life and my involvement in the RAF.” n Follow RAF women’s rugby and England on Twitter @ rafnewsport @englandrugby and @rafrugbyunion. For full Six Nations updates visit:

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Sport motorsport

MR2 champ stripped of title after rival’s appeal Cruel end to great season for RAF mechanic

race leader: SAC (T) Lewis heads the field at Snetterton, Norfolk

SERVICE PACEMAN SAC (T) Lewis Ward has had his Toyota MR2 Championship title snatched back by the sport’s governing body. The flying 4Ward racing driver had taken the crown after rival Shaun Traynor’s win in the last race of the season was discounted because of irregularities with his car’s length. Sadly for the RAF mechanic, an appeal saw that decision overturned and – 11 weeks later – he was forced to hand over the title to Traynor; who won with 290 points to Ward’s 275. The airman – who has never finished lower than fifth overall in the competition – said: “It’s a shame that such a fantastic season ended in such a controversial way. “Me and my small team, 4Ward Racing, have come a long way in the last three years and I am very proud that we were able to compete for a championship title in only our third

PHOTO: jonathan elsey BLOW: SAC (T) Lewis Ward

year of racing. I’m very pleased with how successful this season has been, winning four races and becoming the second-highest overall points scorer in the history of the championship. “Congratulations to Shaun on winning the championship. I have had a fantastic year of racing against him and wish him all the best for the future.” RAF Brize Norton-based Ward added: “It’s been a great year, the sports board have been amazing sponsors and I hope I did them proud.” n Follow Ward’s on-track efforts on Twitter: @4Ward_ Racing.


Two wins in three days for in-form SRT men THE Senior Representative Team continued its preparations for the InterServices championships with a 2-0 win over Coventry United. This came straight after another convincing victory against a Midlands outfit – this time Tamworth FC. SRT Manager Kev Barry said: “This has been another excellent week for us with two outstanding fixtures. “I must praise both Tamworth FC and Coventry United for respecting the fixtures and bringing an extremely competitive edge to both games. “With six players missing I decided to keep the squad small and only used 14 players over the two games. Credit must go to the lads, as to get two wins in three days, in tough conditions, is some effort and shows a togetherness amongst the group. “Against Tamworth it took us 15 minutes to get into our stride, but once the first goal

RAFSRT2 Coventry United


came I felt that we controlled the game and were good value for the 3-0 victory. “Coventry were a very different type of team and we had to make a few adjustments during the game and ran out comfortable winners with two goals from striker Cpl Mike Campbell. “We now look forward to our fixtures against Market Drayton FC and, hopefully, Boldmere St Michaels, before we head off on our training camp in preparation for the Inter-Services.” Coventry, lying 12th in their league, brought a competitive squad to the fixture at RAF Cosford, with the visiting side bringing a healthy support to ensure a vibrant atmosphere. The hosts took the initiative inside

the opening 10 minutes, with Campbell running through the United defence, before chipping the on-rushing keeper. The RAF hitman nearly doubled the lead after 13 minutes, when Harbottle set him up, but his half volley flew wide.

Credit must go to the lads, as to get two wins in three days, in tough conditions, is some effort and shows a togetherness amongst the group

Campbell went close again after 26 minutes, as the RAF side began to dominate, but his low effort on the turn cannoned back off a post.

Cpl Steve Norton then went close on 33, with Coventry managing to keep the rampant Servicemen out until the break. A steady second half ensued with few chances created by either side – the visitors having the first real effort on goal in the 66th minute, but the side-footed effort was saved by Gorman in the RAF goal. Cpl Lewis Brownhill then scraped the bar with an effort and Campbell secured his brace in the 75th minute, poking in from close-range for 2-0. Straight from the restart Norton could have made it 3-0, but his effort went wide, Harbottle followed it up minutes later, but the United keeper saved well. Williams then crashed a thunderous strike against a post, as the Service side failed to add to their tally. n Follow the team on Twitter @RAFFASRT and catch live footage of some games @RAF_SRT_TV.

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It’s muddy hell for brave RAF women rugby union

Mid-game change of pitch & hardly a blade of grass to be found Sticking with tradition the Service women’s rugby union team travelled to Lichfield to play the annual opening fixture, and a close run match was made all the more memorable because of the terrible weather conditions. A soaked pitch, which was more like a mud bath, lacked both grass and markings but – with key players missing – the RAF side’s management took the opportunity to run their eye over development players. RAFRUW head coach FS John Wilding said: “It was a pleasing performance for the first outing of the season, especially considering the number of inexperienced players we fielded. “There is lots of work to be done at the next camp at Halton, but it was a great start to the season. “A big thanks must go to Lichfield for hosting us yet again and for continuing to support the development of RAFRUW.” The return of Cpl Daniker Willmore after three years out through injury and Sgt Ruth Harper returning from maternity

Lichfield12 RAFRUW0 leave boosted the team. They were up against a Lichfield side expecting a tough clash, having picked a squad boasting several ex-internationals including Roz

THE EYE OF THE TIGER: Determination is etched on the face of the RAF ball-carrier

muddy marvel: SAC(T) Aris Papaoiknonmou (right) in full flight

Crowley and Stacey Hiscox, along with several Premiership stars. The opening 10 minutes saw a fast and furious game with defensive pressure from Lichfield, but the Service side gained a foothold through its dominant scrum, though it wasn’t enough to stop the hosts’ Laura Hind from scoring an unconverted try in the corner in the eighth minute,


R-utter joy for Tamsyn in Sir Sefton

Athletes from the RAF, Civil Service and Police & Fire Services came together at Halton for the annual Sir Sefton Branker crosscountry match. The women were first to race, with the hosts fielding a strong team of 17 athletes with Flt Lt Tamsyn Rutter (DMRC Headley Court) unfazed by the extended 4.7 miles as she made an early break away on the last lap to come away with the win. Rutter sparked something of a Service procession with notable performances from teammates SAC Chloe Finlay (RAF Wittering) fifth, Cpl Helena Schofield (Cosford) in sixth and Flt Lt Lucy Nell (RAF Cosford/ RCDM) seventh. The final results saw the team secure second behind the Civil

Service with the Police & Fire Services in third. The men’s race consisted of 3.5 laps over 6.5 miles, again over an unrelentingly hilly course in now demanding weather conditions.

We have been encouraged to see such great performances and this bodes well for the Inter-Services on February 14

A field of 119 runners featured 60 people under the RAF banner, including the Southern league Royal Air Force athletes.

Mike Kallenberg (Linton) finished an impressive second to Chris Smith, from the Civil Service, while Cpl Rob Wood (RAF Odiham) and Steve Robinson (Wittering) had excellent performances finishing fourth and sixth respectively. SAC Will Gardner (Brize), the top junior Service athlete, finished seventh overall – paving the way for a possible victory at the RAF Champs and InterServices. Paul Vernon took top RAF veteran, finishing second – 15th overall. A spokesman for the team said: “We have been encouraged to see such great performances by all the athletes and this bodes well for the Inter-Services on February 14, will be hosted by the Army at Gibraltar Barracks in Minley.” 

after catching the RAFRUW unprepared from a quick tap penalty. The conditions made for a slow game with lots of set piece work for the pack, but both sides fought hard equally in attack and defence with some big hits and great tackles from the likes of Cpl Annie Forbes, strong running from SAC (T) Aris Papaoiknonmou and an all-round great performance from both Cpl


Abi Newey and SAC Lauren Tracey. At just after half-time the referee made the call to switch pitch, which allowed the game to open up a little, however, there were a lot of tired legs after an hour of mud-wading. The hosts proved to be the stronger overall, making a final burst to score in the closing minutes – with a try from Emma Harbage, converted by Sarah Tooze. Final score 12-0.

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Cup joy Cranwell hosts superb win RAF12 Driglington4 A STUNNING first round 12-4 Challenge Cup win was the perfect start to the year for the Service’s rugby league stars. On a wet and windy afternoon in Lincolnshire, the Service side welcomed Drighlington to Cranwell, to produce a quality win after going behind just before halftime. Coach Sgt Martin Wood said: “It was a dominant display throughout and I thought the score line didn’t do us justice. Our defensive effort was up there with best that I’ve seen from our lads, there was a real grit and aggression about it. “I was pleased with all of them, and I think with a favourable draw we have a good chance of round three. Our captain SAC Starbuck really set the tone throughout training, he knows what the Challenge Cup means to rugby league. “We are hoping for some favours from line managers to get this group of lads together again at such short notice. They are a pleasure to coach and really work hard for each other.” The hosts dominated the first half, but couldn’t penetrate the Drig defence with SAC Karl Cassar and SAC Lewis Farr both being held up over the line. The visitors took advantage of

POWER PLAY: Above and right, action from the Challenge Cup win PHOTO: GORDY ELIAS

a lack of numbers with Sanderson diving over in the left corner to open the scoring on 39 minutes for an unconverted score. The RAF side started as they meant to go on after the break with SAC Nathan Barker scoring within one minute of the restart unconverted. Game breaker was SAC Connell Barningham jinking his way with an outrageous dummy from the half way for a try that was converted by SAC Adam Flintham. Both sides defences played well until a penalty was conceded right in front of the posts. SAC Adam Flintham extended the lead for the final score of the match to seal the win.

Shooters secure fabulous international medals l Continued from page 29: Chf Tech Guard, the RAF Team Captain said: “The team’s success is down to a self-employed coaching and mentoring program in addition to the team displaying outstanding cohesion and leadership. “The team trained, inspired, mentored and coached each other to remain unfaltering under the intense pressure of competition. This international shooting competition resulted in 23 medals; 15 gold and eight silver. “This, coupled with the clean sweep at the UK Inter-Services competition, has firmly established the RAF as the leading force in not only marksmanship, but also for the

This international shooting competition resulted in 23 medals; 15 gold and eight silver

leaders in mentorship and coaching.” Follow the team on Twitter @ RAFSWShooting.



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Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P35

Sport winter sports

Weather-hit week sets up IS tilt Skiers lose downhill to snow as boarders suffer injury setback in Austrian champs Continued from page 35:

Fg Off Harriett Lowe

In the individual slalom overall ladies winner Cpl Rachel Hughes (Cosford) beat her skipper Nixon (HWY), with Flt Lt Howard Fielder taking the men’s event, with team captain and overall champion SAC(T) Barney Rudge taking second, and the pair repeating the finishes in the giant slalom. The Telemark team was led by Sqn Ldr Jonny Young – after they held training and taster sessions selecting a seven man squad. Young said: “We are really looking forward to doing the RAF proud in its 100th year, we have had a successful time in Austria, and will aim to push the Army and Navy as far as possible at the Inters.” SAC(T) Barney Rudge, men’s ski team captain, said: “The week went really well, it was a bit of a rescue job due to a huge amount of snow on the piste meaning they could not clear it in time for the downhill to be run. The rest of the runs saw us get some good speed skiing in, so we are looking good for France.” Flt Lt Claire Nixon, ladies team captain, who will be defending the title from last year, said: “This year, being the 100th, it will be particularly exciting to be defending the IS title in, we have a good grounding and have also developed some new girls, which makes our depth strong.”

The championship week has been brilliant

Men’s Snowboard team: Cpl Josh Rathbone (C) Flt Lt Paddy Morris Flt Lt Mark Wecki Sgt Andy Amphlett Sgt Martin Boon SAC(T) Adam Wooley Wg Cdr Pete Hodkinson Flt Lt Luke Shaw Flt Lt Charlie Hatch Cpl Darren Peacock Cpl Rob Webb

Women’s Alpine squad: Sqn Ldr Caitlin Wroe Flt Lt Claire Nixon (C) Flt Lt Claire Crichton Flt Lt Genevieve Rolleston-Speed Cpl Rachel Hughes Cpl Jayne McMeakin Flt Lt Charlotte Baker

Men’s Alpine squad: SAC(T) Barney Rudge (C) CPL Matthew Brain Fg Off Tom Carrington SAC(T) Connor Davies Flt Lt Howard Fielder Fg Off Rafe Higson Flt Lt Drew Macey Fg Off Alex Starflinger  Flt Lt Lewis Travers.

Wg Cdr Claire Collis, looking to go one better than last year’s runners-up spot, said: “The championship week has been brilliant, we had some superb runs, although we did lose some riders due to injury, but we are still in a good place and fingers crossed we can have a one-two of victories.” Flt Lt Paddy Morris, who is sure to be one of the stars of the Service men’s team in France, said: “We are currently the Inter-Services champions and are looking forward to defending our crown. “The squad is well balanced and set and we are aiming to pack out the top 10 placings in France to take control at this year’s event.” Follow the 2018 Inter-Services on Twitter @RAFNewssport and Facebook at: sportrafnews.

Women’s Snowboard team: Wg Cdr Claire Collis (C) Sqn Ldr Nat Feeney Flt Lt Lou Page Flt Lt Lissy Mason Flt Lt Fiona Stebbing

SLOPE OFF: Above, action from the recent RAF Championships, that saw the teams select their runners and riders for the Inter-Services


Royal Air Force News Friday, February 9, 2018 P36

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Cold Comfort Tough Saalbach showdown hits Inter-Services hopes

ALL ABOARD: Above, a Service snowboarder gets some air during the recent RAF Championships

Daniel Abrahams Austria AFTER POUNDING the piste in the RAF Championships in Austria, Service winter skiiers, snowboarders and telemarkers headed for the French Alps for the Inter-Services showdown. The RAF Snowboarding squad now face Forces rivals in Meribel after losing six competitors to injury as conditions in Saalbach took their toll. Battling it out over four disciplines, ladies team captain Wg Cdr Claire Collis (HWY) won the Slopestyle with Nat Williams (Cosford)

coming second. In the men’s event Flt Lt Patrick Morris (Lossie) came first with team captain Cpl Josh Rathbone second. In the Dual Banked Slalom Fg Off Harriet Lowe won the women’s event, with Williams second, while Morris took the men’s title followed by RAF Corsham’s Sgt Andy Amphlett. Lowe took the ladies Boardercross with Collis second, while Morris took first in the men’s event with Rathbone second. Morris and Lowe were the top men’s and women’s riders respectively, as the two teams


aimed for the men to retain their overall title and the women improve on their close run second place. The weather played havoc on the Alpine skiing with the downhill falling foul in treacherous conditions. Both teams are short of vital practice going into the Inters, however hopes are high with the women’s team led by Flt Lt Claire Nixon looking to retain their title, and the men gunning for top spot after last year’s third place. Continued page 35:

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Raf News 9 Feb 2018  
Raf News 9 Feb 2018