Trevor Mele Stories

I joined in January 1963 as a Boy Entrant at St Athan, 48th Entry, Safety Equipment Fitter.
After training, posted to RAF Marham then to RAF Changi for 3 years. Finished my time in 1974 at RAF Waddington. Numerous detachments to:-
Cyprus, Malta, Darwin (Australia), Philipine Islands, Hong Kong, Majunga, Florida, Goose Bay etc.
If our paths have crossed, please contact me for a chat about old times; if you are ex 48th Entry, then please get in touch URGENTLY about the planned 40th Anniversary Reunion to take place in January 2003 ......... there are currently 99 of the original intake in regular contact.

Anthony Walker Stories


Around The World In 253 Days

LAC WALKER, that was me. I was at last kitted out for my overseas posting and ready to go, but I was told that the ship HMS Warrior wasn’t ready and I would be allowed to go home on a 48hr Pass.

That made my day, because it would be better than hanging around RAF Innesworth. So off early to bed and then away home to Manchester…. or so I thought !

Just after 10:00pm that night, an NCO came charging in and called out about seven names, mine included.

“Get dressed, pack your kit and get on the lorry outside” he bawled.
“ Why?” I asked
“ You laddie, are taking off from Lyneham at 7:30 tomorrow morning.”
I didn’t have time to ring home.

Dumped near the runway on a cold, wet January morning, and not a clue what to do next, some chap came up and said “You’d better get something to eat, you’ll be taking off soon”.


Mid January 1957, RAF Lyneham
AIRCRAFT: Handley Page Hastings
REG: WJ 327
CAPTAIN: Flt. Lt. Hayley

1st Hop: Lyneham to Malta
2nd Hop: Malta to North Africa El Adam
3rd Hop: North Africa to Habanya, Iraq
4th Hop: Habanya to Karachi, Pakistan
5th Hop: Karachi to Colombo, Ceylon (Now Sri Lanka)
6th Hop: Colombo to Changi, Singapore.
7th Hop: Changi to Darwin, Australia
8th Hop: Darwin to Amberley, Australia
9th Hop: Amberley to Fiji. Had full days rest from flying
10th Hop: Fiji to Canton Island. This day we crossed the international date line. Took off on Monday and landed on Sunday the day before. http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa060898.htm
11th Hop: Canton Island to Christmas Island. 160 Wing RAF Detachment. Tent C8.

Operation Grapple, Britain’s H-Bomb test – Tour of Duty: 235 Days

12th Hop: 3rd April. Christmas Island to Malden Island

Aboard HMS Narvik. Witnessed Britain’s first H-Bomb.

13th Hop: 22nd May. Malden Island to Christmas Island
14th Hop: 30th July. Flew to Honolulu to make purchase’s for the Officers Mess and purchase presents for the lads to take home.
15th Hop: 8th August. Returned to Christmas Island. In a Hasting aircraft. No. TG523.
16th Hop: 19th September. Christmas Island to Hickham Air Base, Honolulu
17th Hop: Honolulu to Edwards Air Base, Nr. San Francisco
18th Hop: San Francisco to Omaha, Nebraska
17th Hop: Omaha to Goose Bay, Canada
19th Hop: Goose Bay to Kinloss, Scotland
20th Hop: Kinloss to Lyneham, England

Note: Each flight lasted between 8 and 11 hours, and we never had so much as a puncture!

Things I Remember about Christmas Island Life

Sgt Goodchild. Officer Mess. Flt Lt Conche. I think he was a docter. Reg Sewell. A great mate. Cpl Tasker our NCO.
Barry. I think he came from Southampton. Robert Lacy. From the north of Manchester. There were many more lads that I had good memories of but I cannot remember their names.

Memories: Land crabs that tried to get into your tent in the night. Rats running around the roof of the tent between the inner and outer canvas. Falling down into the big pit one night, that engineers had made for all the bad beer.
The tidal wave warning. Seeing a TM Avenger aircraft go into the sea. Getting sunburnt badly.

The experience of getting off Malden Island in a DUCK. You had to wait for a big wave to come in and then drive into it to get afloat and give it the gun and you were off the island. Note: It did not have beaches as we know, it just jutted out of the sea. We developed a technique like the DUCK used to be able to swim in the sea, a bit dangerous really be I mistimed it one day and the sea water rushing down the steep beach took me with it, down and down I went all I could see were white bubbles, then I broke the surface about 40ft out. I swam back slowly and waited for a really big roller to make sure I got well up the beach this time.

I went for a walk one day to see the ship wreck on the coral and the hut the survivors had made. While I was out on my own I was looking to see if I could see the supply Dakota coming in, when I noticed quite a heavy cloud with tail coming out of it, the sea below began to boil. Not really ever having witnessed any thing like this I sat down and watched. It didn’t take long before I was looking at a full blown water spout or tornado and it was coming straight for the island. I’m going back to camp quick I thought. I didn’t run but walked quickly and kept looking back. After a while I looked back again and it had gone as quickly as it came. That was a bit frightening and I believe HMS Narvik anchored off the island was making plans to get out of it’s way.

The other thing about Malden Island was that there were wild Wiltshire pigs roaming about, they would come into camp in the middle of the night looking for food, we just kept out of their way because they would attempt to attack us. They had been on the island since 1927 roaming free.

The Cold War

One day before the 15th May new came in that Russian submarines were in the area which caused some concern and the New Zealand navy sent three destroyers to help us. The next night a foxhole was dug just above the beach and the radio operator and his equipment were installed. Guess who was ordered to keep guard through the night with him, yours truly.
I could see armed men on the HMS Narvik and a lot of activity. The night passed away peacefully and all was well in the morning. After that we never heard anything else about the Russian’s.

Back to Christmas Island and life carried on uneventfully, except for one day when on the beach, seven lads were washed over the reef. They were quite a distance out and you could hardly hear their shouts for help. One of our group grabbed a life belt and waded out to the reef but the line wasn’t long enough, he did attempt to get over the reef with life belt but I don’t think he was successful. They seemed to be out there a long time, the sea washed them to the left and a big wave washed them back over the reef. We all ran to help and get them out of the water but one lad slipped into a gully and went under. They did get him out but I believe he died later that day.

The life on Christmas Island had it’s ups and downs but it was a time I would not have missed.

Brian Bamforth Stories


In 1957 I was Guard Commander as a Corporal at RAAF Edinburgh Field. With me was an RAF SAC and a LAC from the RAAF. His name was Henry and he had served in WW2.

The Guard Post at Edinburgh Field was raised and gave a good view all around the area. It also featured a concrete platform just out side the entrance door.

Sitting at the desk filling in the usual Log, I noticed a black Holden Car approaching and nodded to Henry to check the driver.

The driver was wearing civilian clothes and on turning in to the base, he stopped and called through his window."Group Captain Cummin" Henry replied. "Thanks mate, I''''ll look out of the old bastard"

I almost had apoplexy, the new Base Commander, Group Captain Cummin RAAF then drove on. I asked Henry if he knew who the driver was. " No, but at least we know Groupie will be here soon." he said!!

I dread to think what would have happened if the Group Captain in the car had been RAF!!

I cannot recall the name of the SAC who was on duty that weekend, but I have never forgotten Henry

Brian Prior Stories

Joined the Royal Air Force 11th April 1951 and square-bashed at Hednesford before being posted to HQ 42 Group at Kidlington in June 1951. In September 1952 posted, as a corporal, overseas via No 5 PDC at RAF Lytham St. Annes. Arrived in the Canal Zone early October 1952 and assigned to No 2 (PSCO) Wing at 107 MU RAF Kasfareet. While there had two lots of leave in Cyprus - one in winter the other in summer. Also managed to get leave to Malta, where my brother was serving with the Army. On all these trips I was with Jack Clippingdale. On the Malta trip we hitched a lift over to UK for a couple of days - totally out of order as UK was not on our passes - RAF Lyneham was mean and wouldn''t give us a free passage back to Malta so we had to return with a BEA flight.At Kasfareet spent a lot of time with the Theatre Club and at the YMCA - good opportunties for travelling up and down the Zone. Took part in the big Coronation Parade at Kasfareet in June 1953.Left the Canal Zone late February 1954 and sailed back to UK on the troopship Dilwara. Then discharged from RAF Innsworth on 11th March 1954.

Spent a year in London training to be a banker with the British Bank of the Middle East. In April 1955 posted as a junior officer to Bombay and then, in the midst of the Suez crisis, to Beirut. After home leave in 1958 I arrived in Baghdad on 14th June - exactly one month later an army coup overthrew the monarchy and the country was declared a republic. I stayed with the bank until 1960 when I joined the Iraq YMCA as administrative secretary. Married in Baghdad in 1964 the daughter of a local priest and eventually left in 1967 just in time to avoid being caught up in the war.
Resumed banking in January 1968 in London with the United Bank of Kuwait.
Remained with UBK until my retirement in 1997. Spending my retirement doing voluntary work with the Bewl Valley Sailing Club and plan to retire from that in November 2003. Then hopefully do some more work on my family history and perhaps tracking does some of my old RAF friends.

Catherine Hutchin Stories

My Uncle Eric was a fighter pilot in WWII. He flew Typhoons and Spitfires. He was shot down and killed on April 12th, 1945 over Germany. He trained at Falcon Field in Phoenix, Arizona in 1942 and I now live in Tucson, Arizona. I knew from his parents (my grandparents) that he was madly in love with a girl named Frances in Phoenix and that they wrote many letters to each other. Fifty years later I tracked her down in Phoenix and she still had all his love letters which she gave to me. I am now in the process of writing a book entitled "Finding Frances...lLove Letters From a Flight Leiutenant". Maybe there is someone out there who trained at Falcon Field. I have been there and it is still an airfield which sports a "fly in" restaurant...very American :-) I have LOADS of photographs and various memorabelia, including postcards he wrote from the US to England. He sailed to Canada on a ship and then took a train via Chicago (through Tucson) to Phoenix sending postcards on the way. I have many photographs that he took including an 8 x 10 of the whole class he was with at Falcon Field. I would be great to hear from anyone who knew him. Cathy Harris (nee Hutchin)

Phil Garey Stories

I sneaked in here. I am a retired USAF Officer. Served as a tail gunner in B-17 (Flying Fortress with the 8th AAF at Rougham, Suffolk in 1944. Served at Raf Mildenhall (also headquarters of 3 group Bomber Command 1962 to 1966. Had many RAF friends there. Was in Vietnam, 1969-70 at Phan Rang. Retired as Lt. Col in 1970

A particular friend from the 1960s was Sq. Leader Jock Cassels. Have lost track of him.

Presently living in Grants Pass, Oegon. Lived much of the time between 1991 and 1999 in London and Brighton

Frank Moorman Stories

Maybe not a great story, but one of confusion of boating Germans sailing on the ELBE in Hamburg ; unaware that Sunderland 4xw pp117 , from Castle Archdale would land amongst them causing some high speed rowing & panic.

So naturally no help with securing to bouys !

Arthur Whiting Stories

Listed as killed on the 29th Oct 1945 in an explosion while unloading German Munitions.
Was not infact not killed , but badly wounded and taken to hospital at Eindhoven Holland. However, three pals were killed in the explosion.They were
Sgt,s Ken Wylie. Reg Giles and Denny Comer.

Patricia Partridge Stories

My story is ,Im Patrica Partrige I jioned the RAF in 1970,after basic training I went to RAF Stafford,there I met and made alot of new friends
one was a Chritine Moody,Mariane Summers,and a Robert Shaw,I have not seen these people since I was posted to RAF Henlow 1972,I have offten wondered where they are now,I would love to find out.After that I went to Raf Henlow where I worked on the Radio Engineering Unit in Trans Flight with carpenters usualy chief technitions I sent signals and equipment all over the world.my C.O. was Flt ltn Ivor Broughton,and the fun I had thogh at first it was rather hairy,as I had never sent signals before,the man who taught me was a Cpl Weeks he got posted to Wyton and he got to Sgt,I remember a Sgt Roy Reeks he worked in reciepts section,I used to disapear to the huts and talk with the civilians the factory was not to far a way I hada mate Simmonds she worked in clothing stores.

Graham Davies Stories

I joined the RAF in 1989 - but did not really enjoy it much at all. I served as a Supplier - only at RAF Lyneham - as well as Swinderby and RAF Hereford for my training.

The only thing I liked was the small circle of friends who I still recall with fondness now - Adam (ER Man), Tim (niles crane), Abe, Kev, Minhincky - people I still keep in touch with now.

There was also a massive supporting cast - Jo Lamb, Woody, Jim Potter (train spotter)....

In 1996 I left and went to University (it really was open season on PVR). The best thing I ever did - after finding work in the Transport Industry (again which I did not like much) - i now - well let''''s just say I work for Cheshire County Council - nobody who knew me will ever
believe what I do for a living now.....

See my website - http://members.lycos.co.uk/arizonabay

Arthur Cleaveland Stories


Peter Gould Stories

I was at Coningsby for all my service time from 1956 to 1959. I became NCO i/c Ops Room (Cpl Gould) and flew in B2''s and T4''s (also Anson and Chipmunk) at every available opportunity. I would love to hear from any of ''my pilots'' particularly F/O Bull with whom I went to Tripoli Idris and to Luqa Malta. Also F/L Norris (Navigator) who was my boss for a time. Anyone know of their whereabouts? Time plays tricks (Im 66 now) but I flew with 57 Sqdn and I thnk 249 Sqdn.

Cathy Gillespie Stories

This is more of an appeal than a story but it might help me if you could disseminate it. I''m trying to find an RAF WO called John Campbell who served at Dishforth in 1946. He may have been in the Far East and returned on the RMS Durban Castle on 21/3/46.

Many Thanks

Cathy Gillespie

James Price Stories

My story is about my brother, Bill Price who is now 84 and lives in Canada. Bill joined the RAF on the outbreak of war in 1939 and served in Bomber Command as an Air Gunner with the Pathfinder Force. He was awarded the DFC (but he won''t say why). Bill had many close shaves with disaster, both in the desert and over Europe, when he flew with a Canadian Air Force crew. After 90 ops Bill was sttod down. The next day his crew took off without him and never came back. Since then he has been fond and proud of all things Canadian. Widowed for 10 years he met and married (at age 74!) a Canadian widow and went to live near Toronto. His proudest moment came earlier this year when he became a Canadian citizen.

One regret is that he never received his Bomber Command medal nor Pathfinder Force Badge. Can anyone help me obtain these for Bill?

James Price.

Raymond Swinfen Stories

firefighting Malta manston Eladem N africa
oakington 1951 1956
ray swinfen [Blondie]

Janet Lees ( Gilliver ) Stories

I was stationed at Changi it was December 1958 and I went to a Padre''s Party for the new year. I met a kiwi there and in September 1959 we were married. We were assisted by Dave Crawley, the best man, Barbara Redshaw and Ueunice Cunnington the Bridesmaids and Dick Taylor who just made sure it all happened. These folk were all from Changi. As happens in the services we lost contact and now would like to find these people. Next year we are visiting the UK and would like to meet up with them again. After all we are still together and had 2 sons and 2 daughters and now have 7 grandkids. We feel that we owe these friends something but aren''t sure wether its a beer or a punch for what they helped us to do.
We would really appreciate any help or information as to how we could find these friends.
Regards to all and for anyone else that may remember us our contact address is

Len Slade Stories

Ater serving 22 years in the RAF, I came to live in Florida in 1988. I bought a restaurant. I have now retired and living a great life near Tampa in Florida. If anyone is visiting Florida drop me line. I live close to Busch gardens.

Brian George Shirley Stories

hello my name is brian aka george
it happened on 14th nov 1954 a buff envelope dropped on the mat ,from there 14 dec Cardington,17th Dec Padgate feb 55 St Athen t/t,aero engines then to Colerne,flying brigands and balliols then they turned me loose on dishforth,hastings valletas and beverleys regular detachments to Abingdon Lynham Istres Luqua then 1956 cAME suez for 2 months.Demobed late 1959 regards Brian aka george bgrs@tesco.net would like to hear from any ex transport bods,now retired 68 happy healthy and fit living east yorks withmy wife rose i still miss those days . call me . GEORGE . ROLLON DEMOB . i am still looking for george booker last posting st athan injured in motor bike accident april 1955at rhoose airport thanks . 4162469.s.a.c shirley,b.g

Chris Allen Stories

Served 1963-1987, see resumé at


Bill Morton Stories

Signed on at Cardington in Aug 1960. Went to Bridgnorth for basic training and then to Melksham for trade training, all completed by Feb 1961. First Op unit was Coningsby on B6 canberras as an armourer. Reformed at Coningsby with Vulcan B2s great aeroplane and great station. Sept 1962 off to Tengah in Singapore on firestreak missiles.March 1965 posted to Waddington back on Vulcans. A few detatchments the main one being Sunspot to Malta for three weeks. !966 posted to Guilenkirchen and enjoyed Mamas and Marias bars. Purchased my discharge.Built Jaguars at B.A.C. in 67 to 70. Went to Dhahran in 1970 to 74 as technician. Off to Rhodesia and worked as a croupier at Karibia and victoria Falls.Back to work in Oman and then Saudi again then Zimbawe then South Africa. Got married had two kids and am now seperated. Hope you find it interesting. Bill

Michael Goold Stories

My three oppos trained in Rhodesia, obtained our wings and were posted to 216 Group Cairo and shortly after ten hours on Spit, Hurricans and Kittyhawks at 1330 CU we were poster to No 4 ADU then based at SORMAN Lybia, We ferried aircraft all over North Africa and later Italy
I was posted back to the UK on 18.1.46
and joined No 1 FU Pershore. Since the I lost touch with W.O Ken Woodward and until recently w.o Joe Roy Goodall who I traced on the net and re united with him in Burnley last September, after sixty years! Ken Woodward used to live in Cockfosters, just outside London and his elder brother ran an auto electrical repair business. That''''s about the sum total of my knowledge on him. Anyone know his where abouts ?
1th October 2005
After sixty year my long lost buddy''s nephew sent me an e mail , saying call this number in Welwyn/ Which i did so only have one more fellow to find a Leslie Hocking of Leyland lancs You are only eighty odd so get fell in !