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Newsletter 07

FourFax Newsletter #7

12 April 2003 by Chris Parker

In This Issue

Introduction A Word From The Boss – News from the war zone A Happy 4 Pilot’s View of the War – by Scott “Mox” Williams News from Members Job Opportunity The Web Site – What’s There And What’s New Contact FourFax – Who’s Who And How To Contact Them Introduction

I’ve just received this news from the Sqn in the Gulf so I’ve rushed this newsletter out. The web site has also been updated with some photographs from the war zone.

A Word From The Boss, Wg Cdr Suddards OC GR7 Det at Al Jaber Air Base

See: the Squadron Activities section

A Happy 4 Pilot’s View of the War

See: the Squadron Activities section

News From Members

** From Al Pinner (Jan 93-Dec 95 & Nov 99-Mar 02): I had a fantastic time organising the display and would willingly go through it again for the 100th. However, it might be easier next time, as I have just joined BBMF for next season. Initially it is on a part time basis, but (subject to satisfactory performance) I will become OC in 2006 – it’s a shitty job but someone has to do it.

** From Ross MacDonald (82-85): On reading the last newsletter I noticed that a chap called Roger Briance was trying to re-establish contact with Ben Ayres. He was last known to me 6 years ago as a crew chief on AWACS at RAF Waddington. Whether he is still there or not I do not know. If you could pass this on it may help him in his quest.

** From Chris Moran (Sep 80-Apr 85 & May 94-Jun 96): Many thanks for forwarding your excellent newsletter. I’m in DC for the next six months, and so it was nice to be reminded of home and of friends. The whole reunion weekend was a great success well done. I very much enjoyed scanning the photographs you posted. I’m seeing Charlie Davis at Cherry Point soon, so we can reminisce together of the good ole days!

** From Paul Hayden (82-85 & 87-90): Anyone got Jock Hay’s contact details? I am not sure if he is still at Wittering or not. I would like to remind him of a little car accident we had back in 1976 at Conningsby involving a Vauxhall Viva and the dyke outside Boston. We got a little wet and started up a round of jokes about an Irishman, a Scotsman and an Englishman etc!

** From Fin Monahan: It pleases me hugely that the Association is flourishing. The internet really helps this sort of thing. I am currently out in New Zealand on an A4 exchange and coming back to Europe in Jan. There is talk of me going straight out to Belgium to take up a tactics post at TLP…..waiting on the poster for all the options befroe I jump in. 90th sounded great.

** From Les Hendry (82-85): You ask the question on the web site whether the picture of Boggy’s bog in was his only one. The answer is no. He also (if my memory serves me right) bogged in at Sennelager when the main pad was out of use and we were using that mexi pad “round the back”. Jets had to negotiate up a track beside a fence on some psp and you know who fell off the PSP. So 2 “bog ins” I know of and hence the nickname. Come back to me, Boggy, if my memory is playing tricks with me!

** From Fred Thomas (51-53): Re. visiting Meteors: I put every one of them U/S for cuts in tyres, I was not very popular. Nobody rank above me (SAC) would counter sign the log book so all tyres had to be changed. It took 2 days to get tyres from UK. Air crew happy at delay. F/O Lack’s hot water system consisted of 2 x 56 gal drums connected together with a tray of sand on to which diesel oil dripped. [See Fred’s pictures on the web site – Chris]

** From Tim Thorn (Aug 69-May 70): Very good to hear from you and thanks for your festive greetings. Both Rosemary and I reciprocate these greetings. I retired from De Beers on 31 December 2002 and will be attempting to form my own security business in the New Year. New e-mail address will be: Nellhouse1 at

** From Ian Browning (56-59): I hear all this talk about the “Jever steam laundry”, from you ex-steelies. What’s it all about? I never heard of it before! Jever meant happy times for me in he 50s, and I came back to UK at Cranwell. It drove me mad so I bought myself out and went on to other fine things. Glad to hear my old bosses Chapman and McElaw are still about. Does Al Pollock still live on a diet of wineglasses? I remember him eating one in a dance hall in Denmark on a detachment there.

** From Phil Tyler (Dec 76-Dec 79 & Jan 81-Jan 84): In reply to your to your query in the last newsletter on the whereabouts of Ben Ayers (Boring Ben!). The last time I bumped into him was in the WO and CPO’s Mess at HMS Excellent, (I think), in Portsmouth, about four years ago. I was there training before “going on board” for a couple months and he uses the Mess as a civilian member. I’m under the impression that he was working for Portsmouth local government/council at that time as a Health and Safety Inspector/Officer.

** From Les de Garis (47-50): I’ve attached a picture taken with my Minox of a box of four IVs (sometime around ’48) which makes a little contribution to the splendid Photo Library: 1946 to 1960. Sorry about the camera shake! Will send you some more once I have had them scanned. I’m sure I have some more originals hidden somewhere in the archives. [Les’s photos are now in the Photo Library on the web site – Chris]

** From Steve Hampton (Mar 86-Sep 87): An update from the reunion. I bumped into my old Sgt. armourers at the anniversary, beer flowed (understatement). Anyway, due to a promise made at the reunion (to get me back into the weapons trade), I’m due to start at RAF Valley in April as a weapons fitter for BRAMA Aerospace. So if it wasn’t for 4 and friends, I would be stuck doing mundane jobs. I must therefore thank Bernie (me old sarge), and you guys for giving me the chance once again. Up the plumbers! PS go kick some butt for me.

** From Nick Prior (Nov 87-Dec 92): Firstly sorry that I could not attend the Reunion. I have a new job and did not qualify for vacation in time to attend. I know from the photos that I missed a very special event in IV Sqn history. My thoughts go out to all those involved in the current tension in the Gulf. Let’s “see them all back again”.

** From Piero De Santis (Associate Member): I’m very happy to see my 4 Squadron “flag ship” Harrier GR7 on the main page of your fantastic website! Many thanks for the access to the other sections, informations are very useful for my hobby. As actually I’m involved in planning a new couple of RAF Harrier GR.7, used during “Allied Force” over Kosovo operations, and I noticed on pictures that many GR7s were from 4 Squadron (Squadron badges were removed but the “shadows” of them was still clearly visible on the intakes panels), could I ask you some informations?

ZD322/03 (small lerx); ZG505/76 (big lerx); ZG531/85 (big lerx); ZG857/89 (big lerx) were from 4 Squadron? All those GR7s were fitted with TIALD pod? Any of those were used to drop Paveway III (2000lb) LGB? Can GR7s can be load with AGM-65 “Maverick”?: this missile can be loaded also on external pylons or only on middle pylons? I know that some kind of information may be not “distributed” to public, so if is not possible… no problem, I understand. Many thanks. CIAO! [Piero is an employee of EDS Italy and an excellent modeller – Chris]