View Full Version : RAF "Chief Engineer"?
6th Mar 2010, 14:20
My Dad will celebrate his 90th next month. He started as a Halton Brat (33rd Entry in 1936) and ended up, via WW2, Boscombe Down, Farnborough, Stockholm, Akrotiki, etc etc, as an Engineering Air Cdre, retiring in 1975. He then went on to SOAF and Airwork in Oman, and now lives in Somerset.
He is just a great and lovely person, and still, at his grand age is able to drink his sons under the table, spend all day in the garden, as well as traipsing around the world to visit friends. 90!
His big sadness is that nearly all his old wonderful RAF friends have shuffled off, and I was hoping that, as part of his birthday bash on 24 Apr that I could get a note from the head nebbie RAF Engineer (who was probably not even born when Dad retired!), to drop him a note, saying well done, nice some old farts are still around, etc.
Who should I drop a note to? I don't want to go via/via/via. Who is the main RAF Engineering man/lady?
6th Mar 2010, 18:43
Hi - i believe the man you want is Air Marhsal Kevin Leeson who is the Chief of Materiel (Air) at Abbey Wood but also the senior engineering and supply officer sitting on the Air Force Board.
I have his civ tel number of his PA at Abbey Wood (PM me) if you want to see if he would help - he's a nice guy.
Hope this helps
6th Mar 2010, 20:24
Your father may be interested in the book "A Trenchard Brat at War" by Thomas Lancashire, ex-33rd Entry, in which he describes his time at Halton in some detail, along with some contemporary photographs.
I got my copy on line from the South American river.
6th Mar 2010, 20:38
Congratulations to you Dad on his 90th. He seems to be a live wire despite the years. As an ex-brat, I invite him to join the Old Haltonians Social Networking Group. Just go to The Old Haltonian social networking site - Welcome to all Old Haltonians (http://oldhaltonian.ning.com/)
He will be surprised to see who is there.
Best wishes to you both.
6th Mar 2010, 21:09
If interested, the book is available here:
A Trenchard Brat At War (http://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/?product_id=1926)
Red Line Entry
8th Mar 2010, 07:45
Sir Kevin is the most senior engineer, but AVM Nick Kurth is the head of branch for Engineers. He's also a nice chap, and contactable through RAF High Wycombe (where he's currently in the COS Support post).
8th Mar 2010, 12:54
Thank you all very much indeed. If, in ten years or so you need a yarn and a pint, I'll post Dad's contact details. You might have to pay for the beer - his is a Scot after all!
8th Mar 2010, 17:47
A pleasure indeed ...lets hope both the above contacts want to join in....he deserves it..
8th Mar 2010, 19:25
RLE AVM Nick Kurth is ..... also a nice chap
I'll second that. And he prefers mountains to golf courses :ok:
9th Mar 2010, 18:47
.............. and AVM Kurth is an ex-brat as well
22nd Mar 2010, 08:09
Just to let you know, Air Vice Marshal Kurth is indeed the senior serving ex-Halton Apprentice and also holds the position of Head of the RAF Engineer Branch for the Royal Air Force. He has asked that i reply to this thread and, if you contact me with email address etc, he would be happy to pen an appropriate note to your father.
22nd Mar 2010, 14:24
What is so special about Halton Brats?
22nd Mar 2010, 15:29
Just about everything that made the Royal Air Force the professionally excellent, technically superb, service that it used to be. Then the MOD (and the Air Marshals) set about sabotaging all that by ridding itself of such folk. They were replaced by administrators and suppliers (ie beancounters) and the UK Military Airworthiness Regulations were systematically and routinely suborned thereafter. The result:
Mull 29 killed, Hercules 10 killed, Nimrod 14 killed. Those just for starters. That was what was so special about them Aeronut, the effect that their absence had.
22nd Mar 2010, 17:24
That'll be him, then. Ask him what entry he was, spanners
Standby, I see he was 231 Entry
not a proper one :}
22nd Mar 2010, 19:05
Well you tell me, BGG. I posted in answer to Aeronut's query. Do you disagree with what I said? Or do you prefer I answered him/her by PM so that the comfort zone of others be not disturbed? I'm afraid that the RAF has a crisis on its hands simply because the standards set by the likes of bushveld's father and indeed AVM Kurth have been betrayed by the UK Military Airworthiness Authority (aka the MOD). Now I think that has relevance to everyone in the RAF, past and present, as well as a thread titled RAF Chief Engineer. Don't you?
22nd Mar 2010, 19:22
It is also interesting to see how many ex-Halton brats became senior officer pilots in World War II. A considerable number of whom were killed in action leading from the front, particuarly in RAF Bomber Command.
22nd Mar 2010, 21:04
bushveld, as OP I owe you an explanation. Your thread is entitled RAF Chief Engineer. The reason that no-one can direct you to him/her is because the post was scrapped in 1994 (ie the same year as Mull). Excerpt from the Nimrod Review:
12.6 In 1994, the CE(RAF) role was transferred to the Senior Engineer Officer at RAF Logistics Command. This was
either the Commander-in-Chief (CinC) of Logistics Command (an RAF 4-Star or 3-Star officer) or, in the event
of him being a non-engineering specialist, his Chief of Staff (CoS) (an RAF 2-Star office). The CinC Logistics
Command was a member of the AFB and, through the CE(RAF) office, he had ‘lead command’ responsibility
for RAF-wide airworthiness policy.
Mr Haddon-Cave QC who wrote the Review recommended that the post be re-instated.
BGG, No rant. I'm sorry I'm starting to annoy you but Trenchard knew the value and worth of trained engineers, hence his brats. His successors today seem not to.
22nd Mar 2010, 21:21
the value and worth of trained engineers
Not wishing to decry the worthiness of ex-brats but all Technical training and examination boards, throughout the RAF, was to the same high standard as those at Halton and Locking.
24th Mar 2010, 08:24
Forgot to add, AVM Kurth is the Senior Serving Member of the Halton Aircraft Apprentices Association too.
24th Mar 2010, 17:41
A pilot colleague of mine at HQ 22Gp in the early 70s was an ex-brat. He told me that "You can always tell a brat, but you can't tell him much."