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RAF Sharjah

Old 27th Mar 2010, 20:14
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The Twin Pioneer belongs to 152 and the photo must have been taken in 1962 or later. The squadron flash (yellow white and green) is visible on the side of the nose. In 1960 I was instrumental in getting squadron markings painted on either side of the fuselage roundels of our Pembrokes, like the 152 Sqn Meteor NF14's up to 1958. When I returned to the UK in August 1961 there were no plans to paint squadron flashes on the Twin Pioneers.



I suspect the Camel driver might answer to the name of Mo

Last edited by brakedwell; 29th Mar 2010 at 13:31. Reason: better photo
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 21:13
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The sun didn't always shine at Sharjah! When these photos were taken in Feb 1961 the sand runway was waterlogged and the only dry area available for me to operate my Twin Pioneer was in the southwest corner of the airfield. At that time the flaps and slats were locked up due to a failure of the chain drive mechanism, which extended the take off run considerably. The tents were erected to house aircrew from a Canberra and a Hunter (208?) squadron due to take part in an exercise which was cancelled because of the weather!
There was a heavy storm when I was at Sharjah 1963-64. I was working in the signals office (RAF W/T links to Muharraq, Masirah, Salalah, Riyan & Khormaksar plus R/T link to Political Agent at Ras Al Khyma). Torrential rain & strong winds - blew the roof off the NAAFI and inflicted quite a bit of damage to other buildings. When comms were restored the first message was 12 hours old warning of imminent bad weather...
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 10:28
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Another teaser about Sharjah. I copied a print on the wall of the Museum, ex RAF Sharjah, last year. With apologies for the awful quality. Just photographed on the wall, with permission. There seem to be 3 RAF Lodestars. Anyone identify them? All part of trying to piece together WW2, or just after, Sharjah history.
(Edited to say "Venturas" after comment by forget, below)



Laurence

Last edited by l.garey; 29th Mar 2010 at 13:26.
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 12:01
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244 (AIR SEA RESCUE SQUADRON) THE LAST OF THE SHAIBAH TALES.

(Lovely story - posted just for that reason - and a mention of Sharjah.)

In the Vincent days at Shaibah, when going down the Gulf we always flew in pairs. This enabled a fitter or a rigger to be carried in addition to the W.op Air gunners. We could then be self-sufficient for servicing, and stay away for long periods. One day we were going to either Sharjah or Muscat, I can't remember which. We flew down the middle of the Gulf. It was blowing a strong Southerly, and our ground speed cannot have been much over 70m.p.h. Visibility over the sea was good, but the water was rough, white horses all round. As we passed over Faylakal Island we saw a dhow on the rocks. She was getting a terrible pounding and was breaking up.

There were four men on deck, one on land, and one was in the water. Wreckage was floating all around the stricken vessel. For a moment we thought of throwing a dinghy overboard, but with land so near, it did not seem a helpful idea.

There was no W/T watch in Kuwait (the nearest port). All we could do after flying around at low altitude several times, was to report the situation by W/T to Shaibah. With instructions for the message to be relayed to the Political Agent Kuwait (by telegram).

A week or ten days later, on the way back to Shaibah, I called in at Kuwait, having some business with the Political Agent. When we met he said, "Thank you for your wire, you will be pleased to hear that all the men were saved, and the name of your squadron is very high here". "How come", I asked. He. said, "The rescued mariners are the celebrities of the week and are holding court in the cafes".

Their tale goes like this - Our boat was on the rocks being pounded to pieces in the rough sea. We thought our last hour had come when two Hawai ji ha: (Ships of the Air) flew round, and each let down a ladder for us to grasp (our training aerials!). They passed too quickly for us to lay hold, and after several attempts to gather us up they flew away on a southerly course. As everyone knows, it was a boat from our home port which eventually picked us up from the waterless island. We learned that they had heard of our plight, as these airmen in some way sent a message, when they tried to snatch us up. Indeed, these men of the air are resourceful men. We thank Allah the Merciful for sending them to us in our hour of need!".

http://www.rquirk.com/med/244sqn/244news/244newsn28.pdf
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 12:43
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Laurence, I think your possible Lodestars are actually Venturas with the upper turret removed. Note the belly bulge just forward of the tail wheel.

The RAF took delivery of 394 Ventura light bombers, which entered service in 1942.

Lockheed PV-1 Ventura/PV-2 Harpoon - history, photos, specification of the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura/PV-2 Harpoon
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 13:00
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Venturas

You are probably right, forget. I was going on the solid nose. I originally thought Venturas always had glazing, but I have since found pictures with solid noses. It fits in better with the lack of cabin glazing, as far as can be seen, as well as the "bulge". Venturas did serve in the Middle East, with 13, 500 and 624 Sqds (Owen Thetford). Now I need someone to remember them at Sharjah!

Laurence
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Old 29th Mar 2010, 13:18
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Unfortunately I didn't manage to get to Sharjah last year as time was extremely limited. Did however get a trip to Al Ain courtesy of one of the Sheik's buddies who was a friend of my wife's father. The trip to Buraimi was certainly completed much faster than the last time I did it in 1967!

I managed to dig out a few nostalgia photos. I only had a few as the rest were left behind on my first divorce and were chucked out

Sharjah waterfront:



Coffee shop at Dayd:



The MDRT landrovers outside the office in the old fort:



...and lastly The Cable and Wireless place at Jebel Ali (probably now buried under the skyscrapers of Jumeirah)

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Old 29th Mar 2010, 14:38
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These old photos were taken in 1959.

RAF Sharjah mobile "NAAFI" man.



The "flogging" canon outside the Sheik's palace was used to punish minor misdemeanours such as brewing date hooch. Sentences were usually carried out immediately after Ramadan.



Crowd waiting to watch a flogging.

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Old 20th Apr 2010, 08:25
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These old photos were taken in 1959.
They'd banned spectating at the hangings and floggings by 1967.
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Old 21st Apr 2010, 10:45
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There was story doing the rounds in Sharjah in '65/'66 that parked outside the Sheiks palace in Abu Dhabi there was combine harvester. Apparently some sales rep from the US had shown the Sheik photos of the Canadian prairies or similar awash with fields of grain, and convinced him that all he needed was one of their machines to get the same there.
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Old 11th May 2010, 10:11
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I came across this on UKMAMS Old Bods Association - Photos 1960's Page 2

Caption says - The picture is of RAF Sharjah circa some time in 1969. I found this photo in the old Air Movements building which was completely deserted in April 1973 during Exercise Pale Jade. The last entry on the movements board was a Belfast! (Ian Berry.)

PS. On the page above click on the camera for some RAF nostalgia.

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Old 11th May 2010, 10:30
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That's a great photo, forget. I can't quite see the control tower which, apart from the runway left as a street in the middle of town, is the only part which survived.

Laurence
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Old 11th May 2010, 11:17
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I don't think it is Sharjah.
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Old 11th May 2010, 11:36
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Interesting. I don't see anything obvious to pin it down one way or the other. However, the five parked Andovers would indicate a home base for them; and -

As Aden closed down the traditions of No 84 Squadron were being maintained in the Gulf, now equipped with six brand new Andover Cl's which moved into Sharjah at the end of August 1967.
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Old 11th May 2010, 12:17
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Euh, I think it looks like Sharjah. But Brakedwell should know. He went there often enough!
Check this photo from 1976 from "Wings over the Gulf" by Shirley Kay.



Laurence
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Old 11th May 2010, 12:38
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Here are 2 other aerial shots of Sharjah from Shirley Kay's book, dating from 1970 she says.

Laurence



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Old 11th May 2010, 13:09
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I was wrong Laurence, the vertical photo confirms it is Sharjah. The paved parking ramp threw me and I was thinking the VC10 could have belonged to the Oman Royal Flight. The last time I landed at the old Sharjah Airport was in an IAS Cargo Britannia (G-AOVF) on the 17th Oct 1976. I remember the tarmac runway being visible from the grotty hotel we stayed at outside the western boundary of the airfield. I also remember leaving Brit parked on sand overnight as I was a bit worried about it sinking in. Then again, memory plays
funny tricks when you are as ancient as me.

ps: I like the photo of the Twin Pin on 1960 Page 1 of the MAMS website
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Old 11th May 2010, 13:26
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OK, so we agree! Lovely to unearth these old photos. Remember those of Buraimi last year, the fort and the cold beer (sorry, refreshment) ? All the best

Laurence
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Old 28th May 2010, 21:46
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help please - Peter Faid

Hello, I found this forum in an internet search whilst trying to research the flying career of my late father, Peter Faid.

I was only 5 years old when my father died in a helicopter crash in 1970, and my mother Ann (who died a few years ago) told me very little about him. I hope you do not mind me posting to your forum - but I would be very grateful for any help or information you can give me about my father and his flying career.

Many thanks

Emma Faid
(daughter of the late Peter John Faid)
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Old 29th May 2010, 11:37
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Emma,

Try posting on the Rotorheads pages of PPRuNe for information regarding your father. There are many many knowledgable and experienced helicopter pilots who lurk there, both current and retired, some of whom must have known of your father. I too had a family member involved in a flying accident with Bristow Helicopters at a similar time, and PPRuNe has been wealth of information. Good luck...........
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