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RAF Sharjah

Old 18th Mar 2012, 16:48
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My sincere apologies madam

I would also like to say that there is one more gentleman with us who posted earlier in this thread (named: Savio Lodh) who also lives near by. He also wishes to visit the area and share each other's information, I have tried to reach him on his personal contact but haven't heard from him as of now.

ma'am its absolutely okay if you do not have much information to share with me, however you will have a lot of information from me after I will show you this entire area in a typical archaeological style! So looking forward for your coming my flat is just in front of RAF Sharjah control tower!

I will also let you know if Savio contacts me so we could plan up a trio meeting here and go back in time and share the results with our ex-RAF officer friends here at the forum
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 07:56
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share the results with our ex-RAF officer friends here at the forum
Not everyone who inhabits these pages was a zobbit. There were some intelligent people stationed at RAF Sharjah, like moi.

Anyway thought it was a magic place from Dec 1965 through to Jan 1967.
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 09:28
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@alisoncc

haha....so that means you must have been a fitter or avionics....with all due respect to pilots, of course !
so tell me, can you help us then...there is a compound of shacks & private villas at about 2.5km inland (east) of the original runway which, according to locals, was the housing of the RAF....but i cant understand because all the pictures i find on the different sites are showing the main base housing....who was staying in my house then .... and what year was this...today it is called Ghubaiba neighborhood.
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 13:05
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@ Alisoncc,

absolutely right, everyone contribute to make RAF what is was during the peak days as you said it was a magical place from 65 to 67! Can you share your information with us?

@ quebec,

Perhaps you can share the pics of the place once used for RAF housing? This will give us a know-how about that area and maybe someone among us might be able to recognise that area.
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 14:15
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Since our member "quebec" cannot post pictures at the moment because she's a new member, I am posting two screen shots from Google Earth on her behalf showing about the place she said was once used for RAF housing. One shot is overview of the area (yellow marked is where the current RAF museum and the hangar with other remains exist) and the (red marked area is the place used as RAF housing)

next shot is a close up shot of that housing, it does appear to be rather British among the new Arabic villas in the surroundings of Al Ghubaiba.







Can anyone remember this place?
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 17:25
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I may be wrong, but I think Sharjah was an unaccompanied posting. That being the case, there would be no married quarters. I know we lowly Flying Officers were living in the tin huts I posted earlier, but I can't recall what the senior officer's accomodation was.
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 17:53
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the seniors....of course....that would make sense...
i did notice from the TOS website that the Mrs' were pictured on some photos, standing beside their hubby...means they were here with you guys...
keep digging...you're awesome
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 18:11
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Although I was never actually based at Sharjah, I used to visit it on at least a weekly basis when I was an Argosy captain on 105 Sqn based in Aden and then 105 Sqn and Ardet in Bahrain. My era was from 1966 until the end of 1971.

I stayed in the mess (and the fort) at Sharjah quite often and it is my memory that Sharjah was indeed an unaccompanied posting but I may be wrong.

Could it be that IAL (International Aeradio Limited) had some family accommodation?

Whilst we are on the subject of Sharjah, has anyone made mention of the RAF Gliding Club at Sharjah? The Club inherited some of the gliders that we had in the Aden Services Gliding Club (which was based at Sheik Othman).

Our two Nissan Patrol 4x4s also ended up at Sharjah complete with several thousand feet of Kenya fencing wire with which we used to auto-tow the gliders behind the Nissans.

In my spare time in the RAF, I was CFI of an RAFGSA gliding club back in UK. The Club at Sharjah went through a period when they didn't have a Full Category instructor so they were unable to send pupils on their first solo etc. I used to help if I could when I was in Bahrain. I would try to do the early morning Bahrain to Sharjah schedule which had about 2 hours on the ground at Sharjah.

I would be met at the nose hatch as I got out of my Argosy by a couple of the lads and spirited across the airfield to the glider launch point (they were pretty much flying off the old sand runway 30/12 which was south and parallel to the "modern" runway (which was only 100 feet wide, by the way).

I would do what had to be done and the lads listened out on the radio until my trusty co-pilot called to tell me that our passengers were boarding, whereupon I would be transported quickly back to the Argosy and depart for Bahrain.

On one classic day, which was a fantastic piece of rostering, I got back to my aeroplane just as Tony M (who was also a Full Cat) taxied in from Masirah, also on his way back to Bahrain whereupon the lads in the Nissan went next door to take him over to the gliding club to take over from where I had left off!
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 18:26
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hahaha !
now that's a full day at work !
so....regarding this compound...still unclear i suppose.
i also dont have a clue of the year it was buit.
according to some aerial photos found on web, it doesnt seem to be there in 60's...the end of the runway (inland) looks very deserted.
hmm...
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 18:41
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Sorry, I can't really help you with the compound. My time in the Gulf flying Argosys really came to an end in October, 1971. Having said that, I then went on to fly the Belfast for a few years.

I made several flights to Sharjah between 1972 and 1976 resupplying the British Army Trials Team (BATT) at Sharjah. To the best of my recollection, they had taken over the old Trucial Oman Scouts (TOS) mess.
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 21:07
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JW411

indeed an amazing flashback of a fine day at work back in time sir! What a joyful read it was! Thank you for sharing your experience, this is what I am here for.... the seniors are our story-tellers and we're only motivated to research because of you fine people once served here

Juliet Whisky Four OneOne you're cleared for take off runway three zero, surface winds four at two niner five, initial climb to five thousand for Alpha One Lardo departure follow radar on One Two Five decimal Four Five!
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 23:09
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Sharjah was definitely unaccompanied. In my day (May 67-Jan 68) the only European woman was some corpulent happy WRVS lady. At the end of 9 months even she started to look attractive!!
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Old 19th Mar 2012, 23:58
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JW411 Short Belfast! I remember seeing two Belfast aircraft unload a pair of Wessex helicopters each in Dacca (Bangladesh ) in 1973 ,one,for whatever reason sticks in my mind,was named Excelladis grand looking aircraft and most certainly a cut above the little wee aeroplane that I was operating.during the relief effort.
 
Old 20th Mar 2012, 13:15
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Nov 68 to Dec 69 it was a 13 month unaccompanied tour with a month's LUKFREE leave in the UK somewhere in the middle. I still have my 13 month ' no nookie ' tie, plus as a 'leckie on 84 I still have my 'forfirq'sake' tie which denoted 4 landings at Firq and 4 at Sake. I wonder if they're worth anything on ebay?
And yes the Weavers lady and the two very elderly ladies who worked at the MMS (mission to mediteranean seamen) did become quite attractive towards the end.
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 17:55
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I think you mean XR371 "Enceladus" which was the last Belfast built. I flew her to the MU at Kemble to "die" on 26.08.1976 and felt very sad to leave her there. Luckily, she was to make just one more short flight to the RAF Museum at Cosford where she is now under cover and being looked after well.
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 19:13
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Most certainly unaccompanied in '55-'58.
On my first night stop in '55 I was regaled with the tale (possibly apocryphal) of an incident during the French Indo/China war. The French military apparently provided female 'comforts' for their chaps and a full load on a Connie was en-route and suffered an engine failure near to overhead Sharjah, Duly diverted and the 'lady' pax were accommodated in the Sgt's Mess - Officer's Mess was too small. It seems that inter Mess visits became tres popular for the period of the enforced stay!! C'est definitely la vie!!
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Old 20th Mar 2012, 21:24
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Round about New Year '67-'68 it was arranged that a party of (respectable)young ladies would be flown from Bahrain to Sharjah as guests of the officers, who were laying on a dance. Having been picked up by bus from the aircraft they were taken initially to the movements hall where the driver left them while he found the movements officer. Sadly (?), he left the keys in the bus, and a very enterprising NCO proceeded to drive the ladies to the Sergeant's Mess, where they were right royally entertained. Their "release" was only accomplished after the officers contributed a substantial amount of money to the airmen's party fund.
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Old 21st Mar 2012, 00:15
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ladies in shrj

i might not find a lot of info regarding my house over here but so far, im enjoying the reading !

And this french 'anecdote' is funny....i can only think about what was going through the frenchmen's mind at that moment....having their fresh meat warmed up by the englishmen !
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Old 21st Mar 2012, 08:00
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Herod - thanks for the memory jogger. Yes. That definitely happened! I remember the officers getting a bit upset at the time.

Of course, having been commissioned later, there's no way I could condone that sort of behaviour.

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Old 21st Mar 2012, 09:11
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411 We must have talked about this over German beers, I flew with the sharjah gliding club between 67 and 70. We could auto tow with the said fencing wire to about 2000ft, the limiting factor being the wt of the wire and fuel endurance of the Nissan! Sometimes we camped at Buraimi oasis, or at Diad, in the gravel plain behind the Muscat mountains. Then we had a Thames Trader with a winch and enough wire to launch the K8 to 400ft, so we waited for a dust devil to approach and launched into it, the we could soar to about 12000ft. Its the only time I've felt vertigo in an aircraft as for the first 4000ft you were looking down the hole inthe dust devil. I later discovered we were in the airway to India. This finished when our tame pongo stuffed the wing of the K8 into a desert tree. Good times, sleeping in the back of a 3-tonner after an evening by a fire and the odd tinnie.
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