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225 sqdn sarawak 1965

Old 21st Jul 2010, 01:01
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225 sqdn sarawak 1965

hi,new to this site, i was looking to find out as much info on 225sqdn who were based in puching in sarawak in 1965.does any one know any thing about the whirwind crash on sept 20th 1965.my uncle was on board his name was sac paul evans.
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Old 21st Jul 2010, 01:46
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The use of capitol letters, where appropriate, in your posts would be appreciated by some of us "old folks" on the site. Use of the search function may turn up information on here.

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Old 21st Jul 2010, 10:11
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There was a thread about Indonesia about six months ago and some people on it knew the details.

Your uncle is buried at Kranji.
Dead of the British Armed Forces During Confrontation with Indonesia December 1962- August 1966

The thread is this one here.

i am a lot 'older' than cubs2jets
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Old 21st Jul 2010, 10:35
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... were based in puching in sarawak
Don't you mean Kuching?
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Old 21st Jul 2010, 18:08
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SAC Paul Evans


Your uncle was flying as lookout in Whirlwind XP327 which was sent to look for an Army Scout helicopter which had disappeared. The Whirlwind crew were:
Fg Off Sam P Smith - pilot
Flt Lt Jack Canham DFC - navigator
SACs Langley, Galbraith and Evans as lookouts

The aircraft broke up after problems with the rotor mechanism.

Your uncle is commemorated on the Armed Forces Memorial at Alrewas, the Roll of Honour in St Clememt Danes Church and the Support helicopter Memorial at RAF Odiham in addition to his place of burial.

Hope this is helpful to you.

A few weeks after this accident, 225 Sqn was disbanded and its crews/aircraft absorbed into 103 & 110 sqns. None of these sqns exists anymore, except in the memories of those who served on them. 230 sqn, of which Fareastdriver was a member was at Labuan which was t'other end of Borneo.

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Old 21st Jul 2010, 19:21
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Welshy, I was on 225 Sqdn at the time of the fatal flight,but on detachment at another forward operating base;in fact it was where the Scout helicopter had departed from the night before,but never arrived at Kuching. I knew Galbraith, but I cannot say I knew your uncle,due to detachments etc.
Do you know what trade he was,ie, a fitter,or a rigger,as he had probably spent time at an FOB depending on how long he had been in Kuching ?
The pilot and navigator were on their last few days of their tour,before returning to the UK,and several aircraft were sent out to do searches in different areas,so it would be no surprise for a call on the Sqdn to enlist any spare crew and observers to assist,as in this case.
A few years ago I went to Kranji Cemetery to pay my respects,and I have several pictures you can have if you send me a PM with relevant details...Syc..
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Old 21st Jul 2010, 21:38
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Strange, I was also involved in a search for a downed Scout, but I was a lookout in an AAC Beaver [I was an ADO,487SU RAF Kuching], but that was [I think] late 1964...
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Old 29th Jul 2010, 18:40
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225 Squadron 1965

Hi Welshy43,
like you I am a PPRuNe virgin, so apologies for any gliches.

I was surfing the net and pulled up 225 Squadron to find your question re your uncle. As it happens I was very much involved in this incident.

I joined 225 as a Jnr Tech at the beginning of Feb 1965 and was fortunate enough to be put into the line Rectification team under the care of Sgt Sandy Sandell. Sandy was brilliant, he had forgotten more about Whirlwind 10s than I ever knew, so great learning for me.

Within a month or so I was up at Simmangang with the 1/10th Ghurka Rifles, 3 Whirly 10s and a great detachment of pilots and ground crew.
One of the pilots was Sam Smith who I flew with regularly and who taught me how to fly a Whirlwind. Mind you hovering was a different problem.

September I was back at Kuching when the Army helicopter was reported missing. Here my memories are somewhat different to some. I seem to remember flying S & R looking for traces of it for a couple of days at least, and as anyone who has looked at treetops non stop for any length of time will know, after a while it all becomes a blur.

The morning of the 20th XP327 was on flight test post either a minor or minor * servicing. It was decided that PM it would fly an S & R search pattern with Sam Smith flying and Jack Canham the Squadron Navigation Officer. The two of us who had flown during the morning S & R were given the PM off, and I am pretty sure that it was 4 airmen, who were on their last week of tour, who were given a "jolly" as observers.

Mid afternoon XP327 crashed. After the crash the Sarbie signal was still transmitting so I was called out to go to the crash site. From what I remember it wasnt far from either Balai Ringin or Lubok Antu, cant remember which, but inaccessable by helicopter and winching.

First on the scene was a SAS team who secured the area and reported no survivors. My role then changed from rescue to investigation. With an Engineering Officer and a platoon of either 40 or 42 Commando (again cant remember which) we yomped to the site which was towards the top of a very steep hill/mountain.

I wont go into details of what we found, but during the investigation we discovered that the Servo Valve linkage to the fore and aft jack was hanging loose in pristine condition. Both lateral jack links had suffered damage. That plus an eyewitness account of how the aircraft crashed led us to believe that the aircraft had lost fore and aft control.

The net result was that a SNCO from the hangar maintenance team was charged with manslaughter due to negligence.

I was required to attend the Court Martial at Seletar in March 1966, and thus ended up doing a 14 month unaccompanied.

I have deliberately omitted the SNCO's name, and all the investigation results it seems to me that it would be inappropriate after all this time.

As regards the four lads in the back I think that they were from the Hangar and other units at Kuching, but I didn't know any of them or even their names til reading this thread.

I hope this gives you enough info, if not get in touch.

Last edited by Aldons; 29th Jul 2010 at 18:52. Reason: spelling and grammar
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Old 30th Jul 2010, 09:06
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Whirlwind Down

I can confirm that there were only five on board and they are as I listed in my last post on this topic. It is possible that the crew decided that they didn't want four and so one was stood down or whatever.

As an aside, Jack Canham had had a most interesting career. His DFC came from a tour on 97 Sqn - a pathfinder squadon - where he was a warrant officer. After the war he spent several years investigating the whereabouts of the thousands of missing (mainly) bomber aircrew and then arranging for their 'concentration' in the war cemeteries. Whilst some of this work would have been fairly straightforward, a lot of it was not; particularly where one had to operate in what were by then communist countries. There will be many families who now have a burial place for their relatives who can thank Jack and the other team members for finding the remains.

Although he didn't know about it at the time, an officer on 225 Sqn who was the "Effects Officer" for Jack and Sam Smith and whose own father had been lost in 1942 over Germany, would have had Jack's team or one of the others, to thank for locating his Dad's crew.
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Old 30th Jul 2010, 09:34
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See post No 5 here.

Flt Lt Canham and SAC Galbraith. - RafCommands Forums

Colin Coummings records this loss in his 'Lost to Service' volume of post-war RAF aircraft losses as follows:

25 Sep 65, XP327 Whirlwind 10, 225 Sqn, 45 m E Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo, 5 killed.

Following the disappearance of an Army Scout helicopter, the Whirlwind was despatched to search for it. It carried the three airmen as lookouts. The main rotor blades became disconnected due to maintaince error and the aircraft crashed with the loss of all on board. A subsequent court martial acquitted the maintenance technician. Jack Canham had been one of the crew of a Whirlwind SAR helicopter who rescued fishermen from a French trawler off Lands End in 1962 for which the pilot, Flight Lieutenant Trevor Eggington, received the AFC and the winchman Sergeant Eric Smith the George Medal.

Flying Officer Samuel Philip SMITH, 23, pilot
Squadron Leader John Lorimer Neville (Jack) CANHAM, DFC, 43, nav
Senior Aircraftman Brian John LANGLEY, 19
Senior Aircraftman Richard Moore GALBRAITH, 19
Senior Aircraftman Paul EVANS, 20
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Old 30th Jul 2010, 11:00
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XP 327

It just shows how memory is affected by time, Ive always believed that there were four in the back, thanks for the correction.

The report on the reason for crash and the court martial results are not quite correct.

The helicopter most definitely crashed due to the fore and aft jack servo becoming disconnected. The connecting bolt was not found and speculation was that the nut had not been split pinned. The servicing records showed that the link mentioned earlier had not been removed, however after investigation back in England it was proven that a bearing in the end fitting had been replaced. To do that the link would need to be removed to press the bearing into the housing.

The blades came off as a result of catastrophic impact with the very dense and high trees at the crash site. The helicopter disintegrated, the largest single item being the main gearbox and rotor head. The blade fittings were still in place attached to the rotor head. I took 4 rolls of film at the site for official purposes, all handed in, but it did mean I was looking very carefully at the various bits and pieces.

Re the court martial, the SNCO in question was found not guilty of manslaughter due to negligence, but I believe that he was found guilty of signing for his own independant check. I believe for that he was reduced in rank. Incidently he hired a lawyer from UK for his defence.

I confess I dont know what is in the the Official Reports, I only have my memory to go on, but having spent 2 days at the crash site and having sat through the Court Martial I am fairly confident in the details that I have given.
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Old 30th Jul 2010, 11:31
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Although it’s now 45 years since the accident it would be interesting to see the Board of Inquiry conclusions. One or two things here, at least, raise an eyebrow.

A SNCO ‘found guilty of signing for his own independent check’ could expect a lot more than a reduction in rank. If true, he would have used someone else’s name and then forged their signature. Very serious; even without resulting deaths.

And there’s mention of an eye witness – yet the aircraft came down through ‘very dense and high trees at the crash site’. Possible I suppose, but it takes a stretch to picture just where the eye witness was located.

.... plus an eyewitness account of how the aircraft crashed led us to believe that the aircraft had lost fore and aft control.
All very odd. Anything further Aldons?
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Old 30th Jul 2010, 15:04
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XP327 - Update

In his book "Category Five", which is a major update and extension of "Lost To Service" and amalgamation with another of his books, Colin Cummings updates the summary of the crash of XP327 and it now reads much more along the lines reported by ALDONS.

The maintenance technician was subsequently acquitted on appeal.
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Old 30th Jul 2010, 15:12
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More Info

The witness was a local lad who was watching the helicopter at the time, and saw it dive from above the trees into the trees at the top of this high hill/low moutain ( I am not sure where one stops and the other begins). We gave him a model with which he demonstrated what he saw the helicopter do. Not a perfect witness but he was definite in that the helicopter nose dived. His observations were made to the Eng Off with myself and liaison officers and a translator, from the commando unit, in attendance. So yes there was a witness.

The SNCO in question, signed for doing a job to the servo link during the servicing, countersigned the entry and then signed the independant check for assembly locking and functional of the rotor head and controls. So no he didn't forge a name or use an alias. Yes I know it shouldn't have happened, but ...... happens.

I understand your sceptisism, but everything stated is correct as I remember it even after 45 years.

Interestingly to me, I haven't thought or talked about this incident since the CM and leaving Borneo. As a 21 year old going to his first crash sight it was quite traumatic, and I guess I put it out of my mind. It is only because of the original question which brought it a lot of it back, that I felt I should give some information. Even after all the various comments I still believe that there were 4 persons supposed to fly. If one didn't I wonder who he was and why he didn't go?
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Old 31st Jul 2010, 05:48
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Thanks for your valuable contributions to this Thread. You have the most relevant information about the detail of what happened and its aftermath.

As to why four lookouts didn't fly, the reasons are legion: perhaps the crew didn't want No: 4 'cause of the fuel/payload, maybe he was late arriving, perhaps he decided he couldn't be bothered, if he worked with one of the others perhaps his 'chiefy said; 'both of you ain't going'.

I have never heard anybody mention the fourth man and his 'lucky escape' and one might have thought it would have come out during the enquiry and certainly the search was for five men not six.

The possible place to look is the Sqn Form 541 at the National Archives. This is the schedule of sorties and if a name was entered in the 541 and then crossed out it would mean that up until very close to the take-off there had been an intention to take four lookouts.

Not sure if you want to take this forward or I can ask my NA researcher to look next time she is doing some work for me.

Anyway, thanks again for your contribution, which I for one have found most helpful.

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Old 3rd Aug 2010, 22:18
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Angel more info

Hi,,sorry not to reply to anyone ive been very busy but crikey guys thanks so much for all your info.Just been talking to my mum, Paul evans's sister, about what you guys have said and she is eternally grateful,thanks.Further more she remembers that the Galbraith family went to the funeral over there but my grandmother would not go or let my grandfather.Tradegy makes you think irrationally i guess.my mum remembers seing a photo of Paul with some others in a street called Boogie St, does anyone recall this?.Paul was in Traffic Control over there.Mum remembers the mechanic losing a rank.Its funny im 43 and found out more about my uncle in 2 weeks than all my life.My Nana even mentioned"they never brought him home did they", totally out of the blue yesterday and we've never mentioned a word, probably heard on the radio about iraq etc.Again thanks so much , keep writing,oh mum also mentioned about a local guy who apparently was a pilot,(maybe), went looking for Pauls helicoptor but when mum asked him he wouldnt talk about it, he died years ago his name was Tony Varey, just so happens his daughter was in my house 4 days ago looking at my puppies for sale and is my partners best buddy, SMALL WORLD http://images.ibsrv.net/ibsrv/res/sr...ns/mpangel.gif
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Old 4th Aug 2010, 05:21
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XP327 Further Comment


There was a helicopter pilot called Charley Verry who was a New Zealander by birth but don't think he was in that area at the time and later flew Whirlwinds from the other end of Borneo with 230 Sqn.

I met the Galbraiths and Langleys in Singapore when they were out for their sons' funerals, I think one of the father's was Army or ex-Army and had a moustache just like the guy on the 'Go Compare' insurance advert!

When your uncle died, there was an option to have remains repatriated to UK and a number of people were brought home or had their ashes returned to UK. It is possible this was not explained at the time or your uncle's parents may not have been receptive, given the circumstances.

Your family can claim a medal issued by the Malaysian Govenment, called 'Pingat Jasi Malaysia'. It is being issued to those who served in Malaysia during the period of "Confrontation" and a little bit either side. The award is being managed by The Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association.

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Old 4th Aug 2010, 07:51
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.... a photo of Paul with some others in a street called Boogie St, does anyone recall this?
If you want to do some digging it's Bugis Street. Then again, maybe not. This from Wiki.

One of the "hallowed traditions" bestowed upon Bugis Steet by sojourning sailors (usually from Britain, Australia and New Zealand), was the ritualistic "Dance Of The Flaming Arseholes" on top of the infamous toilet's roof. Compatriots on the ground would chant the signature "Haul 'em down you Zulu Warrior" song whilst the matelots performed their act.

Over the years this became almost a mandatory exercise and although it may seem to many to be a gross act of indecency, it was generally well received by the sometimes up to hundreds of tourists and locals. The Kai Tais or Beanie Boys, as the transwomen were referred to by Anglophone white visitors, certainly did not mind either. By the mid-70s Singapore started a crackdown on this type of lewd behaviour and sailors were arrested at gunpoint by the local authorities for upholding the tradition. By this time those sailors brave enough to try it were dealt with severely and even shipped home in disgrace.
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Old 7th Oct 2010, 12:02
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225 Squadron RAF Kucning

Hello, This is the first time I've bothered to become involved in nostalgia but after reading some of the posts I believe I may be able to put you in the picture regarding 225 1964/65. from an erks point of view. I'll record a brief summary of my situation and If you or any readers think I may be of further assistance I will help where I can. I was posted to 225 in August 1964 to replace the lads who had gone out originally from RAF Odiham. I had been in the RAF for two and a half years and my only practical experience of aircraft maintenance was on the Shackleton Mk 2 I had never seen a Whirlwind before I arrived on the squadron. I was in theatre for 375 days and my time was spent at Simmangang and Lundu I remember the accident though being away from Kuching information was second hand. The technical and recording aspects of the accident I do not fully recall but the circumstances do not surprise me. During part of my time at Kuching I worked on my own in the "Hangar" The entire squadron trade strength was1 SNCO 1Cpl 1J/T and myself an SAC. The Cpl oversigned all of my work on his way to the mess at cease work, very very little was checked. Look forward to hearing from you must rush IMB
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Old 22nd Sep 2013, 05:45
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My name is Angela. I was Paul's fiance. I see you and your cousin?? Paula have also been looking for information and perhaps a reason for Paul's death. I have been looking for 48 years come next week and will never come to terms with it. I am so pleased you younger generation care about him. He lives on in you all. I've not quite sure where this will end up , I know this site is archived. My email is [email protected]. I only found Paul 2 years ago after treating myself to the privacy of an I pad. Paul's mum told me she had to wait 2 years to bring him home. I had no reason to doubt her. He should have come home he was a real home boy

Look after each other

Angela X
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