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-   -   RAF Hunters in Thailand ? (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/631710-raf-hunters-thailand.html)

zetec2 19th Apr 2020 17:48

RAF Hunters in Thailand ?
 
Ploughing through Max Hastings tome Vietnam 1945-75 read the following passage:

"In 1961 Harold Macmillan promised some military gesture (to the USA) if the Vientiane government collapsed. When Pathet Lao troops moved near the Western border of Laos the following year, in response a Squadron of RAF Hunters were deployed into neighbouring Thailand, it was the usual story: the British were desperate to avoid a new commitment, but obsequiously anxious to comply with American wishes".

So which Squadron, from where, and to which base in Thailand, and what did they do and for how long ?

been unable to find much info about this, and apologies if been posted before rgds PH.

Lordflasheart 19th Apr 2020 18:49

Your starter for ten would inevitably be the ubiquitous 20 Squadron - and so it seems -

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=145828

No doubt it was quite a party, specially as 79 Sqn RAAF was involved as well. Don Muang and Ubon followed by Chieng Mai for recovery.

.......:E

Cornish Jack 19th Apr 2020 20:12

Something VERY odd with this!!:confused:

ORAC 20th Apr 2020 09:18

Hansard:

https://api.parliament.uk/historic-h...n-for-thailand

https://forums.flyer.co.uk/viewtopic...43181#p1143181


:: Prince Vajiralongkorn and Princess Princess Ubonrattana Ratchakanya visited and observed the “Hawker Hunter” jet fighters of the 20th Squadron of the Royal Air Force of the UK that was stationed at the Chiang Mai Airport., Picture Lanna, Mr. Boons


https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....b82a4220a.jpeg



https://cimg1.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....57bed0bec.jpeg



Not the only RAF operations in the region....

https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publica...inh-trail-1962


Herod 20th Apr 2020 11:03

Well, I've certainly learnt something today. Thank you.

Caramba 20th Apr 2020 11:32

Interesting to read. An RAF colleague of my father told me that he had spent some time flying a Pilatus (?PC6?) into short strips in Cambodia and or Laos c1962, while still in the RAF. A quick Google doesn’t reveal anything (unsurprisingly), and I think he is no longer about to ask for more details - even if he would reveal them. I think the Australians used this aircraft so - speculating wildly - maybe that was his route into this role.

Does anyone know anything more that can now be revealed?

caramba

Cornish Jack 20th Apr 2020 12:39

The Hunter details are distinctly mind-boggling - I was operating in a related capacity at the time and knew noithing about it!
The Pilatus activity is much less surprising - they were part of an extraordinary mix of aircraft operated by, or on behalf of the CIA in the region. They ranged through Helio Courier, Dornier 27 and 28, C46 and 47, C123s, Ventura, Beech 18 various Helos and even Twin Pin. The majority operated under the Air America 'label' but the Ventura appeared with a logo of 'The Minnesota Mining and Dam Construction Co' ... or something similar! Odd mix, odd times!

Lordflasheart 20th Apr 2020 14:54

Operation 'Bibber'
 
...
Operation Bibber - (the second one) is mentioned here as well -

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/th...-1960s.133630/

Also mentioned in the 2008 book 'High Stakes' by Vic Flintham, extract here

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...201961&f=false

Another book is mentioned within one of ORAC's links above.
I believe the Brits also built a decent airfield or two in Thailand in that time-frame.

Put all together, that's a lot of military effort we didn't hear about in Blighty.
Grandad says there were'nt no fbook or twooter then, only bluies.

What's a bluie Jack ?

.... LFH





Tengah Type 20th Apr 2020 17:23

When 20 Squadron deployed to Chaing Mei, as was the local custom, "Entertainment Establishments" were set up in the vicinity. On return to Tengah it was alleged that over 100% of cases of the personnel who had deployed to support the squadron had contracted "Tropical Diseases", meaning that some had been there long enough to be cured of the first dose before suffering a second.

The Royal Engineers airfield was at Loeng Nok Tha in North East Thailand and was originally started by the RAF Airfield Construction Branch before being completed by the REs when the RAF Airfield Construction Branch was disbanded .
The Opening Ceremony, with Thai Royalty and Prime Minister in attendance, was held on 17 June 1965. A Canberra B15, at light weight, did the ceremonial Take Off before flying two "Spirited Flypasts" at maximum speed and departing in a steep climb. ATC broadcast "Ummm, thank you for that! Don't come back!!".

zetec2 21st Apr 2020 11:33

Thank you for all the replies, most interesting, the more I delve into Hastings book the more I find about hinted UK involvement, maybe more later ?.

dagenham 21st Apr 2020 11:44


Originally Posted by Lordflasheart (Post 10756889)
...
Operation Bibber - (the second one) is mentioned here as well -

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/th...-1960s.133630/

Also mentioned in the 2008 book 'High Stakes' by Vic Flintham, extract here

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...201961&f=false

Another book is mentioned within one of ORAC's links above.
I believe the Brits also built a decent airfield or two in Thailand in that time-frame.

Put all together, that's a lot of military effort we didn't hear about in Blighty.
Grandad says there were'nt no fbook or twooter then, only bluies.

What's a bluie Jack ?

.... LFH

Bluie’s where issued air mail letters and envelopes in one.

teeteringhead 22nd Apr 2020 08:15

Don't think there were Bluies as early as mid 60s. I was in Sharjah 70-71 and we didn't have them then (and also had a postal strike to contend with!). First time I saw them was in Norn Iron in (?) 80 or 81?

[Edited to add further thoughts:]

Was also in Salalah '73 to '75, Blueys /Bluies not present then. ISTR they were first introduced for Op BANNER, so looks like last half of '70s? They were certainly in place for FI in '82.

Herod 22nd Apr 2020 08:59

I was growing up in Oz in the fifties, and we certainly had them then. I believe they were officially called Aerograms.

AARON O'DICKYDIDO 22nd Apr 2020 09:29

teeteringhead
 
"Don't think there were Bluies as early as mid 60s. I was in Sharjah 70-71 and we didn't have them then (and also had a postal strike to contend with!). First time I saw them was in Norn Iron in (?) 80 or 81?"

I recall 'Blueys' from the 50s/60s. Although they were called 'AEROGRAMS' then I seem to remember. I think they had to be purchased as they were prepaid and and there 'Par Avion' logo. Apart from the prepaid stamp and maybe the logo I think they were the same as what came to be known as Blueys during the early days of the Falklands operations. - Blue lightweight paper that was folded and stuck down at the edges.

Aaron.

Video Mixdown 22nd Apr 2020 10:24

Certainly in use in RAFG in the early 70's. Free but needed a stamp. 'Bluies' looks wrong - should be spelt bluey/blueys!

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....f564ae1efe.jpg

pr00ne 22nd Apr 2020 15:37

The 20 Squadron deployment to Thailand was not some secret squirrel covered up mission, it was covered at the time in the monthly magazine Air Pictorial.

teeteringhead 22nd Apr 2020 17:58


Certainly in use in RAFG in the early 70's.
Are you positive VM? I was at Gut '76-'78 and don't remember them then.

And they weren't the same as the '50s "Aerograms", not least because they were free! (VM, having just re-read your post [Doh!] and you mention a stamp. The blueys I mean were totally free - no stamp required. Perhaps that's the confusion?)

bridgets boy 22nd Apr 2020 18:30

Blueys were free for Ops - but wise to put (eg) 'Op Granby' in the box where the stamp goes.

Herod 22nd Apr 2020 20:49

Teeteringhead; you're probably right. The aerograms I recall from the fifties certainly needed a stamp. Incorporated on the letter I believe. Of course, in those days, post was by the ounce (or fractions thereof?), so the saving against a regular letter to UK was considerable.

ORAC 22nd Apr 2020 21:14

Four month stint at Mount Alice in the 1980s. Didn’t send a single bluey back to family at home (single, so refer to parents and sisters).

“Why didn’t you write?”, they asked when I got home.

”Nothing happened”, said I.

Relations were a bit strained for a few years after that.


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