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Roger Furlong

Old 22nd Feb 2022, 10:14
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Roger Furlong

Does anyone have contact details for Roger Furlong, ex RAF, Sultan of Oman's Air Force and British Airways 747-400. I'm trying to arrange a reunion and he is one of many old mates I've lost contact with. Thanks.
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 14:01
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Location: Teetering Towers - somewhere in the Shires
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I'm sure the tale of "220's" SAM 7 encounter is well known to you gpevans, but here's an account from an article recently published in the Sultan's Armed Forces Association Journal - a long story made short!:

On the 18th August1974, the much feared SAM 7 made its first appearance in Dhofar shooting down Roger Furlong’s Strikemaster east of Simba where he and Tim Hewlett were supporting SAF troops in a contact.

At the time, Mike Douglass,(flying solo), and Dave Long (two up) were on opposite legs of the Manston – Simba heli shuttle when they heard the call for “any SOAF chopper”, and headed for a plume of smoke rising to the east. As they approached there was some rapid exchanges between the remaining Strikey, the two choppers, and ground troops. He had been hit by a ”rocket from the ground” but ejected .Where was he? Was there another SAM ? His sarbe was squawking away but he was not talking.We were deep in adoo territory.

Eventually, when both heli pilots had located the ejection parachute, and with the Strikey as top cover, they went down to investigate. Suddenly Rog came up on voice. He was OK but had moved and was hiding under a bush on the other side of the wadi!. He was soon picked up by Dave Long in a brave move which earned him the WKhM(G).They all headed to Manston to get Rog checked out and to wind down and debrief All this sounds quick and simple but it certainly wasn’t at the time!
Some translation of jargon:

Manston & Simba - nicknames of friendly locations

Adoo - the enemy

Strikey - Strikemaster

WKhM(G) - Omani MC/DFC equivalent

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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 15:28
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Manston still exists on Google Earth. Wiki says Simba is still visible, but I had no luck with it.
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 23:20
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Brings back memories.
Who shot young Robin
I, said the Sam
As it went WHAM.

Song written by Dave Long in the Sal bar not long after the boys were told There are no Sams in Dhofar
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Old 24th Feb 2022, 15:20
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Here's a longer version, written by Mike Douglass:

19th August 1975

The day started early as I was one of the 2 helis on the first shift, resupplying SIMBA from the desert location of Manston. Manston was a large ‘airfield’, into which the Skyvans and other ‘trannies’ brought all the equipment, guns, ammo, food, water etc; which was then readied and flown by we ‘helis’ to Simba, either internal or underslung.

Things had been progressing smoothly when over the radio we heard the 2 duty strikeys, Rog Furlong and Tim Hewlett, check in with the troops at Gunlines and Defa, the newish position to the east of Simba and the Sherishitti caves.

The Adoo were mortaring and heavy machine gunning, and probably firing Katuschkas (effectively free flight rockets), at our troops. On the ground our forces were looking to the strikeys to bomb, rocket and machine gun the Adoo’s base plate and firing positions, which Rog and Tim duly did.

The first I realised something was not quite right was when Tim was calling Rog repeatedly on the radio, with no reply from Rog. The next thing was an SAS call sign (c/s) saying to Tim “don’t bother he’s down”! I just thought to myself what an odd thing to say, what does he mean.

I had just about reached the 10,000 ft mark having spiralled up out of Simba, and started heading back to Manston for the next load. I looked eastwards to where I knew the action was taking place. I could see the plume from a strikey bomb and a black plume nearby as well. The next I remember was the SAS c/s saying “Any SOAF chopper, any SOAF chopper, this is Red 19”. I immediately turned and headed towards the two columns of smoke.

There followed in rapid succession, radio calls between me, Red 19, Tim and Dave, who in the other chopper, was also heading towards the scene. I arrived ahead of Dave and started circling overhead. It was apparent from Red 19 and Tim, that Rog had been shot down, by what I didn’t know, but Red 19 described it as a ‘rocket’.

Tim was giving a ‘Jebel talk’ to describe where Rog had landed in his parachute. At the same time Rog’s sarbe, one of the few ‘speak’ versions available to SOAF pilots, was ‘squawking’ away . Rog, however, was not ‘talking’!

I established with Dave that he was 2 pilots up, so we agreed that he should go in first and I would follow. The only problem was that Dave had not spotted Rog’s parachute, whereas I had. After trying to talk Dave onto the site, and after what seemed a hell of a long time, I decided enough was enough, and single pilot or not I would have to go in first. I elected to descend, with Dave following, all the time I continued giving Dave a ‘Jebel talk’ in the hope that he would spot the location.

Just when I thought I would be the first ‘in’ Dave spotted the chute. I stopped my turn, slid out of the way, let Dave go past me, and slotted in over the top of him. All this happened at about 2,500 ft, and all the time descending.

Dave was starting to roll out of his turn, facing the point on the south side of the wadi where Rog’s chute lay. Suddenly, Rog was on the air screaming that he was the other side, at the top of the wadi hiding under a bush. I spotted him and talked Dave onto his location. Dave came to a hover.

Meanwhile, I was still in a tight turn around Dave. Tim was sitting in a turn at height above us, providing top cover.

After what seemed like an eternity, Dave moved off from the bush, Rog on board, and we both started a slow spiral climb. After a couple of turns, and deciding we were getting nowhere fast, I suggested that we abandon the climb and head low level towards our troops at Gunlines. Without more ado we both rapidly descended and headed, flat out, for our own side.

From there we headed to Manston and shutdown. The standby heli arrived soon afterwards and took Rog back to Salalah and FST. The 2 Daves and I smoked our way through a packet of cigarettes and talked through what had happened.

Apparently during our rescue of Rog, who it turned out was downed by a SAM7, 3 more SAMs were fired; one at Dave, which went underneath him and disappeared into the distance; one at me, which apparently I out turned and one at Tim, which ran out of steam, as he was too high!

On top of that the Adoo were firing everything they had at us, Shpagin 12.5mm machine guns, any amount of AK47’s, and who knows what else.

The Daves and I returned to Salalah and sank a few beers in the bar
Mike - apologies for a bit of editing of your amazing tale.
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Old 25th Feb 2022, 09:06
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Yes, I did know of this event and hats off to you very brave guys who rescued Rog,. I'm still trying to contact him if anyone out there can help me. Thanks.
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Old 26th Feb 2022, 09:23
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Do you recollect if he has a middle name/initial, or perhaps a name of a wife/partner ?
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Old 26th Feb 2022, 15:13
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No, he doesn't have a middle name as far as I know and I have no knowledge of his wife/partner's name.
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