The Flamingo Magazine 1988

Message from the Station Commander

We leave Cyprus in late July. Thank you most sincerely for your hard work, enthusiasm, and friendship. Jo and I will miss you very much.

I know I can rely on you all to give Gp Captain Brian Hoskins and his wife, Liz, the same support you have given us.

Colin Adams
It has been a busy 6 months since the last issue, with a hectic schedule of VIP
visitors. Amidst the routine programme of APCs, . the Red Arrows. provided a burst of colour to our skies in April, while 84 Sqn have continued their record of dramatic rescues.
My thanks go to all who have contributed articles for this edition, and especially once again to Fg Off Nick Fragel.
The next edition is due out in December The copy date for articles is 11 November 1988.
As the temperatures begin to soar I wish you all an enjoyable summer. Finally, I take the. opporturtity on behalf, of the Station of bidding farewell to Group Captain Adams and Jo and wishing, them all the best for their next posting.


An All 84 Squadron Occasion

As the final aspect of 84 Sqn's 70th Anniversary year a series of Commemorative Covers were flown on 16 December1987. The Wessex, crewed by the Squadron Commander, Sqn Ldr Paul Critchley, and fIt Lt Paul Todd was on a routine communications flight from Episkopi to Nicosia. The aircraft was tasked by Sqn Ldr Robbie Walker from Air Headquarters, Cyprus. Sqn Ldr Walker is an ex84 Sqn navigator from the Sqn's transport era when it was equipped with Andovers. A flight following service was provided from the Wessex as usual by lOCC (Air) with Sqn Ldr Robin Hammond-Doutre, ex-84 Sqn from the Search and Rescue Whirlwind era, as Duty Controller. finally on arrival at Nicosia the Wessex was met by FIt It Tony Cree, ex-84 Sqn from the United Nations Whirlwind era. FIt Lt Cree is currently the Air Liaison Officer with HQ UNFICYP,. The Sqn's Duty Groundcrew were' Sgt Martin Petch, Cpl Andy Pimblott and SAC Dave Morgan.'

Even the destination for the flight has some historical significance. 84 Sqn was based at Nicosia from March 1956 to January 1957,eqipped with Valetta and Pembroke aircraft and B Flight, 84 Sqn served with UNFICYP at Nicosia from January 1972 to February 1982 with Whirlwind helicopters.

The commemorative cover went on sale early this year as part of the continuing fund raising effort for the RAF Museum at Hendon.

Sqn Ldr Critchley and Flt Lt Todd with the First Day Cover


In December 1987, three new and unique ladies joined the Movements staff at the Air Terminal RAF Akrotiri. Each was given a uniform consisting of a light blue jacket and skirt, white blouse and shoes. They are' ground hostesses' and they assist passengers, particularly those with young children.
The ladies are wives of serving members of the Army and RAF and as such are well aware of the problems young families encounter whilst in transit through any passenger terminal. Movements staff
have always endeavoured to make life as easy and uneventful as possible for all passengers, but because of manning levels have not always been able to give the kind of service that they would like. Now all that has changed and passengers particularly those with young children are given a service which is, second to none.

Ground Hostesses, Mrs Jean Lindsay, Mrs Anne Kidd and Mrs Linda Banks


Dame Vera Lynn, the "Forces Sweet heart; of World War Two paid a visit with her husband, Mr Harry Lewis, to RAF Akrotiri on 12 Feb 88. Hosted by the Stn Cdr, Dame. Vera was shown a cross section of the RAF and Army units at Akrotiri. Her busy itinery included visits to the Operations Wing, Air Traffic Control Tower and 229 OCU (TORNADO F3) which was on Armament Practice Camp in Cyprus. The highlight of her visit was a trip out into Limassol Bay on' the Royal Corps of Transport Range Safety Craft, Sir William Roe, commanded by Major Tony Todd.

During her visit Dame Vera proved as popular amongst current servicemen, young and old, as she was during the Second World War.

Vera Lynn meets members of 34 Sqn RAF Regiment.

Army Rescued Again

There was a drama at sea off Tunnel Beach Episkopi on Saturday 26 March when 84 Squadron and 10 Port Squadron Royal Corps of Transport combined in a rescue operation of a difference.
The drama began when RCL No 105 Arromanches began a beach landing exercise with officer cadets from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, who were visiting Cyprus on Exercise 'Spring Victory'. The landing exercise began with the officer cadets being picked up from the beach near Evdhimou Camp Site A and taken to their landing point in Tun­nel Beach. The landing operation was completed successfully despite difficult sea conditions.
But as the Arromanches tried to manoeuvre away from the beach she was caught in the heavy surf and buffeted by extremely high winds, ending up broadside on the beach. Despite the ef­forts of her crew she remained beached.
Assistance was immediately summoned in the shape of RCL No 106 'Antwerp' from the Akrotiri Mole. Antwerp's crew tried unsuccessfully to pass a line to 'Arromahches' using Schermuley rock­ets, but again the weather conditions proved a serious handicap to the oper­ation.
With fears growing about the possible damage to Arromanches a message was sent requesting assistance from 84 Sqn. A helicopter was rapidly despatched to the scene and the awkward operation of passing a hawser by air between the two RCL's began:
After nearly an hour in difficult condi­tions the line was successfully secured between Arromanches and Antwerp, and 10 minutes later both vessels were sailing safely for Akrotiri Mole.
Major Tony Todd, OC 10 Port Squadron, RCT, said after the successful rescue operation: "I am delighted at the way 84 Squadron responded to this rather un­usual rescue operation. Together with the Antwerp, the crew of the helicopter did an excellent job in very awkward conditions and undoubtedly saved Arromanches from very serious damage"

Supply Squadron Says Goodbye

On 6 May 88 FS Harry Cooper of the Suply Sqn flew home to the UK after his second' 3 year tour at Akrotiri; During his tour he worked in both the Technical and Barrack Stores. He has gone home to Lossiemouth, in his native land, for 4 months to prepare for the big step into civvy street after 30 years
of service. Throughout his stay in Cy­prus FS Cooper has made a lot of friends and, through these friends, has worked on improving the liaison between the Supply Sqn and other sections at. Akrotiri.

Pictured in the photograph is FS Cooper, receiving a plaque from Sqn Ldr Cooper, OC Supply Sqn, on which was engraved a list of those units to which he had been posted in his Service life; some of the more exotic ones, Changi and Muharraq for example, no longer exist as RAF Stations. There is no doubt that FS Cooper will be missed, not only by those people at Akrotiri, but by his friends throughout the A-ir For}:e and we all wish him well in his life out of uniform, in whatever he decides to do; you can be sure that it won't in­volve exercises or TACEVALS.!.' ­


What's black, six metres wide, 600 metres long and frightens people? Not the Loch Ness monster but the track at Akrotiri Kart Racing Club. The pro­spect of having to tackle the tarmac in a lap time of 36 seconds or less to qualify as a racing member' has caused the. faint - hearted to flop and the bravest to quiver. Fortunately Akrotiri appears to have less than its share of timorous types. What else could account for the constant stream of drivers to the Club?
What a marvellous winter season AKRC has had. Under the chairmanship of Sgt Pat Patrickson (JSMTSS) the club has gone from strength to strength and the joint services membership makes up one of the happiest clubs in Cyprus.
Universally recognised as the best kart racing club on the Island, AKRC began the season by hosting the Inter-Services Kart Racing Championship last Decem­ber. The Army won handsomely on the day' to level the series over the last four years at 2-2.
The next home race was on 30 January, with a most successful meeting with AKRC winning almost half of the awards. Cpl Whitham (Air Mov), 11' Gledhill (12 SU), Carl Perkins, Cpl At­kinson (259 Sig Sqn), Cpl Proctor (21RS) and FIt Lt Ritchie (84 Sqn) were the club newcomers to appear on the prizes list that day. A promising start.
A month later, at Nicosia, club members again dominated the awards list. Cpl Owen (12 SU), Vlad Lanitis, Cpl Davies (48 Wksp) and Sgt Patrickson (JSMTSS) won two-thirds of the International Class
trophies, while Cpl Phillips (12 SO), Cpl Cupper (2 jRS) and Cpl Whitham collected half the silver in the National Class. JT Gledhill, Cpl Atkinson & Cpl Proctor again appeared on the winners rostrum in the Novice Classes, accompanied by newer members Cpl Johnstan (12SU), Cpl Retchless (P&SS) and JT Bll.1nden (12 SU).
The bubble burst, however, at Dhekelia in mid April when in a succesful effort to re-introduce kart racing to ESBA, AKRC staged a full race meeting at the Cyprus Motor Show. The logistic effort obviously took its toll and AKRC members' names appeared on only two of the dozen trophies at the end. Doom & gloom!
This relative failure may also have been caused by members' awareness of the Akrotiri International Road Race two weeks later. Unquestionably the best kart racing event in the Cyprus Calen­dar, the meeting attracted the cream of the Services' karting fraternity. At the end of .an exciting day Cpl Thorn Sgt McMahon (RAF UK) won the Grand Final with WO2 Hodgson/Cpl Smith (Army Cyprus) third: a very successful day in glorious May Sunshine.
Interested in kart racing? The Akrotiri Kart Racing Club is located on the Beach Road. Club afternoons are Wed­nesdays and Saturdays from 1430-1830 hours. Try your hand at kart racing. Bar facilities are available but alcoholic drinks should not be consumed before driving the karts you'll need all your wits about you!

1988 Akrotiri Road Race

Cpt Davies (48 Cyprus Wksp REME) and LCpl Cook (259 Sig Sqn)
with Mrs }o Adams and Mrs Evrita Christon at the awards ceremony


Since the start of this year we have been sad to lose three good ponies, namely Apollo, Roberta Royale and Ondine, but have happIy been able to purchase four new horses for the Club. Two of these came from the Racecourse' at- Nicosia, and two were bought' from the Ohekelia Saddle Club.

On Easter Saturday the Club held a Gymkhana, with the valuable help and advice of Hazel and Monty Rayson of the Rose and Crown in Limassol. This was a most enjoyable event which raised enough money to purchase one of toe new horses. There have also been two shows held away from Akrotiri. The first was Round 1 of the Cyprus Equestrian Federation Cup Championship, which was held at . Ayios Nikolaos and hosted by the Famagusta Saddle Club. We also competed at the All Island Horse Show, held at Ohekelia Saddle Club in April. Sgt Steve Dunton, who has only been riding with the Club for the past nine months, . came 1st in the cross country and 3rd in the show jumping, which gained him 1st place in the combined event. He rode Lord Beaumont in all the events, a horse who is also a relative newcomer to competition. We congratulate them both on their achievement. Cpl John Berry, who is the Vet's assistant from Episkopi, also rode well and came 2nd in the show-jumping- on Tarquin. The team manager, Miss Jenny Revel, was pleased by the performance of her own horse Sultan; he came away with 4th place on the first occasion that. he' had jumped away from home.

On 28 and 29 May Akrotiri host d the second round of the Cyprus Equestrian Federation Cup Championship. The main events were the dressage and show jumping, but also included a Gambler's Stakes, where riders competed against the clock, over a variety of jumps, to gain maximum points. There was also a Clear Round Event, staged to help the. younger horses and riders gain experience and confidence for future jumping events. .

In the near future the Akrotiri Saddle Club will be very sorry to rose all the members of the Walker family, as they return to UK on posting. Sgt David, Walker has worked tirelessly as the Club Chairman. His wife, Olive, has worked behind the Bar, Mark has worked as the stable groom, and Paula has ridden for the Club and been a valuable instructor.

They will all be very much missed, and we would like to wish them well, and. say a very warm.' good-bye and thank you' from us all.

Finally, why not take the opportunity offered here at Akrotiri and try riding yourself? As Sgt Dunton's results show, it is not only an activity for ladies and children the men can become competent horse riders too. The club is friendly and sociable, with many family members who do not themselves ride. You can book a test ride, for which their is no charge, with either the Chief Instructor,

Miss Jenny Revel, or the Stable Manager, Mrs Debbie Dunton on Ext 2844. We shall look forward to hearing from you.

Sgt Steve Dunton riding Lord Beaumont to victor
 in the Cross Country event at Dhekelia.