The Flamingo Magazine 1969

SIRIUS ­ Akrotiri's New Mascot.
Sirius, a Pyrenean Mountain Dog arrived at Nicosia three days before Xmas, to be Akrotiri's new mascot. He was bought from the famous De Fontenay kennels in UK and comes from a line of champions.

Born on 7th! October 1968 his transit was arranged by the RAF Police Dog School at Debben. On arrival he weighed 271bs and measured 17". Ten days later he had gained 71bs and half an inch, but with a daily diet of 21bs of minced meat, 2 pints of milk, and raw eggs and biscuits it is hardly surprising. Sirius should be fully grown in March by which time he will be 32"high and weigh 110-125 lbs. At the moment he lives with Sgt Brown, but will move into the Police Dog Section when fully grown. His se­rvice training starts in May.
At the moment he is very much in the puppy stage - 12hrs sleep per day, completely fearless, very gentle, and extremely intelligent. He will chew any­thing from aircraft to earwigs and managed to Destroy a full cup of coffee after two minutes in the Editor's office. When fully trained, Sirius will take on the role of Station Mascot at parades. fetes, VIP visits, and social .occasions. His first public appearance should be in September. At the moment he can be described as an animated snow drift of the Pyrenean mountains".

One place the No. 249 Squadron will be remembered on the peninsula is the Childrens Ward at the PM RAF Hospital, Akrotiri. When the squadron 'disbanded on 24th February' 1969 the aircrew of No. 249 Squadron voted to give the squadron mascot, NELLIE, a large nylon fur elephant, to the Childrens' Ward. This met with the approval of Nellie who was reluctant to venture out in the world to wander alone, having sat in the squadron crew room watching many a 'Steely-eye' -drinking their 'Standard NATO' coffee before launching into space. In the Children's Ward there would be many a young 'Steely' to amuse or comfort before going on or returning from their 'operations'. The scheme was agreed by ,the CO, Squadron Leader Alan Hastings, and on the evening ,of the 27th February, briefed for a sortie to the hospital, a Vic of three took off led by the "Boss" and escorted by Fg Off John Beard, his ex-Adjutant, and Flt. Lt. Tug' Wilson, his Flight Commander. Once in the target area a quick up-ward' spiral round the stairs and the Vic was led in, complete with Nellie the Elephant, for a smooth touch-down in the Children's Ward. The Sister-in-Charge of the ward" Fit Lt Susan Abbott, PMRAFNS, was presented with "Nellie', and the CO suddenly found himself with an armful of young 'Steely' in exchange. The success of the occasion was recorded for the Squadron Diary by a Station photographer, and the 249 Squadron Vic, maintaining their Long list of operational successes, returned to base.
Editor's Note: 'Steely-eye' - A young Fighter or Strike pilot.

Visitors to Button's Bay paying the first visit since last summer will probably be surprised to discover that the Station Swimming- pool is now well on the way to being completed. In fact, at the time of writing, tiling of the walls Is due to start. For those who are interested the vital statistics are as follows:
Length: 50 metres Width: 18 "Metres Depth: 5 Metres at deepest; 1 metre at shallow end, Filled with Sea Water. Complete change of water every 24 hours.
In fact, the pool will be the only one to Olympic specifications in Cyprus.. It is also hoped to incorporate 1, 3, and 5 meter firmboard diving boards eventually although' the finance, as ever will be the over riding factor here. Changing accommodation and other ancillary equipment is also projected in the near future but, in the meantime, the existing facilities at Buttons Bay will have to be utilised.

The common livebeares most frequently seen in an aquarium are the guppies, platies, mollies and sword tails.
If it is just a number of young fish that you require then all that is necessary is to put the pairs of adult fish (or one male to several females) into a well planted and well lit tank and let them get on with it. Given sufficient food you can expect young to be born every four to six weeks. However, the fish you would get by this method would be very poor specimens indeed and to obtain quality fish rather than quantity a lot more patience, time and tanks are required.
I shall refer to the Guppy in this text, but the methods are equally appli­cable to all livebearers.
Your first step is to find; a virgin female showing the finnage and colours you wish to develop. This is not as easy as it sounds as the male Guppy is extremely amorous and if he has been in a tank with one, two or a score of females it is almost certain that he will have fertilized all of them.
Put your chosen female and male, who should also show the same signs of colouring and shape required, into a well planted tank located in a sunny spot. Depending on the temperature and degree of light you will shortly have your first batch of young. 

Next comes the time and tanks, separate the sexes into two tanks, the females can be distinguished by the characteristic gravid spot just above the anal fin. It takes about nine months for a guppy to reach maturity, during this time no male must be allowed near your females or the strain you are striving for will be lost. When the young have reached a sufficient size to breed, the fish showing the colours and finnage you originally required should be crossed with the parents, i.e. son to mother and daughter to father. The whole process is then repeated crossing each successive generation back to your ori­ginal pair until eventually the colour and shape is fixed a d your fish are gradually gaining a little quality. Should one of your original pair die, choose its closest offspring and continue as before.
Breeding Guppies for quality is not for the inpatient, it takes a lot of time and a lot of tank space. However, a Tankfull of male guppies that have been livebred for a number of generations is a sight well worth seeing and fish of this quality often command a high price.

It is a point of interest that a female guppy can deliver a batch of young having not one, but numerous fathers. The male inserts his ganapodium into the egenital pore of the female and shoots a sperm packet into her, (often he is able to accomplish this without actually penetrating her), the sperm packet almost immediately dissolves and the sperms wriggle their way up the aviduct to a storage area from which they eventually find their way back to the ovary where the ripe­ning legs are to be found:. If there is another mating with another male some of his sperm will mix with the sperm of the previous mating, so that future broods of that particular female may have any number of different fathers.

This sperm can also be stored for a considerable length of time, in a laboratory experiment a female sword gave birth to a batch of young almost nine months after having last been in con­tact with a male.
Motto: Don't assume your female livebearer is virgin just because she is in solitary and hasn't given birth for a while.

To emphasise our sporting prowess the photograph shows various members of 280 Signals Unit Who received Station Sports Colours this year. They are, from left to right SAC INNES, SAC McWHIRTER and CPL ELVIN (Soccer); CPL THRUSSE'LL (Netball), SAC KOONER, SGT BROWN and CPL CACACIE (Hockey) .

After reading Fg Off Paul Hickley's article in the June edition of Flamingo I decided that readers should be allow­ed to see the other side of the coin, the fighter pilot's view of a "Bomber Affil" sortie. I have taken an average squadron pilot, Fg Off Dick Bealer and made him the epitome of a fighter pilot.
Dick's social life is much the same as any of us. High jinks all night, but ensuring that he's in bed by 5 am. He can often be seen hobbling nimbly up the stairs to the crew­room at 0630 hrs. After a reviving cup of coffee he may fly the "Reveille" sortie at 7 'O'clock and he could pos­sibly have flown a second sortie before the first-risen Bomber Wing crew ring up to arrange a fighter 'affil trip.
When the sortie is confirmed he gathers together his flying kit and then obtains an Observers Book of Aircraft to look up the correct shape for a Vulcan. Once the enemy's out­line has been ascertained, our hero can launch off confidently, provided he has stuck a few voodoo pins in the correctly identified picture of the tar­get. Dick walks smartly out to his aircraft ten minutes before his planned take-off time and In minutes the "over and under" Avons are straining against the brakes that keep him groundborne. As he pounds down the runwway. his thoughts are already on the sight of the four engined soup kitchen that he must seek out and destroy---on film.
As his wheels cease to rumble and dart into their cramped wing, spaces. Dick has already noted the airborne smoke-screen to his left. Mentally he compares it with the pictures he has looked at. It's one of them!!! Before the hapless crew can evade he has recorded a kill on his cameras.
Breaking 'away from the attack, he pushes his glasses back onto the bridge of his nose and observes the protrusions under the wings of his ex­target. "Wheels", he thinks intelligently as his altimeter indicates a rocket­like ascent into the ether.
In desperation, Air Traffic clear our hero to a control frequency where relevant target information pours into his headset. "Your target is above sea­level, we think. He's left, but he could be right. His range may be in excess of 500 miles." A clear course of action forms and Dick hurtles into the fray. The "blip" on the radar screen twists and turns as the bomber attempts to throw off his pursuer. After several seconds hard manoeuvring, a firing shot presents Itself, the Terminal Release Initiator for Guns, Guided weapons & External Rockets (TRIGGER) is squeezed and another attack is successfully completed. To R/T calls of, "You'd never have got us from there", "I don't believe it" or "Rubbish" from the bomber, Dick turns in pursuit of more targets.
His next one is captained by a wily pilot, who forces Dick into a 6 'g', eighty degree banked turn to find a firing position. Just as he is almost in range, the tremendous gravitational forces imposed dash his glasses to pieces. Breaking off the attack, Dick finds his way back to base and despite his grave disability hack,s down an Argosy en-route. Out of modesty, he assured us it was a Vulcan, but the camera-gun showed us the truth. What spirit!
When safely back on the ground, Dick is debriefed and his "kills" are confirmed.
After such sterling work we had to include a photo of Dick, wearing his new glasses and posing with his aero plane, which had been towed into the hangar to have another "kill" painted on.

MPBW have made an impressive job of decorating 56 Squadron buildings, but three people who, have made an outstanding job of decorating their crew-room are Corporal Brian Mason, Junior Technician Andy Blane and Senior Aircraftman Bob Duell. Over a period of two months they painted three large murals to add character to the crew-room. None of the three will take any credit for master-minding the task, it was a joint effort from start
to finish.
The paintings depict a Concorde supersonic airliner in BOAC colours on Its servicing pan, (see photograph) an abstract that cleverly blends the human element into a modern techno­logy theme and a montage of Cyprus overshadowed by a red and white chequered Phoenix, across which a silhouetted, Lightning flies.