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RIP 2016

  

                     AVM Grahame Jones (99)



                     Gp Capt John Maitland (60B)



                     Gp Capt Allan Wright (4-38)



                     Gp Capt Gordon Kerrigan (62B)



                     Sqn Ldr Eric Steenson (94C)



                     Air Cdre David Loveridge (75C)



                     Gp Capt Ron Robertson (70B)



                    




Gp Capt Alastair Christie (54A)

Breaking his back in a glider accident as an ATC cadet did not diminish Alastair Christie's zest for flying, the RAF and rugby;  indeed, he played rugby for the RAF.   After Cranwell he flew Vampires in the Middle East with No. 6 Squadron, and it was at Habbaniyah he met Joan, then in the PMRAFNS, who later became his wife.   

He flew Meteors with No. 77 Squadron RAAF in the Korean War and then followed some years as  a test pilot at Farnborough and Boscombe Down.   

His subsequent career included tours in the MOD and as PSO to C-in-C Bomber Command.  Converting to Vulcans, he commanded No 9 Squadron.   

His flying earned him an AFC and a Queen's Commendation.  At the end of his RAF service Alastair continued as a senior intelligence officer in the MOD.  

     

Alastair  died suddenly while in the company of four friends from his Entry.                                                                    Fred Hoskins

RIP 24 March  2016

Sqn Ldr Michael Dark (54 & 55A)

Mike's flying career was concentrated on the coastal role. He flew Sunderland flying boats in the Far East, including on sorties in the Korean War and the Malayan Emergency and later he flew Shackletons.  That took him to Northern Ireland, where he met and married Ann.    At Cranwell Mike had been prominent in sporting activities, gaining colours in Cricket, Rugby and Athletics, so it was appropriate that after his RAF service and settling in Northern Ireland he worked in the area of leisure and sports administration. 

He died at home with his family near him.                                                                                                                          Fred Hoskins


RIP 2 Feb  2016

Sqn Ldr Iain Tite (73C)  


Sqn Ldr Andy Whitson (60B)  

Air Cdre Bob Barcelon (60B)  


 


Gp Capt Vernon Harding (81B)

Sqn Ldr Norman Glass (54C)

That Norman Glass had great talent as a pilot was recognised when, from his Advanced Flying School course after graduating from Cranwell, he was "creamed off" to be a flying instructor.   The rest of his flying career in the RAF was spent mainly on Meteors and Javelins and he was probably the first, or among the first and the few, to recover a Javelin from a spin.   This was after the ejection of his navigator, who landed safely - as did Norman and the Javelin.   After leaving the service Norman flew first with British European Airways and then was a captain with British Airways.      In retirement Norman was very active in supporting his local church, including as a trustee  of a charity administering some cottages.   His support was practical in other ways as he was a keen and skilled woodworker who made items for the church as well as Windsor chairs for family and friends and willing purchasers.   He was also an enthusiastic Old Cranwellian, attending reunions regularly until recently."                                                                                                                     Fred Hoskins


Air Commodore 'Jeff' Jeffrey

With great sadness  Jeff Jeffery was laid to rest on 10 October 2016.  The burial service took place at St Mary’s Church, Manby, followed by interment at St Edith’s Churchyard, presided over by the Reverend Chris Turner.  The service was attended by his family and many friends and colleagues, including the Area Director and the Area President of RAFA, accompanied by RAFA Standard Bearers. A salute was taken at the graveside by Group Captain Paul McClurg and The Last Post was played at both St Mary’s and at the graveside by Cpl Jones of the RAF College Band.

Jeff joined the RAF in 1946 as a pilot, flying fighter planes such as Lightnings and Javelins, (amongst others), and received the Queens Commendation for Services in the Air in 1959. He retired in 1981 having served his last tour as Assistant Commandant at Cranwell. After his retirement from the RAF, Jeff devoted his time to serving as a member of the local Parish Council and as Church Treasurer. He was a staunch supporter of RAFA, serving as Chairman for the Eastern Area and of the Royal British Legion.  For many years he worked with Sir Peter Tapsell in his capacity as MP for Louth and Horncastle.

Jeff’s first wife, Phyllis and son Chris predeceased him, but is survived by his wife, Pamela, and his daughter, Penny.


Asst Commandant

1979-1981

RIP 8 Sept  2016

RIP 10 Oct 2016

RIP 5 June 2016

RIP 28 Jan 2016

Gp Capt Mike Williamson

Mike Wiiliamson, who passed away earlier this year, was educated at Solihull School where he was Head of School, Head of House and Captain of Swimming and Water Polo.  He became a Cranwell cadet with 75C at the age of 19 and graduated as a pilot in 1959.  After six years flying Shackletons with Coastal Command he became a flying instructor for the next seven years culminating in Command of Birmingham University Air Squadron.  While there he was involved in a mid-air collision and bail out leading to his parachute becoming entangled in the Chipmunk's tailplane before accomplishing a late but safe descent.  Following Staff College he became a squadron commander at the School of Recruit Training, RAF Swinderby and then Air Staff Officer HQ University Air Squadrons at Cranwell.  A sharp change of direction followed when Mike took up the duties of British Naval, Military and Air Attache in Baghdad, Iraq from 1978 - 1981.  With the civil unrest in Iraq then this became a challenging and dangerous post and Mike was awarded the OBE for his services there.  Returning to the UK he became OC Administrative Wing and Deputy Station Commander at RAF Coningsby.  While there he flew the BBMF Lancaster.  Mike returned to diplomatic duties in 1984 as Naval, Military and Air Attache in the British Embassy in Oman.   His final tour of RAF duty was as Group Captain Organisation at HQ RAF Germany.

On leaving the Service Mike became the Show Ground Administrator for the Oswestry Agricultural Show.  He also worked with the Ellesmere Branch of RAFA for over 20 years, being Chairman for nearly all of that time before being elected President in 2011, a position he held until his death.

Mike was married to Helen and was father to two sons and a daughter.

                                                                                                                                                                             Tony Woodford


RIP 15 March 2016

RIP 3 Jan 2016

Mike Sparrow 91/2 B

1969 – 72 No 617 Squadron, RAF Scampton – Vulcan

1972 – 73 No 2 School of Trade Training, RAF Cosford.

1974 – 76 RAF College Cranwell, Staff Pilot – HS 125 Dominie.

1976 – 80 No 8 Squadron, RAF Lossiemouth – Shackleton.

1981 – 89 RAF College Cranwell, OC 3 Sqn, OC Standards FTS – Jet Provost QFI . (Personal Instructor to Prince Faisel bin Hussein).

1989 - 91 Chief Instructor. Air Cadet Central Gliding School, RAF Syerston

1991 - 94 DCI, CFS, RAF Scampton

1994 - 96 FT Staff HQPTC Innsworth

1996 - 00 HQ STC liaison CDAOA Taverny France (super bon!)

2000 - 03 ISS Tutor Shrivenham.

2003 Retired from RAF.

Married to Diana, Mike  retired in 2003 to live in the Cotswolds.

RIP 29 Nov 2016

Sqn Ldr R P J King (54B)

Paddy joined the RAF as a Cadet Pilot and survived crashing a Tiger Moth before entering Cranwell.  He spent most of his RAF career flying fighters, including the notorious Swift, but when he was found to be too tall to fit into a Gnat, instead of his intended tour instructing at Valley he converted to the Beverley and commanded No 30 Squadron in the Middle East during the very troublesome times at the end of British rule in Aden.    Flying was not without more excitements as when an exchange pilot with the USAF flying the RF84F and the F101Vodoo, he flew the Atlantic in a formation of 24 F84Fs.    The dry tanks range of the F84F being 35 Nautical miles less that the length of the first leg, to the Azores, a good tail wind was necessary.    Such was also needed for the second leg to Chateauroux, near Paris, but unfortunately it changed to a nasty headwind, and radio failure caused Paddy to take over the lead.    The situation was very serious and his distress call was answered by a US Navy ship offering to pick them up if they could eject nearby.      A section of four landed in fog at Bordeaux and the remaining 20 made it to the destination, running out of fuel taxying in, on the runway and in several cases on short finals.    Failure of an oil system, and thus the melting of a bearing, caused Paddy's engine to seize up as he entered dispersal.

These adventures merely whetted Paddy's appetite for flying and he continued his association with the Middle East for a number of years after leaving the service, as Chief Flying Instructor with the air forces of Jordan and then Saudi Arabia, before moving to Lesotho to command that country's Air Wing.     In the meantime, he had settled his family in Wimborne and when he finally returned to the UK he became an examiner with the CAA, rising to be Chairman of the Board of Examiners, until he failed a medical and was condemned (in his words) to taking rat poison (Warfarin) for the rest of  his life.   He then instructed on aviation on the ground, when not fishing or involving himself in local activities and the Minster church. .

Sadly, Paddy experienced several strokes in recent years but bore the ensuing frustrations with fortitude and patience.    He enjoyed meeting old friends for lunch and a reminder of what he had most enjoyed for so long – aviation.   Paddy was regarded with admiration and affection, helped greatly by his Irish charm and a fund of stories.   His final moments were passed with his dog on his knees, a glass of wine at hand and his wife, Veronica, by his side.

Fred Hoskins

RIP 10 Nov 2016