Some news from 2004 to 2008
Index (Click on the subject)
Vice Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Imperial War Museum was founded in 1917 to "record the story of the Great War" and was set up under the Imperial War Museum Acts of 1920 and 1925. Its remit was later extended to cover the Second World War and further expanded to all military operations involving British or Commonwealth forces since August 1914. (The official Press Release stated that Trustees of the Imperial War Museum are not remunerated, so there's no point in trying to bum drinks off Peter on the strength of it - we all need to buy him one for the excellent job they do!)
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Peter has been a Commissioner since 2003, but was promoted to Chairman with effect from April 2005. The official press release was as follows....
Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire GCB DFC AFC DSc has been appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission with effect from April 2005 - succeeding General Sir John Wilsey GCB CBE DL on the completion of his term.
On his appointment Sir Peter said; "I feel extremely proud to accept the appointment of Vice-Chairman. The Commission does a wonderful job of ensuring that the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for freedom are not forgotten. In more recent years we have risen to the challenge of engaging new generations in that work and the act of remembrance.
"There is much still to do and I look forward to continuing the fine work of my predecessors and trust that my colleagues, the staff and I will continue to strengthen the Commission to meet the challenges of the future, whilst remaining true to the traditional highest standards of commemoration for the Commonwealth's war dead."
The Editor suspects that all our members have visited at least one Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery and that, like him, we can't fail to admire the quality of the work done in maintaining them throughout the world. The Editor has visited many in Europe, Far East & North Africa. These range in size from a site in Luxembourg where the two man crew of a PR Mosquito are buried, to Tyne Cot cemetery in Ypres, Belgium where over 20,000 soldiers are commemorated. We congratulate Peter and his international team on the terrific work that they do.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is responsible for marking and maintaining the graves of those members of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars, for building and maintaining memorials to the dead whose graves are unknown and for providing records and registers of these 1.7 million burials and commemorations found in most countries throughout the world. Visit www.cwgc.org for more information.
The one major war of the 20th century that claimed thousands of Commonwealth lives, but whose graves and memorials are not maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is the Korean War! However, thanks to 89's Simon Coy they are remembered and listed in detail on the internet. Click Here for Details - Well done Simon.
Our congratulations go to Dick Shuster for being only the 925th pilot/navigator since 1926 to be awarded a Master Air Pilot's Certificate by the Guild of Aviation.
Master Air Pilot/Master Air Navigator Certificates - Criteria .....
The award of this certificate, signed by the Grand Master, Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, is an honour to a pilot or navigator, not necessarily a member of the Guild, who has in the opinion of the Court displayed over a number of years those qualities of pilotage, air navigation, airmanship and character which have brought honour and respect to the profession.
The award is in recognition of long service and consistently high standards in one or more branches of professional flying, whether civil or military, including air transport, flying instruction, test or operational flying.
As the title suggests, the recipient will be a proven Master of his craft.
After a short time in the RAF post university I ended up in Headley Court with cracked vertebrae following an attempted slow roll in my MGA on the way home to the mess at Little Rissington and thus left with about enough gratuity to pay my final mess bill. Since then have been variously an aviation journalist and then owner of a group of car dealerships in London and the Home Counties.
I am still flying, and own a Siai Marchetti SF260 which I keep at Old Sarum, even keep the instrument rating alive! If any one remembers my late night efforts on the flute and trombone with the Cranwell jazz band and would like to get in touch I will be pleased to hear from them. We are not sure where we will go when the house is finally sold, probably Dorset, but until then we are on the River Test if there are any fly fishermen amongst the entry.
89 "A3" Flight
(Courtesy of John Liddell)
Go to the "Archives", "Survival", "Flying" or "C Sqn" page to see the new photographs.
The best photograph of our 1964 "Survival"?
Yankee 1 earning a trip to the pub - the hard way!
(This photograph was recently resurrected by Duncan Swift to remind us of the "fun" of survival!)
Dick Shuster (Left) shows off his "Bus Pass" to the amusement of
Les Quigley, Chris Saunby, Jerry Pook and Brian Synott.
(Les  & Chris  were both born on Trafalgar Day 1944 and were also
about to qualify for their bus passes!)
Dick leaves the RAF holding many of 89's records....
First to get a gong - the AFC at 23 (Click here to read the citation)
Longest serving RAF College Cranwell graduate in the rank of Flight Lieutenant - 35 years
Highest and fastest consumer of alcohol - and never had a hangover!! (Or never remembers having had one since he was still drunk next morning!)
The oldest RAF pilot ever to lead an RAF formation - At age 59 years 9 months
Most hours strapped to a bang seat - over 9,500 Hrs
Last 89 pilot to fly RAF Jet aircraft as PIC - 30th August 2004
THE OLDEST FORMATION IN THE RAF
The event was unique and attracted a lot of media attention being featured in the press, on Radio and on TV. They even managed to dig up some early photographs of a steely young Shuster ....
Above - The rumor was that it was going to be a bigger formation - but some of the younger chaps had difficulty joining - or was it those aggressive fighter pilot tactics Dick had taught them?
The December edition of Flypast magazine contains an article on Harriers which amongst other things has extracts from Jerry Pook's Falkland's War diaries. The following is an extract from the initial publicity....
Pete Squire's Falkland's diaries were published several years ago and can be found by clicking on the following address :- www.raf.mod.uk/falklands/1sqn_index.html
The Falkland's Campaign 25 years on!
In 2005 Alfred Price, whilst reviewing the Falkland's war, wrote....
RAF Harriers were originally sent to the Falklands configured for air defence duties. Attrition of the Navy's Sea Harriers was lower than anticipated, and so the RAF's GR. Mk 3s were switched to interdiction sorties. They made an enormous contribution to the British victory, despite remaining unsung and overshadowed by the more glamorous Sea Harriers..........
"Without prior notice you are to modify the aircraft of your ground-attack squadron, and train your pilots, to operate in the air-to-air fighting role from an aircraft carrier though no carrier will be available for training and none of your pilots has previous experience in carrier flying. Then re-deploy 10 aircraft with spares and ground crews to a remote island 4,000 miles from your base. Do all of this within 3 1/2 weeks of the order to start. On the next day six of your aircraft are to land on the deck of a container ship anchored off the island; these will remain on deck for a two-week voyage to the operational area, during which no engine runs or anything other than minor servicing will be possible. Once in the operational area the aircraft will take off from the container ship and land on an aircraft-carrier nearby. After one day to familiarize itself with carrier operating procedures, your squadron is to go to into action. The unit will fly between six and 12 attack missions on each day the weather allows, with a total of 126 tasked missions during a 3 1/2 week period. You will have only 18 ground servicing specialists to keep your aircraft flying; all battle damage must be repaired using only the facilities available on the carrier. If aircraft are lost in action, replacements must be flown 3,800 miles from the remote island to the aircraft-carrier with no land diversions along almost the entire route.'
If that order had been given to the commander of a ground-attack squadron anywhere in the world on 1 April 1982, he would probably thought it an April fool's joke. Almost certainly his reply, in whatever language, would have been a curt 'impossible'. Yet this was the task given to Wing Commander Peter Squire, the commander of No.1 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, though at the time nobody stated the requirement with that degree of clarity!
For Peter's chronical of the actual events go to http://www.raf.mod.uk/falklands/1sqn_index.html
For an insider's view of another of our member's part in the conflict you should read .....
RAF Harrier Ground Attack Falklands
Jerry Pook had his first book, RAF Harrier Ground Attack Falklands, published in 2007 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Falklands conflict. It is a superb read and is almost impossible to put down once you pick it up. It cronicles Jerry's war from the day he learnt about the Argentinian invasion to the end of the conflict.
If you haven't read it get on to Jerry now and buy one - it is well worth while
will serve in the Parish of Buckden with the Offords, (which I’m told are
villages rather than nice people who live there). Peter Crispin and
Physically 89 Entry may be deteriorating, but we’re obviously improving
spiritually - could it be because we're getting closer to that unknown chap on
the top floor?
Physically 89 Entry may be deteriorating, but we’re obviously improving spiritually - could it be because we're getting closer to that unknown chap on the top floor?