RIP 2015


                     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 Fred Knapper (49B)   RIP 20 Sept 2015

RIP 24 Sept  2015

Wg Cdr David Paul (80B)

From Cranwell David went to Benson for the then new Argosy where he completed 3 years taking him from S America to Khartoum with a 5 week tour of European capitals in between. His Captain's tour on 215 Sqn was in Changi where he caught the end of Confrontation with many memorable jungle supply drops in Borneo. The Argosy's limited range lead to may interesting stops including USAF bases for the Vietnam War in Thailand when they 'weren't there', Saigon en route to Hong Kong when they most certainly were there, and all points up via Korea to Japan and down through Australia to New Zealand. During the tour he met and married Sue, a PMRAFNS sister from the RAF Hospital, before flying the last squadron aircraft back to the UK in 1968.   Back home it was CFS followed by QFIing at Oakington on the vintage Varsity and then took over the Multi Engine Refresher Squadron at Manby/Strubby. Good days, with many training weekend trips to Berlin to 'keep the Corridors open' after NATO accepted the Russian ban on combat aircraft using them. On one of these trips he flew a Polish RAF pilot to Gatow and ask him in the bar – have you been to Berlin before? 'Only at 8000 feet at night'!   After Bracknell, to the heady heights of MOD Main Building to bring the Jetstream into service but the RAF recognised quality when they saw it and so posted him to the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs for 2 excellent but hard-working years which covered the Bicentennial [i.e. the Bicentenary in 1976]. Then after some years of staff work in the flying training world he went to Ramstein for some really serious nuclear war planning to keep the Communist hordes at bay and practice the 3rd WW from various bunkers. So successful was NATO, that the Commies at once gave in [1989] and he returned to run ACCGS [code for the Central Gliding School].   This tour brought him into contact with many young people and their instructors around the country - there really are an awful lot of genuinely good people out there. It also meant a lot of gliding/soaring to do the QFI bit again, including the 'Wave' in Scotland. From there, he went back to Germany to do a full Int tour in NATO before leaving at 55.   After enjoying a long-awaited Gap Year, he worked for a local company for some 6 years before retiring again. Throughout all that time he skied and kept up his the PPL and continuing to fly with the nearby RAF Flying Club at Wyton even sharing a 2 pilot delivery flight to the USA in a Cessna 182.

Tony Terrett

RIP 22 Oct 2015

Gp Capt Vernon Harding (81B)

Air Cdre David Bywater (72B)

Air Commodore Tony Carver (49C)

Air Cdre Henton (‘Tony’} S Carver CBE LVO was born in Alexandria, Egypt on 30th September 1928 and in 1941 moved to college in South Africa. Back in UK, after a year of National Service, he joined 49 Entry (C Sqn), October 1947 to April 50, and with cricket colours was Flt Cadet Sgt in his final term. 203 AFS at Driffield and Stradishall 226 OCU jet conversions were followed by a tour with 11 Squadron Wunstorf, 2nd TAF, in Vampire FB5s with the Venom FB1s arriving in Aug 1952. A full tour at CFE on the Air Fighting Development Squadron at West Raynham until Feb56 preceded short periods at 233 OCU RAF Pembrey, the Vampire & Hunter Mk1 OCU, before 26 & 93 Hunter Squadrons in Germany.

After the Bircham Newton Officers’ Advanced Training School course Tony had a second posting to Central Fighter Establishment at West Raynham where he became Sqn Ldr OC DFCS until November 1958. This was followed by a long tour as Equerry to HM The Queen, with his MVO later raised to LVO. After Staff College, he served at HQ Middle East Command, RAF Steamer Point Aden. He then attended JSSC at Latimer in 1966 before swapping flying roles to Vulcan B2’s as OC 35 Squadron at RAF Cottesmore. CO at RAF Changi and Stn Cdr Wyton from June 1975 to February 1977 followed. When  promoted to Air Commodore Tony served as Assistant Commandant at RAF College Cranwell between March 1977and September 1979. He was the Parade Commander at the excellent Royal Air Force Silver Jubilee Parade in July 1977 at Finningley, with the flying display rather overshadowed by a soporific SofS for Defence, Fred Mulley.

After serving as SASO 1 Group at RAF Bawtry from September 1979 to February 1982, he was awarded the CBE and remained at RAF Bawtry as AOC 1 Group from September 1983 until his retirement in March 1984. Living in Surrey and enjoying bridge and golf, Tony spent many of his brave latter years in two nursing homes after severe diabetes and lower leg loss.

Alan Pollock

Sqn Ldr Mike Doggart (95D)

Mike Doggart (it was always going to be Dograt) came to Cranwell via 618 West Malling Gliding School and graduated with 95 Entry in February 1969. He is particularly remembered for his legendary guitar skills which regularly entertained us!

His career as a C-130 Truckie led to appointment as Flight Commander on 47 Squadron. Thereafter, he became a QFI at Linton and then commanded Liverpool UAS. On retirement from the Service civil aviation beckoned, firstly on the 777 at BA, then a change to Airbus at Airtours with Thomas Cook.

An Airtours Captain said of him "I had waited so...oo long for a Herc exec to turn up as First Officer, then Dograt arrived - one of the nicest Flight Commanders on the planet !!”

"Great guy to fly with, and always a big smile”

Phil Bright

Sqn Ldr ‘George’ England (61A)

David was affectionately re-named George on joining the RAF with us all in Junior Entries. He served in night fighters and after CFS completed three tours in all at Oxford UAS, latterly as the Unit’s Commanding Officer.  After retirement at 38, he had a long career in civil aviation which included a spell in the Gulf.”

Tony Mallett

Maurice Fenner was a Flt Cdr on No 100 Sqn when I was a captain on the unit.  It is a long time back, but my recollection was that he was a pretty laid back navigator.  He always had a laugh and a smile for us cold war warriors,  and I flew with him a couple of times.  In those days crews stuck pretty close together, and with all the trials and tribulations of trying to get enough flying done, we did not see a lot of other crews, so I have no close recollections.

Maurice was a cricketer of no mean reputation, although he appeared flat footed. He not only played for the station, but also first-class cricket between 1949 and 1964, playing mostly for the Combined Services, but also some matches for Kent between 1951 and 1954.

During the cricket season he was always off playing somewhere or other which was all very well, but it played havoc with the QRA planning process as of course QRA crews had to be "constituted" to undertake the duty.  So no Fenner, and his crew were off the schedule!  What he did after his Flt Cdr tour I do not know, but I think he was on the Group staff and attained the rank of Gp Capt in the early 70s.    

Bob Prothero

I have very fond memories of John at Cranwell where we were both on C Squadron.  At that time he was always called ‘naggs’ and was an ace snooker and billiards player. Possibly because of this I believe he wrote his thesis on ‘swerving balls’.

He became a ‘trucky’ and did a tour in Singapore, on Beverleys and spent a long time at Upavon in a post organising and escorting VIP’s.

My wife and I became really close friends with John and Jill over the last ten years, after we discovered that we lived only a few miles apart, and have enjoyed many convivial evenings together.

Bob Trowern

Like Bob, I didn’t see a lot of John after Cranwell but once settled in Wiltshire joined John’s “curry club” along with Bob and occasional visitors from our Entry – Tom Porteous and Tony Pearson. These meetings were always great fun as we shed 50 plus years to return to our three years together at Cranwell.

Apart from his incredible skills on the snooker table – misspent youth and never denied – John was a superb squash player and represented the College in the first five for three years. He was also a good medium pace trundler at cricket and an above average golfer. After “wings” he flew Beverleys; he told me that they once did a loose article check on his aircraft and found a ladder. He was then one of the first to convert on to Hercules.

In November 1973 he flew the first contingent of UN troops into the Canal Zone to secure the cease fire line at the end of the Yom Kippur war. This was a hairy enterprise and John told me that they came very close to landing at the wrong airfield. The nav was his Sqn Cdr! He was awarded an AFC – I think at the end of this tour. Bob is quite right about his last tour spent looking after VIP flights as the “mister fix it” (I don’t know the appointment title) but I do remember him flying out to Germany with Mrs Thatcher in 1987 when she was visiting Chancellor Kohl to give him ‘a hand bagging’ which I had the privilege of witnessing.

John retired in 1988, aged 50,  and indulged his passions for golf and travel. I know he also spent a lot of time studying form and his interest in racing which provided, I believe, a useful supplement to his pension.

John was one of the great characters of our Entry and universally popular. Later on he told us (Bob and me) that he thought Cranwell a waste of time and he didn’t enjoy it one bit. Well, he had a very strange way of showing it as he was invariably cheerful and the very best of good company through our three years together. Although we were in different squadrons we were in Set 3 Science – those who wanted to fly aeroplanes but found it very difficult to understand how they achieved flight. We spent many happy hours at the back of the class room puffing away at our fags with puzzled expressions to give an impression of intense but baffled concentration. I was privileged to enjoy his friendship and was best man at his wedding to Jill.

Dick Johns

“After graduating with No 77 Entry exactly 55 years ago, Squadron Leader William Howard – known to all as Bill – started his operational career on Shackletons, followed by CFS and a tour instructing on Jet Provosts at Cranwell.

He returned to Shackletons in Singapore as the squadron QFI, before converting to the AEW role and a further instructional tour on Varsities at Oakington.

He spent his final AEW tour as a flight commander with No 8 Squadron at Lossiemouth. Bill left the RAF in 1981, but stayed in northeast Scotland where he began a new career in civil aviation, flying mainly out of Aberdeen.”

Richard Howard

After Cranwell, Bill went to the Maritime Operational Training Unit at Kinloss where he converted to Shackletons. Ballykelly next, followed by CFS and a tour instructing on JP's at Cranwell. Remaining in the training machine, he did a ground instructional tour with the Aircrew Officer Training School at South Cerney before returning to Shackletons in Singapore as the Squadron QFI. Next came a short tour at Kinloss with the introduction of the AEW Shackleton before returning to Training Command on Varsities at Oakington.

Back overseas again, he then enjoyed three years in Gibraltar Ops before returning to 8 AEW Squadron at Lossiemouth.

Bill did not want to stop flying, and he left the RAF in 1981 to pursue a career in civil aviation. Determined to remain in NE Scotland, he opted for the smaller and less regimented airlines, flying most of the time out of Aberdeen on Scandinavian and domestic routes with the odd contract periods spent in Rotterdam and Berlin.

He was finally retired at the age of 65.

Norman Bonnor

Gp Capt (Ret'd) Richard KIDNEY AFC died peacefully at King’s College Hospital on December 28th 2014. Very sadly missed by his wife, children and grandchildren.]

Richard came to Cranwell from Eltham College on 70 Entry B Squadron and, with his soccer colours and as an under Officer in his final term, graduated on 30th July, 1957. His entry friend and later navigator, Derek Gibson, said that “Dick was the epitome of what the College flight cadet programme set out to do, turning young men into officers full of integrity and who would step forward with a high sense of duty and get things done, both in the air and on the ground”.  

Flying first on Valiants for a year or so, this proved important later in his flying career.  He flew tours on 88 Squadron Canberra B(I)8s on low level LABS interdiction at Wildenrath, before joining 58 Squadron at Wyton on reconnaissance with their Canberra PR7 and PR9s.  He was on 227 Course at Central Flying School, qualifying in June 1965 after winning the Gross Trophy for ground school studies.  He would return on to the CFS staff in 1973.   His instructional and earlier Valiant four jet engine experience marked him as suitable for being among the first non-Coastal Command and with no real Shackleton background flying to command a Nimrod Squadron, 120 Squadron at Kinloss. Dick between 1978 and 1980 was Wg Cdr Reconnaissance at HQ Strike Command.

Alan Pollock/Derek Gibson

David was born at Sandwich, Kent, on 21st March 1930 to a military family.  At Wellington College David , destined for The King’s Dragoon Guards, decided at 16 with his best friend Rober MacMullen, to get to Cranwell.  David on 51 Entry A  Sqn and captain of rugby, passed out with Robin on 13 Dec50 but sadly Robin was killed spinning in at Driffield in a Vampire FB5  four months later.  Posted to 73 Squadron at the FAA Takali airfield in Malta with John Gale on Vampire FB9s, the squadron would later fly on to Habbaniya and re-equip with Venom FB1’s.  On return to UK David served at Pembrey 233 OCU on the staff and became a Flight Commander for the Vampire element but also flying the Hunter F Mk1.  By January 1960 promoted Wg Cdr and Gp Capt in 1973, he had specialised in Intelligence and was Gp Capt Intelligence at Rheindahlen in 2nd TAF RAF Germany and also at Strike Command HQ before retiring in 1985.  He had learnt Arabic and had a great knowledge of the Middle East to Goring.  Later he painted and sold water colours, drew cartoons and self-published a couple of thrillers as Thomas Ash, before becoming ill and rather frustrated in his final years and died, aged 85 on 10th June 2015.

Michael Luck’s Church Obituary

My brother David Churchill Luck was born on the 21st March 1930, in a house on, appropriately, Military Road, Sandwich, Kent. His parents were George, an Army officer, and Nell, whose father had been a Marine.

David had a typical military child’s start: twice to India and back by ship before he was five.  He was sent to Wellington College, a predominantly army school, destined for The Kings Dragoon Guards. However, when he was 16, together with his buddy, Robin McMullan, he announced that he wanted to go into the Royal Air Force. Nell was upset, thinking of the dangers, but George, as usual, was laid back. However, when the teachers told George that they did not think David was good enough at maths to get into Cranwell, the RAF officer training college, George went ballistic. He went to Wellington and harangued the teachers: as an officer his job had been to defeat Hitler; as teachers their job was to get David through. He did pass. George had been posted to Egypt and it was on holiday in 1949, at the French Beach, Port Tewfik, that the dashing David and the very attractive young woman, Jessie, met.

David went to Cranwell in 1950. He had a successful time there including being Captain of Rugby. He learnt to fly and all the other things needed to become an officer; and, just as important, he made those friendships that lasted throughout his career. He graduated as Pilot Officer in 1952. Jessie remembers very clearly the graduation ceremony in Lincoln Cathedral, and the Ball that followed.

David and Jessie were married in 1953. They started a typical service life: living in many places, including Malta, Iraq, Singapore and Lebanon, and taking with them their growing family of Andrew, Nigel and Rupert, and, of course, dogs.

David was now a top-gun fighter pilot. This was the height of the Cold War when we expected the Russians to attack at any moment. He flew Meteors, Vampires and Hunters. Flying was dangerous and some of his best friends, including Robin, were killed in accidents. Later he became a fighter trainer where his unflappability and attention to detail were important. His final postings were in intelligence, and he was command intelligence officer RAF Germany in the early 80’s. He retired in 1985 as Group Captain.

What was David like as a person? He had charisma. He could communicate easily with anybody: Russians, Americans, Arabs, Germans, for example. He learnt Arabic and had a great knowledge of the Middle East. He had many practical skills. He was a good painter and cartoonist. Many of us have one or more of his water-colours. He made prints and sold them locally.  It was typical of David’s obsessive nature that he suddenly stopped painting and his latest full-time project became writing thrillers. He self-published two under the name Thomas Ash. They are well plotted and his knowledge of spying, the Middle East, and Irish politics are deployed. But it is such a crowded field that sales never took off. Could they form the basis for a swash-buckling TV series?

His last family appearance was at the Luck Family Jamboree, summer 2013. He and Jessie came and stayed throughout a very hot day. Although he did not say much he obviously enjoyed being there as head of the family.

We should not avoid the fact that he became ill, and frustrated and difficult, in his final years. Despite that, family and friends remained loyal. I want to pay tribute to Jessie, Andrew and Lisa, Nigel and Gill, Rupert, cousin Ian Rees; friends, such as Tony and Antonia Hollis; and carers, such as Mike King.            

Nigel, Gill and Rupert tell us that his final three days in hospital were peaceful and pain free. Group Captain David Churchill Luck died Wednesday 10th June 2015

Alan Pollock/ Michael Luck

Air Cdre Terence Morgan was commissioned into the Secretarial Branch, the first non-GD officer to receive the Sword of Honour. When I returned as a Flt Lt to Cranwell on the staff in 1971, Terry was a Wg Cdr and my boss as CI Supply and Secretarial Wing. He was modest about his early successes and an object lesson to those of us who followed in his footsteps.

He was also generous and supportive of my little family.

Richard Slogrove

Group Captain John Turner MVO (11th April 1934 - 11th December 2014) graduated with 65A in July 1955, a fine athlete, footballer and equestrian. After Meteor PR10s on 541 & 79 Fighter Reconnaissance Swifts at Gűtersloh  with Sandy Cobban won their class and as top team in NATO’s 1959 Reconnaissance competition “Royal Flush IV”.  He had to eject at low level that year after an engine failure in July one of seven similar events in the two Swift squadrons within a 12 month period.

John, after time at DFCS, had a successful F-101 Voodoo exchange tour Shaw AFB in South Carolina before 39 Squadron Canberras, in Malta, as a flight commander.  As Air Adviser in Malaysia after Staff College, Latimer followed and CTTO work on the early Laser Guided bombs. After Jaguar conversion & being OC Ops at RAF Colishall, his final tour was as Air Adviser in Delhi with the award of his MVO before retiring in 1984. As a civilian he became a trusted financial adviser and also a competent balloonist at many UK & European Rallies   A tall, gentle man, John had much charm, humour and many friends.

Alan Pollock

After graduating in July 1934 ‘Tubby’ Veille served on 32 Sqn at Biggin Hill flying Bulldogs and enjoying the leisured life of those days, flying in the mornings and tennis etc in the afternoons. His career quickly became interesting however and included a spell in the Fleet Air Arm which he hated, particularly his service aboard HMS Courageous. He then served at the RAE as war began, was involved in many developments, and suspected that two or three colleagues were communist sympathisers who held up the prosecution of the war ! Veille's war continued with the moving of the Air Navigation school to Canada and later with the British Air Commission in Washington. Post war, Veille  commanded RAF Oakington and later was Commandant of the Empire Air Navigation School, and finally Commandant of  RAF Upwood in Bomber Command.

Gp Capt Veille retired in 1957 aged 44, pursued an equally fascinating civilian career including writing several novels under a pen name, and his own biography, whilst living largely in Aix Les Bains, Switzerland. His final days were passed in a retirement home In England dying at the age of 102.

Alan Pollock

Russ Williams was commissioned as a navigator spending much of his flying career on transport aircraft in the Far East and UK. As a nav instructor he was known to many who learned their craft from his skill and knowledge.

He was OC Ops Wg at RAF Northolt from 1984 to 1987 and flew the Andover with “A” Flt of 32 Sqn on a regular basis. In later years he was Stn Cdr at RAF Swinderby and also served on the staff at RAFC Cranwell.

His final appointment was as Director of Recruiting.

Alan Pollock/Martyn Gardiner