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Ian,

I am at present rebuilding my ex RAF land Rover. It's an early 80'' Reg No 24AA05. It went into service about July 1950. It has some differences to the normal ones, which your members might know about.

1) There is a steel panel about 5'' height between the two wings, at the bottom, in front of the Rad Grill. What is it for?

2) Instead of canvas hood the hoops have been replaced with side bars about 12'' high from the rear tub sides using the hoop mounting points. If any body knows about these or has any photo's please contact me.

At first I thought the steel panel in front of the radiator was added some time after its service life, but on removing the paint layers I found it to be RAF blue. It would be nice if some of your members know the use and why it was added. As you can see I need to do some panel beating on the wings.

The second photo is of some side bars which are in place of the Tilt, again it would be nice to know if this was common in the RAF.

I have not found any markings on it yet. I will write off to Hendon to see if they have its service cards.

If any of your members have photo's of it or like it would make my day.

Best Regards to you all

Ivor Morgan

 

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I am guessing the steel plate you refer to at the front of the grill would be for the registration plate as the bumper would have had a hole in the center for the starting handle.

Ian


Hi Ian

I'm the secretary of a an educational charity called the Friends of the New Forest Airfields www.winkton.net/fonfa.htm and we do a lot of outreach work at schools, clubs, exhibitions and fairs promoting the history of our airfields and those who served there. We're considering obtaining a classic vehicle that is representative of one that would have used by RAF MT services at our airfields, ideally of a size no bigger than a 86" or 88" wheel base Landover.

Most or our permanent RAF airfields had closed or ceased military operations between 1944-1946 (Hurn, Christchurch, Stoney Cross, Ibsley, Holmsley South) as had RAF wartime temporary landing grounds at Sway and Need Oar Point. Beaulieu stayed open until 1950, Calshot as an airfield until 1961 and as a marine craft base until 1974. RAF Sopley also closed in 1974. RAF Hythe continued in name until quite recently but it was in fact a US Army Depot.

We'd love to hear from any of your members who served at these units, what they drove or maintained and when, to help us chose an appropriate vehicle.

Cheers

John Levesley
sec FONFA
96 Brookside Road
Bransgore
Hants
BH23 8NA

Tel 01425 673028


In 1953, before I went to Changi, I did a QM course at Weeton. The tractor units were Crossley 4X4 petrol-engined monsters. They even had an Autovac. I want to ask our other Members if any old-timer ...like me....has a photo of one.

Mike Walsh
(York)

There's a couple about half way down Les's page - Ian


My name is Stu Wright and I am an ex Army RCT driver, now serving as a police officer in Hampshire. I have recently purchased an ex RAF Landrover Lightweight (Air Portable) and I am trying to find out a bit more about its history. It has 2 id discs showing RAF 6 431 MU (red) and MU 431/R6 (blue), with the original reg number of 55AM52.

I would be very grateful if anyone could shed some light on this vehicle and especially if they have driven it or similar. The only thing I have found out so far is MU means Mechanical Unit and 431 was at Bruggen. I have no idea what they were used for and if they only stayed at that location.

 

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Does anyone remember the Morris Commercial Ambulance, 6 cylinder? I would be very grateful if anyone has a picture of one painted in RAF colours from the 60's

Thank you

Geoff Pallett
Ex SAC MTD(H)
RAF Goldsborough, Holbeach
and RAF Lyneham 61/62/64.


My wife and I own a 1960 RAF Ensign Estate 90AB84 the only one of type ex-RAF extant in UK. It is presently in workshop being repaired after being 'hit-by-flack' in May this year and we are attempting to save her and return to Rally scene again in 2009 ie War and Peace Show and Dorset Steam Fair etc that we support in past. Although I was not an MT driver but Signals GWF(C) 1954 to 1958 most signals guys drove RAF Vanguards whilst on mobile servicing etc.

My question is, does anyone know the meaning of the registration letters for AB through to AZ?  e.g. AB is designated 'Staff Car'. A lot of our signals station vehicles had the designation 'AR' that may mean 'Radio Vehicle'. Can anyone confirm this and what the other letters meant? I believe that this subject was covered in the long dead Airfix Magazines 1977 to 1981 that so far I have not been able to find. Do any of you have these if so would be interested in abstracts from the Transport pages. Many thanks.

Peter D Beattie
RAFA Orpington Branch

Updated: 22/04/09

Colin Noad sent in this explanation sourced from the MAFVA website

AA - Land Rovers, Light Trucks, Ambulances, Trailers, Cars

AB - Cars

AC - Coaches, Cranes

AD - Refuellers, Fuel Trailers, Specialist Vehicles

AE - Airfield Caravans, Cargo Trucks

AF - Trucks, Fire Appliances, Cars, Minibuses

AG - Fire, Water, Domestic, Crash Appliances

AH - Breakdown, Cranes, Hoist, Platforms (Tower) Wagons, Aircraft Loading Vehicles

AI - Not Used

AJ - Load Carriers (i.e. Cargo Trucks), Refuellers

AK - Sweepers, Snow Clearers, Refuse trucks

AL - Tipper Trucks

AM - Light Vehicles, Cars, Land Rovers

AN - Tractor Units

AO - Weapons Loaders

AP - Fork Lift Trucks

AQ - Ancillaries

AR - Vans, Snow Ploughs, Brushes

AS - Vans

AT - Airfield Construction Plant, Combat Recce Vehicles and Equipment (CVR[T])

AU - Trailers, incl. Fire Pumps

AV - Snow Clearing Vans, Re-registered WW2 Vehicles, Radio Trucks

AW - Trailers, Snow Clearing Trailers, Fire Pump Trailers

AX - Trailers, Semi-Trailers, Motorcycles

AY - RAF Specialist Vehicles

AZ - Not used


Hi Mate,

I wonder if you could help my name is Neil Taylor I'm ex Army and we are trying to get hold of a few pictures of the Eager Beaver fork lift trucks for one of our group members who was an instructor on them at our training depot in Northampton. We were in the Royal Pioneer Corps, and I am trying to get as much info on them, pictures etc to make a presentation for him at our next reunion. He is not in the best of health lately after suffering a heart attack. Do any of your members know of anyone who has an Eager Beaver and would let him have a drive for old times sake regards.

Neil Taylor


Hi,

I am the current owner of a Lightweight (1/2 ton truck) Landrover, reg no 48 AJ 11, its known history is TAC SUPPLY WING and RAF ALDERGROVE. Can anybody give me any more history, stories regarding the type of work my Landrover would have done, its colour/s and any markings it would have had, I am trying to restore it and this information would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

Paul Clarke
Norfolk

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Hello,

I work in the MTTTL office at RAF UXbridge, for a hobby I make model trucks (so that's the anorak bit!) Does anyone have any photos of the VOLVO FH12 6x4 that 2MT used to pull low loaders, and curtain siders with? I think the regs were VM35AA, VM33AA, VM32AA?

Any info on the above would be welcome. Are they still in service?

Thanks for your time,

kind regards

Martyn

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Hi Martyn

VM 33 AA and VM 37 AA were at the 2004 Reunion. Maybe someone else can shed more light for you.

Ian


Hello Ian

Andrew Hamilton here from East Kilbride in Scotland. My friend today purchased a Tug which I believe may have come from Market Rasen? I would be grateful of any information or pictures of the wee tug.

We cant believe the condition of the tug it must have had a lot of work done on it in the past.

I also have a Ford Powermaster 821 which I believe was a tug tractor on Mildenhall American Airforce base. I also have a wee Grey Ferguson which I believe was on board an air craft carrier, it has a Howard reduction Gearbox in her and was painted RAF blue of sorts when I got her.

I would really love to try and find pictures of any of the tractors with planes in the background, especially of the Powermaster as I was told it used to pull trailers with bombs on to B52 bombers for Vietnam,

Many Thanks and Kind Regards from Scotland


Andrew Hamilton

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Hi Ian

Phoenix Refuellers

I wonder whether anyone out there has any photos of these beasts?  We used them to refuel Jet Provosts at Syerston, in the sixties; they were pulled by Bedford prime movers.

As an MT Mechanic (Driver), I well remember the appalling Whittle belt drives that were used to transfer the power from the rear mounted engine to the pumps on the Phoenix.  The belts were made of hard rubber segments, with metal fasteners that could be undone (with great difficulty, using something like a button hook) in order to take up the slack caused when they stretched in use.

After fitting a completely new belt, one knew that it would only be a matter of ten minutes or so before the vehicle returned from the line, red hot, and smelling strongly of scorched rubber.  Then it was underneath again, with kerosene dripping on you, to take out that slack again.

Colin Noad


I've noticed my old mate from Henlow, Mally Roberts (last three 568 - otherwise known as the 'Welsh Terrorist number 1'), has left his prints all over the site, so I thought I'd add my two pennies worth. 

I don't know where you want to put the attached scan. It could go in the 'Mug shots' section (there's definitely a load of 'mugs' in it at Henlow in the mid 80's) or it could go in the miscellaneous section. 

I don't own the copyright to it, but I'm sure that Des Roberts (630 - otherwise known as 'The Accused') won't mind that I posted his handy work for posterity. I thought that any of the other Henlow Murders and Terrorists from that era would like to be reminded of what a fine bunch of lads and lasses we were. (if anyone wants a copy, I'll be selling them for 5p at the 2007 Reunion - only joking).

Regards

Ian Beedles

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Hi Ian,

I've just spent an enjoyable hour going through the site, well done! Lots of memories, names and faces, some now departed. Anyway I thought this photo might amuse you. It was at Salalah in the run down. The three blokes on the RTFL are MTSS - Jim Shale , Bill Thompson and I've forgot the one on the right, the two cranes were operated by MTD's though! The tank was supposed to be empty and the cranes lifted OK but when they slewed you can see what happened.

Best wishes to anyone who may remember me, I spent a fair amount of drinking time with drivers as I shared rooms with them in the early years and even married one! (It was a she!) Chris Allman, then Snaith and nowadays Stewart, 
she works as a civvy at Coningsby as does her husband Jim ( ex MT WO). I have now gone over to the dark side and drive a car transporter for ECM out of Grimsby and really enjoy it. I think the nearest crane is a Coles and the other is a Jones.

Eric Snaith, Ex MTSS-Scampton, Benson, Wittering, Laarbruch, Coningsby, Laarbruch.

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Ian Matthews spotted this vehicle, whilst delivering oil at Kemble airfield and wondered if someone might be able to shine a light on it.

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The pictures look very similar to the Douglas Taskmaster Heavy Tractor used on V-Bomber units. This one looks as though it may have been modified at some time with a cab. The radiator looks as though it may be "lash up replacement", as the model I remember had a more sleek radiator grille, - but you still sat out in all winds and weathers!! 

Hopefully some ex-V bomber tug drivers may be able to give their opinions too!

Cheers
Bill George

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When the pictures were sent in I thought it resembled a Sentinel (A bit before my time) the radiator looks very similar to these pictures here, here & here, also towing a Victor here.

Ian


Hello Ian,

I am a volunteer with the Air Atlantique Classic Flight at Coventry airport, www.classicflight.com and we have got an old David Brown Tug Master that we are hoping to restore, however I have searched the Net and have not found any information on the type except two pictures and I was wondering if your sites remit covered ground handling equipment from the 1950's? For instance would any of your members be able to tell me what light fittings etc were on the tugs and what the actual colour was that they were painted, if there was a standard, I have had to buy a tin of Humbrol RAF blue from a model shop, so that I can take it to some suppliers to get a colour match but if I can get a code or something then that would be better! 

Added 19/12/06: Does anyone know where I might be able to get an G.P.U (Ground Power Unit) from, or what happens to the RAF's old ones? We are looking for one for the Classic Flight, so that we can start the jets and the DC6!

Many Thanks

Alan Longstaff

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Update: 29/06/07

Hi Ian,

Just a small update on the David Brown tug that you might like to post on your site. As you can see it looks a bit different from the last pictures I sent you !
I rubbed all the paint work down, fitted a new seat and steering wheel and repainted it. The plan was to have it push /tow the BBMF Lancaster out of the hangar on the occasion of its first flight, but as the clutch is a bit fierce, probably due to the fact it had sat for at least two years, it was considered prudent not to try it, just in case !

However it is being used to move aircraft around, the largest being the Flight's Douglas DC 6. I took a couple of pictures of it with some interesting company, just to show you that it is in better condition than when I started.

When I get chance I hope to give it a mechanical once over and it should be in use for a few years yet.

Regards,
Alan Longstaff

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Bedford QL Refueller with booms

Hello Ian,

Found the site via Google as I was trying to find out if the above vehicle was in service during WW2. I bought a superb 1/48 kit from Accurate Armour but have found no WW2 photos out of thousands in my aircraft reference library which show anything other than 2 versions without booms, one with the pumps in the offside rear quarter, and the other with pumps and hose connections at the rear.

Somebody must know but, as my field is aircraft, I don't have any contacts who can help solve this.

Regards,

Iain Wyllie


Ian,

This is a set depicting the recovery of a mini that had an argument with a post and a ditch, using the Rough Terrain Forklift we had at Wattisham in 1975. I took the pictures although they were processed by the photo section. After thirty years, I think I have the right to publish them.

I apologise for the fact that at this distance I do not have the names of the lads involved but neither of them were the perpetrators! I considered that as the accident occurred no more than ten miles from Wattisham, this was the easiest way to recover them

Regards 

Geof Cope

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.........................The two lad's are:- Eager Beaver Driver, Andy Hall and Bedford RL Driver, Mick Elvin.

I've also enclosed another MT 'Patch' for the ever increasing collection.

Bill George


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Ian

I have attached a couple of pictures which might be of interest for the site. These are of my new Land Rover, it is a specially built 130'' wheelbase, but the thing is, the chassis and bulkhead come from an ex RAF Regiment Rapier Tractor. The running gear come from a later model TD5 110 which was written off and the vehicle was built to a very high spec by Foley Specialist Vehicles in Essex.

Basically it has the TD5 engine (the Rapiers were V8 petrol), which has been chipped and had a bigger intercooler fitted. It has a GKN overdrive and will cruise happily at 90mph, but still return over 38mpg! It has air conditioning and a night heater, uprated suspension, wheels and tyres and a full roll cage in case it all goes pear shaped!


Steve Pearson

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Help Required
AEC 854/0854, 6x6

I am researching the AEC 854/0854, 6x6, initially built for the Bomber Command from 1940. I have already obtained a great deal of help with the project and now looking at producing a book on the subject. I do urgently need to get hold of the Air Publication for the original vehicles which were petrol engine. A number of these were also produced as mobile nitrogen/oxygen units, I would also like to see the Air Publication for the equipment fitted to it. obviously any photographs or personnel details of these vehicles would also be most welcome, the refueller appear to have remained in service until about 1970, whilst the version built with the Coles crane appear to have gone by the early 1960s.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Sheldon


In preparation for yet another house move I stumbled across some stuff from Church Fenton, amazing what things we hoard.

Ian

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This is the original design
I did for the Church Fenton
MT Sweatshirts

Do you remember these?  used to complete the dreaded FMT3's I must have 'liberated' them whilst doing a stint on TT&L


Mark Regan sent in these along with some other pictures in the 'Mug Shots' section.

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Greenham Common, Our lovely accommodation! The MT, Ground radio, RAF Police combined building.........an old sewage treatment plant !!

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Off loading Tractor units 
and the MT Yard

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Scampton MT Section

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Falklands 1985
Herc did a low pass Med Centre

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Falklands 1985
'Going Home Bird'

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Falklands 1985

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Falklands 1985
Myself and a 1 ton Crash Ambulance