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Vintage MT

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You are here: "Archive 2"

I joined in 1948 until 1953. I went through the routine of Weeton and so on. I have written several chapters of my life as an M.T. driver, at a time, shortly after the war. We still used wartime vehicles and I can well remember the excitement when I was selected to collect one of those "modern" post war Standard Vanguards from Warton. All of my stories are pre-historic. That is, of starting handles and heavy lorries with low capacity battery's. Our M.T. Section had a fuel pump worked by a cranked handle and it delivered only 2 gallons at a time. The wartime headlights, when switched on made the night seem darker after the electro-plated reflectors had rusted. Everywhere was patrolled by Military Police, who checked 658s out on the open road. However there was much humour in our day too. My stories were of the great characters who found their way onto the M.T. Sections of those times. How the R.A.F. managed to come out on to the winning side has always remained a mystery to me. I have enjoyed a stroll down Memory Lane to have realised that the M.T. drivers still see the funny side of life. There are so many points wherein I wanted to make a response to your contributors but I feared that my anecdotes would have been too long and out of date compared to contributions already made. I have had a whale of a time in your company. Finally, I thought that the story of the WRAF driver reporting the fault of the missing "710" (oil)  to the Motor Fitter was the funniest thing I have read in ages. Well done lads. I'll be back again to visit you soon.

Regards, John Harland, (ex R.A.F. Old Sarum. The station that never seems to get a mention.

John Harland

My Dad, Bill Barclay was a FMT. I guess that is Fitter Motor Transport.
He served in Italy July 1946 to Sep 1947 with the 58 MTC. These are a few pics of a trip to Rome. I picked the ones that showed the faces of his chums and the vehicles they were driving. I don't know the vehicle type.

Anyway enjoy and I hope you post them for others to see.

My father passed away in March 1991.
He was RAFVR from '43 to '47, starting out as a flight engineer, then pilot soloing in the Tiger Moth. Later to FMT when the war was closing.

Ironically enough I was a MSEOP (driver) in the Canadian Air Force from '77 to '82 on a fighter base and later flew 3000 hrs as a Loadmaster on C130s from '89 to '95.

Bob Barclay
Nova Scotia
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58 MTC 1947 Unknown Autostrada 
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Traffic Office 58 MTC Ron
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Paddy and Don NAAFI Riccione Joe and Ron Joe and My Dad Bill Barclay
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Furlo Pass Fergies Prang. Dixie Terry and Taff Mestne Autostrada 
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Butch Dan and Don

Hello there,

My pictures and I would belong to the vintage section. I joined the R.A.F. in 1958 and served until 1970. The photos I have added to this e-mail were taken in 1961 whilst serving with 317 MT SQDN at R.A.F. Bruggen in Germany.
I suppose you could call 317 the German version of 2 MT, as we travelled from camp to camp with equipment and supplies.
Commonly known as the "Wommits"(a worm like creature that appears above ground on rare occasions) we were to be seen at one time or another at every R.A.F. camp in Germany. We carried a card that enabled us to get fuel food and money at any camp we were calling at,( If needed). We now have our own association run by Bob Knight, so if you don't already belong, and you served on 317 or 431 M.U. contact Bob for details. Great site!!

Me? I`m Mike "Dick" Whittington (3527310)

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Dear Sirs,

I put "Balloon Squadron" into a UK Lycos Search and your site popped up. Couldn't find a link on your site but perhaps you might know the answer to the following:

My neighbour's father was killed in 1941 and I found his obit. on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Site. Unfortunately, very short on detail (no age, relatives, etc.) but that he was in the 957 Balloon Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and his name is on the Runnymede Memorial. Have tried all combinations of searches but found nothing relevant to that Squadron. Do you know how to find out about this Squadron? He is going to apply for the death certificate which will help with place of death.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. G. McLintock

Hi all, 

Logged on  via the UKMAMs  site - Excellent site - nearly as good as ours! - I was at Lyneham 1952 - 1955 and recall that the forklift drivers were all civvies. As most of the loaders were National Service, training a forklift driver may have resulted in a few crumpled wings. I have attached a picture of  one loading a Hastings at Lyneham for your gallery. I recall that I used to 'test' drive a flatbed truck on night shift - I only knew at as a 'Garrie' 

Keep up the good work,

Dennis Martin

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Hi Bill/Ian,

Bedford Crew Buses were used for transporting 'V' bomber crews to their aircraft. These special buses had back to back seating along the centre of the vehicle with oxygen line connections to each seat. The attached photographs show crews being conveyed to their Vulcan's at Waddington on a scramble exercise. 

The odd picture of the set is a Sentinel Tug Master towing out a Vulcan from number 3 hangar at Waddington.


Kind regards, 
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Hi again Bill/Ian,

The first photograph shows how not to approach an aircraft if you are driving a one and half decker 'Commer' Crew Bus!

This 'accident' occurred on the pan at RAF Negombo, Ceylon, in 1951. The aircraft in the way was a Handley Page 'Hastings' TG552. These photographs were taken by Dave Neale, a National Service man who was doing his bit for king and country at the time. Dave's daughter, Tricia Mason, has kindly given her permission for these photos to be displayed.

On the subject of Commer Crew Buses - it must have been the biggest pig to drive of all the vehicles ever used by the RAF. The road holding and centre of gravity was something to be believed!

The second is RAF Waddington's MT Section Christmas bash 1962 - only just 40 years on!

Kind regards, 

Dave Bloomfield

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Latest from Brian Goodwin.

These old enough?
Found bowser at Duxford last time used one of them was in RAF Riyan 1953


I joined the RAF in March 1957, as a driver, and did my driver training at Weeton. In August '57 I was posted to RAF Negombo (later called Katunayake), Ceylon. I served in Ceylon until March '60 and whilst there did a crane ops course at Seletar, Singapore. To obtain my MTD (OP) you had to pass out on three specialist vehicles. I took cranes, refuellers and Tugmasters and on return to the UK was posted to Waddington. I had four years at Waddington and during the early '60's it was hard work with three V bomber squadrons continually on exercise and being dispersed all over the country.
In '64 I applied for special duty and was posted to Fontainebleau in France. What a job! I was assigned to drive the scientific advisor to NATO and he treated me and my family really well. Due to being involved in an air crash whilst returning from Ceylon, the RAF let me finish my nine year engagement, but due to my medical category, they kicked me out. I have since completed 30 years in the police service and have now retired to sunny Wales. The attached photographs from my time in Ceylon really dates me!
Keep up the good work - a great site 

Kind regards, 

Dave Bloomfield

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These photos sent in by Brian Goodwin just a couple of pics taken Aden/Riyan 1953.
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The picture on the right is of our fire tender at RAF Riyan it's a converted Austin 6 wheeler bomb truck, notice in cab read this vehicle must not exceed 15mph round bends, the water tank was in two cradles and it seems it was likely to roll off .

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These were taken while I served 3 yrs (1967-69) at Tubruk. 
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Hello Bill & Ian

I have some black and white photos from the sixties.  

The first three shots were taken in July/August 1959. We were on detachment at RAF Luqu, Malta with 7 Squadron from RAF Honington. I'm the good looking one - after 43 years I can't recall the other two names.

The next two shots taken on the airfield at RAF Tengah Singapore some time in 1963.
One is me going back to the MT after doing a "Compass Swing" on a V Bomber, the other one is a "Practice Crash" - it seems nobody told the tractor driver.

The next batch are when 71 MU Bicester dismantled and moved a V Bomber (Valiant) from Cambridge Airport (Marshals) to the   Fire School at RAF Manston.

I enjoy your site very much. We could do with a few more “Golden Oldies”

Best wishes

Don Madge

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