Cenotaph March Past – Nov 17

All,

CENOTAPH MARCH PAST – SUNDAY 12 NOVEMBER 2017

Following the very successful inaugural IX(B) Squadron Association march past of The Cenotaph in Whitehall on Sunday 13 Nov 16, we are urgently seeking Association members to join us again.

Here’s a run through of what will happen on 12 Nov 17:

We will meet at Horse Guards at about 0945. Don’t worry if you cannot walk too far if your “undercarriage” is getting a bit worn, as wheelchairs are on hand and we will provide “pushers”. We may also be able to arrange a free Taxi for you from anywhere inside the M25.

Following a trip to the loos, we will walk onto Whitehall at about 1020 hrs, dressed in jacket & tie, or whatever is comfortable.

We stay in this area watching events on a large screen for 30 mins or so, then come to attention for the 2 mins Silence.

The 5000 vets will then start marching past the Cenotaph in turn. We will hand a IX(B) Squadron Association Wreath to the wreath marshal, then turn right into Parliament Square, then right again into Horse Guards Road, where we will have a Royal salute. We go a little further then return to Horse Guards Parade for the dispersal. After dispersal, some go home, some go to local pubs and some go to Clubs for lunch.

Here’s a few comments from last year:

  • What a very memorable day: meeting up with RAF colleagues; enjoying the banter and friendliness; marching in step and in line (more challenging than I remember!); glorious sunshine; applauding crowds; distinguished company; recalling the past with an emphasis on the achievements of past and current generations.   
  • What a truly magnificent day we had yesterday!
  • What a privilege to join you all yesterday. A once in a lifetime moment, although it sounds like there is an appetite to make it a bit more often than that. 
  • It was an honour and privilege to be with IX Sqn Association for our inaugural participation in the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph parade.  
  • So glad I decided to attend. It was a truly wonderful day to meet with fellow members and feel the warmth and friendliness that epitomises Armed Forces camaraderie. The sun shone and medals glittered making it a splendid day.

If you would like to join us on 12 November 17, we need your name ASAP.

Please contact Dicky James ASAP

 

Air Vice Marshall Desmond Hall CB CMG CBE AFC

Dear All,
 
This morning I received a letter from Mavis Hall, wife of Desmond Hall. She was passing on the sad news that Des passed away, peacefully, in his sleep on 23 April 2017. She said that Des loved reading TABS, cover to cover, but that his quality of life was deteriorating. She thinks that he felt it was time to make his exit and that he planned it well – Mavis said she was in hospital with pneumonia at the time, so wasn’t around to talk him out of it! Mavis asked that I/we raise a glass to Des sometime, as he would like that and to pass on her regards to those who remember her and Des. “They were such happy times” We most certainly will Mavis, as usual, at the Reunion in September.
 
The following is paraphrased from an email I received earlier from Air Cdre Spike Milligan, who knew Des well:
 
Air Vice Marshall Des Hall CB CMG CBE AFC was a Flt Cdr on IX Canberras at Binbrook in the 1950s, when Sqn Ldr George Bastard was OC IX(B) Sqn. His DoB was 3 June 1925, and he joined the RAF in WW2 by fabricating his age. At the end of WW2 in 1945, he was just 20 and had earned a load of campaign medals, including the Burma Star. He got found out when he, as an Air Cdre, received his retirement papers, and then confessed. Instead of a bollocking, he got promoted to AVM and posted to the BHC in Canberra, from whence he finally retired!
 
He was a great guy, and we served together at Gaydon (Valiants) and Marham (Victors). When he was Stn Cdr Waddington, he flew a Vulcan to visit us on IX Sqn at Akrotiri on 3 Mar 1972. We had a photo taken in front of the Tirpitz bulkhead and he and I are members of the select group who did all three ‘V’ aircraft. He was always highly enthusiastic about IX(B) Sqn, and was very popular.
 
Rest in Peace Sir
 
TABS

Flying Officer Roy Amerena

We are sad to inform you that Flying Officer Roy Amerena passed away on 21 April 2017, aged 93. Roy was a Navigator on 149 and 9 Squadron and flew many missions in Lancasters during WW2. Following the war he stayed in the RAF and converted to Lincolns.

Roy’s Funeral was held in St Andrew’s Church, Steyning on 2 June 2017. 9 Squadron and its Association were represented by Mr Richard James and Mr Chris Fleming.

Flt Lt Denis Mason

We are sad to inform you that Flt Lt Denis Mason DFM passed away on 11 May 2017. Denis was a Bomb Aimer & Air Gunner on Wellingtons and Lancasters. Denis completed two tours on 9 Squadron during WW2 and survived 66 missions.

In November 1942 he had already amassed 65 bombing missions, but was still only twenty years old. He was posted as an Instructor in Oxfordshire, and whilst waiting at the railway station for transport to his new camp, he met a 17 year old WAAF called Yvonne, who he chatted to. They subsequently married on 6 January 1945 and were married until his passing 72 years later.

At school Denis was nicknamed “Mickey” and whilst he was on 9 Squadron he was called “Tiger”. Later in life, Dennis wrote two books under the pseudonym “Mike Dee”. His books were “The Third Son as Night Bomber” and “Sequel to The Third Son as Night Bomber”.

Denis’s Funeral was held at All Saints Church, Sherburn-in-Elmet, Yorks on 30 May 2017 and 9 Squadron and its Association were represented by W.O. Richard Lyons.

Flt Lt Allan ‘Jock’ Richardson

I am very sorry to have to pass on the news that ‘Jock’ died peacefully in his sleep on Good Friday at the age of 97. I would normally write a little bit about Jock but I think the following letter from his son-in-law to the Association Secretary in 2011 sums Jock up much better than I can. This is reproduced by kind permission of the family:

 

 

 

“My father-in-law, Flt Lt Allan “Jock” Richardson, started WWII as a Sgt Weapons Operator/Air Gunner on Wellingtons at RAF Marham. During the war he was commissioned, went through pilot training and ended up flying Lancasters on a Pathfinder squadron. He and his wife, Triss, live in Swaffham. During a party at Swaffham Golf Club to celebrate Allan’s 90th birthday in 2009, Dicky James, representing the Stn Cdr presented him with a signed print from all at RAF Marham. It was a personal touch that was much appreciated.

For a number of years we have been trying to get Allan to visit RAF Marham on the afternoon of the IX(B) Sqn reunion so that he could re-acquaint himself with the Lanc. He has steadfastly resisted. However, this year Viv, my wife, had driven down to Swaffham from our home in Cheshire to collect her parents and bring them back to stay with us for a week. We were due to return them to Swaffham on the day of the reunion. So, a little bit of subterfuge was called for! During the week prior to the reunion I was in contact with Dicky and he kindly arranged for me to bring my vehicle on to the Sqn HAS site (subject to a tyre FOD check) and drive up close to the Lanc.

As we drove my in-laws back towards Swaffham I told Allan that we needed to call in at RAF Marham to see someone about the reunion dinner that evening and he said that would be fine. As we drove towards the Sqn HAS site I tried to sound surprised when I said to Allan “Oh look, there’s the Lanc parked up”; “So it is” he replied. We drove up and parked near the aircraft and I said “come on out and have a closer look”. As we approached the Lanc there was clearly some dust in the air as Allan’s eyes got a little misty!

I was able to get him on board where he was treated with great affection by the BBMF crew. He also displayed great nimbleness for someone in his 90s as he scrambled over the main spar. Coming backwards down the ladder at the end of his visit Allan found a little more difficult. When he finally got his feet back on the concrete he declared “that was worse than going on Ops!”

As the Lanc started up prior to the wonderful display Allan said “T, M, P, F, G, G, C, B, P”.

“What was that Dad?” said Viv.

“The Lanc pre-take off checks, of course” came the reply.

“Can you remember them?”

“Yes! Trim, Mixture, Pitch….” and he ran through the whole lot to the last P, saying “Power – leading with the port throttles for take off”.

Allan’s verdict on the display? “Bloody marvellous!”

After the display we repaired to the Sqn HQ, where Allan was clearly interested in the many pictures on the wall. After a while in the corridor upstairs he suddenly shouted “bloody hell, that’s me!” Sure enough there is a picture of a Wellington with a group of aircrew in front of it, Allan is in the group and he can still remember many of the other names. It was taken after return from the first bombing raid on Berlin mounted by RAF Marham. Allan has since looked in his logbook and found details of the mission.

As we drove them home later in the afternoon Allan said “If I die tomorrow I’ll die a happy man”.

Rest in Peace Jock.

Reunion 2017

This year, your Association will be holding it’s Annual Reunion over the weekend of 22/23/24 September 2017. The format will be similar to previous years and dinner will be in the Officer’s Mess, RAF Marham on Saturday evening. This is an All Ranks event and all Association Members are welcome. For current Association Members, you will soon receive our Annual magazine, TABS, and the relevant forms to fill in if you wish to attend. Please complete and return to me, The Secretary, as soon as you can.
 
For those of you who are not yet Association Members, you will be very welcome to join us (numbers permitting and Assn Members will take priority), but please be aware that this event is subsidised by the IX(B) Sqn Association and therefore you would be expected to pay a higher cost. Alternatively, you can join the Assn for the princely sum of £10 a year and make the most of our Treasurer’s generosity on the evening!
 
If you would like to become a member of the IX(B) Sqn Assn then please email me at association.sec@9sqn.co.uk for more details.

Wg Cdr (Retd) D Legg MBE RAF RIP

“A funeral service for Wg Cdr (Retd) D Legg MBE RAF will be held at St John’s Church, Long Street, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1PA, at 1300. All attendees are to be seated by 1240; dress for the funeral for military personnel is No. 1 SD (or single Service equivalent) with medals.  Black armbands are not to be worn.

The family welcomes anyone who knew Darren to the funeral which will be followed by a service for the family and close friends at the crematorium.  The family welcomes all attendees of the funeral service to join them at the Corn Exchange, The Market Place, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1HS from 1400 for refreshments.

The family have requested donations in lieu of flowers be made to the charity ‘Heads Together’, in the name of Wg Cdr (Retd) D Legg.
For further information please contact the Liaison Officer, Plt Off A Furlong on MoD telephone: 95261 7119, BT telephone: 01491 837766 EXT 7119.”