Association Dinner 23rd July 2015

The Association’s allocations of seats at the Reunion Dinner have now been filled.  However, should you wish to be placed on the Reserve list in case of cancellations, please contact Neil Franklin on  There are still places available for attendance at the lunch and Friends and Families Day.

Wing Commander Phil Cash RIP

It is with great sadness that the Association reports that Wing Commander Phil B Cash (GD/P) died on 19 Feb 2015, aged 83.  His funeral will be held on Wednesday 4th March at 1400hrs at St Mary’s Church, Leckhampstead, Bucks.

Phil was a close friend of our previous Chairman, Spike Milligan and was known by his friends as ‘Handsome Phil.’  Phil and Spike served together on IX(B) Sqn Canberras between 1959-61 at both Binbrook and Coningsby.  Phil was a Cranwell-trained Admin Officer turned pilot and two of his IX(B) Squadron navs were both RAF Regiment officers who transferred to aircrew duties ( still wearing Regt flashes ).  These two trusty crewmembers, Air Vice Marshal Bobby Robson and Gp Capt Alistair Sutherland will both be representing the Association at the funeral, with Bobby presenting the Eulogy. Our thoughts are with this family on this sad day.

Philip Edward Tetlow RIP

It is with great sadness that the Association must report the recent passing of Philip Edward Tetlow, one of our stalwart World War II veterans from the Lancaster era.

Philip’s funeral will be held at the Bramcote Crematorium on Thursday 5th March at 1.30pm and Mary would be delighted to see any members of the Association or current Squadron.  The address and postcode is:

Bramcote Crematorium, Coventry Lane, Beeston, Bramcote, Nottinghamshire NG9 3GJ

Should you be planning to attend, please let Andy Holland know via e-mail ( as he will be calling Mary to forward all the names of those attending from the Sqn and Assn.

Philip’s wishes were for ‘no black’ at the funeral and for ‘bright colours to be worn’. Also, please do not send flowers but if you would like to make a donation, please donate to Cancer Research.

Philip was crewed with Don Macintosh DFC and flew on all of IX(B) Squadron’s raids against the Tirpitz.  His own written words explain the events leading up to the Squadron’s sinking of one of Hitler’s crown jewels in November 1944:

‘On armistice morning we were ordered to proceed post-haste to the advanced base in Scotland.  I remember wondering inanely, how the two minutes silence affected us.  That was the condition this target had reduced me to.  In the afternoon I went to sleep on my bed and awoke to find I had missed the Wireless Operators briefing.  Perhaps I shall go down in history as the only clot ever to be briefed for a major operation – in a Salvation Army canteen.  Round about two o’clock next morning, the air was filled with the sound of aero engines being run up for a final check over.  Our own Group Captain had taken possession of the contents of my pockets, in lieu of the intelligence officer, and he had smiled reassuringly when he saw my white, strained face.  I forced myself to smile back but I was not reassured. 

Sitting in the aircraft, awaiting the signal to take off, I conjured up visions of the entire Luftwaffe waiting to pounce on us.  I prayed for a last minute cancellation.  A few seconds later, we were bouncing along the runway with the airframe shuddering and straining to get the immense weight into the air.  About four hours later, as we neared the Norwegian coast I picked up a message telling our deputy controller to take over leadership.  This caused much speculation amongst the crew.  Had our leader ditched? Been shot down?  Suffered engine trouble?  It was as though an alert had been sounded in the aircraft.  Every man increased his vigilance, scouring the skies for the fist signs of hostility. 

Once again we had been selected for wind finding.  As we completed the necessary orbit and turned to join our formation an exclamation broke from Pete.  We were at least half a dozen aircraft short in our squadron!  There was no time for questions.  The weather was perfect and the “pride of the German navy” was clearly visible, surrounded by a mass of lighter craft who were cramming on speed to get out of the target area.  Everything was perfect – then Pete’s voice came over the inter-comm announcing that his automatic computer box was out of order and could we go round again to give him time to work out his own computations.  We turned slowly in a wide circle getting a grand stand view as the other aircraft bombed.  It was possible to watch some of the 12,000 lb missiles right down and I had not seen one hit the vessel although all were very close.  By now Pete was all set to go, so we turned into our bombing run, scarcely daring to breathe, lest we disturbed Pete’s run up. 

The Lanc gave a convulsive jerk and the bomb was away, speeding down to its target almost three miles beneath.  There was a tremendous explosion about twenty yards away from her on the port side.  We had missed but had we inflicted serious damage?  There was an ear splitting yell from the Rear Gunner.  “Ship, she’s on fire!  Mac banked over and we could see a mighty blaze raging amid ships.  Another explosion and then – yes – she was keeling over, slowly!  Our petrol was extremely limited, so we reluctantly turned away.  Mac gave a report of what we’d seen to the leader but he couldn’t get a reply.  Everyone seemed to be using the radio at once.

We cheered and laughed and sang, then fell to feverishly discussing whether the Germans would be able to repair the so called “invincible battleship” or whether we had put her out of action for good.

After landing, I got a meal and went to bed.  Round about nine, Pete woke me and we dressed and went down to the mess.  Pandemonium was raging.  Everybody was hopelessly drunk.  Eventually we managed to corner our skipper and he explained that the only thing left of the Tirpitz was her back side sticking up out of the water!  I can remember nothing more of that gloriously, chaotic evening.’

Funeral Of Henry Thomlinson

The funeral of Henry Thomlinson will be held on Saturday 14th March at 1500hrs in close proximity to York.

All Association and Sqn members who are planning to attend please could you inform Dutch Holland Via e-mail ( and copy the Dep Sec too ( by 1700 hrs March 10th.

The address of the church is:

St. Giles
Church Street
YO23 3SW

Post the Service, Henry will be buried in a graveyard circa 400m from the Church and his sons, Michael and James are planning to hold the wake in a local WI (TBC). Details will be updated on the Association website as soon as we know more.


Henry Thomlinson: 3 April 1924 – 21 Feb 2015.

It is with a very sad heart that the Association reports that one of our longest-standing members, Henry Thomlinson, passed away peacefully in his sleep at 0530 hrs this morning, 21 Feb 15.  For those of us lucky enough to have been at the Menin Gate on 8 December 2014, the Squadron’s 100th Birthday, we will always remember the pride with which Henry spoke in front of his colleagues and the visitors from many, many nations.  He was a fine example of our wartime generation and made an immediate and positive impression on all those who met him at previous reunions, Remembrance Sundays and other Squadron-related events.  

Our condolences have been passed to Henry’s sons, Michael and James and details of Henry’s funeral will be promulgated on this website in due course.  However, should you wish to attend and would like the details sent to you as soon as we know, please e-mail Andy Holland, the Association Secretary on

Finally, with a small twist to the words orated by Henry at recent events, ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him.’



IX(B) Squadron Centenary Reunion and Dinner – 23 July 15

Invitations to the IX(B) Sqn Centenary Reunion and Dinner, scheduled for Thursday 23 July 2015, will be sent to current IX(B) Sqn personnel and IX(B) Squadron Association members by 23rd February.  The preferred method of correspondence is e-mail but should an e-mail address not have been held on the Association database, written letters have been prepared for despatch.

The daytime event will coincide with the RAF Marham Friends and Families Day (from 1000hrs) and the evening Dinner will commence at 1900 for 1930hrs.  The Squadron and Association have also agreed preferential accommodation rates locally so please contact the Squadron before arranging your own accommodation.

Should you not have received any correspondence by the end of February, or are an ex-member of IX(B) Squadron who is not an Association member but would like to attend, please contact the Squadron by calling 01760 337261 ext 3201 or via the following e-mail address:  However, please note that the Project Officer will be on post-operational deployment leave until 2nd March so will likely not respond to any correspondence or queries prior 4th March.

This year’s event is being organised completely by the Squadron with the Association in support.  Therefore, please liaise with the Squadron directly rather than through the Association Committee should you have any queries.  We will however try to keep you updated via this website.

IX(B) Centenary: St Omer Flying Club

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12 Feb 2015:  Presentation of a commemorative print from the Association Vice-President, Alfie Ferguson to Monsieur Francois Mobailly, President of the St Omer Flying Club in recognition of the Flying Club’s long-standing support to IX(B) Squadron and particularly, their leadership in making the Centenary celebrations such a roaring success.

Annual General Meeting 2014


The Association AGM was held in the Officers’ Mess, RAF Marham at 1130 hrs, on 20 Sep 2014. The Chairman, Air Commodore Spike Milligan opened the Meeting and welcomed 106 members.

The Chairman briefed the meeting on the current Committee.

President……………….…….……………………Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach

Vice-President………………………………………….Group Captain Alfie Ferguson

Vice-Chairman……………………………….………..…Air Vice-Marshal Stu Evans

Secretary, Treasurer & TABS Editor ……………….Squadron Leader Dicky James

OC IX(B) Sqn (ex officio)……….….…….…….…….Wing Commander Chris Snaith

Co-opted from IX(B) Sqn………………………………..Warrant Officer Dean Wood

Deputy Secretary………………………….…………..…Sergeant Swanny Swanson

Item 1. The Chairman asked the meeting to confirm that they had seen the 2013-2014 Annual Financial Statement and the 2013 AGM Minutes, which were published in 2014 TABS and had also been displayed in the Mess since 19 Sep 2014. All confirmed that they had seen the documents and there were no questions. The 2013 AGM Minutes and Financial Statement were recorded as a true record.

Item 2. The Chairman reported that the finances of the Association were in excellent shape. He reported that after the invoices from RAF Marham, for the Reunion, and RAF Cranwell, for Remembrance Day Luncheon had been paid, the expected balance would be over £9000. The Chairman also stated that the Association would continue its charitable work, however the Centenary year was likely to be an expensive year for the Association.

Item 3. The Chairman highlighted the charitable aims of the Association, which were clearly stated in the Association Constitution, which was the Governing Document. This had been on display in the Mess since 19 Sep 2014. All present confirmed that they had seen the Constitution and there were no questions. The Chairman detailed a number of research projects which the Sec had undertaken in the past 12 months on behalf of members and the general public. He also detailed a number of charitable gifts which the Association had made to the Bardney Heritage Centre and the Marham Aviation Heritage Centre. The Chairman stated that HMRC had written to the Sec and confirmed that the Association was a Charity for tax purposes, with effect from 1 Jan 2013, therefore, the Association could claim Gift Aid.

Item 4. The Chairman reminded the meeting that the Sqn would be 100 years old on 8 Dec 2014. The Association Vice-President, Alfie Ferguson, who had volunteered to co-ordinate the Centenary events at St Omer and Ypres, gave a detailed briefing on all the planned events. SEngO, IX(B) Sqn stated that due to world events, two-thirds of the Sqn would be deployed from 1 Dec 14 to 31 Jan 15, so currently the Sqn’s plans for St Omer and Ypres had not been finalised.

Item 5. The Chairman detailed the day’s events and timings. He asked all present to read all the notices on the notice board and to view the magnificent array of Raffle prizes.

Item 6.   The Chairman announced that the President, Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary would be standing down from Jan 2015. There had been a number of volunteers for these posts and the Chairman proposed the following new incumbents:

President……………….…………..…….. Air Vice-Marshal Stuart Evans CBE RAF

Vice-President…………………………………………….Group Captain A Ferguson

Chairman….……………………………………… Group Captain Nick Hay OBE RAF

Vice-Chairman……………………….…..……… Group Captain Andy Turk DFC RAF

Secretary ……………………………….…………….Squadron Leader Andy Holland

Treasurer……………………………….……… Wing Commander Paul Lenihan MBE

The new incumbents were seconded by Mr Colin Dodds and there was a unanimous vote for them.

The Chairman asked for volunteers to take on the remainder of the current Secretary’s duties of TABS Editor, Webmaster, Shopkeeper and Membership Secretary. None were forthcoming.

The Era Secretaries would remain:

Lancaster – Harry Irons

Lincoln – Harry Brittlebank

Canberra – Spike Milligan

Vulcan – Al Ferguson

Tornado – Dicky James

Item 7.   Lancaster Veteran Harry Irons had recently visited the crash site of FS George Thompson VC in Holland. He noted that the Association budget was very healthy, and asked whether the Association could erect a small memorial at the crash site. The meeting agreed unanimously that our only VC winner should be remembered in this way. The Chairman suggested that this would be a task for the new Committee.

Item 8.   The Secretary, on behalf of John Fox detailed the design for the 100th Memorial which was to be discussed by the National Memorial Arboretum Committee on 24 Oct 14. The Memorial would probably be manufactured by Stonemasons in Lincs, as Mr Fox had a good relationship with them already. The memorial would cost around £10000 and the Secretary stated that he had been in contact with Wg Cdr Ian Sharrocks, from MOD and there was a possibility of a benefactor from the City who would pay for the Memorial. The Sec would keep Association members informed about the progress of the Memorial.

Item 9.               Roy Ashton asked about the progress of the Centenary watches. Sgt Daz Owen, a member of the Sqn’s Centenary Planning Committee, replied that prototype copies of the watches could be viewed at the Sqn that afternoon and watches could also be ordered.

Item 10.   Roger Blackburn asked for clarification of the date of the 100th Anniversary Reunion. The Chairman stated that the Sqn had organised the Reunions for the 70th, 80th and 90th anniversaries. He asked for confirmation from OC IX(B) Sqn that the Sqn would organise the 100th. OC IX(B) Sqn was unsighted on this matter and as he was in the last 6 months of his post, would probably hand the request to his successor, Wg Cdr Ian Sharrocks.

Item 11.   The Chairman thanked the Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, Trustee, Shopkeeper, Webmaster and TABS Editor, Sqn Ldr Dicky James, for all his truly outstanding work for the Association over the last 13 years.

There was no other business, and the Chairman closed the Meeting at 1215 hrs.

R S James


Secretary IX(B) Squadron Association

20 September 2014

Sec’s Note: Since the AGM, Group Captain Andy Turk has volunteered to Edit TABS.