ISSUE NUMBER 16                                                                         NOVEMBER 2000                 


Since the last issue two functions were held.  Firstly the coach trip to Fontainebleau in September for which there is enough material to fill a book so as a new initiative your newsletter includes, for the first time, a Supplement with reports plus a selection of photographs devoted entirely to this trip.  This was a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane. It was an emotional experience to meet up again with Charley Collyer after 40 odd years.  Charley got such a thrill as the “mob” descended on Fontainebleau ~ after all Charley was Mr AAFCE having served at the base from start to finish.


Our Third reunion at Leamington Spa in October was an unqualified success.  It was encouraging to see so many new faces in the crowd.  Among the 55 attendees were representatives of all three branches of the Armed Services plus three ladies from the WRAF.


A short meeting was held in the afternoon to air views and raise points of interest.  There was good support for organising another coach trip to Fontainebleau next year to arrive the day prior to the Paris Parade to ensure that we can attend it.  The Parade at the Arc de Triomphe is held 4 times a year and soon as we have the dates the members will be balloted.


We are exploring the possibility of erecting a plaque in the Town Hall or Church at Fontainebleau to commemorate the presence of the Allied Air Forces at Fontainebleau from 1951 until 1966.  Other suggestions to commemorate our time there include a park bench with a brass plate or planting a tree, maybe in the Camp grounds.  Are there any more ideas out there?


It was agreed that the time has come for a fresh injection of cash into the Admin Fund ~ more about that later.


After the Dinner your editor was presented with a framed picture of the party which toured Camp Guynemer in September.  This hangs in a prominent place in the “Office” and serves as a constant reminder of those halcyon days spent at Fontainebleau.


The raffle raised £71 for the Admin Fund.  Thank you to all those who donated prizes. those




It is with much sadness that the passing of David Allan on 29 October is announced.  He died after a short spell in hospital.  David always encouraged and supported our Association’s activities with great enthusiasm. Those who were privileged to know him during his service career will remember his compassion, fairness and sound common sense. He was always courteous even to the most junior ranks. He served at AAFCE from May 1951 to Nov 1956.  The length of that tour is an indication of the esteem in which the RAF held David who left the service with the rank of Warrant Officer.  Our hearts go out to Dorothy and the family. 


A donation of £25 was sent to the RAF Benevolent Fund on behalf of the Association.




Cpl Sandy Warrener, Stores arrived at AAFCE in Oct 54 and left in Aug 56 and now lives with his wife Gill in Cardiff.


Cpl John Lowe served in the AFCENT Comcentre from Dec 59 to Jan 63. John now lives in Scarborough


SAC Michael Cottrell, now living in Somerset was a typist in the HQ Staff Message Control Office from May 54 until Feb 56.


Cpl Ron Anders worked in Tactical Evaluation and Training Dept between Apr 60 and Oct 62.  Ron left the RAF in 1981 and joined the RNIB as Deputy manager of the Talking Book Library.  After a couple of more posts and a period as a consultant he “swallowed the anchor” in Dec 99 and is enjoying his retirement in with his wife Pat in Buckinghamshire.




Here is a selection from a set of rules sent in by Mike Capon ~ more later


1.      Every take off is optional.  Every landing is mandatory

2.     Flying isn’t dangerous, it is crashing that is dangerous

3.     The only time you have too much fuel is when you are on fire

4.     Learn from the mistakes of others, you won’t live long enough to make all of them yourself.

5.     Never let the aircraft take you somewhere your brain didn’t get to 5 minutes earlier.

6.     Good judgement comes from experience ~ unfortunately the experience comes from bad judgement.

7.     Keep looking around ~ there is always something you have missed

8.     The 3 most useless things to a pilot are the runway behind, the altitude above and half a second ago.

9.     Always try to make the number of landings you make equal to the number of take offs you have made.

10.   You know if you have landed with the wheels up if it takes full power to taxi to the ramp.




Charley Collyer is such a good correspondent, his letters usually incorporate a tale from yesteryear, that I have decided to introduce a new regular Charley’s Corner feature in the Newsletter


Among the farm animals kept on Charley’s brother-in-law’s farm was a man eating tiger cub from Nepal that he kept chained to a stake in a barn.  The cub was being looked after for a friend who was an assistant director of the Zoo in Lorraine.  Charley’s wife had to walk 2 miles to buy bread and collect the post because deliverymen refused to visit the farm while the tigress was kept there.  Charley would go down to the farm from Paris for the week-ends.  He watched his wife feeding the tiger and eventually plucked up enough courage to feed her himself.  Slowly a friendship developed between Dolly and our gentle Flight Sergeant (pictured right) to the extent that he was able to stroke the animal and later pick her up.  Eventually the brother in law passed away and when a keeper from the zoo collected Dolly Charley was close to tears.  He could not bring himself to visit her in the zoo








Dave Bennett recited this amusing ditty at the Reunion and it is thought worth including here for those who were not present.




I’m the last man left in the Air Force

I’ve an Office at M O D

And a copy of Queens Regulations

Which applies only to me

And I can post myself to Leuchars

And detach myself to Kinloss

Or myself on courses to MOTU

Then cancel the lot ~ I’m the Boss


I’m the last man in the Air Force

But the great Parliamentary brains

Omitted when cancelling people

To sell off the stations and planes

The result is my inventory bulges

With KD and campstools and Quarters

Plus a signed book by Trenchard

Which I keep for impressing reporters


I’m the last man in the Air Force

I suppose you imaging it’s great

To be master of all you survey, but

I tell you it’s difficult mate.

I inspected three units last Thursday

As C in C (acting) of Strike

Then I swept half the runway at Laarbruch

And repaired Saxa vord’s station bike


I’m the last man in the Air Force

My wife says I’m never at home

When I’m not flying Hercs I’m at Manston

Laying gallons and gallons of foam

Or I’m in my marine craft off Plymouth

Shooting flares at the crowds on the Hoe

Or I’m orderly corporal at Luqa

It’s an interesting life, but all go


I’m the last man in the Air Force

I’m ADC to the Queen

I’m Duty Clerk at St Mawgam

I am the RAF Rugby team

Tomorrow I’m painting the guardroom

And air-testing several planes

The day after that I’m for London

To preach at St Clement Danes


I’m the last man in the Air Force

And I’m due to go out before long

There’s been no talk of a replacement

And I won’t even let myself sign on

I hope to enjoy my retirement

I’ve put up a fairly good show

And I won’t cut myself off entirely

There are always reunions you know.











 “Now I’m a civvy”


FINANCIAL REPORT ~  Year ending 31 Oct 2000                                                 


Income                              £                 £                  £     


          B Fwd from 1999                                  109.21         


          Ties profit                           48.00                            

          Blazer badges profit             110.00                                     



          Raffle                                                    71.00                  


          Contributions                                        167.50          


          Total Income                                                            505.71





          Postage                            148.30

          Telephone                           64.83                  

          Stationery                           52.46                  

          General Expenses                 38.00                  


          Total Expenses                                                         303.59


          Bal in Fund to carry forward                                       202.12




          Represented by                                                       


          Cash                              -137.28          


          Merchandise in stock           339.40                   

          (at cost)                                                       





Although our total assets exceed the liabilities all the assets are held as stock and until this is sold we have a liquidity problem.  Since our inauguration in 1995 there has been only one call on the members for a voluntary contribution and the time has now come to make a supplementary call by way of a voluntary donation of no more than £5.  Most of those at the Reunion stumped up and their contributions will be credited to next year’s accounts.


If you wish to donate something to “kitty” you can either staple your cheque (made payable to D M Rogerson) to this Newsletter or post it separately.  A proper record is kept of all receipts and expenditure.


AND FINALLY . . . . .


It appears that occasionally some members are not passing on the Newsletter to the next person on the Distribution List.  You are therefore reminded to send them on quickly.  It will also help if I am informed when any of you are away from home for more than 3 weeks.  By all means contact me when you return and you will be sent anything issued in your absence.