Issue Number 20†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† ††††††October 2001

 

EDITORIAL

 

There is a tight deadline to meet for this issue because the special facilities available for the print run will terminate in October. We are looking for an alternative source for copying the Newsletters. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.

 

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of AFFCE in Fontainebleau. Prior to that NATO operated under Allied Forces Western Europe.

 

Our recruiting drive took off again after Dave Bennett inserted an advert in Yours Magazine.

 

The trip to France was a resounding success. The possibility of another trip in 2001 will be discussed at the Reunion on 20 October.

 

FONT AINEBLEAU REVISITED

 

On Thursday 13 Sept a party of 41 set off on a coach to spend 6 days in France, for many it was their first return trip to Fontainebleau. Hotel accommodation was not available in Fontainebleau so, force majeure, our Tour Operator had to put us in the IBIS Hotel, Melun where 4 others who made their own way joined the party. Later there was an emotional reunion with Charley Collyer .

 

From all accounts the highlight of the trip was undoubtedly the Saturday Parade at the Arc de Triomphe. Our party joined the British Legion and other servicemen to march up the Champs Elysees and take a full part in the ceremony of rekindling the flame on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 8 of our party were invited to a reception at the British Embassy.

 

The day trip to Orleans on the Sunday proved a little disappointing because in France everything closes on Sunday and the weather could have been better .

 

The organised programme for the day in Fontainebleau on Monday was thrown out of gear when an invitation to a reception in the Mayor's parlour at noon was received only a few days before we left England. However it was possible to take in a visit to Camp Guynemer but the increased security there prevented our entering many buildings. There followed a visit to Quartier Chataux where we were given a very warm welcome.

 

On Tuesday it was time to pack the bags and set off on the long trek home. By the time they returned to their homes most were weary from all the activity in France.

 

Ted Caton's unedited account of the trip together with a selection of photographs from various cameras is given in a special Supplement to this Newsletter.

 

 

ADDITIONS TO MEMBERSHIP †††††

 

We welcome the following into our membership

 

Pictured left is SAC Roy Jones who was posted to AAFCE in Dec 1956 and worked as an Airframe Mechanic at the Comm. Flight, Melun until Aug 1959. After demob in 1966 Roy served 33 years with Dunlop Engineering in their Aviation Division. A keen amateur boxer Roy qualified as a referee and judge with the ABA of England and still officiates as a judge at major championships, having retired from refereeing last year. Roy is chairman of Warwickshire Amateur Boxing Association, and helps to run Bedworth Ex≠-Servicemen's Amateur Boxing Club. Among his other interests are following the Welsh Rugby team and supporting Coventry City where he is a season ticket holder. Roy lives with his wife Mary in Bedworth, Warwickshire.

 

Roy Jones introduced Cpl Mike Hymers, an Instrument Fitter at Melun Airfield from August 1954 until March 1957. When Mike left the RAF in 1965 he joined ICT later to become ICL where he completed 27 years service working in London and the South East finishing as a Computer Disk System Specialist before taking early retirement in 1993. Settled in Cranbrook, Kent Mike is now a full time carer nursing his wife Pam who has Motor Neurone Disease contracted 3 years

ago.

 

,

 

Sgt Jim Muir served at the Receiver Site of the Comms. Building at Fontainebleau. He was one of that rare breed fortunate enough to enjoy 2 tours at AAFCE "' the first from 1953 to 1957 and the second from 1957 to 1960 so I expect quite a few of you will remember him. Jim saw war service as the photo of him as a corporal in 1941 is witness. Following his discharge from the RAF Jim worked at RAF Sealand repairing radar and radio equipment until his retirement in 1982. Regrettably Jim's wife Olive was seriously injured in a fall 3 years ago and is now in a nursing home 4 miles from Jim's home in Cliftonville, Kent. Jim enjoys his golf and plays off a handicap of 18.

 

We are pleased to welcome another member from the Army introduced by Malcolm Degville, an old school pal. After basic training at Catterick Camp Cpl Jeff Lester, Royal Signals served at ALFCE for 18 months from September 1958 handling classified documents at the Palace in Fontainebleau. After demob he resumed working for his previous employer as a cost clerk. In September 1960 he joined Glynwed working his way up to Salaries manager, Personnel Officer, Personnel Manager before progressing to Divisional HR. Jeff's speciality was employment law and heath and safety regulations. After completing 41 years service with Glynwed/Tyco Jeff recently took early retirement and lives with his wife Eileen and one son in Oldbury. His other son recently married an Australian girl and relocated to Brisbane where Jeff recently enjoyed a long stay.

 

SAC Malcolm Hughes, a Driver in the International M T Section arrived at AAFCE in October 1954 and left in April 1957 for demob. He had such a wonderful time at Fontainebleau that he found it difficult to settle in Civvy Street working the night shift at Ford's in Dagenham. After various engineering jobs Malcolm became a self-employed decorator for 30 years before working for a local garage driving new cars before finally retiring in September last year. Malcolm lives in Great Clacton Essex with his wife ex

SACW Lavinia.

 

 

FIRST INTERNATIONAL POLICE FORCE

 

The following article appeared in Provost Parade in April 1953 and is reproduced by kind permission of the Provost Marshal.

 

Flags over

††††††† Fontainebleau

 

 

By HOWARD K FINCHER (United States Air Force)

 

Office of Public Information, H.Q., A.A.F.C.E.

 

Not so long ago the idea of an international police force was reserved for the world of fiction. Today it borders on fact.

 

Proof lies in thc 99.9 acre triangle landscaped out of historic Fontainebleau forest. Here trim military police ~ wearing six different uniforms and speaking three languages -keep an incessant watch in and around the multi-winged stucco buildings that house Europe's best aerial minds this side of the Iron Curtain.

 

This is the new headquarters of Allied Air Forces ~ Central Europe (A.F.F.C.E.) commanded by General Lauris Norstad. At its fingertips are every jet fighter plane and pilot in the continental air defences growing under Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE).

 

Its security police, drawn from AAFCE's six nations, are close to the fictional concept of an internationalpolice force in their unified -if less spectacular -effort toward a common goal: internal security.

 

Their Commander at this North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) nerve centre is red haired, ruddy faced Squadron Leader J A Smith, RAF, from Blair Atholl, Scotland. He is a veteran of 19 years in military and civil police service.

 

Smith is quick to agree on the international flavour of his crew. It is composed of hand-picked security police from his own Royal Air Force, the air forces of the United States, Canada and The Netherlands and a detachment of French gendarmes.

 

A contingent of Belgian air police is expected soon.

 

But he is apt to chuckle if their operation is compared to fanciful deeds attributed to a world police organisation in fiction.

 

"Our work isn't nearly so exciting" he'll tell you. "Police work seldom is. Most of it here is routine security measures. The job doesn't offer much variety to our lads, many of them specialists in investigation and other technical aspects of crime detection."

 

"But you can't minimise its importance" he cautions. "Internal security in peacetime can have a vital bearir1g on external security in wartime. It may be a dull business, but it is a deadly serious business.

 

His belief is reflected in the businesslike attitude of his men.

 

At the three AAFCE gates open to traffic, and the two entrances to the main headquarters building, they deal politely but firmly every day with streams of visiting military and civilian dignitaries as well as the headquarters working population.

 

Using two official tongues of AAFCE -English and French -the policemen maintain rigid control of entry points. At night they check offices for open filing cabinets and other security violations. They initiate background investigations of every civilian and military man who comes to work here. And they enforce discipline among its national support groups both in the military realm and in relations with civilian authorities.

 

They are responsible, too, for countless little military niceties that air police traditionally inherit, such as flag ceremonies and guards of honour.

111e qrowlll of Smith's security police force -almost two years old now -parallels that of AAFCf~ .

 

Wherl former C;eneral of the Army Dwight D Eisenhower and General Norstad sinlult,lneously look comrllarld of Sf1APE and AAFCE respectively on April 2nd 1951, Sgt. Donald McDougal1 and two othcl I~AF Pollcemell were in charge of security at the old Western Union (UNIAIR) headquartels In the P;l!,lCC' of lontalrlebleau.

 

AI(j(~u by a dr:!.tachment of French gendarmes, McDougal1 and hj~ companions h,ld sC't up sllOp III tll(' ( UlJr fjenri Quatre†† building of the palace.Their main job was escorting V.I.Ps. to tile nUrl1(~IOU',

conferences held in the old palace ~ talks that ultimately were to spawn AAFCE.

 

f\III('(j Air Forces Ilcadquarters was established in the Allcs gcs Princes scctlorl of th(' 11,11(1rC', (111(1 r,1LI)ougall's men were joined by a handful of USAF Air Police.

 

JIl ,1dditlon to their security work, they were charged with resporlsibllity in a matter conlplete!y UIVOICC'(j f[()rll nlilitary policing but one the Allies felt deserved special attention. That was the protl~ctlon of till' 1111\l'lc'ss rclrcs of Napoleonic history inherent in the famous old palace.

 

Arllollg thcnl were the table on which Napoleon signed his abdication in 1814, the forc'coult whc~rc Ill! adurcsscd his Old Guard before going into exile, the hat he wore when he csc(1pcd from thc Isll' of fllJa, and the room wllCrc he tried to take his own life.

 

As the passing months saw the skeletal frame of AAFCE and its subordinate flcld \Orllnlandc" tllC :?nd arld 4th Allied Tactical Air Forces, fleshed out with tangible power, so did the AAFCE sl~curlty pollr:c flourish and expand.

 

Fr-Onl arl urldcrmanncd collection of national air police units -responsible to their fcd('ral govl,r-nnlentc; only: they grew to a well disciplined, smartly-heeled police force consolidated under Snllth',; supcrvision.

 

On July 19th 1952 -littlc more than 15 months after its inception: AAFCE nlovcd irlto ItS prcscrlt £3,500,000 physical plant, 40 structures which by their scope and complexity magllificd cnOrmollsly the task of internal security.

 

Fortullatcly Srllith's organisation was by then bcginning to ladle off its share of inflowing pl~rsorlncl.

 

"Thc headquartcrs was getting to be pretty big business by then" rcmembers McDougall. "Irl contr-ast to nly Western Union days, we didn't have to rely on a dozen RAF policemerl and Frerlch gcrldarnlcs. Today wc havc alnlost 70 trained men -25 of ~ RAF boys."

 

"Likc NATO wc arc starting to get thc tools we need to do the job."

 

l-jow wcll they havc done thc job is apparent in thcir spotless record. no major security brcach and fcw flagrant incidents of any kind.

 

Rcccrltly the entire RAF complement got an indirect pat on the back for tllcir job hcrc whcn SQt McDougal1 was awarded the bi-annual RAF Police Citation for outstanding scrvice.

 

McDougall's mates never got to scc his award. Big "Mac" completed his tour of duty h(~rc and rcturnc~u to his horllc in Balbeggic, near Perth, Scotland to await rcassignment.

 

Mcanwililc thc AAFCE police continue to grow, unhampered by a pcculiar kind of nlanpowcr problcrll th(lt plagucs other sections of the headquarters. Many scctions are overstockcd with USAF and RAF pcrsonrlel bccausc its other members simply haven't got thc men. Not so Srllith's security pollcc. Thcy ar(, (Jpproaching authorised strcngth without losing their international flavour.

 

"Pl~rsonncl quotas in NATO arc divided among the 14 nations of its subordinate military COmrll;1rlds by flxcd manpower formulas based on the size of each mcmber's contribution" Smittl cxplalns.

 

"In that WiJy wc crlSUrc a truly irltcrnational dcfence team at headquarters Icvcl as wcll as rn tile fic!u"

 

r)ccausc of that fOrnlUla Smith has thc makings of an intcrnatiorlal police force tilat 20 ycars aqo W(lS considered as irllpossiblc as a single minded European defencc family such as NATO.

 

Both arc all fact, not fiction.

 

 

FINANCIAL REPORT

 

Below is the Income and Expenditure Account for the 11 months to 30 September 2001 The financial year will now end on 30 September each year to enable the statement to be presented at the Reunion

 

There is a healthy cash balance. If the stock is included we are in a strong position At the Reunion I will propose that we skip calling for another contribution from the members this autumn However our costs are likely to increase this year with the loss of the print run and copying facilities The position will be monitored and a view can be taken later in the year

 

Income&ExpenditureAccount ~ 11 months to 30 Sep 2001

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †† †††††£†††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† £††††††††††††††††† £

Balance 31 Oct 00

Cash††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †† (137.28)

Stock at cost†††††††††††††††††††† ††† 339.40

 

Total assets at 31 Oct 00†††† †††† 202.12

 

Cash Balance brought forward††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (137.28)

 

Income

 

Subscriptions††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 545.00

 

Merchandise sales††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Ties (16)

Blazer badges (16)

†††††† †††Enamel badges (17)

468.50

 

Other income†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 322.00

 

Total Income†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 1335.50

 

Expenditure

 

Postage††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† 116.12

Telephone†††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† 81.79

General Expenses†††††††††††††††††† 131.30

Benches and wine†††††††††††††† ††† 126.87

Purchase of Merchandise†††† ††† 283.85

Total Expenditure†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† (739.93)

 

Cash Balance at 30 Sep 01†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† 458.29†††††††††††

 

Merchandise in stock at cost

Ties (13)†††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† 83.20

Blazer badges (22)†††††††††††† ††††† 199.50

Enamel Badges (28)††††††††††† ††††††† 44.80

Value of stock at cost†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† 327.50

 

Balance ~ cash & stock†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† 785.79

 

 

 

OBITUARY

 

Included in the TIMES obituaries column recently was Air Marshal The Rev Sir Paterson Fraser, KCB, CB, AFC who passed away on 4 August. He served at AAFCE Fontainebleau 1954- 1956 replacing Air Marshal John Plant RCAF as Chief of Staff. He was a brilliant flyer with a flair for logistics. He is pictured here as a young officer in India 1932 with a Wapiti in the background.

 

 

POSTINGS

At the end of July Peter and Ellie Taylor relocated to :

1136 Princes Street, KINCARDINE, Ontario, N2Z 1WB Canada

Telephone: (519) 396-3577 Email: ptaylor@bmts.com

 

Bill Garland is in the process of relocating to live in his native Scotland in October.

 

John and Joan Fitzgerald have a new address in Surrey.

 

Arthur and Anne Mooney recently moved within the Edinburgh area

 

Mick and Gwen Champ's new e-mail address is: -mickchamp@iprimus.com.au

 

AND FINALLY........

 

Many of you have asked for a Membership list to be published ~ so here it is on the next few pages. Take a copy if you wish but please do not remove it from the Newsletter.

 

STOP PRESS ~ LATE SIGNING

Chief Technician Bernard Bonner was a Telegraphist I in the Joint Communications Agency at Fontainebleau from October 1963 until March 1966. Bernard left the RAF in 1967 after 22 years service and was accepted for service by the RNZAF but had to decline due his wife's ill health. He joined Johnson Mathey as a security officer and on moving to North Wales he worked as a courier/driver for Wallace Arnold. An injury sustained in the RAF forced Bernard to take early retirement at the tender age of 58. Bernard's wife passed away in 1997 leaving him with three loving daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††† Published by: DM ROGERSON,BROOKWOOD,HUNGERFORD,BURSLEDON,SOUTHAMPTON†† SO31 SDF