Sunday, 31 October 2010

Visit by Gp Capt ADGE 7 Jan 98

Gp Capt Brian Rogers visited Saxa early in 1998. He was accompanied by Sqn Ldr Hann (a previous CO of Saxa – Sep 93 to Sep 95) and by Sqn Ldr MacDonald-Webb (who held a NATO Coordination staff post). It was very unusual for there to be staff visits to Saxa that early in the year.  Sqn Ldr Jones, the Station Commander, accompanied them during their stay on the Unit. (Left click on pictures to enlarge).

The final picture in this section is a copy of the cover of the Spring 98 Issue of the station Magazine – The Saxa Voice.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Flag Officer Scotland 1969

In 1969 the unit was visited by the Flag Officer Scotland, Vice Admiral Sir Ian McGeoch KCB CBE DSO DSC. This was to be his last tour after a long and distinguished career in the Royal Navy. He was a celebrated submarine commander in the Mediterranean during WWII. He was taken prisoner by the Germans and held in Italy, before escaping and returning home. Sir Ian, who retired in 1970, died in 2007 – I have put a link below to an obituary from the Daily Telegraph which gives a much more detailed outline of his career:

The Station Commander was Wg Cdr Jerrold Le Cheminant, who also had a distinguished service career. The civilian, seen in 3 of the photos, below was Bertie Henderson. He was the RN representative on Unst, responsible for looking after the Admiralty Building at the Top Site. The last of the 4 photos shows the distribution of wet weather clothing, presumably for a trip out to Muckle Flugga.


Sunday, 24 October 2010

Visit to Unst by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh - 1 May 1995

In May 1995 the Duke of Edinburgh, who was en route to Sweden, paid a short visit to Unst.  He arrived at the Baltasound Airstrip in a 32 Sqn helicopter, went straight to the Top Site, on to the Sgts Mess, saw the new Quarters at SHE and then visited the Unst Leisure Centre. The whole visit was over in less than 3 hours. A copy of the Itinerary from the Admin order is below. (Left click on pictures to enlarge).

The only photos I have of the visit were taken at SHE in the afternoon. The photos look like someone’s private snaps – I would be happy to credit them to the photographer or remove them if so wished. The first phase of the new quarters had just been completed and Prince Philip unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion.  In the photos (apart from Prince Philip) I can recognise the Lord Lieutenant for Shetland Mr JH Scott, the CO – Sqn Ldr Hann and Dennis Buddle.

An extract (now declassified) from the Unit History (F540) which describes the visit, is below:-

Thursday, 21 October 2010

AOCs 1972 - AVM IG Broom

The AOCs inspection in 1972 took place on 1 June and was carried out by AVM Ivor Broom, AOC 11 Gp. The Station Commander was Sqn Ldr PCG Woolston. I notice that the AOC is wearing a black armband – I’m not certain why this was but my best guess is that it was linked to the death of Edward, Duke of Windsor, on 28 May 72.
I also notice that there was a pipe band in attendance. I presume that it was from RAF Kinloss from where members of the Band were detached to Saxa on a number of occasions in the 70’s. (Left click on pictures to enlarge).


Sunday, 17 October 2010

AOCs Inspection 1996 – AVM CR Spink

On 3 June 1996 AVM CR Spink CBE FCMI RAF carried out the AOC’s Inspection. At the time the Station Commander was Sqn Ldr Bill Gray.

During his career AVM Cliff Spink flew a variety of fast jets including the Gnat, Hunter, Lightning, Phantom and Tornado. He was the Tornado detachment Commander during the first Gulf War. During his tour as Station Commander at RAF Coningsby, which hosted the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, he flew both Hurricanes and Spitfires. Since retiring he has be active in the restoration of and flying historic aircraft – among them the Spitfire , F86, Bf109 and Sea Fury.

 During his visit AVM Spink awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal to 4 Corporals.  The people involved were Cpl S Comben, Cpl R Byrne,  Cpl R Fernley and Cpl S Manley. I only have 3 pictures of the event and I only know the name of one of recipient in the picture. If anyone can attach the correct names to the other 2 pictures or supply a picture of the fourth recipient, it would be appreciated.