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Thread: RAF Labuan, Borneo 1965/6

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    Default RAF Labuan, Borneo 1965/6

    I have been asked if I can remember the name of the squadron leader who commanded the Operations Squadron at RAF Labuan during late 1965/66 (and was definitely there in July 1966).

    His replacement was Sqn Ldr Doug Wood but from whom did Wood take over?

    Colin Cummings

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    Hello,

    3117549 Wg Cdr Leslie William PHIPPS AFC, preceded Sqn Ldr D H Wood.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 18th August 2015 at 11:34.

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    Hullo Col,

    It's Les Phipps who wants to know!

    Les was the station commander from about July 1966 and succeeded A/Wg Cdr D L Pinn, when Pinn was tour-ex.

    Eventually, and after Confrontation ended, Labuan ran down and so Phipps also returned home (to command 29 Sqn Lightnings I think) and Wood then took command before the RMAF took on the whole base.

    Colin Cummings

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    Hi Colin

    Phipps took over on 8 July 1966 and then went to 29 Sqn on 18 Sep 1967

    Malcolm

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    Hello,

    My source*, indicates that Wg Cdr Phipps AFC., assumed command (from 579060 Wg Cdr Dudley Lionel PINN MBE), on 16 July 1966.

    *
    RAF Labuan Borneo.
    Bale,David.
    Hove:The Book Guild,2014.
    pp.199 & 207.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 19th August 2015 at 08:47.

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    The 8th may have been his appointment date and the 16th the date he formally took over?

    Malcolm

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    Ah the week's handover! That's when the awful realisation of what you were in for, finally dawned.

    I recall a couple of things about my early days in Borneo, which happened after a period in West Malaysia, where I lived on the jungle edge most of the time.

    First, on inspecting some airmens' quarters I noticed something called: "The Goeshomey Chart". This was generally provided by a centrefold photograph from Playboy magazine (banned in Malaysia and Brunei). The photograph had been divided into 365 squares and as each day went by, another (usually numbered) square was crossed off. Sensitivity and good manners prohibits me from mentioning the location of the final square. Tours of inspection or visits from the occasional politician required the temporary removal of the charts.

    Next the: Twelve month unaccompanied tour tie. This was embroidered with the motifs comprising the accepted symbol for a female of the species, in the centre of which was the road sign of a circle and red diagonal, all surmounted by the Roman numeral 'XII'. 'Authority' to acquire this tie was 'allowed' after six months in Theatre. There were occasional instances where a cigarette burn appeared in the centre of the female symbol but I've no idea what that meant!!!!

    The third, was an airman who arrived at the base and announced that he was a steward appointed to run the Officers' Mess Bar. He proved to be an exceptionally good bar steward as well. I was only realised, after he had run wild with a loaded weapon, that he was actually an airframe technician!

    Ah happy days!

    Colin Cummings

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    Thank you for those who responded to my query above. The original enquirer is visiting the National Archives to see what the Form 540 says!

    Colin Cummings

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    Colin my dear chap - a bit belated but I think you will find it was Sqn Ldr Peter Major. Les Phipps of course was Stn Cdr. Had a lovely Thames - side lunch with him last year and will be seeing him in October. He is now 80+ but sharp as a pin (like us!!) A plaque for RAF Labuan is being installed at St Clement Danes on 11 Oct at 2pm. Let me know if you are interested - 01865 890375.

    Mike Pritchard

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