After thankfully not being required for action in their Victor aircraft of October 1962, *(see below) crews of 10 and 101 Squadrons flew to Cuba for the first time in March 2019. A Brize Norton Voyager aircraft was used to carry HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall to Havana from Barbados during a Caribbean tour. This was the first time that a member of the British Royal Family had ever visited the Island.
The picture below was taken from a newspaper website on the internet on 26 March.
* In October 1962 10 Squadron was based at Cottesmore with its nuclear-capable Victor B1 bomber aircraft. Prior to the anticipated delivery of Russian missiles to its Cuban soviet satellite, the US President John F. Kennedy imposed a naval blockade on the Island. It was considered that tension between the USSR and the USA would escalate further and at the height of the Cold War, there might be a final drastic conclusion.
10 Squadron's Victor B1 s at RAF Cottesmore in the 1960s
Fortunately the Soviets withdrew their ships and the risk of a nuclear war diminished. Hence the high-level Alert Standby, imposed on 10 Sqn, was relaxed after 5 November 1962. Wg Cdr T.C. Gledhill AFC, was OC10 at the time.
Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 (10 Sqn Ops Records 1962)
A proposal, submitted by one of our members, to build a memorial at Tangmere in Sussex, is soon to be put to the Chichester Council Planning Permission Department.
If their permission is granted, the memorial will be installed close to the site where a 10 Squadron Halifax, HX 181, crashed into a hangar at RAF Tangmere in November 1943, killing all the crew.
Further details may be seen via the link below and your kind donation, no matter how small, will be much appreciated. On reaching the hoped-for £3,000 the application may then be submitted and, if successful, it's construction and installation may then go ahead. Please donate something to this most worthy cause.
Crowd-Funding : Tangmere Memorial Halifax Crew
8 March 2019
International Womens' Day
Nice to see from Twitter above, that the office of the recently-appointed Head of RAF Medical Services, Air Cdre Maria Byford, has this model of VC10, XV 104 on her bookcase shelf.
This aircraft, was one of the few VC10s similarly painted, which were used to repatriate the British wounded during May and June of the 1982 Falklands Conflict. The flights were from Montevideo in Uruguay to Brize Norton, UK, via Ascension Island and were designated 'Red Cross Flights' since Uruguay had declared its neutrality in the conflict between Britain and Argentina.
(XV 104 was later known to older Association members as being the VC10 aircraft which overflew the Inauguration Ceremony of the 10 Squadron War Memorial at Melbourne, Yorkshire in September 1985.)
Find Terry Murphy...... who was on VC10s
Sadly we learn that Terry Murphy finally passed away on 21 December 2018 after his long illness. Our deepest sympathies go to his wife Betty and the family.
At kleast we just managed to re-unite him with some of his oldest friends shortly before he died. An Obituary will folllow soon when details of his funeral are known.
An enquiry was made to the Association website some three or four years ago but our research posting on the website brought no joy to the enquirer who was keen to trace a former 10 Sqn early 1970s VC10 pilot. The task was re-started recently and we are pleased to now report great success.
The parents of Richard Gilham celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2015 and were keen to trace their Best Man with whom contact had been lost over the years. As a result of this more recent research, which even involved our Chairman Mike Westwood knocking on doors in the village of Carterton, adjacent to RAF Brize Norton, we were eventually delighted to finally track our man (and his wife Betty) down.
Terry G. Murphy was born in 1932 and lived in Bexleyheath, Kent, next door to the father of our enquirer Richard Gilham. Terry joined the RAF as a National Service pilot in 1951 and flew Canberras and Vulcans before his last tour on VC10s as a copilot, leaving the RAF in October 1976. He now lives in Cleethorpes, N. Lincs. but sadly is not too well at the moment.
However, contact has been regained between the couples and, as a kind gesture, Richard Gilham has made a donation on his parents behalf, to the RAF Benevolent Fund in gratitude to the efforts made by the Association in tracing his parents' friends.
We wish Terry Murphy 'All The Best'
and out thoughts are with him, his wife Betty and their family, not only in this festive period, but for the future New Year also.
Get well Terry.