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BlueBelle last won the day on January 11 2019

BlueBelle had the most liked content!

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About BlueBelle

  • Rank
    Warrant Officer 1st Class

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  • Location
    Calgary, Canada, for now!
  • Interests
    British Army vehicles 1945-66. Unit histories 1945-66. Mil hist. Writing. Music. Cooking. Libya
  • Occupation
    Brit Businesswoman and owner at www.taylorandtaylorconsultants.com

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  1. We are connected now ..... even though I'd not looked at this thread for 18 months! He has info, official docs and photos from me now. Happiness.
  2. Hello Len, I wonder if you had a big brother there same time as yourself? 22848487 Cpl Douglas Harold Lucas RASC 38 (MT) Coy RAMC? I have records for him, his wife and children born in Tripoli and baptised at Christ The King. I've messaged you privately but no response, perhaps you're not logging in to check for a response or that your settings are not selected to notify you by email that you've got a new message. It would be great to connect as I'd like to further my research on shifting Centurions around Tripolitania. One of your DTs tripped up the snake-bended Garian Pass carrying a 'German' Sexton SPG from Medenine Barracks to the desert location of the film 'Ice Cold in Alex'. Another DT from 'your place' would have taken the same Sexton, still in its DAK livery, from 595 Ord Depot RAOC Kassala Barracks to the range area on TA24. I have the photo and colour photos of the said Sexton, collected from your drop-off point, under tow by an ARV Mk1 of 6RTR south of Zliten (not Zavia as I first wrote!) to be placed as a hard target for the Centurions of 6RTR.... 1959. I know the commander of that ARV and, I know a Centurion gunner or two that shot at the Sexton. Rumoured the shattered hulk and bits were collected by an enterprising Arab from Zliten who put it back together, under a tent, with added bits from the many Stuart Gun Tractors, Dingos and Halftracks that littered those ranges!
  3. Here's another thing. Those two Sextons in the photos above are Mk2, not Mk1 in my book. Note the gun muzzle brake, the stowage boxes as part of the rear superstructure, the Canadian bogies and Canadian dry pin (CDP) tracks. All Mk2 features though it's possible that stowage boxes apart, some of those features may have been on some of the 125 Mk1s built and supplied to the British. Over 2,300 Mk2s were built though I'm not sure if all went to Britain. Portugal got some for sure, India and probably Pakistan too. A shame we can't see the front transmission covers or other frontal formation markings. This source link is reasonable to get a grounding in Sextons though I bet there are better ones here on the forum, Wally. ;) http://panzerserra.blogspot.com/2019/04/sexton-mki-25-pounder-spg-case-report.html
  4. P Battery. Can you see the 'white' Gothic letter 'P' up front top side of superstructure? Pre-1952 VRNs unless the fuzz has affected my capabilty to interpret what I see. Facts so far. Various internet mumbo jumbo and contradictory 'stuff', even on 'official' sites is from where the following comes from. P Battery was part of 3RHA with 2Pdrs?, 3.7" guns? and most oddly, Sextons early 1940 up until early 1941 (when did the Sexton come into service, everyone asks? Mid-1943 I thought?) when the Battery was incorporated into 6RHA with, Sextons? ... India and Palestine? All articles trip over 6RHA, 6LAA and 6 Fd RA. Where's a 'proper' historian or compos mentis Gunner to be found when one wants one. Hope this helps though it would be much easier if you wanted to know about the post 1952 Lt Stone painted Sextons Mk2 of D, J and M Batteries 3RHA Egypt and Libya 10Armd Div...... I can 'do' them quite easily!
  5. ☺️ BlueBelle ..... she watches! This is the most interesting thread for ....... Egypt! There, you thought I was going to say "ages". Great when stuff like this comes to light and gets posted here. Thanks.
  6. The NZ Army in Libya WW2 used a similar device, the 'Thermette'. Google and ye shall see. The British Army has never, to my knowledge of them in Libya, ever had anything so 'sophisticated' though I'd be very happy to be otherwise verifiably informed. Improvisation seemed to be the game even when other means of boiling a billy (mess tin too) were available; nominally any small-medium sized metal drum or box, sometimes intentionally perforated, was dug a little way into the sand and then half-filled with sand and petrol (too hot!) or vehicle/gun oil (just right) and, this was the BENGHAZI BURNER. Even in the 1960s. Very useful in sandy climes but not recommended on heathland or in the woods.
  7. I wonder where the other 40 are? These were worn in pairs. How have you arrived at your selling valuation, if you'd be so kind as to elucidate? For those who are badge collectors, not me. Thank you.
  8. Take a look here: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1727&context=tsaconf Dunlop. Neoprene rubber substitute. 'Camouflarge cloth' ....secret. Air Ministry Ballon Section built them, so did Shepperton Studios. Search Google widely and deeply and ye shall reap 'facts'. My interest is Force R, who whilst they were the masters of deception in WW2, were at some point brought back into play for the Cold War ...... certainly in Tripolitania in 1955 and as an overtly Royal Engineer unit were based in at least one regiment's base at one time (Homs, 3RHA) to utilise a new unusualy large purpose built aircraft-type hanger ....on the edge of the parade square to house what is anyone's guess as I can't track much in the archives remotely from the lands unfit for human habitation. I was alerted to Force R by a Veteran of 3RHA who was there and he told me that the unit was based in their camp and that personnel of Force R were not allowed to mix with the troops stationed in Homs as 'their work was secret'. They dressed in quasi-military uniforms and were 'scruffy'! What I have found out officially is that Force R were indeed in Libya to build dummy V Force bomber diversionary airfields in the desert .... as the real RAF Idris was a known diversionary real airfield for when the 'balloon went up'. The thinking is the large hanger was for constructing/inflating dummy aircraft ... the hanger, even I can remember as a child there in 1959-61 was huge and most certainly was big enough to house a blow-up Vulcan or two! Whether there ever were inflatable British jet aircraft at that time, or after I know not. The hanger was not used for anything after 1957 when 3RHA departed, seemingly 'empty' during 6 and 2RTR's time in situ though no other Veteran could tell me what the hanger was used for even if they could remember it being there. So if you know anything about dummy airfields, inflatable aircraft and Cold War deception in Libya, do please sing out.
  9. Where has sense and sensibility vapourised to? I'd love to go and see 'The British Cold War Museum' with lots of Lt Stone-coloured vehicles as exhibits too! Oh yes, the Cold War was part of the reason HM Armed Forces were in Libya, Malta, Gibraltar, Egypt and, er, a many other Near and Mid East places other than BAOR and the UK. RAF Idris, Tripoli was a dispersal airfield for the V-Bomber force, 22 Fd Engr regt RE openly built NBC defences in Tripolitania and, practiced for war against Soviet forces. At least one decoy airfield was built, inflatable decoy vehicles were deployed (though how many, types, where and exactly when I have yet to find out) and, as a decoy airfield existed, then surely decoy or scrapped aircraft would have been sat on it. Then just look at the might within the Wheelus Airbase, the biggest US airfield outside of the US ..... all those Mace and Matador missiles! The Matador being the world's first first operational surface-to-surface cruise missile. Bomber, fighter and transport fleets and massive areas of desert bombing ranges. Yes, the chill of the Cold War was evident in Libya. A read of the good book by Griffin and Robinson should be had: 'The Royal Armoured Corps in the Cold War 1948-1990'.
  10. 79 Railway Sqn RCT & Wksp REME in the 70s also had them in BAOR as did the train crew and REME repair team of the British Berlin Military Train "The Berliner". Their versions switched to red and green light also, for obvious reasons, perhaps. The slot frame on the back of the lamp played a part in their usefulness. Manufacture by Chloride Bardic Ltd, once upon a time.
  11. Am I missing something here? Please can someone explain how a Ferret Mk1 gets to be a Ferret Mk2/5 having "never had a turret fitted'? I do like a good mystery. Without a turret, the Ferret is quite cute and would grace my drive quite suitably here in Calgary
  12. Hmm, I think I need to source a copy! Thank you for posting, John.
  13. Wecome to HMVF Roy! Always great to have 'someone who was there' join and of course, there's no better place to post your photos and memories than here at: http://hmvf.co.uk/topic/35098-libya-tripolitania-vehicles-barracks-1950s-to-1966/ Regards, Lizzie
  14. Just the ticket John, thank you! Look at those angled corner lockers! I can't see if the air cylinders are sat in 'cups' to prevent the cylinder bases from sliding. Do you see them in your book? Is the photo you've taken a photo of the book or a scan?
  15. FAB photos of the MRA1 'Dry air charging' (FV16103) Wally. I knew you'd be there! Thank you.
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