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zootog

RESEARCH FOR BOOK, Desert Storm 4 Regt AAC Detmold, RAF SE Fitter, Stolen Land Rover

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I recently joined this forum whilst carrying out research for a book I am writing.

 

 

It is about my adventures during Desert Storm as a RAF Engineer attached to 4 Regt Army Air Corp (then based in

 

 

Detmold).

 

Andy-of-Arabia.jpg

 

THIS IS ME POSING.......Next to a bit of shot up Iraqi hardware

 

 

I came across the forum after Googling 54 HG 12 the reg of a airportable L/R I owned, by stealing from Al Jubail

 

 

Port during this adventure. Low and behold, my old workhorse is now the Pride & Joy of Airportable (Andy) who I

 

 

have been talking to over the past week or so.

 

Andy-arrives-back-at-base-w.jpg

 

This is Andy's (Airportable) pride and joy, having seen a recent photo "CRAB 1" has certainly aged well

 

1.jpg

 

 

As you can see, original number plate to confirm its provenience

 

desert-camming-the-canvas.jpg

 

I'm looking for any information of 4 Regt members who served at this time, Major Walsh comes to mind, the

 

 

Australian attached officer, would like his name, and the crazy US Major Lynx pilot,he carried 2 chrome six

 

 

shooters on his hip, think he was from Texas who I hung out with on souvenier collecting jolly's. He used his

 

 

Lynx to spot untouched treasure, we would then set off in CRAB 1 and bring it in, ship it back to the REMF's and

 

 

flog it, love to make contact with him again.

 

 

Then their was the scottish sqmsm, NEED his name -he's a star :-)

 

 

More importantly, does anybody ex Raf know SAC KEV MOORE,SE Fitter RAF

 

painting-2.jpg

 

That's Kev, the man mountain, and gentle giant I'm on the right, I'm 6ft 2"!! Paint being applied to hide my stolen goods

 

 

There are some other characters I would like to track down, will post pics later.

 

 

I also have lots of pics of deserted and shot up iraqi gear and lots of other hardware to show you over the

 

 

coming weeks.

 

me-playing-with-an-AK47.jpg

 

 

This is me blatting off an AK47, will talk about this and lots of other stuff over the forthcoming weeks

 

 

I guess you could say this is a preview of some of the content of my book, which incidently is called "Stop Me &

 

 

Buy One"

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this

 

Andy (Zootog)

Edited by zootog

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Maybe change the name to Errol Flynn, or the 'Red Shadow' ?:-D

 

Hi Tony, I think you will agree eventually, the title is spot on:D

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Just to clarify why I stole 54 HG 12

 

I was RAF attached to Army, my role included supporting aircrew on 4 locations, about 25kms apart in the desert.

 

Trying to get hold of somebody else's wheels to do my job, was impossible, both the Army & The RAF said the problem of transport was each others.

 

I decided that if I'm here to do a job, then I'll do it - whatever it takes, in this case whatever it takes involved me "taking" a land rover off the dockside..........

 

me-trying-to-look-cool.jpg

 

Here is CRAB 1 with her new paint job, CRAB 1 was painted over the number plate. Maybe an ex Army member can explain "Crab":laugh:

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CRAB Airways always fly sideways Aldergrove RAF station moto. Probably more than one base used the title :laugh:

 

Spot on, it is used pretty generic by the Army as a slang for RAF personnel, Crabs, nothing to do with STI's

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Suposedly intiated because the RAF blue uniform is the same colour as an ointment used to traeat personal irritating problems. :D ALB at South Cerney had a large crab as part of the road side base sign.

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our-home-on-the-desert.jpg

Our new temporary home

 

After getting all the kit ready to move into our new home in the desert. I was in charge of a small 4 man RAF contingent of Survival Equipment Fitters, our prep was simple, slacken off all 4 Regt aircrews' flying helmets, so they could wear an AR5 Aircrew NBC Hood underneath the helmets,protection from Saddam's chemical/bio weapons, we needed to do this with the aircrew wearing the helmet. The 4 sqn's were deployed 25km apart, that's why I nicked 54 HG 12 - to do my job.

 

After the aircrews helmets were all slackened off, we didn't have a lot to do. So, as CRAB 1 was the only wheels I had for 4 men, I managed to secure squatting rights in an old binner. which we used as our cosy camper van.

 

Soon after getting into the desert berm, I managed to get 2 of the other 3 lads de-deployed to a Chinook sqn. I kept Kev as my personal body guard and minder. The other SAC was an idiot, so he was an easy choice to re-deploy, the other was a young corporal who was a good tradesmen, but he was constantly reading or writing blueys to his wife, I kid you not, one mail call he had 17 bluey's, always more than 5, many of the REME's weren't getting any and I could feel the resentment to all of us emanating from the pongo's (thats our name for Army). So as he was a drain or moral - he left too.

 

Me and the man mountain in CRAB 1, a bit cramped, so I scrounged the kit to make a roof rack........

 

me-welding-roofbox.jpg

 

cage-frame.jpg

 

me-welding.jpg

 

fitting-cage.jpg

 

Kevs-just-too-big-for-CRAB-.jpg

Edited by zootog

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I'm speechless. I mean it. Will add a current pic. or two when I have got over the shock of this history coming to life.

Andy.

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I'm speechless. I mean it. Will add a current pic. or two when I have got over the shock of this history coming to life.

Andy.

 

YOUR speechless, finding CRAB 1 has given me the kick up the arse to get my book finished.....

 

Wait until I tell me Mum, this'll make you laugh........

 

I come from a family tradition of military service, my dad was in Korea, Aden, Granddad was actually 8th Army LRDG, something that shoe horns nicely into this story later......right back to my Great Great Great (I think thats enough Greats) grandad who served in the 1857 Indian Mutiny (sold his medal when I was 16 to buy a Yamaha FSIE) Regret it now, but thats life.

 

Anyway, my Mum.........80 now, when Dad came out of the Army, he got a civvie job at an Army Base near Nottingham called Chillwell, my Mum also had a job there. During Gulf 1 build up, she worked in admin dispatch, .......you've guessed it Army vehicles..........I had no idea she did this until I told my parents about my exploits, she suddenly asked, was it 54 HG 12? when I confirmed it, she clipped me around the ear and called me names your mother should never use. she told me I had stolen the 2 IC's FFR LR from a Engineering Regt (can't remember which - probably best). When I said FFR, it has all the gear in the back, we ripped it all out and buried it in the Desert..........

 

canvas-off-waiting-for-rock.jpg

 

Here is CRAB 1 waiting for the roof rack to be fitted

 

roof-box-finished.jpg

 

Ready for the forth coming adventure

Edited by zootog

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I'm using this as a bit of a visual synopsis of my book, so I need to rewind a bit. To the pics of me and Kev painting CRAB 1

 

Our compound on the outskirts of Al Jubail was stacked shippping containers. the prep before moving into the Berm in the desert was done there by workshop Sqn REME

 

4-Regt-REEMS-gear-AJ-compou.jpg

took this from on top of the containers (obviously)

 

binner-gazelle.jpg

Here is the Binner I acquired, it carried all the service records for the aircraft, I just packed all the records into a smaller space, with room for 2 to live in comfortably, that's why 2 of us had to be re-deployed :cool2:

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fitting-new-visors-Al-Jubia.jpg

 

Here is one of my guys replacing all 80 odd aircrews clear visors, mainly Mk 4a helmets for those that are interested.

 

gazelles-AJC.jpg

 

REEMS getting their cabs ready

 

lynx.jpg

 

 

 

my-acquired-binner.jpg

 

The stable door was very useful later at the berm:D

 

me-and-cpl-lotsofmail---inc.jpg

 

This was during a scud attack , I was listening to live commentary of BFBS radio, I thought it was great, I was relaying what I was hearing via the earphones on my walkman. There was a huge whooshing noise, like being near to a rocket being lit of bonfire night, then a massive explosion as the Patriot hit the scud, this had just happened in the photo. But I wound up the others in Hotel Container by saying, "reports are coming in that more than 20 scuds inbound towards our location" the siren actually sounded for the all clear, but I said it was due to the 20 inbound, as you can see my colleague was crapping himself...........I was young:-D

Edited by zootog

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i will be watching this thread with massive interest and would love a copy of the book when its finished lol

 

wish i could find someone who used my landy but its hard enough to get info out of the royal marines as it is

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After all the preparations to the kit, helicopters and equipment was made servicable, the air war was well under way and we left our container city and moved into our freshly dug berm, up nearer the Iraqi border, waiting for the green light to move into Iraq.

 

follow-my-leader.jpg

 

This is when CRAB 1 came into her own, the berm, where we were located was the workshop squadron, the 4 sqn's of helicopters were deployed 25kms apart in different locations, there wasn't a lot for my and Kev to do, so we tried to visit 2 of the squadrons every day, just checking with the aircrew that everything was ok. The coms/electrics in the helmets were prone to problems, as you can imagine not being able to talk to ops, other aircraft and air/flight controllers can be a little inconvenient.

 

me-repairing-a-bone-dome-sa.jpg

 

Me mending a flying helmet

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Great thread, love reading it, proves every rule has an exception and in time of war . . . .

 

 

R

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Not long after we got into the desert, I bumped into 4 regt's CO Colonel (??? = any ideas folks?), whilst visiting a sqn. He had a long face on him. I asked him if everything is ok with his flying kit? He grumbled that all his aircrew were really worried about not having access to laser protection - the latest technology in flying helmet visors. I knew of these from before the conflict, he complained that there are non available, the only only ones in theater were at Dharan, fitted to Tornado pilots helmets. My brother in law was my best man and close friend was doing my job at one of the Tornado sqns in Dharan, about 70/80 kms away. I told the CO that their was a good chance I could get my hands on some, but it might take me a couple of days, he agreed to let me and big Kev head off to Dharan on the scrounge. I'm sure he thought I was pulling a fast one, I was.......anyway I came back with 100 laser visors, 4 days later, surprised myself too. We was subject to another SCUD attack whilst visiting Dharan too this one hit and killed some yanks:-(

 

en-route-from-Burm-to-Dhara.jpg

 

This is us hitting the MSR driving for 30ks across the sand from the burm, on the way to Dharran no roads

 

Big-Kev-fitting-anti-laser-.jpg

 

Big Kev fitting the laser visors a few days later

 

Andy-of-Arabia-in-his-mecha.jpg

 

Lot more info about how I got the visors in the book :D

Edited by zootog

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Before I go on with my exploits, where are some stuff I need to explain. Firstly the fact that I was "only" a corporal (RAF) after 13 years service, attached to a REME unit that many of the techies came out of training as Corporals. Was I dumb or stupid - no. On the contrary, I was recommended for a commission some years before. The Army/RAF rank structure is more about maths than anything else. Soldier's has until he is 40 to reach the top WO1/RSM, an airman has until he is 55 to reach warrant officer - Army 22yr career - Airman 37yr career, with similar rank structure.

 

Consequently, some of the SNCO's including a scottish WO2 couldn't work out in his head how a "Corporal" can be a head of a section/unit (head of shed). His brain simply couldn't process the information accurately.

 

Another fundamental difference was the interpretation of the word "discipline". And before the ex army have a go at me, I DO realise the need for the different interpretation. A soldier will follow an order without question, an airman, at least this airman would ask "Why?" or "actually, why don't we do that this way?" This caused a huge amount of friction between me and the WO2

 

I will cover this more later

 

allah2.jpg

 

Here is an example of my lack of discipline, whilst the soldiers were digging holes to live and sleep in , i had a mobile home. Also, my dress sense was a little unconventional.

 

Now, you have to remember I had just got hold of hens teeth, these laser visors, as far as the CO was concerned, I had golden bollocks and could do no wrong.

 

That'll do for now...........if you have any questions, please feel free to join in and ask away;)

Edited by zootog

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how long till your book is finished i like books like this lol

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Its fair to say, the a for mentioned WO2 didn't like me much, and the feeling was mutual. Back at Container City he was in charge of MT for the workshop sqn, apart from other things. So before I nicked CRAB 1 this will help explain the events as to why I had to resort to theft to do my job. In my book, you will read that I actually volunteered to serve in the gulf, again this is important later...

 

Back in the 4th post of this adventure I mentioned the difficulties I had getting wheels to do my job, and having to deal with this low IQ grunt didn't make my job any easier, to be fair without him trying to piss me off at every opportunity, I would not have a story, but at the time my priorities was doing my job and staying alive.

 

The frustration started at Camp Black Adder, after arriving at Al Jubial on Kuwait's only 747 not stolen by Saddam, (more details in book). My hand luggage was a little unconventional to say the least, consisting of my personal weapon (SLR) and a set of 58 webbing. The rest of my personal kit was unaccompanied. In my case literally, my kit for some reason only known by the movers at Brize Norton had gone with 42 Commando on exercise to Norway. So needless to say I was a bit distraught knowing that the only pair of shreddies I owned, I was wearing as I arrived at Camp Black Adder..............

Edited by zootog

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Andy, this is great news, and give provenience to my Mum in Post 10. Remember I said she worked in Vehicle dispatch at Chilwell - check out the ref no at where CRAB 1 was sent from............. CWL555, methinks that stands for Chilwell :D

 

Got to get my Mum to visit this forum now!!!

 

Andy, now I'm blown away...........

 

A random photo to celebrate!!!

 

digging-shell-scrape.jpg

Edited by zootog

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