Chairman’s Chat/AGM business


Attendees (All on MS Teams):

Mr Phil Ward – Chairman

Air Commodore Ian (Cab) Townsend CBE RAF – President

Mr Clive Handy – Vice Chairman

Mr Dave Ellis – Treasurer

Mr Phil Wilsher – Membership Secretary

WO Glen Hadgraft – 3(F) Sqn Mentor

Mr Vic Lorriman

Mr Eric Chamberlain

Mr John Todd

Mr Bob Farrell

Mr David Perry

Mr Keith Grumbley

Mr Duncan Olsen – Secretary


Gp Capt Syd Morris

Wg Cdr Frankie Buchler – OC 3(F) Sqn

Mr John Ford

Mr Dave d’Souza

Item 1 – Chairman’s Opening Remarks

The Chairman opened the meeting at 7pm and welcomed all attendees.

Item 2 – Minutes of the Last Meeting

The Chairman reported that the minutes of the last AGM held at Barnsdale Lodge Hotel on Saturday 23rd October 2021 at 10am had been circulated and no comments had been received.  The minutes were proposed by Clive Handy, seconded by Phil Wilsher and carried unanimously as a true and accurate record of the 2022 AGM.

Item 3 – Election of the Committee

Duncan Olsen was welcomed to the committee as Secretary to replace Dave Perry. The rest of the committee has offered to remain in post.  The Chairman proposed a vote of thanks to Dave Perry for his input over many years. The members of the committee were proposed by the President, seconded by Keith Grumbley and carried unanimously.

Item 4 – Chairman’s Report

The Chairman presented the following report:

‘Since the last AGM, the Association’s activities have been focussed on the memorial project.  The project was launched following the legacy left to the Association by the late Bob Barckley, funding began last Autumn and soon after we received a substantial donation from Thelma East, widow of our founder Alan East.

With guidance and recommendations from Roger Gault on how to develop a suitable design I researched other RAF projects already sited at the NMA.  The NMA’s response was ‘we have more than enough black granite thank you.’  It was agreed that green granite with gold lettering was appropriate and my own design was met with general approval.  After much discussion and thorough research by our historian Vic Lorriman, the wording was agreed to be accurate and did not contain any unsubstantiated claims.

The location for the 3(F) memorial was agreed with the NMA and that it would be placed adjacent to another senior squadron and would be separated by the RAF Police memorial.

Remarkably we have achieved our funding target of £24,000, which includes the NMA’s long term, insurance, care and maintenance package.  The final donation to complete the funding came from the RAF Historical Society via its President Sir Richard Johns.  It is possible that further funding will be required for the dedication event, so payment of overdue subscriptions would be most welcome.  Remarkably, there are still a significant number of members who have not yet contributed to the memorial fund.

The Squadron’s 110th anniversary was celebrated in fine style in May at Woodhall Spa followed by a station visit, kindly arranged by current OC3 Frankie Buchler.  Vic Lorriman must be congratulated for successfully arranging for Philip Brooke Popham, son of the Squadron’s first OC, to attend the station visit. A former RN pilot and aged 94, he agreed to try out the Typhoon Flight Sim and carried out a successful sortie which included taking out two hostiles.

It was proposed that we should consider moving our annual reunion date from October to May to coincide with the Squadron’s anniversary.  Since the memorial dedication at the NMA is planned for Friday May 12th 2023 (May 13th was unavailable) it was convenient to take advantage of this occasion, so the reunion dinner will be held at the Hilton in Burton on Trent.’

Item 5 – Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer presented the following report:

‘The accounts for FY 2021/22 were completed and independently checked.  Main points from the year’s accounts showed that the newsletter cost has been dramatically reduced this year.  We had an operating loss of –£967.40 of receipts over payments but this was due to the payment of £1000 for the NMA application fee.  An overall balance of £17542.84 carried forward to FY 2022/23.  The 2021/22 accounts were proposed by Dave Ellis, seconded by John Todd and carried unanimously. The Statement of Account for FY 21/22 is attached.

The accounts to date are healthy with a current surplus of £1892.04 of receipts over payments and a total balance of £22772.00 comprising £3691.17 in the current account and £19080.93 in the Memorial account.  After payment of the NMA application fee and the stonemason’s deposit we have a memorial liability of £22028.18 and we are £3142.87 short of the target.  This is currently covered by the main fund but that will leave just £548.30 in the current account if no further donations are received.  So far this FY £629.21 has been paid in membership subscriptions.  However, the numbers on the books paying annual subs remains disappointing.’

Clive Handy proposed a vote of thanks to the Treasurer for his continued excellent work on the Associations finances.  All attendees were in agreement.

Item 6 – Membership Report

The Membership Secretary presented the following report:

‘To start I have the sad news that since the last AGM 10 Members of the Association have passed away, they are: –

002     Mr M LINE                 09/03/22 (Sabre Geilenkirchen, 1954-56)

007     Mr B SCOTFORD    25/06/22 (Sabres & Hunters Geilenkirchen, 1954-56)

127     Mr JE PIDGON         (Canberra, Geilenkirchen 1963-66), partner Val now127H

257     Mr AWA WRIGHT    31/01/22 (Vampire & Sabre, Geilenkirchen, 1951-54) partner Shelia now 257H

275A   Mr WJE HAWKINS  07/22 (Typhoon 1943)

283     Mr DMJ LEE              (Harrier, Gutersloh 1985-89)

Mr R CHADWICK    05/08/22 (Harrier 1975-78) partner Carol now 516H

As of 19th October 2022, we have a total of 281 Members of the Association, this is up by 28 from last year.  This is a breakdown of the membership:

Honorary Members  –           28 (of this number 22 are dependents of past members)

Associate Members –           10

Full Members            –           243

Of our total membership, 73 members have been kind enough to assist with our costs by contributing to our membership payments this year and I would like to thank all concerned, it has helped a great deal with running the Association.  It would be very helpful to the Association if all members contributed.  The costings for printing and postage of issues 92-94 of the ‘Three’s Company’ newsletter was £30.24.  I have reduced printing costs by printing the postal versions of the newsletter myself and this year I have not had to purchase any paper or ink cartridges.  Postal membership is now 13, up a few from last year.

Just to remind everyone the Association Membership year runs from 1st April each year, and any membership fees paid after 1st January of that year automatically count for the following years membership, so please help and keep up your payments.’

Item 7 – AOB

Membership Subscriptions.   The AGM discussed the situation with membership subscriptions.  It was decided that the Association did not want to ostracise the membership with constant reminders for payment but needed to ensure that the Association was financially viable.  The upcoming dedication of the Squadron Association memorial at the NMA would provide a memorable occasion which could encourage subscription.  This subject would be looked at again after the event at the NMA.

Dedication of the Memorial at the NMA.

Recce   The members of the committee along with the Sqn Mentor will visit the NMA on 17th November 2022 to carry out a recce with respect to the site of the memorial, available catering options, available space for ceremonial and dedication, etc.


The Dedication of the 3(F) Sqn Association Memorial will take place at the NMA on Friday 12th May 2023.


The President will send an email invitation to the event to former Squadron Commanders and VIPs.  At the same time a ‘Save the date’ email will be sent to all Association members which will include details of the NMA event and the Reunion Dinner.

As requested, the Secretary has provided email addresses of former Squadron Commanders to the President.

Donation.   The Chairman informed the meeting the Mrs Long had donated the last 12 of Jack Long’s Book, Three’s Company, to the Association.

Newsletter.   Clive Handy informed the meeting that he would be sending out the next Newsletter by Christmas.  Any articles, photographs or anecdotes would be gladly received for inclusion.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 7.50pm.


Duncan Olsen


AGM 2021 minutes

Minutes of the 3(F) Sqn Association AGM held at
Barnsdale Lodge Hotel on
Saturday 23rd October 2021 at 10.00am

Chairman: Phil Ward

President: Air Commodore Ian (Cab) Townsend RAF CBE
Treasurer: Dave Ellis
Mem Sec: Phil Willsher
Vice Chairman/Three’s Company Editor:
Clive Handy

Plus: Mary Ledwidge, Vic Lorriman, Duncan Olsen, Dick Collins, Pete Simpson, Bob Farrell, Keith Grumbley

The Chairman opened with the minutes from the Zoom call 2020 minutes, including the Treasurers Report and the Membership Secretary’s report. The minutes were proposed and seconded and all those present agreed with the contents.
The Chairman then invited reports from the 2021 Treasurer and Mem Sec.

The Treasurer’s report stated that the Association funds are in good health with a balance of £5756.51 which includes the Bob Barkley Legacy. It was agreed to cover the full cost of the Zoom account of £115. The renewal for this year is £143. The Treasurer presented a full accounts sheet which was signed by the Treasurer and the Chairman and independently certified by Stephen Dalton. It was decided that the £30 to pay for advertising in Air Mail should continue. A vote of thanks was passed for Dave Ellis for his stirling work as Treasurer.

The Membership Secretary said that there were 253 members of the Association, down by 4 from last year. There were several deaths of members of the past year: R Kimberely (015), Mrs Lynn Wright (017H), C Wright (027), Rocky Goodall (096), Mrs J Wilkinson (156H), Denis Town (180), Ron Pottinger (aged 102!) (199), John Hickie (232), Mrs Mrs M Marsh (243H) and Bart Thaneja (460). In 2020 we lost Mr A Chapman (026H), Bob Barckley (144) and Derek Birch (429). Of our total membership 93 have been kind enough to voluntarily assist with our costs with a donation of £10 per year. Printing costs of issues 88-91 of Three’s Company and a new membership was £125.41. Postal membership has been reduced to 10 which has reduced printing and postage costs. The voluntary fees are due on 1st April
each year, any membership paid after 1st January will carry forward to the next year. Each payment is valued, so please help with your £10 if possible. Some of the contact information has been lost, or is no longer valid, so the Mem Sec and the Vice Chairman are linking up to sort it out.

Chairman’s report. The main topic for Phil’s report was the proposed memorial for the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA). We still need the membership fees to help pay for a memorial, the cost of which could run to 5 figures. The NMA require an up-front payment of £1000, which is for feasibility and is not returnable. Keith suggested a separate fund within the accounts to put Bob Barckley’s legacy and any other money we raise to pay for the memorial. Cab suggested we need to target the 3 Sqn Typhoon community, Frankie Buchler the new OC 3 is keen to promote this. The 3 Sqn Association is the strongest amongst the ex Harrier community, neither 1F or IV Sqn are current and both their Associations have all but folded, so it is all the more important that the 3F Association should keep going. Cab also suggested the Pegasus Club which is aircrew only so that may not be fruitful. We could also try to draw in the annual HEAR (Harrier Engineers Annual Reunion) because there would be many of those who are not members of the Association.
The Sqn are away for the 110th anniversary in May which is also the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict. It would be difficult for the Sqn to take part but we should at least try to organise something around that date near to Coningsby, although a formal dinner would not be easy to arrange in the Officers Mess due to security issues and the cost and an outside venue, like the Petwood Hotel would be preferable. May 2022 could be the launch date of the memorial appeal. There is a requirement for a new Association secretary as Dave Perry has family issues to deal with. Duncan Olsen volunteered to take over next year.

All the current of officers of the committee were re-elected unopposed.


110th celebration will be in the hands of OC3 and Cab, Thursday 12th May being the actual date. The next AGM will be May 2023, when we will return to Barnsdale, we are not going back there in 2022.
Vic raised the possibility of Phillip Brooke-Popham somehow getting to the 110th anniversary, assuming he is still alive which is yet to be determined. His wife Diana died in August this year. His father is probably called the ‘father’ of the Sqn. Sir Robert Brooke-Popham was the Governor of Singapore at the start of World War II and was vilified for giving too easily when the Japanese over run Singapore. He was the first OC of 3 Sqn in 1912.
The Chairman reiterated that we need to find a stonemason or metalworker who could produce a fitting memorial for the Association, Simon Allen le-Bas has volunteered to look into what he can find out. We could also raise a Just Giving page to increase the donations. Cab will talk to Lol Bennett, former OC 3. (Late addition: Also Roger Gault has some stonemason connections.)
Cab suggested we use Microsoft Teams instead of Zoom to save money. It’s free and anyone can download the programme. Cab has promised a speaker for 24th November, Paul Godfrey OC A Flight 3 Sqn and Harve Smith both of UK military Space UK.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 11.20.

AGM 2019 minutes

Minutes of the 3(f) Squadron Association Annual General Meeting 19th October 2019

Held at The Barnsdale Lodge Hotel

The Meeting was opened by the Chairman at 10.00


2018 AGM Minutes

Treasurer’s Report

Chairman’s Report

Membership Secretary’s Report

Any other business




Membership Secretary




Clive Handy, Dave Perry, Vic Lorriman, Keith Grumbley, Bob Farrell,

John Hickie, Cab Townsend, Chris Moon, Sir Richard Johns, Sir Clive Loader


The minutes of the 2018 AGM were distributed to the members present and read.

The minutes were proposed by Dave Ellis and seconded by Phil Willshire. Confirmed unanimously.


Dave McKenzie pointed out that, although he had sent his apologies due to illness, his name did not appear on the list. This was noted and apologies given.


Chairman – Phil Ward

Vice Chairman – Clive Handy

Treasurer – Dave Ellis

Secretary – Dave Perry

Membership Secretary – Phil Willshire

All members of the committee said they were happy to remain in post for the next year.

The acceptance of the committee was proposed by Eric Chamberlain and seconded by Mary Ledwidge. Carried unanimously


Dave Ellis opened his report by saying that there had been successful hand-over from the previous treasurer. The yearly accounts were distributed with the agenda and 2018 minutes to all attendees of the AGM. Matters arising from the year’s accounts showed that the newsletter remained a large cost as it was sent to all members including several members overseas and not in electronic communication.

The website was also a high cost but necessary as needed for active information and hopefully attracting new members. It was suggested that the website address be published in these minutes.

The new subscriptions initiative was proving successful. The current life members would be invited to pay the annual sum of £10 however their member status would not be affected if they declined.

The 2018/19 accounts were proposed by Dave Ellis and seconded by Dave McKenzie. Carried unanimously.


2019 Report

Dave Ellis continued his report by saying that the accounts were looking much healthier with the new subscription payments being accepted by a good number of members.

He wished to draw the member’s attention to a quantity of striped ties that had been purchased many years ago thus tying up much needed revenue and the significance of them appeared to be lost. It was thought that the striped tie was for all ranks and the new Cockatrice tie was for aircrew. Eric Chamberlain said that historically a striped tie was requested by the membership so a number had been purchased in silk and polyester. A discussion followed and it was decided to advertise the striped tie as the old pattern and the cockatrice tie as the new, all ranks tie. Dave concluded his report with the fact that pin badges and books were also tying up revenue and members needed to be continuously aware that they were available.


Phil Willshire began his report by stating that after taking over the role of membership secretary we had 238 members but now we were down to 229. 10 members were lost during the year to natural causes or had simply left. Only one new member had joined the association.

All persons present were well aware that the association desperately needed new members if it was to continue and a discussion followed regarding ways to attract new blood. A suggestion was discussed about asking the squadron to include an association application form with their other documents handed to the men and women as they leave 3(f) to take up new positions. Following on from this it was asked if something advertising the association could be pinned to their notice board although it was pointed out that the younger generation need information electronically as they rarely read notice boards. It was also suggested that a nicely designed, punchy poster be designed to hang on the walls of the crew room. Phil Ward said he would look into these suggestions.

Further discussions regarding membership in the newsletter and website followed although it was pointed out that most of these suggestions had been tried before. It was decided to try all possibilities again with newer or updated material and to check there was a valid link between the association website and the Squadron website.

(Apologies from Eric Pigdon at this point as his transport had arrived and he had to leave)

It was commented on by Dave McKenzie that there had been a very good “Canberra” presence at the dinner the previous evening, also noted in the President’s speech at the dinner. Dave went on to suggest that perhaps a mention on the Canberra website might help keep up the momentum.

It was asked that a note be made in the minutes of the larger Canberra presence and a much lower Harrier attendance.

In order to move things along the Chairman requested that all members think about any news ways to encourage new membership and let the committee know.


Phil Ward began his report with the success of the visit to RAF Valley at the end of May helped by CO of Valley Chris Moon. Phil also reported that the Sqdn visit at the end of July was poorly attended due to conflicting holidays including his own. He went on to say that he had already had a conversation with Si Devonish (Sqdn Uncle) and the Sqdn Commander Steve Kenworthy regarding a visit in 2020. A date of 21st August 2020 was put forward by them but this had to be confirmed once the Station diary had been consulted. Phil hoped for a big push on this event to encourage anyone who had had anything to do with the Squadron in the past and also the present. The itinerary for this event regarding a confirmed date, format of visit, informal meal the evening before or perhaps a BBQ on the Sqdn in the evening of the visit would be announced in the newsletter in due course. After confirmation of the visit then a big advertising push to all relevant websites to encourage people to attend.

There followed a short discussion regarding the date of the next AGM. It was decided to remain at The Barnsdale Lodge as it was convenient. It was decided unanimously for the 23rd/24th October 2020.

Phil Ward announced that Vic Lorriman had decided to stand down from organising the annual dinner/AGM but would continue as the Historian to the association. He has been organising the dinner successfully for many years and Phil Ward proposed a vote of thanks to Vic for all his hard work. This was seconded unanimously.


A suggestion was made regarding claiming gift aid on membership fees. The treasurer said he would look deeper into this and keep the committee informed.

Dave McKenzie proposed a vote of thanks to Phil Ward which was seconded by Mary Ledwidge.

There being no further business the meeting was closed at 10.50

During my tenure as Chairman I set out to test the water with a series of events that would encourage the membership to become involved on a social basis and rekindle old friendships.
The first event was the Coningsby station visit, a great success by all accounts with around 20 members attending. Current OC 3(F) Lewis Cunningham and his excellent team arranged a full programme of activities that included a session at the Typhoon simulator, 3(F) Squadron visit, lunch in the Officers’ Mess and a guided tour of BBMF. It is hoped to run a similar visit in 2019.
The Association was invited to attend the reopening of the Hendon museum as part of the RAF 100th celebrations. Former OC 3(F) Air Marshal Stuart Atha opened the event after which our small group of Association members enjoyed the new facilities, noting that the former Gutersloh Harrier GR3 was absent. It was later discovered as an exhibit at Cosford Air Show and then at Horse Guards Parade.
On May 27th the Association had a marquee at the Cold War Jets day at Bruntingthorpe. Quite why this event was poorly attended by Association members remains a mystery. The variety of aircraft being demonstrated was superb with many high speed runs, notably from the Victor, Buccaneer and Canberra. The star of the show was the Lightning that was chocked on the runway right outside our marquee. The ground crew ran reheat slam checks before taxying away, reminding us just how noisy Cold War fighter aircraft were at close quarters.
The next event was the Cosford Air Show on June 10th. The Association turnout was low, which was a shame because the organisers had set up an exclusive viewing area for squadron Associations. We enjoyed an oasis of calm amidst the thousands of visitors and we had private facilities, lunch and a bar (£2.50 a pint!).
The planned visit to the regenerated Brooklands museum, complete with the ‘aircraft factory’ guided tour to see the P1127, prototype Harrier T2 and Concorde inspection, was cancelled due to lack of interest from members.
Finally we come to the annual dinner at Barnsdale Lodge on Friday October 19th (AGM Saturday morning). Last year’s event was well attended with excellent support from the current Squadron aircrew and engineers. It is hoped that Association members will show significant support for this event in order to maintain the links between the current and previous 3(F) Squadron members. Among the confirmed attendees are our President Sir Richard Johns and former OCs Syd Morris and Cab Townsend.
Phil Ward

The new Chairman of the Association is Phil Ward:

Phil Ward took over as Chairman of the
Association in November 2016, having
been a member for many years. Phil did
two tours in the 70s and 80s on 3F as an
Air Camera Fitter and was also a
producer of Cabarets especially at
Decimommanu. Phil is well known at
Reunions with his wife Josie and I’m sure
they will embrace being Chairman and his
lady with all the the enthusiasm that they
apply to everything. Phil has just handed
over the running of the Italian car
magazine Auto-Italia which he founded, to
his son Michael, and was proprietor for
many years. Happy Retirement!

Minutes of the AGM held at the Barnsdale Hotel, Rutland, on October 17th 2015.

Meeting at the Barnsdale Lodge Hotel 17th October 2015.

The Meeting was opened by the chair at 16:00


Chairman            Clive Handy

Hon Secretary   David Perry

Treasurer            Eric Chamberlin

Membership     Lez Duquemin

+ 10 3(F) Association members

2014 Minutes:

Matters arising from the previous minutes.

  1. Change the annual reunion to a lunch rather than a formal dinner
  • Discussed and decided unanimously the keep the current format
  1. Auditors required for the accounts.
  • Keith Grumbley and John Hickey volunteered their services

The minutes of the 2014 reunion were passed as read.

Treasurers Report:


The accounts were read and discussed with issues about the various costs the largest being the news letter. The chair stated that the Q1 news letter would be posted as well as email with all other news letters being email only

Proposer:            Lez Duquemin

Seconded:          Gordon Browne

Passed subject to audit.

Membership Report:

Lez Duquemin thanked Vic Lorriman for revamping the membership booklet. There was not a lot of movement through the year in membership with the net result a loss of three members.

It was mentioned from the floor that the lack of Typhoon II members was a bit disappointing.

Chairman’s report:


The chairman completed his report as attached and finished with requests for the 2016 reunion.

Lez Duquemin suggested the Grand Hotel Brighton on the same weekend which received a good support.

RAF Wyton and Larkhill were put forward as locations with members going to report back as to the chair as to progress.

Election of Officers:

The following officers were elected for 2016

Chairman             Clive Handy

Proposed            Bob Farrell

Seconded            Vic Lorriman


Hon Secretary   David Perry         (Standing) Carried

Treasurer            Eric Chamberlin (Standing) Carried

Membership      Lez Duquemin   (Standing) Carried

Events                  Clive Handy        Carried

Historian              Vic Lorriman       Carried

A vote of thanks from the chair was forwarded to Keith Grumbley for arranging the reunion which was carried unanimously.

The meeting was closed at 16:55 by the chair with all members retiring to prepare for the dinner

Minutes of the AGM held at the Bridge Hotel Thrapston, on October 18th 2014.

The 2014 3(F) squadron association annual general meeting was held on the 18th October 2014 at the Bridge Hotel Thrapston.


Members in attendance were:


Clive Handy – Chairman

Vic Lorriman – Honorary Archivist

David Perry – Hon Secretary

Ron Birch

Derrick Birch – Hon. Treasurer

Eric Chamberlin

Mike Richards

Bob Farrell

Lez Duquemin

Pete Simpson

Mary Ledwidge

Phil Ward


The meeting was opened at 16:00 by a welcome to all present from the Chairman.


The minutes of the 2013 3(f) squadron association annual general meeting were read.

Lez Duquemin proposed that they be accepted.

Pete Simpson seconded the motion

The minutes were accepted unanimously as read


The treasurer presented his report as of the 31st August 2014; hard copies were available to the meeting. The chairman updated the meeting on the proceeds from the squadron sales on eBay.

Mike Richards proposed that they be accepted as presented.

Derrick Birch seconded the motion

The treasures report was accepted unanimously as presented.


The membership secretary presented the current membership status and after the gains and losses the total membership had reduced by one.

Mary Ledwidge thanked the membership secretary for his report.


The chairman raised the issue that the news letter could be produced annually, as this would reduce costs on postage for all members that were not on email. It was also put to the meeting that voluntary subscriptions could be forwarded for the news letter to boost the funds and assist with the cost of the web page. It was decided that the chairman would write to all members to ask those not present to comment on the voluntary subs.


Mike Richards suggested that a donation left in members wills could be used to maintain the association funds and assist with rising costs. It was decided by the meeting that a letter would be drafted to request this to all members.


The vacant position of the association historian was raised, and after discussion it was agreed that due to a lack of expertise among the members, a point of contact should be placed on the web site for all requests of a historic nature.


The chairman presented his annual report highlighting past and future events and departed members.


Phil Ward suggested that due to the reduction in numbers attending the annual reunion it might be an option to hold the AGM at the 3(f) Squadron annual BBQ at Coningsby. This motion was left open to suggestions.


Mike Richards proposed a vote of thanks to all members of the committee for their continuing work in maintaining the association.


The meeting was closed with members adjourning for refreshment.


Commemorations of WWI/WWII

There are three commemorations occurring in August:

On 9th August, three vintage aircraft replicas representing 2, 3 and 4 Sqns will fly from Dover to Sangatte to mark the 100th anniversary of the first flight of the BEF on that date in 1914. There is no Sqn or Association involvement with this event.

16th August, there is a commemoration in Amiens, France of the first loss of life in WWI by 3 Sqn. 2nd lieutenant EWC Perry and air mechanic Parfitt (Royal Flying Corps) were killed in the first few days of the war. On August 16, 2014, at 11:30 am a detachment of the 3rd Squadron of the Royal Air Force (two officers) will be present at the ceremony and French officers will also be present with representatives of the British and French authorities. Please see the flyer below:

16 août 2014 Hommage au premier Officier Britannique tué en 1914 EWC PERRY

31st August, Sunday. A service of remembrance to all squadrons which served at Newchurch advanced landing ground. This will include the unavailing of a new memorial at the airfield plus a spitfire Mk 9 display. It all starts at 11 am. There will be refreshments and a small display of the airfields history. It began life as a airfield in July 1943 and was home to spits and hurricanes. It then shut for upgrading . Finally in April 1944 150 wing took up residency with 3(F) , 56 , and 486 Squadrons. Later on in July FIU sent a detachment. Courtesy of James Atkinson, Associate member who has arranged this, and invites anyone who wishes, may attend.

Typhoon Force hosts Japanese Visitors

UK and Japanese military officers demonstrate collaboration of global peace and security through training visit to RAF Coningsby.

Japanese Air Self Defence Force officers has visited 3 (Fighter) Squadron at RAF Coningsby in what is the second visit between the two squadrons following the RAF officers visit to Japan last year.

During their stay, 3 Japanese officers, from the 201st Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) based at Chitose Air Base, on the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, have been shown how the RAF uses the Typhoon in its operational capacity as well as gaining an understanding of the synthetic training used by Typhoon pilots.

Wing Commander Cab Townsend, Officer Commanding 3 (Fighter) Squadron said:

It has been a great pleasure to host our friends from the 201st Fighter Sqn reciprocating the warmth shown to us when we visited Japan last year. This relationship, first established in 1927, remains very strong and this week has presented an opportunity to discuss ideas and share experiences between two very similar fighter units. Indeed, our approach to QRA and the challenges we have faced in the Baltic region have many parallels to how the Japanese perform similar operational activity. We have also taken the opportunity to show our guests a little wider UK culture; BBMF, Lincoln Cathedral and the great British invention, pie and chips!

Speaking about his visit, Lieutenant Colonel Jun Hamaya, Officer Commanding 201 TFS said:

I am proud to bring a small team of my officers to the United Kingdom to visit our friends on 3 (Fighter) Squadron. We fly the F-15J in Japan, in a very similar role to that of the RAF’s Typhoon, so it has been very interesting for us to share ideas and tactics on how this is done in the RAF. Perhaps most importantly is the opportunity to enhance our strong links to RAF Coningsby and I look forward to hosting them back in Japan next year.

17th October 2013

After the lovely reunion weekend, we were small in number but made up for it in quality, but we received the sad news about Jack Long.

A year in gestation, the reunion at the Preston Cross Hotel Great Bookham seemed quite popular at first, but as is often the case, the enthusiasm wanes and the bookings fall off. The result was just ten members and partners/wives. The current CO, Ian Townsend (Cab) and his wife Jo came down from Marlow for the evening and the previous CO Dicky Patounas and Joanne stayed the night. The AGM took place on Saturday afternoon, at which the accounts were signed off and the minutes of the last AGM were approved. We were 12 all together on the Friday and 20 on the Saturday night. Different from the old days when we used to get 150 at reunions!  Still the whole weekend was enjoyed by all, and Mary Ledwidge has offered to organise one for next year in Northamptonshire. Please make an effort to get there.

I got the phone call on Wednesday about Jack. He has been for a couple of years with a stomach ailment, which resulted in him staying in hospital for three months.  He was discharged and went home, but in January this year, just after his 80th birthday,  Jack was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which he was told was terminal. Three weeks ago he was admitted to a hospice, where he was looked after to give June some relief, and where he died on Tuesday morning when June was staying the night. He stated that he didn’t want a funeral, he is leaving his body to medical science.  June will advise us about a memorial service due to take place soon.

Jack will be sorely missed by all in the Association, he was an expert in his field of aviation history and could argue his case extremely well.  He leaves his widow June and daughter Nicola.

12th May 2013

Dave Holmes has put together a super report about the standard laying-up, see News – Update. A great time was had by all, and there was a good turn out from Association members to what is a very unusual occurence, happening only every 25-30 years. It was great to see old comrades, in some case not having seen each other for 30+ years!  Thanks to all involved, especially The President, Wg Cdr Townsend and the rest of the guys on the squadron, but particular thanks to Vic Lorriman who put in many hours of research, many miles of too-ing and fro-ing with the original log-book and much more besides. Vic also obtained the model presented to Capt Brooke-Popham, thanks to Skytrex for donating this. We all look forward to the next event, the annual reunion at the Preston Cross Hotel in Leatherhead in mid October. CH

12th May 2013 – Sqn Standard Laying up

On Sunday 12th May 2013, the old sqn standard is to be laid up at All Saints and St Mary Church, Chitterne Wiltshire, the home village of the President of the Association, Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns.  The event starts at 11.00 am in the church to be followed by a light lunch, at a cost of £12. If you would like to attend this event, please let me know as soon as possible, if you have not already done so here or call me on 01252 659720 and leave a message.  More details to follow.

New OC 3(F) Squadron

We welcome the new OC 3 (F) Sqn, Wg Cdr I J (Cab) Townsend and wish him a super tour on the premier RAF squadron. He writes about the current state of the squadron under ‘About 3(F) Sqn and the Association’ under ‘COs Page’.

Issue 71 – Three’s Company

Issue 71 has been sent to the printers and will hit the streets shortly.  In answer to some people who ask why each issue is not put on the website, it is because it is the public domain the newsletter is not, and we don’t want all the names and addresses spread across the web.  If you know of anyone who is still receiving Three’s Company by mail and have access to e-mail or knows someone who has, please let me know.

Three’s Company

If members are wondering when the next newsletter is being issued, it is in progress now. I hope to sending it out by August. I would still appreciate any comments or stories from the 100th weekend.  I am busy of the next couple of weeks as a volunteer at the Olympics and you can read all about it at my blog:

100th Weekend -Raffle

I’ve now counted the raffle money and Jersey’s (Simon Allen Le-Bas) watch donation really swelled the sales in the last half hour, the watch being won by Ned Neill of all people!  The raffle raised about £400 after expenses and sales of the 100th Anniversary model have, according to Vic, raised a similar amount so that has swelled the coffers by quite a bit. Eric Chamberlain also sold quite a bit of regalia and we sold a few ‘Stories of 3(F) Sqn’ DVDs and some of Jack’s book ‘Three’s Company – An illustrated History of 3(Fighter) Squadron RAF’. I’ve sent Jack his money for the sale of his books (he said keep £1 from each book) and a glass commemorative mug. Unfortunately the postage costs having gone up recently to 50 pence means that it will cost the thick end of £150-200 to send Three’s Company newsletter including printing.  At least we  have no other outgoings so we have enough to keep us going for a bit.
Just a quick heads up on a future reunion, I and the rest of the ‘committee’, Vic Dave and and Bob, thought that there would not be one until at least October 2013.

Saturday 12th May – BBQ and Rockioke

So we come to the last event in the whole weekend, a BBQ and ‘Rockioke’, like a Karaoke but with a live band behind you and a more limited list of songs.  A great night was had by all, especially the lads on the squadron who were able to relax after a day of parades and open day.  Specially brewed ale and cider was available along with special glass mugs with all the aircraft types operated by sqn engraved on them (in words). There were some stalwart Association members there as well, some of whom ‘sang’, and represented us at midnight when the balloons fell to mark midnight on the 13th May.  All in all a great weekend and thanks to all on the squadron, association and spouses who helped to make it such a success.  There were no events on the Sunday as all the weary party goers wended their way home, in some cases far and wide: South Africa, Austria, USA, Italy and Romania.

Saturday 12th May – Parade and Open Day

Another quick report:  The Parade mounted this morning for the handover and unveiling of the new standard took place in front of The Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Stephen Dalton and Air Vice Marshall Stuart Atha, AOC 1 Group with an assembled invited audience of squadron members and Association members and their families.  The parade and marching was fantastic, commanded by Wg Cdr R Patounas, OC 3(F) Squadron.  The rest of the day was an ‘Open Day’ at the squadron, where there was a beer tent, BBQ, bouncy castles and a display and static aircraft display.  The Association had a stand to sell raffle tickets for prizes generously donated and merchandise. We had a very successful day from both sides.  Just the evening entertainment to come.

 Friday 11th May – Formal 100 th Dinner

Just a quick report on a fantastic night in the Officer’s Mess celebrating the 100th. Great food, great company, and funny and succinct speeches. I think Saturday will be a great day as well.

Typhoon Entente Cordiale Trust

The Typhoon Entente Cordiale Trust have got in touch, they wanted to include their website address on this one, which has been done.  Their aims are: Developing and maintaining links between yesterday’s Hawker Typhoon veterans, their families and friends, and the Eurofighter Typhoon squadrons of today.  Their Secretary Anthony Knight got in touch with me and said:

“The Typhoon Entente Cordiale Trust (TECT) has been invited to attend the celebrations. We have very close links with the current 3 Sqn and will be presenting a painting of the “Two Typhoons” (Hawker and Eurofighter) to the squadron on May 12th.  I very much hope that we may meet at Coningsby.”  Hear hear to that.

13th April 1912 – Formation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Aircraft Factory

I went  along to the presentation and opening of the 100th anniversary exhibition.  It was opened by The Rt Hon Gerald Howarth MP, the local Member for Rushmoor. He is an aviation enthusiast and supports local ATC squadrons and flying.  The event was covered by  both the BBC and ITV. The BBC coverage is here the ITV clip is here.

FAST is the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust and is the keeper of all archive material left over after the RAe closed, and is a very interesting museum of the development of many aviation innovations over the last 100 years.   It is open on Saturdays and Sundays between 10.00am and 4.00pm. and entrance is free.  There are several aircraft outside from after RAe flying ceased at Farnborough, including Harrier T2 XW934 which was on 3 Sqn for a time:

The Commemorative 100th Anniversary Model

Full details of the 100th Anniversary Model can be found in the ‘Merchandise’ page.

We have produced an external Car Sticker celebrating the 100th anniversary and these will also be on sale at the Open day. We will be negotiating to use this as proof of entry to Coningsby. I have now been Chairman for over four years and Three’s Company editor for three years. I do not necessarily want to remain Chairman for ever so if someone feels they would like to take over from me, please reply to me in confidence.  I am happy to continue as editor for the foreseeable future.There will not be an annual reunion this October, mainly because of the 100th celebrations in May, and also because the last reunion in Nottingham in October 2011 was very poorly attended. The suggestion has been made that we hold a reunion every two years. If you have views on the matter please get in touch.  If anyone would like to organise a reunion for October 2013, again please get in touch. Lastly I would sincerely like to thank all the ‘committee’ for their hard work over the last few months especially. Vic for the model and organising the media from Jets Monthly, Dave Holmes for various art work and background work on the website, Bob for the website and organising visits to the web designer Andy of Stamford Designs.

Clive Handy

Chairman 3(F) Squadron Association

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