No 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron

Association Newsletter

September 2016

Edition: 2/16

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Dunholme Lodge 8th May 2016

Out of the DV Window

Ever since the publication of The King’s Thunderbolts, an operational record and roll of honour spanning the years 1917 to 1982, there have been two glaring omissions from that excellent book (a right riveting read if ever there was one and still readily available from the Secretary): the Washington and Canberra eras. No 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron operated the Boeing B29, known as the Washington B1 in RAF service, from April 1951 until January 1953 from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. After the Washington, the Squadron was equipped with the English Electric Canberra, which it operated from April 1953 until its disbandment on 16 July 1957. This must have been an interesting period encompassing, as it did, the Suez Crisis of 1956. If anyone can supply information about 44’s Washington and Canberra eras, do please let me know.

Reunion 2017 - the big one!

Next year will be a momentous one for the Association. No 44 Squadron was formed on 29th August 1917 at Hainault Farm in Essex. 2017 will therefore be our centenary year. If that weren’t enough, next year will also see the 75th anniversary of the famous Augsburg raid of 17 April 1942.

Please make an indelible note in your diaries: the Centenary Reunion will take place over the weekend 5, 6 and 7 May 2017. It should be an unforgettable experience. Planning is already underway and further details will be published as soon as possible.

The Annual Golf Match

Kevin Lawry

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John Laycock, Nick Dennis, Bob Manser and Phil Leckenby

Paul Taylor, Kevin Lawry, Paul Millikin and Keith Douglas

A great 44 Squadron Golf Day this year for several reasons: first, decoupling the golf from the main reunion worked and we had 8 golfers turn out; second, the get together3over coffee beforehand was an instant and very warm fun meeting with an explosion of good aircrew banter. In addition the course was in fine condition and, most importantly, the weather held good for the round.

Our golfers comprised seven aircraft captains: Nick Dennis, Keith Douglas, Kevin Lawry, John Laycock, Phil Leckenby, Bob Manser and Paul Millikin together with one Nav to keep us on track, Paul Taylor.  Teams were formed to even out handicaps as far as possible, but with some being declared as “20 but slipping!” it was always a lottery.  

It turned out that one team had flown as a ‘crew’ together during the Squadron deployment to RAAF Darwin in January 1972; flying XM605 was Paul Millikin as Capt, Kevin Lawry Co, Paul Taylor Nav Rad, and we took Keith Douglas in the 6th Seat.

In the fine countryside of Belton Park battle was joined. There were a few wide bombs but also some fine accurate golf with good putting on the true greens. Back in the clubhouse, over pie chips and peas together with good ale, the scores were scrutinised.  Picking three scores out of four for the teams meant the Millikin mob just took it: as for the individual scores Nick Dennis and Bob Manser tied for second with 30 Stapleford points but out in front, and clearly not awed in the presence of so many of the two winged master race, was Paul Taylor with 33 points.  Well done all.

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The two Pauls ponder the aerodynamics of the golf ball; Nick Dennis wipes away a tear of helpless mirth

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Post-tournament in the clubhouse

To the victors the spoils

The Squadron Golf Match will be repeated in similar format next year, so get polishing your mashies and niblicks and lets have a few more rear crew!


New Member

J T Sanders

Change of Address

Crowley B H

R Warren

Please see the Members’ Handbook, or contact the Secretary for details.

Subscription Reminder
The Secretary cordially reminds the membership that subscriptions are due on the 1st November 2016.

President: Air Commodore S A Baldwin MBE

Chairman: Group Captain J Laycock (Ret’d) BA

Secretary: Squadron Leader H M Horscroft (Ret’d)
9 Church Lane, Eagle, Lincoln LN6 9DJ
Telephone: 01522 868 653

Editor: Squadron Leader P J Leckenby (Ret’d) MBE
40 Eagle Road, North Scarle, Lincoln LN6 9EW