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Unit History: RAF Steamer Point




Added on 05/01/2011

Forces Reunited Gallery Images Matching RAF Steamer Point

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Memories of RAF Steamer Point

(Memories written by members of Forces Reunited)

RAF Steamer Point, Aden in 1966

Written by Donald Cree

I served as an L.Fitt(GC)QC RRG at Comm Center Aden. I was posted to Aden in February 1967 from HQP&SS London. I remember arriving at some unearthly hour of the morning, when it was still dark and dumping my gear in this transit billet on the hillside and thinking to myself - what a dump!!
But things weren't so bad I soon adapted to the routine. I did my first "chuff-chart", spent time in the swimming pool, the NAAFI, and chased the rollers on the beach. I did my fair share of guard duty and would like to remind the "cocky" little Army Captain who tried to rush my post, that even Air Marshall's trembled at the thought!!!
I remember doing duty at Tarshine, Cemetery Gates, the NAAFI and beach area, the DOC,The Powerhouse, etc. I remember the "Maalla Run" guarding the school kids. The M36 Grenades, the crack of automatic fire every now and then.
I remember the flood, the water rushing down from the COMM CEN and the RR Room being about a foot deep in water. For the next week the Barren Rocks suddenly bloomed as if by a miracle, covered in green herbage and yellow flowers. The sportsfield was flooded as was the mess.
I remember being refused a stengun on escort duty and having to take a .303 rifle in a Mini instead!!! With a machine gun rattling away in the background, I would also like to thank the armoury sergeant for refusing to issue me with a rifle because I did not have my weapons card!!!
I have sad memories of those brave Northumberland Fusiliers who were murdered in Crater and their colleagues in the Argylle & Sutherland Highlanders, under "Mad Mitch" who sorted the situation. I remember the armour plated landrovers with their angle iron mounted on the front with slots in it to cut any wire stretched across their path.
We had a sand storm once my bed was like sandpaper for a week!! I remember the evening that the fuel tanks at Hiswa were blown up, there was a huge glow and these "small" cans kept popping up in the air. The fire burned for about 12 hours. I remember SHQ being mortared with anti-personell mortars and evrybody running down the side stairs - they would have been safer inside!!! Our tea-boy "Ish" was showing the whites of his eyes!!
There were good days and bad, but funnily enough, I can't remember the bad 'uns!!!
All the best everyone and remember: "When you get to heaven, you'll hear St. Peter yell "Come in you lads from Aden, you've done your tour in Hell!!!!"

RAF Steamer Point in 1966

Written by ronald newsome

Anyone who can remember The Exclusive Club in Steamer Point during 1965-1966, I signwrote the sign for the club and also the posters for the events. Paddy Sweeney was a barman there plus any one else from the fire service who was there at the same time,Tony Smith where are you?
Anyone who can remember being at RAF Aldergrove between June 1960 and sometime in 1963 who was in the fire service, Lofty Hansford for one.
Anyone who was at RAF Mount Batten between 1967and 1971 serving in the fire service. Bill Morris,Bill Murray,Gerry Legassick and Fred Martin, or any one else who can remember me as I am having a senior moment and can't remember their names.

RAF Steamer Point in 1966

Written by ronald newsome

Anyone who can remember The Exclusive Club in Steamer Point during 1965-1966, I signwrote the sign for the club and also the posters for the events. Paddy Sweeney was a barman there plus any one else from the fire service who was there at the same time,Tony Smith where are you?
Anyone who can remember being at RAF Aldergrove between June 1960 and sometime in 1963 who was in the fire service, Lofty Hansford for one.
Anyone who was at RAF Mount Batten between 1967and 1971 serving in the fire service. Bill Morris,Bill Murray,Gerry Legassick and Fred Martin, or any one else who can remember me as I am having a senior moment and can't remember their names.

RAF Steamer Point, Astra Cinema in 1961

Written by Philip Markham

My first, and only, posting overseas, was to Aden in 1960 arriving at Khormaksar from a cold, wet England in February, and as soon as the doors were opened on the chartered Britannia the heat hit you like a brick wall. Welcome to Aden! After the welcoming committee of hundreds of old sweats banging tin mugs on the balcony of the blocks shouting MOONY, MOONY and other friendly retorts, we arrived at the transit billets where I found out that I was not to be stationed at the airfield at RAF Khormaksar as I had expected, but to Steamer Point several miles away at the 114 MU.
As an Instrument Mech. (General), and coming from 2 memorable years with 111 Squadron, the Black Arrows at Wattisham, this was a bit of a let down to be posted to a small instrument section a long way from where the action was. Later on I was pleased for that when the State of Emergency was declared and there was probably too much action.
I settled in, as much as you can in the circumstances, sharing the Chapel Hill block 236 ( the last one on the hill) with what seemed hundreds packed inside and outside on the balcony, overlooking Cemetery Valley on one side and the bay, Government House, the Mermaid club and the WRAF compound on the other! Work at the Instrument section was routine and very boring, and because of the heat we worked only from 0700 to 1300 hrs. Nothing happened at all during the afternoon apart from the sound of snoring, before life carried on about 5 in the afternoon.
The only redeeming factor with my particular posting was that the personnel of the workshops of the MU had at some time “collared” the running of the Astra cinema near the harbour every evening, as a part time unpaid job. I was in the fortunate position of taking over one of these coveted jobs from a colleague about to leave after 2 years. The cinema itself was situated very close to the harbour, and had no roof at all. As far as I recall it didn’t rain once during my 2 years, but the floor was kept free of sand being blown in, by our sweeper every morning. The seats were wicker chairs and most people brought there own cushion. Sometimes it was difficult to hear the soundtrack because of the wind and occasionally a ship would sound its horn during a particularly critical part of the film. Before the plum job of projectionist every evening at the cinema you had to serve an “apprenticeship”, which was the job of “usher”.
This consisted of sitting in the ticket office for 2 hours every afternoon and then checking tickets at the door at opening time. There were many “regulars” who bought a ticket and then asked what film was showing afterwards. This job made you very popular with the other lads in the billet who didn’t want to queue up for a ticket, not of course that I took advantage of that!
After a year and a rotation of jobs due to others leaving I spent the following year as a projectionist. We were always 2 on duty every evening, and we received the reels of film from I think it was Astra, Akrotiri (Cyprus) and we had to show them for about 2 or 3 days before sending them on to, in our case the Astra at Khormaksar (also Aden). The reels were first checked for broken film and if necessary re-spliced ready for the evening’s performance. There were advertisements in the form of slides that were shown first, and now and again we had to stop the film with e.g. “Will all blood donors with O rhesus negative report to the hospital immediately”. The number of reels was usually 6 to 7 depending on the length of the film and our most important task was to ensure the changeover went as smoothly as possible. Just before the end of the reel the other projector had to be started, and then wait for the little yellow circle in the top right hand corner to appear before changing over as smoothly as possible.
Other than that it was pretty routine in between, with only utter panic if both were outside engrossed in the film and hadn’t noticed that the take-up reel was not correctly mounted resulting in the projection room floor covered in film. Now and again there was film that broke, and had to be re-spliced, accompanied by hissing and booing from the occupants of the wicker chairs in the meantime.
Now to the point of my story, one evening on the first showing of as far as I remember, a very boring American film consisting of 6 reels and although these were clearly marked somehow we mixed them up, and the sequence finished up as 1, 2, 3, 5, 4 and 6! As more often than not, the “house” was pretty full up and you would have thought that there was an outcry and people wanted their money back having not been able to follow the film – not in the least – nobody had noticed at all! The following night they were shown in the correct sequence!
Thanks to the Astra - it helped me through my 2 years in Aden.

RAF Steamer Point, Aden in 1952

Written by wyn morris (Taff)

Some of the best memories were at the old RAF Police Club at Steamer Point, also patrolling Crater and Sheik Othman

Forces Reunited Forum Posts Involving RAF Steamer Point

"I loved the steak and onions and bacon. The irish stew usually turned out to be a tin of grease. What upset me about the rat packs was whilst serving in Aden we were eating out of mess tins, we sneaked into RAF Steamer Point. Tables with cloths kfs laid out along with mugs. Such luxury, we stayed for lunch,no rat pack for these boys, fresh steak and trimmings. Why treat each of the services differently. Bucko "
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"Where are you blokes from 1950/55. Anymone who remembers me at Cardington, Weeton, No. 3 M.U. Liverpool, RAF Steamer point. Singapore Lines or RAF Cold Hesledon. Am I the only one left above ground? Let!s hear from you. "
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"Does anyone remember the BFPO number for RAF Steamer Point, Aden. Thanks "
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"servrd in catering office ’raf steamer point aden 1958-1960 "
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"Looking for members who were with 111 Squadron at RAF Wattisham 1958-60 and at 114 MU RAF Steamer Point Aden 1960-62"
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