>2 MFPU at RAF Guttersloh Days C1964

>2 MFPU at RAF Guttersloh Days C1964

Greetings Greg L-W from a 'ghost' from the past.
You and I have met, some  50+ years ago at RAF Guttersloh.
Your father was my unit C/O at 2 MFPU.
I came across the blog that you have published regarding his career. Flt Lt D. Watkins, what can I say that can effectively sum up  all that we felt about your father?  To me, then a young 19-year old, away from home for the 1st time, he was the role model, that I desperately needed at that time in my life. Indeed, there have been times in my life, when in crisis, that I would have dearly loved to have been able to discuss my problems with him.  You could do that with your dad, I couldn't with mine.
Naturally, as our C/O he was given the respect of his position and rank.  He was very fair, but firm. He put me on 3-days 'jankers' when others would have given me 14. Most of us were under 20, and all needed firmness, fairness and a lot of guidance. This he gave us, with equal measure, and in abundance.
Photo attached of:

an inspection of 2 MFPU, dated 22nd May 1964 RAF Guttersloh.  You will spot your father. I am located 4th from the left. The inspecting Air Marshall was ACO RAFG Dorrington thankfully passed me by without a 2nd look.
I would like to add a comment to the blog that you have published, but have so far been unable to do so. Can you help?
Incidentally, do you remember me, SAC Tom Race? I was the driver that took you to RAF Brugen or maybe Laarbruch. I can remember that you wore a very nice light sports jacket, that looked very smart.  Do you remember the Malcolm Club?  More to follow on that if you do.
With best wishes and kind memories,
Tom Race
tel: Redacted

Now living in Torquay.


  1. Hi,

    I'd really like to hear from anyone who served with my Father & include them in the blog or their relevant postings.

    Perhaps someone can post a list of the full compliment of 2MFPU during my Father's command.

    I recall very little of that period other than education officer Sqdn/Ldr Graham Smith & his wife Anne (now living? in Norfolk somewhere & Flt/Ltnt John Edwards and his wife Clare (John died a few years back of cancer leaving Clare living in Swansea & a son (Dinty?) and daughter somewhere.
    I well remember Pat Croan who had a large Black Opel Kapitan there were others I hazily recall.
    I also remember a girlfriend at the time Anna Dzioch whose sister married a young RAF pilot.
    There was also Karl Mielhe (of Miele Electrical Goods), Siegbert Eick who had a German sports car and was a wholesaler for a trouser manufacturer with a girlfriend whose name was, as I recall Maria whose dad was an RAF Sgt. also Franz Stratman Siegbert, Franz, Pat and I plus others I barely recal used to climb together.
    I also played rugby for an RAF team.
    About now I need a lot of prompting!
    PS my thanks to Tom Race & Andy Bailey for setting the ball rolling! ;-)
    Greg 01594 - 528 337
    for more 'stuff' see:

  2. Received by eMail 31-Mar-2014

    Hi Greg,

    today I was browsing through the RAF Gutersloh web site - photos and the like - and came across the photo of a 2 MFPU inspection by the AOC (or some such) in 1964.

    I also read your web site and can confirm that I knew your father extremely well. I did my photographic training at Cosford from May 1960 to December 61.

    Des was officer i/c of the Photographic Training Flight for some of that time. I was then posted to JARIC Brampton and in 1963 as an SAC Photo A I was posted to Gutersloh and initially 2 Sqd.

    I was, of course, billeted with the 2 MFPU guys - Dave (Diddy) Ambrose, Mo Roberts, Pat Croan, Al Woods, Dave Deans, Gid Robertson etc. After a year or so (if I recall correctly) I was 'transferred' to 2 MFPU which was, of course, right outside the hanger.

    Des was then the officer commanding the MFPU and I recall him as a 'proper' former WW2 pilot - neat, dapper, proper WW2 fighter pilot moustache, always but always impeccably dressed and above all a scrupulously fair and caring officer.

    I can attest to the caring bit as I tested his patience to the limit - one occasion on New Years Day we were (unwisely in my opinion) required to man the MFPU as per normal - well, I made it to the railway line that ran through the wood adjacent to the MFPU and lay down for a kip. Des was duly summoned and he ordered that I be carried back to the billets to sleep it off. A stern dressing down followed but that was all.

    Then there was the occasion when the 'Snowdrops' (who disliked me as much as I did them) threw the book at me for baiting them in the Mallie - there were something like a dozen charges - when I was marched into Des I said something like "You know me Sir, I own up to anything I may have done and three or four of these charges are correct. The rest, however, are fabricated". I was marched back out and the two coppers stayed in front of Des. I heard Des saying that he knew me well and trusted me, he raised his voice and threatened all sorts of serious repercussions if they persisted with the false allegations.

    The upshot was that all charges were dismissed.

    On another occasion I was on 28 days jankers for something I can't recall and it (the jankers) co-incided with my 21st birthday. Naturally I missed the 0600 parade and the Snowdrops actually kicked my door in to express their disapproval. I had a good scrap with them all the way to the Guardroom where I was thrown in a cell then sometime later marched in front of the C/O.

    After I was sentenced to 21 days Detention I heard the Guardroom W/O tell the C/O that the cells were all full - which was complete bollocks - and that they would reluctantly (O yes) have to send me to the Army cells in Mansergh Barracks down town. And off I went, but good old Des insisted that as my commanding officer he would deliver and collect me.

    In the event that it what occurred.

    Des got a couple of escorts and a landrover and drove me to Mansergh Barracks where he told the Red Cap Cell Block Staff Sergeant, in no uncertain terms, that he would pick me up in exactly the same condition that he left me. Or else.

    There were one or two other incidents at Gutersloh (and Cosford) that again tested Des' patience but I never had any complaints about fairness and responsibility where he was concerned. Think I've rambled on long enough now, so...............
    Best wishes,
    Ian (Fergy) Fergusson