Memories from USAF South Ruislip
I was stationed at SRAFB from 1957 to 1959and was attached to the 7520th USAF Hospital at the base. The hospital was located in the extreme left corner of the base perimeter as one faced the main base entrance. (sorry don't remember directions). Up from the hospital was a line of barracks. My outfit was originally in last barracks (furthest from the hospital), but moved to either the first or second barracks in the row.
Seems as through the base headquarters was on the main street as one entered the base. As this was a headquarters base there was no flight line as is obvious from its location.
The base housed a movie theater, BX (Base Exchange) which also included a small grocery store, liquor store, gymnasium, a bank, and a if memory serves me correctly a small golf course was located at the back of the base. Not sure whether this course belonged to the base or belonged to the city.
Again if my faulty memory is correct, living on the base precluded you from purchasing groceries, liquor, or beer at the base stores. Don't know why this restriction was in place, but the word was to prevent the resale of such items to the local population. Not very credible as the locals surely had access to these items at there local markets. Also if you lived off base either married or single, you could purchase from these stores.
Script (looked like monopoly money) was issued in lieu of the regular U.S. Greenbacks. The script was used to purchase items on the base. Script was converted to pounds, shillings, etc. at the base bank. Don't recall the exchange rate at the time. I believe script was used to keep U.S. currency off the black market. I do remember that the script was changed every so often. The timing of this change was bizarre. The change was never announced except at the moment it occurred. The moment was usually early in the morning when everyone was deep in sleep. Someone would go through the barracks loudly waking everyone telling them to report to a certain building and to bring their script. Exchange for the new would occur at that time. Again, I guess this was to keep the black-marketeers off balance.
I was stationed there in the early sixties and can answer a few of your questions (ROL asked some early contributors a few specific questions).
1.You got in through the front gate which was manned 24 hours a day by USAF AP's(air police) at night, the base was patrolled by British Air Ministry constables and their dogs. If you were American military you had access 24 hours a day, British employees, there were many, had access when they were working, no matter the time of day.
2.The function of the base was administrative due to it being the Third Air Force H.Q. Commanded by Brigadier General Puryer, but the real function of the base was as a communication center with a sister base at a RAF site in Hillingdon.
3.There was a large hospital there, it was well staffed and I remember it to be a fully commissioned acute care facility capable of handling all emergencies. There were barracks for the lower rank enlisted blokes both male and female, there was a large dining hall,a large gymnasium, a club for the non commissioned officers and a beer bar for the lower ranks. Officers used the Douglas club in London, there was also a large cafeteria and a post office (South Ruislip was designated APO 125 for postal purposes)
4.In the sixties we used American money on the base but had to exchange it for pounds sterling to spend off base, in 1964 the exchange rate for one pound was $ 2.80 prior to 1960 script money was used on the base, I think it was like Monopoly money it was printed and distributed by the USAF.
5.The base was entirely USAF and UK Air Ministry (not too many). I have no idea why the base was closed or when, if you learn why and when I would like to know.
6.Yes if you were stationed there you worked there or at Hillingdon or at another base in Denham. The base in South .Ruislip was like a very small town it had every thing it needed. Lord I wish I was 22 years old again and back there.............................
Between 1954 and 1957, our family lived in Pembroke Road, Ruislip, while my father was stationed at USAF High Wycombe. The USAF base in South Ruislip then was Headquarters, US Third Air Force. It had close ties to auxiliary bases at Eastcote and Bushy Park, as well as High Wycombe, Lakenheath, Burderop Park and Brize Norton. I do not know if the South Ruislip base existed until the newer base in West Ruislip that you mention. Local to Ruislip during the time we were there, there was only the South Ruislip base and its auxiliary in Eastcote.
Via the No. 158 bus, we frequently visited the base in South Ruislip for USAF dependents' activities, such as medical and dental examinations at the USAF hospital, movies, using the base library, Post Exchange and commissary, base chapel, and attending sports events. In 1955, my youngest brother was born, and, in 1956, my next youngest brother had his appendix removed at the base hospital there. I earned my "Eagle Scout" award while a member of the American Boy Scout troop at the base and at Denham Commons.
I was stationed there from 65-68. Lived briefly on base, then moved off base to Pinner. Today I couldn't tell you where except it was on main street and just down the road from the police station.
One of my roommates who also was stationed at the 7520th worked at the West Ruislip annex. I remember that the airman's club was there but that the NCOs club and officers club was at South Ruislip.
I know that everyone had ration cards for cigs and booze. Script money was over with when I was there. The hospital itself was I believe 120 beds and was quite busy and had many doctors. Even had a flight surgeon and several specialists and a pharmacy.
I later moved to Ruislip Gardens which was closer to the base.
There was a pub there called the Clay Pigeon that we used to go to that was near. Though I went to a pub/dance hall in Uxbridge that was closer to someone that I cared for and fancied at the time.
I was stationed at South Ruislip from 1958-1960. I was in the Air Police and there was a tight knit group of people there. I have spent years trying to locate personnel there when I was. About 3 years ago it all started coming together and there are now seven of us who has found each other. I worked at both the main base and Hillingdon. I have been back over a few times only to find the base closed and gone the last time.
I am now in touch with bill "Rube" Ruppenstein, Utah "Mac" McIntosh, Chuck Watson, Max Brickey Schoenrock, Nathen Hall (Horace Pope) deceased last year and I am Oren "Don" Campbell. We would love to hear from anyone else who knew any of us.
I have a few photos from the base and will post them to this site later when you think it may be ready. (These are the ones on this page - ROL) Don Campbell
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Thanks so much for getting in touch, it seems the Base at South Ruislip is some what of a mystery, My partner and I have what we feel a very interesting web site,
http://www.syd@alliesinwar covering many subjects about all the services. Our idea was born by the fact I as many English girls married Americans from the South Ruislip Air Force Base, and they employed mostly English people from in and around South Ruislip. The hospital there, had quite a few children born there, so anything you can do to help us would be great.
For myself I was thrilled to find the Ruislip Lido on your site, and my now grown up children are enjoying seeing the place their Mother went to, as a child is still there and seems to be going strong.
The Base at South Ruislip was the Third Air Force H Q but it seems very little is known about any clubs or groups formed while the base was still open, and after it was closed.
We are hoping people will tell us their personal funny stories In the case of my husband and I it was sharing one bathroom, with four other couples in a large house on the side of Roxeth Hill Road that had been made into bed sitters where we all learned a brand new wait your turn dance (laughingly known as the The Wait your turn waltz), and our landlord became very concerned about the amount of bath water we had in our bath tub, and suggested we should do all our bathing at the base, We all learned to love that old house, during the time we were there ,and even our (make a different rule every day landlord) for the young couples that lived there.
One rule we still laugh at, he only rented to Officers so it wasn't long before the Airman loaned out their uniforms, in order to get by his renters interview leaving their name tag off. He never did catch on he didn't have four Base Commanders renting from him, but for us it was fun and gives us a lot of fond memories.
As far we know the buildings were put up in 1949 and we believe that the buildings were originally intended as warehouses. The Americans took the site over we think in 1950.
My sister worked on the base and she said that the buildings were awful - no windows in the blocks (this would confirm that the building were intended as warehousing).
A later addition was a tunnel under the railway line into the fields on the other side, which were used as sport fields for the American Service men.
Another later addition was the hospital that the Americans built at the side.
As to why they came to South Ruislip I assume it was the close proximity to Northolt Airfield. The Americans (USAF) had offices on the Southside of Northolt Airfield - (Post BEA). Later still they moved from Northolt to the 4MU at West Ruislip.
I worked for the Civil Service MOD and for the USAF at Northolt in the drawing office (1956). At this time they were developing the many airfield sites around the country like Alconbury, Mildenhall, Lakenheath and High Wycombe.
An interesting side step to this is that the English built all the dependant housing for the American - we called them tobacco housing - the Americans gave us tobacco and we paid for the dependant housing - the agreement being when the Americans vacated the housing they reverted to the local Governments - that is why when you see ex USAF housing being sold off they are so cheap.
The USAF page brought back memories of childhood and how the presence of the Americans livened up the area! Conductors on the 158 bus used to call out "Texas!" as the buses neared the stop outside the base and I think Larry Hagman (JR in Dallas) once said he was stationed at South Ruislip.
My father-in-law was a top U.S. Air Force Top Sergeant and served several tours of duty in the U.K. On of which was at South Ruislip Air Station from September 1962 to September 1966.
The South Ruislip Air Station was just east of Northolt Airport on the next road north of route 40. The entrance was on the south side of this road. The gates were manned by U.S.A.F. Military Police. U.S.A.F. Military Personnel had special decals on their vehicles to get in and
out at all hours. Anyone else had to have special permission to access the station. The South Ruislip Air Station was HQ for the U.S.A.F. Third Air Force, which commands all U.S.A.F. units in the U.K.
Personnel worked at the station and lived nearby. Inside the Station were many supporting elements such as a hospital, shops, commissary, personnel offices, child care facilities, a post exchange, and a bank. The money median of exchange was dollars.
My family lived at No. 3, Whiteheath Ave., Ruislip. We have a friend, Al, who lived locally, that we still communicate with. There were American schools at West Ruislip, Eastcote and an American High School (upper grades) at Bushy Park. My husband attended Whiteheath when he first started school. On his first day there, while the other
children came in uniforms, he showed up in blue jeans. This is where he learned the beautiful British accent that he will sometimes do for me. He is a "Brit" at heart.
RAF Northolt was used by both RAF and USAF in a support capacity. I am not familiar with a USAF Unit at Ickenham. (My error, it is USN apparently, RO)
We were in London in 1999, but because we had about 100 students with us on tour with the Tennessee Ambassadors of Music, we did not get to come to Ruislip. We plan to come back and be able to spend some time and come back to where my husband spent only four short years of his young life; but believe me, these were the most impressionable years he ever spent
because our love of your country only grows as we listen to the BBC news on the internet or watch the BBC news. No fancy shows like the US news, just to the point and we like that!
My father-in-law is very proud of his service to our country and he is very proud of having the opportunity to spend time in the UK. My mother-in-law is very proud of the shopping she did there years ago and has told us some places to go if they are still around when we do get to come back.
Anybody out there? I would love to hear from anybody who knew A/2C John McDaniel, pay clerk, HQ Squadron, HQ 3D AF.(1-59 to 1-60), especially 1st Sgt Sam Robinson. Sam, I still have the TS card you initialled for me. Please, anybody whose TDY voucher got screwed up, I did the best I could.. Then there was A/2C Joe Wachoviak from Waukegan, Ill., A/2C Al Clem from LeRoy, Kansas and A/2C Dave Abromowitz from Long Island, NY. Hey guys, was it really that much fun, or is my memory screwed up too. Let's go do the Royal Ascot again. Maybe we can win as much as Dave did in the pools.
It would be great to hear from any of you.
John McDaniel Before clicking on any e-mail link read this section
Both my sister and myself married guys from the South Ruislip base. I had my first son Steven Robert Shaw born Nov 30 1960 in the base hospital. My sister and her husband were moved Oxford. My husbands name is Robert Shaw, and we are from Pennsylvania and my sisters husband was Greg Smith Oakland California.
Patricia Shaw. (email address held by Ruislip Online)
My name is Anthony Alatis. I was stationed at Ruislip in 1951-53. General Leon W. Johnson was our commander in the 3rd Air Force. I was in special services. I did work for the University of Maryland Extension Courses which many service men took advantage of. I also was one of the four artists that painted the huge mural in the mess hall. The subject was "America" with "Scarlet O'Hara" as the centerpiece. >From Columbus arriving to rockets flying into space. Everything was covered. I arrived in time to help load a few planes that were flying food into Berlin. I would love to contact anyone from that time period
I worked as a civilian carpenter and joiner for the EES @ West Ruislip US Airbase in 1967. We carried out works nationally at airbases such as Wethersfield, Chicksands, Burtonwood, Upper Heyford, Lakenheath etc driving Chevrolet Step Vans to get there. It was during the Vietnam War and some of our duties were very sad to say the least. Are there any other people (civilians) from West Ruislip Base keeping in touch with your site? Dick Galley
How interesting to find a site devoted to USAF South Ruislip. This was my first base in the UK after basic training at Lackland AFB Texas and tech training at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. I arrived there in June 1956 and being a draftsman was assigned to the graphics department making posters for the generals briefings. This lasted for about six months when they found out I was British and not eligible for top secret projects, I was there upon assigned to base planning which was located at RAF Northolt, the USAF part of the base and worked with mostly MOD personnel, however there were other USAF personnel there and a small PX.
We did the base planning for most of the bases in the UK, Manston, Brize Norton, Fairford amongst others. I had emigrated to the States in Decemeber 1955 and joined the USAF about a week after arriving in Springfield Mass.
Was quite a surprise for them to send me back to the UK for my first fours years in the air force. My wife joined me in Ruislip and we lived first in Harrow on the Hill then in South Harrow and later in Watford. I have often wondered about the friends I had there but have never been able to contact them.
I have a few pictures taken while I was there and will attach them in case you want to use them.
Houston Texas Before clicking on any e-mail link read this section
I just located your very interesting web site about the USAF Base at South Ruislip.
I was stationed there as my first duty station from Mar 1967-Mar 1973. I was an Airman 3rd Class assigned as a Veterinary Specialist to the 7520th USAF Hospital. I departed when the base closed in early 1973 and we all moved to High Wycombe to finish out our tours.
As a Veterinary Specialist my job was to inspect all food, food processing, storage and preparation areas at South & West Ruislip as well as the local British establishments.
I inspected the service clubs in downtown London; the Douglas House for the enlisted and the Columbia Club for Officers. We also inspected the NCO Club on South Ruislip Base and the Officer's Club across the street, as well as the Airman's club on West Ruislip.
West Ruislip is now occupied by the US Navy and the greater part of the old West Ruislip Base has been taken by the the Ickenham Council for housing. The Base chapel remains outside the Base gates as does a school. West Ruislip contains the FPO, Commissary and NAVEX, the Anchor Club plus a small shopping mall barber shop etc.
My family visited the Base in 1987 when the buildings were still there, but no more, South Ruislip Air Station is completely gone.
I have so many good memories of South Ruislip. My wife and I lived in Harrow-on-the-Hill, Hillingdon and finally in Hayes. Our son was born at the 7520th Hospital in 1970.
I intended to make the Air Force a career but joined the US Army in 1981 as a 1st Lieutenant and rose to the rank of Colonel. My wife and I moved back to England in September 2003 and currently live in South Ruislip only a short walk from the old base, which I pass every day!
Art Heck, a former 7520th USAF Hospital Dental Tech, lives just down the street from me. We both attend the same parish, St. Andrew's Lutheran in Ruislip. It is a small world indeed.
I have many, many stories about South Ruislip that I would be glad to share if you think there is an interest.
Anyone wishing to contact me please feel free to do so.
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I was a USAF medic stationed at South Ruislip from January 1968 through July 1971. I worked at the 65 bed hospital there (primarily in the labor and delivery rooms and newborn nursery).
Our chief of obgyn was Dr. Sandford Markham. Our other doctors included Dr. Ainsworth Dudley, Dr. Gary Fisher, and a British doctor Dr. MacNee.
I remember many of the nurses and medical staff: Helen Ludi, Eileen LeCompte, Maria Andino, Mary Boyd, Alma Brundage, Anthony Juliano, David Rolls, Charles Horn, Myra Hardin, Barry Wheatley, Jack Murray, Ray Kelly, Andy Durey, Robert Scro, Robert Babenroth, Bob Bauer, and others.
I lived on base for the first year and then shared a flat on Dell Farm Road very near Ruislip Lido. If any of you recognize any of the names I've mentioned or any of those mentioned should visit this site, please feel free to contact me at carlinjamesa @ msn.com
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I enjoyed my time in England and look back on it with fond memories.
I am Paul K. Ayres. I too was assigned to the 7520th USAF Hospital from Sept 69 to Sept 71.
I was a Veterinary Technician and worked at South Ruislip, West Ruislip, and Eastcote. I helped move the Veterinary Food Laboratory to RAF Lakenheath back in 1971. I also worked in “Class 3” food inspection in beef and poultry plants. I served as an independent duty technician at High Wycombe shortly before it closed. Ironically, I returned to England in 1985 and in 1991 was selected as the 3AF Command Chief Master Sergeant, serving in that position until 1995 at RAF Mildenhall.
While in England, my wife Judy (an ex- Veterinary Technician as well at S. Ruislip back then) went back to see South Ruislip on a TDY trip to High Wycombe and RAF Uxbridge. Boy had the area changed. The base was still there, but locked down and filled with scrap. West Ruislip was only half of what it had been while I was stationed there, and the Navy now owned and operated it.
One of my daughters was born at the S. Ruislip Hospital and Dr. MacNee was the physician. I have kept up with a few of the folks from there at that time … and have passed this web site on to them so they can add their comments too.
South Ruislip was my first posting after leaving training school at Warren AFB, Wy, in August 1955, I just turned 18 years old. I remember the best part of being stationed in South Ruislip was its close proximity to London, a tube (subway) ride away. In May of 1956, I was sent to Denham Studios and stayed there until 1959, however, I continued to go to SR almost every day while stationed at Denham. I met a wonderful woman named Ann from South Harrow and married her in August 1958 and we're still together, we lived in South Harrow until 1959.
Ann and I used to go dancing at the Service Club in South Ruislip on Wednesday nights for many years. I was known as "Chico" at that time, it was my nick name. I truly remember the Tithe Farm pub where a lot of the American servicemen went to dance with the local ladies, all of whom were absolutely beautiful and ended up marrying quite of few of the American Airmen, me included. We also spent many nights and weekends at the Eastcote Arms pub, the next "round-a-bout" up from South Ruislip.
I simply can't begin to tell you of all the wonderful times during my time in South Ruislip and the many wonderful people I encountered, that's both the American and British people, they were all just great. Now I hear that most of the buildings are jammed with junk or empty which is a shame, so many wonderful memorable times are gone but not forgotten. If anyone remembers me, please feel free to send me an e-mail to annchico @ pacbell.net.
Hi, I am delighted to find this website on South Ruislip. I was a medic in the 7520th Hosp. I worked in the out-patient department. I answered sick-call and gave shots.
One morning, I even delivered a baby while on an emergency ambulance run! I loved it there. I met my wife in London and we had two daughters born in the hospital on base. I would like to hear from any of my old buddies: Stan Hesselgren, Leo Gomes, Arthur Ruff who was with the Red Cross, Ronnie Ray, etc. I was there from 1953-1956.
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I was born at South Ruislip hospital in the summer of 1958. My father was a serviceman who worked in the 603rd (I think) Communications Group. My mother was an English lady whom my father met and married. They lived in South Harrow on Rowe Walk.. My father was stationed there from 1956 till 1959. My father and mother know more about this time than I do, but were not available to give me any info on it when I came across this site. Steve
Hello; Danny Wills here. I was stationed at West & South Ruislip 67-72. Chief clerk in the 7500th AB orderly room then NCOIC of the Distribution Center (located next to the Post Office and Reproduction Center).
Still in touch with Bob Faulkner, he ran the Rec Supply section and Ron Golson, worked in CBPO. Stayed the course, retired in 1986 with nearly 30 years.
Ruislip was the best kept secret in the Air Force, folks laugh when I describe the layout of the base. Loved those Thursday night Anglo American darts matches at the NCO Club, I helped organize them, made a few faux pas, like inviting the "screws" from Wormwood Scrubs Prison, miserable bunch, then another night I invited too many clubs, I think it was Heinz 57, British Overseas Airways and Wilkinson Sword Razors, over 200 showed up, I think the club capacity was 174, fortunately I knew the fire inspector who was on duty, he took one look inside and walked away shaking his head. John Najarian was Club Manager at the time. Now retired and living just south of Seattle. Thanks for the memories.
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I met my husband Gerald (Gerry) Stoddard in South Ruislip at the Tythe Farrm, we were married in 1958. Soon after he was posted to Burtonwood. Our son Charles was born there in 1959, where Gerry was the pharmacist at the hospital from 1958 to 1959. After we were wed we lived in London for a while, which is actually where I am from. We were stationed at Kirknewton then came back to the States & had four more children. We now live in Michigan
I am trying to trace any details re a Irving Raymond King (also known as Bob) who was stationed at Ruislip in 1952/53.He may have been there before1952 and after 1953,he was an American servicemen.
Any details would be gratefully received as I am his daughter, trying to find a family trace. I have come to a brick wall at the moment because his Military records were destroyed in
Great to read some of your comments. I was stationed at South Ruislip in 66 and 67. Worked in Admin Services. Lived at 131 Harrowdene Rd North Wembley. My son was born there on base in Nov of 66. This was two of the best years of our life. The travel, sights, history and the people were wonderful.
My wife and son finally after 36 years made it back to England this year, and were able to see where we lived. My memories are too many to elaborate on, but, suffice to say that our years at South Ruislip will always be a part of us, never to be forgotten.
Sgt Alan Bresson
Came to South Ruislip in 1960 from Fort Belvoir in Virginia. Worked at RAF Northolt until being sent to Bentwaters Civil Engineers in 1962
Anyone remember Shimshock , or any of the guys in the barracks at South Ruislip in 1960 drop me a line. How about Nick Felicione in the First Sergeants office? I lived off base all the time and we had a ball.
Chuck Van Alen
I was stationed at South Ruislip from December 1955 to December 1959. and again from 1965-1969.
Many pleasant memories are still with me from my time in England. I met my wife (now of 47 years) there and our first son was born at the hospital on the base. Before getting married, I lived off Field End Road. When married we lived in Ruislip Manor, Northwood Hills and South Harrow.
I have never been back, but the urge is still there and perhaps some day I will.
George Magoon USAF RET. Before clicking on any e-mail link read this section
My name is Marilyn Faithfull (nee Eedy), I am English and used to live in Harrow during the 1960s.During that time our next door neighbours at 28, Whitmore Rd were all officers in the USAF. These people and their families became good friends and I would like to contact, or hear news of any of them. I particularly remember the Youngblood family whose children I believe were called Melissa, Jinks and Susan and I am fairly certain that they were at Ruislip in 1962 and 63. Can anybody help me to make contact with them or any of the other families who lived there? Any lead would be appreciated.
Marilyn Before clicking on any e-mail link read this section
I have many fond memories during the time I was stationed at South Ruislip from October 1954 till August 1956 in HQ. SQ. 3rd AF.
My duty section was in the SJA office working for CWO Lorne C. Payne. The court martial that stands out in my mind at least, is one Milosh Turkili(sp), who, with a friend, stole several cases of cigarettes from a warehouse at Denham Studios. They "flogged" their booty to a Mr. fisher and Mr. Cohen, two well known characters of London's criminal element. They were in Turkili's car with their loot covered by a blanket. Unfortunately, Fisher and Cohen being so popular with the law enforcement folks, they were noticed by a policeman and when he looked under the blanket all were arrested. Turkili and friend received a DD and time at Leavenworth. Don't know what resulted from the trial of Fisher and Cohen. BTW, Turkili's was an AP.
Don Burge in Frankfort, KY
I was stationed at South Ruislip from Jan 70 – May 72. I was transferred “down there” from the 79th TFS at RAF Woodbridge when they converted from the F100 “lead sled” to F111s. I was assigned to 3rd AF Intelligence, and worked “behind the Green Door” at the end of the hall in the HQs building. I could tell you more about that but then I’d have to…. Well, you know. I can say that I prepared the Intel slides for the daily briefings given to the 3rd AF commander (but I don’t remember who it was at the time). For some time there I was practically a member of the Audio Visual Lab as they’d see me coming and let me go right in to do my thing on the Ozelit (spelling?) slide making machine.
During my two years there I lived in a bed sit in SR and shared a house with a coworker (one Harry McKay) in Harrow Wealdstone. I then met a wonderful Irish girl (Ann O’Neill) working in the Cumberland Hotel in Marble Arch. We were married and lived in a rented apartment on Rydal Way in SR (continuing on Long Drive from the tube station, crossing Victoria Road) from an RAF Colonel (don’t remember his name) that we never met.
We have many fond memories of our time there in SR, from the nights down at “Bangers” on Moscow Road in Bayswater (where we would scorch names and initials on the ceiling with candles while drinking Lowenbrau, and singing songs along with the guy that sat on a stool playing the accordion), and a snowball fight in a snowstorm at midnight on Christmas Eve 1971 in the middle of Queensway, to a Rec Center trip to Rome shortly after we were married.
We were married at St Gregory the Great Church right there in SR, and had our reception at the NCO club (we didn’t have much money then). I remember buying bunches of Daffs at the tube station to bring home to Ann after work, and buying “the messages” at the butcher shop on Victoria Road. I remember many trips in Harry McKay’s old mini, crammed full of people, looking for parties down in London and over in Pinner (the Navy guys had great parties). I remember many, many sightseeing trips all over London as well. I remember Bing Young (rank?), a fellow that worked for 3rd AF personnel, and Col Lester McCloud the DCSI for 3rd AF, Capt Bonnie Markison, Capt Bill Woodin (my bosses while there), and Tsgt Joe Shaw who worked with me and was best man at our wedding. I remember all-night card games in the dorm, and visiting buddies that worked in Data Processing. They showed me a card sorter, and I was so enthralled that I got out of Intelligence and into the Computer field (I’m still a programmer now). The dorm was divided up into rooms (supposedly it was once a shoe factory) but the rooms had no ceilings, so if you locked yourself out all you had to do was scale the wall.
Contact Steven J. Guenther, SMSgt USAF (Ret)
My father was stationed at South Ruislip from '60 to '62. We lived off base in Stanmore, near Harrow. My parents used to take us to the Columbia Club in London and I recall that as quite ritzy. I remember playing baseball in the Little League on base. We played against other bases and a British team who usually beat us. We were sternly told not to call them "blokes".
I don't remember much about the base except standing still for Taps, the movies, the PX, and that there were no airplanes!
My sister and I went to school at Bushey Hall American School. We have great memories of our time there. We used to ride the tubes and buses by ourselves all over the place.
I remember taking our bikes on an odyssey to Ruislip Lido once with our English friends, of which we had many. I think living in an English neighborhood was the best thing for us because we were really exposed to the culture, much of which you can miss if you live on base. My dad was Maj. Charlie Errickson, and his mission there was as a civil engineer on the BMEWS site built on Fylingsdale Moor on the North Sea near Scotland.
We were transferred to Andrews AFB in '62 just in time for the Cuban Missle Crisis. I've been back since to see the house we lived in but couldn't possibly remember where the base was.
David Errickson Before clicking on any e-mail link read this section
Can anyone help us find Ann and Chico Sananbria, Chico was Bob nick name while at South Ruislip Air Force Base, they were friends of our oldest sister Shirley Bernhardt, who married E Connor, we have tried the e mail address on the South Ruislip Air Force Base site, and understand they may have changed their server company, any help would be great.
Brian and Dawn
I was assigned to South Ruislip from Cheyenne, Wyoming after Technical School and worked in the 1969AACS from 1957 thru 1961.
I married an English girl whom I met in the cafeteria. I returned in 1997 and found it greatly changed, but with most of the original buildings intact.
My wife has made numerous trips to England and tell me Ruislip and Harrow have changed little. Some with whom we remain in contact are Tom Ivory (California), Ken Edwards (Texas), Lee Olsen (Arizona), Ray Clouden (New Jersey), Tony Dawson (Connecticut), Dick Jarworski (Illinois), and Ray LaFortune (Massachusets). Reviewing the pictures bring back many fond memories. Thanks for the opportunity to relive part of my youth.
I arrived at South Ruislip in August of 1968. It was my first assignment after Tech School. I was in the Data Automation section as it was known back then; today it would be the IT Dept. I was briefed upon by arrival by Capt. Charles Proffit, and my NCOIC was SMSgt Stanley Gettman. He didn't like me and I didn't like him. I remember working with 2nd generation computers, huge in size but with no power. Most of my time was spent sorting and collating punch cards to eventually feed them through the processor. I worked with TSgt Ron Waters, SSgt Louis Goldfarb, Sgt. Don Bassett, A1C Tom Condon, Airman Glenn Ramsey, and a few others whose names I can't remember.
Off hours were spent working as the bartender at the Airmans Club, to help pay for the tax free Lotus Europa I bought for $2,900. A lot of my time was spent downtown at the London Playboy Club, where a steak dinner cost 10 shillings.
I married a scrub tech named Barbara Hughes who was assigned to the base hospital. The marriage lasted about 6 months, and I haven't seen or heard from her since. Oddly enough though, my current wife was born in the same hospital in 1956, where her father, Robert Marino was stationed there. What a small world.
I first lived in a flat in Rayners Lane, near the tube station. Does anybody remember the pizza restaurant there that was opened by a retired nurse? I later moved to Harrow with Sid Sontag, then later to Harrow-on-the Hill. Eventually, I found my way to infamous house on Frithwood Avenue in Northwood; home of outrageous parties and the World Famous Northwood Nads. And even today, I am in contact with my old friends from 32 years ago thanks to the power of the internet. SH (Clint Macy), Bimbo (Mike McCann), Curley (Joe Pasowitz), Randy Catley, and all the rest of the NADS, who had their reunion in Las Vegas 2 years ago.
I saw America play in Orlando a few weeks ago, and called out to Gerry Beckley, I knew your father, Colonel Beckley; the Base Commander, when America was formed by the 3 members who were students at the American High School.
I discharged from the Air Force in 1973, but stayed in Northwood until March, 1974. I had taken a job with Sprinzel Motor Cars in London selling tax free autos to tourists. I worked for Jon Hull, who many remember as the car salesman who came to South Ruislip selling MGB's.
Those were wonderful years. The talent that played at the club, the many friends from the base, the English friends that I made while living there. And the 3 years I spent playing baseball for the Beckinham Blue Jays of the British Baseball League. Memories I will cherish forever.
I am trying to find information re my grandfather service details, no idea where to get them as NARA don't seem to have the relevant information, and I have nowhere else to try.
He was on the base in 1966, and his name was Forrest R. Hempel, he was a USAF personnel.
We have some records, but nothing denoting his dependants when he was transferred to South Ruislip for his last tour of duty.
Any help is much appreciated, cause finding these records seem a nigh on impossibility.
What a nice surprise this site was to me. It’s been neat reading the memories of people for whom this was such a large part of their lives, as it was mine.
I was a medic in OBGYN at the hospital from 67 to 70. I recognize names, such as Sid Sontag and Jim Carlin and the other folks he mentioned in his note. I remember others as well: Lin Roberts, Bill Fortune, Paul Carboneaux, Jennifer Clapperton, “John the Bloke” who could do a perfect American accent and more. I include them here in case someone “Googles” their name as I did and finds this site!
Someone mentioned the excellent entertainment at the NCO club. Anyone remember Tina Charles? She was just 16 and singing in the club when I was there. We met just before I returned to the states and corresponded after that for a few letters. I thought she was telling a little story when she said she was going to be on the Tom Jones show…but sure enough she was! She turned out to have quite a successful entertainment career, it seems.
Some other things that that hold fond memories for me: The Royal Standard pub near Beaconsfield; cockles and periwinkles; a peace demonstration outside the base; HAVING to move off base in the London area in the era of Beatles popularity as a single 20 year old enlisted kid because the barracks were so small. And being told NOT to wear your uniform off base.
Also; midnight chow at the hospital; University of Maryland extension courses; gas rations; British girls; the Ruislip Lido; Die Bierkeller near Queensway; knowing someone who could get you a free call to the States in the middle of the night; Spoly Oly; a BX that had a tailored suit shop, excellent electronics and cameras; riding the tube. It was a grand time.
Couple of bits of trivia about the USAB:
About once a year, in the early 50's, there would be a big fair ground set up in the field on the SW corner at the Station Approach/Victoria Road. Needless to say, the Americans from the base had a ball there and naturally had a lot more money than most of us.
One time, An American chappy was hurtling around on one of the roundabout thingies, going at quite a rate, when his wallet got thrown out of his back pocket. When it hit the ground, all his $ bills (or pounds...can't remember now) came flying out and were blown all over hells half acre. Well, being the honest Brit kids that we were, we rushed around collecting them all up. When he eventually got off the ride, all white faced, as he obviously couldn't get off even though he knew that he had lost his wallet, he was eternally grateful for our honesty (ahhhhhhhh!!) He gave us five shillings each which in those days was a fortune to us young'ens!!
My mother asked me to go into Ruislip Manor to buy some pork sausages from "Hooks" the butcher. (do you remember that store??) Well, as it turned out, the money that she had given me was insufficient for me to buy the sausages AND bet back home on the bus...so, again, being the great kids that we were in those days, I bought the sausages, and walked all the way home to Deane Ave (S.Ruislip)
On the way, I just happened to be walking a few yards behind an American Airman with his girlfriend. (no doubt a Brit) Anyway, after about 10 minutes or so. They stopped, looked around at me, came over and handed me a big packet of gum. (Guess I looked hungry, and I guess he was used to kids asking for gum in those days)
Although I still had to head in the same direction to get home, It was too embarrassing for me to continue following them, in case they thought I was just plain greedy, so I wandered around a bit, crossed over the road, and continued on my journey home, trying to stay out of sight. (Mum felt bad for not giving me enough money by the way, at least, that's what she said!!)
As a 17 year old in 1951, I fell in love with my first love. We never forget our "first" and he was stationed at Ruislip in the M.P.'s at that time. His name was Joe Keaton and after reading one of your messages, it brought back fond memories of Tithe Farm where we all used to go dancing. I even remember Len at the front door, who sold tickets to get in. A lot of us girls had very little money and we always used to chat Len up and he, more often than not, would let us in without paying. Oh, the wonderful times we had there. I still have a photo of a group of us that went from Tithe Farm into London to the Douglas House! My first love returned back to the States but I never forgot him!
A couple of years later, after taking the civil service exam in London, I got a job at the base as a secretary. This was where I was first introduced to the sport of bowling (I had never heard of it!) and got quite good at it. For some reason, I do not have a lot of memories of working there because I transferred to Bushey Hall as a secretary to a Major who I remember had about six children and two German shepherds that we would bring into work and scare the heck out of us!
I do remember reading a lot of books from the base library because he was hardly ever in the office to give me work! One time I was asked to tend the cloakroom for a dance being held at the Officer's club. The music was so great that after all the coats were checked, I was asked to dance and had a great time! I met my husband to be that night and we were married in 1956 and returned to the States in December of that year. His name was Lt. Eugene Kovary and our best man was Warrant Officer Jack Inman. We were married at the registrar's office in Watford and lived in Watford for a while. I could go on and on, but if anyone would like to correspond with me, I would be thrilled to hear from you! My name now is June Hooper nee June English.
What wonderful memories! I was stationed at the 7520th Hosp. On one of my trips to London, I went to a club called the "51 club". It was there that I met my English rose. We dated and then married. She came from East London but did not have the Cockney accent. Two daughters were born at the base.
When we got married, the reception party lasted for two whole days! Everyone just slept around the living room. We fed everyone and we only went out to buy more food and booze. Some of the gang were Leo Gomes, Jose Rey , Ronnie Ray , Larry Scharf from St, Louis, and many other blokes and lassies.
The party must have been a good send off as we just celebrated our 51st anniversary.
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I met my wife at South Rusilip AS in the summer of 1971, when I was a Security Police Flight Chief. We had responsibility for South Ruislip, RAF West Ruislip, High Wycombe AS,
and several auxiliary sites in the London Area. It was one of the choicest assignments in the USAF at the time. It shut down in 1972, Third AF moved to Mildenhall, and the 7500th AB Gp became the 7500 AB Squadron, and eventually moved to High Wycombe AS, and became Det#1, 20th Tactical Fighetr Wing at RAF Upper Heyford.
I always remember that NCO Club was much better than Oak Club, and the Officers were always trying to figure out ways to get into the NCO club for the great shows that we used to have.
It was a great time, with super memories.
What wonderful memories! I was stationed at the 7520th Hosp. On one of my trips to London, I went to a club called the "51 club". It was there that I met my English rose. We dated and then married. She came from East London but did not have the Cockney accent. Two daughters were born at the base.
When we got married, the reception party lasted for two whole days! Everyone just slept around the living room. We fed everyone and we only went out to buy more food and booze. Some of the gang were Leo Gomes, Jose Rey , Ronnie Ray , Larry Scharf from St, Louis, and many other blokes and lassies.
The party must have been a good send off as we just celebrated our 51st anniversary.
I was stationed in South Ruislip and West Ruislip in 1962 to 1963 in the 7500 abg Air Police Section.
The jobs I had were in South Ruislip and west Ruislip along with duty at the Douglas House in London. I lived on base in the barracks that had no ceilings (! ROL). There were three airmen to a room with no doors, just a curtain for the door. I pulled duty many a day at the front entrance of the base and at the 3rd. Air Force headquarters building. We drove a pick-up to West Ruislip for duty postings there. Mostly at the front gate.
UK police (bobbies) would man the gate at the hospital entrance. I was there for the large peace rallies and the base would close the gates and all of the air police were on duty carrying hidden side arms and posted on the rooftops and around the 3rd. Air force headquarters bldg (scary times the cold war). I don’t remember to many of the personnel there but I did have a great time.
West Ruislip had the airmen’s club where I had many a good time. And a bowling alley was there also but it was mostly used as warehouse for supplies as it had many warehouses we had to check every day. There sure were a lot of, beautiful girls coming to the airmen’s club at night. I would have to sign them in while working the front desk. West Ruislip also is where the main lock-up or detention centre was, in side the air police building at the front of the entrance.
My family was stationed at S. Ruislip 1967-70 and I went to Bushy Hall Senior High (Watford). I used to go to the NCO club at RAF W. Ruislip and met many nice airmen to dance with. I also had an Italian girl friend from Milan, Italy that went with me. I also went to the Playboy Club and I remember every drink was $1.00 and great shows.
My girl friend, American, her father was the NCO Club Mgr at the Douglas House. I can't remember her name or his now.
The father would get good shows from the US and we used to play the slot machines. I remember one winter the Douglas House had Sly and the Family Stone booked and they never showed up. Probably got hooked on good English beer. Anyway, her father gave us all in the club free food and drinks for the day.
I think in 1969 was when the NCO club (W. Ruislip) closed down and the military were then stationed at Lakenheath. I really missed going to that club. Sometimes I would take a t rain from Liverpool and go to Lakenheath. Stay at a bed and breakfast and go to the Lakenheath NCO club. I would do this on the weekends. After I graduated from High School I attended a British Business College in S. Kensington. I went to school with foreign students (well to do). I then worked for Alfred Marks Temp Agency as I could not get a work permit for permanent employment. I worked for the Lancaster Gate Hotel. We even had our Prom there and my girlfriend and I rented a Rolls Royce to take us and out dates to the Prom. Those were the days.
I also worked for Oil companies, an American Bank in Governors Square, Restaurants and ITV (BBC) counterpart.
I really hated to leave S. Ruislip in 1970. My father was assigned to Washington DC (Forestall Bldg). He was a CWO-4 Fred Brining. My name was Daphne Brining. I got married years ago but and no longer married. I just kept my married last name. If any body remembers me or my dad during the above years, please email me. If we never ran into each other, please let me know about your stays in England.
Daphne J. Gilbertson
I was stationed at RAF Bovingdon 1957-1960 with AACS (GCA) which was a tenant unit of the 7531st Air Base Squadron. My buddy, A/2C Howie Ryder was stationed at S. Ruislip and I spent many weekends there. It was great being so close to London. Howie was a member of the 603rd Communications Squadron. He met his wife Valerie there.
The Bovingdon Bunch Association held a reunion in Bovingdon 1998. After the reunion I traveled down to S Ruislip Air Station but where had it gone? In its place was a super market, a strip mall and an auto dealership.
The RAF Bovingdon Bunch Association will be having its twentieth annual reunion in Grand Rapids Michigan on September 15-19, 2005. Many pilots from S Ruislip flew the old "gooney birds" from Bovingdon airfield. There were a number of others from the 3rd AF HQ, Comm Sqd, etc that had contact with Bovingdon. The 7531 Air Base Squadron had Bovingdon air crews at Northolt. Let me know if any of you out there are interested in the Bovingdon Bunch reunion.
Is there a reunion organization for those who served at S. Ruislip?
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Bob Holcomb and I, Ron Larochelle ,are visiting each other in Maine as we speak and discovered this South Ruislip website. We were stationed there from 1960-1963 with Mike Fedorchak, Sonny Chesnell, Joe Hager, Larry Church and Ed Hussey. Are any of you guys out there or does anyone remember Bob and I? We frequently reminisce about England and South Ruislip in particular and often wonder about the fate of the base or the guys we were stationed with. I was a ground radio operator and Bob was a teletype operator.
We would be interested to hear from guys like Joe Hager, Ed Hussey, Sonny Chesnell, Larry Church, DiMiara and Hebior. We were all there from 1960 to 1963 in the 603rd Comm Sq.
Ronald R Larochelle
I was stationed at South Ruislip in 66-68. I was assigned to the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) District Office # 12. My duties included conducting background investigations on English gals marrying American GI's My bosses were Lt Col James Poynor and Lt Col Isiah Sigman. Remember going to the Playboy Club frequently. Our Hq in Washington DC always wanted to know what was happening in London. The Play Boy Club was the place to find out what's happening. If I sent in 5 EEI's (Essential Elements of Information) a month, my bar tab was paid for by the Air Force.
This was my second tour in England, I was stationed at High Wycombe USAB from Mar 54 to Mar 59. I married an English girl from High Wycombe in 1957, My son was born at the South Ruislip Hospital. I got divorced and was in England in 2002, plan another trip there this year. Should be fun seeing the old neighborhood again. Jim Ringo, MSgt, USAF Retired
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It brought back many memories of my time at South Ruislip (March 1966-May 1967). I met and married Betty which ended in divorce (my fault), and will always remember the great times we had there. I have never been back to England, but hope to return there some day. I was in the 1969Comm Sq, and use to frequent the Airman's Club. Sure would like to hear from my old
friend Jim "Golden Boy" Newsom. Joseph E Davenport
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I was assigned to West Ruislip in 1962 after Denham closed . I lived off base but used many of the facilities at South Ruislip. In January 1963 I bought a V.W. Bug to get around London. In February of 1964 I was at Heathrow Airport when the Beatles returned from their first trip to America. I was in the 3rd Air Postal Squadron and was assigned to meet that plane and pick up the U.S Mail Bags. I also knew people at South Ruislip who ran around with Christine Keeler during the "Profumo Affair" We had 30 U.S. Bases in the United Kingdom in that time frame and I was able to get to most of them. The movie (The War Mongers) was filmed at RAF Bovingdon in 1962 . Some of (Goldfinger) was filmed at RAF Northolt. I left the U.K for good in 1964 and hope to return someday.
Larry Plummer USAF Veteran.
I was at the hospital working in the Physiotherapy room with Sidney Frame, the UK Physiotherapist. I was there from March 1955 to March 1958, went back to the states for early release due to the armed forces cutbacks. Many of our old haunts now come to mind, Tithe Farm, the Douglas House, the Lyceum Ballroom downtown, the Lido, etc.
I would like to make contact with my old buddies particularly Ira Don Snyder of OK, John Maples, Bill Bagwell, Terry Andres, Norman Hoeft, Darrell Moeller, Phillip Lane, etc.
I am in contact with Jim Kniceley and Bob Chapman. Sam Mallett
A view from a Brit who lived in Ruislip Manor and once got a chance to go into the base. I lived in Cornwall Road and as a child remember the house next door to us was rented out to US military personnel who were stationed at the SR base. I used to play with their kids and one family I remember in particular was the Pererias (SP?). They had a son called Kim who was about my age. We used to play together a lot and I remember the American sweets and food he had. Hershey bars and strange named cereals. One day he invited me to go and see a movie at the cinema on the base. I think it was, rather aptly, Rudyard Kipling’s Kim. I don’t remember much about the base or the cinema except that when we got popcorn he immediately smothered it with salt. I had only been used to sweet toffee popcorn so was horrified when he put salt all over it. Eventually his father got posted back to the states and we kept in touch for a while. Last I heard he was in Colarado Springs but that was 25 years ago or so.
I was stationed at South Ruislip from 1963-65 and worked in Third Air Force Graphics with Lew Brown.."the master". Lew used to do Time "man of the year" covers for all the generals and other big-shots who left South Ruislip. My daughter Cindia, now 40, was born at the 7520th Hospital at the base, delivered by Dr. McNee, one of the "Queen's Obstreticians" .
I loved that place so much then and all the "blokes" I met there.
God save the Queen.
A1C Jim Boyle
now 63 and living in Eugene, Oregon
I had two assignments to England; Feb 54 to Mar 59 at High Wycombe, Bucks, assigned to the Security Police Sq. My oldest son was born at South Ruislip Hospital in Aug 58. My second assignment was with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) headquartered at South Ruislip in 1967 and 1968. My girlfriend and I plan a trip to England in October 05 and plan to stay at a Hotel in Ruislip while we see the sights in London by tube. Jim Ringo, MSgt, USAF Retired
I, Louis Swiniuch, aka Louie, was stationed at South Ruislip from 1956 to 1958. I worked in Statistical Services, with guys by the name of Shipp, Smidt, Sheehan, Dawson, Miller, Charadonna etc. most of whom I forgot their names. The bosses name was Capt.Sorg, Msgt Ducey, Staff Sgt. Dorothea Johnson, Maj. Harvard,Ltc. Dyste and others. Had spent two best years of my life at that location. I remember the chow hall with the long mural. Wonder what they did with that? The chow was great. Haven't had anything like it since. Chefs did great job. One of the best part was living off base as I was an A/1c at the time. I lived in two places on Jubilee Drive. One of the couples name was Treacher. Don't recall the number. The other had a son by the name of Ken. Don't know why that sticks with me. Also lived at a time at Harrow-on-the-Hill near the tube. Took the 158 bus back and forth to the base most of the time There were three of us living there Swiniuch,Smidt and Sheehan. Parties were too numerous to mention. Girls too numerous to mention.
We had several jaunts to the Lido with cases of beer. Usually on a Saturday. Eastcote arms, Tithe farms were usual pit stops for us.
Before getting to Ruislip I had been stationed at RAF Sta. Molesworth. I real mud hole of a base. I was there a year. Being transferred to Ruislip was like dying and going to Heaven. I have nothing but positive memories of the place. Food, people etc. Haven't been back there since, although there is special place in my heart for it. Plus I can't recreate the people, demographics or culture of the base. One of my favorite jaunts was Soho district by tube from either Harrow or South Ruislip. That was my home away from home. I married a girl from London and the marriage ended up disastrous. I recall seeing a girl from Harrow who used to come to dances at the service club. First name was Geneen (probably spelled her name wrong). She came from the Isle of Jersey I believe, as she was French.
Made many trips to the Douglas House. It was like an Oasis in the middle of England. There was a golf driving range at the back of the base beyond the railroad tracks. Bought set of golf clubs from the pro. Went bowling at the alley a few times Played golf at a small course in the area, name escape me. Teddy boys, Barrel boys, Fish and Chips, Pint of Bitter, Senior Service. If it wasn't American it was Bloke girls, cars, beer, cigarettes etc. Favorite word "Rice"". Don't ask me why, I don't know. In the end I did not want to leave there. I was told I would have to go back to the states if I reenlisted, stay there a year, then maybe I could get back. Maybe was to vague of a word for me, so I didn't reenlist. Another thing was that I was up for promotion and told if I reenlisted I would get that next stripe. I told them If I got the next stripe first then I would reup. We had kind of a Mexican standoff. I didn't get the stripe, so I got out. I'm sure theirs more to write, but I'm getting tired now so I'll just cut if off.
I was at South Ruislip from Dec 1961 to Dec 1964. Bill Hoffard, Jim Bickerton and me all arrived together as 18 year olds and we worked in Medical Supply at Denham. Then Denham closed and we moved to West Ruislip.
We still had to do everything at S. Ruislip like eat and sign out our trucks. We were lucky enough to be allowed to live off base and we lived in a few different apartments at Harrow On The Hill. We hung out with Shirley Turner, Charlie Worman, Ken Sikora, Bob Bleicher and others and we always had a full table of gals & guys at the Douglas House almost every night.
Bill Sachs and I just had lunch in Northridge, California after connecting after 36 years. I particularly remember the "Silver Dollar" pizza restaurant owned by a nurse, Major Patterson. I can't remember the town but it wasn't far away. (maybe Pinner?)
I located a few people from Ruislip through Classmates.com and we chat. As most have commented the same, the 3 years I spent at Ruislip were among the best of my life. Hoffard & Bickerton &
Turner, if you're out there let me know.
Rich Silver ( aka Rick)
Ruislip was my first base after basic and the first time I was ever outside the country. This was in early '69, a few years before they closed the base. Of course I was completely naive and thought of England as the place where the Beatles and the Stones came from. I also learned to drink, gamble, play pool, ride a motorcycle as well as learn a great deal about people and the world.
I worked in the comm center and, since the base was slowly closing, had a lot of time off. I also fell in love with a girl that worked at the NCO club, Kathy Ravensdale. Even today I wonder what ever happened to her. I also made friends with a great number of people but as time passed, lost contact with all of them. That's the reason for writing. Thought that it might be great to hear from one of two of them again.
After leaving S.R. I was stationed at RAF Welford in Newbury, Berkshire and then Green Common, the other side of Newbury. During my time at S.R. I lived onbase, then in Slough and then Harrow on the Hill.
Aww, the memories. Chris Cooper
I used to live in Eastcote (Ferncroft Avenue off Field End Road) from 1940 till about 1960. My mother used to baby-sit for a couple that rented accommodation in Pinner, that came from Texas. We were invited to quite a lot of socials at the USAF base and it was a real eye opener in those days - say about 1950 - 54 (I'm not too sure on the dates) because they had all the things we couldn't get after the war. One of my unforgettable memories was that at this couple's house in Pinner - they had
a massive fridge which was filled completely with cans of beer and when the guy came back from work at the camp - he would get a beer out of the fridge - drink it (without putting it in a glass! like you did in those days) and then just chuck the empty can in the fireplace. Absolutely unheard of my house.
However, they were a very nice couple, very friendly and generous but the children were what we would call nowadays, vandals - as the stone statues in the garden were wrecked and broken by them Then, they just said they were high spirited!
My father who was also in the Air Force, based at Ruislip, used to say the "yanks" were sloppy because they were always chewing gum. However, I always found them to be polite and courteous. They also had their American cars over and would often stop and offer us girls lifts when waiting at the bus stops. We thought it was very glamorous going in an American car - not on our own of course - always in pairs my Mum said!
I live in Folkestone now and haven't been back that way for years. I used to go to Ickenham High School for girls and when I left, went to Pitmans to "get a career" - i.e. shorthand/typing - little did know that computers would overtake all that.
My other memory of the area - among others - is the street party we had in Ferncroft Avenue at the end of the war and we had a stage and I had to get up and sing "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling! in a white dress with all paper cigarettes on it - because there was a shortage and there was a cartoon at the time - called Chad - it was a man looking over a wall - saying "Wot NO - in my case, cigarettes" - now days with the anti smoking themes that would have been frowned upon.
Hi folks, how about some information regarding the visit of Glenn Miller during the war. My sister (unfortunately no longer with us), always said she danced with Edward G. Robinson there?. Any evidence he did go there?
John Russell (ex. Bury Street) now living in Fremantle W.Australia .
You might be interested in my website about a game of American football played by a team, The Rockets," then based at South Ruislip
This was in 1956 and the Rockets had won their fourth British Isles championships and was preparing to play a team from an USAF base in Weisbaden, Germany for the European USAF Football Championship.
Dana Andrews, then a famous but aging Hollywood actor, met me, the head coach at a party held by my Special Service office. Andrews wanted to promote the event and show the British just how exciting American football can be.
The RAF was attempting to raises funds to rebuild a historical church, Saint Clement Dane Church, which had been destroyed during World War II by the Nazi Blitz of Great Britain. About 40,000 British spectators, with a few USAF personnel in attendance, raised about $225,000 in American currency. The BBC- Television agreed to add what amounted to about a million dollars in American currency. to help rebuild Saint Clement.
Since the USAF helped fund rebuilding of the 2,000-year-old church, the 16,000 Army Air Corps personnel who lost their lives during World War II while serving in England, RAF agreed to share Saint Clements as a WWII memorial for the American loses, whose names are on a scroll attached to the pipe organ, the gate receipt was used to purchase.
Hello to All: John Schmidt, a/k/a Smitty the Cop, here. I was stationed at South Ruislip from 11/66 to 12/69 and would like to reestablish contact with folks I met and had such good times with during the Carnaby Street era in London. I married a Central High School graduate (Ann Smith) and we now live in Virginia Beach where I practice law. So, what ever happened to Jim Shearer, "Tag" Tagliaferro, Myra Hardin, "Dewey" Drouillard, Jenny Lutheran, Marty Best and June, Dan Aggers, Stan Mitchell, Tom Triplett, "Chick" Freeman, Capt. Tom Booth, Sam Ditusa, and the countless others who kept the party going at 14 Meadow Close long after the Airmans Club on West Ruislip closed for the evening? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're a believer that Ruislip memories are priceless. Regards, Smitty
Hi, my name Is Ken McLean (AKA) Mac. I was stationed at South Ruislip from July 1966 to February 1968. I was in the 1969th Comm. Squadron. I'm looking for all my old friends. It would be great to have a reunion. I'm so happy to see this site and to read that so many others had such a wonderful time at South Ruislip as I did. I remember going downtown to Paddington to Count Suckles Cue Club with all my friends and afterwards going to Wimpys for a burger. There were other clubs, like the Bag O' Nails.
I remember many of the guys like Big Lou, Tagliferro and Ebo, all were A.P.s I recently looked up my closest friends in the white pages on the computer. I found Eli Thomas who is doing well in Indiana. I tried to find Floss Mathis, who played for our basketball team, the London Rockets, unfortunately, his mother said that he died two years ago. I would love to contact Al Holloway, Lenny Wordlaw, Tony Williams, Speelman Phillips, Henry Brown (the Cook) who made the best SOS in the Air Force, Ray Gallagher, who followed me to Peshawar Air Station in Pakistan. He worked on the antennas with his best friend, I think his last name was Grace. What ever happened to Schofield, the guy who used to walk on the walls that divided the rooms, singing Tennessee Stud?
If any body is out there, or who remembers any of these guys, please write me at the following address:
62 Lincoln Ave.
Cliffside Park, N.J. 07010 Ken McLean (AKA) Mac
I married a young man from Shepherds Grove AFB 57 years ago, we now live in NJ. We keep up with the SGAFB people and the web site. My cousin married a man who was stationed at Ruislip AFB. His name is Kenneth (Ken) Betch. My cousin’s name was Jocelyn (nee Ling). Jocelyn was very ill, the last time we corresponded, in the late 60’s, she was in the hospital. She is the only daughter of my father’s only other sibling. They had a son Wayne Collin Betch who would be about 48 now. I would very much like to find Ken and family. They are the only remaining members of that side of our family. I would appreciate any information or even any memories anyone might have and would like to share with us. Thank you, Larry and Janet (Ling) Wood.
(This would appear to be from a person who was stationed at West Ruislip)
My name is Ted Clark and my first duty station was RAF Shellingford, in Oxfordshire, with the 7568 Material Squadron; arriving June 1956. Our mission was to provide Radar Maintenance for the 32nd Brigade, who had air defense duty for the USAF SAC bases. RAF Shellingford was closed as an USAF installation in early 1957, with the men moving to Denham Studios, ie 7500 Air Base Group, as we opened 4MU as West Ruislip AB in early 1957. At this time, there was only about 120 USAF members on site. In the beginning, West Ruislip was a heavy maintenance facility for the repair of dump trucks, etc. Later, it would be come the site for AFEX warehouse. With the removal of the 32nd Brigade, most of the Radar Technicians & Comm. Technicians were transferred to other duty stations. I depart West Ruislip AB in June 1957 for Wheelus AB, Libya. A small group of men who were stationed at Shellingford/West Ruislip recently held a reunion in Atlantic City, NJ, and to a man, we all agreed that our time in England was the best of all our duty stations later on. I would enjoy communicating with anyone who is familar with either RAF Shellingford or 4MU/West Ruislip AB. Contact me
My dad was stationed at South Ruislip in the auditor's office from 1960-63. we went to Eastcote and west ruislip schools. we used to go to the NCO club at South Ruislip on Sundays for the buffet. They would have special shows (magicians) for the kids. We also used to go to the special picnics the bases would put on at Denham down by the lake where the movie Call me Bwana was made with Bob Hope. They spared no expense then.
We went to the AYA on weekends at West Ruislip while my parents went to the clubs. We bought our kerosene with ration cards at West Ruislip.
Did anybody else discover that American pennies worked in the chocolate milk machine (instead of 6 pence) outside the Express Dairy shop on the road leading to S. Ruislip? We used to go to the snack bar at Denham and South Ruislip.
We went to the club at Denham, it was never crowded and my brother used to play the slot machines.
What a wonderful time. I'm 55 now and some of my memories are a little sketchy. When we were leaving we stayed at the Harcourt House Hotel near South Ruislip and Douglas House.
When I went back for a visit South. Ruislip. had been turned over to the English for something and I couldn't go on so I just stood and looked past what used to be the main gate to the main drag that went to the NCO club, snack bar and beverage shop across from snack bar. there are too many wonderful memories to share.
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I was stationed at South Ruislip from April 67 until Dec 69. I worked in flight scheduling in the headquarters building. I lived in base for a few months until I found a bed sitter with a great family. The barracks were more of a warehouse with heaters that seemed more like used jet engines and low partitions that offered little privacy.
I loved my time in England, played soccer for the Rockets, went to Uxbridge technical college at night and lived high on the hog especially since the pound devalued twice while I was there. I wonder what happened to the 1938 Morris 8 that I used to drive.
I’d enjoy hearing from anybody that was there then……
I can't believe that I've found this site! I was stationed there from 1966 to 1969 at the Weather Central. (First building on the right end of centre corridor.) Lt Col Dodge commanding. Best duty of my life! A few months in the barracks and then out on the economy. Those incredible cost of living allowances! NCO club with incredible entertainment - Brook Benton comes to mind. How about those 10 Cent drinks! Except for Scotch which was at market price.. We'd get off a mid shift, go have breakfast and then go and open up the bar and stay untill the night and close it, with all sorts dropping by for a few hours. What good times...
I miss all the guys, Jack Mekemson, Marty Best and Don Bowker (Comm) Don Douglas, Bill Richardson, Mac Macdonald, Vic Minella, Mike Spivey, Eric Linsay, Dr Hylton, the list goes on. We had six weddings in our detachment in one year - two on the same day.
Does anyone remember those two gorgeous WAF twins? Attached to the Generals office.
I remember the pizza place operated by a retired US nurse major - often closed! The firing range at Uxbridge, Airman's club at West Ruislip. God, it all comes back! Best time of my life, then I married a lovely Brit. She picked me up in a pub in Leicester Sq. "The Round Table", anybody remember it? I'll talk with anybody about this all.
Frank Berger Det 6, 28th Weather Sq Before clicking on any e-mail link read this section
I worked at South Ruislip AFB between 1951-53. I was hired by the Air Ministry and I worked for Colonel Jones of 7th Air Division in the Stat div., as a clerk typist. I worked with a couple of Len's, a Collins, Mason, and Dowdy to name a few.
My father, Syd Banks and brother Doug Banks worked in the kitchen/Mess hall. They are both deceased.
I met my husband, Elmer C Sluss, at the Tithe Farm on New Year's eve 1954. We married in August of that year at the Harrow Registry office. 52 years ago now. He was assigned to the 3rd Postal Sq at South Ruislip. He worked with, Proops (our best man), Pitts, Kerns, Dixon, etc.
Our first home was on Roxeth Avenue, a bed-sit, with a shared bathroom down the hall. Our first child was born in the hospital on base. Needless to say we moved from Roxeth back to Dorchester Road, Northolt Park at that time to live with my parents.
Those years hold wonderful memories of youth and new beginnings. I just wish I could still put names with faces. I remember the faces. We now live in Virginia. If you remember Cliff or me, please write, we'd really like to hear from you.
Joan Banks Sluss
I don't know if there is anyone out there who can help. I am searching for a Richard Allen Mcquistion. He was based at the USAF in South Ruislip, I believe up until about 1960ish. I'm not too sure. He was ground force but don't know which stripe. He came from America I believe it was Michigan. He was about 22 when he was there. I think. I don't really no that much about him. He dated a Jeanette Hughes who visited the base, her sister Gloria worked on the base in the cafeteria. He was friends with a David? who dated a girl called Cissy and they had 2 children together.
I am desperately trying to find him or information about him as he must be about 67-69 now, and he has a son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and great granddaughter whom he has never met.
I am his grand daughter and am determined to find him, for my dad.
I would be ever so grateful if there is anyone out there who has any information about him, what he was like etc, etc.....Please e-mail me from the link below.
I grew up just down the rd from the Air base and later my Secondary school was built opposite the base Where Currys Electronics store etc now stand. Queensmead School is where the bus stop was, where we would wait for the GI's to go to their rented homes away from home in Harrow etc. We would say cheekily to The American's. "Got any gum chum" As our parents thought this was scrounging, we could not go home chewing our ill gotten gum.
As pre teen kids we would take Our "Guy Fawkes" effigy to the bus stop to catch the GI's going home. "Penny for the Guy" We'd ask/beg (depending how a person looked at the tradition) for money. The week leading up to Nov 5th. We would tell the GI's, the effigy would be burnt on a bonfire we'd build. Then we would give a brief history of Guy Fawkes and the attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Our sister in a sack, dressed up as Guy Fawkes, being pushed about in a child's push chair, decided to stand up. The American lady who had been listening intently, yelled and jumped backwards. My poor sister being uncomfortable had to stand up to stretch out her long legs and had no idea she would frighten the lady so much. Janice was around 7 yrs old. I think Janice jumped with just as much fright, when the woman yelled out.
Somewhere around the back area of the old site where the base stood, there is a rd leading to the local council waste/recycle dump. I went there with my dad in 2,000 to dump stuff he was clearing out from his stables. I know that there was a Baseball pitch somewhere back there through the tunnel, under the central train line that went to and from London. Steam trains used to travel that route also. As kids we would squash pennies on the line as the train passed over them. We would Bird nest also in that area (look not touch) we would have to run every so often when the Air police saw us back there.
The base had open days and as kids we were fascinated by the sodas and foods served. One open day was held at the Pavilion, as well as the base being opened to the public. The Pavilion was in Deane park playing fields. On Long drive. This was a farm field once.
My parents knew several couples that were based at Sth Ruislip in the 50's. Gene and Anita Fowler. Gene was a pilot. Also I remember the names of another couple, A Gene and Dotty. Others that I just can't recall. Training dogs and building Model Aircraft to fly were some of the interests between Gene fowler and my dad.
I remember as very small child, an American friend of my dad's, who would arrive in a jeep. I remember the flight jacket he wore the odd head gear, the leather helmet. When they left for the states, my sister and myself were given a super metal doll house that had lights, a pool room and adjoining garage it was amazing to us at ages 6 and 4 ys old.
Edward Brown My husband of 37 yrs worked with Computers on base along with Jimmy Temple Robbie Robinson, John Kline, Jack De Witt and many others.
Ed and myself, Robbie and his wife Christine, would go to a car dump along from the base main gates, where the guys were able to find parts for their American cars. I remember sitting in a very much picked over, old American car, minus wheels and Christine and myself taking daft pictures of each other. We traveled to Ball games, at different bases from time to time.
We went to London to see Georgie Flame and the Blue flames at a night club. We were allowed in and had paid, grabbed decent seating and then we were told the club was off limits to GI's, we had to leave in a hurry. No refund on our entrance fee! Better than the Military police catching the fellers.
My husband's brother boxed on base and at London Pubs and clubs, in his days stationed at South Ruislip. His name was Otis Brown. Otis while at a local pub, Maybe the 'Eastcote Arms.' Or a big Pub at Rayner's Lane on the Victoria rd, after a few beers he'd jump to the table top and preach a sermon of the "Evils of beer." He boxed under his nick name "Rocky." Later in his life Otis became the Commissary officer up at Chicksands. He also bar b q'd for the American Embassy in London, for charities etc. Sadly both Edward my husband, and his brother Otis Brown have passed on.
My childhood friend Valerie Traynor, married a man stationed at Ruislip Air Force Base around 1958. He was from Florida. She had two sons, Danny the oldest would have been about 2 years old, Jessie, about 1 years old. The man she married was not the father of her children. She lived on Bolton Road in Harrow. She had a sister named June, who also married an American, and June moved to Wisconsin around 1959.
I have been looking for Valerie for over 40 years.
I married Jon Kjelstad, who was stationed at Ruislip, and Burtonwood, We would like to hear from any old friends, as well as Valerie, or anyone that knows of her. April (Butler) Kjelstad.
I had three of the most enjoyable years while stationed at South Ruislip from Aug 1967 to July 1970, left the Air Force following that as a SSgt.
My oldest son was born at the base hospital there and therefore the real estate of the old base will always be special to me and my former wife, Arliene. We lived in Iver Heath, Ruislip, Harrow and finally 27 The Croft in South Ruislip (behind St. Gregory’s I think.)
I worked for TSgt Lake (a made guy in the Mafia with contacts with the London mob, unbelievable Top Secret Crypto clearance) and with SSgt Lee Johnson although my first boss was MSgt Beatle Bailey.
My best friends were Bennie Killion from Texas and Michael Murray (from Arizona) both of whom I have lost contact. I was a central office technician assigned to the 1969th Comm Squadron and was responsible for the COPAN system and supporting the installation of the AUTOVON network at Hillington.
So many memories from Bangers in Queensbury to the theatre for great shows in the West End, mini-shirted local girls to wagged out demonstrators outside our gates. I used to enjoy placing bets on horse races at the little bookie shop just next to the South Ruislip station (TSgt Lakes mob connections got me a few great tips). Remember the ration cards for cigarettes, liquor and gasoline.
I have had the opportunity to return to London many times since then. Until the early 80’s it was used as storage for art owned by the government and the 7520th Hospital building was part of a screen set for some TV program I was told. It is now all been torn down and there is a strip mall with a DIY as I recall. Visited 27 The Croft a few times and it is still there but nicely re-modelled and updated.
A. John Miller II
Can anyone tell me what happened to HARRY LANE, who i think was entertainment officer during the 60's?
I’m William B. Poucher (Bill Poucher). My father, MSGT Lester Boyce Poucher, was stationed at South Ruislip USAFB in 1955-1956. We lived off base at “The Retreat, 1 Raynor’s Lane”. I was in the first grade. My sister and I were enrolled in an English school called Harrow on the Hill, or something like that. I think that dad as Sergeant Major of the 3rd Air Force at the time, or something like that. He was born in 1903 and had 28 years of service in when he was permanently disabled while stationed there. We were never sure what dad did. He never talked about the Air Force at home. The previous assignment was in some special AF or DoD program that his friends called the Russian School at Syracuse University. Prior to that, Dad was at Maxwell AFB at the Air War College. He alternated working for the Inspector General or in Air Force Intelligence.
I’m just curious if any of you were there during the Hungarian Spring. Did you know dad? I remember London, the terrible smogs, Father Christmas (a cheapskate compared to Santa Claus), the Queen, singing God Save the Queen before watching a movie (we sang My Country Tis of Thee to the ire of the English). I remember the beautiful greenery of spring, getting caned at school, getting lost on the playground in a fog, developing an accent, wearing shorts in the winter with long wool stockings and some kind of rubber boot. I remember putting a sixpence in a slot machine at the NCO club and winning the jackpot. It caused a stir, since I slipped back where they were. It was against regulation for a child to do so. I remember calculating conversions of currency for my mother when we shopped (a gift reproducible today with a $5 calculator). I remember queuing up at stores. Only one customer could go in at a time at most stores. I suspect that I was a brat.
Anyway, after Dad was disabled and we were flown to Washington’s Walter Reed Hospital and in the ensuing years, a number of his friends came to visit. They would talk a lot of politics but never about that era.
I’ve tried to get details of his assignments during the Cold War, but his records were sequestered in Fort Leavenworth. Shortly before the Freedom of Information Act, they were burned up in a big fire. Dad suffered injuries to his feet and back. He had a stroke. He lived another 11 years. But, he either didn’t remember much about his service then or simply wouldn’t talk about it.
My mom is 87 and is very ill. She has shared some things about his career, but it has been pretty sparse. In particular, he had a lot of ribbons and such, but I don’t know where the paperwork is that explains what they are for. How do you get a Purple Heart without a scrap of paper to explain what happened?
Did any of you know him?
William B. Poucher (Bill Poucher)
As a former South Ruislip Air Base member (67-68) I visited England in October and had the pleasure of being a guest of the Royal Navy In Portsmouth for the Trafalgar Day celebration while in my Mess Dress USAF uniform. We were thrilled to have been presented to Queen Elizabeth at the Navy Yard Museum dinner. We are still considering whether to wash our hands after having shook the hand of the Queen. We sat at the Head Table between Rear Admiral Wilkinson and Lord Wedgewood. MSgt Ringo, USAF Retired
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My husband Ken has a sister Shirley who married a Joe Capelli who was stationed at the USAF Base at South Ruislip in the 1940s. They had 2 children and have moved to the USA. We are trying to trace them and wonder if anyone does remember this family and could email me about them
Was stationed at South Ruislip from May 1956 until Dec 1956. I was assigned to the "Instrument Trainer" section (Flight Simulator). Our duty was to instruct the pilots from South Ruislip and neighbouring bases such as Bovingdon, etc. each month on Instrument Flight Procedures. The first day I arrived there I met Airman Kennedy from Louisiana , who had the bunk below me in basic training. He was married at South Ruislip a few months after I arrived there.
As I recall the Headquarters 3rd Air Force was located next a Kodak plant. While there I also served on the Honour Guard, so I had my Chrome helmet, white gloves etc. always available in case a High Ranking visitor came to the base. Looking at the pictures on you web site, they bring back memories. The one I remember was the day Secretary of the Air Force Quarles visited the base. I lived in Northwood and took the bus to the base each morning for sixpence. I rented an apartment from the Barnes family. As I recall he was a school teacher. They had two sons and I used to get Welch's grape juice from the base and they would watch Roy Rogers on the TV with my wife in the afternoon after school and they loved grape juice. I was then assigned to a Manson RAF station in Dec 1956 during the "Suez" crisis. I returned to London 8 years ago and visited Northwood. The home where I had an apartment had been town down and row houses built. The only thing that had not changed was the Police station and the local Pub!
James R Tucker
I was station at Denham Studios May 1959, worked in The Traffic Management Household Goods section. About eight months later I went to South Ruislip to the Passenger section. In July of 1960 I adopted my son Paul. His Mother was English and dad American who worked at the Embassy in London. We were adopting our second son but he died . My wife's , mother and step father was assigned to the Comm Sqdn next door to the NCO club. We lived in South Ruislip and I drove back and forth to the base. I can still member our phone # after all these years. Ruislip 8797. I left Ruislip in Feb of 1963, went to Turner AFB GA, for year and a half, Wurtsmith AFB MI for 3 years, Korat Thailand, Travis AFB CA., and retired in May l971. We still have two English friends alive in England and one in Canada. I have not seen any of the guys I worked with at Denham or South Ruislip only one from Third AF Traffic and met Co; Bill Bannins, at Travis AFB and he worked at the MAC command post also Sgt James Frank, who hand four boys. Jim is in Kissimmee FL and last I heard Col Bill, went to Scott AFB Hqds Mac. The guys in my field, were Dan Beaton, Lowell Grace,my NCOIC was a guy named Mac? and Dale Whitchity from Hqds. He came to Travis after a tour in Nam.
I had three tours over seas in 20 years, the first one in Korea 1952 with the Fifth Transport Sqdn , AVN, named the Mule Train 3 1/2 in England and one year in Thailand. One thing great the Air Force history section, has no record of the Mule Train in Korea and the Hqds was not at Young don po. But I went in and out of there many days and slept nights and in Feb of 1953 spent about three weeks there. Right out side of Seoul no Air Force was in Young don Po, per the History section.
Dale Hanen Betty Hanen Ruislip England May 1959 to Feb 1963
My name is Jack Williams, MSGT USAF Ret. During the period 1968 thru 1972 I was stationed at Ruislip, I worked in the NCMO department of UK COMM REGION HQ. We were the management office for all USAF NAVAIDs and Communications within the UK.
My wife Joyce and I had two children (Dena and Lee). We lived on Paxford Rd in Wembley and later at Carpenders Park before being reassigned to RAF Mildenhall for our final year in England. We returned to the States in 1973.
There were many people whom I worked with at the time and would love to hear from anyone stationed there at that time. Some of the men I worked with were: Charles Brooks, Dale Vincent, Bob Derman, "Smitty" John Smithwick, James Henley, James Berry, Jack Wood, Hugh Cooper, CMSGT Dixon, Capt Frank Provenzano, Capt Roher, James Perdue, Ron Lund, Mike Staffier, and American friends and neighbours: Frank and Carol Sheehan, Dave and Jane Fouser.Jack Williams
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I was a Medical Technician assigned to the USAF Hospital at South Ruislip from August 1966 until December 1969. I started working in the Intensive Care/Pediatrics Ward, and later worked in the Surgical Ward and then the Emergency Room for my last year and a half there. I lived on base at first, but finally got enough seniority to move off base. I lived in Watford for awhile, then had a flat in Chelsea and finally lived near Harrow-on-the-Hill.
Last year I managed to locate Bob Scro, my former roommate in London (who also was with me in Basic Training and Tech School). He lives in New Jersey, while I am in Texas.
I wanted to stay there when I got my discharge, but that “Catch 22” deal they had for getting a job kept me from staying. You had to have a job to get a Green Card, and you had to have a Green Card to get a job.
I’d like to go back there and visit someday. Some of the best memories in my life come from those four years.
My name is Nile W. York. I was stationed at So. Ruislip From November 1952 to November 1955. I was in the 1969thAACS Squadron. I worked in the communications centre on the main street. We had some really great guys in our unit. Its hard to remember their names, Bill, Whitey, Sam. Haven't heard from any of them. Lived on base until my wife came over the next year. We then lived at Harrow, South Harrow and lastly at Northholt.
Our son was born at the base hospital. I remember the bus stopped down the about a half a block. The guys would go out on payday, come back about half full, and not wanting to walk from the bus stop would stand on the back platform and step off at the base entrance. Some became pretty skilful at it, some lost some clothing and skin that were less skilful. O, yes, when we first got their the barracks were not ready. They based us at Bushey Park and bussed us back and forth. When we got fogged in, we might be at the base for a day or two. I believe that winter of 1952 was the year of great killer fogs.
There was no central heating, each room had a fireplace and coal was used in them. It would get so bad that when you were outside for awhile and blew your nose your handkerchief would be black. Anyone from that period that would like contact me can reach me at
7904 N. Woodland
Kansas City, Mo. 64118
Hi. My name is Ray Ong and I was stationed at South Ruislip from 1967 to 1969. I was in the 1969 Communications Squadron in Ground Radio. Had many fond memories with Russ Groat, Louis Lukach, Walter Wrobel, Bill Haynes, Gerald Martin, Mel Strunk and many others. I also had a room in a house on Victoria Road near Ruislip Manor with the Coleman's. I am looking forward to make a trip back to the area.
Ray (Jim) Ong
I was an English girl who visited the base as a child, going back nearly forty years ago my sister married a guy who was based there and their first child was born there I believe, it was great fun my sister would buy me toys from there which hadn't been launched in England I remember being the first kid in school to have 'Kerplunk' When my sister left to go and live in America, me and my Mum saw her off from Ruislip, it was always very exciting to visit the camp, the men all looked like movie stars in their USAF uniforms.
My sister's American husband was Claude Ivan Owen, anybody remember him?
I was stationed at Denham Air Station with the 7500th Air Base Group in Stat. Services, '58, '59, and '60. Many times for various reasons I took the shuttle bus from Denham to South Ruislip, and I had many friends who lived off-base in the area. The Airmans' Mess Hall at So. Ruislip was especially attractive and I do recall a large mural that may have been painted during WWII. The BX at Ruislip was also bigger and better, and the Airmans' Service Club was super. I would like to hear from anyone who would like to share memories of that time at both Ruislip and of Denham Studios (Air Station). Looking forward...
Paul David Eaves
Hi, I would be interested to hear from anyone who might know of the whereabouts of Jess and Ritha Radcliffe, (or Ratcliffe) they had a daughter Vanessa. They were from Hurley Virginia, USA and would have been assigned to the Ruislip Air Base around 1961-1963. I have an old envelope with the following address on it:
POBox5 Hurley VA 2460 USA FR226-38-0175483DCAMFPSC#1089APOSF96326.
They would have had a mother's help called Pamela Spiers. Other people who would have known them possibly would have been Maree Cunningham, George Thorhauer, Master Sergent, Air Police. My mother was Pamela Spiers and I would like to get in contact with any of the above people.
My name is Jesse Jefferson, often referred too as "Jeff Jefferson." I was googling for the "UK Eagle" 3rd AF newspaper when to my surprise I ran across the South Ruislip site! It was a pleasure to read the stories provided by the participated. I was in the USAFSS detached to South Ruislip and while there I played for the London Rockets basketball team. We were coached, 1956, by Major John Doukas. We were a very good team but our nemesis was the Chicksands Chicks. Later on I was transferred to Chicksands AFB and played for them. I played with Edgar Allan Poe, Major Anderson (that was his name), Jim Brown and Madison Pope to name a few. Someone wrote earlier about the movie star, Dana Andrews. I remember him sitting near us, at a Rockets football game, a championship game against one of the teams from Germany and Mr. Andrews had had to much of that English Ale (smile), I remember Ava Gardner and
Robert Mitchum coming to our BX, They were doing a movie at Denham AFB.
I loved South Ruislip and I loved riding the "Tube" to London. When I was transferred to Chicksands I could have cried. Again, thanks to all of you for allowing me reminisce.
After two unending months at Burtonwood in 1951, I was transferred to SAC into the 485th Communications Squadron, living at Bushy Park and working at South Ruislip, in early January 1952.
Until the old Bomber Headquarters reopened at High Wycombe, we worked in the 3rd Air Force Relay Center on the same side of the street as the Hospital. When High Wycombe opened, a SAC trib station was set up across the street in the SAC Building. The office was across the hall from the Flight Surgeon's office and General LeMay's cigars used to stink up the area when he was on base. Knowing that HW was opening, I took a place in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire for my new bride who was due in on The Queen Elizabeth in March 1952. You might guess that I was retained to work at South Ruislip! Found commuting not bad, loved the Bucks area, and even moved on up to Terriers, on the hill above the train station in High Wycombe for a couple of years.
I was almost a plank owner, that is if I had been in the Navy, as South Ruislip was relatively new when I was there. I won't comment on the facility as it is adequately covered above even though I found only one airman's entry which overlapped my time there. Still it was a great place with parking at the end of the street through an underpass. The newsstand stood just to the left of the entryway. The area became familiar, of course, and eventually we moved to South Ruislip for a few months before shipping out in November 1954.
Am looking for a SGT GARRETT, tall black man, excellent NCO, great basketball player, also stationed in the same SAC trib and one of the finest men I ever knew. Unfortunately all my papers were lost with his information and he always signed all personal things "Garry" so I don't have his first name or MI. His wife was, I believe, Betty or Betsy, from Virginia and made the best apple pies this side of mama's kitchen. I have spent a great deal of time looking for him so if you have even a slender lead, please let me know. Thanks.
Harris Johnson Greensboro NC 27406
My name is Bill Lycan, I served two tours at South Ruislip. The first was from early Nov. 1950 to Oct. 1953, and again from May 1955 to May 1958. I met my wife in the spring of 1951 when she and a friend were walking their dogs between South Ruislip and Ruislip. Her maiden name was Audrey Martin and she lived on Durley Ave. in Pinner. We were married in Harrow Aug. 9th, 1952. Our second son was born at the base hospital June the 7th, 1955 at the beginning of my 2nd tour. As a point of interest the mural in the mess was completed in 1950 (though it was added to and changed a little later) in time for Thanksgiving dinner which was attended by the Commanding General of 3rd Air Division (would not be Air Force until sometime in 1951) and local dignitaries, including the Mayor of London. I had arrived just in time to be a "hat check" boy for the occasion! I have just found this site and it sure does bring back many fond memories. I would be happy to communicate with anyone who served at Ruislip in the 50's, or who had family that did.
I was stationed at RAF South Ruislip, 3rd AF HQ, 1965 - 68. My initial assignment was to 3rd AF Command Post and I then spent a year in 3rd AF Ops Plans. My final assignment there was to the 3rd AF VIP Flight, flying a VT-29 out of RAF Northholt. A delightful assignment. The photo I have sent (in the Gallery) is of 3rd AF Command Post staff members and was taken in 1965 at the South Ruislip Officers' Club .
Col Robert R. Arnau, USAF (Ret)
I served at South Ruislip from 1964-66 as a crypto operator in the communications centre. Since this was at the height of the "Cold War" it was quite interesting, and just coming off the Cuban Missile Crises, and the Kennedy assassination added to the mystique of the time. My wife and I lived on Long Lane, Ickenham, and made many friends, mostly young married's like us during our stay. Since our first home was sold, we moved half way through our stay to Field End Road, Eastcote. We have a reunion every year in Albuquerque at the Balloon Fest with our "Air Force" buddies, and relive the past, and try to keep alive what we had in England.
My wife and I have been back to JOLLY OLE ENGLAND a few times, and once visited our first home with our grown children. It is now time to think about taking our grandchildren over the pond and see our old digs.
While stationed in South Ruislip I helped with our Little Leaguers by umpiring baseball games. We bought at the commissary, and I remember the huge shopping bags they used to pack our groceries in. Steak was a $1 a pound, and hamburger was .25c a pound, cigarettes were $1.40 a CARTON, vodka was $1.40 or so, and beer was next to nothing. The second year there, the BX got some BBQ's in and Dave Thompson and I were the first to buy one. Our English neighbours were shocked to see us cooking outdoors, and of course they became regulars to our weekend BBQ's. The commissary didn't supply any kind of Mexican food, and coming from Southern California we had satisfy our need of south of the border cooking by making things from scratch. Whenever my wife and I had a Mexican Feast, all of our friends showed up, even the single guys that lived on base.
One last tid bit. You may recall our NCO Club on base was second to none. Many of the stateside acts would perform there first to get some of the bugs worked out before they would go on stage downtown London. We had some real first rate entertainment at that Club. The American Express was where everyone banked, and they had air trips to Amsterdam, Paris or Munich for only $50, which included a hotel stay. Lastly, it took awhile accepting some bloke calling my wife dearie, sweetie or love.
I was stationed at South Ruislip in the 1969th AACS Communications Squadron from October 1956 to October 1959.
The comm facility was actually a major relay station in the US Air Force and had circuitry into air bases in Africa, France, Germany, Holland and other, some classified, locations. We were the Air Force's primary gateway communications facility between the United States and Europe. Our call sign was JDL and we pushed a lot of traffic 24 hours a day, every day. I was the NCOIC Comm Operations and worked for Major Raymond Schultz, a very fine officer.
I lived at #4 Leaver Gardens, Greenford, Middlesex, with my wife, Beverly, son Brian and daughter Cynthia. After 50 years I still remember our telephone number - WAXLOW-2873.
Our English neighbours were Syd and Kitty Marshall. Syd was a small slender man who worked as a furniture mover. I saw the film, The Bridge over the River Kwai, at the RS theatre and told him about it. He said he remembered that bridge. He told me that during WWII he was an airborne infantryman and had jumped out at night with his unit to destroy the bridge. They were off the site so they blew up the railroad that led to the bridge. So much for small Englishmen. The best people I ever met.
I purchased a small English Ford and we toured Southern England - the moors, Clovelly, King Arthurs burial place. I learned how to play golf, drink Double Diamond, throw darts, attend international horse shows and Search Light Tattoo's at White City Stadium, drive in fog, buy things at Petticoat Lane and Portobello Road, visit Stonehenge, the Tower of London, watch the buskers entertain, saw the Oxford/Cambridge boat race, horses racing "over the sticks", and go to Paris. All while I was stationed at South Ruislip. It was, without a doubt, one of the most enjoyable three years of my life.
John Cripe (Cmsgt, USAF, Ret.)
My godfather and namesake, USAF Major General James F. Whisenand, was Deputy Commander of the Third Air Force at South Ruislip, England, in 1956. My father, Col. (USAF Ret) Mahlon H. Long, Jr., worked closely with General Whisenand and my parents were were great friends and admirers of he and his wife. My parents named me after him. I did not know him at all and have only one vague memory of him as a small child. I do know that Gen. Whisenand died in 1966. I would love to hear from anyone with any information about him, stories they might recall, photos, etc. Thank you, in advance.
James W. LongBefore clicking on any e-mail link read this section
I was a young dependent of an officer stationed at South Ruislip in 1959-61. My father was Capt., Arthur F. Davis working at the 3rd comm. group. I attended Bushey park school grades 3-4 and Wembley air base school grade 5.
In grade 4 , I remember by name school chums Jimmy Wilson and Jack Hall. In grade 5, I remember Steven Hicks. I had the time of my life there at that young age, taking the buses and tube by myself and running wild at the snack bar, the gym , the px etc.
My family lived in Northwood Hills and south Kenton. I had an older sister by 5 years named Pamela Davis.. My name is Peter Davis. Before we were in South Ruislip, we were stationed in Biloxi at Keesler and and after South Ruislip we were stationed at Tinker in Oklahoma. My father retired in 1964.
I am trying to locate a USAF officer, surname MELENDEZ, who was based at South Ruislip around 1952. He lived for a year or two next door to my parents and me at 46 Chestnut Drive, Harrow Weald. I think some members of his family - possibly daughter Sally - last year came looking for my brother Roger or myself.
Any help in our search would be welcome.
I was assigned to 1st Motor Transport Sq. at West Ruislip, and lived in the barracks at Denham Studios. I arrived in England May 15, 1959 and left in May, 1962.
While at W Ruislip, us young GI's ate our breakfast and supper meals at the chow hall at Denham, but were paid per diem for lunch as there was no chow hall at W Ruislip. There was the NCO Club, which later built an addition for a AFEX Snack Bar, but we still received that per diem.
Personnel, finance, and medical business was all carried out at S Ruislip, HQ 3AF. there was a shuttle bus to take, but several of us had POV's.
Mention has been made of ration cards for tobacco and alcohol. Gasoline was also rationed, if you lived off base, you got ration coupons depending on the size car you had. Guys living in barracks were given no gas rations. An exception was us guys at W Ruislip, I had a Morris Minor, and got 5 Gallons coupons per month. We received the coupons every six months. Same as the ration cards for alcohol and tobacco. For those with families, coffee, tea, and I believe sugar was also rationed. I do know that to shop in the commissary at S Ruislip you had to have a Commissary Card. No Dependents, no shopping at the commissary. All this rationing controls was in accordance with the agreements called STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT between the US and British governments.
Alcohol and tobacco on the British economy was highly taxed, and their whiskey and rum proof was maxed out at 70 proof, while we had 100 proof on base. Hence the desire to sell alcohol and tobacco on the black market.
The rate of exchange was $2.80 = 1 pound sterling, or 7 shillings to the dollar.
Just down the road from S Ruislip was a round about, and your take a left, and a little ways down was a pub called "Tithe Farm's" They had dancing on Saturday nights, and you paid a cover charge to get in. It was a real nice pub, with a ballroom, bar, and then off to the side was the public bar.
Around mid 1961 I was barred from the Tithe Farm's for life. I guess by now, 45 years later the governor is probably dead, so if Tithe Farm's is still there, I might sneak back in.
I did sneak in a couple of times, once through the front door, when the ticket man wasn't looking, and another time, climbed in through a back window. Had to hide behind the drapes though because every so often the governor would pop in to make sure every one was behaving.
In Dec 1961 I was transferred to the Supply Sq at Denham, and then I lost my gas rations. the new first Sgt wasn't as lenient as the one at 1st Motor.
Eastcote was where the Dependent's school for US personnel stationed in the London Area and the mortuary for all US Forces in the UK.
While at W Ruislip one day a BEA flight from Germany was coming in to Heathrow London air port, but the pilot got confused and landed the 707 at Northolt. I don't know how he stopped the plane before it went into the woods at the west end of the runway, but he did. Of course that ended his flying career. All the passengers and baggage was offloaded, and the interior of the plane completely stripped, seats, toilets, galleys, everything. The plane had minimum fuel, and the BEA chief pilot flew it out of Northolt.
The fence along the highway was taken down, traffic was halted, and the plane was backed up with the tail section hanging out over the highway. Full throttle, and when he cleared the trees, we could hear it take off. Several of us over at W Ruislip heard it, and went outside to watch, and it looked like a rocket going up.
My three years in the UK were interesting, and speaking of script, we were using it when I got there in May, 59, and in Aug 59 we switched to green backs with no prior notice, although the bars and bar girls in London knew, and they were trying to unload what script they had for what ever pounds us GI's had on us that night.
I enjoyed the postings from you guys who were stationed at S/R. I did go to the NCO club one Sunday afternoon while I was an A2C, and got drunk with a WAF T/Sgt Named Willie. I don't remember much about her, other than she was in uniform, and looked old, I was about 20 or maybe just past my 21st birthday. Things get fuzzy after 40 years, don't they?
Oliver A. Cork MSgt, USAF Ret.Elmore, AL
I was astonished to find this site, and photographs of my father, taken 50 years ago!
I am Dick Wilson. My father, Roscoe C. "Bim" Wilson, commanded Third Air Force from 1954 to 1957. His Headquarters were at South Ruislip. I was a teenaged boy, grades 9 thru 11 at Central High School, which was then at Bushy Park. Today is May 18, 2007 and London Central High School just closed for good, after 56 years of service, having been renamed, and after having relocated several times.
After leaving London, my father was reassigned to Washington. After he got his third star, he had enough rank to get quarters on base at Bowling AFB, where there was a long row of general's quarters. Our neighbors, left and right, were B/Gen B.O. Davis, Jr. and General Curtis E. LeMay. Father retired in 1961, ran Allied Research Associates in Boston for a couple of years, retired for good and moved to my mother's home outside Louisville, Kentucky. He died in 1986 aged 81, and is buried at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery. Mother is still living. She will be 100 on the first of July.
There are three of them: (a) In the gallery, left hand column, 4th picture down, (b) left column, 7th down. (c) right column, 7th down. He is correctly identified in the captions of all three pictures.
The Convair transport shown in the left column, 14th from the top, served theThird AF Commander as his personal plane. My mother's name is Elizabeth, so while it was his plane my father named it "The Elizabeth Too". The staff car shown in the right column, 6th down is identical
to the staff car assigned for my fathers use. It might be the self same car. The Driver was Mr. Charles Atkins, who kept it in immaculate condition. There is a remote possibility, too remote for mention on the site, (but I have anyway ROL) that I am the passenger in the right front seat (it was left-hand drive). General LeMay, left column, 6th down, came to London to inspect 7th AD and to attend the Premier of the movie, "Strategic Air Command". The Air Explorer Post at South Ruislip served as ushers at the Premier, passing out programs.
A few years later, the LeMays were our next-door neighbors at Bowling Air Force Base in Washington, DC.
I was stationed at the 7520th hospital from 1968 till 1970. I worked in the X-ray Dept. I worked for Dr. Voyages. The dept. was run by SSgt Norma Bando. There were myself ( John Lee) Jim, Wally Graves, and Smitty. I can't remember all of the last names, but it was a great bunch of people. The whole hospital was a very nice and everyone who worked there did an excellent job and everyone got along very well.
These were definitely the best days of my life. I just can't remember any happier times at those spent with my co-workers or playing cards at the service club while pulling on call duty. I remember all of the trips we took that were run by the service club, and the wonderful you lady who worked there. I think her name was Jenny, or that's what we called her. She would serve drinks and refreshments at the club and would work as a guide on the bus trips to various locations around the country. If anyone should remember me or worked at the hospital at that time I would sure like to hear from you so we could exchange some very nice old memories.
I'm doing some family history research and looking for a lady who probably frequented the USAF Base at South Ruislip Middlesex in the 1950.'s. I am going on the assumption that she could have married a serviceman and went to live in the USA.
Her name is Maura Bridget Teresa Drumm and she came from Ireland and was born 17th August 1926. She was also known as Mary Drumm. She could even have worked on the base and would have been there in the mid 1950's. It's a long shot but if anyone can recall this name I'll appreciate any information.
I was just surfing and happened on this site by accident. Wow! Brings back some memories, altho' most are quite vague. We moved from Germany to England because my step-father ended up being stationed at the South Ruislip USAFB around 1961 to 1962. By looking at the pictures that are on here, I remember a little about the entrance to the base, but that's as far as it goes. I was in my sophomore year in high school, so as an American, I had to go to Bushy Hall or Bushy Park (?) American School in Ruislip. I remember catching the bus every morning (and some VERY foggy mornings, too) down the street from my house (we lived in Ruislip Manor and I think the street name was Cornwall Street or Ave. (Road - ROL)). I also remember going to the base Teen Club on Friday nights...and having lots of fun. I was at the Teen Club the day of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Everyone was sent home and the Club was closed for several days. Is there anyone out there that went to Bushy Hall American High School between '62 and '64? I don't remember any names of classmates, but if you see this message and attended school between those dates, let me know. Maybe, I'll remember your name...it wasn't that big of a high school, anyway.
Through the magic of the Internet, we were able to track down all of the members of the last crew of the Radio Maintenance section of the 1969th Comm. Squadron at South Ruislip.
Our shop was located in the very back of Building 2. You may have seen us hanging around the Comm. Center, the Command Post, the MARS station at Northolt, the NCO club or, mainly, the Radio Ops section, as our responsibilities were many and varied. Most of us were at South Ruislip from approximately 1969 through the base closure in 1972, departing one by one throughout 1972 through either reassignment or discharge.
Our predecessors included William (Bill) Irvine, K. Findley Park, Louis Lukach and Darrell (Otto) Ottoson, among others.
The only person we missed is Pat Connolly who, unfortunately, passed away in early 2006. And, sadly, we lost Greg Yozzo in early 2012.
We would love to hear from anyone who remembers us. If you would like to reminisce, or if you owe any of us money, feel free to e-mail us at:
Jerry Jones, Jerry Farrell, Joe Perneta, Jerry Beard, Steve Hyre, Keith Hanson and George DuBois.
I was stationed at the AB from June 1955 until Feburary 1958. Worked in Hq 7th AD as the coordinator for all SAC rotational bomb wings to the UK. My Division Commanders during that time were MG James Walsh and MG Blanchard (he moved on to become the Vice Chief of Staff for the AF and died of a massive heart attack while going into the Pentagon). We lived on Pembroke Road in Ruislip Manor and had two sons with us at the time. (One of the boys, David, was born on 28 November, 1957 at the 7520 USAF Hospital). I note that the 3rd AF is mentioned quite a bit but the 7th Air Division was the other major command at the AB. SAC at that time owned Greenem Comman, Lakenheath, West Drayton, Chelveston, Upper Heyford, Brize Norton, Sturgate and three or four others. After we left South Ruislip we continued to complete 33 years with the AF and retired in May of 1985. It was a wonderful assignment and was/is a great country!!! My wife died of cancer on 14 April of 2004. I still have four great sons that I travel with and enjoy. My warmest personal regards to anyone who may remember us. Arthur Robert (Bob) Wordell, CMSgt, USAF (Ret) and Elizabeth (Betty) Wordell Arthur Wordell
I accidentally found your web site and I was trilled to read so many comments about South Ruislip and the Air Force Base. I sure brought back many memories since my time at South Ruislip AFB from 1968 to 1971. I was transferred to Mildenhall AFB later in 1971 due to the closing of South Ruislip and I was discharged in 1972.
I was drafted out of high school and had no choice but to join the military. Spending close to 4 years in England was a wonderful tour of duty and I became friends with many locals in the area. I worked in the Communication Room with 'Jack' and lived off base in Northwood on Frithwood Ave. I shared the home with some interesting guys and to this day, I stay in touch with a very good friend, Carl Simon. We had a guy who left the priesthood and joined the military, another whose brother was a vocalist for the Vogues. There was 'Bud' and another guy who loved car racing. 'Curly' was the only civilian at the house and he worked on the base. Prior to my living at Frithwood, there was (SH) Clint Macy (grandson of the guy who owned that department store).
Every Friday we went to a German Pub but over time I forgot the name until I read a comment about Bangers. We reserved a table every Friday at 'Bangers', a German Pub in Bayswater and after a pint, we all tossed around the 'boot'.
We arrived in England to the closing of the 'chow hall' and found the barracks was temporary until you could find off-base housing. We had four guys to a room in this large warehouse. It made you want to leave.
In Mildenhall, I lived in a fairly nice communication barracks for my last few months. There I became fascinated with electronics and computers and then I developed a passion for learning. To this day, I thank the Air Force for providing me that opportunity.
I read another comment about the 'Clay Pigeon' pub. Our first night in England we were walking in the area and maybe a mile from the base we passed the Clay Pigeon Pub and some unfriendly locals inside. I am sure Carl and Ron Hill remember that evening. Another comment I read was about the Pizza Restaurant owned by a retired nurse. This was my favorite place for pizza.
The claim to fame that I recall was going to the NCO club and seeing Joe Frazier (the boxer) and his band. Leading up to the show were four young Air Force dependents that became known as the musical group 'America'.
My wife and I travelled to England recently and of course I made time to visit the South Ruislip area. I knew the base was closed in the early 70's and as I approached the area I found a local library. The people were extremely helpful and friendly in helping me find pictures and articles of the base. I learned the Hospital stayed open until the 90's and now the base has been replaced by a shopping area and a HomeBase which is similar to Home Depot.
I knew that once the Americans moved out of 14 Frithwood Ave, the owner had plans to knock down the home. We walked through this very impressive area of Northwood and the home has been replaced by numerous townhomes. I was disappointed not seeing the home but amazed that we lived in such a wonderful place. Returning to England was like a magical mystery tour and seeing southern England with its quaint small towns is like no other place.
Regards, Walter Ficzko
A few months ago I spent a week in London and one day I rode the underground to the South Ruislip station, about a half hour ride. I made the short walk to where the Air Base once stood and found it is now a large shopping centre. So much in England has changed since I was stationed there in the late 50's and early 60's. The next day I took the train out to Denham where there used to be an Air Force Unit at Denham Studios. The whole studio was demolished years ago, but a couple of buildings are still standing. A company called London Deluxe Labs has offices there, and one of the nice chaps working there took me out to the nearby Pinewood Studios and gave me a tour of the place. He was so nice to spend so much time with me and then he drove me back to the train station. It sure was nice to go back to England, even though it's nothing like the place that I remember as a young airman.
I am doing some research on U.S. singer Jim Reeves’ 1963 tour of Ireland and England and would be interested in hearing from anyone that might have attended the Jim Reeves show at West Ruislip on June 10, 1963. I would be interested in any details of the show you can recall: Songs that were sung, what time was the show, did it start on time, how was Mr. Reeves received, etc. My email id is rmc628 @ hotmail.com Thank you very much.
Before clicking on any e-mail link read this section
Not sure how I found this site, but wow, glad I did, talk about trip down memory lane. My ex husband, Jim Hagarty was stationed there and was a medic at the Hospital at South Ruilsip. I see Bobby Summers has signed in but I was not able to get an email to him. I am still in touch with Larry King, who married my cousin, (also now divorced) and also with Bob Scrow. They both worked with Bobby during the 1960's. I worked for the Base Vice Commander as his secretary and later as secretary for Mr. Kennedy, Superintendent of Schools, District III. Europe. I am a Northolt girl and presently live in Florida. I have two sons serving in the military. Eldest was a corpsman attached to the marines as helicopter crew, now Army Black Hawk pilot. Another son on a ship in the Navy.
Would love to correspond with anyone who remembers the close group we were in. Janice Kendal Hoath. aka Janice Hagarty. now Janice Zabel.
I am also in touch with some of the postal group. Jerry Dillard and David Jaslar if anyone remembers them.Jan
This site has brought back so many memories of my time at So. Ruislip. It was my first permanent duty assignment after Tech School. I arrived in Feb 1955 but was reassigned to the 3rd Air Postal Squadron orderly room at Denham Studios after a couple of months. Took the train to So Ruislip every Wed to attend the service club dance, and every Fri to spend the weekend, as there was always an empty bunk and locker available. I still remember those cold station platforms with coal fires in the waiting room, and train windows that closed by pulling on a leather strap. Tithe Farms, the Douglas House, squadron sports, the British Baseball league and all that London had to offer was an incredible experience. Moving into off base housing was what every single guy wanted, even though paraffin heaters were the only real source of heat. I can honestly say that one of the major reasons I reenlisted and made the Air Force a career was a desire to return to the London Area. It took a while, but I returned to So Ruislip in June 1962 assigned to the 7500 ABGp and stayed for five years. Being older and wiser, I enjoyed my second tour more than the first. I often said that had I been able to extend until my retirement date, I would have done so in a heartbeat.
I would be very pleased to hear from anyone who might remember me.
My E Mail address is: email@example.com Please put So Ruislip in the Subject as I tend to delete E Mail addresses that I don’t recognize.
Finding this site was a great surprise. We would like to find friends that we met while there. Thomas John Krupa from Philadelphia, Pa and his wife Rosemary [Bum] who was from the Base in Michigan. Sorry, I can't remember it's name. Hope someone can help us. Larry Hagman was stationed there while we were there.
trocaano2 @ embarq.com
My name is Al Spangler and I was stationed at South Ruislip from August 1959 till October of 1962. I was attached to the 7520th USAF Hospital as a Medical Equipment Repairman. Although billeted at South Ruislip, our team worked out of Denham Studios where our shop was located. It was later moved to West Ruislip near the end of my tour in 1962. I feel it was one of the best duty stations in the world at that time. You were only a 1/2 hour from downtown London via tube (Underground) or by car. Due to the rate of exchange you could live very well on an Enlisted ranks pay. While you could buy a can of American beer for 25 cents at the base exchange, you could get a pint of Bitter or Ale for around a shilling and 6 pence or roughly 20 cents. Other items were equally inexpensive compared the the US.
Even though I grew up in a lower middle class environment where money was tight, I was struck by what I saw in the UK. I remember telling someone I felt by comparison that in America we lived while here many just barely existed. Coming to South Ruislip at the age of 19 what I saw and experienced made me feel that I grew up during that time. My job allowed me to travel to all our various Military bases throughout the UK. So I got to see the beauty of the land and meet some really neat people. While things have changed quite a bit since then, the fond memories of those years at South Ruislip have not abated. Al(bert) Spangler
Many Comm personnel previously stationed at Ruislip or bases nearby will probably recognize the name Bernie O Connor.. I first arrived there in Sept 1950. Married a Hillingdon lass in April 1952. I worked Weather teletype communications next door to the NCO Club. I was transferred to the underground Weather Comm. unit at High Wycombe when it was activated around April 1953. Our daughter was the third baby born at the new South Ruislip Hospital 28 Feb 1953.
I left England in 1954 only to return to RAF Bentwaters in 1955 and remained there until 1959. I then returned to SR in 1961 for the next five years. |The last year was at Denham Film Studios in charge of the telephone exchange in 1966.
I returned to SR again in 1968 to work in the UK Comm Region as an inspector at all USAF Comm Centers in the UK> until they closed Ruislip at which time I was transferred to Alconbury until I retired from the USAF in Sept 1973. My son Robert attended London Central from 1969 to graduation 1973.. All in all I had the privilege of being stationed at SR for around 13/14 years. Over those years I met many celebs including Tony Martin, Mohammad Ali, Sammy Davis Jr, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jackie Collins , Bob Hope (several times) . Englebert Humpedink, Tom Jones and many others. I remember the Train Crash in Harroweald station 1953. I was driving my car to a garage when I approached the train station just as two trains collided. I immediately called the SR Hospital and explained that their assistance would be vital. I carried out bodies all day and thankfully the American medical unit arrived immediately and provided critical assistance. Especially one of the nurses in particular. She was nationally referred to as the ANGEL OF PLATFORM ONE. Incidentally she is the same nurse who operated the Silver Dollar pizza parlour in Rayners Lane...My next 24 years were at RAF Upper Heyford,/RAF Croughton as a Civil Servant. Sep 1994/Mar 1999. Then Final retirement..
Bernie O Connor
I was a WAF stationed there in 1976 to 1978. I was then Canadian and was called Frenchy. I soon met Ike and we were engaged for 2 yrs.
My name was Lillian Crisafi and Ike was Jared Isaacs. We had a son born there in 1960 and settled on Long Island, New York.
I am now living in Princeton, New Jersey....near daughter. Ike passed away at 53 yrs old. I have not remarried. Would love to hear from anyone who knew us then. I have retained my maiden name.
My father was stationed at South Ruislip 1964-1968. My sister and I both attended the elementary school at West Ruislip (although I remain much, much younger than her). I had Mrs.. Alden for third grade. We moved to Gerrards Cross and I went to High Wycombe and my sister went to Bushey. First through third grade was a regular type school building although the library and cafeteria were combined which was really weird. A Librateria. Fourth grade and up were a walk through two gates to the left that crossed a little stream you had to hop over. All the classrooms were in quansit huts. It was quite a bus ride to get there from our house.
They did not have script when we were there because I had a special place at home for saving my American dollars to spend at the BX. I kept my British currency separate. At SR I remember we had to park the car, a Zephyr, in a gravelly dirt area that you reached by passing under what I think was a railroad track, but I could be wrong. When you passed through it on the way back there were offices over on the left and also a nursery.
On Saturdays I would stand in line, on the stairs, for a twenty-five cent movie. If you recall the theatre was upstairs. There was always a serial movie to begin with, so you hated to miss a Saturday or you would get behind.
The church on base was very active, although for the life of me I can't recall where it was physically located. Since it was used by both Protestants and Catholics, I remember going in early and watching the crucifix being covered up by red curtains and a plain cross was the replacement. Back then the Catholic women (and girls) covered their heads with handkerchiefs so it was easy to tell which service you were heading to or leaving. We would all stand outside in the courtyard and talk between services. The Protestant services were ministered by several different faiths, Lutheran, Methodist, etc. Sort of non-denominational before it became so popular. I fell down those stairs leading to the courtyard and the dentist took me to his office on Sunday to have a look at the damage. (Thanks Mr. Summit!)
We used to go to the Columbia Club for lunch after church and then peruse the art that was sold across the street at Hyde Park. You could get an iced down 12 oz. can of TAB (the start of a lifelong addiction) for fifteen cents. I was quite appalled when it went up to a quarter. We ate at the Officer's Club at SR quite often. I remember peeking into the bar area, which had slot machines. Ooooh, wicked. Once they had a lovely display of snowmen at the front made out of spun fibreglass and I ran by it running my hands over it and ended up slicing my hand all up. Luckily, I didn't damage the snowmen, they were beautiful.
The youth center at West Ruislip was very active as well. I took tap and my sister took ballet. Our recital was the musical "Mary Poppins" since it was quite popular at the time. If you were there, I was the lead penguin. We also met at West Ruislip for girl scouts. The "Teen Club" met there as well. They had a new band perform there "America"...shortly thereafter turned out to be quite successful ("Horse with No Name", "Sister Golden Hair"). My sister got to see them, but I only got to peak in because, that's right, I was too young. I remember my father's office at South Ruislip seemed quite fancy as he had two secretaries and an office that had an oriental carpet. Didn't go there very often, but my father looked quite handsome behind the desk. I remember thinking it was quite odd to have to ask to see my dad.
The people at the base hospital at SR were always very nice. Remember all those greeny gray chairs lining the halls? That is usually the color you were feeling if you were there. Ahhh, good times, good times. Thanks for having a website so we can recall all these great memories.
My father was stationed at South Ruislip from 1957-1958 and then at High Wycombe from 1959-1960. Although I was only 9-12 years old during this time, I remember SR as being a wonderful place to visit my father at work and take advantage of activities on the base every weekend and during the summer when school was out. We lived at 1 Carbery Ave (Ealing) and I was bussed to the 5th or 6th grade at the old embassy in downtown London and and then later went to Bushey Park/Hall.
I would take the tube from Ealing or Action (forget which) to SR and go to the movies upstairs for 25 cents (liked the Tarzan movies and popcorn) and go to the BX snack bar and eat chocolate sundaes with my English friend David Browne. I'd also played basket ball or bad mitten at the base gym and was on a little league baseball team that played on the field at SR. I remember buying cigarettes for 10 cents a pack with my sisters ration coupons (naughty me!) at SR BX and taking my English friend with me to the SR. He got a flat top hair cut at the base barber shop for 25 cents and started wearing blue jeans and his English mother and father were so concerned that he was turning American and going down hill. Although they never said the "down hill" part, I knew what they were thinking because I thought he was too! He was pretty prim and proper when he first introduced himself to me near our home, but we had him eating ice cream and drinking cokes in no time. He later moved from England in the 70s and lives in Los Angles, so they were right to fret over him.
I remember the chairs in the base hospital that someone else mentioned; as I was treated for asthma there many times (those cigarettes didn't help any). We would also go to the Columbia Club in London on Sunday's for the brunch - glorious times with my father, mother, and two sisters, right across the way from Hyde Park. The Columbia Club is now the Columbia Hotel. We went to the Officers' club at SR also but it wasn't anything to brag about. I went anywhere and everywhere on the tube by myself and felt safe (don't know if I was or not but I never had any problems).
I remember once going on the tube to Kensington (I think, someone is welcome to correct me) and swimming in out door swimming pools shaped in the form of keys (I'm pretty sure). I thought this to be very strange yet wonderful at the same time. I remember getting off the tube in SR and walking to the base many, many times. I loved those thick foggy days because I could walk down the street and set off fire crackers and no one could tell who was doing it, plus it seemed we got out of school many times for "fog days." The English people were wonderful to us and England was (and is) such a beautiful place with such rich history. Even at 59 years of age, I still have very fond memories that I cherish from that period of time in my life.
I lived on Victoria Road in South Ruislip and worked in the accounting department of the Base Exchange from 1968 - 1970. At 18, it was my first real job and my boss, Colin Ridge, made it a great experience. I have wonderful memories of many of the employees, both British and American. Fun place to work and play ! I was married to a Brit at the time, but as an American citizen enjoyed the best of both worlds. Anyone remember the hunky Frenchman, Claude Jean, who managed the snack bar/cafeteria ? When I once asked him where the lady's restroom was, he responded with a puzzled look "why do they need a special place to rest ?"
Nicole (Nicki) Parsons Stewart
My name is Carol Welch....I came to South Ruislip from Vietnam in Sept 1969 and was assigned to the 7520th USAF Hospital until it closed in early 1973. I was NCOIC of the Obstetrical Services during my entire tour there, that included the OB Ward plus labor and delivery. The doctors at that time were Dr. Markhan, Dr. Dudley, Dr. Fisher and a British Dr. McNee. Some of the nurses and medical tech I remember were Col Perry (chief Nurse) Msgt Hill NCOIC of Prof Services, Nurses: Maj Pavilkey, Maj Drake, Capt Ludi, Eileen LeCompte, Mary Boyd, Mario Andino and Alma Budage. , Karen Blessing.
Some of the techs I remember were Gerald Kinnard, Vicki Mclean, Sid Sontag, James Carlin, A1c Kleinhessilink, and SSgt Branch from the emergency room.
We lived on Hurley Rd in Greenford until the base closed. I had one year left on my tour so we were sent to Lakenheath for the last year. My only son was born at the hospital in Sept 1970 and was delivered by Dr Dudley.
My tour at South Ruislip was truly one of the best in my many years in the Air Force
Carol M Welch MSgt USAF Ret
We were posted to England in late 65 and lived "on the economy" from Wethersfield, Braintree and finally Hillingdon Road near RAF Uxbridge.
My Dad David L Darling was a Crypto Maint. Guy and if I recall correctly their office was about three doors down from the NCO club. I remember Going to 5th-6th Grade @ West Ruislip and going to Bowling Alley there.
If I recall West Ruislip backed up (thru the Woods) with and RAF Base that occasionally would have re-built Spitfires.
I went to Bushy Hallow High and my best friends were two Black guys One, Ronald MacDonald (really his name) and Donnie Hamond (he played Electric Guitar) and a white kid named Danny Arbruster and another named Paul Espisito I fought a lot in School and never lost a fight. (nothing I am really proud of ...But it happened) (guess that comes with the "teasable" name "Darling") and in Grade school (West Ruislip) 1 I remember being in "A Mid Summer Night's Dream' with my childhood's 1st crush Patty Green (she had Beautiful Blond silky hair).
I remember going to S. Ruislip AFB NCO Club and watching NFL hi-Lites on pull down screen and a projector. also playing Baseball at the Fields thru the tunnel behind base. AND buying comics @ the Stars and Stripes book store. I remember the Harlem Globetrotters playing the Base Team, My dad coached and played a few minutes in the Game. My dad was also Manager/Pitcher on Comm Squadron's softball team (Maybe it was Base's?) I was BatBoy on road trips to Lakenheath, Mildenhall and a few other places (road trips on a USAF Bus ) friends of my parents Marilyn J Darling and Dave were; Gil Gilbertson and his daughter Debbie Gilbertson Jane____________she drove a Hot Red Jaguar.
I remember parties at our house Beer darts and music Cigs and cards. I had many English mates and pretty much roamed the Greater London area on the Tubes. My Name is Jim Darling. If any of this rings a Bell I would love to hear from anyone. Dad is not in best of health and it would do him good to reminisce with some old tales.
I would like to find out if there is anyone in Ruislip that would remember my family living there in 1955 / 1956. My father was in the US Air Force at the time and me and my sister where born there. The last name was Thomas, William & Joy. We left on I believe June 1958. I was just looking for the place we lived since my mother can't remember and my father just past away.
I know this is awhile ago But would like to know.
Any help would be appreciated,
Great adventure for me during the USAFE days was to "hand carry" some documents from my unit at Burtonwood to TAF. Great to know these years later that folks in Britain got to have a better life; not to say that it's all roses. As Archie Bunker says "those were the days!"
Hi, My name is Dan McIsaac, I was for a time the NCOIC of the Military Pay Section at South Ruislip AB. I was stationed at South Ruislip from 1969-1972. I use to live with my family in the small town of Croxley Green, between Rickmansworth and Watford. I first got to London and stayed at the Douglas House. I remember watching the first man walk on the moon, June 20, 1969, on the TV in the lounge at the Douglas House. I remember all the great stars who came to the NCO club at the base. Also I remember the guys from finance and others, going downtown to play baseball in Hyde Park for the filming of the movie “A Touch of Class” starring George Segal and Glenda Jackson.
One friend who I keep up with from those days is Dennis (NICK) Nicholson. I remember our Finance Officer was Capt Greenstreet, and I went to his wedding, to a nurse from the base hospital, the wedding was at the Columbia House. Does anyone know his whereabouts? Also I remember going to school at night at Univ of Maryland.
If anyone wants to get in touch with me, please email me.
Daniel McIsaac, Maj (USAF Ret.)
I was born and raised in Ruislip Manor. We lived at 31 Filey Waye. I went to Lady Bankes School. I think the year was 1944. The headmistresses name was Miss Polden. I was in Miss Fosters class. After the war my mother went to work at the USAF base at South Ruislip. She worked in the hospital and was known as Dolly or Chappie. Her name was Dorothy Chapman.
In my teen years I babysat for many American families. I also worked on base in the dry cleaners where I met my husband. He was Amn.3rd class. (one stripe). His name was Larry W Lutz. We eventually married and our eldest son was born at the base hospital Dec.18th 1959. I do remember a cute A.P. His name was Ruppenstein. He was short and had a crew cut that was speckled with gray. I would love to get in touch with old friends, American and British. My name is Mary Lutz (nee Chapman) and I live in Corpus Christi TX. Please post this on the USAF Base page. Oh my husband worked in Crypto Maint. My Mother worked at the base hospital after my dad passed away in 1952. She first worked at what used to be called the'4MU' in West Ruislip then at the hospital. She was a cleaning lady. Her name was Dorothy Chapman and was known as Dolly or Chappie. She rented a room to a medic named Jaime Ramirez, I remember he was quite a character and fell down our stairs regularly after a trip to the NCO club. I worked in the dry cleaners on base where I met my husband. Our eldest son was born at the base hospital on Dec.18th 1959. There was also a medic whose first name was Rogers, I cant remember his last name but we all called him Buck. I was reading the posting from Jim and thought he might know some of the same people that I do although the medics I mentioned were before his time. I would be happy to be contacted by anyone who was at the base in the mid to late 50s. We went to the Club 51, the Blue Circle, Lido, Clay Pidgeon, Tithe Farm etc. So many memories.
I was the Civilian Recreation Director at RAF Upper Heyford during the period 1966 thru 1970, and our youngest son was born in the RAF South Ruislip Hospital on Mar 24, 1969. I remember driving the freeway to South Ruislip. Had many visits at 3AF Hqs dealing with sports championships.
In 1960 (spring), USAF Ruislip hosted the 1st Four Nation School Boys Basketball tournament (Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland) to encourage the growth of Basketball in the UK. As an American attending Boroughmuir Secondary School in Edinburgh, I was eligible and via tryouts was selected along with 8 others for the Scottish team. We stayed in homes around Middlesex etc. and played at the USAF Ruislip Gym. I still proudly retain the official Program and Bronze Coin Medal specially coined for the event.
Although my Scottish team didn't win, we all were honoured to attend an elaborate (by school boy standards) banquet in which a USAF General praised us for being on the frontier on basketball in UK schools. I was impressed by "our" USAF Base in Ruislip, and proud to be an American abroad then despite some negative press at the time about the Soviets shooting down our "Spy Plane" piloted by Francis Gary Powers (supposedly from Turkey to Bodo, Norway) initially denied by President Eisenhower until the Soviets displayed the U2 wreckage in Red Square
Just wondered if anyone at USAF Base Ruislip remembers those times and even perhaps our BB tournament, that meant so much to me.
If you were involved in some way, thanks for all the good-will towards the US that I experienced spreading throughout all the teams. Good Job USAF Ruislip!
Does anyone remember the 1811 Support Squadron (the CBPO), Air Force Communications Service at South Ruislip? It was my first assignment right from Basic (at Amarillo AFB) and Personnel Tech School (also at Amarillo AFB). I was assigned primarily as a Duty Status Clerk from October 1967 to October 1969. When we received notice that the base was closing, I was PCS'd to the ARPC at Denver. Sure wish I was smart enough to figure out how to stay in England! What a great tour of duty!
Here's some more names of people that worked in 7520th Medical Supply, 1961-1964.
Jackie Hitchens (WAF), Art Garrett, Fred Thomas, Jim Stover, Capt. Cal Freistedt, Capt. Al Strentzch
If any of you visit this site, please contact me.
Rich Silver (Rick)
Bill is a nickname for my middle name, William. All of the folks I know when I was stationed at South Ruislip called me Bill, amongst other things. I was sent to South Ruislip right after my tech school, Keesler AFB, Biloxi, Ms as a Tech Controller. 307X0, A1C. From my arrival there inAugust, 1970 until my reassignment in June, 1972 to the 4th Mob at Altus AFB, Ok, I spent a lot of time getting from one skill level to the next and being trained in how to troubleshoot problems on our microwave system, lovingly called Shur Shot, between Ruislip and Hillingdon.
There was also ample time to tour the British Museums and the Zoo in London which were only 40 minutes away via the tube. Lots of good Indian restaurants and the best prawns (shrimp) I've ever had. I'm from the Gulf Coast area in Texas, and I've had lots of great shrimp, but nothing like those prawns which were huge.
I lived in the barracks most of my tour there, although my wife was there for a few months. We rented a house in walking distance from the base on Parkfield Crescent. Some of the fellas I knew pretty well were Richard Howland, "Buck" Buckholtz, John Hidalgo, Norman North, Dan Pratt, Don Sherwood. There were many others I'll remember later, but for the moment my 62 year old memory is failing.
What I remember about the barracks was that there was no interior ceiling and everyone had a stereo system. It sounded like a multiplexer gone really bad! But I did get familiar with James Taylor, Americas, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Grand Funk Railroad, Blood Sweat & Tears, Switched on Boch, Charlie Pride, and American Pie!
I was born in 1962 in South Ruislip, in the 7520th USAF Hospital, delivered by Dr. McNee. My father was Airman 1st Class Robert Melvin Grizzard, and my mother was Samantha Grizzard. My brother was born there in 1960.
Both of my parents were from Texas and lived off-post in Harrow, on Manor Road
My mother used to tell a story about how she was craving buttermilk, one of her favorite treats, when she was pregnant and the dairyman looked at her like she was crazy to ask for it. He agreed to save some for her when he poured it off for the hogs, since she was "in the family way". She had some other people over who were from the South and they were wanting to know where she got it, she told them and the dairyman started selling it and making a good profit, (he was giving my mother the buttermilk, and kept giving it to her even after he started charging everyone else)
My brother went back to look around when he was stationed at Lakenheath, also with the USAF, and one day I intend to go look around.
Does anyone remember Msgt William Bailey I know he was in South Ruislip in 1959? I'm looking for a barber shop off base I think, Bill went there any memories of a Greek barber? Also does a dry cleaners at 170 The Fairway sound familiar to anyone? I was adopted by Bill and his wife Geneva we lived in Kenton and Harrow on the Hill I came to the states in 1962. Any info would would be wonderful.
Retired Presbyterian minister and Army chaplain now completing a NOTEBOOK OF REMEMBRANCE honouring some 50 WW II veterans who visited his father's church in Tampa, FL during the War, when a PFC had the prestige of a four-star general today--we simply adored them and loved to have them in our homes for meals and in a number of cases we had their wives living in our homes temporarily--desires to be in contact with a history buff who still has knowledge about the air fields in and around Tampa and who remembers something about chaplains who served in the 3rd Air Force (we simply called them all "Air Corps" soldiers). Thank you, Wm A. Macaulay, Jr., 6712 Old Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226--phone 704 366-9881--email
I am a former Brit that left my birth home with my parents in 1949. At the time I lived in a small English village called Stondon Massey, Nr Brentwood, Essex. I was 15 years old at the time. My Mom and Dad and siblings emigrated to Michigan, USA.
In 1953 I joined the US Air Force and during a posting to the then French Morocco, N. Africa in 1954 I became a courier and would fly into Bovingdon Airport once a month to pick up supplies. I was TDY to RAF Ruislip during those times. Then at the start of 1955 I received a permanent change of stations order to report into RAF Ruislip February 1955. Within 2 weeks I was sent on to RAF Fairford, Gloucester for 3 years. I met and married my wife of 53 years Laura (Tilzey) Lawlor, who was from Bristol.
I was posted back to RAF Greenham Common (now closed) in June 1959 to June 1962. One more duty assignment came when I was in Thailand in 1967 to report to RAF Alconbury, Nr Peterborough in February 1968 until June 1971.
I retired from the US Air Force in 1977 with 24 years service. My wife Laura and I get back to the UK about once each 2 years and stop in London as well as Bristol, Reading and Essex to visit friends and relatives.
I had many US Air Force friends that were stationed at RAF Ruislip thru out the years. I also am into People Searching (NO CHARGE) and help out others find the lost and many who were at RAF Ruislip.
My wife Laura and I are retired now and live in a Retirement Community here in Peoria, Arizona. We enjoy the weather here and our family lives close by.
David Lawlor/USAF Retired/E8/Arizona
This covers the years of 1951-1955. Starting off at Bushy Park. Lived on the Thames River on Trolock Island, When we were assigned our stations, some of the personal were sent to High Wycombe and some to South Ruislip. At South Ruislip we were attached to Third Air Force as the 485th Comm. Sqd. [SAC] Ran swing shifts 24/7. When at So. Ruislip, lived with Wife on Midcroft Way in Ruislip. Although it has been 50 some odd years back I still have very fond memories of my time spent over there. Have been back quite a few times and always hate to leave. Met some wonderful people. As a foot Note: Our outfit the 485th Comm. Sqd. is having another Reunion Oct 15-Oct 18 2009 at Virginia Beach VA. If by chance anyone would be interested, contact me. Don Benson. Thanks for the wonderful time of long ago. Before clicking on any e-mail link read this section
Hi, my name is Jim Tanner. I was billeted at South Ruislip from 1960 to 1964. I lived in the base barracks until I made my third stripe at which time I moved off-base to a flat in Uxbridge. I worked in the 7370th Flight Service Squadron out at RAF Hillingdon/Uxbridge. It was the best assignment I ever had in my 22 years service. I extended twice at Ruislip before the Air Force finally forced me to return to the States. I did manage to return to England for two more tours (five years at RAF Bentwaters near Ipswich and Woodbridge, and two years at RAF Lakenheath near Newmarket and Mildenhall). I was (and still am) a true Anglophile. In fact when it came time to leave England for the last time (in 1978) I actually began steps to retire in England. I was persuaded to accept another assignment instead but when I later found that my chances of returning again were nil I retired (1980). To this day half my dreams involve something to do with my time spent in the UK. As they say, you can't go home again. I'd like to go back but, like the places I remember in New York City where I grew up, I'm sure nothing recognizable remains.
If you would add this email to the "memories" section I'd sure appreciate it. Maybe it'll jog some memories out there in cyberspace. Who knows?
Your site is great. Even though I haven't run across anyone I know, just reading the posts from other people brought back many fine memories.
Dave Phillips (nick name "BINGO") here. I was stationed at South Ruislip Air Force Station with the 11th Communications Squadron from Sept. 1953 to Jan.1967. Worked in the radio maintenance shop looking after radio relay equipment with antennas perched on the roof of our building which we shared with the 1969th Comm Sq, the dentist office, GPO and the base message centre.
I met my wife to be Marge Donald at the Eastcote arms up the street from the base in 1954. We were married at the Harrow Registrar's office in 1956 and my Daughter Kim was born at the USAF hospital there.
A group of us were sent to Colliers End (an army station) to set up a radio link to Germany for Message traffic where we worked for about a year or so before returning to South Ruislip. We had many fun days there pub crawling to the Eastcote Arms, Tythe Farms, and as many pubs as we could find . Spent many happy summer days at the Lido. I think I can still show my wife Marge places in London she never heard of. I spent a lot of time exploring about this my favourite city.
Marge and I returned to South Ruislip on a lark in 1986 to look in on the Eastcote Arms and we swear the same old gal was playing
the piano with a fag hanging out of her mouth, and the same old bartender served us just like in 1956.
Would love to hear from anybody who was in Radio Maintenance then.
I was at South Ruislip when it was closed down in 1972 than went to Hillingdon Uxbridge. I first went to Ruislip in 1956 than went to Croughton. Went back to Ruislip tin 1961 again sent to Croughton. In 1969 went to High Wycombe than it closed and went to Ruislip close it down and went to Hillingdon. Great area to be station at. Thanks for the memories. Ignacio (Chewy) Garcia 1969 Comm Sq at Ruislip and 1230 comm sq at Croughton
Before clicking on any e-mail link read this section
I was stationed at South Ruislip from October 1971 to July 1972 and helped close the base down. Lived in the barracks at SR and worked in the Supply detachment at West Ruislip. Was introduced to Barley Wine at the Royal Standard in Beaconsfield my first night, and learned what good beer was while there. Had good friends who'd studied at the Royal Academy and played C&W on the Truman's pub circuit. Got my bike at Condor Cycles in London and loved riding the countryside. When the base was closing I got the daily drive to Lakenheath in a left-hand drive Chevy ton-and-half stakebed.
I'd come from Cannon AFB in New Mexico and my roommate from McCord AFB in Tacoma. Interesting that we both shipped out to Incirlik and after he went to Cannon and I went to McCord.
Haven't been back yet, but look forward to it.
Great to discover this website – great time and memories.
Hi I originally lived near Bovingdon and consequentially as a youngster went around with American kids even though I was a "bloke".
Come about 1962/3 they shut Bovingdon and purely coincidentally I moved to Iver Heath. As I only knew Americans I went to the teen club in about 1962 at that time called the American Youth Centre.
This later became the AYA. Subsequently again as a coincidence I became an Elec Eng with the European Exchange System.
Sometime in 1970 I had to go to SR to speak to the Exchange manager (Mr Matthews?) and hand carried some registered mail. Apparently one being the notice of closure of the PX.
Again apparently it was because the property was leased from Kodak and the US authorities overlooked the run out renewal date. (They did the same thing with the Navy Club in London).
I used to cover all the then current bases in the UK going TDY on virtually all that had facilities.
The base was used as the sorting centre for the bloke rationing system in 1973.
In 1973 the USAF and the UK had serious fuel problems and at WR building 6 at my instigation we installed a ruddy great gennie with stramit board lining to absorb the sound.
The NCO club at SR was shut (I used to go there every dinner time) and the stuff went into the all rank club at WR but that was shut a while after and the stuff again was supposedly sent out to other clubs. However, slightly later I took over the club area as a warehouse and there was a whole manner of junk still there that frankly we just junked.
At the end of the life of SR its main function was literally doing purely AP stuff ranging from issuing ID cards to security courses and of course the hospital which went in about 1971 to Mildenhall / Lakenheath. The PX was moved to one of the buildings at WR eventually next to which my warehouse was put opposite the US Postal service.
Incidentally in 1969 my mini was stolen and taken to Uxbridge AFB where the front bumper, fender with the decal on was removed and this was placed on another stolen vehicle for persons to gain access to SR and all the decals, ID cards and other stuff were stolen.
It was 6 weeks before my mini was found up by the comms centre at RAF Uxbridge with 3 extra miles on the clock.
My APO was 09245
Gosh happy days. Incidentally I was the guy with the purple Chevy boyertown truck UKER106
Was assigned to 3rd AF Hq from 1967 thru 1970. Worked in the Directorate of Intelligence under Col. Carl Machemer. This was a tour after my first trip to ‘Nam in 1966. One of the better tours of my 21 years in the AF. My wife and I often think back to our time there. We lived in Denham at 14 Savay Lane. And, by golly, it is still there. I googled it and it looks just as it did when we lived there. We participated in mixed doubles bowling at West Ruislip. I can remember the Carling Black Label salesman in the bowling alley trying to almost give away his beer. Poor guy, nobody liked the stuff.
We also heated our house with kerosene heaters purchased at the BX. I still have one of them here in Texas but don’t need to use it.
I remember the queen mum visiting the O club once during the tour, don’t recall why though.
I have not been back to England since I left in 1970.
There is a girl working here where I do who is from Eastcote and we exchange memories from time to time.
Small world this, and to find this site was delightful. Have not seen any names that I remember though.
I was stationed at South Ruislip Air Station and arrived there in January 1969. I had an English girlfriend, Vivienne Viollet, who lived at 145 Long Drive. We married in 1970 (divorced in 1983). I certainly recall the base quite vividly, and recall the echoing warehouses (former shoe factory?) in which single airmen were housed.
There was a nice little library, a small base exchange, laundromat, and clubs. I walked in and out the main gate many times for the next couple of years, waving to the Security Policeman there, headed to the South Ruislip underground station. I eventually was transferred to RAF Alconbury.
Much of this flooded back, oddly enough, when some guys and I were talking about Led Zeppelin. I travelled by train and returned by taxi on April 1, 1969, to see a fledging rock band at Klooks Kleek. I think that it was later that same year I saw Led Zeppelin at Royal Albert Hall. I even have a couple of Kodak Instamatic photos!
Wonderful times and memories of an England lost forever to me.
I was stationed just north about 45 minutes away at RAF Chicksands in Bedfordshire 1965-1966. I often ran my new left hand drive (from Germany) VW down to London town with a load of guys to see the sights.
South Ruislip was perfect for our needs. We could access it from the M1, leave the car there parked safely (and for free) while walking up the steps to the above ground London Underground. The subway ride into London was just a short and easy one to the big town.
And what did we do in London, hungry as we were for some bright lights coming from the rural RAF Chicksands? Well Soho was always a popular hangout. But many of the trips, once the sight seeing was completed, were to Stamford Bridge to see Chelsea play, starring Peter Osgood, Peter Bonnetti, Ron Harris and other young stars of the day taking the Chelsea Blues to the top of the Football League First Division.
For a Chelsea fixture match, we'd take the Underground to the Fulham Broadway exit, then walk about two blocks to Stamford Bridge where the locals would be in long Q's at the "Stands" window. This meant you "stood" once you got inside, somewhere on the wide open concrete terraces to see the match. (Actually, perversely you sit in the "stands" at football matches in the UK - ROL)
But the other window was nearly always ready for step right up business, the one labelled "Reserved" as I recall. That meant reserved seats, of which there were select few in the middle of the field (or in our American football nomenclature, around the 50 yard line.) These were mostly beyond the financial reach of the middle class bloke, but not for us, even with the relatively meagre wages we made in the U.S. Air Force in those days.
So we'd get good seats and enjoy the match. This might be followed by a stopover at that Famous Nosh Bar, where the corned beef was exquisite.
Also, South Ruislip represented a great place for us to catch up on our PX items. At RAF Chicksands things were always out of stock. Not at South Ruislip. For some reason, they always had plenty of goodies to buy (reel to reel tapes of music, radios, misc. gadgets) as well as a usable selection of clothing items. Not so at RAF Chicksands where we simply went off base to Bedford to buy.
So thank you South Ruislip for your hospitality and especially for the love and care you gave to my parked 1965 ocean blue VW, which I then shipped back to the ZI and traded in on hot 1967 Pontiac!
6950th Security Wing
RAF Chicksands 1965-1966
I arrived at South Ruislip AS Nov 21, 1967 as a 19 year old, worked in the 7520 AB Gp. CBPO on the Nov 23, 1967 celebrated thanksgiving with others from the CBPO at SSgt Horney's place was nice to have a place to go to just having come to the base. I lived off base at my own expense for about a year (I couldn't get the off base housing money as an A1C).
Lived in a room rented from a widow lady who rented to airman from the base. Later shared a place with Ken Allred who worked at W. Ruislip supply and 3rd AF (the flat was at 80 Parkfield Crescent) until I got reassigned to RAF Upper Heyford outside Oxford in Oct 1969. I spent all but 6 months of my Air Force enlistment in England and was able to go many places in the UK and elsewhere, it was a life changing experience for a young guy from Minnesota for which I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to be stationed in such a place. With the internet I find I can visit places where I used to live such as Parkfield Crescent and this web site.
I was stationed at the South Ruislip Air Base from Feb.1951 to Mar.1953. I worked with Capt. Chatham and Col. Christman and we were responsible for keeping the aircraft for the 7th Air Div.in good condition when they needed parts. We worked with the supply depots in England and my job was liaison with the men at the depots to see that the parts were available. I would like to hear from anyone who was there at the same time. S/Sgt. Robert L. Stout
Before clicking on any e-mail link read this section
I was stationed at South Ruislip from November 1950 to November 1952. As you entered the main gate, I worked in the first building on the right. The third building on the left was our barracks. In 1951 we were moved to Bushy Park and bussed daily to and from South Ruislip.
My name is Arlin Leder. I was stationed at South Ruislip AFB from August 1953 through May 1955. The base was the HQ for Third Air Force which was part of USAFE (US Air Forces in Europe. Also I believe that 7th Air Division of SAC operated from there. The Third Air Force and SAC had bombers at various bases throughout England.
Being as it was a head quarters has there were a lot of officers there including several Generals. A short walk on the base involved saluting many officers.
This base was considered to be a good place to be stationed due to its closeness to London. Down the road towards Harrow there was a large pub and Dance Hall. Much to the delight of USAF personnel girls from London area came there on Saturday nights. The Pub was called Tithe Farm.
The South Ruislip "tube" station was close by and this gave us access to the whole London area.
My job was in Stat Services which used IBM tab machines to keep track of personnel and equipment.
I look back on my assignment at Ruislip as very interesting and rewarding. I still correspond with people I met there.
Arlin Leder, Staff Sergeant, USAF
My Dad (Pop Deas) was a civilian dispatcher working in the Motor Pool during the late 50's early 60's. before that he was based at Denham. I remember he used to drive desceased airmen up to USAFE Burtonwood in a Standard Vanguard shooting brake for repatreation to the US, not an uncommon occurence in those days. Spookily, the building in which he was housed contained an enormous number metal of coffins. Dad was responsible for all USAFE motor transport in the London area and it was not uncommon for him to receive Lucky Strikes and Cammels for favours rendered. I remember going to South Ruislip to whach an inter service boxing match between the RAF and USAFE. There was a sergeant airman who caused much greif within the unit and was transferred to RAF Manston, he hadn't been there too long before he ran amok and shot dead several people.
I believe the London Rockets base ball team was located at South Ruislip.
Hope this is of interest
My name is Cheryl Campbell nee Rozario and I worked at South Ruislip Air Force Base.
I made many British and American friends while working there, and have just been to visit one who now lives in Texas USA.
We have know each other for over 30 years, have kept in touch over all that time. We had another friend there too and when the base was due to shut
down, they went to W. Germany to work and live out there.
One of them encouraged me to do the same, and the three of us eventually ended up living in Stuttgart, Germany.
The friend I went to visit returned to marry her Airman still stationed at South Ruislip, they lived in England for some time, and then he was stationed back in the States.
Luckily, has he raised in rank, he was able to fly back to England and so we saw them on and off for years, the last trip they even brought all their three children with them.
Upon my return recently, it was a thrill to meet them all again, as young married women and man.
I hope this story will be of interest to your readership. We all know how friends can come and go, but ours stayed together!
My name is Kelley McAnally and I was born at the 7520th USAF Hospital, Ruislip, Middlesex, England on Tuesday, 12 May 1964. My father, Gordon E. McAnally, A3C, was stationed at the South Ruislip Air Station, Middlesex, England, from 11/62 to 11/65. During this time, my father worked as a Medic or Nurse at the 7520th United States Air Force Hospital APO 125, US Forces.
My father, a natural athlete, excelled in numerous sports; baseball, basketball, bowling, track, boxing, etc. Thus, making him a high profile personality and regular mention in the local and military newspapers. In fact, my father was USAFE boxing heavyweight champion. We have a newspaper clipping, from page 4 of The Post, dated June 26, 1963, showing a photo of my father, Gordon E. McAnally with then, Cassius Clay (Mohammad Ali). Mohammad Ali had stopped at RAF on was on his way to London after winning a 5th round TKO of against Britains heavyweight champion, Henry Cooper.
In 1963, he met and married my mother, Mai O'Sullivan and they had two children.
Kelley McAnally Bloodworth
I just recently came upon your website. I was curious because I worked at the Base from about 1965-1971. I was British, having been raised in Pinner and this was my first job after leaving college. I was the administrative assistant in the University of Maryland office. This office offered university level classes for airmen at all the air and naval bases in the U.K. at that time. The Directors who were there in my time were Thomas B Massey and Tom Cunningham. I was in regular contact with education offices at different bases throughout the area and remember a few of the names of the various education directors there. My main job was connected to the many lecturers we had. While I was working there I lived in South Harrow and drove in every day. Your cover photo of the main road going into the base and the surrounding buildings brought a lot of memories back to me. We moved office several times and I remember we always wanted a corner office so that it would have a window on each side as the buildings were quite dark inside. I remember the post office on the base and being asked out on dates by quite a few airmen! I also remember having an occasional lunch in the Officers' club and going to the library where they also had LPs on loan. Although I didn't marry an American, I did emigrate to the States years ago and became a citizen. I didn't see any other references to the University of Maryland so hope that someone else will see my post .
Angela Durrant (nee Taylor)
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More Reading About USAF South Ruislip
1970's Peace Magazine as handed out by protesters
An account of what really went on there (or did it?!)
Dedicated message forum for those stationed there
Images from USAF South Ruislip (On another Ruislip web site in the group)