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65 (SAM) Squadron, RAF Seletar, Singapore. 1964-1971

Bloodhound Mk2 Surface to Air Missile Defence System.

Fighter Command     1964   -  1971


Welcome to 65(SAM)Squadron. RAF Seletar. Singapore 28.

“Flying over Seletar” . Date unknown. Photo courtesy of Ron Gooderham

    Anyone who was on the Bloodhound Mk2 serving on  65 (SAM) Sqdn at  RAF Seletar between 1964 when the squadron was set up, to the handover to Singapore Airforce in 1971, will no doubt recognise these scenes below of life and recreation after work.

   Some of the RAF Seletar images on this page have been collected over the years from other web sites. All are now in the public domain.

    Many of those early web-sites are vanishing fast, so this is ensuring the images stay on view. At least for now. If anyone wants the credit for them, please contact me. Mike

    Satellite images will be added soon showing Seletar as it was @ 2009 - 2011.

   Believe it or not you can still make out the launch pads, and buildings like the MOTE. But they are disappearing fast with the rapid building works going on around the old RAF camp.

           My own small collection of personal images were added below in October 2014.

     Don’t forget. There is plenty of space for some of YOUR photo’s too if they are relevant!

Two 33 (SAM) Squadron Photographs. RAF Butterworth. Malaysia

65(SAM Sqdn. RAF Seletar . Circa 1964-1969          Just inside the main gate.

Stores on the left, Fire section and SHQ on the right.

65(SAM Sqdn. RAF Seletar . Circa 1964-1969

Stores on the right SHQ on the left.

The swimming pool where most of us went for lunch, with our wives.

Very conveniently it was just outside the 65 Squadron gates.

One of the missile sections. MS1.

This was taken late 1969 - Outside the MOTE.

During the squadron closedown prior to handover to the Singapore Air Force in 1971

Names below where known. Do you know others? Click “Contact Mike” if you do.

 Back Row.  ##  Paul Tuffery  ##   ##    ##    ##    ##    ##   Brian Baker   Ginge Shores   Don Donovan    ##    ##

  ##   ##   ##   ##    ##    ##    W/O John Atkin   Flt Lt John Cawfield    Trevor Butterworth    ##    ##   ##   “Egg” Smith ?   ##   ##

Above, the Radar T87, being made ready for the manufacturer AEI to hand over to the Singapore Air Force. Above right are three of T.87 technicians given that task in late 1969. They are left to right, Brian Baker, Ginge Shores and Don Donovan.   Don recalls he knew Brian as “Bryn” in those days.

In 2014 Don recounts: “Brian (Bryn) Baker and I were great buddys - both singlies and so fancy free.  We used to go out on Saturday nights once a month to Cuscadon House Hotel in Singapore City for a blowout dinner - he always had his steak very rare! The guy between us in the photo was ‘Ginge’ Shores who was the third member of the T87 radar fitters.  

    We were all at 33 Sqdn together at Butterworth. Ginge and I on MS3 and Bryn was on MS4 with Dave Birchall, when the sqdn was all packed up and sent home. (Oh the endless hours of fun moving the Giant Collosus from one site to the next). We were surplus to requirement and were shipped off to Seletar to help 65 sqdn become fit for purpose with the Singapore Air Force and the T.87 manufacturer, AEI.  

     I was originally sent down for two weeks as they required a T87 SNCO so that Trevor Butterworth (front row 7th from right -including the lady) could go on honeymoon, but persuaded the ‘Sqdn Officer’ - Flt Lt John Cawfield, (I played golf with him), sitting 8th from right - to get me posted down permanently.

     We managed to get MS1 fully serviceable very quickly and handed over to AEI for a major mods program.  MS2 took a little longer but finally handed it over which left us MS3 to do.  As we had cannibalised all the spare trays from this radar plus lots of other bits to get MS1 & 2 working this was to be a major project to get it anywhere near serviceable.   

      At this point we had a request to show a Singapore Officer, a Major Ho, who by the way became the first Sqdn CO, the workings of the radar = PANIC!  MS1 and MS2 were in bits for mods and all we had in MS3 was 24volts.  We attached wires with crocodile clip to the back of all the lamps on the control console, labelled them and when attached to the chassis of a tray the lamps lit - we had a plan.  

     When the officer arrived Bryn and I were positioned out of sight at the rear of the console and Trevor Butterworth explained a typical acquisition sequence, with us attaching and disconnecting croc clips when necessary - aerial search, acquire, cohere, confirm and on target.  

      All was going well until Trevor decided to explain a zero Doppler crossover followed by reacquire - we had not practiced this!  

   Fingers and crock clips flew in all directions, light sequences changed and we eventually finished up with all the right lights on but only with some prompting from the front required.  

      The Singapore Officer expressed his thanks to Trevor for a most “enlightening demonstration” and turned to leave, but he stopped at the door and in a LOUD voice thanked the two gentlemen hiding at the rear of the console for their splendid efforts. - Cue fits of giggles all round! “

    Don and Brian both finished up working for Marconi Radar in Chelmsford.  Don in Systems in Writtle Road,  Brian in Field Service down in Australia on  “Over the Horizon Radar” I understand.  Their paths never crossed again. (Yet!) Brian settled here in the Cardigan area many years ago.

   That was the thing with friendships in the RAF. When you were posted every two or three years, you often lost touch. Internet sites and reunions are gradually bringing us back in touch again.


Experimenting with a new way of delivering a Bloodhound Mk2 missile low over the jungle, below enemy radar to it’s Target? …..Perhaps not.

Gordon “Taff” Lewis & “Jock” Smith

Gordon retired to Cilgeran near Cardigan.

Our Neighbours Children - Paya Lebar Rd 1965

A Chinese Funeral

Below are a few of my own 65 Squadron Photo’s from 1964 to 1966

Gordon Lewis with John Headland                                         (right)

First,  around J Block in 1964, where single men lived alongside the married men awaiting arrival of their wives, but only once they had found suitable housing in Jalan Kayu with Nee Soon Whot, or in Serangoon Garden Estate.

  As the largest landlord also owned the main grocery store at RAF Seletar, if you didn’t have children, you could not have one of HIS houses. MONEY talks!

Monsoon Rain at J Block

Your host - J Block April 1964

Here is a view from J Block with the Yio Chu Kang bus arriving, and just in view left, the 3 tonn’er that picked us up in the morning and took us to the Main Stores compound to unpack Missiles and Forebodies  from crates and containers during that spring of 1964 when 65 (SAM) Sqdn was becoming operational.

            Seletar Wives Netball Team, and a selection of “Nights Out”

Singapore Scaffolding 1965

Were YOU at RAF Seletar?  Perhaps even with a hubby on 65 Squadron?

Can you perhaps see YOUR wife, mother or Grandmother!!!  in any of these photo’s.