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RAF Brize Norton


Air Traffic Control Brize Norton

The purpose of this page is to attract the attention of anyone who has served at RAF Brize Norton in Air Traffic Control or Flight Operations. Ex-service personnel who were stationed at RAF Brize Norton are holding reunions and creating a photographic memory bank and communal memory and messaging service to link all those who served at RAF Brize Norton Air Traffic Control or Flight Operations. The purpose being to preserve the memory of their time together and create communications between ex-colleagues and present friends with a common interest in ATC and your contribution to that memory bank is invited.

The first reunion from that time has already taken place and is described below and further reunions are planned in the future, the next one scheduled for 2020.

it is obvious that, over time, memories will fade, old comrades will be lost, either through re-location, poor communications, forgetfulness or death and therefore what happened will slowly be forgotten. This site will preserve their memories of a moment in time. We invite your participation in sending e-copies of your photo's and written memories of RAF Brize Norton in order to help preserve the historical snapshot of that time and to join in the e-conversation between people with a shared experience. Your initial comments are welcomed at the bottom of the page. Text and photo's may also be sent to and the web master of this page will be pleased to include suitable material on this site for you. So, get in touch both with old friends and make new ones who were there with you at the time.

The remainder of this page provides further opportunities to explore related subjects.

Picture of VC10 from Wickimedia, taken by Christopher Kern (Albion 05 and 06) and the Short Belfast by Peter Nicholson via Picture of Control Tower courtesy of Cali


Lost and Found 1968 - 2013

A small group of ex-Brize Norton ATC staff who served together in the '60's got together for a mini reunion at a Cotswold Hotel in January. Arriving early with a hope of being snowed in for the weekend a convivial lunch was enjoyed by all followed by some bracing walks to help the digestion (by some). Sitting around a log fire with a snowy scene outside and a comforting glass to hand the stories soon began to flow and as usual followed the traditional formula of "the older I get the better I was". Half a dozen strangers (and partners) bound to each other by nothing other than a common experience and a like minded enjoyment of each others company produced a wonderful evening that continued into the early hours. Tremendous!

Appearing in photo left to right, ex-Brize personnel: Paul Thompson, David Clode, Peter Oliver, Gary Clisby, James Lyall, David Dove

VC10 Take Off

Helpful places

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VC10 at Biggin Hill

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If you have photo's or other data or text to upload, just want to make contact or provide a link to someone else then do please feel free to use the following e-mail addresses and we will take it from there.

Take a heavy lift flight in a Belfast


Seeking these people, are YOU on the list?

Geoff Bisnauthsing, Martin Crane, Ray Davies, Jim Dunlop, John Fuller, Syd Hawker, John Heath, John Hocking, Ian Ransome (now RIP), George Scot,Cornelius (Neil) Shakespeare, Mick Sheath, Tony Simmonds, Ann Tattersall, Linda Taylor (Reid), Colin Taylor, Mick Waller, Brian Watson

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VC 10 retirement - Photo courtesy of Aeroplane magazine


Local Controller on Weekend Shift


Do you have any old photographs of your time at Brize Norton? Can we help you contact old friends?

© 2011 David Dove

What can you add to this site to make it more interesting for others? - Introduce yourself to old colleagues

anonymous on February 20, 2013:

Was anyone in Brize Norton around 1959/60. Looking for a gentleman who was in the air police squadron, by the name of Jim or James Bugarelly, not sure of spelling of last name. I believe he had a nickname also which was bugsy. Trying to locate him. Any info would be appreciated

anonymous on December 05, 2012:

@David Dove: David,

I enjoyed my tour at Brize and had opportunity to work with some really great prople there. Some Air Ministry ex RAF had some terrific war stories. Wing Commander Chudley accepted surrender of a German Air Base and flew a small observation plane back home. He had a German officer fly it around the airfield first. He also went into Africa to find a downed aircrew. Good friend Flt Lt Harvey Davenport flew the Spitfire in the Battle of London. Harvey and I went to the racetrack often - he got some really good tips on a horse called "Little Topper" Great Times!!

David Dove (author) on December 02, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Doug, Good of you to get in touch, nice to hear from you. The answer to the question (QFE) is correct. QNH is the regional setting, QMH was a random insert but which means " Shift to transmit and receive on ... khz. (or ... mhz.); if communication is not established within 5 minutes, revert to present frequency", similar to QSY.

anonymous on December 01, 2012:

I took the ATC test and got a 60%, - guessed at most (after my time), but I am certain the barometric pressure was QNH (Queen Nan How) instead of QMH. I was at Brize Tower from 1957 to 1960

anonymous on December 01, 2012:

@anonymous: Rick NMI Franks, I remember you! I was at Brize at the same time with Chuck Criswell, Flt Lt Harvey Davenport, - good memories! Still remember the base gooney bird AF35903! That was a long time ago. I am now retired controller in Atlanta GA. Doug Black

anonymous on November 15, 2012:

Wonder if anyone remembers someone by the name of Jimmy or James bugarelly, not sure of spelling, he was stationed at Brize Norton around 1959 as an airpoliceman. thank you

anonymous on November 15, 2012:

@anonymous: I would like to know if anyone remembers someone by the name of Jimmy or james bugarelly, not sure of spelling. I believe he was an air police at Brize Norton in 1959. All I know is his nickname was bugsy I believe. He was from New York of italian descent.

anonymous on November 10, 2012:

I was at Brize Tower in 1957,1958, 1959 - I was there when the first B-52 landed the City of Turlock. Worked with George Bell, Peter Martell and Jim Dobbs, civilian controller. Haven't been back since 1959 when I left.

goo2eyes lm on February 01, 2012:

aw, 20% - forgot the answers but not dementia yet.

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on November 27, 2011:

Nicely done, I hope you are able to find more of your old colleagues from Brize Norton. Count me out for being an ATC, I only got 3 out of 10, and that was guessing :( Nicely done, blessed.

sousababy on November 19, 2011:

Here's the lens from my dear geek friends LabKitty that I think you might enjoy:

Have a wonderful weekend!


sousababy on November 19, 2011:

Came back to google +1 this gem.

sousababy on November 19, 2011:

Wow, this is a wonderful tribute indeed. Love the weekend local controller too. I'll bet LabKitty would be interested in this lens - they are a team of geeks I adore on Squidoo. Will let them know.

Take good care,


goo2eyes lm on November 09, 2011:

thank you for sharing your personal photos of the vets. you all made history.

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