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RAF Labuan, Borneo


The purpose of this site is to attract the attention of anyone who ever served at RAF Labuan - army, navy or air forces of all nations, in Borneo. This includes of course all those who served at ComAirBor and ATOC. Ex-service personnel who were stationed at RAF Labuan (or RAF Membedai as it was known to RAAF personnel) are creating a photographic memory bank and communal messaging service to link all those who ever served at RAF Labuan; the purpose being to preserve the memory of the station and the local environs at their time and your contribution to that memory bank is invited.

It was not only the RAF that served there but many units of the British and Commonwealth armies, navies and air forces - and all are welcome. With all forces having pulled back to their homelands 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.

The island of Labuan is located just off the coast of the Sultanate of Brunei in Borneo and has a history going back to the White Rajahs and the pacification of Western Borneo. However it is the recent past that is of interest to us and in particular the period from the second world war onwards through to post Indonesian Confrontation in the 1960s. (How many different euphemisms are there for "War" ?).

By following this link, , those who served there and who still have an interest, will be taken to a site on a different server where a more comprehensive photographic history is being created than is possible on this page. The objective is to re-open and maintain new links and preserve existing links with people and memories of a very special time in their lives. We invite your participation in sending e-copies of your photo's and memories of Labuan, the station or the island, in order to help preserve the historical snapshot of that time and to join in the e-conversation between people with a shared experience.

I look forward to meeting you there. The remainder of this page provides further opportunities to explore related subjects.

Photo copyright David Dove. All rights reserved.


Lost and Found 1966 - 2013

Another of the happy band of brothers from RAF Labuan 1965/6 rediscovered at, of all places, a mini reunion in January of 2013 of ex Brize Norton people who also served there in the '60's. (See RAF Brize Norton ).

Paul Thompson, left, and David Dove.

Photo copyright Paul Thompson

Labuan from the air

Do it NOW!

E-mail old photo's to RAF Labuan site

RAF Labuan.

LBS Re-Union 7.12.11.

LBS Re-Union 7.12.11.

Labuan Broadcasting Service Re-Union 2011

In early December of 2011 we were able to arrange a lunchtime re-union of five members of the Labuan Broadcasting Service who all served at RAF Labuan in 1966-7. Those present, from left to right were:

Anthony "Taff" James, Mike Durrant, David Dove, Mike Strange, Roger Pavey.

A larger gathering is in preparation for 2013 when the warm weather returns and anyone interested can contact the group through the Io Group site which is:

Photo courtesy of Mike Strange.

CQ CQ CQ Seeking You

Some remembered friends, are you on the list?

Sgt Don Estall,Sgt. John Hart,Sgt. Peden,Cpl Alan Livingstone,Cpl Bob Davies,Cpl Colin Pickersgill,Cpl Cy Annis,Cpl Graham Fletcher SRN,SAC Alan Poole,SAC Brian Lawrance,SAC Derek Warner,SAC Doug Hagan,SAC John Banks, SAC John Cunningham,SAC John Hamilton,SAC Mervyn Quick,SAC Ted Walters,Dave White,Del Hart,Ian Gray,Ian Sedgley,Jess Constant,John Phillips,Keith Hawkins,Ken Watson,Steve Allan,Mick Ralls,Pete Hamilton,Phil Gledhill,Ray Haskell,SAC "Fooey" Harris,Brian Cocker,Brian Morton,Charlie Rainger

Flt. Lt. John Brown,F/O Al Barnett,F/O Phil Atlay

Scroll to Continue

Helpful hints

Following the link to will take you to the Io members site for the photographic bank and members chat rooms. At the site you will, on your first visit only, need to click on the button marked "Join this Group". The administrator will then give you membership so that you can both enjoy the content of the site and add your own comments and material.

If you need help uploading any material by all means contect the administrator of this page who will be pleased to receive any material and upload for you.

If you have questions about this page, the one you are on, please use the comments section at the bottom to contact the administrator of this page who will respond to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, you may make contact through leaving your e-mail address or contact number for a response.

The Future - Amazing Development Under Way

Wednesday January 14, 2009

Build Labuan-Menumbok bridge, says group

LABUAN: The Consumer Association of Sabah and Labuan joined in a chorus for the building of the Labuan-Menumbok bridge by saying it will be a great help for the island's economy in the long run.

Association president Datuk Patrick Sindu said that Labuan was in urgent need of the link. He said the bridge should be undertaken as it would benefit Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak. "There will be increased sale of houses to mainland buyers and easier supply of goods from Sabah, including fresh products at cheaper prices, apart from a boost in trade and tourism," said Sindu.

The bridge was first mentioned in the Labuan Development Plan (1997-2015) during the time when Tun Daim Zainuddin was finance minister.

It recommended the project as a private sector initiative.

A feasibility study on the bridge is being undertaken by University Malaysia Sabah. The Government has allocated RM5mil for the study and it is expected to be completed soon. Labuan Chinese Chamber of Commerce secretary Chin Chee Kee said a physical link of the island with Sabah was important as it would ensure Labuan was not bypassed with the completion of the Pan-Borneo Highway. Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman had said the bridge would bring about a win-win situation for the Federal Territory and the Klias peninsula in southwestern Sabah.

The newly-established Sabah Progressive Party's think tank, Progressive Institute of Public Policy and Analysis headed by former deputy chief minister Datuk Tham Niyp Shen, is carrying out a feasibility study on the bridge and will provide the state with a report.

However, there is a nagging fear that Labuan's free-port status may be withdrawn if the bridge was built.

There is also the fear that Labuan with a land mass of 77.69 square km may not able to handle traffic from the mainland.

Already, the island is hard pressed for parking space during peak hours.

The bridge will span over 17km, based on the route taken by the Labuan-Menumbok roro ferry. - Bernama

All photos by permission of S. Ferguson

TourEx - Going Home - My Baby Wrote Me a Letter - by Monty Zoomer (the Box Tops cover)

Taken from You Tube the Jezz C Rogers site


PJM - Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal

The PJM is a medal awarded by the Malaysian Government to all service personnel of all nations who served in the Malayan and Borneo "small wars" or "Konfrontasi" for a ninety day period between the following dates:

Malaysia during the period 31st August 1957 and 12th August 1966 inclusive


Singapore during the period 31st August 1957 and 9th August 1965 inclusive.

Until recently the British Government did not allow serving personnel to wear this medal, however, after a long campaign by the NMBVA (National Malaya and Borneo Veterans Association UK) it has now been agreed that with effect from Armistice Day, 11.11.2011, the medal may now be worn. Victory for common sense and recognition at last for those who served.

If you think that you may qualify but have not applied yet you may do so through the NMBVA, see "Useful Links" above.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 David Dove

Your suggestions will make this a more useful place for others

David Dove (author) on November 25, 2019:

Quite a few Mike, I have just met with Mervyn (ATC) and Dave Quick (SHQ) who have some photo's of them delivering parcels to the little girls village. I have also had various conversations with others who remember the story well. Have you made the leap from the old Yahoo site yet to the new site: ? I will be putting their photo's up on site shortly. Best wishes, David.

mike pritchard on November 17, 2019:

I am curious to know how many folk remember the 'Baby Valetta' story?

Mr.Keith Craddock on September 29, 2019:

I was in the R.A.F. and posted from Changi to Labaun in the year of 1957-1958. I played football for the Island team in 1958 and won the Centenary Cup beating Jeselton 4-0 then Brunie 4-0 in the final. A wonderful place and I loved every minute of it.

Mr Keith Craddock

Graham Nicholson. ex 110 Air Wireless Mech on February 11, 2019:

Remember you well Colin, Taff Davis was cpl in the bay, moved to 110 sqd, was my trade boss. Also met you again Cosford, I was FAC 1, you ere the last Ft course 159? Cheers

COLIN NORDEN ..0923..SAC.. 1962 209 SQ..1963.. 34 SQ on December 01, 2018:

209 Sq Emergency det approx 6 months re Brunei Revolt

Returned to UK to find out I was on a 3 year posting to Seleter, after approx 6 months I returned to Labuan to work at the Air wireless bay and on the Bev,s .. Twin Pins .. and any other aircraft that needed a wireless bod.. Loved every minute of my total of about 2 years in total.. Hope to have a reply from anyone interested... Colin Norden.. ? Lincolnshire.

Twin Pins

charles allcock on January 30, 2018:

In November 1956, on a detachment to Labuan, Brian Brazier, Dennis Carr and myself prepared to fly up to Labuan on a passenger plane from Changi. This meant going over to Changi from Seletar in the afternoon the day before. On arrival we checked into transit to draw blankets and book an early call for 4.30am. The next morning after clearing transit it was off to Changi Creek for breakfast before boarding the two engine Valetta transport plane (affectionately called 'pigs'). We took off one hour after the Changi to Hong Kong passenger plane had departed. Shortly after we arrived at Labuan we heard the drone of another plane coming into to land, it was the Changi to Hong Kong passenger plane, flying on one engine! It landed safely and the crew and passengers transferred to the plane that we had arrived in and continued on to Hong Kong, and repair work on the faulty plane was commenced.

We were in Labuan to service the type-1412 transmitter that provided the homing beacon. The transmitter was housed a dilapidated shack about 12x10 feet, no sides all round, the floor was concrete and the roof corrugated iron or palm thatch. The inside of the transmitter was full of dust, cobwebs, dead insects and a fossilised chit-chat (small insect eating lizard). The rubber insulation on it’s wiring had perished in the damp, hot, tropical climate and had to be replaced with PVC. There was a tree nearby that was about 70 or 80 feet high that had most of its branches in its crown and some days there was a troupe of monkeys in it. I realise now, because of its shape, that at one time it must have been surrounded by tall companions that had been cleared away.

The routine was an early start and an early finish and so we spent quite a lot of time on the beach in the afternoon, which was within walking distance and deserted apart from ourselves. It had some good rolling waves that were good fun to jump in, looking back they would have been ideal for surfing. But I had never heard of surfing back then.

It was a typical day after work and being at the beach; we headed out for a pint. But our usual was not to be. One thousand, two hundred US marines —on their way to the Suez— had come ashore.

A dozen or so of them had discovered our bar and drunk the place dry. The Aussies had to hang onto their hats to stop the Yanks from collecting them for a souvenir.

When our work was finished the ‘doggy' Hong Kong passenger plane was now 'repaired' and we were to return to Singapore on it. The mechanics revved up the engines to demonstrate to the pilot that both engines were now working, but he was not impressed. Further work was needed, and spare parts were brought up from Singapore and a few more days were devoted to the sickly plane. On completion the engines were again revved up and this time the pilot gave the go ahead. The engines were still running when we climbed aboard with our kit and sat tense waiting for take-off. It started out fine, but on lift off the plane started to bank over hard, back to the runway, we were going to re-land. As we raced down to almost the end of the runway I could see the ambulance and fire engine at the side of the runway (standard procedure for take-off and landing), we were going too fast to get down. A second later we were lifting up, and getting on course for Singapore. It was only later the grinning pilot came back to say he’d wanted to scare the mechanics into thinking he was bringing the plane back for them.

Looking back they were magical times in FEAF.

Jesse Constant on April 26, 2017:

Great memories of LBS and good times at Labuan. Lots of names here I remember..

Rose on June 30, 2015:

My family & I lived within the RAF base until 1969. I was thinking maybe there's somebody who still remember my family. My dad's name is Micheal Chong.

anonymous on November 01, 2012:

I do serve in rmaf and was station there for 5 wonderful years. Awsome place.

Melissa Miotke from Arizona on October 12, 2012:

Beautiful and informative lens. Blessed!

anonymous on October 05, 2012:

Do visit Labuan, Malaysia next month (11th of Nov 2012) for The Remembrance (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) day event which is held every year at the Labuan War Cemetery Jalan Tg. Batu (about 1.5 km from the airport).

David Dove (author) on March 17, 2012:

@anonymous: Hello Margaret,

If you go to the first section of this page and click on the link in blue letters to RAF Labuan it will take you to a Yahoo site. You will have to do a simple registration there and then you can leave a message for all the people there who may remember your father. Leave his name and any nickname, tell us what his trade was or anything else you know about him in the RAF. There are a lot of people on that site from 1965/66 so you may get lucky. Best wishes,


anonymous on March 17, 2012:

Hopefully my dad who served in Labuan till 1966 will be able to see this beautiful pictures and site as well.I do hope to trace him someday as he left us ever since then.I don't know how to locate him.Any site to trace former RAF who served Labuan?

anonymous on March 16, 2012:

I'm thinking that I must have forgotten to bless this in January while I was here because I know they don't wear of that quick...taken care of.

Thrinsdream on February 14, 2012:

I used to live in Brunei and our school trip was to visit the war graves in Labuan, even as a little squib I found it very moving. Great lens I hope you find many people. With thanks and appreciation. Cathi x

anonymous on February 12, 2012:

Beautiful presentation, such a sad and tragic way to lose ones friends. Shouldn't be allowed to happen in a tropical paradise.

anonymous on February 09, 2012:

Thanks for sharing this information

leeleon on February 05, 2012:

Great lens.

anonymous on January 30, 2012:

Returning to this beautifully presented memorial and it is an honor to sprinkle some angel dust.

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on January 29, 2012:

I like how you connected past and future. Without understanding the past our future can't be better than present...

jadehorseshoe on January 03, 2012:

Great Topic!

pheonix76 from WNY on January 02, 2012:

Thanks for sharing this information with us -- I learned a lot from your lens! :)

ProfDrJuan on December 05, 2011:

Labuan is a tax free island..lands of hope.. nice lens.. great review of Labuan =)

seosmm on November 25, 2011:

Lots of good info. Very nice lens!

KimGiancaterino on November 13, 2011:

Thank you. I learned a lot here.

goo2eyes lm on November 09, 2011:

I never knew that there is a war cemetery at labuan. thanks for sharing this lens.

TheHealthGuy LM from U.S.A. on September 03, 2011:

Great tribute lens. Well done!

sousababy on September 03, 2011:

Wow, this is a very meaningful tribute to those who passed and those who must live on. So glad that you are able to reach out to others and help them heal from being placed in such combative situations. It seems so unfair . . and understandably hard to 'get over.' What a great way to reach out to others. Googled +1'd and featured in the right sidebar of my 'Part III of Squidoo people with a good heart' lens.

gypsyman27 lm on August 31, 2011:

Well done, a good memorial to your fallen comrades. While I'm here let me thank you for visiting and commenting on my cancer lens. See you around the galaxy...

David Dove (author) on August 28, 2011:

@dahlia369: Thank you Daria, much appreciated

dahlia369 on August 26, 2011:

Wonderfully done and great resource. Blessed! :)

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on August 20, 2011:

Isn't the Internet wonderful for getting in touch with old pals from the service! My husband was able to track down some buddies from his air force days this way. I've made a lens about their reunions.

DeanTurner on July 20, 2011:

Excellent lens, thanks

anonymous on July 18, 2011:

Great to have found this site. Yes i am on the wanted list, peter Hamilton. I have a number of old B&W photos which I will upload at some time.

anonymous on July 14, 2011:

Thank you for making this available to those who served and educating those of us who didn't!

thesuccess2 on July 13, 2011:

Wow : Desert Island - Pappan.

digitaltree on July 12, 2011:

great Lens, thank you for sharing it with Squidoo.

christopherlee lm on July 05, 2011:

Good Len, thanks for sharing.

sushilkin lm on July 04, 2011:

Nice lens ! Thanks for sharing

kguru1979 lm on March 25, 2011:

Good information about RAF Labuan ...! Nice to see such new and interesting topics...!

kguru1979 lm on March 25, 2011:

Good information about RAF Labuan ...! Nice to see such new and interesting topics...!

Fcuk Hub on December 30, 2010:

Nice lems, nice place :)

Andy-Po on November 04, 2010:

Great lens. What and interesting place to have been stationed.

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