SOVIET ERA RUSSIA 1976
david taylor images
closely observed planes - Singapore early 1960's
Gurkhas to quell an uprising | Britannia XL657 | RAF Changi December 1962
Seats are hurriedly offloaded from Britannia XL657 ‘Rigel’ at Changi on the 8th December 1962 so the first Gurkha troops can be despatched to quell the Brunei uprising, which had taken over the oil town of Seria and threatened Brunei town. The Gurkhas of D Company, of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Gurkha Rifles patiently wait to fly out to Labuan in the Britannia, which was hastily pressed into service at Changi, along with 3 Beverleys from Seletar. Britannia XL657 had arrived on 6th December with a 99 Sqdn crew under Sqdn.Ldr. A.Davies on the usual ‘Changi Slip’ transport run, but it was diverted to aid the sudden airlift to Labuan Island off Borneo, and they dashed off a couple of trips on the 8th. It was then joined by Britannia XM489 the next day and over the next few days many Changi-Labuan roundtrips were made by 511 Sqdn’s Flt.Lt’s. King, Salter and Lawn and Sqdn.Ldr. Davies, with Flt.Lt. Bick of 99 Sqdn and Flt. Lt. Kerbey of the ‘Air Training Sqdn (Britannia)’ making other flights. Most squadrons on Singapore were soon involved as well. The Twin Pioneers of 209 Sqdn landed on rough ground at Seria to deliver troops, the 34 Sqdn Beverleys went into Brunei airfield under fire, to offload Gurkhas, the Hastings of 48 Sqdn carried troops and supplies along with 66 Sqdn Belvederes and even the Shackletons of 205 Sqdn became transports. Canberras from 45 and 81 Sqdns became 'fast taxis' for staff officers and the Hunters of 20 Sqdn and Javelins of 60 Sqdn made 'a lot of noise' to frighten the insurgents as well!
Being replaced by another Brit XM498, allowed XL657 to finally head for home on the 13th going via Tengah, still under Sqd. Ldr Davies.