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RAF Labuan, Borneo

Updated on November 5, 2014

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 clicking on this link, RAF Labuan. those who served there and who still have an interest, will be taken to a Yahoo site where a more comprensive 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 Yahoo Group site which is: groups.yahoo.com/group/LBS-Borneo/

or at dove@thepalomacentre.com

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

Everyday Squadron Life - All photo's copyright Terry Batty, not for commercial reproduction

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Scimitars taking off, Javelin being towedWhirlwinds 230 sqdnBristol Belvedere "Flying Long House"Servicing a Single PioneerTurning over the Twin Pioneer Alvis LeonidesTwin Pioneers
Scimitars taking off, Javelin being towed
Scimitars taking off, Javelin being towed
Whirlwinds 230 sqdn
Whirlwinds 230 sqdn
Bristol Belvedere "Flying Long House"
Bristol Belvedere "Flying Long House"
Servicing a Single Pioneer
Servicing a Single Pioneer
Turning over the Twin Pioneer Alvis Leonides
Turning over the Twin Pioneer Alvis Leonides
Twin Pioneers
Twin Pioneers

PTSD? Bad Memories? Emotional Baggage?

Discounted fixed price for all serving and ex-service personnel showing I.D. for Psychotherapy and Counselling services.

This is to recognise, and to show support for, the outstanding work done by our armed services in impossible circumstances all over the world. Therapists are ex-services.

01295 812138 or click on the link below.

The Paloma Centre.

Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Helpful hints

Following the links to RAF Labuan. will take you to the Yahoo members site for the photographic bank and members chat rooms. At the Yahoo 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 info@thepalomacentre.com leaving your e-mail address or contact number for a response.

The Past - Lest We Forget - I had it easy there, many didn't, Rest In Peace.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

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

Can you help identify these places please? - Where are they? Labuan? Brunei?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Badminton court?De Havilland Beaver somewhere in BorneoHotel/Officers Mess?HQ Building Borneo Operations?
Badminton court?
Badminton court?
De Havilland Beaver somewhere in Borneo
De Havilland Beaver somewhere in Borneo
Hotel/Officers Mess?
Hotel/Officers Mess?
HQ Building Borneo Operations?
HQ Building Borneo Operations?

All photos by permission of S. Ferguson

So, where do you think they are? - All suggestions will help complete the jigsaw puzzle

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    • profile image

      Paul Thompson 4 weeks ago

      Dedication of Plaque RAF Labuan Borneo

      On October 11th at 1400 in St Clemons Danes a Dedication service will be held for all RAF personnel who served at RAF Labuan

      Those wishing to attend contact David Dove on djdove1@btinternet.com

      or Paul Thompson lea49mill@ntlworld.com

    • profile image

      Luap99 5 months ago

      I was at Labuan working in com-air bore.

      Dec 65 Sept 66 I came posted from Hong Kong.

      Some names from the past John Marshall, F/L Cawsey, Larry Power RIP. Al Pool RIP.

    • David Dove profile image
      Author

      David Dove 19 months ago

      Roy, would love to be in contact as I have many contacts with ex-Labuan people who would love to share as well. This site doesnt work for me very well but you can e-mail me on dove@thepalomacentre.com and I will pick it up from there

    • profile image

      Nigel Woodger 2 years ago

      Hi I was in the RAF worked at 129SU radar unit from June 1965-June 1966 I have the RAF Labuan site on Facebook and also run my own website for Air Defence Operators : www.airdefop.co.uk

    • profile image

      Roy Albon 2 years ago

      I was at Labuan in 1956 in Billet Everest. As a keen Badminton player, myself and a few others built a court at the back of the billet and it gave many hours of enjoyment. I have a photo at the time of construction, but it would appear not to be the same court as the one in your photo. I have many photo's taken at Labuan from Jan.1956 until Dec. 56. Would be happy to share.

    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

    or

    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.

    Was this a posting or just a dream?

    Click thumbnail to view full-size
    Mayfair Restaurant - are you in this picture?
    Mayfair Restaurant - are you in this picture?
    Mayfair Restaurant - are you in this picture?

    Your suggestions will make this a more useful place for others

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      • profile image

        Jesse Constant 3 months ago

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

      • profile image

        Rose 2 years ago

        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.

      • profile image

        anonymous 4 years ago

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

      • Melissa Miotke profile image

        Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

        Beautiful and informative lens. Blessed!

      • profile image

        anonymous 4 years ago

        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 profile image
        Author

        David Dove 5 years ago

        @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,

        David

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        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?

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        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 profile image

        Thrinsdream 5 years ago

        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

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

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

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Thanks for sharing this information

      • profile image

        leeleon 5 years ago

        Great lens.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

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

      • TolovajWordsmith profile image

        Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

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

      • jadehorseshoe profile image

        jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

        Great Topic!

      • pheonix76 profile image

        pheonix76 5 years ago from WNY

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

      • profile image

        ProfDrJuan 5 years ago

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

      • profile image

        seosmm 5 years ago

        Lots of good info. Very nice lens!

      • KimGiancaterino profile image

        KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

        Thank you. I learned a lot here.

      • goo2eyes lm profile image

        goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

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

      • TheHealthGuy LM profile image

        TheHealthGuy LM 5 years ago from U.S.A.

        Great tribute lens. Well done!

      • sousababy profile image

        sousababy 5 years ago

        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 profile image

        gypsyman27 lm 5 years ago

        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 profile image
        Author

        David Dove 5 years ago

        @dahlia369: Thank you Daria, much appreciated

      • Virginia Allain profile image

        Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

        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.

      • dahlia369 profile image

        dahlia369 5 years ago

        Wonderfully done and great resource. Blessed! :)

      • profile image

        DeanTurner 6 years ago

        Excellent lens, thanks

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

        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.

      • profile image

        anonymous 6 years ago

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

      • thesuccess2 profile image

        thesuccess2 6 years ago

        Wow : Desert Island - Pappan.

      • digitaltree profile image

        digitaltree 6 years ago

        great Lens, thank you for sharing it with Squidoo.

      • christopherlee lm profile image

        christopherlee lm 6 years ago

        Good Len, thanks for sharing.

      • sushilkin lm profile image

        sushilkin lm 6 years ago

        Nice lens ! Thanks for sharing

      • kguru1979 lm profile image

        kguru1979 lm 6 years ago

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

      • kguru1979 lm profile image

        kguru1979 lm 6 years ago

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

      • Fcuk Hub profile image

        Fcuk Hub 6 years ago

        Nice lems, nice place :)

      • Andy-Po profile image

        Andy 6 years ago from London, England

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