Accessibility Help | Site Map

 

 Royal Air Force Sylt Association

 

 

The Archives

Some of the experiences of the former serving personnel from the station have been gathered together into three books entitled 'The Sylt Archives - Vols 1,2 and 3.  These stories, along with their accompanying photographs, provide a humorous and nostalgic look back at those unforgettable times.  Extracts and pictures taken from the books are scattered among these pages.  Here are a few for your pleasure......

 

 

“After flogging all hours on the Berlin Airlift at Wunsdorf, Fassburg and Lubeck, a group of mechanics were notified they had been posted to RAF Sylt.  “Where the hell is Sylt?” rang through the NAAFI.  Departure day came and we railed to Hamburg, or what was left of it after the air raids of the war. After a change of train at Altona station, we slept and smoked our way for four hours, heading north.

Without warning the puffing steam train pulled from the main line onto the Hindenburgdamm. It was exciting to see the sea on both sides of the train, but the excitement turned to surprise because, flying alongside and below the train level was a Martinet aircraft.  What a welcome to the island."

 L.A.C. Geordie Wheatman. October 49

   “....in 18 months I was in a pantomime, a revue and did the props for a play, all at the Astra cinema….”.

Cpl Ken Dawes

“………. by the time I arrived on the island it was night time, and we crossed the Hindenburgdamm in bright moonlight with the first sight of the sea on both sides of the train, we wondered what we were coming to………..”

S.A.C. Alan Clarke.

“Schleswig. Who did you upset?...you really had to get up someone's nose to get sent there………”

S.A.C. Ray Hall

  Hope you don’t mind me including a rogue's gallery: Tiny Law, Terry Tottle, Sam Carroll, Harry Viles, Bernie Brookes, Frank Holland, Jock Twist, David Long. (Sam Carroll was last seen on Manningtree railway station, where a porter told me off for being in civvies.)”

LAC. Reg Silvey. (Telegraphist) 1957-59.

“…...in the late summer of 1961 I was called into the office of Flying Officer Thomas and told to report with my typewriter to an isolated office, there to be confronted by another officer I had not met before…….I was to type up the withdrawal of R.A.F. personnel from Sylt………...!”

S.A.C. Bill McMahon S.H.Q.

 

Volume 3 of the Archives includes contributions from Bill Morley, Ian Mayne, Tony Walters, Tom Harvey, Pat Hibbert and Ken Jones etc.;

Plus the story of Peter Law who walked away from a Mosquito crash, and the tragedy of Flt Lt Geoffrey Smither who was killed when his Tempest crashed into the sea.

   "Sylt was reputably the busiest airfield in the world for take-offs and landings. With 2 or 3 visiting squadrons at a time from the zone, each with approx 20 planes, the runways saw planes landing and taking off almost every minute of the day. My own squadron (TTS) did 900 flying hours in September 1956 with 20 planes, and used over one and a half million gallons of fuel.”
2783816 AC1 Barry Ayre. TTS.

Copies of The Sylt Archives Vol 1 are available for £12.00, and Vols 2 and 3 for £5.00 each, including post and packing, from the Chairman, David Martin

Cheques should be made payable to 'The RAF Sylt Association'.

In addition to the three volumes of The Archives there are now several films available on DVD at a cost of £4.50 each, including post and packing.  One, entitled "The Syltonians", tells the story of RAF Sylt.  Using almost 200 photographs from the archives, it covers the period of its operational life as an RAF Weapons Training unit between the years 1945 to 1961.  The film runs for approximately 15 minutes. With background music such as The Dam Busters March and The Spitfire Fugue taken from the CD of "Great War Themes" and used with the kind permission of Nicholas John of Music Masters Ltd, plus sound effects and narration, this film gives an exciting overview of what it was like to serve on the island during those years when the Cold War was at it's height.

Another DVD, called "Sylt Then and Now", has been specially adapted from an 8 millimeter film version which was made by Gerhard Krause about 1960. Gerhard was a genuine Friesian, born on the island, who worked for many years in the photographic section of the station.  He loved the island and this was one of several films he made, telling something of the history of the land.  With the addition of extra footage and photographs we've tried to bring it up to date by including the development of the connection between the Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force. It runs for approx 35 mins.

'The 2006 Telford Reunion' features the lads and lasses at their annual get-together, catching up and reliving old memories. 'Sylt Explored' is an interesting historical film of Sylt from the 1930s to more recent times.  It is in German, without subtitles.

Other Items for sale

Blazer badges are currently out of stock but can be purchased from a number of manufacturers who can be found on the internet.

DVDs

"The Syltonians"

"The 2006 Telford Reunion"

"Sylt, Then and Now"

"Sylt Explored"

"Greetings From Our Patrons"

"A Postcard From Sylt"

 £4.50 each, including post and packing.

All the above are available from the Chairman, David Martin, whose contact details can be found on the 'Home' page.   Please make cheques payable to RAF Sylt Association.

Sylt Paper Badge in car tax holder.

6 x 2nd class stamps.

From Alan Smith. 55 Heath Road. Downend. Bristol. HD16 6HD