which have been received about
the Winterberg Web Site
From Winfried Deimel March 2016
From Gary Ecclestone March 2016
From Gary Godfrey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
26 aug 2014
I was stationed at winterberg in 1949 in 1950 i moved to ames 7925 ai adenau, spent a year there until it closed in 1951, i was a gee operater, i was then posted to the southern gee chain, stationd at West Prawle, and then Truleigh hill, i visited adenau several times and still see my old girl friend. we have had several reunions and still do, i am meeting some old gee pals next month for lunch , some from adenau, vasserkooper, and other sites. I will be happy for you to put these details on your site. Kind regards, Gary Godfrey
: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 20:41:58 +0100
Hi Keith, Hope this reaches you. I have fond memories of Winterberg, arriving there in June 1947 as a young 'erk'. What luck, what a cushy posting, living in the Hotel Leisse with attractive frauleins in attendance. All too soon, I was posted away to AMES 7925 Adenau (French Zone where I spent the rest of my tour driving all over the place, including all the other 'slave' radar sites. I am an old guy now, but body and mind still function remarkably well. Perhaps I shall hear from you and other CGGC (AMES) vets in time. Hope so. Freddy Jones
From M Sykes Feb 2014
Re- Ian Muir August 2011.
While searching reunion sites stumbled accross Winterberg.1960-61 satationed at Hepberg, Ingolstadt.
Lived in a Hotel in the main st. Later moved to smaller one. Cannot remember Hotel names.
Memory not perfect, so i,m hoping Ian,it was you,myself and the chap in stores played football for
Auto Union Car company, now known as Audi.You mentioned George Riley, i'm sure he came from Norwich. He shared a room with Paddy Cosgrave.What a pair they were, true characters.
I shared a room with Roy Ward, he came from Birmingham. I spent alot of time with Norman, Jerry, Tony
Johnny and Butch ( from Sheffield ) who like me were the two MTDs.I remember Norman and Jerry bought Cars while there. If you bought Cars you had to own it for one year in Germany and two in England before you could sell them. The cars were Austin Cambridge and Renault Dauphine,We went Ski-ing in Seefeld ( falling over mainly ) and holidaying in Lido-de Jesilo, Venice ( excuse spelling, not Venice)
Brief RAF history, joined 1958 for 4yrs. 8 weeks at Wilmslow. Then stationed at RAF Hospital Wroughton. Met Wendy Taylor who i later married. Very happily married for 42yrs, but who sadly passed away 10yrs ago. Still in contact with Jean and Brian Rowitt, who i visit yearly. Last months spent at RAF Butzweilerhof, also happy times.
I was lucky to enjoy my football with Wroughton and Butz, two successful teams.
I truly hope this will bring back memories for someone who served with me. Many thanks. M Sykes
From Amy. December 2013
From Christian March 2013
Hi Keith; it`s a great idea to link your site l to my Worth Matravers
From Geoff Feb 2013
Do either of you know the father in question of this poor “ Lass “, ?
Personally I have no idea at all of the rogue in question, but just interested to know if in fact he was one of our gang ?
If he was, I would be interested to know. It was an awful illness that that so many of the lads suffered in silence ? This condition- “ Toomuchleadin de pencil ,“ one of the only helping treatments was – a good rubber supply, but as you see , that didn’t always rub-out-the mistake ????
Translation by Google:
Thank you for your recent and previous communications concerning Winterberg re-visited.
I regret to inform you that Roy Graiff passed away , peacefully, on the 23rd May 2012.
He often spoke warmly of his time in the RAF, but was not a party animal, so did not attend any of the reunions.
From: "JIM HOOPER" <email@example.com>
To: "Geoff Lodge" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 3:57:14 PM
Subject: Re: Barry Bernard interim report
Thanks for the info about Barry. I am currently putting together my usual Xmas email to the lads and will include this, as I know several of them would like to know. That is unless you want me to wait until you have contacted his wife?
The 2012 electoral register shows them both still at 29 James St. This
was obviously taken before he passed away.
I have recieved some sad news from the daughter of Ron Mawdsley to say that he passed away in 2009.
It was only after he died that she was able to find our website but it came to late for Ron. He was a very good friend of mine and I tried several times to locate him but to no avail. It's sad, Jim, that another of our old friends has passed on but you can now update the site with this information.
Well take care
Whilst looking at the RAF Winterberg site I was surprise to see a photo of my Dad taken at the G station RAF Uchte - Kuppendorf, it was sent in by a Rowland Stacey, and wonder if you have his e-mail address. I would very much like a copy of the picture.
I used to visit the tech site as an 11 year old, and used to spend time looking for lizards in the heather surrounding the mast site. We lived in Buckeburg and later Borgentriech. One final thing - a chap called Peter Magnall has written at the end of his piece "If I remember correctly there is a very interesting story attached to Flt. Sgt. Cotton which I might relate at a later date because it will take some time in the telling.Do you know what that story might be ? Thanks
From Caroline Karimi-Ghovanlou
I was looking at your website about RAF Winterberg, and saw my fathers name on a list of personnel you are looking for. His name is Henry Raymond Weeks, he has been known as Harry or Ray. He was at Winterberg during 1956 -58, and he meet my mother there and they got married in Winterberg. Her name was Margot Erna Bahndorf and she worked in the NAFFI. Unfortunately mum died two years ago, and dad is in hospital after a major stroke and has not got long to live. He is now 94 years old. I was looking on the internet to get some information about the stations he served at and saw your web site.
If you knew dad, it would be nice if you could relay any stories for the family. I do have some photos from that era at Winterberg - if you would like them, i can scan and send them to you.
I really look forward to hearing from you, and maybe found out what dad did during his time at Winterberg.
With kind regards
From Tony Humphrey
Hi Kieth, just found your Winterberg Site and have enjoyed reading. I was posted to Butz, in 1957 attached to 953S.U. after hanging arround for a few weeks we were sent to Adenau, a place I enjoyed especially as we were there when the 1000 KM race was on, most of the Jaguar race team spent the evening before the race in our mess. We were invited to fhere pits on the day. We didnt stay long at Adenau, we were recalled to Butz to prepare to move to Troire Epis in Alsace, where we wre billeted in a local pension and looked after by the madam and her daughter. It was a very enjoyable time especially the weekly visit to the public baths in Colmar. We eventually returned to Butz and joined with 330 SU and went to Handorf, stayed a while there be fore being sent down to Inglestat where we were billeted in the Hotel Adler. After Ingolstadt returned to Handorf for a while before being sent to Bukeburg where I stayed until I was returned to U,K. in late 59 back to the R.A.F. proper at Wartling in Sussex after further moves to Tr4immingham and Neatishead I was discharged in late 64 I joined in 1950 had a enjoyable time in all nice to look back on, I havent found or been in contact with any of the people I served with during my time on the Gee Chain, Regards Tony Humphrey
We must have just missed you as we were at Winterberg around 1963. I say 'we' but firstly it was only my mother and then my father joined her - I was only there on holiday from boarding school - Windsor Girls School at Hamm. I can't remember any names I'm afraid - apart from a very jolly gentleman called Paddy! It is possible dad knew Chiefy Ayres and Peter Magnall - he had a better memory than me right up until the end! Also photo of dad and I last Christmas.
Thank you so much
and I will keep looking on the website, it really brought back memories.
Keep in touch,
A QUIET, UNASSUMING MAN
NORMAN WILCOCK – 1918-2011
It goes without saying that being in the Royal Air Force becomes a way of life that is richly satisfying for those of us that thrive on order and discipline, adventure and camaraderie. Norman Wilcock was one of those people. I say was, because he died on 19th March this year, aged 93 years young: he was my father, and this is my tribute to the man that he was.
Born on 10th January 1918 in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, eldest son of a signwriter, he emigrated, due to the depression, in 1923 aged five, along with all of his family, to Flint, Michigan, USA. They later moved to Grand Rapids, where he was educated, graduating from Grand Rapids Union High School in 1936. During his young life, he enjoyed having his family around him, especially his Grandparents, and he had an insatiable appetite for reading, attending the library every day. He had a Model A Ford car, and mastered the mechanics of it, maintaining it himself. He was fascinated with radios, and in his diary he would write how he took the radio apart and put it back together, good training for what was to unfold for him in the future.
On 2nd February 1937 he returned to England and enlisted at RAF Cranwell as an Aircraft Hand Trainee Wireless Operator, and began his training. The life in the Royal Air Force suited him well. He was by nature well disciplined and lived by the rules, determined and fair, with a spirit for adventure. At the onset of WWII, he was shipped out to the West Indies in his capacity as a Wireless Operator and played his part in communications, serving with Ferry Command in Trinidad, Bolem in Brazil, Bermuda, and a short time in Goose Bay, Canada.
After the war, he went to Italy and Austria and played an active part in the Berlin Airlift. On returning to England, his friend, Flight Lieutenant John Drummond, who served in the Intelligence Corps in Egypt throughout the war, took him to meet his family in Hamilton, Scotland. There he met, fell in love, and married John’s sister Mary, my mother, his ‘Scottish heather-bell’ – hence my name.
Norman’s brother Jimmy had joined the USAF and was often posted to England, and our families would meet up often over the years. Two of Jimmy’s children, Debbie and Ed, were pilots in the USAF, and now fly for Fedex, so life in the forces was definitely a transatlantic force in our family.
Norman had a thirst
for knowledge, and undertook many courses and training throughout his 29
year career in the Royal Air Force, and excelled in Aeronautical Inspection
Services. He was often away in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland
working on equipment or erecting radar scanners in Stornoway on Lewis,
Sumburgh or Saxa Vord on the northernmost tip of the Shetlands, whose motto
was "Praemoneo de Periculis", meaning forewarn of danger, or Machrihanish
on the Mull of Kintyre; on occasion to watch them being blown away out
to sea by the ever-present gales! Always willing and eager to help
when needed, he would employ his expertise on obscure faults in equipment,
working to a high degree of skill and knowledge, diagnosing and rectifying,
preparing diagrams and technical and performance data for future use, and
also working as an A.I.S. Instructor.
On reading through
my father’s Certificate of Service, these words stood out above all the
others and say more about the man than I ever could. His Air Force
Conduct was assessed as ‘Exemplary’ and his nature as ‘quiet and unassuming’
but also ‘firm and determined’. He was so proud of his service with
the Royal Air Force, that, at the ending of his long life, as he lay in
hospital, he would recount the many tales of his travels with a very special
twinkle in his eye.
by chance I found your website and was most interested. Whilst stationed at RAF Buckeburg (1962) my father, working on the Gee-Chain, F/Sgt Norman Wilcock, took ill and was admitted to RAF Wegberg hospital. My mother and I were sent to a hiring in Winterberg, and my dad joined us when he was well. We spent some time there before being sent on to RAF Rheindahlen. My father finished his time at RAF Henlow in Bedfordshire, then went on to serve as a civilian in the Crystal Engineering Section as a TTOII. He always lived with me - I am his only child and he died aged 93 in March this year. Could you please add him to your list as deceased. He just lived for the Royal Air Force, he was so proud of his 30 year service.
From Ian Muir August2011
Hi, Just browsing I came across this website. I was at Winterberg from the summer of 1961 until November 1961. I was only there for a short time having spent 2 years on the 'H' Chain in Ingoldstadt. I remember some of the people on the website such as Paul Simison. I was on watch with Fred Prior and Ian Donnachie. Fs Neil Stagg was the EO. Sadly Sqn Ldr Fred Prior was badly injured in the Clapham rail disaster. I used to knock about with George Riley (ex Ingoldstadt) and Terry Swann, regularly visiting in the out of bounds bar halfway down the hill towards the village. I well remember working on that huge transmitter which resembled an old fashioned fish fryer. Lots of good times until I was dragged kicking and screaming to Locking to start another coarse. I eventually spent 30 years in the RAF. Three tours in Germany (Bruggen and Gutersloh) and one in Libya (El Adem). Apart from a tour on Bloodhound Mk2 spent most of my time at Henlow and N. Luffenham. I would be interested in any news about Winterberg.
Regards Ian Muir
From Dave Hall July 2011
Just come across the www.RAFWinterberg.co.uk site - that must be the intro to so many messages!
I spent a year or so at 7925 in late 49/50.
It was then the D slave for Central Germany Gee Chain with Winterberg as the Master. I was initially posted to Winterberg for a few weeks then on to 7925. I have a photo of the daily sheep/goat parade through the town.
The domestic site for 7925 was in Adenau in what was the Jungendherberge (youth hostel).
Quite a few photos of 7925 which I could copy to you if of interest.
I passed by in a coach a few years ago intending to take a photo, but it had been demolished.
There is a small write-up in the RAF Air defence Museum Newsletter No 41 page 14, referring to the tech site located at Langenfeld when it was used for OBOE in 1945.
I wrote a follow-up note which was printed on page 5 of issue 43 dated may 2005.
4017789 Ground Radar Fitter Dec 1946 to April 1974.
From Keith Mason Jan 2011
Have added some recent E:Mails to this page. For myself I had an eventful year moving out of London to Leicester in Sept 2009 and then six months later selling up again and moving back to a new flat in London two minutes from my old place !
Keeping well apart from needing some treatment for eye problems.
Good wishes to everyone for 2011
From Brian Stiff June 2011
I have just found the RAF Winterberg Website and spent the whole morning reading all the news. My wife is complaining that I have been here too long and ignored one of my daughters phone calls to wish me a happy fathers day.
I was at the North German Gee Chain from the middle of 1960 to December 1962.
I spent six months at Iburg before being posted to Uchte. I still have fond memories of "Doggy".
There is reference to the Lightning Strike episode, this followed a record period on no D.O.R's.
I remember the phone wires being melted in the wall and the generator slip ring brushes being welded on.
I have difficulty remembering names, but I do remember W.O. Hallam at Iburg, and I think Ken Lacey was still there.
The reunion talks of Rex Dempster, I was with him through RAF Locking training, square bashing at Bridgnorth and signing on, his number is next to mine, I still remember his Birmingham accent.
We were trained on the old row of black boxes type of gear, with many Pye Plug connections that kept falling out. We were shocked to find three sleek cabinets with the new Cossor Automatic Gee when we arrived on station. When I left the unit the wind down had started, lots of gear was being shipped out and the sites closed, I believe, In early 1963, replaced by the new Decca Navigator system. This has now been replaced by GPS.
Somewhere in the recesses of my loft I have some copies of the old " G News" that circulated round the chain in the 60's and no doubt some pictures.
I will try to find them and send copies to you.
All this was a long time ago and the memory is not what it was.
I now live in Pevensey Bay, near Eastbourne.
(J/T, made up to Cpl. when posted to Uchte.)
From John Welsh Jan 2011
Hi all from John and Mia Welsh,
Jim has conveniently put together a mailing list so I thought it would be a good idea to tell you all about some of the changes which have taken place in Winterberg over the last 55 years, It was great to read your news and to see that our generation, now 70+ is still keeping active.
You may recall that I married a local girl from Winterberg, we lived first in England for 23 years, then in the States for 7 years and the last 22 years here in Olsberg. Our town is located some 20 km down the Ruhr valley from Winterberg and is 400m lower in altitude making for a milder climate. First by visiting my in-laws and then by living in the area, I have been able to track the many changes that have taken place since we were stationed in Winterberg and even since our last get-together 13 years ago.
In the 50's, during our time in Winterberg, the main occupation of the town was farming on the margin due to the short growing season, most houses had one or two cows in the basement and you will all remember the 100's of cows aimlessly making their way back to their stalls in the evening, not to mention the dung heaps everywhere. The main industry was the textile factory making underwear, a sawmill and a factory producing screws. Tourism was mainly in the Winter with special trains bringing day visitors from the industrial Ruhr.
Now the cows are long since gone and the number of active farmers can be counted on one hand, the textile factory has been turned into retail establishments, the sawmill is a sports centre and the screw factory an unused, dilapidated building. The town is now an all year round tourist resort due to significant investment much of which comes from Holland which is not surprising as the Dutch can travel here in two to three hours. At 800m, the snow cover in Winter is very unpredictable, this problem has been solved by the use off 100's of snow cannons, there is a complex of linked ski slopes called the Ski Carousel. Ski tourists can now come with the certainty they will be able to ski, so long as it’s cold enough to make the snow.
The Summer tourists to the area used to be walkers which these days would not attract the younger generation and here solutions have been found. Mountain biking is now ‘in’ and in an area where there is freedom to roam over hundreds of miles of trails it pulls in the enthusiasts. Behind our old camp is a series of down hill bike trails where the bikers can leap off 2m high platforms and, when at the bottom of the run, they are brought back to the top of the hill by the ski lift so it does good business in Summer as well as Winter. The local hospital now deals with more broken bones in Summer than in Winter. Other attractions for the younger generation are slides down the steep hills.
At big improvement to the centre of town has been the construction of a road tunnel which takes the trough traffic. It would otherwise be unliveable with the large number of heavy trucks which take this north/south route to avoid the motorway toll. Where five road came together is now a traffic free pedestrian zone, see attached film.
What about the inclement weather? Several holiday complexes have been built with undercover facilities: in Medebach is a Center Park, in Winterberg, Hapimag which is an up market time share operation and now a Dutch group have invested €46million in a holiday complex located behind the ski jump. In the Kurpark, another Dutch group are making a multimillion investment with a small contribution from the town of Winterberg for the constuction of a 5* hotel which has just started.
What happened to our old watering holes? A few still exist although considerably changed: Hessenkeller, Cafe Engemann and Cafe Krämer for example. Mörchen is no longer for Après Ski it has been converted to the Nudelhaus, which specialises in serving pasta dishes. The Milkbar bit the dust, it was first moved then became bankrupt and stands in a derelict building. Evening entertainment is now provided in the industrial area out of town where several big halls have been built to cater for modern tastes, Mia and I did look in at one of them and quickly retreated from the sound of the loud rap music. Of course, MacDonald's and Subway have set up shop.
I have produced a short video which you should find on the below link, if it does not work, look me up on YouTube under olsbergjohn, you should find the film amongst the junk put on the side by my grandchildren. I am also on Facebook, give me a ‘Poke’.
From Fred Jones Jan
From Pete Hoyes
From Phil Hastings
From George Stidwell
From Geoff Budd Dec
From Johnny Walker Nov 2010
From Jim Hooper Nov
From Christine Feb 2010
I happened on the RAF Winterberg website today and was particularly interested in "Reflexions on a Chain of Events" by Ray Barker. I think he might have been in Winterberg at the same time as my father. It's great to know that so many other people have such good memories of their time there.
My dad was LAC Allan Ramage, a Scotsman, who played the piano at RAF social events in Winterberg. He was billeted in Hotel Leisse, I think, and his good friend in the RAF was Joe Reynolds, who married a Winterberg girl, Mia Engemann. I believe Dad worked mostly at Kahler Asten. I still have the photos which he took during his time in the area (very snowy scenes!). He loved Winterberg and the surroundings and took us (mother, me and my sister) back to Winterberg many times, starting in 1958, and we had at least 15 summer holidays there, touring the area and visiting families he had become friendly with in wartime. He died in 1982, but my mother and I continued to visit Winterberg several times after that; last time in 1995.
If there is room on your website, it would be great if you could publish my message, with my e-mail address, to see if there is anyone around who remembers my dad.
From Norman Webb Jan 2010
my names norman webb.l am mailing even though l was not in the RAF, but was a member of 2nd fld sqdn Royal Engineers, in 1954 we built a ski hut right next to the open air ice rink to accomodate service personel who came for winter warfare training, l remember the old stores where we used to collect our ski's and white canvas suits, it was right next to the ski school, and l got quite friendly with one of the instructors, l used to give him a couple of packets of senior service cigarettes and he used to wax the ski's for me, also join in one of his classes. Unforgettable times.incidently a lot of old sweats like me will remember the Dew drop inn which was run by the Church of Scotland,where we used to go to thaw out; hope you didnt mind me mailing and hope you find it of interest.
best wishes to a great website. Norman Webb.
From Kent August
Many thanks for your prompt reply. It was good that you were able to have a RAF unit reunion there a few years back. We never did from my days with the 32d. Tank Battalion at Friedberg. However, I did organize a mini-reunion here in San Antonio five years ago for eight members of the Headquarters and Service Company that I was able to locate.
I had never heard of the Dewdrop Inn until yesterday when I was searching Google Earth for the Kurhaus.
I have just received a message from the Visitor's Bureau in Winterberg updating me on the Kurhaus. It is now the Winterberg Town Hall. It seems a very large building to be used for that purpose in such a small community, but it is a nice setting for them.
If I locate any old 35mm slides I took in the 1960-1964 area of the Kurhaus or around the area that might interest your group - I'll send them to you.
I discovered your web page today while looking for information that would identify the exact location of the British Forces Recreation Area at the Winterberg Kurhouse. In the early 1960's, while stationed south of Giessen we would often spend long weekends at the Kurhouse. My wife is English, and it was like a touch of home for her. It was also the first place that I had kippers for breakfast. I'll always remember that!
In looking at your
web site I noticed two aerial photos of Winterberg
I would appreciate
it if you could let me know if what I have found is, indeed the place
we remember. If so, I'll start looking to see if I have a picture
of the place and post it on Google Earth via Panoramio.
From Jack Sweet August 2008
I have read with
great interest the Winterberg pages and saw a letter from John Phillips
about 889 SU. I served with 1 Signals Wing from April 1956 to April
1958 on the HQ Unit at Wildenwrath, Butzweilerhof and Handorf plus a detachment
to 330 SU, as Admin Corporal, when it was at the Kalmit from July
to September 57, the site was then closed down and we returned to 'Butz'
and on to Handorf with the HQ unit and where 330 was 'refitted' and I was
transferred back to HQ as Corporal Clerk Personnel. The HQ Unit moved
to 'Butz' in August 1956 and to Handorf in October 1957.
Hi , these
lads were at Winterburg in 1950,please add Raymond Codd
I found these photo's
not very good,were taken with a old brownie
From Malcolm Jones May 2008
Hi, I was posted
to Winterberg at the end of 1946 as a Wireless Mechanic,and was billeted
in the Leise and then the Westfallen.I was also detached to Iburg~Adenau
and Wassercuppe overlooking the Russian sector.Stations 7926~7924~7925
and 7926( not in order ).
best wishes to any one who served on CGGC
Malcolm Jones 2333422
From John Phillips April 2008
the 2nd photo is
of myself & Mick "Stores" in May 1958 889 SU digging our way back to
out tents at the Kalmit nr Ludwigsburg.
John Phillips (Flash) APhill1274@aol.com
From Ron Powers July 2007
Thanks for making the contact. When I got the salute from you in the Forces Reunited Website I wasn't a member of it. So I paid up the subscription (tough for a Scotsman) and became a member just to make that contact with you and of course that contact didn't materialize. All is well now though. I have attached the two pictures of Bob's car following the accident but all other photos that I have I will send to the alternative e-mail address. I have been busy this afternoon looking through the shoe box containing old pictures and have scanned about twenty that should be of interest. A lot of the names of the chaps in the pictures fail me but I am sure some of them will recognize themselves. I will re-size the photos to about 100 Kb's each.
Looking at the pictures in your website, the one of the snowman gave me a chuckle as I was the guy who made him. Someone christened him Corporal Vic if I remember rightly. I did it following a heavy snow fall one evening when I was on "Guard" duty. Most of the camp were at the camp's cinema and came out just as I was finishing it. I remember too that the following day the sergeant (whose name fails me) got a work detail together to clear the snow from the road in the camp and despite pleas by some of us sprogs for Corporal Vic to remain on duty he ordered it to be removed.
Besides you Keith and myself, was Bob Ray the name of the owner of the car we had the accident in and what was the name of the fourth chap? I can remember he came from Bristol but his name eludes me. I remember well the German family who took us into their home to await the Military Ambulance. Really very hospitable people. Their house is in the background of one of the car pictures. I remember too, the four of us returned to their house each of us with a gift in appreciation for them looking after us when they did. I remember the four gifts. A bottle of whisky, a carton of cigarettes, a large jar of coffee and a large package of toilet soap. All the items were purchased from the camp's NAAFI at about ten shillings each and all would have cost an awful lot more for the locals to purchase. I remember too the family came to Winterberg when we were all on duty in the tower and they treated us all to a meal in the Astenturm Hotel and gave each of us a hand made photo frame. Sadly I do not know what happened to my one.
My time at Winterberg was the highlight of my three years in the RAF.
Again Keith, thanks for the memories, I will be in touch again very soon.
From Ron Powers July 2007
Over a year or so ago I received a salute from you on the Forces Reunited website and I attempted to contact you by e-mail at that time but no response. Today I found your Winterberg website. Brilliant !!! I have numerous photographs I am sure you will find of interest but note I need to send them to a different e-mail address. Would you please oblige me with that address.
I have spent a very pleasant couple of hours viewing the website, so many familiar names and some familiar faces. If you cannot put a face to my name Keith then a wee jog of the memory, I was the Scottish member of your watch from Sept. 58 to Aug. 59. I was also in Bob's (?) Austin A30 when we ran into the back of that wee truck in Warstein which kind of spoiled our day out. I have a couple of pictures of that car following the accident.
I look forward to hearing from you and contributing to the website. Incidentally I am resident in South Australia so would find it difficult to attend any future reunion should there be one.
From Guy Strudwick July 2007
The "Forces Reunion"
website was recommended to me by a fellow bowler and I had a look at it
Not far from the Beacon Haus was the RAF Station.
I have been back to Winterberg many times and find I miss the old days when the cows went out to pasture.
I would appreciate any and all information you might have about people that might remember the Milk Bar, Haus Hildegard, and the Stadtshenke.
From Gerry Jan 2007
I've just found your
RAFWinterberg site. I have been Internetting to see if I can spot Winterberg
Hotel in which I was billeted 1946. I can't.
All a lot of my reminscent rubbish. Interesting to read about RAFWinterberg history.
Best regards and
have a good day Keith.
From Tony Conlin Nov 2006
Please can you let me have details for the video.
>I am Tony Conlin ex RAF Winterberg Fixer station
>June 1959 - December 1961. In my spare time I helped
>run the camp cinema. The following are well remembered
>Rex Dempster, Brian Fell(BIG ELVIS FAN),Bob McAllister,Charles Farquhar,Cpl
>Cahill,Dagmar,(admin),Herr Franski,(guardroom night-shift).
>Many thanks Tony
From Jim Welsh 15-09-04
I was in Iburg from 1959 to 1961. I am Jim Walsh ex SAC and the bottom site storeman. I remember Cpl Jock Hague, Cpl Baz Chapman, "Doc" Milledge, Ken Lacey. Paddy Henrick was storeman at top site. Have enjoyed the photos on website.
From John Spraggs 19-08-04
Found your site. I was a National Service man from 1952 to 1954 and served as a radar instructor at RAF Worth Matravers. I remember some of the lads I taught went to Germany but cannot remember names. Would be interested to make contact again. F/Sgt Russell wasi/c school, Also the senior instructor was Cpl.Witham who I believe had a very bad motor cycle accident.
ex Cpl Spragg
From Trefor Evans May 6th 2004
I have set up my site for the North German Gee Chain. It is at www.trefor4.co.uk, can you link it in with the Winterberg site? or give me a plug. I am still loading data onto the site and I am a bit slow as I am new to site building.
From Chris Lamsdell May 2004
Out of interest what was the full name of Cpl Lamsdell - my father was not in the RAF, but was posted to Germany in Guards 57/58 - there are not many with this surname spelling and I have got him going. They used to go to Winterberg sking etc.
My father was interested on who the lamsdell was as it is not a particularly commmon spelling and there are not too many of them about - someone in the family is doing one of these family tree things
Chris Lamsdell <email@example.com>
7th Feb From Dr. Christian Freitag
I have changed my email address. From now on it's Deutschhelgoland@aol.com. Would you please change my address on the RAF Winterberg Homepage?
I have already made some interesting contacts with Old RAF Winterberg People.
All the best,
(Dr. Christian H. Freitag)
7 February From Bob Allen
I arrived at Uchte late 54 or early 55 - the first arrivals - via Butzweilerhof, Winterberg and Nienburg. Moved to Nordhorn when 'up-graded' to Corporal in 1956.
Visited Uchte twice since my demob in 1956 to visit German friends and enjoyed a Weiner schnitzel at the local Hotel. Roy Finnigan and I intend visiting this year, the 50th anniversary of the 'occupation'.
I am keen to contact Harry English before we visit - can you supply his address?
With best wishes
1st Feb 2004 From Roger Rutter
Due to being constantly bombed with 'spam' and unwelcome viruses have changed internet provider - my new e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org Best regards, Roger
21st December 2003 From Richie Butcher
I am in the RAF and I'm based at Princess Royal Barracks (Ex RAF Gutersloh) with 1Regt Army Air Corps, approx. 1 hours drive north of Winterberg. There are only a handful of us RAF chaps left here and I was fascinated to find your web page when I was trying to find out a little about Winterberg so that I can take the Kids down to see the snow. The trip will be especially interesting now, the web site is very interesting, thank you all very much
05-12-03 From Pete Hardwicke 416 SU.
sorry for not getting back to you sooner, but here are a few names I can remember from those far - off days on the German GEE chain.
Unfortunately I haven't traced any others on 'Servicepals' website,
although I've got a contact page there for anyone from 416 SU who might
24-04-03 From Gary Ireland re Alan Ireland
I posted a letter on your wonderful website asking if anybody
knew my father, Alan Ireland. We have had a number of replies but these
have been via the phone. I also failed to put my contact address. Please
could you put my fathers name in the contacts through my address and I
will forward them to him. My address is email@example.com and phone number
is 0771 9522 796.
20-03-03 From Ray Codd
My name is Ray Codd, I recently found your web page and was amazed at the amount of letters from people who where at RAF Winterberg. I was at RAF Winterberg (AMES 7932)from May 1950 till the unit closed in January 1951. I was one of two medical orderlies posted there, the other one was (Nevill (Taffy) Gratton) who was posted on to Wassekuppe AMES 7924.We lived in the Hotel Leisse in the town centre. I was posted to Adenau 7925. later came back to Winterberg and went as relief medic to Iburg. I did later go to Wassekuppe for several weeks.I then remained in Winterberg at the hotel Leisse until it closed.I was then posted to RAF Sylt until demob in October 1951.
I will always remember the friends I made in those days. I have very many happy memories of Winterberg. We all left in January 1951 when it closed down. I have a few photos of friends I had there and a photo of the Hotel Leisse as it was then. AC1 Codd. (Doc)
09-03-03 From Mike Baker
I took your name from the RAF Winterberg website. I was there 63/67 and I am going on one of many visits in Aug. I am wondering if there is anyone that would like to come along. Do you know such a person? It will be by car with an outbound diversion into NL and returning via LUX & F. I want to be in Winterberg for Kirmas. Total duration 10/14 days.
Please acknowledge and then think about it.
Regards, Mike Baker, ex DO588869 Sgt
09-03-03 From Laurence Gooddy
I have just found your page(s) on the North
German GEE chain, very
I was at the Nordhorn site when it started
in late 1954, or was it early
I was a three year man just starting my
last year as a Junior Tech/
In Nordhorn we seemed to be a detachment
from RAF Iburg and had to rely
We set up the GEE station up on the moors
NW of Nordhorn and of course
I have some pictures of the crew and the
site somewhere and will try and
Very best regards, Laurence Gooddy (Laurie) ex Corp/JT
Location: Ottawa, Canada
From Gary Godfrey Jan 22nd 2003
From Gordon( Taffy) Evans Dec 2nd 2001
My name is Gordon(TAFFY) Evans and I was based at Winterberg in the Hotel Liesse opposite Hotel Central during Sept.1949/May 50. I was the MTF in the transport section AC2
The Chief technical officer at the time was Flt. Lft. Naylor. If you have been in contact with anyone from this time based in Winterberg I would be interested to hear from them and yourself with any information I may find of interest. I HAD A GREAT TIME THERE AND IT WAS THE BEST POSTING I EVER HAD IN GERMANY!!
From Dr. Christian H. Freitag, Hohenfels, Germany Dec 2nd 2001
I would very much like to go down RAF Winterberg Memory Lane, seen from a little German boy's point of view. Will there be another reunion for RAF Winterberg? Would it be possible to participate, as one who stood "on the other side of the fence", 40 years ago, I wonder?
With best wishes,
November 2001 From Albert Ratcliffe
I was stationed at Winterberg in 1954 and 1955, although my name is Albert I would possibly be more remembered as Alf that played the piano. We lived in the Sports Hotel and at some stage moved to billets further up the road.
Thanks to Alan Donaldson who first contacted me we have been able to find with the aid of my UK2000 CD Eddie (Geordie) Halpin who lives in Northumberland, Tony Simmonds in Waterlooville, Ken Partridge in Sudbury and Maurice (Mo) Smout in Plymouth. I have put out an appeal on the www.watn.co.uk web-site, Alan has an appeal currently appearing on Page 172 on Channel 4 but so far no response apart from someone who 'phoned Alan and told him about your web-site.
Geordie Halpin has a terrific memory and has sent me a list of names that he remembers and we hope that any of these will contact me or Alan, phone numbers at the end of message.
Mick Rodell, Nick Nicholls, Colin Gough, Taff Jayne, Roy Austin, Jack Melai, Brian Mullaney, Roy Lewis, Taff Evans, Don Harte, Don Swann, Pete Doyle, Alf Cresser, Bill Bailey, Staff Walker, Frank Batham, Mick Briggs, Tony Binelli, Taff Thomas,Maxie Maxwell, Pilot Officer Upton, Fl.Lt. Swann, Pete James, Ted Hughes, Ted Peck, Bob Barfoot, Terry Bushell or any other RAF or Army members there at that time
We do not have definite information about their whereabouts and contacting those of the same name on the UK2000 CD has so far proved unsuccessful.
Frank Smith was a friend that married a French girl and lived in Aix-en-Othe near Troyes, I unsuccessfully managed to contact him after searching through the French telephone directory then wrote to the Mayor of that town for help in finding him. I regret to have to say that I had a telephone call from his grandson to say the Frank passed away last year.
I notice that someone by the name of Bob Ratcliffe is being searched for, perhaps there was a Bob that came after me or have they got my Christian name wrong?
I have not had a chance to look at the rest of your web-site but will do so when I send this off to you. I congratulate you on what you have done in setting up this web-site, it is amazing after almost fifty years to be able to speak to these friends again. We are hoping to organise a reunion next year.
Alan Donaldson 01933-397835
NOVEMBER 2001 From Albert Ratcliffe
Having had the chance to look at your excellent web-site I have realised that I should have mentioned that we were 757 Signals Unit attached to Bomber Command, we were transferred to RAF Butzweilerhof in February 1955. After the very relaxed conditions at Winterberg Butz came as a bit of a culture shock. I remember us being hauled into the SWO's office and being told to go and dressed by airmen, also that the carnival had finished the day before, I must admit that we hardly conformed to regulations. Our officer did not enjoy his experience of the Officer's Mess much either so arranged with our HQ to go down to the Kalmit at Maikammer, south of Heidelberg, on exercises and stayed for several weeks at a time. Lovely memories.
The American 601st Signals Unit was based at Winterberg too while we were there, I cannot remember any of their names but I was friendly with quite a few of them, if you can play the piano you are everybody's friend.
I will keep in touch and let you know of any contact successes. Albert
November 2001 From Reg Hall
Do you remember me?????
Alan Donaldson......together with Albert Ratcliffe,Roy Austin, Tony Simmons,Eddie Hessey, Geordie Halpin,etc......757 signals unit!!!!!!!!
We were in the Sport Hotel and then moved to new billets further up the road in 1954
In February 1955 we moved out to Butzweilerhof and from there we were mobile and camped out at Kalmit in southern Germany.
E- mail me or call me on 01933 397835 Many thanks........ Alan.
I've just found your site. It brought back many happy memories. I was at Winterberg for a short while in May 1949 and then had the good fortune to be posted to Wasserkuupe which was a 7K slave in the American zone. The rations were a bit different there! I left Wasserkuppe for demob in August 1950. Anyone else around who was at '32 or '24 at that time? Those were the days
Dave (Jack) Jackson.
Saw your email address on the ServicePals web site at http://www.servicepals.com and thought you might be interested in my web site at http://www.vimart.co.uk
On my site you can search for old Service and civilian pals from any location even if you've forgotten their names! You can also enter your own school, service and civilian history and wait for old friends to find you.
Ian Martin (Royal Navy 1964 - 1989)
September 2001 From Dave Malcolm
Hallo Jim, Keith,
Jim, many thanks for your letter dated 10th. Sept. and congratulationson your retirement! - I've got another 17 Months to go (65) and amcounting the days.
It was great to hear from you again and I went into the Web site to bring
back old memories.Keith, you are doing a grand job and please keep it up.
I was pleased to see, that you want to open a new "fixer" page. Well,
as an old fixer op. I'm sure I've got some photo's laying around which
I could send onto you. Unfortunatly, I don't have the ability to scan them
and worst still, I can't put names to faces (including both of you !- oneexception is "biffo".)
Keep in touch and best regards,
August 2001. From John Murray
Dear Keith, Well,you asked for it, so here’s attached text of part of item written up for a NS exhibition in the Red House Museum, Gomersal, Yorks (near Huddersfield) Opening again in July.
It’s altogether 5 pages long, so I’ll just send you a sample…. What’s the intention of this?
Nordhorn. I think that a mate of mine, John Goddard, an Air Wireless Mechanic, was at Nordhorn in 1951. Went from Gutersloh and lived in a pub in the village. His duty being to take a VHF set out to the range when needed for communication with the planes when bombing practice. This may have been prior to the Gee chain there.
Incidentally, there’s a book by Gerry J.Lewis, an ex Education Officer
who was at Gutersloh. It’s called “Flugplatz Gutersloh 1937-1987” (copyright
1987 by RAF Gutersloh and proceeds to RAF and Luftwaffe charities) and
covers the history of the Station from its building by the Luftwaffe to
late NATO exercises. Many photos included.
John Murray, Honley, Huddersfield. (previously contrib. To the W’berg page, and may have got some “false memories”, as I gather from the correspondence that the Gee chain didn’t come into operation until after my time (49-51). ANY CORRECTION WELCOME
In 1989 I went back to Winterberg with my wife, and camped there. The Snow Inn had closed and was deserted. There was a new ski jump. The old ski lift "built by the British Army for the training of its troops. German civilians are however allowed to use it provided they comply with the orders of the person i/c lift"... which didn't stop them pushing to the front) had been removed. While searching for it, with the help of my old photographs, we met the son of a grocer, a member of the Triumph Spitfire motor club of Germany (really. His car was kept in the drive-in basemant of the grocer's shop, on a carpet. It was, of course, immaculate) He'd been in the Deutsche Jugend and showed us photos of W'berg at that time, and presented me with the handbook of the Winterberg Ski Gemeindschaft. Strange to have been on opposite sides. I'm now Chairman of the local branch of the European Movement....
So, auf wiedersehen.
October 2000. From Larry Phillips
I believe Keith has forwarded to you my earlier email concerning my father's tour at Winterberg & querying if you had any record of him (J1585402 Cpl Walter (Wally) Phillips). I now have a bit more info.
My father's tour at Winterberg was actually from '59 to '60. He was a Radar Operator, and was based there with Taff Wilde, Del Higgs & Paul Dunn, also operators. Their posts became disestablished following automation of the radar, and they were all then posted to RAF Goch, probably in spring '60.
While my father was at Winterberg, he was i/c mess & i/c canteen (secondary duties).
I was wrong about there being a still at Winterberg, it was apparently at the USAF base further up in the forest. My father can recall there being a severe breach of security at this base in that local girls were smuggled in and subsequently discovered, resulting in a large number of USAF airmen being prematurely returned to the States.
October 2000 From Larry Phillips
Thanks for the reply. I found your site by accident. We have a German
On day my father showed me around the top floor of the Astenturm
October 2000. From Larry Phillips
My father 1585402 Cpl Walter (Wally) Phillips was posted to RAF WInterberg
around 1960-61 along with the rest of his family (wife Joyce, sons Larry
& Dougie). I was 13 at the time. We rented rooms in the village from
a Frau Abel and I can remember the pig & cow living in the cellar.
Our house was just a short distance from where Eric Finkle lived.
My father often talks fondly about his posting to Winterberg and it is apparent that this was a memorable event in his RAF career. He now lives in Drayton, near Norwich. I followed him into the RAF and completed 22 years in 1987, my last posting being RAF Swanton Morley (where I ensured that my father was an Honorary Mess Member!).
I will try & persuade my father to contribute a story to your site - he has mentioned to me that there was some sort of fermenting device (or even a still?) that could be hoisted out of sight into a loft (of the kitchen?) during inspections. Also he says that once a couple of American servicemen went down the skijump on a motorcycle (they didn't live to tell the tale!)
Meanwhile do you have any records that mention him?
If you would like any details, I'll tell you what I can remember :just let me know. It's too late at the moment as I was on my way to bed when I came across this site.
All the best,
You talked about other units formed at Raf Butzweilerhof 266 su was one of
those F/O ENGLISH AND FLT/LT B GOODHALL was part of 266 su we were not
stationed anywhere as we were a mobile unit.part of the GEE chain I did go to
WINTERBERG once and other members of the unit went there many times.someone
must remember 266 su. and as I said before I would like to make contact with
any 266 members.
From Norman Keat October 30th 1999
I had just signed up with Netscape when a quick surf found the RAF Winterberg site.
Barry Robinson and I (both SAC GEE 'trained' Mechanics) were posted to 205 SU in August/September - the start of the highlight of our time in the RAF - I have just rung Barry and he agrees. My first watch was with Roger Rutter, Biffo and Boris(?).
On the photo album page just below the Asten Turm there is Barry with his hand in the air- half my face on the left - and the back of Biffos' head. The extra photos showing the Winterberg Christmas party has the Army Doctor from the leave centre as Father Christmas (probably about the time he was overheard muttering 'I'm not having that fat girl sit on my knee')
If there was a chance of a another reunion I (and Barry) would like to be involved - my wife also joined me in Winterberg for a year (after my fitters course) in 1960 - she also has never recovered from the total unreality of it.
I have a few photos I will scan and send later.
Thank you for the Website and the recovery of some happy memories.
September 1999 From Peter Magnall
I received a message from Harry English, formerly C.O. at Uchte, in response to my letter containing lots of the information from the Winterberg website.Harry had this to relate: In September 1954 Harry was posted direct from OCTU to 2nd ATAF to be Station Signals Officer at Gutersloh but was diverted to Butzweilerhof where the NCO and Airmen members of the shortly to be formed North Germany GEE Chain were due to arrive later in the month. W.O. Coombes, Flt. Sgts Ayres & Cotton and Harry duly sorted out the members for each unit and for a brief period Harry was O.C. all four units.
In addition to those names above here are a few more remembered by Harry from early days at Uchte:
Flt. Sgt. Ruthven,
If I remember correctly there is a very interesting story attached to Flt. Sgt. Cotton which I might relate at a later date because it will take some time in the telling.
August 1999 From Roger Rutter, ex Winterberg newly 'discovered' by Jim
Thanks for the e-mail just received during a report I was doing on Botswana (crazy business I am still into).
Good to hear that you are going well and now domicled in the big city. Hope you are still pursuing your photography as I always knew you were an ace at that. How are you enjoying retirement - I have tried it more times than Frank Sinatra but each time something comes up to take me off again. Have spent the last 38 years overseas in some good and some not so good primative locations with the threat to life quite serious on occassions. At present am involves a) with moving house next week and b) South Africa and Morocco. My wife thinks I am losing my senses at my age.
I did often wondered over the years what had happened to yourself and others but I had no way of finding out, especially being abroad. It was a chapter that I think in one way or another changed our lives. Anyway, I would appreciate a background of who is doing what to who!!.
Sent an e-mail back to Jim but cannot get through (each time it is rejected). Maybe you could let me have his e-mail address then I could thank him for his phone call.
Anyroadup 'Bunge', must away and finish my report.
Very best regards,
March 3rd 1999
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet and your Website on Winterberg I have received an E mail from Reg Hall who was stationed at Iburg between 1951-54. He was an SAC cook and although not on the technical side remembers that in those days Iburg was a slave station and known as 124 S U. I had a lengthy conversation about our time in Germany and he came up with the following names he remembered
Ft Lt Stanley Sgt Henderson (Tech)
Sgt Jenkins (M T) 'Taffy' (General Duties) 'Lofty' Goodall
(Driver) married a German girl, Charlie Green (Driver)
Don Cannon (LAC cook)
From: Philip Hastings
Subject: Here I am
How nice that one of you has email. I know of almost no other way to communicate now. You will all hear more of me if more of you get email.Perhaps you would post my address on your web site so that anyone else who is wired can find me. I live in Houston, Texas now, working at Baylor College of Medicine. I worked at the University of Alberta in Canada for 27 years, took early retirement, and then came back to work.I would love to come to a reunion some day, but as yet it has been impractical. Too much duty and responsibility and not much money. (I bet very few of the Winterberg gang made much money. Ah well, all we need is enough. Wouldn't that be nice.) I visit England once or twice a year to see family, but no visit has coincided with a reunion as yet. Perhaps we should arrange an unofficial one for whoever is nearby when next I pass through. I didn't try looking for your website yet, but I shall as soon as I have time. Phil
From Karen Wallis
Hi Keith ,
just browsing your site this am as My dad is Ex 4th entry RAF Compton Basset, and he saw it on teletext, and I tried hitting the link to service pals at clara net, the link did not work so I copied and pasted to my browser and discovered that instead of NET it says NOT which is why it doesn't work! I also cannot access the Royal wings site, there seems to be a full stop in the link between royal and wings when I copy and paste, otherwise a site I will be looking at on a regular basis as My father is seeking the whereabouts of someone named ? Van Geldern who was GRF at Nordhorn(330 signals unit) My Fathers name is John Pond trade Tel (aka Splash)
Thanks and good luck with the site
-- Karen Wallis
From Johnny Walker
Many thanks for your E mail received in early December.Like many
of our generation I never did learn to type so this a very laborious process
for me. However, I am going to give it my best shot so here goes. I got
on to Keith's collection very quickly,I was surprised when it came up so
fast.I think you have done an excellent job in getting this site up and
running, keep up the good work.
From Ray Barker.
It is always a pleasure to receive news from an ex-Winterberger as I have only met one or two others who served there at the same time as me. I know that your contacts are mainly post 1950's when Winterberg was a somewhat different place from the one we knew and loved. Yes I still have a great feeling for the town and fortunately the memories of the war seem to centre on the good things, seldom on the bad or horrible.
I have looked at the web site and found it interesting especially as I had not previously known of it's existence so full marks for that even if the photographs seem to centre on conviviality rhather than work !!! 'well, why not'
From John Welsh
Not bad but you could add the guys we know as well as the ones we want to find
From Jim Hooper
I'm new to this email game so I hope you manage to receive this message how are you getting on with your website for Winterberg do you now have a web address and if so how do I use it to look at the pages you designed a reply would be appreciated so I know this reached you.
From Peter Magnall
Thanks for the letter, very interesting developments. I took a brief
look at your web-site this evening but am rather pushed for time as we
are going on holiday tomorrow. I will study it in more detail next
Thursday when I return. I will also ask the advice of my eldest son
regarding your web-site problems, it is not something I have ventured into
as yet. He has had one set up and expanding for a couple of years
and he spends his working life installing local networks in schools and
From Jim Hooper
Keith, thanks for your letter & Email. The 3 Winterberg pages
are really excellent, well done !
From Trefor Naughton-Evans
I have started to get aquainted with the Internet and I have just read your pages on Winterberg. How about us setting up a site for all of the personnel who served on the GEE chain so that we build a full picture of the work that was put in by so many ?
As you probably know I was at RAF Iburg 140 Signals Unit (MASTER) , from June 1958 to August 1960.
Regards for now,
Trefor Evans (I was known as RAS, shortened down from Rasputin).
From Ray Barker
Pleased to receive your letter, have looked at your web site and found it very interesting though it refers to a much later period than covered by my experiences. I have many photographs of that period together with various historical articles of the chain at that time. I am sending you a copy of the book which I wrote and you are welcome to use any or all of the articles refering to Winterberg. Maybe some of your members would Like to buy copies as I still have a few remaining. Please keep me informed about future visitsto Winterberg as I am still very interested in the place and still have many German friends I first met there during the war. Best Wishes for 1999.
number (including SMS) 07952 982 281
Linking the past with the present.