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Thread: MALDIVES - Gan

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    Default MALDIVES - Gan

    RAF Gan Maldives Control Tower still under construction in 1959, photo courtesy of Rick Vince the son of the late Stan Vince [AMWD]


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    Default MALDIVES - Gan

    I had the pleasure of briefly being detached to an island paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean 50 years ago: RAF Gan in Addu Atoll

    There are many pictures here, just click on the thumbnail for those that are interested


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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAF Gan Maldives

    Thanks for the memories John. Nostalgic pictures!

    I transitted through several times as a Brittania passenger with a several days layover on one occasion (u/s 'plane) so was able to wander the site at that time (1961/62). Heard many tales from the permanent staff.

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    Default Re: RAF Gan Maldives

    Did my time from 1963-64. Most of the trees had gone by then. I worked in the Commcen for the whole of my tour. It must have been reclad since you left as the whole of the left hand part of the bldg had no doors or windows.
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    Default Re: RAF Gan Maldives

    Dont know how true this was, but story goes that the Ground Radio (Section) only had 3 personnel at Gan. The allotted posts were for a Warrant Officer, Cpl and an SAC, RHIP prevailed and the slots were filled by a Sqdn/Ldr, a Flt/Lt and a Warrant Officer!!

    Pete
    Last edited by cbrjock; 07-04-2010 at 10:51. Reason: PTE catching me out!

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAF Gan Maldives

    Which one had the radio?

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    Default Re: RAF Gan Maldives

    The Flt/Lt; S/L and WO had loud voices!!

    Pete

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    Default Re: RAF Gan Maldives

    Well, the officers wouldn't have had a clue how to turn it on, the WO would've got it to work just by giving it a stern look.

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    Default Re: RAF Gan Maldives

    Quote Originally Posted by cbrjock View Post
    Dont know how true this was, but story goes that the Ground Radio (Section) only had 3 personnel at Gan. The allotted posts were for a Warrant Officer, Cpl and an SAC, RHIP prevailed and the slots were filled by a Sqdn/Ldr, a Flt/Lt and a Warrant Officer!!

    Pete
    Fortunately for those of us looking after the radio, untrue. Ground Radio Section (in ATC) was part of Station Signals, as opposed to Commcen that had its own Ground Radio section on Gan and on Hittadu. We had a Signals Officer, a W/O, a F/Sgt, two or three wireless and radar fitters and then about the same number of mechs - enough staff to run a 24/7 3-shift system. The antenna mast at the transmitter site can be seen behind Commcen in the photo.

    There may, however, be a grain of truth in cbrjock's question. There was, in the early 60s, a permanent detachment on an island just off the capital of the Maldives, Male. I think that only three men were there on a rolling three-month tour, a telegraphist, a ground wireless fitter and a cook. This may be the origin of the question. As I remember, the Divvies kicked up a fuss one day and blocked the short runway. It was a bit of anti-British sentiment I think, we probably wouldn't let them play with our bat! The chaps on the island had to be taken off by the RN and taken back to Gan, never to return. Rumour had it at the time that they walked around all the time on their island with no clothes on.
    Last edited by nimrod169; 12-04-2010 at 17:37.

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    Default Re: RAF Gan Maldives

    Nimrod is quite correct. The HF transmittter station on Hittadu was totally self contained with its own mess etc. Personnel stationed there hardly ever came over to Gan island, and Gannites weren't allowed on Hittadu. HF recievers were in Systems Control on Gan island (see my pic No5). From the pic it seems that the ATC Rx's were also in that building, so not certain if they were serviced by station staff or commcen staff. Although a Ground Wireless mech myself, I was one of a number that got stuck with an On Line Cypher course, so I spent the whole tour stuck in the commcen, we even had to lock ourselfs in the room. There was one Telegraph fitter, one Tel mech and three Ground wireless mechs. Two on days the rest of on shift to cover 24/7.

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