Joint Services Trans Patagonian Expedition

One of the outcomes of this years Summer Social after a chance remark about a distinct lack of photo’s and missed opportunities to record these memorable occasions, was a photo sent in by Malcolm Fentum.

Malcolm was a Navigator  on the Squadron during the 1970’s at Lyneham and wonders if anyone can fill in some of the blanks? Add a Comment to this Blog Post if you can.

Bermuda Crew 30 Oct 1972

The background to the photo is as follows:-

The photo was taken in the Holiday Inn in Bermuda on 30 Oct 72 before flying home next day in XV206.  We’d just done an amazing route that had taken us down to Southern Chile (El Tepual), near the town of Puerto Montt.  We took the ‘Joint Services Trans Patagonian Expedition’.  Allende was in power & the whole country was on strike.  Interesting times.

The names he can remember are, back row:

?, ?, Phil Sharman,  Sqn Ldr Miles, Ken Smith, Ray Kinsey?, ?,?,?
Paul Gedge, John Ayers, ?, ?, MF

Final note on that trip is that Ken Smith, who was a Monty Python fanatic, came back with a parrot or 2.  I don’t think they were Norwegian Blues ‘pining for the fjords’.

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One Response to “Joint Services Trans Patagonian Expedition”

  1. Capt T J Zorichak Royal Engineers Says:

    From a slightly different perspective ……. as one of 8 mere “pongo” passengers, I was the expedition land surveyor on that flight and remember our annoyance that we only got boxed grotty sandwich in-flight sustenance whilst sniffing aromatic aromas from the hot meals for flight crew!

    In the cargo hold, squeezed up against all our kit, I remember overhearing the crew “buzz” of excitement in being on an off-route task and how they were “expecting ” (nudge – wink) an aircraft fault to mean they would be stranded in Puerto Montt for a few days. On our approach one engine was feathered which caused some some passenger anxiety but we were assured it was not a life threatening situation …..

    At that time the whole of Chile was closed for business in a total “National Strike” – no shops open, no banks, no beer and pretty much no food – I guess the parrot shop must have been open though! Only food available in our hotel for breakfast, lunch and dinner was delicious spider crab and pink Chilean champagne but it got boring after a few meals.

    Not surprisingly the aircraft fault was “repaired with great ingenuity” and took off next day for I think Accra, Africa, where according to the grapevine from the DA in Santiago, it did suffer an aircraft fault which meant the poor crew had a spell languishing on the beach before getting back to UK.

    In the cargo hold it was not so much “an amazing route” as a “sustained period of loud noise and vibration torture whilst constrained in a cramped position” …. but in my zombie induced state I seem to remember brief respites during stops at Gander, Bermuda, Lima and Santiago(?) before we landed perilously at Puerto Montt.

    On the expedition apart from four times receiving BBC Overseas news clips on a WW2 spy radio and one brief message from HMS Endurance we were totally isolated from the rest of the world for 6 months on the Northern Patagonian Icecap and that was amazing …. but that’s another story ……. yawn …..

    Interesting and happy memories.

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