Douglas Anthony Jones 1940-2019
Doug went into the RAF straight from school in 1955 at the tender age of 15 years. He signed on the dotted line to serve Queen and country for nine years and proudly joined the 29th Entry Boy Entrants at RAF Cosford. The downside of joining as a boy was that your actual service didn’t start until you reached the age of 18, a small point not always made clear but with the result that Doug’s nine years suddenly turned into 12!
His training at Cosford was for 18 months during which time Doug learned the necessary skills to become an airman such as discipline, marching, and shooting. He also spent a large amount of this time training in his chosen trade of Photographer. This training was very intense and would have consisted of all aspects of photography, both on the ground and in the air.
After Doug completed his training, he had postings that took him all over the world including Odiham, Coltishall, Rheindalen, Wildenrath, Bruggen, Muharraq, and Akrotiri. It was during his time at Muharraq that Doug’s skills came to light with his picture of a VC10 called ‘Night Stop in Muharraq’. These competitions are only open to RAF Photographers so to be a winner was no mean feat.
As a photographer, Doug would also cover prestigious events at various based which would often involve royalty. One of his most exciting assignments was the London to New York Air Race in 1969.
Doug was always a character at Cosford, and the easiest of fellows to get on with. Saturday morning kit inspections in our accommodation at Fulton Block could be highly amusing as he was inherently untidy, and invariably drew the attention of the Flight Commander, albeit in a completely non-confrontational manner. I don’t recall his ever being disciplined for this – he had such a warming smile and pleasant manner.
I seem to remember he was a very good and conscientious student and did very well on his final exams, certainly better than I. I know that other members of the 29th Entry will have my sense of loss in his passing – he was just one of those fellows you never forget.
After Doug completed his training he had postings that took him all over the world including RAF Odiham in Hampshire, Coltishall in Norfolk, Rheindalen, Wildenrath and Bruggen in Germany, Muharraq in Bahrain, Akrotiri in Cyprus and also the Far East.
It was during his time in Bahrain that Doug’s photographic skills came to light when he won an RAF photographic competition with his picture of a VC10 called ‘Night Stop in Muharraq’ These competitions are only open to RAF Photographers so to be a winner was no mean feat.
As a photographer Doug would also cover prestigious events at various bases which would often involve royalty.
However, one of his most exciting assignments was the London to New York air race in 1969, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first transatlantic air crossing by Alcock and Brown in 1919. Of course the Harrier used by the RAF won!
Pete Whitmill a lifelong friend of Dougs…
I first met Doug in 1971 when he was posted to the air photography section at RAF Wildenrath on the Dutch and German border. Most of the single men did not seem to go off the station very much (apart to go to the pub in the local village). Doug was different that like me he liked to get out and explore. As he had been at RAF Bruggen a few years before he knew the local area fairly well. Our first trip was to explore a wooded area over the road from the main gate to the station. After some time we found that we had wandered over the border into Holland. I was a bit concerned because although I had my ‘twelve fifty’ with me (Form 1250 is the RAF identity card) I didn’t have my border pass on me for some reason. Doug told me not to worry as it was never asked for by the border guards – I wasn’t convinced and thought I would be in trouble. But he was right of course! We then found a local pub (back in Germany) and had the first of many drinks and meals. This cemented our friendship that has lasted since then.
Doug and me…
Doug and I did not come across each other during our RAF careers but got to know each other very well as members of the RAF Photographers Association at our social weekends over the last 12 or so years. We both shared an interest in Steam Railways so found plenty to talk about and visit.
As I also looked after the association website I was always looking for photographs to cover these events and Doug would always send me a bundle after the weekend for which I was always very grateful.
Both my wife and I always found him to be great company and always enjoyed a good chat with him. He will be very much missed. Rest in peace Doug.
10th Sept 2019
Michael Windle Doug was a friend at Episkopi in the early 1960’s and one of our beach lifeguard team. RIP old friend.
Barbara Ellen Nile RIP old friend, you will be sadly missed at the Reunions. Pastie & Barbarax
Richard Spink RIP Doug.
David Ketcher Sad news indeed Gerry, RiP Doug.
Maurice Cooper So sad. I knew him mainly from the old days. We joined up together October 16th 1956, billet D1, u/t photo IIs, 29th entry B/E, RAF Cosford, We met a few times at reunions at Stourport, and had a shared interest in railways. R.I.P. Doug.
Ian Evans What a shame, always chatted at the reunions
Stan Leeds What a shame, such a lovely ma. I had known him in those early days in the Fulton block He was one of life’s true gentlemen.R.I.P. Doug.
Mick Walker from Cosford days when I first met him then 40+ years til we met up again at the reunion RIP DJ from Mick & Moe
Geoffrey Massey A good friend. I knew him in the 1960s and more recently of course. Quite a character and I will miss his chat. Rest in peace Doug.
Donald Adams Worked with him for a while and always up for a laugh. Sure he will be sadly missed. RIP Doug.