During early 1950the U.S. Air Force Security
Service recognized the need to reduce the work load on the 2ndRadio
Squadron Mobile (RSM) located near Darmstadt West Germany. This
resulted in the origination of the 1OthRSM at Brooks Field, San
Antonio, Texas during the late spring or early summer of 1950. It was
scheduled to deploy to someplace in England. With daytime temperature
about 100F, cooling to about 75F each night, thirty assigned
personnel worked through the summer in a large airplane hangar
collecting and marking boxes of equipment for shipment. Movement
Order 4062 A, dated 12 September 1950, initiated the movement. Lt.
Robert Craig and Lt. Edsel Wiggins were ordered to NewYork City as an advance
party to coordinate the unit movement via an Army transport ship.
About 30 days later the unit arrived in New York for transport to
Southampton Port, England on the U.S. Army ship, The General Rose.
Lt. James Parsley, supply officer; Lt. Wiggins, technical services
officer; Sgt. Hyman, mess sergeant and Sg1.Confer, supply, were then
given orders to proceed to RAF Chicksands by military
aircraft. A USAF C-54 aircraft departed Westover AFB, Mass. the
following day to Burtonwood
Air Base, located near Liverpool, England. they
traveled by train to South Ruislip a suburb of London - then by car
to Chicksands. Lt. Wiggins reported to Chicksands Station Commander,
RAF Flight Lieutenant Lou Barry, about the second week of October 1950.
The Americans had two initial shocks: the
unexpected cordial, warm greeting and helpful attitude of RAF
personnel, and the very cold, wet, foggy miserable weather that
penetrated everything. Our mission, in a matter of three to four
weeks, was to prepare livablequarters, to set up the mess hall, the
shower house and to organize routes and procedures to draw rations
The ship arrived at Southampton harbor and the
1OthRSM personnel arrived Chicksands the first, week of November
1950. Lead personnel arriving were Major Robinson, commander; Captain
Tommy Grundy, adjutant; Major Wm. Bowers, operations; Captain Russell
Verploegh, assistant operations; Lt. Craig, communications, and Sgt.
Adams, FirstSergeant. The officers were assigned quarters with the
RAFin a building that had served as a medical clinic during WW II.
The airmen were quartered in WW II Nissen Huts. The mess hall also
had been used by the RAF during WW II. A separate building served asa
As a courtesy, the officers were assigned anRAF
"batman" , in the British military, a soldier assigned to
an officer as a servant who took care of the officer's domestic
needs. Each moming, before the officer awoke, his clothes were
brushed and laid out, shoes were shined and a steaming cup of hot tea
was in place on the night stand, but the batman was never around. It
became the officer's goal to catch the batman in the room. Never did.
The officers moved to the Priory. It was a
magnificent place. The RAF supplied stories about Priory history,
about ghosts and the people involved. Some stories may have been
true, some not. Thewindmadean eeriesound. One night about 3:00 AM
Captain Grundy heard a horrible sound coming from the fireplace
chimney in his room. He finally discovered that it was a large bird
flutteringdown inside the chimney. No more sleep that night.
One cold, rainy, very foggy evening an RAF military
policeman reported to the Commander that something white was moving
on the Priory lawn. Lou Barry invited Wiggins to accompany him to the
Priory in his car. Nothing was evident at the front of the building.
There was talk of many possibilities, including ghosts. Several
minutes elapsed. Wiggins suggested taking a flash light (torch) and
walking around the building to the south lawn. Not a good idea. Then
Wiggins suggested that Barry reposition his car so that the
headlights would illuminate the area. Good idea. Several white faced
cows were startled by the lights.
The end of installment one.
Look for the
next episode on 1 February, 2003
Back to home page