Radio 219

No one who served at RAF Salalah could have been unaware of Radio 219. I am grateful to Geoffrey Sharwood-Smith has made available excerpts from some tapes that he made at the time including a request for “Bondu” the FST dog.

“Here are some sound files made from recordings of Radio 219 (medium wave) in 1975. I have recoded the end of a track, disc jockey commentary, the beginning of a track in each case. There is plenty on the tracks to confirm authenticity and in particular, in the last track,  there is a request for Bondu the dog who is featured on your site already (I wonder if he was listening?)


One clip indicates that “Radio 219 broadcast on 212metres or 1434 KHz in the medium wave” 

So why was it called “Radio 219”? Did other remote RAF airfields have local broadcast stations and were they all called Radio 219 and powered by some standard bit of kit ? If any one can help please contact the webmaster

“The reason the station was called Radio 219 was; that was the telephone extension. (EXTENSION 219)

I was stationed at salalah 1970-1971 and was a DJ on 219. My boss was F/O Nick Brewer SATCO. He was also a part of 219.

Yes it wasWakey Wakey rise and shine!

It`s Breakfast Special with 219!!!!

Thanks for the memory,

John Somerville ATC”

e-mail  20th May 2011

I was a ‘DJ’ at RAF Stanbridge in the 1960’s but that was a ‘Tannoy’ based system, not broadcast.I spent many a happy hour dragging cables around in the piping conduits to equip the outlying blocks.

We had one small room in one of the blocks with a 19″ rack based system of professional amps and turntables, and quite an extensive library of the latest pop records. It was probably funded by SIF, but I am not sure about that. when we were not ‘on air’ we had the facility to relay four separate BBC channels.

I suspect that a lot of the stations had similar equipment, but I never came across a live on air system until I auditioned for BFBS in Aden. Now that is another story.

Roy Walker
(RAF Amateur Radio Society)

Was the same at RAF Compton Bassett in early 60’s, wire broadcast.  Salalah now, if I recall correctly (I was in Bahrein in 70’s) was a BFPS station.  You could confirm that I guess with them, if their records (no pun intended!) go that far back…

Martyn Spence
(RAF Amateur Radio Society)

Ah those idyllic brown knees days – not a care in the world except where is the next beer coming from and will there be a pile up on 20m today!

I did the penal colony on Masirah in 65/66 (VS9OC) there was a medium wave broadcast station there It was totally operated by the RAF boys at Masirah (In those days only 97 white/red (sunburn) men on the Island) I cannot recall the station name but its kit was all Nuffield Trust supplied (for the entertainment and edification of the troops).  Likewise Gan in 71 had a similar set up, I did not get involved with that one as VS9MF was busy but I recall it was Radio 180 which was also the BFPO number (180).  So between the 2. If Salalah was BFPO 219 (QED) and I strongly suspect the kit was the result of Nuffield trust Grants.


(Got some fotos of the Masirah set up somewhere!!!)
(Mike G3VAO  Member RAFARS)
Hi All. I was a DJ at Aden Forces Broadcasting Station  was not aware of Salalah Radio Station and when I was at Masirah in 1959 again I was not aware of Radio Salalah so it must have been after 1960 when Persian Gulf stations became Forces Broadcasting stations.; Sorry cannot help you on this one 73 Terry Owen
(Member RAFARS)
Hi all
In the 70s I used to be a disc jockey once a week on the RAF Cosford ‘tannoy’ type broadcasting system with a programme entitled ‘Classics for classic haters’.I could play whatever classical music I liked. The intro music got quite popular…J S Bach’s Brandenberg Concerto No 3,1st movement.I believe a low power medium wave radio system replaced the tannoy one but when I don’t know when.
Best regards
(Member of RAFARS)

The BBC of course also broadcast from Masirah Island and were very anxious to retain that capability. So anxious in fact that the British Government were “on the hook” to service the airfield at RAF Salalah lest they lose that facility at Masirah.Radio Aden from the PDYR also broadcast in Arabic to DhofarThe USSR had a listening post in Socotra to the south but in addition Radio Moscow had an Arabic Service. A transcript from 1973 is included below in which they suggest that things were going rally rather badly for the Sultanate and that the rebels were gaining the upper hand.

Radio Moscow

Simon Crozier has sent these photographs from Germany which relate to his time as a DJ on Radio 219. (07/03/2019)

“Just finished a book about the BATT Vet (Andrew Higgins) and decided to revisit your website.

Your question about where Radio 219 got its name – it was the telephone number!

Here are a couple of photos to add to your RADIO 219 collection, that’s me in the studio with my evening show “The Old Grey Welly Boot Show”, I also did the breakfast show.”

Sn Sarfait 750x507 Web
Western Dhofar 23 Nov 22 Web 750x544
Sherishitti Sh 980 Deefa 750x656
Sherishitti Caves
Dianas Web 600
Sn Hawf 750x507