Extracts from the RAF Station Commander’s 
Operational Records Book

January 1973
Field Surgical Team
January was a quiet month for casualties, there were only five battle wounded including two Iranians. These latter created a precedent in that they were the first patients to be Aeromedevaced to Iran escorted by Capt Volkers and Cpl Markham. 51 surgical operations were performed of which 21 were secondary surgery.  

February 1973


In February the FST was visited by the DDMS Col Cameron Moffat.

( There is only one other record that I can find of a high ranking RAMC officer visiting Salalah – Col Lawrence ADMS NEARELF in 1975.  Senior officers could not have been fussing over any other FST as this one was the only active one at that time. – Webmaster)

March 1973

There were 13 primary surgery cases and 27 secondary cases completed during the month. The FST changed over personnel between the 12thand 15th and the new team were blooded on the 21st with an influx of casualties consisting of 5 dead 4 seriosly wounded and 3 minor wounded.

April 1973

It has been a fairly quiet month as far as battle casualties are concerned, 21 cases occurring, 2 of which were fatal gunshot wounds to the head. Two psychiatric cases were aeromedically evacuated. A seconded RAF officer sustained wounds of both legs when his personal weapon accidentally discharged, and after primary surgery he was evacuated to Cyprus. A soldier was also evacuated after treatment for a ahematoma of the leg following a fall.

Surgery on casualties for the month of April were Primary 19, Secondary 9.

May 1973

This has been a very quiet month from the battle casualty aspect, only 17 occurred and only three of these required more than primary debridement under local anaesthetic. Of the non-UK sick, it should be noted that of the 123 non-Europeans examined, 33 were Iranians. Lt Col R. Hodgkinson OC No 55 FST was medevacced to UK with a chest complaint which has since proved not to be serious.

Major Craig was attached from Cyprus to fill the gap left by Lt Col Hodgkinsons departure.

One of the high spots of the month was the caesarean section performed by the surgeons of the FST on ‘Spoon’ the Officers Mess bitch. There were two still born pups, but Mother has done well!.
Surgery on casualties for the month of May were Primary 8, Secondary 5.

June 1973

A relatively quiet  month, except that the sick parade attendance took another upward turn.

There were several interesting surgical cases including two intra-abdominal wounds, the second of which required 16 units of blood, 1 litre of Dextran70 and 2 units of blood during his treatment and had four operations. As he was Group B Rhesus negative most of the volunteer blood donors with Group ‘0’ ( Universal donor) Rhesus negative blood were asked to donate.

A hygiene inspection of the cam was also carried out and report submitted to OC detachment

Surgery or Casualties

Primary               10
Secondary            5

July 1973

Apart from the continuing rise in numbers attending sick parade, it has been a relatively quite month. Most of the sick were minor ailments.

There were two serious cases of missile injury, both form accidental discharges. Both patients had serious eye injuries and required Aeromedical evacuation.

Battle casualty surgery for the month :

Primary surgery                   6  cases
Secondary surgery               4  cases

A follow-up of the hygiene inspection of the station showed that most of the points referred to in the previous report had been dealt with.

August 1973

The numbers attending sick parade continue to increase, mainly due to an increase in gastroenteritis and influenza.

Missile injuries for the month totalled 6, all locally enlisted personnel. A helicopter accident resulted in two killed (locally enlisted) and 3 injured, 2 of these being minor injuries ( 1 seconded RAF officer and one local). The seriously injured pilot was evacuated to PMRAF Hospital Cyprus

Battle surgery for the month consisted of 6 primary and 8 secondary procedures

September 1973

There was an interesting immediate fall in the number of personnel reporting sick each morning when the monsoon lifted in the 3rd week of the month. Attendances fell from an average of 15 to an average of 8.

Seven cases of missile injury were admitted, all Local troops. The only injury to a UK based soldier was caused by the back blast from a Carl Gustav which blew off the man’s left arm at the shoulder.

Battle surgery for the month cosisted of 6 primary and 7 secondary procedures.

October 1973

The new team settled in well, dealing with 15 cases of missile injury all to local troops. There were no injuries to UK-based soldiers.

Battle surgery for the month consisted of 15 primary and 7 secondary procedures.

November 1973

No UK based soldiers were injured. Battle surgery for the month consited of 9 primary and 6 secondary procedures. All surgery cases were local persons

November 1973

No UK based soldiers were injured. Battle surgery for the month consited of 9 primary and 6 secondary procedures. All surgery cases were local persons

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