RAF Seletar Air Base

British Belvederes

RAF Seletar Marine Craft unit close to the Yacht Club and Sunderland Hangar on the waterfront.

Seletar Pier.Notice a mounted Oerlikon Gun on the marine craft to be used in case of contact with the enemy. It was 1965 and during the height of confrontation with Indonesia.

Bloodhound ground to air defence missles on the base

Officers and airmen of No. 389 Maintenance Unit on parade in 1965

Seletar Base Country Club

Runways at the airbase

Base aircraft hangers
Road leading to the camp.

Seletar was one of the many airbases that the Royal Air Force had here in Singapore. Their plans in 1921 was to build an airbase, a naval and flying boat base here, with the first planes arriving in 1928, a few years after completion. It was the largest airbase outside of Britan since it was contructed.

The RAF base in Seletar also served as a civil airport from 1930 and onwards.
It was during the 1960s that the airbase was home to squadrons of a variety of planes and helicopters, mostly to help cope with the troops stationed in North Borneo during the "Confrontation" with Indonesia.

Most of its servicemen were the airmen from Britan, and also a few handful of locals as well, who maintained and stationed at the base from 1947 (after WWI) till 1971, when the British withdrew their forces from Singapore.

For the British, they were either housed at the camp site itself, or for the officers or permanent residents, at the "black and white" bungalows in an area informally known as "Little England" located within the camp, and their streets held names such as "Hyde Park Gate" and "Duke Street" . They also had the convience of the the local food stores and shophouses which were outside the camp. Also, there was the Seletar Country Club also within the camp, with allowed the officers and servicemen to engage in recreational activities while off duies during the weekends.

The airbase was along the West side of the Seletar Camp. The living quaters at the airbase was divided into the "Married" quaters and the "Singles" quaters. There were also ample facilities for the servicemen to use while serving at the airbase.
References and Photos courtesy of John Deyer 389 MU, RAF Seletar
By Benjamin Low 3E3


John Dyer said…
Some of the photographs used are mine from the period 1965 -1968. Some of the captions are incorrect (I don't know who put them in!). The 'British Choppers' are Belvederes, The so called 'Hercules' is in fact a Beverley. The 'Naval Base' photos are in fact of the RAF Seletar Marine Craft unit close to the Yacht Club and Sunderland Hangar on the waterfront.

I hope this puts the record straight!

John Dyer
ex 389 MU, RAF Seletar
John Dyer said…
Some further comments reference my photos. 'The officers on their daily march' were in fact the officers and airmen of No. 389 Maintenance Unit on a periodic parade in 1965. On the photos of the Marine Craft boats at Seletar pier, you will notice a mounted Oerlikon Gun, in case of contact with the enemy, at that time Indonesia during confrontation, in 1965.

John Dyer
Ex 389 MU, RAF Seletar
Dear John,

Thank you for the comments. We will get the details corrected. Thank you for your help. We will also ensure that the proper credits are provided.

Thanks once again.

3E3 Team
John Dyer said…
Dear 3E3 Team,

Thank you for correcting the captions on the photos. I can only claim credit for the top 6 photos (the black and white ones)starting with the Belvederes. The lower four colour photos (Seletar Base country club onwards) are not mine!

Best wishes

John Dyer
Anonymous said…
Hi all,

I recently bought a pewter tankard at a local auction in Hamilton, Scotland, It is Selangor Pewter, not yet Royal Selangor!

I used to live in singapore, so when i seen raf seletar engraved on it, there was an obvious attraction. The full inscription reads-

9X SITE 389 MU

It would be great if you could help me shed some light on this tankard, why it would have been given, was this a common thing? And also on W. Richardson. I've tried to photograph the tankard but the inscription does not come out well in the pic, I'll try again and send you on a pic if i'm successful.

Hope you can help, and thank you,

Martin Toy martinltoy@aol.com
Anonymous said…
i quartered on raf seletar 1961-62. served with australian army signals working at ck2. what a memorable time i had as a young man. great memories of jalan kayu, singapore etc. the swimming pool on base was a great attraction. held position running the cub packs of 17th singapore and the 66th seletar air until passed over to ken toogood when i posted to penang. still trying to find friends (raf) tom and dot cooper and son melvin, some day may get lucky. memories of the amahs markets in j.k. on friday nites still memorable, the local shops, the highway bar, "rottensamy's" book shop, so many fond memories. len eaton (leaton@ecn.net.au or mobile in oz 0400242077
Anonymous said…
I'll think you will find the 2 photo's indicating "Seletar country club" are in fact the golf course (foreground and left) and the RAF junior school(background and right)on the two photo's.
David Lloyd said…
The Oerliken on the TTL predated Confontation. It was in fact fitted in 1962 as part of anti pirate operations. I was an Air Wireless Mechanic on 1124 MCU at that time and I have a copy of Air Clues covering the event.

David Lloyd
RAF Seletar Association
Brian Bridle said…
I lived at Jalan Kellulet, Seletar Hills. But before "living out" remember Jalan Kayu with its Aromas. The tailors shop down on the far left from camp. The Fish&chip shop left out of camp with that beautiful daughter of his and terrific tasting fish. Bought a timex because my "Hamilton" misted up above 2000ft.
Had a speed boat for ski-ing and loved the size of the pool, once you were passed the monkeys in the swamp.
Lisa Brown said…
I live in New Zealand and have a long interest in aviation. My other half, also a pilot picked up a couple of silver mugs at a garage sale here in Whitianga. Both were presented to the Officers' Mess by Wing Commander W Hopkin and FLT LT L Lewis in 1960 or close to it. Methinks these mugs need to have their history explained and if possible, returned to any family member who treasures their family heritage.
I most certainly respect these mugs as a representation of the two men who devoted themselves to flying for their Country.
If any of you old farts like me happen upon this email and can shed some light on these mugs, please get back to me at whitiartist@gmail.com
Kevin Marshall said…
I was interested in the first photo showing the air sea rescue launch with a gun on it as we were based at Seletar between 1963 and 1966. I believe that my father, Flt Lt Paul Marshall was in charge of that launch and I am pretty sure that the Vauxhall Cresta in the photo was ours as my father owned a cream one.
I have lots of photos from Seleta and Changi including cine film clips that i have transferred to DVD. One of the clips is a five minute movie of a flying boat stopping off for refuelling before being handed over to the New Zealand air force
Our Team said…
Dear Kevin,

Thank you for writing. We would love to have a copy of the photos you mentioned and the film clips. Could you send us the link to these photos and film clip?

Our email is jalankayutrail@gmail.com

Best Regards,

Admin Jalan Kayu Trail