RAF Tengah A short history.

Tengah Troop,19 Signal regiment was responsible for the airfield communications associated with RAF Tengah. During the 60’s the troop was commanded by a Royal Signals Captain, assisted by a Troop S.Sgt and a Foremen of Signals.

RAF Tengimage001ah was commissioned in 1939. Tengah airfield was the target of carpet bombing when Japanese navy bombers conducted the first air raid on Singapore, shortly after the Battle of Malaya began. It was also the first airfield to be captured when Japanese forces invaded Singapore. After the Japanese capture of Singapore and control of Tengah this effectively ensured that the Japanese Army took control of the south while the Japanese Navy took command of the north, which included the Royal Navy dockyard at Sembawang.

Malayan Emergency

During the Malayan Emergency, Tengah based aircraft performed bombing sorties on communist terrorist bases/hideouts of the Malayan Communist Party deep in the jungles of  Malaysia. The fifties , Tengah aircraft included Hornets, Venoms, T11’s, Canberras and Lincolns and later, during the period of Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, the RAF deployed  English Electric Lightnings, Hunter fighter aircraft  and  Gloster Javelins , to the air base to help bolster the air defence of Singapore and Peninsula Malaysia against infrequent air incursions from the Indonesian Air Force.

On 3 September 1964, an Indonesian Air Force C-130 Hercules crashed into the Straits of Malacca while trying to evade interception by a Javelin FAW.9 of 60 Squadron. avro


A detachment Avro Vulcan V bombers  were deployed to Tengah & Butterworth during the period of Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation As a show of force to deter the Indonesians from launchlightninging an all-out war during this period, the RAF also deployed a V bomber force detachment to Tengah in the form of Victor  bombers from 15 Squadron in August 1963,

The RAF station closed at the end of March 1971 and Tengah was handed over to the later the Republic of Singapore Air Force by 1973, after the British pullout.

The pictures below were sent in by Peter Wall who was at Elim Camp and Tengah troop in 1948. Sorry about the “Grainy ” photos but Peter took these with a Brownie box camera.


Pete Wall Tengah Troop 1948

Peter Wall  was stationed at Elim Camp and then Tengah in 1948. These pictures were taken with a Brownie box camera

Apologies for the “fuzziness” …but it was 1948



Tengah from the air

MDF frame and fault desk

Fault control in Tengah

Shot of the Mins distribution frame and fault finding meter.

1 + 4 Carrier equipment

A big breakthrough at the time

4 telephone lines over one pair of cables.

Now they can put tens of thousands


Davis coming out of the billet. So who is Davis?

Cable fault

Looks a bit like a crafty smoke break.

These linemen were called in from Seletar Troop to fix the fault

and another cable fault

Remember in those days all the UG cables were lead…and not always easy to joint.

Another Detachment called in from Seletar Troop

1949 Detachment

Any names ? Peter Wall is on the left, back row…with the funny hat on !

Work must go on!

About to raise a pole to put a cable into the LEP camp.

Up the pole

A Lineman doing his bit.This is the pole when it is raised to the LEP camp

Peter Wall and Jessiman

Times up. You’ve done your bit. Now get off home…Peter on the right

Terminal Buildings

A bit too distant to get much detail

The barrack block

Pete Says they were on the top floor. Bit of a difference from the tents at Changi at the time

Henry Hurst is transferred from Seletar to Tengah.

Some memories of Tengah Troop….circa 1966

Locally Enlisted soldier's wedding

Group photo of LEP wedding. Mainly Changi Troop and Tengah Troop personnel.

Bill Scott's farewell

Troop Sgt Bill Scott’s farewell party

More pictures of Bill Scott's farewell party

Picture incudes Henry, John Palmer, Bill Scott (in the sonkok) Willie Henderson and Bob Yeoman.