Fly Boy

Fly Boy

Book review by Fred Lane
Flyboy book coverLitchfield, G.  Fly Boy. 278 pp plus index. Self published, 2002, Eltham Vic. $36. email:

It is a tragedy, some might argue, that the RAN and various Australian governments let down so many brilliant young men who dedicated a good part of their lives, and some even that, for so little return. What a waste it was to see nearly all of the most able of the brilliant young RAN aircrew opt for job security and professional recognition in Qantas, TAA or some other airline in the 1950s and 1960s. Many lost even that in 1989 in yet another political imbroglio.

Geoff Litchfield was one of the many young aircrew who should have made flag rank in the RAN. Responding to the first of the erroneous Menzies statements about abandoning the Fleet Air Arm in 1960, he elected to retire and join TAA. It is perhaps ironic that he also fell foul of the Hawke-inspired AFPA pilots dispute in 1989.

To close the circle on tragedies, it is disappointing to see such an engrossing book as Fly Boy not edited and promoted by a mainstream publisher. It would be hard to imagine such a book about a USN pilot not being snapped up by an American publisher. This means that while the yarns are riveting, there are also a number of errors that a good professional editor would have caught.

Visual hook check?

For instance, it seems highly unlikely that Freddy Sherborne would have forgotten to lower his hook and conduct a mutual visual hook check before entering the carrier Charlie pattern (page 1). Damaged concrete heads might have made the three-inch rockets a little unstable (page 87), but usually it was broken cordite, that was more to blame. Bill Dunlop’s fatal crash was in a Vampire Trainer, not a Sea Fury (page 117), and its cause was a stray “Murphy” dinghy lanyard ferrule fouling the backwards movement of the control column. Finally, Peter Seed’s “rocket attack” on the New Zealand cruiser was not a deliberate pass in a Sea Venom in 1957 (page 121), but an accidental launch more than two miles outside the screen from one of Sydney’s  Sea Furies off Tasmania in 1951.

There are many other minor errors of fact and style, all of which detract from the book’s validity. However, there are one or two errors of omission that seems strange.

Phil R… effect

No mention is made, for instance, of the famous “Phil R… phenomenon” at a cocktail party. In his younger days Phil was the ultimate “chick magnet”, long before that phrase was coined. All Phil had to do was to stand around at a mixed function and all the eligible women flocked to him. “Until Phil made his choice of the evening clear, it was a total waste of time and effort to try to cut out one of those women,” Bill Vallack avers.

Geoff also fails to mention the famous “Huski duck-shoot” when a load of relatively senior aviators climbed into a Sycamore with shotguns in 1954 to put a little duck meat on the table. Unfortunately, they hunted in what turned out to be an animal sanctuary and in any event the RAN Sycamore helicopter had not been cleared for the highly politically sensitive task of firing shotguns from it. To make matters worse, the entire crew had taken up postings to different corners of the Earth within a week or so of the incident. In a final twist, they only bagged one decrepit worm-ridden shag, they claimed.

Still, there are enough hard data and rollicking good yarns here to more than justify the book. Let us trust that our local publishers one day will see the commercial opportunities and give such books the editorial and other support they so richly deserve.

Fly Navy 1945-2000

Fly Navy

FAA Anecdotes

book review by Fred Lane

Manning, C. (Ed.) Fly Navy: The view from the cockpit 1945-2000. Leo Cooper: Barnsley. 2000. 224 pp incl. index and photos. US$61.42.

The 2800 members of the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm Officers Association were invited to contribute recollections and photographs of their notable flying experiences between the years 1945 and 2000. A total of 113 responses are published in this book.

Professionally edited, the reports make a very colourful collation of carrier- and shore-based flying, in war and peace.

It is sobering to note that the year 2000 Fleet Air Arm Roll of Honour carried the names of 915 men who lost their lives in RN flying operations since 1946 (p. xiii). The book does not wail about the dead. It is about the survivors.

Each chapter describes operations relating to a specific decade and each carries a list of aircrew numbers killed during that period. Clearly, a proper analysis requires comparison with data such as the total number of hours flown that year by the RN, whether nasties were shooting back, and other operational factors, but the raw scores suggest the 1950s were the most lethal, with an average of 33.5 pilots plus 10.8 aircrew and others killed each year.

The 1950s saw the entire nature of naval flying change, with the introduction of jet fighters, air-to-air missiles, turboprop aircraft and helicopters. It also saw the introduction of the angled deck, steam catapult and mirror deck-landing sight. Fighter weights more than quadrupled, from an 8500 lb (3850 kg) Seafire in 1950 to a 40,000 lb (18,144 kg) Scimitar in 1958. The Seafire trundled in at 90 knots. The Scimitar hit the wires at 135 knots.

It required a number of years to install the angled deck on all RN carriers, but meanwhile, until the mirror replaced the LSO, the entire landing signals system changed from “British” to “American” around 1950. This meant that, for instance, the old British “Go Lower” signal, answered reflexively by experienced pilots, now meant the opposite: “You are Low”. Late finals is no time for cognitive deliberations. Not all the extensive retraining was successful. Then, unlike the USN, the RN discarded the LSO entirely when they introduced the mirror. The RAN followed the RN and made do without LSOs, until Skyhawks and Trackers arrived in 1969.

Personal reports

The heart of the book, however, lies in its very personal reports. For instance, what do you do if the “spectacular, unsafe and unpopular” RATOG doesn’t fire when you press the tit in a Sea Fury? If you are quick enough, you throttle back and apply the brakes. In most instances the aircraft slowed to graceful walking pace before it swan-dived off the bow (p 38).

Then there are a number of hair-raising stories about accidents that led to overcoming novel problems, like engine failure in Wyverns due to fuel starvation off the catapult, to pitch-up and stall problems in Buccaneers due to slow acceleration after catapulting (p 59).

Ejecting could ruin your whole day. Worse, one pilot pointed his sick Seahawk seawards off Scotland and deliberately ejected over land, only to find that his aircraft doubled back to crash ashore while a strong offshore wind blew him out to sea (p 68).

Misunderstanding God

Gods politics

Politics and religion in the USA

book review by Fred Lane

Wallis, J. God’s politics: Why the right gets it wrong and the left doesn’t get it. Harper: San Francisco. 2005. 384pp. $40.

Naval officers traditionally sidestep discussions about politics and religion, for very good reasons. Jim Wallis agrees that these topics are avoided in polite company (p. xvii), then he goes on to supply some very good ammunition in support of this position.

Wallis is one of those evangelical preachers that America produces so prolifically. Their fundamentalist factions wield increasing political power, both through direct intervention with the population at large and by lobbying elected officials. Wallis’s opening salvo in this book is challenging: “Many of us feel that our faith has been stolen, and it’s time to take it back … How did the faith of Jesus come to be known as pro-rich, pro-war and only pro-American?”(p. 1).

Along with the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Bishop Desmond Tutu and Martin Luther King, Wallis rails against the neglect of the poor and powerless while the mainstream agenda of the right focuses on issues such as homosexuality, abortion and war. His response to all these is to say, “How are the kids doing?”

He makes a strong point that people who are honest and eager to work hard should not have to struggle to bring their children up in poverty, anywhere. America, and by inference Australia, has the wherewithal to raise armies and make some people very rich, but, “How are the kids doing?”

Randal Balmer

Wallis is not alone. At least half a dozen books on the same subject were published in 2005. Randal Balmer, the highly respected evangelical Professor of Religion at Barnard College, wrote one. He points out how 19th century evangelicals campaigned for issues such as abolition of slavery, universal suffrage and public education.

Now, Balmer says, these issues have been replaced by abortion, gay marriage, intelligent design and other agenda virtually indistinguishable from that of hard right American politics. The evangelical movement regularly mobilised millions of votes for President G.W. Bush and the Republican Party, he stated.

Laurie Goodstein is the national religion correspondent for the New York Times, and before that reported religion at the Washington Post. She won many important awards for her coverage of religion. She makes the same charge, but shows how opposition to mainstream policies can be costly.

I lie for a living

I spy book cover

Spies and counterspies

book review by Fred Lane
Shugar, Antony. I lie for a living: The greatest spies of all time. National Geographic: Washington, D.C. 2006. 189 pp. (US$14.40, paperback)

This book is required reading for all those interested in espionage and national level whistle blowing. It is an enthralling but very brief description of 60-odd spies and their various contributions to the history of spying. Peter Earnest, the Director of the International Spy Museum and ex-case officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, with “some 25 years” in “the company”, wrote the foreword. The book is full of insights into how professional spies regard their craft. It pulls no punches in praising good spy craft of any political persuasion and it shows clearly how stupidity knows no borders.

Logically, the book starts with a description of spymasters such as Sir Francis Walsingham, of Elizabethan times, and Cardinal Richelieu. It shows how these master manipulators gained and passed on information that influenced their cause. In more modern times it looks at the methods used in spy rings set up by George Washington and Allan Dulles. The latter, according to the book, was implicated in the 1953 overthrow of Iran’s leader, Mohammad Mossadeq, when he attempted to nationalise the oil industry, and Jacobo Arbenz, the Guatemalan President, when he threatened the huge American conglomerate, United Fruit, in 1954.


It is interesting to explore the motivation of spies. Some, like Aldrich Ames, appear to have spied simply for the money. Others, like Richard Sorge and Vitaly Yurchenko had higher motives. Then there is the “Oxbridge group”, Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and Donald Maclean, who together severely compromised British and American intelligence in the Cold War years for a host of reasons, ranging from communist dedication to maybe just the thrill of it.

Then there was Dimitri Polyakov, the highest-ranking GRU officer ever known to cooperate with the West and to earn the title of “crown jewel of US Intelligence”. After almost 20 years, he was betrayed by two little rats: Aldrich Ames of the CIA and Robert Hanssen of the FBI. Dimitri seemed to spy for his beliefs in that while he ardently loved his country, he did not love its communist leaders. The leaders executed him in 1986, six years after he retired.

Not overlooked are the cryptanalysts, like the brilliant Alan Turing, who led an outstanding Bletchley Park team and invented the first computer on the way to cracking the German Enigma code. Homosexual by nature, but against the law at the time, Turing was charged with “gross indecency and sexual perversion” after he reported a burglary in 1951. He tragically committed suicide in 1954 by eating a cyanide-laced apple.

Feminists will take pride in noting that there were a large number of highly successful female spies, of all political persuasions, and they were just as brave and resourceful as their male counterparts. Some, like Mata Hari and Ethel Rosenberg, were executed for their pains. Others, like Virginia Hall DSC MBE, were highly decorated.

Spy catchers

No modern spy book would be complete without a discussion about counterintelligence and the role of spy catchers. So were more proficient that others. The first of these, William Melville, is conjectured by some to be the model for Ian Fleming’s “M” in the James Bond series. Melville joined the new Special Irish Branch of the London Police Force in 1882 and stayed with it as it mutated into the Special Branch. Others discussed in the book include the obsessive James Jesus Angleton with his perceived “wilderness of mirrors” and long-time FBI head J. Edgar Hoover.

Clearly, the spies mentioned are only a very select few who have contributed to the craft of spying and spy catching. By the very nature of their trade, there are probably thousands of active spies known only to their handlers. There must be very few national secrets of any import not known to the “other side”.


Salvo book cover


Book review by Fred Lane

Edwards, B. Salvo: Classic naval gun battles. Naval Institute Press: Annapolis 1955. 184pp, 36 photographs, track charts, bibliography and index. US$23.36. (Cheaper new and secondhand books may be found at remainder counters and on the internet.)

In yet another gripping book, CAPT Bernard Edwards RN describes 18 classic naval gun battles that date from the Yalu River action in 1894 to the Battle of the Surigao Strait in 1944. This book is one of a series of a dozen or more by the same author, all describing naval actions and the ways of the seafarer. In this instance, he has chosen well. His battles range from massive fleet engagements, such as the 1915 Dogger Bank battle, to the single ship Sydney I versus Emden engagement in 1914 and the mysterious Sydney II versus Kormoran action in 1941. As befits a navigator, his many track charts clearly illustrate the various battles without extraneous clutter.

Edwards explains in his introduction that before the Yalu River action, the all-important naval gunnery tactic was not much advanced from the broadside with muzzle-loading cannon, often at ranges of 100 yards or less. The RN-trained Japanese at Yalu, in their Dreadnought-era ships, defeated a strong Chinese fleet supporting an invasion force. They used modern guns and fired them at much longer ranges. It might be noted, however, that the Japanese fleet withdrew, not because it had sunk all the Chinese warships, but because it was running out of ammunition.

Coronel and Falklands

On the other hand, the overwhelmingly decisive battles of Coronel and the Falklands Islands in 1914 resulted in the virtual annihilation of the enemy fleets. First the British, under RADM Cradock off Coronel, lost the heavy cruisers Good Hope and Monmouth in a 40-minute action on 1 November 1914 without inflicting serious damage on any German ship. Then the victorious RADM Von Spee’s German squadron met its nemesis off the Falklands, losing both battlecruisers and two of his three cruisers at the hands of a vastly superior Royal Navy fleet commanded by RADM Sturdee. Dresden was the only German cruiser to escape and even her end came three months later when HMS Kent and Glasgow caught her coaling in the Pacific.

In a well written chapter about SMS Königsberg‘s blockade and destruction (Newsletter 68, March 2007, pp 11-18) there is an excellent description of the German cruiser’s successful Zanzibar sortie where she destroyed the anchored British cruiser HMS Pegasus.

Edwards confirms that on 6 July 1915 this Rufigi Delta “operation entered the history books [as] the first combined air-sea operation.” He also confirmed that the spotter planes were “obliged to fly low and were forced to take violent evasive action to avoid the fierce concentration of small arms fire coming up at them,” and that without “aerial observation [the monitor’s] bombardment was a waste of ammunition.” These important points are frequently overlooked in modern descriptions of the action.

Last big gun battle

Edwards describes the last big gun battle, the Surigao Strait slaughter, 25 October 1944 when, in a series of interconnected bloody battles, the Japanese lost two 36,000-ton battleships, two heavy cruisers and three destroyers. The Allied force lost one PT boat and one destroyer damaged by friendly fire. In one 20-minute period, RADM Oldendorf’s ships, which included five battleships and eight cruisers, fired no less than 3,250 shells at the approaching Japanese force.

The last significant surface ship vs surface ship action of WW II, and perhaps of all time, as Edwards observes, was the successful attack by five RN destroyers led by CAPT Manley Power on the Japanese cruiser Haguro, 16 May 1945. Haguro sank after three almost simultaneous torpedo hits.

Air-launched guided missiles, starting with the German Henschel Hs 293A-1 success on 23 August 1943 and the Ruhrstall/Kramer SD 1400 Fritz-X a few days later in WW II, add an entirely new dimension to the face of this kind of naval battle.

Collision Course

Collison Course book cover

 ADML Ray Lygo

Book review by Fred Lane
Lygo R. Collision course: Lygo shoots back. The Book Guild: Lewes 2002. 551pp plus glossary, index and photographs.
Internet cost: $50 incl postage.

Ray Lygo, worked as a printer’s copyholder before joining the RN as a Naval Airman Second Class in 1942 . He never sat for a School Certificate but coerced his way past the Recruiting CPO’s desk by insisting that his Air Training Corps Cadet service was sufficient for aircrew. A distinguished career followed, as a Fleet Air Arm fighter pilot, Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and Commanding Officer of a number of ships and squadrons. He retired at age 51 as ADML Sir Raymond Lygo, KCB, First Sea Lord, joining British Aerospace and becoming chairman of a number of illustrious British companies.

Choppy start

He starts his book with an unfortunate fancy-schmancy literary device used by writers of lesser ability of suddenly chopping back and forth from his collision as Captain of Ark Royal with a Russian destroyer in the Mediterranean to negotiating important contracts as Chairman of British Aerospace a couple of decades later. He also makes minor errors, like reversing the RN/USN Landing Signals Officer (Batsman) signals. Bear with him. The rest of the book is worth these painful Lorenz-style imprinting events.
Dozens of names familiar to Australians pop out of the pages. Ex-FOCAF Chas Eccles is mentioned and Mike Fell, 20th CAG Commander and Sydney CAG Commander in Korea, appears from time to time. Corky Corkhill is another. Barney Barron, later CO of RAN 805 Squadron in 1959-60, is correctly identified as one of those highly competent “terrible twins of Culdrose” in 1953.

Lygo’s autobiography spans an important period in the RN’s history. He describes how the RN finally shook itself clear of the 1930s Fleet Air Arm malaise, at considerable cost, then slumped from a potent carrier-backed force into a mere rump of its former self. He shows how the RN lost three of its four big aircraft carriers early in WW II due, in no small measure, to mismanagement. As a Seafire pilot in the Pacific during WW II, he learned the hard lessons about operating a land-based machine converted for carrier use, compared with American purpose-built carrier aircraft like the F4U Corsair.

The Seafire (left), despite its Battle of Britain reputation, was inferior to American carrier purpose-built
aircraft such as theF4U Corsair in durability, range, endurance and other important factors.

He graphically describes the almost constant RAF aircraft versus RN carrier battles inside Whitehall that ranged from sniping to downright lies. Tragically, when the dust settled and the RAF won their case, the RN lost their proposed new aircraft carrier and the major capabilities that went with it, but the RAF did not get their TSR2 and other expected aircraft. Neither did the non-aviation admirals, who frequently supported the RAF position, get their anticipated cruisers and destroyers. The money simply disappeared into general revenue. “Aircraft carrier” became such a pejorative term that awkward semantics like “through deck cruiser” had to be invented.

Importantly, as Lygo says, the eminently obvious but overlooked solution was “a larger class of aircraft carriers, built to commercial standards and therefore much cheaper, concentrating all their build into the flying facilities, leaving it to the escort vessels to provide protection apart from point defence,” (p315).

In Lygo’s post-WW II era, frigates and destroyers not only performed their war-related duties but also important diplomatic missions. Lygo describes how he participated in at least three of these in command of ships as a LCDR and CMDR, during visits to Grenada in the Caribbean, Waterford in Ireland and Algeciras in Spain, all without a “Minister-for-Everything” peering over his shoulder.

Australia, move over

In one of the never-ending internecine Fleet Air Arm versus RAF carrier battles, the RAF claimed that they could comfortably conduct both surveillance and fighter duties over the oceans from existing (or planned) bases. Therefore aircraft carriers were unnecessary. The money would be better spent on RAF aircraft. This lie was exposed during Lygo’s watch as Deputy Director of Naval Air Warfare when he found the RAF using deliberately doctored maps. They had moved Australia some 200 miles west to bolster their Indian Ocean argument.

Later, in command of Ark Royal, he was challenged with attacking an RAF base while on passage from Gibraltar to the UK. The RAF had ample surveillance and fighter forces to defend against this attack as well as a good idea about its timing. Lygo simply detached his support group of replenishment ships and some escorts to look like a carrier force attacking from the west. He even sent aircraft out to simulate touch and goes on a big tanker. Meanwhile, keeping radar and radio silence, he closed from the south and launched an unopposed “nuclear” strike with a Scimitar, in effect wiping out the RAF base.

Biased decisions

One questionable decision during his Ministry of Defence watch was an expensive industry-related policy to design and develop new afterburning Rolls Royce Spey engines to replace the tried, true and sufficient Pratt and Whitney J79s in the American Phantoms purchased for the RN and RAF. On the one hand, money was squandered for no real military purpose, while vital naval concerns, such as a replacement carrier, were obfuscated. Another time, a big team visited the USA to investigate an offer of three ex-USN carriers at bargain prices. Not one naval aviator was on the team. Not surprisingly, the team declined the offer. Crucial operations-related decisions were sometimes delegated to totally unqualified but politically-connected “scientists”, contaminated by doctored or incomplete data.

He was also lucky. He was a passenger in a 12-seater naval DeHavilland Heron when the pilot flew it into trees during an instrument letdown to RAF Base Turnhouse, Scotland (p331). There was a “great deal of structural damage”, the wings were “almost in ribbons” and a small electrical fire started in the fuselage. However, a hole magically appeared in the clouds, with a runway straight ahead, so the pilot threw it on, flapless at 120 knots, without inflicting further damage.

Flash up checklists

Best of all, Lygo describes the era when flying was fun and the navy was not so much a bean-counter’s profession as an adventure. Lygo was responsible for brilliant practical jokes and other stunts, which kept everyone on their toes and built morale. At the same time it was Lygo who introduced a now-standard check list, like a pilot’s check list, for flashing up boilers. As an A1 QFI, Lygo adapted flying instructional techniques to the seamanship profession. As a pilot, he was always aware of the bottom line: know your limits, in the air and on the ground.

In civilian life he applied the lessons he learned as a divisional officer and commanding officer. Whether dealing with unions or negotiating major company takeovers Lygo always wanted to know what was the predominant aim and whether the data were true. He found no substitute for “clear lower deck “eyeball-to-eyeball talks” and shop-floor “rounds”.

Vung Tau ferry

Vung Tau ferry

HMAS Sydney: the Vung Tau ferry

book review by Fred Lane

Nott R.T. and N. A. Payne (2001) The Vung Tau ferry: HMAS Sydney and escort ships. 3rd Ed. Noel and Margaret Payne: Nerang. (168 pages plus 90-odd pages of addenda such as crew lists and escort ship details. Cost $29.95. Self published hardback.)

This 258-page book is a very readable anecdotal history of the involvement of HMAS Sydney in the Vietnam War, ranging from her first voyage to Vung Tau in 1965 to her last in 1972. The main thrust and about a third of the book, by volume, never strays far from the political and legal struggle surrounding the award of the “Return from Active Service Badge” and other benefits for her crew. About another third lists details of Sydney and her ships company, also data about other RAN ships, including Jeparit and Boonaroo, who shared the logistics, escort and gun line burdens in Vietnam. Excellent photographs and charts illustrate the story.

Unfortunately, the Australian politicians of the day seem in retrospect to have been more interested in feathering their own nests, through generous pay rises and pension entitlements, than recognising the hardships and danger that went with the job of obeying their directions to maintain Australian forces in the field.

Some politicians even argued that granting honours to Sydney’s sailors might risk some paltry millions of dollars to fund possible future Defence Force Housing grants. Other senior uniformed personnel seriously argued that any campaign medal would be devalued if it was awarded to logistics people, such as Sydney’s crew.

The Australian government finally issued the Return from Active Service Badge in 1986 in response to sustained efforts by groups such as the Vietnam Logistics Support Group that formed in 1985. In 1992 they authorised the award of the Vietnam Logistics and Support Medal.

Missed opportunities

The authors criticise unnamed “academic historians” for much of the government’s position. Unfortunately, they fail to present a detailed case and reasoned argument showing how they arrived at this conclusion or even rebutting the miscreants point by point. This is a pity. They probably had the ammunition.

The book seems to be not so much a substantially original work by Nott and Payne, but more an edited compilation of articles and data by a variety of authors, including Buster Crabb and Red Merson, with interspersed editorial comment by the nominal authors. Some accounts are very real, very personal and very exciting. Others lead to assertions which, without better supporting evidence, could be easily misinterpreted as reflections of paranoia at a number of command levels. Additionally, verbatim Reports of Proceedings and Temporary Memoranda are rarely riveting or necessarily convincing. Even Churchill, never the most erudite of authors, at least placed essential excerpts of these in appendices.

There is no doubt that the good ship Sydney performed to her usual “above and beyond” standards. Her crew, many of them young teenagers and barely out of recruit school, rose to the occasion under the able leadership of their NCOs and officers. It must have been sobering for them to see a massive real life firepower demonstration on their approach to anchoring at Vung Tau.

Sydney unloading
HMAS Sydney unloads at Vung Tau.

They were also reminded of their responsibilities by precautions such as the blackout as they approached the coast. In harbour, they had armed lookout sentries, boat patrols trolling anti-swimmer harpoons, divers inspecting the ship’s bottom and random scare charges detonating. Maybe Sydney was not attacked because the Viet Cong were just not interested in her as a target. Others might argue equally forcefully that the danger was there but the ship’s aggressive defence posture deterred the enemy from even thinking about attacking.

Not mentioned was the last Sydney Vietnam logistics trip, when she loaded retiring Australian troops and equipment from Singapore, rather than Vung Tau, in 1973.

Bibliography problems

The book has a short bibliography but, oddly, no citations to these references in the main body. Furthermore, in contrast to Steve Eather’s book, Get the bloody job done, which is mentioned in the text, but not listed in the bibliography, there is no index or systematic analysis of both sides.

In short, this is a series of great anecdotal yarns about a great ship and her even greater crew. The tale is worthy of greater effort and scholarship. With just a little more work it could have been made into something much more memorable. It is perhaps a reflection of the political and publisher apathy that surrounds the subject that such a book is yet to be written and published.


Eather, S. Get the bloody job done. Allen & Unwin: St Leonards, 1998.