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Andy Dunsire

Andy Dunsire was a long term employee of Airwork Services in Salalah but who maintained a wide portfolio of interests outside of his day job. Andy died on 30th September 2021.


He is principally remembered for his photography, about which more to follow, but had a broad interest in a number of scientific disciplines. He spent a great deal of time, for instance, exploring the sink hole and flooded caves at Tawi Atair and in the early 80s a new species of fish, Garra Dunsirei, discovered in the caves was named after him.


Alan Abbott, who has also recently passed away (see separate report) commented:


Andy Dunsire was one of the Airwork Ltd (Bournemouth) support staff based at Salalah whose official role involved the servicing of SOAF aircraft. However he also eventually acquired another unofficial role which greatly helped the war effort. This began because Andy was a very low key, self-effacing yet amiable character who was quite happy paddling his own canoe through life, seemingly without any great ambitions or goals. His great passion was photography, and he came to everyone's notice as being very good at it, especially when his photos were taken in-flight from SOAF aircraft.

As Brigade Intelligence Officer I was always on the lookout for any way of acquiring more information about what the adoo were doing just across the border in PDRY. So, i sought Andy out and asked if he would be willing to turn his camera towards the PDRY the next time that he was doing a job for SAF anywhere in the vicinity.

At that point we had an interesting discussion. I was at pains to reassure him that no retasking of aircraft would be involved, and that HMG's rules about not overflying the border area would always be strictly adhered to. Andy, on the other hand, was more concerned with trying to assess how much this extra work might disrupt his planned next artistic portfolio.

However, being the affable chap that he was, he agreed to "to give it a go". There then followed an intermittent but very helpful stream of aerial photos. These culminated in some superb photos of the huge 130mm artillery pieces used by the PDRY for the cross-border shelling of Sarfait during Autumn 1975.

In his shy and modest way, Andy would be amused to think that he might have made a small but noteworthy contribution to winning the war. But he did, and it deserves to be remembered.

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