The Royal Air-Force and Army base in Belize, we know it as Belize Airport Camp, in Ladyville long ago
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Monday November 23, 2018

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British Army Camp at Ladyville. Always well kept, nice tennis courts. Photo credit: Dave Ellis

Airport Camp under British Administration. Best days of my life, The NAFFI, any beer for $1, oh boy. Photo credit: Eddie Joseph
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The Royal Air-Force and Army base in Belize, we know it as Belize Airport Camp, in Ladyville long ago

Top photo is the entrance to the British Forces Airport Camp. Clean green landscaping and streets nicely paved.

In 1972, after Britain announced it was sending 8,000 servicemen to conduct amphibious exercises in Belize, and other parts of the Caribbean. Guatemala responded by massing troops on the border. Although no violence resulted, Britain thereafter increased the size of its regular garrison to act as a deterrent to Guatemalan adventurism.

Talks resumed in 1973 but broke off two years later when Guatemala threatened invasion, first in November 1975 and again in July 1977. Britain responded each time by sending in troops and aircraft. Britain kept a battalion of troops, a flight of fighter aircraft, and one-half squadron of RAF fighters and ground-attack aircraft in Belize after 1975. In all the British contingent grew from some 750 personnel in 1970 to about 1,500 in the mid-1970s. By this time, people living in the colony generally agreed that a continued British military presence would be necessary to guarantee security for an independent Belize.

Talks between Britain and Guatemala resumed in 1985, and all three countries began the work to draft a treaty to deal with outstanding economic, political, and territorial issues. Progress was interrupted in November 1988 when a Guatemalan gunboat fired on an unarmed British naval vessel in the disputed Gulf of Honduras. Britain dispatched two Royal Air Force Harrier jets to Belize in response, but the incident was quickly resolved after Guatemala indicated it had only fired warning shots at the vessel, which it claimed had strayed into Guatemalan waters.

Alan Jackson: During Hurricane Greta in 1978 I was stranded on the road between Belize City and the airport, wet and cold, and was rescued by the British Army, put in the back of a big lorry and driven to Airport Camp where they promised me a dry blanket and a bowl of hot soup. I am still waiting for it.

Maria E Villanueva Bindel: The Naffi perfumse, colognes and the liquor were very cheap compare to stores, we had a friend that loved my cooking. Was a real gentleman. My husband use to do construction for the British Army! And the nougat!

Ashton Flowers: You dont want to see it now one word. "dilapdated"

Sabina Carcamo-Hernandez: I use to work there they paid well. That was almost 40 years ago

Joseito Sosa: Yes I surely remember those days . Living in Big Creek at the times and these troops bring station in Placencia especially the Gurgos . Well their tins of beets were much larger that the others if I remember correctly they were 16 oz . Well I had a bar restaurant in bottom flat of the BQ building which I lived at the North end of the building upstairs . Also able to sell hard liquor and beers along with food being served. Well the guys use to come over and we as well use to go over there and exchange the Caribbean Rum for cases of the beers. Which the customers loved. Were really very enjoyable days.

Percival Thompson: Ladyville got its name from those Limeys who went out there to meet the not soo ladies. The club of choice was owned by some guy nicknamed ROOSTER. He had a son in Boom. The Limeys once wrecked Ladyville because one of their soldiers was hurt or killed by locals. King's Regiment 1969. After the incident they were replaced by the Green Howards.

Luz Hunter: It is Ladyville because of the small church called Our Lady of the Way. I remember going to that church before even going to school, late 50's.

Percival Thompson: It was ladyville before that church was put there. That place was a carbon copy of jan skaanz bay. what hapned in lady ville stayed in lady ville. that church was put there to purificate the area.

Roberto Navarrete: Joe Lewis was the only club back then.

Percival Thompson: Roberto Navarrete dats waaaaaaaay bak den on the main highway then clubs start popping up on the feeder roads the population grew . airport camp was the financial foundation of the infant lady ville.

Eli-Eds Anderson They break up everything before they hand over the camp to the BDF.

Above and below: Army Air Corps Gazelle at Airport Camp Their base was just outside Butcher Radar's main entrance. Photo credit: Ricardo Txs.

George Villanueva: Headquarters for British forces Belize, Airport Camp, photos all taken 1973. Clerical & Postal Roll. Sadly many of these gentleman have passed away in these four photos below taken in 1973.

Butcher Radar at Airport Camp early 80s. Photo credit: Clem Fandango

Butcher Radar Crew circa 80s. Photo credit:Clem Fandango

RAF Regiment on your in Belize with rapier missile at the Belize International Airport.

Top photograph courtesy Delvith Retreage

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