Candidate Profile

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EXPERTISE
Anthropology & Cultural Studies
Aviation
Destinations & Ports
History - Aviation
History - Military
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH:
BIOGRAPHY
Aldon Ferguson is a military historian specialising in the RAF and USAF and also an expert on Russia and the former FSU. After being commissioned in the Royal Air Force he graduated as a Chartered Surveyor and specialised in commercial property. He became the first Chartered Surveyor to operate in the Former Soviet Union setting up his own offices in Moscow, St Petersburg and Kiev, Ukraine. The 17 year business experience in the region led to extensive travel across the entire FSU, literally from Mongolia to Poland.

He now works with the Air Historical Branch (RAF), RAF Heritage and Historic England in recording military bases for future generations and the public archive. He has written nine books on RAF historical subjects and appeared many times on national TV, local TV and is consulted by the BBC and private TV production companies on military matters, RAF and local history. In addition to this Aldon is the historian for several RAF bases and one ex Fighter Command Squadron.

Extensive world-wide travel has given Aldon a unique insight into geography, history, social backgrounds and trends which he uses in his numerous historical lecture subjects including the relatively secret world of Covert Operations in the Cold War, Cyber Warfare, Photographic Reconnaissance and Interpretation, Intelligence gathering and various battles and operations such as Arctic Convoys, the Siege of Malta and linked subjects.

Aldon successfully completed a course in Port and Destination lecturing and having travelled to all major cities in Europe, USA and the FSU.

Recent cruise lecturing includes Viking, Cunard, Seabourn, Fred Olsen, Saga and Thomson.
TALK TITLES
Russia and the Former Soviet Union, British Military Aviation History

All lectures are fully illustrated with PowerPoint comprising both still and movie images. Much of which is original material produced by myself in the region.

Russia and the Former Soviet Union

1. 'Rushing into Russia'
My personal experiences of working in Russia as Communism collapsed. Pioneering days full of personal stories and memories of struggling to satisfy demanding western businesses in a new, very intimidating and rapidly changing environment.
Fully illustrated, informative, amusing and factual.

2. Travel in Russia
Roads, railways, airports and airlines, river travel, taxis and hotels. Personal experiences of all forms in all regions with many examples of problems, delays, bureaucracy, alarming and funny situations and downright stubbornness. Lots of illustrations and video of immediate post Communism and the struggle to modernise.
Very amusing and also very factual

4. 'From Cabbage to Caviar' - Living with the Russians
Life with the average Russian during the transition from Communism to Capitalism. How their lives changed with sudden freedom but simultaneous inflation, loss of savings, sudden unemployment. Introduction of western consumer goods, hotels, clothes, cars, etc. The sudden awakening of the FSU and its very rapid westernisation.
Factual with personal examples and some humour

Military Aviation History

1. The Battle of Britain
The well known air Battle with Britain standing alone in Europe against Germany when the RAF had to protect its airfields against Nazi attack to prevent the planned German invasion of Britain. Details of the build up, the Battle itself with interesting detail and exposure of many common myths this is fast moving and entertaining.
Fully illustrated, informative, factual and many video clips.

2. Berlin Airlift
1948-49 The Russian blockade of Berlin. The causes, responses from the British, American and French forces. Feeding a city from the air only, problems, weather, Soviet attacks. Full background, lots of video clips, how the Airlift built up and was sustained and succeeded until the Soviets capitulated.
Fully illustrated, video clips, Factual with some humour

3. Covert Operations in the Cold War
Covert operations in the air and on the ground, how the west probed Soviet areas and intelligence gathering and the losses incurred. How the Soviets probed western air space, tested our early warning. Many operations are still secret but enough is known to make a fascinating lecture.
Factual with many generally unknown facts, still and video clips, entertaining, thought provoking.

4. The GI in Britain in WWII
The impact of the GI on Britain 1942 - today. Immediately the US joined WWII the American invasion started, summary of US Air Force's operations during WWII. Returning with the deterrent against the Soviet Union and the Cold War and beyond. This traces the impact of the GI on Britain, GI Brides, their music, language, dress and attitude.
Lots of video clips, photos, personal stories, factual with plenty of humour

5. D-Day
Lesser known facts and figures of events on this tumultous day in 1944 including details of glider operations, building the Mulberry Harbours, personal memories of sailors at Omaha Beach on that day, Pegasus Bridge, Flying Nightingales and more. Factual with many photographs and movie clips

7. The Siege of Malta 1940 - 1943
The build up to the seige, the lack of defences, plight of the local population, huge naval effort to bring supplies and fuel and massive losses, how the Island held on and evenually overcame to Siege. Factual with many photographs and movie clips.

8. The Seige of Leningrad
How the city was cut off by the Nazis, deprivation and death, the will to survive both the weather and onslaught, how the city survived, eventual relief and rebuilding. A harrowing story but one of human fortitude. Personal stories, photographs and movie clips.

9. Arctic Convoys
The story of the numerous convoys, the maximum effort by the Nazis to destroy them, the terrible conditions endured by the sailors, both Royal Navy and merchantmen, personal stories and memories, details of the catastrophic PQ17 convoy, the successes and contribution to the winning of WWII. Many photographs and movie clips.

10. Military Photographic Reconnaissance
Even since the beginning of the First World War it has been possible and vital for military commanders to have knowledge of their enemy's disposition, numbers and support in order to plan future campaigns and battles. Starting from static balloons tethered close to the front line to the ultra sophistication of modern satellite imagery, this lecture explains how the material is gathered and how it is interpreted. A vital part of warfare, this will provide a considerable amount of little known information which will be of interest to most adults, both male and female.
Factual, several recently released facts, fully illustrated and some video clips

11. Norway's Military Role in WWII
Norway was pivotal during WWII. Churchill realised how important it was to have control of the country and particularly the coastline but failed to secure it leading to German occupation from which Allied convoys were attacked and the fjords protected German capital ships which raided the convoys. This lecture outlines the prelude to war, the fight for occupation, the result of German occupation and how the Allies and Norwegians fought back and liberated the country., Includes the sinking of the Bismark, the impact on Russia, attacks on German shipping and airfields.
Factual, fully illustrated Powerpoint with several movie clips.

12 Heroes and Aces of the Royal Australian and New Zealand Air Forces
An overview of the bravery and courage of military aircrew from eh Anzac countries in WWII. Several VC's were won and extreme bravery recorded flying with the RAF in all parts of the world including the Battle of Britain, Bombing of Nazi Europe, Submarine war and more. This lecture gives full recognition to those Commoinwealth aircrew who came to Britain to support the mother country in WWII.
Factual, fully illustrated Powerpoint and movie clips.
CRUISE HISTORY / EXPERIENCE
Lectured on Voyages of Discovery, Cunard, Fred Olsen, Saga, Seaborn and Viking in all locations including Far East, Australia and New Zealand, North America, Atlantic, Mediterranean and Baltic. Also attended and passed Port Lecturing course, enjoyed a three week Port lecturing cruise on Seabourn in the Mediterranean. Two Viking cruises are contracted for 2018 and 2019.

PREVIOUS CRUISES:

January 2018 Queen Mary 2 - Cape Town to Fremantle
November 2017 Queen Mary 2 - Trans Atlantic
April 2017 Viking Sea - Passage through Western Europe
March 2017 Queen Mary 2 - Brisbane to Hong Kong
August 2016 Queen Elizabeth - Norway and Iceland
March 2016 Queen Elizabeth - Rabaul to Hong Kong
October 2015 Seabourn Sojourn - Central & Eastern Mediterranean
September 2015 Thomson Spirit - Black Sea Explorer Marmaris - Marmaris
April 2015 Cunard Queen Victoria - V508-509 World Cruise Port Everglades to Southampton
September 2014 Saga Pearl II - Maritime Cities of the Baltic Dover to Dover
June 2014 Fred Olsen Balmoral - L1407A The Black Sea Southampton to Istanbul
June 2012 Voyages of Discovery Discovery - Timeless Baltic Harwich to Harwich
RECENT PAST CRUISES COMPLETED
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
SHIP REF CRUISE DESCRIPTION NIGHTS SAILING FROM DEPARTURE DATE
Queen Mary 2 M742 Eastbound Transatlantic Crossing 7 New York Sunday, November 12, 2017
Viking Star ST170422 Passage Through Western Europe 14 Barcelona Saturday, April 22, 2017
Queen Mary 2 M702-715 World Cruise 2017 118 Southampton Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Queen Elizabeth Q614 Iceland and the Fjords 14 Southampton Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Crystal Serenity V6307 Glacial Grandeur 22 Tokyo Thursday, April 14, 2016
Queen Mary 2 M603 World Cruise 2016 121 Southampton Sunday, January 10, 2016
Queen Elizabeth Q603 World Cruise 2016 121 Southampton Sunday, January 10, 2016