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Circa 1950

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...USS Curtiss (AV-4) Thanksgiving Day 1950 Menu - NAS Iwakuni, Japan - FAW-6 - VP-42 - VP-47 - RAF-205 - RAF-209..." [30OCT2003]
Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS Curtiss Menu
Tender ThumbnailCameraUSS Curtiss Menu

Circa 1943

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: "...Circa 1943 - Sunderlands in Ceylon - Top Row - Left to Right: 159 Squadron Officers, Sunderland Takeoff and Not sure which one is Flt. Officer H. "Jack" Hillyard (Son-in-Law's father). Have no idea who the others might be!. My son-in-law is British and his father was a flight officer in the RAF for over thirty years. During a recent visit, he showed me his Dad's flight log and some great pictures taken during WWII. His Dad was in 159 Squadron based in Ceylon. They flew Liberators and Sunderlands..." Forwarded by GARNSEY, Jim jgarnse1@twcny.rr.com [31MAR2005]

History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail


RAF Squadrons (Tap Number to "JUMP" to Squadron)

Number 23 / Number 42

RAAF Squadrons ThumbnailNo 23 Squadron, RAF "The Red Eagles"

"...On 1st September 1915, Captain Louis Arbon Strange was posted to Fort Grange, Gosport, Hampshire to form No 23 Squadron. He arrived from Farnborough in an Avro 504 and the following day found himself in possession of "an office, a sergeant and three men, an old 80hp Gnome Bleriot and the bits and pieces of two Henri Farmans", in addition to the Avro machine. Owing to the untimely onset of appendicitis, (the now promoted) Major Strange had handed over to Major R E T Hogg by March 1916 when the Squadron deployed to the Western Front, equipped with FE2b aircraft. Initially flying fighter-reconnaissance patrols, the unit later added ground attack to its capabilities when, in early 1917, they re-equipped with 18 SPAD VIIs which were a good match for the enemy's Albatross DIII machines. By 1st April 1918 when the RFC became the Royal Air Force, 23 Squadron were enjoying considerable success flying Sopwith Dolphins against such formidable adversaries as the "Richthofen Circus" commanded by Hauptmann H Goering. The Squadron returned to the United Kingdom in March 1919 and was disbanded at Waddington in December that year. During the period of disarmament which followed the Great War, the strength of the RAF was reduced by some 90% from 3300 aircraft and 188 squadrons, to a mere 330 aeroplanes by 1922. However, the following year, when it was realised that even the French Air Force boasted more than 600 aircraft, the British Government set about forming the Home Defence Air Force, of which 23 became part from its reformation at Henlow with Sopwith Snipe aircraft on 1st July 1925. Quickly building an enviable reputation for display flying with Gloster Gamecocks, the Squadron continued to operate single engined aircraft, including Bristol Bulldogs and Hawker Harts/Demons, throughout the '20s and early '30s. It was during this period that the Form 540 (Squadron official history) records the posting of a 23 Squadron pilot to Uxbridge as "Supernumery Non-Effective Sick" following a flying accident on 14th December 1931. Pilot Officer D R S Bader, being adept at low-level aerobatics in the Gamecock aircraft, had been cruelly caught out by the different characteristics of the recently introduced Bulldog. In December 1938, the Squadron finally parted with biplanes and took on charge the twin-engined Bristol Blenheim monoplane in the night-fighter role. In the early years of WWII, 23 Squadron undertook shipping protection and intruder missions. In March 1941, Douglas Havocs arrived and were supplemented by Bostons from the same United States manufacturer, eleven months later. The Squadron converted to Mosquito IIs in July 1942 and moved to Luqa, Malta whence the long-range intruder missions were flown to targets in Sicily, Italy, Tunisia and southern France. Later, conversion to the Mosquito FBVI marked the transfer to the newly formed 100 Group, Bomber Command and a move to Little Snoring, Norfolk in June 1944. Thereafter, the pattern of bomber escort and night interdiction missions continued until the end of the War and the Squadron disbanded in September 1945. Remaining in East Anglia, No 23 Squadron reformed just one year later with Mosquito NF30s at Wittering and later upgraded to NF36s at Coltishall, a base with which the Squadron was to enjoy an intermittent, but long association during the '50s and '60s. In September 1951, piston-engined aircraft gave way to jet powered types with the introduction of the Vampire and later Venom night fighters. With the appearance of the Gloster Javelin FAW4, the Squadron became a high performance, all-weather unit geared to round-the-clock defence. Later the more powerful Javelin FAW7 enabled the unit to pioneer inflight refuelling and, with new-found mobility, to deploy overseas more frequently. A move to Leuchars in March 1963 coincided with No 23 Squadron becoming the second squadron to receive the English Electric Lightning F3 which was adorned with the distinctive red eagle on a white fin. Playing its full part throughout the long Cold War, the Squadron re-equipped with the F6 in 1967. In October 1975, the Squadron disbanded, but reformed again two months later with its third American type, the McDonnell Douglas Phantom FGR2, at Coningsby. From February 1976 until March 1983, 23 Squadron enjoyed a period of relative stability at RAF Wattisham where the burden of Quick Reaction Alert duties was shared with 56 Squadron. Contributing to the maintenance of the air defence of the Falkland Islands Protection Zone in the South Atlantic from April 1983 to November 1988, moving in the process from Stanley to Mount Pleasant before the weight was finally taken by No 1435 Flight. Re-equipment with Tornado F3s took place at Leeming in November 1988 and 23 Squadron aircrew participated in Operation Granby (the Gulf War) in 1990 before the Squadron last disbanded in February 1994. In 1995, it was decided to respond to the expansion and increasing importance of the RAF Airborne Early Warning Force, by forming a second operational Sentry AEW/E-3D unit to compliment No 8 Squadron, with whom the sole responsibility for the role had rested since the Avro Shackleton AEW2 entered service in 1972. No 23 Squadron was accordingly selected to reform at RAF Waddington on 1st April 1996. The 100-strong squadron will eventually comprise four combat-ready crews and a Training Flight composed of E-3D OCU instructors from the fomer Sentry Training Squadron. No 23 Squadron shares the seven RAF E-3D aircraft with No 8 Squadron and plays its full part in the E-3D Component of the NATO AEW Force which has become synonymous with RAF Waddington since 1990. Members of No 23 Squadron take the greatest pride in bringing renewed life to an illustrious Squadron Standard and look forward to ensuring that, in operating this most complex and capable aircraft in pursuance of national defence and international operations, No 23 Squadron will ever remain "Always Having Attacked". The Squadron's founder, Lt Col Louis Strange DSO OBE MC DFC, retired from the Service through ill health in 1921, but subsequently enjoyed an eventful career in civil aviation, before returning to battle in 1940 as a (50 year old) Pilot Officer in the Volunteer Reserve. During his "third" career he won a Bar to his DFC flying a Hurricane, pioneered the parachute training of Britain's airborne forces and established the Marine Ships Fighter Units for the catapult-launching of convoy defence Hurricanes. He continued to fly after the War and died in 1966, aged 75 years. In recognition of the high esteem in which he is held and his important contribution to military aviation, the Squadron Briefing Room, in the new No 23 Squadron Headquarters building, which was officially opened by the AOCinC Strike Command on 2nd April 1997, has been named "The Strange Room"..."

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RAAF Squadrons Thumbnail42 Reserve Squadron

"...No 42 squadron formed at Filton on 1 April 1916 and, after training, moved to France in August with BE2D and BE 2E aircraft for reconnaissance duties over the western front. In April 1917 the Squadron re-equipped with RE 8s and moved to northern Italy to cover the Austro-Italian Front, but returned to France in march 1918. In Feb 1919 it came back to the UK and disbanded at Netheravon on 26 June 1919. 42Squadron reformed at Donibristle on 14 December 1936 from 'B' Flight of No 22 Squadron equipped with Vildebeest IIIs and became only one of two torpedo strike units in the UK. After a number of moves the Squadron settled at the new airfield at Thorney Island, but relocated to Bircham Newton on 12 August1939. It exchanged its Vildebeests for Beauforts in April 1940 with which it specialised in anti-shipping and mine laying along the coasts of northern Europe. On 18 June 1942 it left for the Far East but delayed in the Middle East for operations there until December, when it finally arrived in Ceylon. It converted to Blenheim Vs in India, which were used for bombing missions over Burma from March 1943 but re-equipped with Hurricane IICs in October for ground attack duties, adding MK IVS in November 1944.A change to Thunderbolt IIs took place in July 1945, but the Squadron disbanded at Meiktala in Burma on 30 December 1945. It reformed with Beaufighter Xs at Thorney Island 1 October 1946 as part of Coastal Command's Strike Wing, but disbanded again on 15 October 1947. 42 Squadron's current commission started on 28 June 1952 when it reformed at St Eval in Cornwall equipped with Shackleton MR1 for maritime reconnaissance duties. The MR2s were received in April 1954 and the Squadron moved to a permanent home at ST Mawgan on 8 October 1958, where MRIII's were accepted in December 1965. It converted to the Nimrod MR1 in April 1971 and received the upgraded MR2 in 1983. No 42 (Torpedo Bomber) Squadron has been involved in numerous overseas detachments and operations the most significant of which took place in April 1982 when it despatched two aircraft to Ascension Island as part of the first phase of Operation 'Corporate'- the recovery of the Falkland Islands - gaining its 16th Battle Honour in the process. From October 1990 it provided crews as part of the Nimrod detachment in Oman involved in Operation 'Granby' and in January 1991 it set up a major detachment in Cyprus to give further support to the Allied forces. Disbanded as a front-line unit on 1 October 1992 the No.42(TB) Squadron number continues as the Nimrod OCU No.42 (reserve) Squadron, formerly No.236 OCU, at Kinloss in Scotland. The history of 236 OCU goes back to August 1947 at Kinloss with the re-naming of No 6 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit and inherited Lancaster and Beaufighter aircraft. With revisions in Coastal Command training and the introduction of the Shackleton the School of Maritime Reconnaissance was formed at ST Mawgan in June 1951 using Lancasters to teach general maritime procedures. No 236 OCU then converted aircrew to Shackleton MK1, and from Nov 1952 to July 1956 to Neptune aircraft. SMR and 236 OCU were combined at Kinloss in Sept 1956 as an economy measure to form the Maritime Operational Training Unit, this also saw the end of the Lancaster in Maritime. During its 14 year life MOTU was equipped with Shackleton MK1A, the T4 an updated training version of the MK1A was introduced in July 1957, subsequently replaced by the T2 (A MK III trainer) in June 1968. MOTU moved to ST Mawgan in June 1965 but disbanded 30 June 1970 when No 236 OCU was resurrected to start conversion to the Nimrod MR1. On the introduction of Nimrod MR2 the OCU closed at ST Mawgan 1 April 1982 but reopened at Kinloss as the MR2 OCU joining the Nimrod Conversion Flight who had been at work since October 1979. 1st November 1983 saw a return to ST Mawgan, however, a reversion to Kinloss took place 31 Jul 1992. With the disbandment on No 42 Squadron, 236 OCU was renamed Nimrod Operational Conversion Unit No 42 (reserve) Squadron. This is not the first time the unit has had a shadow role, 220 Sqn was allocated during the 1960's and 38 Sqn from Aug 1970. No 42 Reserve Squadron continues this policy, prolonging the number of a "Famous" Maritime Squadron. During 1997 the Squadron was renamed No 42 reserve Squadron..."

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Circa Unknown
Can you identify the Month and or Year?


P2V-5 5028 51-15914 WX493R 1-13-52 217/236 OCU wfu 8-8-57 scrapped at Kinloss
P2V-5 5029 51-15915 WX494* 1-13-52 217/236 OCU/MoS wfu 8-8-57 scrapped at Kinloss
P2V-5 5050 51-15916 WX498* 7-3-52 217/236 OCU wfu 8-8-57 scrapped at Kinloss
P2V-5 5056 51-15917 WX495* 7-32-52 217/236 OCU sold as scrap 11-11-58
P2V-5 5063 51-15918 WX496* 7-3-52 217/236 OCU wfu 9-22-58 sold as scrap 11-11-58
P2V-5 5070 51-15919 WX497* 7-1-52 217/236 OCU wfu 9-22-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5095 51-15920 WX502 11-16-52 217/236 OCU/36 storage 7-3-56 sold to Argentina 3-6-58
P2V-5 5096 51-15921 WX499* 11-20-52 1453 Flight wfu 9-22-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5097 51-15922 WX500* 11-20-52 1453 Flight wfu 9-22-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5098 51-15923 WX501* 11-20-52 1453 Flight wfu 11-14-58
P2V-5 5099 51-15924 WX503 12-4-52 217/236 OCU wfu 8-8-57 scrapped at Kinless
P2V-5 5105 51-15925 WX509 2-7-53 236 OCU/217 wfu/to US 9-3-57 to Brazil March 1959
P2V-5 5106 51-15926 WX508 1-19-53 236 OCU wfu 9-22-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5107 51-15927 WX514 2-21-53 210 wfu 9-22-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5108 51-15928 WX529 to US 1957 to BrazilApril 1959
P2V-5 5109 51-15929 WX510 2-14-53 236 OCU/217 crashed/lost 1-13-55
P2V-5 5117 51-15930 WX504 12-18-52 217 wfu 9-22-58
P2V-5 5118 51-15931 WX505 12-20-58 217 wfu 10-3-57
P2V-5 5119 51-15932 WX506 1-7-53 236 OCU wfu 9-22-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5120 51-15933 WX507 1-7-53 236 OCU/MoS wfu 11-14-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5121 51-15934 WX511 7-18-53 236 OCU/217 accident/wfu 1-22-57
P2V-5 5131 51-15935 WX515 3-7-53 210/36 wfu/to US 11-14-57 to Brazil December 1958
P2V-5 5132 51-15936 WX512 2-18-53 236 OCU/217 storage 9-14-57
P2V-5 5133 51-15937 WX517 3-13-53 210 wfu 11-14-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5134 51-15938 WX516 3-9-53 210 ASW mod May 1956 storage 3-21-57
P2V-5 5135 51-15939 WX513 2-21-53 236 OCu/217 ASW mod November 1955 storage 3-21--57 to Argentina March 1958
P2V-5 5145 51-15940 WX552 5-18-53 236 OCU/36 wfu 11-14-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5146 51-15941 WX522 4-13-53 203/36 ASW mod February 1956 storage 2-1-57 to Argentina March 1958
P2V-5 5147 51-15942 WX523 4-4-53 203/210 wfu/to US 8-20-57 to Brazil December 1958
P2V-5 5148 51-15943 WX519 4-7-53 203/36 wfu/to US 9-20-57 to Brazil December 1958
P2V-5 5149 51-15944 WX520 4-7-53 203 wfu 11-14-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5150 51-15945 WX542 4-22-53 1453 Flight accident/wfu 1-15-54
P2V-5 5151 51-15946 WX526 4-19-53 210/36 wfu 11-14-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5152 51-15947 WX518 3-20-53 203 wfu 11-14-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5153 51-15948 WX525 4-18-53 203/36/210 wfu/to US 9-6-57 to Brazil March 1959
P2V-5 5154 51-15949 WX553 4-13-53 203/210 wfu/to US 10-14-57 to Brazil March 1959
P2V-5 5155 51-15950 WX524 4-17-53 203/36/210 ASW mod November 1955 storage 1-2-57
P2V-5 5156 51-15951 WX528 4-19-53 210/217 wfu 9-22-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5157 51-15952 WX548 4-18-53 210/36 wfu/to US 8-12-57 to Brazil April 1959
P2V-5 5158 51-15953 WX527 4-18-53 210 ASW mod 1956 storage 1-7-57 to Argentina March 1958
P2V-5 5159 51-15954 WX546 5-4-53 36 accident/wfu 11-27-56
P2V-5 5160 51-15955 WX545 5-1-53 36 crashed/lost 10-10-56
P2V-5 5161 51-15956 WX543 4-27-53 36 wfu/to US 1-7-58 to Brazil April 1959
P2V-5 5162 51-15957 WX544 4-27-53 36 wfu to US 11-12-57 to Brazil April 1959
P2V-5 5163 51-15958 WX547 5-4-53 1453 Flight/36 accident/wfu 1-7-56 sold to Remus May 1957
P2V-5 5164 51-15959 WX521 7-21-53 203/36 wfu/to US 11-18-57 to Brazil December 1958
P2V-5 5165 51-15960 WX555 5-7-53 236 OCU/36 wfu/to US 8-30-57 to Brazil April 1959
P2V-5 5166 51-15961 WX549 5-8-53 36/236 OCU/217 storage March 1957 to Argentina March 1958
P2V-5 5167 51-15962 WX550 5-1 3-53 36 wfu 11-14-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5168 51-15963 WX551 5-13-53 236 OCU wfu 11-11-58 sold as scrap
P2V-5 5169 51-15964 WX556 11-15-54 210/36 wfu September 1957 to Brazil May 1959
P2V-5 5170 51-15965 WX554 6-3-53 210/36 wfu 11-11-58 sold as scrap * short nose with 9B turret @ nose and tail modifications

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: XF705 Shackleton Mark III"XF705 Shackleton Mark III, Phase III. Stalwart of Coastal Command during 1959-1971. I have had 600 printed, each is individually numbered and signed by the artist. They are printed on A3, 200grms card [420mm x 297 mm]. Group and Squadron numbers have been reserved for remarque by two Shackleton pilots. If you are interested in purchasing a "limited edition print," ($20 price for the basic print. This will include postage and packing in a strong postproof card board tube) please contact Paul Warrener via e-mail [E-Mail Removed By Request Of Shipmate - 07OCT2001] WEBSITE: Link Removed By Request [10OCT2002]

HistoryA BIT OF HISTORY: RAF Patch ThumbnailCamera "'Air Electronics Operator Brevet'. A 'Royal Air Force' Contribution..." Contributed by Paul Warrener [E-Mail Removed By Request Of Shipmate - 07OCT2001] WEBSITE: Link Removed By Request [10OCT2002]

"Royal Air Force Summary Page"