RAF Luffenham

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Mozzie

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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Came across said airbase at the weekend. Can someone answer a few simple
questions for me

1. When did the base close ?
2. Who were the last to fly from it ?
3. What flew from there in the last few years of operation ?
4. Is it still owned by the MOD ?
5. What are the current plans for it ?

TIA
--
Bryan Morrissey
01473 606138

LesB

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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Mozzie wrote:

>Came across said airbase at the weekend. Can someone answer a few simple
>questions for me
>
>1. When did the base close ?
>2. Who were the last to fly from it ?
>3. What flew from there in the last few years of operation ?
>4. Is it still owned by the MOD ?
>5. What are the current plans for it ?

Could you mean RAF North Luffenham, up near Melton Mowbry? If so, it
was the RAF's centre for Flight Medicine. I believe they did some
sterling work there on plastic surgery and burn-recovery. Mostly
research into the affects of high altitude and high-sped flight and
related problems. Only time I was there was to take the
pressurisation test to allow ground-crew to fly in non-pressurised
aircraft (a twin-seat Hunter at the time and later on, Canberras - but
that was waaaay back ;-) _


LesB
{take out one to mail}
EE Canberra Tribute Site
http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~lesb/canberra.html

Tex Bennett

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Sep 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/15/98
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On Tue, 15 Sep 1998 19:24:50 GMT, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB) wrote:


>Could you mean RAF North Luffenham, up near Melton Mowbry? If so, it
>was the RAF's centre for Flight Medicine. I believe they did some
>sterling work there on plastic surgery and burn-recovery. Mostly
>research into the affects of high altitude and high-sped flight and
>related problems. Only time I was there was to take the
>pressurisation test to allow ground-crew to fly in non-pressurised
>aircraft (a twin-seat Hunter at the time and later on, Canberras - but
>that was waaaay back ;-) _

There was Midland Radar there until the late eighties IIRC, using
ex-Bloodhound Type 82 radar. There was some kind of ground radio
depot repair facility as well as an EOD school IIRC.
I remember going there on my recruit training in January 1983 for
"Military Field Training". I've never been as cold as I was there
since!

--


Tex Bennett

*** spam spoiler -> please replace BeeTee with bt ****


LesB

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Sep 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/16/98
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Tex Bennett wrote:

>There was Midland Radar there until the late eighties IIRC, using
>ex-Bloodhound Type 82 radar. There was some kind of ground radio
>depot repair facility as well as an EOD school IIRC.
>I remember going there on my recruit training in January 1983 for
>"Military Field Training". I've never been as cold as I was there
>since!

More than likely Tex, but I was remembering the early 60s! Even in
those days the place wasn't dedicated to one operation. It did also,
as you say, host other outfits - parachute packing and repair? (drag
and pilot) . Its just that I mostly remember the medic connection -
fairy nuff? ;-)

And as you say - cold

JVSULLI

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Sep 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/25/98
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North Luffenham actually, as has been said.
I played football for Stradishall there in 1960, and seem to recall seeing
Canberras.
Scored two goals too. (SORRY !)
John

LesB

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Sep 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/26/98
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JVSULLI wrote:

>I played football for Stradishall there in 1960, and seem to recall seeing
>Canberras.

No Canberras were based at NL, maybe *visitors*. IIRC it wasn't a
*flying* aerodrome at all, looked like a place left over from the war.
It was 61 when I visited. Could it have been a satellite to Oakham?

And its nearer Stamford than Melton Mowbry as I said earlier
.

>Scored two goals too. (SORRY !)

Were they own-goals? ;-)

JVSULLI

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Sep 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/28/98
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In article <360c2d96...@nntp.netcruiser>, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB)
writes:

>Were they own-goals? ;-)

Touche. Don't know how to produce acute accent, either !
John

Peter Golden

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Sep 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/28/98
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Mozzie <morr...@boat.beetee.com> wrote:

>Came across said airbase at the weekend. Can someone answer a few simple
>questions for me

>1. When did the base close ?
>2. Who were the last to fly from it ?
>3. What flew from there in the last few years of operation ?
>4. Is it still owned by the MOD ?
>5. What are the current plans for it ?

>TIA


>--
>Bryan Morrissey
>01473 606138


RAF North Luffenham is in the County of Rutland between Oakham &
Stamford. The base is nearer the village of Edith Weston than North
Luffenham but it is said some air ministry chap thought an airman
answering the phone "Edith Weston" wouldn't sound manly enough!

Flying ceased in 1958, when it became a missile base (Thor &
Bloodhounds). In the 1950s it was used by the RCAF, flying Sabres, and
in 1955 became an RAF OCU for Meteors & Vampires. The gate-guard
Meteor NF14 was recently auctioned for a few thousand.

In recent years, the base has been used for ground radio servicing,
language school, medical training and bomb disposal.

The base has now become "St George’s Barracks" and early next year
will be occupied by a unit transferring from Northern Ireland.


Peter G
pgo...@Rutland.gov.uk

LesB

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Sep 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/28/98
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JVSULLI wrote:

>>Were they own-goals? ;-)
>
>Touche. Don't know how to produce acute accent, either !

You don't need a cute accent. . . . its a text-based newsgroup. ;-)

Anyway, another poster [see below - *Peter*] has given a nice potted
history of the place, and noticing his e-address I guess he will be
right.

Tex Bennett

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Sep 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/28/98
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On Mon, 28 Sep 1998 00:40:50 GMT, pgo...@rutlandcc4.u-net.com (Peter
Golden) wrote:

>Mozzie <morr...@boat.beetee.com> wrote:
>
>>Came across said airbase at the weekend. Can someone answer a few simple
>>questions for me
>

>Flying ceased in 1958, when it became a missile base (Thor &


>Bloodhounds). In the 1950s it was used by the RCAF, flying Sabres, and
>in 1955 became an RAF OCU for Meteors & Vampires. The gate-guard
>Meteor NF14 was recently auctioned for a few thousand.

Thor! Now there was a beast. (I did some night exercises around the
old Thor site at N.Luffenham). Nearly all of the Thor sites in Eastern
Britain were on old WW2 airfields (usually ex- USAAF Bomber fields).
Amazing weapon - had to be kept at a certain internal presure when
vertical overwise it would collapse.

There was an interetsing programme on the Cold War in East Anglia on
Anglia TV (in the UK) last night - great archive film of Victors,
Javelins and Thors.

Damien Burke

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Sep 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/28/98
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On Mon, 28 Sep 1998 00:40:50 GMT, pgo...@rutlandcc4.u-net.com (Peter
Golden) wrote:

>RAF North Luffenham is in the County of Rutland between Oakham &
>Stamford. The base is nearer the village of Edith Weston than North
>Luffenham but it is said some air ministry chap thought an airman
>answering the phone "Edith Weston" wouldn't sound manly enough!

Aren't RAF stations named after the parish, rather the nearest village?

Nice informative post, thanks.
--
Damien Burke (add 'k' to end of address if replying)
British military aircraft site: http://www.totavia.com/jetman/

Matt Clonfero

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Sep 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/28/98
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Damien Burke <dam...@jetman.dircon.co.u> wrote:

>Aren't RAF stations named after the parish, rather the nearest village?

Normally, it's the postal address of the Officer's Mess.

Aetherem Vincere
Matt.
--
Matt Clonfero: Mat...@aetherem.demon.co.uk | To Err is Human
My employers and I have a deal - They don't | To forgive is not Air Force Policy
speak for me, and I don't speak for them. | -- Anon, ETPS

John R Nickolls

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Sep 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM9/30/98
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Tex Bennett wrote:

<snipped>I went through North Luffenham in early 70s as trainee aircrew,
when it was Institute of Aviation Medicine. Most interesting,
especially getting hypoxia in the decompression chamber. 8000 - 20000
ft in 12 seconds, and steady for about 3 minutes.

> Thor! Now there was a beast. (I did some night exercises around the
> old Thor site at N.Luffenham). Nearly all of the Thor sites in Eastern
> Britain were on old WW2 airfields (usually ex- USAAF Bomber fields).
> Amazing weapon - had to be kept at a certain internal presure when
> vertical overwise it would collapse.

Am told that Thor was loosely based on the Atlas, which had a similar
characteristic.

> There was an interetsing programme on the Cold War in East Anglia on
> Anglia TV (in the UK) last night - great archive film of Victors,
> Javelins and Thors.
> --
>
> Tex Bennett
>
> *** spam spoiler -> please replace BeeTee with bt ****

--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
John R Nickolls/Paratechnics
PO Box 931 Manurewa Auckland New Zealand
Tel: +64-9-268 1743 Fax: +64-9-268 2376
http://crash.ihug.co.nz/~nickolls

Cameron

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Oct 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/1/98
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Ah, North Luffenham,

The name reminds me of many hours of misery and pain - namely running
around in February 1985 pretending to be a "soldier" during RAF basic
training. There were many hours of "fun" then. The only time I was
pleased to see Swinderby was when we returned from exercise there and
I had somehow managed to survive the field exercise. I actually
visited it again in 1996 for one of my civilian resettlement courses
and the local taxi driver did not even know that it was still open and
had great difficulty in finding the main entrance..

I believe it closed due to the fact I visited it :-)
Proof?
1985 - Swinderby - closed
1985, 1989 - Hereford - handed over to the green suiters -
incidentally, NOT named after the local village/town
196-87 - Finningley - closed
1987 - Belize - all RAF pulled out. Now green suiters have a token
presence.
1987 - 89 - Brampton. Still open! However, renamed from HQRAFSC to
something similar.
1989 - 91 - Swanton Morley - closed (thank God!!)
1991 - 93 - Northwood - still open but my job was scrapped.
1993 - 96 - SHAPE - as above
1996 - Me - closed ;-)

Regards,

Cameron
Cameron Lister
Author of the A - Z of Amiga Games CD-ROM
available from http://www.adastrauk.com

Matt Clonfero

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Oct 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/7/98
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Cameron <spec...@adastrauk.com> wrote:

>1987 - 89 - Brampton. Still open! However, renamed from HQRAFSC to
>something similar.

HQLC - now it's the joint headquarters of Logistics Command, with the
other site being RAF Wyton (just down the road).

HQRAFSC (Support Command) was renamed on 1 April 1994, along with
Support Command)

>1989 - 91 - Swanton Morley - closed (thank God!!)

:>

LesB

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Oct 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/8/98
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Matt Clonfero wrote:

>Cameron <spec...@adastrauk.com> wrote:
>
>>1987 - 89 - Brampton. Still open! However, renamed from HQRAFSC to
>>something similar.
>
>HQLC - now it's the joint headquarters of Logistics Command, with the
>other site being RAF Wyton (just down the road).

Brampton has a fine Phantom FGR2 as a gate guard, full complement of
missiles as well. Its in 74 Sqd colours and paint air-defence grey -
very shiny it looks too.

Tex Bennett

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Oct 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/8/98
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On Thu, 08 Oct 1998 17:48:15 GMT, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB) wrote:


>Brampton has a fine Phantom FGR2 as a gate guard, full complement of
>missiles as well. Its in 74 Sqd colours and paint air-defence grey -
>very shiny it looks too.

^^^^^^^^^
Very apt for the rubber desk johnies who work there ;0)
--


Tex Bennett

Matt Clonfero

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Oct 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/8/98
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LesB <one...@netcomuk.co.uk> wrote:
>>HQLC - now it's the joint headquarters of Logistics Command, with the
>>other site being RAF Wyton (just down the road).
>
>Brampton has a fine Phantom FGR2 as a gate guard, full complement of
>missiles as well. Its in 74 Sqd colours and paint air-defence grey -
>very shiny it looks too.

Wyton had a Canberra when I was there.

LesB

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Oct 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/9/98
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Matt Clonfero wrote:

>LesB <one...@netcomuk.co.uk> wrote:
>>>HQLC - now it's the joint headquarters of Logistics Command, with the
>>>other site being RAF Wyton (just down the road).
>>
>>Brampton has a fine Phantom FGR2 as a gate guard, full complement of
>>missiles as well. Its in 74 Sqd colours and paint air-defence grey -
>>very shiny it looks too.
>
>Wyton had a Canberra when I was there.

No Gate guard at Wyton when I was there with 51 Sqd and then,
latterly, 26 Sqd. Only later did they add a PR.9 - XH170 (still
there) and a B.6 in 51 Sqds colours - WH773. The PR.9 is all that's
left now though. See my web site for photos.

I think there was a third Canberra at one time - 3 Gate Guards! Maybe
Kev of BBA could confirm this.

Talking about Gate Guards, its been a while since these were mentioned
in this group. Mmmm . . . maybe a new thread sometime, as I'm sick
and tired of all "Bomb Kosovo" crap in other threads.

LesB

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Oct 9, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/9/98
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LesB wrote:

>Brampton has a fine Phantom FGR2 as a gate guard, full complement of
>missiles as well. Its in 74 Sqd colours and paint air-defence grey -
>very shiny it looks too.

Just took a shuffti at my pics of the thing. It has a gunpod mounted
underneath *and* a full complement of missiles. Have a fairly good
close up of that lot. Only reason for this additional is that its the
subject of another thread. Moving right along . . .

Tex Bennett

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Oct 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/10/98
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On Fri, 09 Oct 1998 18:31:42 GMT, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB) wrote:


>
>No Gate guard at Wyton when I was there with 51 Sqd and then,
>latterly, 26 Sqd. Only later did they add a PR.9 - XH170 (still
>there) and a B.6 in 51 Sqds colours - WH773. The PR.9 is all that's
>left now though. See my web site for photos.

I was at Wyton briefly before I left in '95 (over at Building 266).
Flying was about to cease as the runway was going to be sold for
hardcore.

>I think there was a third Canberra at one time - 3 Gate Guards! Maybe
>Kev of BBA could confirm this.

For the life of me I cannot remember - I think there was more than
one. I remember one at Swinderby of all places.

>Talking about Gate Guards, its been a while since these were mentioned
>in this group. Mmmm . . . maybe a new thread sometime, as I'm sick
>and tired of all "Bomb Kosovo" crap in other threads.

You and me both Les - Agent with its kill files is a friend at these
times.
--


Tex Bennett

Mike Tighe

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Oct 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/10/98
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On Sat, 10 Oct 1998 08:20:04 GMT, T...@btinternet.com (Tex Bennett)
wrote:

>On Fri, 09 Oct 1998 18:31:42 GMT, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB) wrote:

>>I think there was a third Canberra at one time - 3 Gate Guards! Maybe
>>Kev of BBA could confirm this.
>
>For the life of me I cannot remember - I think there was more than
>one. I remember one at Swinderby of all places.

Les might pick this up anyway, but he meant a third Canberra gate
guardian *at Wyton*, all at the same time! (and there was a Bloodhound
SAM too, if memory serves...).

Other places I remember Canberras on the gates were RAF Manston (there
was a Javelin there too, both long gone), RAF Upwood (before the USAF
took it over), the Princess Alexandra Hospital at Wroughton (near
Swindon, not far from the RNAY), and, of course, Cottesmore.

The PR7 at Swinderby was used as a backdrop for passing out parades
and the like. From the road running along the eastern edge of the
airfield, you could see it at the edge of the parade ground, but it
wasn't really a gate guardian.

If anyone is really keen, I can dust off Ken Ellis' 'On Guard' and we
can have a reminiscing session on the gates of the mid-sevenites!

Mike Tighe
Speaking from the bottom left
hand corner of the big picture.

LesB

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Oct 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/10/98
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Tex Bennett wrote:
>I was at Wyton briefly before I left in '95 (over at Building 266).
>Flying was about to cease as the runway was going to be sold for
>hardcore.

I was there from 65-71 then again from 73-75 when I was demob. It was
a great station in those days with the *Mad Mile* road running past
its gate.

Lets see, there was 51 Sqd (4 Canberras a Comet and a Hastings!);
543 Sqd (Valiants at first, then Victors (PR)).
EWTU (Joint RN/RAF Elec Warfare 360 Sqd - Canberra T.17s);
39 Sqd, Canberra PR.9s;
Station Flight had 2 Canberra T,4s and 4 Chipmunks;
two SnoBlowers (with two old Ghosts mounted facing down and forwards
on bowsers);
26 Sqd (latterly - with Devons and Bassets)
- and the airfield itself produced some of the most succulent damn
mushrooms I've ever picked (on early-start or after night flying).
Wyton was really an *active* camp - it was Central Photographic.
Jeezzz - I used to know all that stuff. ;-) Went back last year - the
place is all . . . er . . . *shiny*!

>For the life of me I cannot remember - I think there was more than
>one. I remember one at Swinderby of all places.

[ See also Mike Tighe's post separate on this - way down the bottom
there ]

>You and me both Les - Agent with its kill files is a friend at these
>times.

Too true.

LesB

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Oct 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/10/98
to
Mike Tighe wrote:

>On Sat, 10 Oct 1998 08:20:04 GMT, T...@btinternet.com (Tex Bennett)
>wrote:

>>For the life of me I cannot remember - I think there was more than


>>one. I remember one at Swinderby of all places.
>

>Les might pick this up anyway, but he meant a third Canberra gate
>guardian *at Wyton*, all at the same time! (and there was a Bloodhound
>SAM too, if memory serves...).

You're right Mike. I did mean that there was supposed to have been
three Canberras at one time. According to Jim Simpson's *RAF Gate
Guards* (just shifted myself to get it down from the shelf) - Wyton
had a B.6 WT305 and a PR.7 WH773. Kev (of BBA) has told me that
these, with PR.9 XH170 were all out there at one time. Seem to
recall however that diminishing RAF funds for this sort of thing meant
the B.6 and the PR.7 (and the Bloodhound?) all had to go, this left
the PR.9 which is very nicely presented on a mound (see my Canberra
site).

>Other places I remember Canberras on the gates were RAF Manston (there
>was a Javelin there too, both long gone), RAF Upwood (before the USAF
>took it over), the Princess Alexandra Hospital at Wroughton (near
>Swindon, not far from the RNAY), and, of course, Cottesmore.

Good memory there. PR.3 (WE163) at Manston (didn't Manston have the
*foam runway* facility?) B.2 (WJ642) at Upwood. B.2 (WJ676) at
Wroughton. Cottesmore had/has PR.7 (WH791). (I say *has* 'cause
Damien says he got a pic of it when he was there last week.)

>The PR7 at Swinderby was used as a backdrop for passing out parades
>and the like. From the road running along the eastern edge of the
>airfield, you could see it at the edge of the parade ground, but it
>wasn't really a gate guardian.

Wasn't Swinder's GG a T.11 Vampire?

>If anyone is really keen, I can dust off Ken Ellis' 'On Guard' and we
>can have a reminiscing session on the gates of the mid-sevenites!

I tend towards Jim Simpson's book (co-authored by someone or other).
Would be a whole lot more interesting that many of the threads at the
moment - and I doubt if Ven, Veg, Polo, et all would post to it. ;-)

LesB

Mike Tighe

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Oct 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/10/98
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On Sat, 10 Oct 1998 13:44:58 GMT, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB) wrote:

>Mike Tighe wrote:
<snip>


>>Other places I remember Canberras on the gates were RAF Manston (there
>>was a Javelin there too, both long gone), RAF Upwood (before the USAF
>>took it over), the Princess Alexandra Hospital at Wroughton (near
>>Swindon, not far from the RNAY), and, of course, Cottesmore.
>
>Good memory there. PR.3 (WE163) at Manston (didn't Manston have the
>*foam runway* facility?) B.2 (WJ642) at Upwood. B.2 (WJ676) at
>Wroughton. Cottesmore had/has PR.7 (WH791). (I say *has* 'cause
>Damien says he got a pic of it when he was there last week.)

According to the Ken Ellis book, 'WH642' at Upwood was really WH732.
It took on the 35 Sqn aircraft's identity while the original was still
in service (also at Upwood), in 1960. I don't know if the 'real'
WH642 had an illustrious history, to warrant the portrayal, but either
way, both have now gone to the ASP in the sky.

And we forgot WH840 at RAF Locking, which would have given us pretty
much the full set. (Leaving out the Cranwell and Bassingbourn
examples as they are not really gate guards).

>>The PR7 at Swinderby was used as a backdrop for passing out parades
>>and the like. From the road running along the eastern edge of the
>>airfield, you could see it at the edge of the parade ground, but it
>>wasn't really a gate guardian.
>
>Wasn't Swinder's GG a T.11 Vampire?

Right again - but with the complication that a *long* time ago, T.11
XD386 was there, but disappeared in the 'sixties, when the base's
recruit training role started. It was to be eventually replaced at
the end of the 'seventies by XD506 (a refugee from the Finningly
museum's Jubilee year clear out).

>>If anyone is really keen, I can dust off Ken Ellis' 'On Guard' and we
>>can have a reminiscing session on the gates of the mid-sevenites!
>
>I tend towards Jim Simpson's book (co-authored by someone or other).

The latter work is more comprehensive, but thin as it was, 'On Guard'
was the book that started my interest in 'wrecks and relics'
territory, so I always have a soft spot for it.

But you just jogged me on another point - I bet Kev wishes he had
slipped a few quid to the people who printed the dust jacket and cover
for the book! - How did *that* omission get by the proof readers? I
like to think that I am quite modest, but if it was my name that was
missing from something as good as that, it would take me a long time
to get over it!

>Would be a whole lot more interesting that many of the threads at the
>moment - and I doubt if Ven, Veg, Polo, et all would post to it. ;-)

I worry that this thread may be a bit parochial, but I agree with your
sentiments, and admit that I tend to like the odd stuff from the
backwaters now and again.

LesB

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Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
to
Mike Tighe wrote:

>According to the Ken Ellis book, 'WH642' at Upwood was really WH732.
>It took on the 35 Sqn aircraft's identity while the original was still
>in service (also at Upwood), in 1960. I don't know if the 'real'
>WH642 had an illustrious history, to warrant the portrayal, but either
>way, both have now gone to the ASP in the sky.

According to Simpson (and another source) it was W*J*642, (not WH).
This B.2 flew with 35 Sqd presumably from Upwood at the time you say
(previous to 1956, 35 were at Marham). Nothing leaps out about WJ642.
It was on 61 Sqd then to 35 Sqd. Maybe it was someone's *favourite*
that they used to fly/work when on 35 and were deciding on a Gate
Guard identity. It became a FireBrick at Catterick

The doppleganger was WH723 (not 732) which spent most of its career
with RAE and then at Weeton for trainees to mess with before becoming
GG at Upwood. It went to Air Weapons Research Estab, Foulness (for
target practice?) and was sold as scrap in 1990.

>And we forgot WH840 at RAF Locking, which would have given us pretty
>much the full set. (Leaving out the Cranwell and Bassingbourn
>examples as they are not really gate guards).

Still more on Canberras! Its not my birthday is it? ;-)

WH840 ( a T.4) I've got on my Survivors List as being at the Norfolk
and Suffolk Aviation Museum. Could really use a picture of this if
its still there - please. ;-) as it was one of the two T.4s on 3 Sqd
when I was there at Geilenkirchen (the other one WH846 is at the
Yorkshire Air Museum at Elvington (see details on my Survivors List)).

>>Wasn't Swinder's GG a T.11 Vampire?
>
>Right again - but with the complication that a *long* time ago, T.11
>XD386 was there, but disappeared in the 'sixties, when the base's
>recruit training role started. It was to be eventually replaced at
>the end of the 'seventies by XD506 (a refugee from the Finningly
>museum's Jubilee year clear out).

So says *Simpson* as well.

>But you just jogged me on another point - I bet Kev wishes he had
>slipped a few quid to the people who printed the dust jacket and cover
>for the book! - How did *that* omission get by the proof readers? I
>like to think that I am quite modest, but if it was my name that was
>missing from something as good as that, it would take me a long time
>to get over it!

Too true. He's just too modest about the whole thing - strange really
as he was a rigger! ;-). There's a lot of solid research in *RAF Gate
Guards* - even though its circa 1990/91ish. Maybe we can get him to
do a sequel now that he's finished with that *Tweety* thing. ;-)

>I worry that this thread may be a bit parochial, . . .

Maybe if the Subject was changed to *F-4 v SU-37P* and then apply
thread drift . . .

But then, nearly all the other threads are parochial to someone - and
I admit to getting confused with all those alpha-numeric designations!
Any decent, tea-drinking country gives names to its kites. I suppose
that's what happens when you ditch your tea in the harbour! And
everybody knows what all that caffeine can do to you. ;-)

>but I agree with your sentiments, and admit that I tend
>to like the odd stuff from the backwaters now and again.

The US has backwaters as well. Or is that Bentwaters! Definitely not
Bywaters! ;-)

Squeaks

unread,
Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
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FWIW, there is an RAAF Canberra mouldering "around the back" of the DSTO
Aeronautical & Maritime Research Laboratory at Fisherman's Bend, Melbourne,
just off Todd Road. They have a Sabre as gate guardian, and the Canberra
plus some airframe parts are mouldering near the (unused) helipad down the
SW corner of the grounds. No idea of details since it can't be seen from
outside the facility, I get to look at it every time I fly over. Probably
suffering from the elements by now, very sad.

John Eacott
The Helicopter Service Australia


Mike Tighe wrote in message <361f2dfa...@news.dircon.co.uk>...


snip

>Other places I remember Canberras on the gates were RAF Manston (there
>was a Javelin there too, both long gone), RAF Upwood (before the USAF
>took it over), the Princess Alexandra Hospital at Wroughton (near
>Swindon, not far from the RNAY), and, of course, Cottesmore.
>

>The PR7 at Swinderby was used as a backdrop for passing out parades
>and the like. From the road running along the eastern edge of the
>airfield, you could see it at the edge of the parade ground, but it
>wasn't really a gate guardian.
>

>If anyone is really keen, I can dust off Ken Ellis' 'On Guard' and we
>can have a reminiscing session on the gates of the mid-sevenites!
>

Graham SALT

unread,
Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
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LesB <one...@netcomuk.co.uk> wrote in article
<361feafb...@nntp.netcruiser>...


> Still more on Canberras! Its not my birthday is it? ;-)
>

Probably, you'll think not, when you view the following:

http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/close/fw09/canberra2.jpg

a perfect example of how not to preserve an historic aircraft, taken at
Brenzett (WH657)

Graham Salt

Mike Tighe

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Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
to
On Sun, 11 Oct 1998 00:09:24 GMT, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB) wrote:
>Mike Tighe wrote:
>
>>According to the Ken Ellis book, 'WH642' at Upwood was really WH732.
>>It took on the 35 Sqn aircraft's identity while the original was still
>>in service (also at Upwood), in 1960. I don't know if the 'real'
>>WH642 had an illustrious history, to warrant the portrayal, but either
>>way, both have now gone to the ASP in the sky.
>
>According to Simpson (and another source) it was W*J*642, (not WH).
>This B.2 flew with 35 Sqd presumably from Upwood at the time you say
>(previous to 1956, 35 were at Marham). Nothing leaps out about WJ642.
>It was on 61 Sqd then to 35 Sqd. Maybe it was someone's *favourite*
>that they used to fly/work when on 35 and were deciding on a Gate
>Guard identity. It became a FireBrick at Catterick

This is where I go into abject apology mode - You are right on all
counts, and that particular paragraph is one of the most typo riddled
things I have ever sent anywhere! 'On Guard' does agree with your
notes, I have to remember in future how clumsy I am when I'm tired.
Sorry about that.

<snip to the closing comments>


>>but I agree with your sentiments, and admit that I tend
>>to like the odd stuff from the backwaters now and again.
>
>The US has backwaters as well. Or is that Bentwaters! Definitely not
>Bywaters! ;-)

We could use this as the kicker for a follow up to the movie stand-in
thread... Something along the lines of 'What film/tv did this
fictional airfield appear in?'

Your 'Bywaters' one is 'The Forth Protocol', I think. Now how about
if I throw back 'Binfield'...?

LesB

unread,
Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
to
Graham SALT wrote:

What a mess! There ought to be rules/guidelines. about this sort of
thing. Still, at least it *is* there - and hasn't ended up as a
firebrick.

Its an interesting aircraft too. WH657 was used for tracking British
satellites in a joint project with the US from 1962-1966. This kite
was first used in various other trials including with the National
Gas Turbine Establishment (Farnbourgh) in high altitude engine problem
trials; then with RAE for parachute stabilising trials; then to
Cranfield for slush trials. Eventually sold to RFD who sold it on (to
Booker Aviation?).

Thanks for the pic though Graham. Its one of the Canberras on my
Survivors List.

Here's a B&W pic of it in happier days with RAE. (Nose was red then)

http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~lesb/wh675-0.jpg

Its not my pic though. ;-) Don't know whose it is.

LesB

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Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
to
LesB wrote:

Ooops . . .

>http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~lesb/wh675-0.jpg

That should be . . .

http://www.netcomuk.co.uk/~lesb/wh657-0.jpg

That'll teach me to do this after a steak lunch and a couple of
glasses of red. ;-)

Steve Pickering

unread,
Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
to
In article <3621180...@news.btinternet.com>, Tex Bennett
<T...@btinternet.com> writes

>On Fri, 09 Oct 1998 18:31:42 GMT, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB) wrote:
>
>
>>
>>No Gate guard at Wyton when I was there with 51 Sqd and then,
>>latterly, 26 Sqd. Only later did they add a PR.9 - XH170 (still
>>there) and a B.6 in 51 Sqds colours - WH773. The PR.9 is all that's
>>left now though. See my web site for photos.
>
>I was at Wyton briefly before I left in '95 (over at Building 266).
>Flying was about to cease as the runway was going to be sold for
>hardcore.
>
>>I think there was a third Canberra at one time - 3 Gate Guards! Maybe
>>Kev of BBA could confirm this.
>
>For the life of me I cannot remember - I think there was more than
>one. I remember one at Swinderby of all places.
>
>>Talking about Gate Guards, its been a while since these were mentioned
>>in this group. Mmmm . . . maybe a new thread sometime, as I'm sick
>>and tired of all "Bomb Kosovo" crap in other threads.
>
>You and me both Les - Agent with its kill files is a friend at these
>times.
I remember the Canberra at Swinderby (Circ 1975) I remember the flight
photos were taken in front of it and thats all it was used for.

As for other gate guards, only now do I realize the error of my youth in
not taking photos of the guards on bases I was detached to

Valiant at Marham
F-100 at Sculthorpe
Gnat and Vampire at Valley
F-5 (plastic) at Alconbury
F-86s at Gardermoen and Rygge, Norway.
All the ones at Lossiemouth (Shack etc).

I also regret not taing photos of all the decoys / BDRT a/c that were
also seen on detachments.
But the worst I have done is take photos of a Spitfire gate guard with a
furry Womble mascot we positioned on it.
Oh the errors of a mis-spent youth
--
Steve P. St Andrews, Fife. Scotland (56.20.35 N 002 46.90 W)

Ex RAF Survival Equipment Fitter

Check 6 - Phantoms Phorever



LesB

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Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
to
Steve Pickering wrote:

>Oh the errors of a mis-spent youth

Right. Youth is wasted on the young. ;-)

Matt Clonfero

unread,
Oct 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/11/98
to
In article <3621180...@news.btinternet.com>, Tex Bennett
<T...@btinternet.com> wrote:

>>No Gate guard at Wyton when I was there with 51 Sqd and then,
>>latterly, 26 Sqd. Only later did they add a PR.9 - XH170 (still
>>there) and a B.6 in 51 Sqds colours - WH773. The PR.9 is all that's
>>left now though. See my web site for photos.
>
>I was at Wyton briefly before I left in '95 (over at Building 266).
>Flying was about to cease as the runway was going to be sold for
>hardcore.

We must have been there at about the same time, then. I was over in, erm
84(?) building & 3 Hanger.

Aetherem Vincere
Matt
--
Matt Clonfero: Mat...@aetherem.demon.co.uk | To err is human, To forgive
My employer and I have a deal - I don't speak | is not Air Force Policy.
for them, and they don't speak for me. | -- Anon, ETPS.

Steve Apthorpe

unread,
Oct 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/12/98
to
> No Gate guard at Wyton when I was there with 51 Sqd and then,
> latterly, 26 Sqd. Only later did they add a PR.9 - XH170 (still
> there) and a B.6 in 51 Sqds colours - WH773. The PR.9 is all that's
> left now though. See my web site for photos.
>
> I think there was a third Canberra at one time - 3 Gate Guards!

I worked for EWAU at 4 Hangar from 1984 - 86, and there were three
Canberras on the gate then. From memory: A PR9 in 39 SQN colours, A PR7
in 13 SQN Colours and a B6(Mod) in 51 SQN Colours, tail number WT 305.
I wonder what happened to WT305, surely thats an historically important
aircraft, not exactly a lot of SIGINT birds in museums.

Steve

--
======================================================================
| Steve Apthorpe | "Advice, oh watch out for that advice now" |
| ano...@cobweb.com.au | (Belew, 1995) |
======================================================================

Steve Pickering

unread,
Oct 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/12/98
to
In article <362218...@cobweb.com.au>, Steve Apthorpe
<ano...@cobweb.com.au> writes

>> No Gate guard at Wyton when I was there with 51 Sqd and then,
>> latterly, 26 Sqd. Only later did they add a PR.9 - XH170 (still
>> there) and a B.6 in 51 Sqds colours - WH773. The PR.9 is all that's
>> left now though. See my web site for photos.
>>
>> I think there was a third Canberra at one time - 3 Gate Guards!
>
>I worked for EWAU at 4 Hangar from 1984 - 86, and there were three
>Canberras on the gate then. From memory: A PR9 in 39 SQN colours, A PR7
>in 13 SQN Colours and a B6(Mod) in 51 SQN Colours, tail number WT 305.
>I wonder what happened to WT305, surely thats an historically important
>aircraft, not exactly a lot of SIGINT birds in museums.
>
>Steve
>
Sorry to say according to an article in Aircraft Illustrated from 1990
WT305 was SCRAPPED!! Yet another example of Britains aviation history
bit the dust.

--
Steve P. St Andrews, Fife. Scotland (56.20.35 N 002 46.90 W)

LesB

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Oct 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/12/98
to
Steve Apthorpe wrote:

>I worked for EWAU at 4 Hangar from 1984 - 86,

Any pictures?

> and there were three Canberras on the gate then. From memory:
> A PR9 in 39 SQN colours,

XH170. Still there.

> A PR7 in 13 SQN Colours

Number eludes me. This is the *3rd* Canberra I mentioned further up
the thread. Would be good to get the number.

> and a B6(Mod) in 51 SQN Colours, tail number WT 305.

Did it have its Secret Squirrel *Long Nose* when on display? I've got
a pic that's supposed to be the 51 Sqd guard at Wyton, but it is a bit
small and it is *not* a long-nose - it may be the PR.7.

>I wonder what happened to WT305, surely thats an historically important
>aircraft, not exactly a lot of SIGINT birds in museums.

Cut up and scrapped in 1989. As you say, a pity.

LesB

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Oct 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/12/98
to
LesB wrote:
>
>Did it have its Secret Squirrel *Long Nose* when on display? I've got
>a pic that's supposed to be the 51 Sqd guard at Wyton, but it is a bit
>small and it is *not* a long-nose - it may be the PR.7.

Ooops. Over-excited here 'cause Canberras are still being mentioned.

I have found another pic of WT305 at Wyton's gate and yes, it did have
the long nose. The pic I was thinking of *was* of the PR.7 but had
come to me as 51's. The number is still unknown.


LesB

Tex Bennett

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Oct 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/12/98
to
On Sun, 11 Oct 1998 21:45:32 +0100, Matt Clonfero
<Ma...@aetherem.demon.co.uk> wrote:


>We must have been there at about the same time, then. I was over in, erm
>84(?) building & 3 Hanger.

Small world Matt. Where you a blue suiter or part of the MoD staff?
I was in EWOSE in 266. Great camp Wyton, shame I didn't stay around
longer, but civvy street was calling.

It's all moved to the AWC at Waddington now I understand
--


Tex Bennett

Tex Bennett

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Oct 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/12/98
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On Mon, 12 Oct 1998 18:47:01 GMT, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB) wrote:


>Did it have its Secret Squirrel *Long Nose* when on display? I've got
>a pic that's supposed to be the 51 Sqd guard at Wyton, but it is a bit
>small and it is *not* a long-nose - it may be the PR.7.

What was in those long noses? I always thought they were AI trainers
for Javelin Navs.
--


Tex Bennett

Mike Tighe

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Oct 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/12/98
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On Mon, 12 Oct 1998 20:27:44 GMT, T...@btinternet.com (Tex Bennett)
wrote:

>On Mon, 12 Oct 1998 18:47:01 GMT, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB) wrote:

Different long Canberra noses... A quick and not definitive list...

The conical pointy one for Javelin training was the T.11. Some were
later updated to the T.19 version, but in the latter days I don't
think anything was inside the radome, and they just operated with 7,
85 and 100 Sqns with the rest of the target facilities fleet.

The 'Buccaneer' lookalike pointy nose was the Royal Navy T.21.

The fat blunt nose was the B.6(Mod) elint platform.

The fat blunt nose with the bumps was the RAF T.17 ECM training
aircraft.

There were also a number of one off trials installations on the test
fleet at places like Pershore, Bedford and Farnborough - but they are
a bit too much to get into here.

LesB

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Oct 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/12/98
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Mike Tighe wrote:

>Different long Canberra noses... A quick and not definitive list...

<snip list>

That's pretty much one in a row Mike. Good succinct list.

Matt Clonfero

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Oct 12, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/12/98
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In article <36235c7...@news.btinternet.com>, Tex Bennett

<T...@btinternet.com> wrote:
>On Sun, 11 Oct 1998 21:45:32 +0100, Matt Clonfero
><Ma...@aetherem.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>
>>We must have been there at about the same time, then. I was over in, erm
>>84(?) building & 3 Hanger.
>
>Small world Matt. Where you a blue suiter or part of the MoD staff?

Civvie. The section I was in was half RAF, half civvie - EW6 section.

>I was in EWOSE in 266. Great camp Wyton, shame I didn't stay around
>longer, but civvy street was calling.
>
>It's all moved to the AWC at Waddington now I understand

Yep - 51 Sqn et al moved out shortly after I left them, and had a grand
reorganisation on arrival at Waddington.

Tex Bennett

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Oct 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/13/98
to
On Mon, 12 Oct 1998 21:29:40 GMT, mik...@dircon.co.uk (Mike Tighe)
wrote:


>
>The conical pointy one for Javelin training was the T.11. Some were
>later updated to the T.19 version, but in the latter days I don't
>think anything was inside the radome, and they just operated with 7,
>85 and 100 Sqns with the rest of the target facilities fleet.

Ahh - I see

>The 'Buccaneer' lookalike pointy nose was the Royal Navy T.21.
>
>The fat blunt nose was the B.6(Mod) elint platform.

Righto

>The fat blunt nose with the bumps was the RAF T.17 ECM training
>aircraft.

Remember them - very powerful jammers inside IIRC.

>There were also a number of one off trials installations on the test
>fleet at places like Pershore, Bedford and Farnborough - but they are
>a bit too much to get into here.

Thanks Mike
--


Tex Bennett

Mike Tighe

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Oct 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/13/98
to
On Mon, 12 Oct 1998 22:08:19 GMT, one...@netcomuk.co.uk (LesB) wrote:

>Mike Tighe wrote:
>
>>Different long Canberra noses... A quick and not definitive list...
><snip list>
>
>That's pretty much one in a row Mike. Good succinct list.

OK, now I spoil it with and errata! I seem to be losing my steely
eyed proofreading skills...

Of course, as at least one person has noticed, under the designation
system at the time, the Australians had dibs on the 20+ mark numbers
so they had the B.20 and T.21.

That meant two mark numbers that the UK forces could not use as the
different versions proliferated, and the RN operated conversions with
the Buccaneer-style radomes were designated T.22.

To make amends for the typo, I can offer one more 'long nose' version
that saw regular use, and which I missed first time around. That was
the RAF Meteorological Research Flight's modified PR.3, WE173, which
had a needle nose fitted with air data sensors.

Steve Apthorpe

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Oct 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/14/98
to
Steve Apthorpe wrote:

>>I worked for EWAU at 4 Hangar from 1984 - 86,

>Any pictures?

Err, no photo's from that job... The best source I have of Nimrod and
Canberra pics is
Spyplane: The secret world of aerial intelligence-gathering by David
Donald, Motorbooks International, Wisconsin 1987 ISBN 0-87938-258-9

>> and there were three Canberras on the gate then. From memory:

>> and a B6(Mod) in 51 SQN Colours, tail number WT 305.

> Did it have its Secret Squirrel *Long Nose* when on display? I've got

I'm not aware that such a thing exists. However, long noses were on
other marks of Canberra's, and it is possible they were used for 'secret
squirrel' work, I think the Swede's bought T? with long noses and used
then for such work. Now Iread the abovementioned book and there is a
pic on p. 37-38 for the 'long nose' and p. 88 for the swede short nose.
Fraid Canberra's are before my time!

> a pic that's supposed to be the 51 Sqd guard at Wyton, but it is a bit
> small and it is *not* a long-nose - it may be the PR.7.

It had a short hemispherical nose, like on p.84 - 86 of the
abovementioned book, the PR 7 I saw on the gate was standard.

Hmmm I may have to scan these pics for your site Les if you cannot
source them from elsewhere.

LesB

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Oct 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/14/98
to
Mike Tighe wrote:

>To make amends for the typo, I can offer one more 'long nose' version
>that saw regular use, and which I missed first time around. That was
>the RAF Meteorological Research Flight's modified PR.3, WE173, which
>had a needle nose fitted with air data sensors.

Several others as well if you're going outside the service (RAE,
Ferranti, etc).

There was a B(I)8 with a LRMTS fitted in the nose (Laser Ranging and
Marked Target Seeker)

B.2 - WH734 - with an in-flight refueling probe above the nose glass.
(This one also served as an in-flight refueler - have a pic of it
IF'ing a Javelin)

XH568 (RAE's) also had a long *pointy* nose - but why?
Another with a *wasp* point nose was the prototype PR.9, WH793 as
flown by *Aero Flight* in 1972.

PR.9 XH132 (as Short's SC.9) had a really weird nose cone for missile
homing head trials(?). Pic of this on my Canberra Survivors page
under XH132.

WJ643 - Ferranti with a Lightning radar in the nose (looked quite good
actually)

And probably several more that haven't had any publicity. The
Canberra was extensively used in all sorts of trials and test-fits.

LesB

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Oct 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM10/14/98
to
Steve Apthorpe wrote:

>Err, no photo's from that job...

OK.

[ . . . ]


>squirrel' work, I think the Swede's bought T? with long noses and used
>then for such work. Now Iread the abovementioned book and there is a
>pic on p. 37-38 for the 'long nose' and p. 88 for the swede short nose.

Yup, two of them, designated Tp52's - for ELINT work.

>Fraid Canberra's are before my time!

Not your fault son. ;-)

>Hmmm I may have to scan these pics for your site Les if you cannot
>source them from elsewhere.

Mail me. ( delete *one* to mail remember)

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