Peter Long’s brief history of Watton – 1956

During the month of February, a Washington aircraft of No.192 Squadron carried out a sigint gathering operation under the control and on behalf of Bomber Command. The sortie lasted a little over eighteen hours, part of which time the aircraft flew on only three engines. The captain of the aircraft, W/Cdr Dixon who was also 192 Squadron’s commanding officer received a commendation from Bomber Command.

By March, 527 Squadron had standardised on the Canberra BMk2 for the squadron’s radar calibration tasking. In the same month came the first successful trial of IB using a Lincoln of Dev. Squadron. More Lincolns were joining Development Squadron and in April, further tests were carried out using an IB Lincoln against airborne intercept radar (AI) fitted into a Meteor NF11.

Fighter Command Exercise ‘Rejuvenate, held in May allowed three of Development Squadron’s IB Lincolns to use IB in exercise for the first time.

Watton’s Special Radio Installations Section was due to receive a Vickers Valiant aircraft at the end of August. It was to be fitted with a trial installation of Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) equipment. When it arrived the Valiant burst a tyre on landing and blocked Watton’s runway for four hours.

To assist in the trials of ‘Torus’, a Gloster Javelin was borrowed from Boscombe Down in October, and taken onto Dev. Squadron’s strength. Development Squadron began trials of ‘Blue Shadow’ SLAR and ‘Green Satin’ doppler based navigation system for use in the future Elint Comet aircraft.

On the retirement of Air Commodore Rogers in December, Air Commodore B.D. Nicholas CBE assumed command as Commandant CSE

Note: By now Radio Warfare was being more often referred to as Electronic Warfare. Thus RCM becomes ECM.

These and the other ‘snapshots’ of my post-war history of RAF Watton are extracts from

‘In Support Of So Many’
Royal Air Force Station Watton 1945 ~ 2000
A Story of a Peacetime RAF Station

© Peter J. Long 1999

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