Peter Long’s brief history of Watton – 1964

To start the year a competition was held among Station personnel to design a Station badge. A design by Flt.Lt. J.J.Eeles, a 97 Squadron pilot was selected and sent to HQ Signals Command for consideration.

There were two VIP visits to RAF Watton in March. The first was by Admiral P.D. Gick, CB OBE DSC, Flag Officer, Naval Flying Training and the second was by the new AOC-in-C Signals Command, Air Vice Marshal T.U.C. Shirley CB CBE. On each occasion the visiting officer was greeted by the Station Commander and the Commandant CSE.

A new form of first line servicing was instituted where first line servicing became that of Jet-Line and Piston-Line. Some twenty-four Canberra aircraft of 97 and 98 Squadrons formed Jet-Line operating from the apron in front of the Hangars. Piston-Line looked after the Varsities of 115 Squadron and A’Flight 97 Squadron as well as the IRIS Hastings using the bomb-dump dispersals.

Once again RAF Watton acted as ‘Airhead’ for an Army air transport mobility exercise. Exercise Jigsaw held during July involved the transportation of the 1st Battalion The Gordon Highlanders from RAF Turnhouse in Scotland to Watton in Transport Command Hastings and Argosy aircraft. Once at Watton, the troops were moved to the Battle Area by road.

Airwork Services were contracted by the MOD to prepare, convert and modify Watton’s radar site for work as an Air Traffic Control Radar Unit (ATCRU).

These and the previous ‘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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