The year 1953

AKC Review Of The Year 1953
RAF Coronation Review

A little music from the time . . .

I Believe – Frankie Laine
The Typewriter – Leroy Anderson
Stranger In Paradise – Tony Bennett


192 Squadron Washingtons by Dave Forster 

WZ966 on the ground at RAF Watton

192 Squadron acquired three RB-29As as replacements for its three Lincolns in the first half of 1952. The first two aircraft (WZ966, WZ967) arrived at Watton in April and were joined by the third (WZ968) in June. Work then got underway at the CSE to develop an Elint fit for the aircraft. The modifications, carried out by the CSE, involved the removal of all gun turrets and bombing equipment; fairing over of the rear observation blisters; the conversion of the […]

Dev. Sqdn B flight – Groundcrew for Lincoln B2’s Joe Hemmings

Dev. Sqdn B flight – Groundcrew for Lincoln B2’s Joe Hemmings

3134186 AC2 Hemmings – Joe to his mates of the time, and nicknamed ‘Josh’  Hi guys – I’ll do my best to remember this all accurately but I’m now 73 (Winter 2006) and memory is not so good any more. But discovering this wonderful R.A.F. Watton website has jogged a lot of it back – so as it comes . . . My memory does not seem to tally with that of others but there was a great variety of […]

Gallery: Pictures from Ralph Swift’s album

This is the old 527 Squadron hangar on the Griston side of the airfield at RAF Watton. Taken in 1954/55 it shows a Meteor NF 14 inside the hangar, you can tell the difference from the NF11 as that had a glasshouse type of canopy (Small panes of Perspex) whereas the NF14 had a one piece clear cockpit canopy. If you look closely you can see the tower of Griston Church through the hangar's open doors. This Hangar was a survivor from WWII, it was one of two built on the Griston side of the airfield for use by the USAAF 3rd Strategic Air Depot.

Flying on 527 Squadron – Early 1950’s by Ralph Swift

All Material on this page is Copyright © Ralph Swift 2003  It is probably true to say that the jet aircraft design of the early 1950’s was still partly rooted in the piston engine era. We were still only about ten years into the jet age and the aircraft we were flying were designed and tested in the immediate war time and early post war years and carried with them all the trappings of a learning experience. The instrumentation and […]

Peter Long’s brief history of Watton – 1953

In January, two English Electric Canberra BMk2 aircraft arrived at Watton and went straight to the Special Radio Installation Flight (SRIF) to be fitted for their sigint gathering task with 192 Squadron. The three Boeing RB29 Washingtons had by now become operational and had superseded the three Lincoln aircraft of ‘A’ Flight. The Washingtons began their job of eavesdropping on communications and radar frequencies of potential enemies, mainly around the Warsaw Pact borders, bringing back intelligence to be scrutinised by […]