The year 1954

Pathe News Reviews 1954
RAF Squadron

A little music from the time . . .

Secret Love – Doris Day
Three Coins In The Fountain – Four Aces
Sh-Boom The Crew Cuts


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 […]

Flying the Canberra . . . by Ralph Swift

All Material on this page is Copyright © Ralph Swift 2003  I disliked flying the Canberra, I had got bored and uncomfortable during the longer flights made possible by the greater range of the Canberra over the Meteor. On top of that, the Canberra just did not fit me. It had the same problems on one engine as had the Meteor, but in addition to that, I simply could not see very well out of it. I stand barely five […]

Flying the Meteor . . . by Ralph Swift

Flying the Meteor . . . by Ralph Swift

All Material on this page is Copyright © Ralph Swift 2003  The job proved to be just as boring as I had suspected and the following weeks were spent learning my new trade. The aircraft were Meteor night fighters, NF11 and NF14. and I carried a navigator for the first time in my life. I still flew the things with my old fighter style panache, much to the distress of my first navigator who had recently come off Lincoln bombers […]

Peter Long’s brief history of Watton – 1954

The CSE’s calibration force was being brought up to strength. By the beginning of the year 527 Squadron had taken on strength three Gloster Meteor NF11 aircraft and the first of many Vickers Varsity TMk1 aircraft to be used at Watton during the coming years arrived in January for calibration duties with 116 and 527 Squadrons. By July 116 Squadron was operating ten of these Varsities and 527 had four. With the arrival of the Varsity, both squadrons began to […]