1975

The squadron operated as a medium bomber squadron at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus until 16th January 1975, when it was posted back to the UK as a result of the Cyprus Emergency

It operated as a medium bomber and maritime radar reconnaissance squadron in the UK from 1st March 1975

Stationed at:

  • RAF Akrotiri
  • 16/01/1975: Moved to RAF Scampton (Lincolnshire), using Foxtrot Dispersal
  • Detachment to Cyprus (April / May 1975)

Role

  • Up to 16/01/1975
    • Medium bomber squadron, equipped for low level strategic bombing (providing bomber support in the near east, in accordance with the UK’s 1956 commitment to the Central Treaty Organisation [CENTO])
  • From 16/01/1975:
    • Medium bomber squadron, equipped for low level strategic bombing
    • Maritime Radar Reconnaissance

Command

  • No. 1 Group, Strike Command

Personnel

  • Commanding Officer:
    • Wing Commander KI Watson
    • 06/1975: Handed over to Wing Commander AT Atkinson

Wing Commander KI Watson hands over command of the squadron to Wing Commander AT Atkinson

[Courtesy of Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]

Strength


Events affecting the squadron

Scampton Redeployment (Extract from the squadron’s Record Book)

“The squadron was informed in December that it was to redeploy to RAF Scampton by 1st February 1975.

To this end, an advance party comprising Sqn Ldr A Ward, Flt Lt JB Ince and Flt Lt. JE Steenson travelled to Scampton on 11th January 1975. The first wave of four aircraft led by Wg Cdr KI Watson and with Sqn Ldr WD MacGillivray, Flt Lt GR Agnew and Flt Lt IGF Lord as captains of the other three aircraft flew to Scampton on 16th January 1975. The aircraft were greeted by the Station Commander Gp Capt JB Fitzpatrick and a reception party representing the station and its resident squadrons. Sqn Ldr ACR Ingoldby, Sqn Ldr Rogers, Flt Lt D Walby, Flt Lt CR Allkins and crews flew the second wave of four aircraft without incident on 23rd January 1975. Fg Off KM O’Sullivan escorted the Squadron Standard and restricted Squadron material to Scampton by 46 Group aircraft on 24th January 1975. The remaining members of the squadron travelled to Scampton by normal service means”

The move from Akrotiri to Scampton has entailed a complete change in the Squadron administrative organisation. Whereas in Cyprus, all ground crew administration was handled by a separate unit, at Scampton, the Squadron has become semi-autonomous with its own ground crew and partial administration for them, as well as responsibility for its own aircraft


Activities

The squadron prepared for its return to the UK (which commenced on the 16th January 1975) and, on arrival, personnel were given 21 days disembarkation leave. It then had to re-qualify all its crews for UK operations (high and low and day and night) before becoming operational on 1st March 1975

Air Crew

  • Ground Training (on station and off station)
    • Lectures / Courses in subjects such as Intelligence, Weapons and Aircraft Systems
    • Emergency, Escape, Dinghy and Survival Drills
    • “Trade” related Refresher Courses
  • Flying Training
    • As per Basic Training Requirement (BTR) Programme
  • Ongoing Assessments, Checks and Classifications
  • Station readiness and dispersal, Cross Country, Bombing, Air Defence, Joint Maritime and Fighter Affiliation Exercise
    • Mick / Sumbal (Regular)
    • Scorer (Regular)
    • Priory (Regular)
    • Brown Falcon (Regular)
    • Shahbaz / Forearm (Cyprus) (April / May 1975)
    • Crackforce (June 1975)
    • Coldfire (September 1975)
    • Highwood (September 1975)
    • Datex (October 1975)
    • Ocean Safari (November 1975)
  • Rangers / Trainers
    • Goose Bay
    • Malta
    • Italian
  • Displays / Flypasts
    • Prestwick (June 1975)
    • Binbrook (July 1975)
    • St Mawgan (August 1975)
    • Yeovilton (September 1975)
    • Ottawa (September 1975)
  • Navigation / Bombing Competitions
  • Maritime Radar Reconnaissance

Ground Personnel (from 16/01/1975)

  • Daily inspection, servicing and preparation of squadron aircraft, in readiness for air operations
  • Administrative Duties

Events

IMG_4213 John Fitzpatrick (CO Scampton) greeting K Watson 16-01-75).JPG

John Fitzpatrick (CO Scampton) greets KI Watson on arrival at Scampton 16th January 1975

[Courtesy of Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]



The first aircraft to carry the conjoined 35 (Skyhook) was XL446, when it was flown from Akrotiri to Scampton by KI Watson on 16th January 1975


Aircraft

The squadron was equipped with the following aircraft types (from station pool [up to 16/01/1975] and then from its own establishment):

AVRO VULCAN B2

Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The following page identifies the serial numbers of the aircraft that were on charge of No. 35 Squadron whilst stationed at Scampton, along with details of known losses and incidents: