1956

The squadron operated as a light bomber squadron throughout 1956

Stationed at:

  • RAF Marham (Norfolk)
  • 24/07/1956: Moved to RAF Upwood (Huntingdonshire)

Role

  • Light bomber squadron, equipped for high altitude strategic bombing (SACEUR assigned unit)

Command

  • Marham Wing, Main Force, Bomber Command
  • 24/07/1956: Main Force, Bomber Command

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer:
    • Squadron Leader TA McCulloch
    • 05/03/1956: Handed over to Squadron Leader RG Price DFC

Strength


Events affecting the squadron

The Canberra aircraft were grounded from March to July, resulting in reduced flying activities.

In July, President Nasser of Egypt seized control of the Suez Canal and the UK, along with other countries, prepared to bring the Canal back under international control, utilising force, if necessary. During late July and August, the Canberra squadrons were utilised to ferry bombs for storage in Luqa, Malta (Operation Accumulate); there is no reference to this operation in No. 35 Squadron’s Operations Record Book

In October, a task force was deployed to Malta and Cyprus (Operation Musketeer) and the squadron was put on “standby”.  The offensive against President Nasser commenced on 30th October 1956, concluding on 5th November 1956. Whilst four of the squadron’s aircraft deployed to Cyprus, the squadron does not figure in the UK Battle Order for Operation Musketeer.


Activities

Air Crew

  • Ground Training (on station and off station)
    • Lectures / Courses
    • Emergency, Escape, Dinghy and Survival Drills
    • “Trade” related Refresher Courses
  • Flying Training
  • Ongoing Assessments, Checks and Classifications
  • Station Readiness / Dispersal, Cross Country, Bombing, Air Defence and Fighter Affiliation Exercises
    • Kingpin (Regular)
    • Fusillade (March 1956)
    • Marshmallow (March 1956)
    • Stronghold (September 1956)
    • Whipsaw (September 1956)
    • Ratchet (October 1956)
  • Lone Rangers
    • Abu Sueir
    • Aden
    • Bahrain
    • Eastleigh
    • Gibraltar
    • Habbaniya
    • Idris
    • Khormaksar
    • Luqa
    • Nicosia
    • Wunstorf
  • Displays / Flypasts
    • None Recorded
  • Bombing Competitions
    • None Recorded

Ground Personnel

  • Daily inspection, servicing and preparation of squadron aircraft, in readiness for air operations (up until October 1956)
  • Administrative Duties

Queen at Marham 1956 ([Movietone News).jpg

Queen Elizabeth II at Marham 23rd July 1956 [Source: Movietone News]


Aircraft

The squadron was equipped with the following aircraft types (from its own establishment until October 1956 and then from a station pool):

Canberra Profile

CANBERRA B.2 and T.4

Profile © Malcolm Barrass

It is worth noting that the introduction of centralised servicing in October 1956 resulted in the squadron using aircraft from the station pool and, as a result, the squadron badge no longer appeared on the tail fin.

On 5th March 1956, all aircraft were grounded until the electrical wiring to the tail plane actuators had been checked and modified. They were grounded again on 29th March 1956 awaiting further modifications to the tail plane actuators; the squadron started to receive the modified versions in July 1956.

The following link provides more details about the aircraft that were available to the squadron, firstly from its own establishment and then from a station pool, along with information on known losses and incidents: