The squadron operated as a medium bomber squadron, with QRA capability, throughout 1963

 Stationed at:

  • RAF Coningsby (Lincolnshire)


  • Medium bomber squadron, equipped for high altitude strategic bombing


  • Coningsby Wing, V Force, No. 1 Group, Bomber Command

Squadron Command

  • Commanding Officer
    • Wing Commander AA Smailes AFC
    • 16/04/1963: Handed over to Wing Commander DB Craig



Air Crew

  • War Target Study
  • Provision of QRA Capability (1 aircraft at all times)
  • 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
    • Training Programme included: Overshoots, Practice Diversion, Instrument Landing (ILS), Ground Control Approach (GCA), Precision Approach Radar (PAR), Navigation and Bombing System (NBS) / Radar Bomb Score (RBS) Attacks, Live Bombing, Navigation (Limited / Secondary / Primary), Visual Bombing, Formation Flying, Fighter Affiliation, Maximum All Up Weight Take Off, 1500 mile / Maximum Length Profile and ECM Runs
  • Ongoing Assessments, Checks and Classifications
  • Station readiness / dispersal, Cross Country, Bombing, Air Defence and Fighter Affiliation Exercises
    • Kingpin (Regular)
    • Groupex (Regular)
    • Fairway (February / March 1963)
    • Mayflight (May 1963)
    • Mystic (July 1963)
    • Mick (August 1963)
    • Kinsman (September 1963)
    • Lion Vert (September 1963)
    • Mickey Finn (November 1963)
    • Lime Jug (December 1963)
  • Rangers
    • Western
  • Displays / Flypasts
    • Freedom of Boston Flypast (May 1963)
    • RAF Honington (June 1963)
    • Demonstration Scramble [Andover] (October 1963)
    • Demonstration Scramble [Coningsby] (October 1963)
  • Bombing Competitions

Ground Personnel

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


Leader R Dick (No. 9 Squadron), No. 2 Position GG Ness (No. 35 Squadron) and No. 3 Position N Steel (No. 12 Squadron) in Freedom of Boston Flypast 16th May 1963
[Courtesy of Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]


The squadron was equipped with the following aircraft types (which were initially loaned and then from own establishment):


Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The squadron took delivery of its first “establishment” Avro Vulcan B2 (XJ823) in January 1963, although this was then passed to a Modification Team for “Rapid Start” modifications. As a result, it continued to use aircraft from other squadrons for flying training, initially using aircraft from Scampton and then aircraft from No. 9 and No. 12 Squadron (also based at Coningsby), whilst it built up its own establishment of six aircraft.

The following link provides more details about the aircraft that were on loan to, or on charge of, the squadron, along with information on known losses and incidents: