Bombing Competitions

RESEARCH NOTES

Bombing and Navigation Competitions (including electronics) were held annually, with selected crew(s) representing the squadron in competitions organised at Station and/or Group level.

Numerous trophies (*), were presented, including:

  • Bristol Siddeley Trophy
  • Medium Bomber Efficiency Trophy
  • Sir Phillip Sassoon Trophy
  • Laurence Minot Trophy
  • Blue Steel (inter air force) Trophy
  • Electronics Trophy

(*) See “Additional Information” for trophy details below)

In addition, crew(s) were selected to represent the Group in competitions held in the USA (such as Giant Voice).

The following provides information on some of the trophies that were won by the squadron in the post war era

1965

No. 1 Group Medium Bomber Competition

The squadron won the Bristol Siddeley Trophy (Bombing) and the Racal Trophy (ECM / Communications)

No 1 Group Medium Bomber Competition 1965

1967

Station Bombing, Navigation and Communication Competition (February 1967)

Between the 20th and 23rd February 1967 (inclusive), the Station held an inter-squadron Bombing, Navigation and Communications Competition as part of the work up for the forthcoming Bomber Command Competition. The four crews from 35 Squadron entered in the Bombing Competition were Flt Lt B. Dorrington, Flt Lt R.D. Downs, Flt Lt R.B.Gilvary and Flt Lt N.B. Baldwin. The two crews entered in the Navigation/Communications Competition were Wg Cdr D.A. Arnott and Sqn Ldr H.H. Skinner. The Squadron won the Bombing Competition and were ‘runners-up’ overall.

Station Bombing Trophy
Wg. Cdr. Arnott collects the Trophy (February 1967)

1972

The NEAF Bomber Wing, Bombing and Navigation Trophy
Sqn Leader Gowling receives the trophy from Station Commander DB Craig (July 1972)

1973

Strike Command Bombing and Navigation Competition

In May 1973, Flight Lieutenant Julian Flood and his crew flew their two sorties in the STC Bombing and Navigation Competition to such good effect that they carried off the Blue Steel Trophy, awarded to the Air Force with the best overall crews, the Electronics Trophy, for the best individual crew in navigation, and the Sir Phillip Sassoon Trophy for the best squadron in navigation

J Flood, Crew Chief Hales, R Morris, R Lane, A Morgan, R Hardisty and M Cook (foreground) with the Blue Steel Trophy (NEAF) 1973
[Courtesy of Ron Morris]

Trophies won by the IX/35 Squadron (NEAF) during the Strike Command Bombing and Navigation Competition (May 1973) including Blue Steel, Electronics and Sassoon Trophies, on display at RAF Akrotiri
[Courtesy of Ron Morris]

1975

Medium Bomber Efficiency Trophy

“The Bristol Siddeley Trophy is awarded to the Medium Bomber Squadron with No 1 Group which has achieved the best simulated bombing results on nominated flying exercises during the year. The 1975 Trophy was awarded to No 35 Squadron after the final exercises in December had been flown. The squadron’s bombing average was 79.48%, nearly 6% clear of the nearest other squadron”

Medium Bomber Efficiency Trophy for 1975 being presented on 24th March 1976 being presented to Tony Atkinson
[Courtesy of Tony Atkinson]

Wing Commander Atkinson and WO Gough with the Medium Bomber Squadron Efficiency Trophy [which had been awarded for 1975 activities] alongside the Scampton Gate Guardian (Photo taken after its presentation on 24th March 1976) [Courtesy of Tony Atkinson]

Bristol Siddeley Trophy

1976

Bristol Siddeley Trophy

1976 Bristol Siddeley Trophy being presented to Tony Atkinson [MAHC IMG_4229]

Giant Voice

Bennett Crew (Giant Voice Best Vulcan Crew) 1976 [MAHC IMG_4227]

1977

Bristol Siddeley Trophy

Bennett Crew with the Bristol Siddeley Trophy 1977 [MAHC IMG_4232]

Bristol Siddeley Trophy

From 1961 to 1952, the Bristol Siddeley Trophy was awarded to the squadron with the best bombing results in the No.1 Group Combat Efficiency Competition. In 1965 it was reallocated and awarded to the squadron which received the best bombing results throughout the year during No.1 Group exercises. The navigation equivalent was the General Precision System Trophy

[Courtesy of Derek Parks]

Medium Bomber Efficiency Trophy

The Medium Bomber Efficiency Trophy was awarded annually to the Vulcan Bomber Squadron which had shown the best results in all aspects of its task during the previous year

Laurence Minot Trophy

Until 1953 the Laurence Minot Trophy was awarded for visual bombing, but it was allocated for radar bombing in 1955. In 1957 it became the premier trophy in the Bombing and Navigation Competition, and since that date was awarded to the Bomber (later Strike) Command squadron with the best overall results in bombing and navigation combined.