Victory Day Flypast

Extracts from the Squadron’s Record Book

28th May 1946

The full twelve formation aircraft were detailed for practice London Flypast. Press representatives and Public Relations Officers were carried. One aircraft was detailed to fly alongside the formation carrying Mr. Prentice, of the Gaumont-British News Film Company, Stanley Devon who represented the Press Association, although a Daily Sketch photographer, obtained some excellent photographs, one of which appears in the Daily Sketch of the 30th May. Mr. Devon took his photos from the rear turret of the-Squadron Commander’s aircraft.

6th June 1946

Twelve aircraft, led by the Squadron Commander Wing Commander AJL Craig DSO DFC flew on a final full scale rehearsal for the London Fly Past over the actual route. The timing and formation were good.

A number of high ranking officers from the Air Ministry were at the saluting base and they telephoned the Air Officer Commanding in Chief, Bomber Command to say that this squadron’s formation was the best and most impressive they had ever seen.

After the flypast, the formation flew over Headquarters, Bomber Command. This also drew the compliments of the Air Officer Commanding in Chief and the senior Air Staff Officer, Bomber Command.

The operation was also recorded on the BBC Home News. An excellent photograph of the squadron over Trafalgar Square was later published in the Evening News and Evening Standard.

8th June 1946

A large number of visitors and most of the station personnel who had not proceeded on their Victory Weekend, gave the squadron and enthusiastic send off as they became airborne for the Victory Day Flypast.

Each aircraft carried a press representative and these twelve men later gave very good “cover” of the squadron’s effort in the national press.

The weather and formation was good until reaching Fairlop (just NE of London). From there until the squadron was almost back at base the weather was low cloud and continuous heavy rain; the formation therefore suffered, but in spite of the conditions, put up a good show and were exactly on time to the nearest second. The precise timing had not been achieved before during any of the practices. Because of the weather conditions, little could be seen of the celebrations below, but Trafalgar Square and the Mall were very colourful and crowded.

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