1975 – 1982 (Ground Personnel)

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Foxtrot Dispersal at Scampton [Courtesy of Gerry Frew]

Commissioned Officers and Non Commissioned Other Ranks operated throughout the domestic, technical and airfield sites, providing essential ground services in support of air operations.

Engineering Trades

Maintenance and Servicing of aircraft and equipment was carried out by Technical / Engineering personnel, with work split between:

  • Daily inspection, servicing and preparation of squadron aircraft, in readiness for air operations 
  • Ongoing maintenance work (incl. rectification of more complex faults)
  • Scheduled servicing work

Work was undertaken by personnel (a) on strength of the squadron and (b) on strength of the station.

Engineering Personnel on strength of the squadron were responsible for daily inspection, servicing and preparation of squadron aircraft, in readiness for air operations (*) . Work, which was carried out on the dispersals, was only on aircraft and equipment that were on charge of the squadron.

(*) The role included:
1.Routine Maintenance checks such as: before flight, after flight and turn-round servicing, operational turn-round and readiness checks
2. Aircraft marshalling and towing
3. Replenishment of aircraft fuel tanks, engine oil reservoirs and assisting with role change and weapon loading
4. Routine maintenance of aircraft ground support equipment
5. Minor rectification and assisting technicians in the repair of more involved defects

Engineering Personnel on strength of the station were responsible for ongoing maintenance work (incl. rectification of more complex faults) and scheduled servicing. Work, which was carried out in the airfield hangars, was on all aircraft and equipment that were on charge of all the squadrons based at the station. Major scheduled services were carried out by personnel from a Maintenance Unit.

Note: Crew Chiefs (Chief Technicians) were responsible for the technical administration and co-ordination of the maintenance of specific aircraft. This involved liaising with the aircrew and the various trades regarding work that needed to be carried out on the aircraft and flying overseas (eg on Rangers) where they would co-ordinate personnel based at the “destination” airfield

Other Ground Trades

Other personnel carried out a range of technical and administrative duties such as Logistics, Air Operations Support, Intelligence, Administration and Personnel / Medical support.

Whilst personnel in these trades were primarily on strength of the station (providing services to all the squadrons that were based there), a small proportion were on strength of the squadron, undertaking squadron specific duties

Personnel on strength of No 35 Squadron

Thanks to the following for getting in touch and providing a summary of their service with the squadron:

  • Les Ainsley
    • I served on the Squadron from 1979 until we disbanded and took part in the disbandment parade. I was an airframes Fitter/Techie and was on B shift.
  • Mike Gott
    • I was an engine fitter, detached to 35 on F dispersal when it returned from Cyprus
  • Ian Hopgood
    • I was a FLM on 35 from their return to Scampton in ’75 till I left in ’77.
  • Ian Nelson
    • I was a Vulcan Propulsion Technician from 1975 to 1980 on 35 Sqn at RAF Scampton
  • Mike O’Gorman
    • I served on 35 squadron from 1979 to 1981. Excellent times
  • Paul Blackley
    • I was a crew chief on 35 Sqn. (1975 to 1981). I had “MY” aircraft for which I held the inventory, it was XL443. If it was due to fly, or had maintenance in progress, I would take care of it, but we would look after whatever aircraft we were needed for. We flew away on rangers on a rota basis with various crews and using whatever aircraft had been allocated for the trip. Once our primary aircraft was airborne, we would look after another aircraft as required. Our principal job was to look after the technical administration and co-ordinate the maintenance required liaising with the various trades. We of course did the external “crew in” checks, see in checks and supervised the aircrew technical debrief on aircraft return.
  • Thomas Dignum
    • I was an air radar tech from 1975 to 80, mainly servicing the NBS systems; did a trip to Goose bay in the jump seat and did terrain following radar support for aircrew training. Detachment to Malta.
  • Mick Smith
    • I was a FLM on 35 Sqn on its return from Cyprus to Scampton until 1977. I remember going on a detachment to Shiraz in Iran. Very interesting place.
  • Trevor Sackett
    • I served as squadron supplier at RAF Scampton up to disbandment in 1982
  • Ron Gilchrist
    • I served on the Squadron from 1978 to 1980. I was the Sgt Pers Admin working alongside the late Wing Commander Roger Sweatman, and then the late Wing Commander Ian Junor. The Adjutant in that time was Flt Lt Geoff Lidbetter. On my posting to Pitreavie Castle to become PA to Air Vice Marshal Bairsto, Wg Cdr Junor honoured me with a 7th seat trip on a Lone Ranger to Goose and Offutt (8th to 21st February 1980). A trip of dreams. The crew, who were superb to me were, Scott-Skinner, Pat Chapman, Geoff Lidbetter and Al Collins. (Al Copplestone was Crew Chief)

Photo Gallery


July 1975 MacGillivray Crew’s last flight with the squadron, celebrating with “on shift” Ground Crew [Courtesy of Derek Parks]

Chief Technicians Oliver, Hibbens and Lomas, with Wing Commander Atkinson (left) and senior Engineering Officer Richardson (right)

1978 / 1979

B Shift 1978-1979 [Courtesy of Ian Nelson]


Ground Crew 1981 [Courtesy of Gerry Frew]
Top Row, Storeman, Hardcastle, Goodchild, Burke, NK, NK ,NK, Scrivener, NK. NK, Broughton, Neville, NK, Morgan
Bottom Row. Carter, Ross, NK, NK, Lear, Silverthorne, O’Gorman, Davies, NK, Pidduck, Frew, Uzzel, NK.