Avro Lancaster B.I(FE)

The squadron started to re-equip with the Lancaster B.I(FE) in November 1945 and utilised it for training and display purposes until August 1949 when it was replaced by the Avro Lincoln

35SRG

The Avro Lancaster B.I(FE) was a tropicalised variant of the Avro Lancaster B.I, introduced to meet the anticipated needs of the Far East (FE) Tiger Force.

It had modified radio, radar and navigational aids, and an additional 400 gallon fuel tank was installed in the bomb bay. Most were painted with white upper-surfaces to reduce internal temperatures in the tropical sun, and black undersides.

The following shows the serial numbers of the Lancaster B.I(FE) that are known to have been on charge of the squadron, along with the period they were on charge (where known)

Serial No.On ChargeOff Charge
PA38514/02/194631/10/1946
PA41107/02/194627/03/1947
PA41407/02/194610/10/1946
PA43609/07/194614/05/1947
PA44006/01/194807/12/1949
SW31313/11/194524/04/1947
SW31514/11/194525/03/1948
TW64711/12/194611/11/1947
TW65630/11/194512/07/1946
TW65728/11/194527/10/1949
TW65920/12/194510/10/1946
TW660 [1]20/12/194510/10/1946
TW660 [2]08/01/194828/09/1949
TW86512/12/194628/09/1949
TW86907/02/194611/07/1946
TW87022/12/194529/08/1946
TW87228/11/194531/10/1946
TW87814/02/194631/10/1946
TW87907/02/194628/04/1947
TW88007/02/194624/11/1949
TW88222/12/194531/10/1946
TW89012/12/194630/01/1947
TW89222/05/194610/10/1946
TW90913/11/194728/01/1948

Photo Gallery

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

1945

  • None Recorded

1946

1947

1948

  • None Recorded

1949

  • None Recorded

Avro Vulcan B.2

The Avro Vulcan B.2 was a four-engined medium bomber, utilised by the squadron for training and operational purposes from 1962 to 1982

Vulcan Profile (High)

Avro Vulcan B.2 Profile (High Level Markings) © Malcolm Barrass

No. 35 Squadron reformed at RAF Coningsby on 1st December 1962 and it utilised aircraft from other squadrons for training purposes whilst it built up to operational strength [Establishment No: 6]

In the latter part of 1963 it reached establishment levels and these aircraft were used on a regular basis for flying training and operational exercises

With the introduction of centralised servicing in February 1964,  aircraft from the three Coningsby squadrons (No. 9, 12 and 35 Squadron) were incorporated into a common “station pool” and then allocated in accordance with the squadron’s daily needs.

Initially the Vulcan B.2 aircraft were utilised for high level attack and were finished in an “anti-flash” white paint scheme. When the change to low level attack was introduced in 1964 the aircraft were given a gloss sea grey and dark green camouflage on the upper surfaces along with white under surfaces. Matte camouflage and grey undersides were introduced in the mid-1970s.

The first camouflaged aircraft to arrive at Coningsby was XM645

Avro Vulcan Profile (Low Level Markings)

Profile © Malcolm Barrass

In 1969, the squadron was posted to RAF Akrotiri, where aircraft were again allocated from a central “station pool”.

In 1975, the squadron was posted back to the UK (RAF Scampton) where it was allocated its own aircraft in accordance with establishment levels at the time.

It is worth noting that whilst aircraft were on charge of a squadron, each aircraft carried the squadron badge of the tailplane. When aircraft were allocated from a station pool, the squadron badge did not appear on the tailplane, but was carried on the entrance door, along with the Station Badge and the Badges of the other squadrons that were at the station and using the aircraft at the time

Aircraft on charge of (or available to) No. 35 Squadron

The following pages identify the serial numbers of the aircraft that were on charge of (or available to) No. 35 Squadron, along with details of known losses and incidents:


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION


Avro Lancaster B.I and B.III

The Avro Lancaster was a four-engine heavy bomber utilised by the squadron for training and operational purposes from March 1944 to March 1946

No. 35 Squadron started to re-equip with the Avro Lancaster on 6th March 1944

Lancaster variants used by No 35 Squadron

The squadron utilised the following variants of the Lancaster:

  • B.I
    • NG434 NG436 NG440
    • NN805
    • PB726 PB762 PB951 PB981 PB982 PB985 PB987 PB988 PB989
    • RF139 RF140 RF180 RF183
    • SW255 SW263 SW266
  • B.III
    • JA857
    • JB239
    • LM346 LM646
    • ME331 ME333 ME334 ME335 ME337 ME361 ME362 ME367 ME368 ME369 ME484 ME620 ME621
    • ND359 ND453 ND597 ND643 ND645 ND646 ND648 ND649 ND653 ND690 ND691 ND692 ND693 ND694 ND696 ND697 ND701 ND702 ND703 ND704 ND708 ND709 ND711 ND731 ND734 ND735 ND755 ND759 ND762 ND818 ND846 ND907 ND916 ND928 ND928 ND929 ND933 ND936 ND936
    • NE175
    • PA966 PA971 PA988
    • PB123 PB183 PB197 PB199 PB200 PB257 PB268 PB288 PB305 PB307 PB308 PB343 PB364 PB366 PB367 PB372 PB377 PB383 PB523 PB529 PB555 PB566 PB583 PB589 PB612 PB613 PB614 PB676 PB678 PB683 PB684 PB685 PB754 PB951 PB971 PB973 PB980 PB991
    • RF183

Avro Lancaster Profile © Malcolm Barrass

The B.III was identical to the B.I version in terms of design, but it was powered by Packard-Merlin engines (28, 38 or 224), which had been built by Packard in the United States. The B.I was powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin engines (XX, 22 or 24) built in the UK

(It is worth noting that the squadron also used the BI(FE) variant post war – see separate page)

Aircraft on charge of No 35 Squadron

The following provides more detail on each aircraft that was on charge of the squadron

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

1944

1945


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew / Crew Positions

The Avro Lancaster was typically crewed by a Pilot, Navigator, Air Bomber, Wireless Operator, two Air Gunners and a Flight Engineer.

However, with the development of radar, the concept of a “navigation team” was introduced and an additional navigator / air bomber, known as a Set Operator, was incorporated into the crew to monitor the radar set. The Navigator became known as the Nav. (Plotter) and the Set Operator as the Nav. (Radar)

We Guide to Strike by Gil Cohen

The crew compartment in an Avro Lancaster consisted of a deck to accommodate the Pilot, Navigator (and the Set Operator when introduced), Air Bomber, Wireless Operator and Flight Engineer. Gunners were accommodated in a mid and rear turret – read more –

Canberra B.2 and T.4

The Canberra was a jet powered, light bomber (for high altitude radar bombing) which was used by the squadron for training and operational purposes from April 1954 until it was disbanded in September 1961

Canberra Profile © Malcolm Barrass

Aircraft on charge of (or available to) No. 35 Squadron

No. 35 Squadron started to re-equip with the Canberra B.2 in April 1954

From April 1954 to October 1956, the squadron had its own aircraft establishment, with flight line servicing of these aircraft carried out by personnel on strength of the squadron. These aircraft carried the squadron badge on the tail fin.

From October 1956 to 1958, the squadron utilised aircraft from a station pool, with all servicing (including flight line servicing) carried out by personnel on strength of the station. These aircraft carried the station badge on the tail fin, although the squadron badge was included on the entrance door, along with the station badge and the badges of the other squadrons that were stationed there.

From 1959 to 1961, the squadron had its own aircraft establishment, with flight line servicing of these aircraft carried out by personnel on strength of the squadron. These aircraft carried the squadron badge on the tail fin.

Aircraft on charge of the squadron, or available to the squadron from a station pool included:

  • WH637, WH849, WH870, WH880, WH887, WH904, WH909, WH910, WH911, WH913, WH914, WH916, WH918, WH919, WH920, WH925, WH944
  • WJ603, WJ607, WJ614, WJ628, WJ634, WJ635, WJ636, WJ637, WJ638, WJ642, WJ648, WJ674, WJ676, WJ682, WJ718, WJ719, WJ726, WJ732, WJ751, WJ752, WJ861 WJ975
  • WK114, WK125, WK130, WK133,

NOTE:  THIS LIST IS “BEST AVAILABLE” AT THE MOMENT.  MOVEMENT CARDS TO BE OBTAINED FROM RAF MUSEUM TO CONFIRM FINDINGS TO DATE

In addition to the above, the squadron utilised a pool of T.4 aircraft for training purposes.


Aircraft Losses and Incidents

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

1954

1955

1956

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.

1957

  • None Recorded

1958

1959

In August 1959, all Canberra were subject to a radiographic examination of their undercarriage, following failures of the grub screw which locked the outer piston to the sliding tube of the oleo leg assembly (defect signal 899/Eng 2/3 dated 28th August 1959). This resulted in the grounding of some of the squadron aircraft until modification had been carried out

1960

On 15th February 1960, all Canberra aircraft were grounded pending the incorporation of a modification to the elevator spring tab operating rod. This modification and inspection also included the dropping of the tip tanks and Mod 2107. All aircraft were modified and air tested by 22nd February 1960

1961

In January 1961, the squadron started the process of replacing all frangible hatches, with metal hatches. In February, all squadron aircraft with frangible hatches (WK130, WJ635, WJ732, WJ751, WH918 and WH920) were grounded until replacement hatches were fitted.


Photo Gallery

Malta (late 1950s / early 1960s)
[Courtesy of Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]

Upwood (late 1950s / early 1960s)
[Courtesy of Marham Aviation Heritage Centre]


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew / Crew Positions

The Canberra was typically crewed by a 3 man constituted crew (Pilot, Navigator and Observer) or a 2 man constituted crew (Pilot and Navigator).

On the B.2, there were two forward facing seats behind the pilot, with access to the bomb aimers compartment in the nose.

A fourth, fold-down “Rumbold” seat was also available next to the pilot for one additional person.

On the T.4, which was used for training purposes, there was one forward facing seat behind the pilot and a second seat (alongside the pilot’s seat) for the instructor

Boeing B-29 [Washington]

The Boeing B-29 [Washington] was a four-engine long-range bomber which was loaned to the Air Ministry by the USA to enable the RAF to meet its needs during the Cold War.

It was utilised by the squadron for training purposes from February 1950 to September 1951 [whilst it formed the nucleus of the Washington Training Unit] and for operational and training purposes from September 1951 to March 1954

Boeing B-29 [Washington] Profile © Malcolm Barrass

Aircraft on charge of No. 35 Squadron

On 23rd February 1950, the squadron was disbanded and its personnel were transferred to RAF Marham to form the nucleus of the Washington Training Unit. More research required to establish aircraft utilised.

On 1st September 1951, No. 35 Squadron reformed with:

  • “A” Flight continuing to train replacement crews for the Washington Squadrons (ie as per the role it had performed at the Washington Training Unit)
  • “B” Flight carrying out normal conventional training exercises equipped with the B-29 Washington

The following shows the serial numbers of the aircraft that are known to have been on charge of the squadron (from September 1951 to March 1954), along with the period that they were on charge:

Serial NoOn ChargeOff Charge
WF43719/12/195222/07/1953
WF49511/03/195326/01/1954
WF49825/03/195322/07/1953
WF57029/06/195114/12/1952
WF57128/06/195124/04/1953
WF57229/06/195122/02/1954
WF57329/06/195115/01/1954
WF57404/07/195102/09/1953
WW34305/07/195124/04/1953
WW34416/07/195122/02/1954
WW34530/07/195222/02/1954
WW34609/10/195214/10/1952
WW34718/02/195316/03/1954
WW34830/07/195205/01/1954
WW35011/06/195222/02/1954
WW35111/06/195215/01/1954

Note: Information based on the Aircraft Movement Cards; other serial numbers were utilised for some exercises etc

Photo Gallery

Aircraft losses and incidents

Aircraft losses and incidents were as follows:

1952

1953

1954


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew

The Washington was typically crewed by a Pilot, Co-pilot, Nav. Plotter, Nav. Radar, Signaller, Engineer, Central Fire Control, Right Gunner (Scanner), Left Gunner (Scanner), Tail Gunner

Avro Lincoln B2 Mk.IVA

The Avro Lincoln was a four-engine heavy bomber which was designed (in accordance with Specification B.14/43) to replace the wartime four-engine bombers.

It was used by the squadron for training and operational purposes from August 1949 until February 1950

Lincoln Profile

Avro Lincoln Profile © Malcolm Barrass

Aircraft on charge of No. 35 Squadron

The squadron took delivery of its first Avro Lincoln B2 MK.IVA on 12th August 1949 and it continued to utilise this aircraft type for training purposes until February 1950 (when it transferred to RAF Marham to form the nucleus of the Boeing B-29 [Washington] Training Unit)

The following shows the aircraft serials that are known to have been on charge of the squadron, along with the period they were on charge (where known)

Serial NoOn ChargeOff Charge
SX95703/09/194902/03/1950
SX97613/09/194927/02/1950
SX98312/08/194928/02/1950
SX98717/10/194927/02/1950
SX98805/10/194909/03/1950
SX99007/09/194929/09/1949

Aircraft Establishment at the time: 6

It is worth noting that the squadron’s Record Book shows SX937 on charge and records it as the aircraft lost on 29th September 1949. However the Movement Card does not show it on charge of the squadron nor that it was lost on this date.

Furthermore, it is assumed that SX990 (ie the aircraft that was lost on this date) was replaced, so there is one serial number missing from the listing above.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

1949

1950


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Crew / Crew Positions

The Avro Lincoln was typically crewed by a Pilot, a Navigator (Plotter), a Navigator (Radar), a Wireless Operator (Signaller), two Gunners and an Engineer

cockpit update

Equipment

It was armed with:

  • 2 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns in the nose and the same in the tail turrets

Note: Some versions had a dorsal turret fitted with either twin .50 in machine guns or twin 20 mm Hispano cannon 

It had a maximum bomb load of 14,000 lb (6,400 kg)