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
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)
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
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:
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
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 –
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
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:
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.
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
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
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.
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
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:
Note: Information based on the Aircraft Movement Cards; other serial numbers were utilisedfor some exercises etc
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)
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.