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Tuesday, September 22, 2020 Military Aviation » Royal Air Force Luqa » Major Exercises » Dawn Patrol  
 

Dawn Patrol, 1973

The following aircraft arrived between 1 and 2 June, and stayed until at least the 12th. These are not necessarily the only aircraft to have participated in this exercise.


AIRCRAFT SERIAL HISTORY NOTES
Avro Vulcan B.2 XL317 Completed 14.7.61. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. A & AEE 13.7.61, 617 Squadron 7.6.62, 230 OCU 24.4.74, 617 Squadron 1.5.74. To Akrotiri as 8725M for crash rescue training, delivered 1.12.81. Later scrapped. 617 squadron, arrived on 1st June.
Avro Vulcan B.2 XL425 Completed 30.8.62. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 83 Squadron 31.8.62, Scampton Wing, 617 Squadron 30.11.72, 27 Squadron 1.11.73, 617 Squadron 1.4.74. Grounded 4.1.82. Sold to Bird Group as scrap 4.82. 617 squadron, arrived on 1st June.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XT271 D/D ll/5/65 to RN before being handed on to RAF 1 charge by 7/73 and No 12 Sqn. To No 237 OCU between 12/73 and 2/75 when transferred to No 208 Sqn. Passed to No 15 at Laarbruch in 2/78 and returning to No 237 OCU in 6/79 with whom it remained until being placed in store as a S Mk 2A at No 19 MU St Athan in 1/84. 12 squadron, arrived on 2nd June.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XT281 D/D 11/11/65 to RN. Issued to No 12 Sqn by 12/73 joining XT276 in trials at CFB Cold Lake. Aircraft remained on squadron strength until grounded following the wing spar problems, then taken by Landing Craft Ardennes 12 squadron, arrived on 2nd June.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV168 D/D 13/12/66 to RN and delivered to No 12 Sqn as one of its original airframes in 1969 with which it served until 8/85 when it passed to No 208 Sqn's charge. 12 squadron, arrived on 2nd June.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV338 D/D 29/3/67 to RN and first noted on RAF charge with No 12 Sqn in 8/73. Passed to No 237 OCU by 2/75 until dismantled at Honington for roading to RAF St Athan in 1/81 where it was declared surplus and broken up for spares with the cockpit section being returned to Honington as 8774M on 7/2/83. 12 squadron, arrived on 2nd June.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV342 D/D 16/5/67 to RN and delivered Sydenham-Honington for No 12 Sqn 24/1/73 with which it served until at least 1/76 when it passed for a short period to No 237 OCU before being taken on charge by No 208 Sqn which operated it until late 1979. To 16 Sqn in 1980 and became one of the last Buccaneers to leave Laarbruch for storage at St Athan where it resided until being delivered to BAe at Woodford for ASR1012 update in 12/86. 12 squadron, arrived on 2nd June.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV348 D/D 6/9/67 to RN and was on RAF charge with No 12 Sqn by 8/73 but has passed to No 16 by 9/73. Returned to Honington by 2/75 joining No 237 OCU with which it continued to serve until being written-off after striking power cables in Glomfjord, Norway on 31/10/77. 12 squadron, arrived on 2nd June.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XT288 D/D 18/2/66 to RN and noted unmarked at RAF Honington in 6/72. Issued to No 12 Sqn until 5/73 when despatched to BAe Bitteswell as the second airframe of S2B mod contract. Re-issued to No 12 Sqn following conversion on 30/19/73 serving with the squadron until at least 2/78 before being passed on to No 208. By 1982 the aircraft had bailed back to BAe as one of Sea Eagle test airframes although still resplendent in No 208's colours. Airframe currently serving in Sea Eagle tests with A&AEE at Boscombe Down. 237 OCU, at RAF Luqa by 4th June.
B. Buccaneer S.2 XV332 D/D 16/1/67 to RN and to No 12 Sqn as one of its original airframes in 1969. With No 237 OCU 10/72-10/73 before again returning to No 12 Sqn charge by 2/75. However, passed back to RN and 809 Sqn until squadron's demise on 4/12/78, when in company with the other 13 aircraft flew to RAF St Athan for rework and handing over to the RAF. Issued to No 216 Sqn in 1/80 but was back with No 12 Sqn by 1/81 eventually proceeding to No 208 in 2/84. Following a major overhaul at St Athan in late 1986 the airframe was delivered to No 237 OCU in 2/87. 237 OCU, at RAF Luqa by 4th June.
        
 

Dawn Patrol, 1974

The exercise started on the 25th with the arrival of two 617 Squadron Vulcans, and continued with the arrival of the remaining aircraft, on unknown dates. The exercise, with participating forces from eleven NATO countries, spanned the width of the Mediterranean from Gibraltar in the West, to Cyprus in the East. The main tasks were photo-reconnaissance, anti-shipping strikes and support for amphibious landings.

All aircraft performed daily sorties, including Sundays, and came to an end on 11 May. All Buccaneers carried ‘B’ type roundels, whilst the Vulcans had a mixture of both ‘B’ & ‘D’ type roundels.
        
 
AIRCRAFT SERIAL HISTORY NOTES
Avro Vulcan B.2 XL320 Completed 30.11.61. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 617 Squadron 4.12.61, 83 Squadron 6.71, 27 Squadron 9.71, 230 OCU 29.3.72. Flew 500,000th Vulcan hour 18.12.81. To St. Athan 2.6.81. Sold to W. Harold & Co. 31.8.81 as scrap. These 5 were from 617 Sqdn, arr 25 Apr 74.
Avro Vulcan B.2 XL360 Completed 28.2.62. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 617 Squadron 2.3.62, 230 OCU 13.7.71. Waddington Wing 18.8.75, 230 OCU 21.10.75, 617 Squadron 5.12.77, 35 Squadron 31.5.78, 101 Squadron 5.1.82. Sold to Midland Air Museum 26.1.83, delivered to Baginton 4.2.83.  
Avro Vulcan B.2 XL389 Completed 11.7.62. Olympus 301 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 230 OCU 13.7.62, Scampton Wing 20.5.65, 230 OCU 11.11.70, 617 Squadron 12.70, 230 OCU 7.4.72, 617 Squadron 30.6.72, 230 OCU 12.1.73, 617 Squadron 16.1.73, 9 Squadron 26.6.74, 44 Squadron 7.79, 101 Squadron 6.80. To St. Athan 6.4.81. Sold to W. Harold 31.8.81 as scrap.  
Avro Vulcan B.2 XL392 Completed 31.7.62. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 83 Squadron 2.8.62, 230 OCU 11.12.70, Scampton Wing 21.12.70, 230 OCU 12.1.73, 617 Squadron 15.1.73, 35 Squadron 4.1.82. Delivered to Valley for crash rescue training as 8745M 24.3.82, later scrapped.  
Avro Vulcan B.2 XL426 Completed 7.9.62. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 83 Squadron 13.9.62, Scampton Wing, 230 OCU 29.3.72, 617 Squadron 7.4.72, 230 OCU 28.6.72, 617 Squadron 4.7.72, 230 OCU 11.7.72, 617 Squadron 1.8.72, 230 OCU 13.4.73, 617 Squadron 16.4.73, 27 Squadron 6.2.74, 617 Squadron 21.2.74, 50 Squadron 5.1.82, 55 Squadron 1.4.84. Sold to Roy Jacobsen and delivered to Southend 19.12.86. Registered as G-VJET 7.7.87.  
Avro Vulcan B.2 XL427 Completed 29.9.62. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 83 Squadron 2.10.62, Scampton Wing, 617 Squadron 9.69, 27 Squadron 3.71, 230 OCU 29.6.72, 617 Squadron 5.7.72, 230 OCU 25.9.72, 27 Squadron 4.1.74, 230 OCU 11.8.76, 27 Squadron 27.8.76, 9 Squadron 2.5.77, 50 Squadron 4.81, 9 Squadron 10.81, 44 Squadron 6.82. Delivered to Macrihanish for crash rescue training 13.8.82 as 8756M. Dumped 1986. 27 Sqdn.
Buccaneer XT274 D/D 15/7/65 to RN and converted to S Mk 2A standard by BAe Brough by 5/74 when taken on charge by No 12 Sqn. Passed to No 237 OCU in 2/76 with which it stayed until being placed in store at St Athan in 1/84. Allocated maintenance serial 8856M for BDR training at RAF Abingdon in 1/86. All Buccaneers from 12 Sqdn.
Buccaneer XT276 D/D 24/8/65 to RN and passed to RAF charge by 7/72 serving initially with No 237 OCU and then with No 12 Sqn between 5/74 and mid- 1980. During this period the aircraft took part in trials at CFB Cold Lake and was suitably adorned with Maple Leaf in front of the fox's head. Transferred to No 16 Sqn by 10/80 after mod to S Mk 2B. Stored at St Athan in 11/81 before passing into long-term storage with No 27 MU Shawbury in 11/83.  
Buccaneer XT281 D/D 11/11/65 to RN. Issued to No 12 Sqn by 12/73 joining XT276 in trials at CFB Cold Lake. Aircraft remained on squadron strength until grounded following the wing spar problems, then taken by Landing Craft Ardennes to Lossiemouth on 17/10/80 to serve as a weapons loading trainer and allocated maintenance serial 8750M for the purpose.  
Buccaneer XT286 D/D 6/1166 to RN. Transferred from 809 Sqn to No 12 Scfn in 5/74 serving alternately with No 237 OCU until passed to BAe Bitteswell for S2B mod on 6/1178. Re-issued to No 16 Sqn by 11/80 with which it served until departing Laarbruch for St Athan and storage in 11/83. The airframe passed to BAe in 12/86 as part of the ASR1012 update programme.  
Buccaneer XT288 D/D 18/2/66 to RN and noted unmarked at RAF Honington in 6/72. Issued to No 12 Sqn until 5/73 when despatched to BAe Bitteswell as the second airframe of S2B mod contract. Re-issued to No 12 Sqn following conversion on 3019/73 serving with the squadron until at least 2/78 before being passed on to No 208. By 1982 the aircraft had bailed back to BAe as one of Sea Eagle test airframes although still resplendent in No 208's colours. Airframe currently serving in Sea Eagle tests with A&AEE at Boscombe Down.  
Buccaneer XV165 D/D 27/10/66 to RN and one of original aircraft issued to No 12 Sqn in 1969, with which it has served since.  
Buccaneer XV168 D/D 13/12/66 to RN and delivered to No 12 Sqn as one of its original airframes in 1969 with which it served until 8/85 when it passed to No 208 Sqn's charge.  
Buccaneer XV334 D/D 612/67 to RN and was delivered to RAF charge from Sydenham on 7/12/72 and issued to No 12 Sqn. It was then taken out of service and despatched to BAe at Brough on 9/12/73 for mod to S2B standard. Returned to No 12 Sqn charge by 6/75 and went on to serve alternately with No 12 Sqn and No 237 OCU until transfer to No 15 at Laarbruch in 1/79. Airframe returned to St Athan store in 1/81 and resides in long-term store with No 27 MU at RAF Shawbury.  
Buccaneer XV338 D/D 29/3/67 to RN and first noted on RAF charge with No 12 Sqn in 8/73. Passed to No 237 OCU by 2/75 until dismantled at Honington for roading to RAF St Athan in 1/81 where it was declared surplus and broken up for spares with the cockpit section being returned to Honington as 8774M on 7/2/83.  
Buccaneer XV342 D/D 16/5/67 to RN and delivered Sydenham-Honington for No 12 Sqn 24/1/73 with which it served until at least 1/76 when it passed for a short period to No 237 OCU before being taken on charge by No 208 Sqn which operated it until late 1979. To 16 Sqn in 1980 and became one of the last Buccaneers to leave Laarbruch for storage at St Athan where it resided until being delivered to BAe at Woodford for ASR1012 update in 12/86.  
Canberra T.17 WD955/Q d/d 1951, to Bodo, Norway 27/04/1995. All from 360 Sqdn.
Canberra T.17 WF914/P d/d 14/08/1952, sold to BAC 29/03/1965, to G27-302, d/d 07/1966 to FAVenezuela as 1233.  
Canberra T.17 WK111/B d/d 02/1954, sold as scrap 10/94 at Wyton, cockpit preserved.  


        
 

Dawn Patrol, 1975

This was the last Dawn Patrol exercise held in Malta.

Aircraft continued with the exercise during the week-end, with Buccaneers making night time sorties for the first time.
        
 



AIRCRAFT SERIAL SQUADRON HISTORY NOTES
A. Vulcan B.2 XL317 617 Completed 14.7.61. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. A & AEE 13.7.61, 617 Squadron 7.6.62, 230 OCU 24.4.74, 617 Squadron 1.5.74. To Akrotiri as 8725M for crash rescue training, delivered 1.12.81. Later scrapped. Arr. on 13.06
A. Vulcan B.2 XL425 617 Completed 30.8.62. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 83 Squadron 31.8.62, Scampton Wing, 617 Squadron 30.11.72, 27 Squadron 1.11.73, 617 Squadron 1.4.74. Grounded 4.1.82. Sold to Bird Group as scrap 4.82. Arr. on 13.06
A. Vulcan B.2 XL426 617 Completed 7.9.62. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 83 Squadron 13.9.62, Scampton Wing, 230 OCU 29.3.72, 617 Squadron 7.4.72, 230 OCU 28.6.72, 617 Squadron 4.7.72, 230 OCU 11.7.72, 617 Squadron 1.8.72, 230 OCU 13.4.73, 617 Squadron 16.4.73, 27 Squadron 6.2.74, 617 Squadron 21.2.74, 50 Squadron 5.1.82, 55 Squadron 1.4.84. Sold to Roy Jacobsen and delivered to Southend 19.12.86. Registered as G-VJET 7.7.87. Arr. on 13.06
A. Vulcan B.2 XL444 617 Completed 29.10.82. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 27 Squadron 1.11.62, Scampton Wing, 230 OCU 18.6.66, Scampton Wing 19.6.67, 230 OCU 5.4.71, 27 Squadron 11.5.71, 617 Squadron 9.71, 230 OCU/617 Squadron 19.7.72, 617 Squadron 18.12.73, 35 Squadron 31.5.78, 9 Squadron 6.4.81. grounded 10.9.82. Sold to Bird Group as scrap 8.12.82. Arr. on 13.06
A. Vulcan B.2 XM595 617 Completed 21.8.63. Olympus 301 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 617 Squadron 21.8.63, Scampton Wing, 27 Squadron 16.8.74, 617 Squadron 9.75, 35 Squadron 11.76, 617 Squadron 2.78, 35 Squadron 4.1.82. Grounded 1.3.82. Sold to Bird Group as scrap 11.82. Arr. on 13.06
A. Vulcan B.2 XM573 27 Completed 26.3.63. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 83 Squadron 28.3.63, Scampton Wing, Waddington Wing 25.4.67, 230 OCU 15.2.68, Akrotiri Wing 26.6.70, 27 Squadron 17.4.74, 44 Squadron 9.3.77, 230 OCU 18.12.78, 9 Squadron 7.4.81, Scampton 22.5.82. Delivered to Offutt AFB, USA, 7.6.82, presented to USAF 12.6.82. Arr. on 13.06
A. Vulcan B.2 XL427 27 Completed 29.9.62. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 83 Squadron 2.10.62, Scampton Wing, 617 Squadron 9.69, 27 Squadron 3.71, 230 OCU 29.6.72, 617 Squadron 5.7.72, 230 OCU 25.9.72, 27 Squadron 4.1.74, 230 OCU 11.8.76, 27 Squadron 27.8.76, 9 Squadron 2.5.77, 50 Squadron 4.81, 9 Squadron 10.81, 44 Squadron 6.82. Delivered to Macrihanish for crash rescue training 13.8.82 as 8756M. Dumped 1986. Deployed to RAF Luqa later in the exercise. Date unknown.
A. Vulcan B.2 XM569 27 Completed 4.1.63, Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 27 Squadron 1.2.63, Scampton Wing, Waddington Wing 17.11.66, Cottesmore Wing 19.1.68, Akrotiri Wing 26.2.69, 27 Squadron 4.7.74, 9 Squadron 23.11.76, 50 Squadron 6.79, 101 Squadron 9.81, 44 Squadron 8.82. Sold to Wales Aircraft Museum 21.1.83. Delivered to Cardiff 2.2.83. Deployed to RAF Luqa later in the exercise. Date unknown.
Buccaneer XN976 12 D/D 31/8/64 as first service aircraft to RN. Transferred to RAF charge by 9/71 and delivered to NO 237 OCU with which it served until 6/74 when it underwent mod to S Mk 2B standard and was re-issued to No 12 Sqn in 1/75, which it served until 1/87 before passing to BAe in 2/87 as part of ASR1012 update. Wing Commander’s aircraft. Carried two Martel asm missiles. All Buccaneers arr on 16.06.
Buccaneer XT270 12 D/D 31/8/64 as first service aircraft to RN. Transferred to RAF charge by 9/71 and delivered to NO 237 OCU with which it served until 6/74 when it underwent mod to S Mk 2B standard and was re-issued to No 12 Sqn in 1/75, which it served until 1/87 before passing to BAe in 2/87 as part of ASR1012 update.  
Buccaneer XT274 12 D/D 15/7/65 to RN and converted to S Mk 2A standard by BAe Brough by 5/74 when taken on charge by No 12 Sqn. Passed to No 237 OCU in 2/76 with which it stayed until being placed in store at St Athan in 1/84. Allocated maintenance serial 8856M for BDR training at RAF Abingdon in 1/86.  
Buccaneer XT286 12 D/D 6/1/66 to RN. Transferred from 809 Sqn to No 12 Scfn in 5/74 serving alternately with No 237 OCU until passed to BAe Bitteswell for S2B mod on 6/1/78. Re-issued to No 16 Sqn by 11/80 with which it served until departing Laarbruch for St Athan and storage in 11/83. The airframe passed to BAe in 12/86 as part of the ASR1012 update programme.  
Buccaneer XV155 12 D/D 26/5/66 to RN and passed to RAF charge as one of the aircraft to equip No 12 Sqn in 1969 remaining with the unit until 5/73. Transferred to No 237 OCU between 7/3 and 5/74 and then following update to S2B standard re-issued to No 12 Sqn in 6/75 with which it stayed until being placed in store at St Athan in 8/81. Declared surplus and the fuselage allocated maintenance serial 8716M for issue to BAe Brough on static tests on 29/10/81.  
Buccaneer XV165 12 D/D 27/10/66 to RN and one of original aircraft issued to No 12 Sqn in 1969, with which it has served since.  
Buccaneer XV334 12 D/D 612/67 to RN and was delivered to RAF charge from Sydenham on 7/12/72 and issued to No 12 Sqn. It was then taken out of service and despatched to BAe at Brough on 9/12/73 for mod to S2B standard. Returned to No 12 Sqn charge by 6/75 and went on to serve alternately with No 12 Sqn and No 237 OCU until transfer to No 15 at Laarbruch in 1/79. Airframe returned to St Athan store in 1/81 and resides in long-term store with No 27 MU at RAF Shawbury.  
Buccaneer XV340 12 D/D 26/4/67 to RN and delivered to No 16 Sqn from Sydenham in 5/73. By 6/75 had passed to No 12 Sqn and with No 208 in 2/78 but serving with No 15 by 4/79. Following grounding in 2/80 airframe shipped by road and sea to BAe Brough for fatigue testing, being noted in Hull docks on 3013/80. At end of tests it was allocated maintenance serial 8659M and now resides as target on Pendine Ranges.  
Buccaneer XV342 12 D/D 16/5/67 to RN and delivered Sydenham-Honington for No 12 Sqn 24/1/73 with which it served until at least 1/76 when it passed for a short period to No 237 OCU before being taken on charge by No 208 Sqn which operated it until late 1979. To 16 Sqn in 1980 and became one of the last Buccaneers to leave Laarbruch for storage at St Athan where it resided until being delivered to BAe at Woodford for ASR1012 update in 12/86.  
Buccaneer XW525 12 F/F 8/1/70, D/D 20/1/70 to RAF and retained as development aircraft in use with BAe but delivered to No 237 OCU by 11/74. Transferred to No 12 Sqn by 5/76 but lost when in service with No 208 on 4/4/77 when it crashed into Claerwen Reservoir near Rhayader, Padnor after taking avoiding action to prevent a mid-air collision with another RAF aircraft.  
Buccaneer XW531 12 D/D 3/12/70 to No 15 Sqn transferring to No 12 in 2/75 but lost in crash on 29/10/76 off Norwegian coast.  
EE Canberra T.17 WD955/Q 360 d/d 1951, to Bodo, Norway 27/04/1995.  
EE Canberra T.17 WH872/W 360 d/d 09/1953, w/o 30/11/1981, cockpit to 8492M, to Bedford dump.  
EE Canberra T.17 WH902/N 360 Scrapped Wyton 1995.  


        
 
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