Thursday, January 20, 2022 Military Aviation » Royal Air Force Luqa » Major Exercises » Lime Jug 70  

Lime Jug 70

The following article first appeared in Malta Flypast, Issue 5, published by the Malta Aviation Museum Foundation, and was written by Charles Stafrace.

24/25 October – 10 November 1970

The following article first appeared in Malta Flypast, Issue 5, published by the Malta Aviation Museum Foundation, and was written by Charles Stafrace.

Since the pre-World War II times Malta was the venue of various types of military air exercises by both Fleet Air Arm and Royal Air Force. Its position in the central Mediterranean, which throughout history meant being 'in the middle of things', made it the ideal base from where to simulate the air defence of the British Mediterranean Fleet. Being an island also rendered Malta highly suitable as a venue for exercises in sea-air co-operation.

The growing attention given to the Mediterranean by the Soviets in the 1960s had become alarming to NATO. The eastern seaboard of this most ancient of seas was becoming a Soviet lair as more Arab states, shaking off British and French colonial influence, espoused the Soviet cause, though not Moscow's ideology, and accepted Soviet arms in return for port and airfield facilities. The Soviet Black Sea Fleet grew in proportion while Soviet naval and air force reconnaissance aircraft flew from Egyptian, Syrian and Algerian airfields to shadow and spy upon the British, American and other NATO navies. The importance of Malta to NATO therefore assumed another dimension and the aerial reconnaissance component in Malta was bolstered by the re-equipment of the resident RAF's No 13 and 39 Squadrons with the latest Canberra PR.9s for high altitude reconnaissance. The vacuum in maritime patrol which had been created by the disbandment of the Hal Far-based, Shackleton MR.2-equipped No 38 Squadron in 1967 was made good by the transfer to Luqa in 1969 of No 203 Squadron from RAF Ballykelly with its more capable Shackleton MR.3 Phase 3. RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, too, was strengthened, and squadrons from both islands often exchanged visits. The holding of Mediterranean exercises now took a wider aspect and increasingly came to include joint RAF and naval manoeuvres. Malta was the obvious choice for use as a base.

In November 1970 one such exercise was Lime-Jug '70 whose aim was to practice procedures for co-operation between Royal Navy forces and RAF shore-based aircraft in the Mediterranean. After an initial work-up in Malta, the exercise was to continue in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean at which stage activity was to concentrate at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. Under the joint command of Admiral Sir William O'Brien, RN, C-in-C Western Fleet, and Air Marshall W D Hodgkinson, RAF, Air Officer C-in-C Near East Air Force, Lime-Jug '70s implementation involved some 50 combat and support aircraft besides a Royal Navy aircraft carrier battle fleet out at sea. RAF and Fleet Air Arm aircraft literally congested Luqa. The airfield had not seen so much activity since October 1966 when the Red Arrows' Gnats happened to be there while Vulcan B.1As of No 44 and 101 Squadrons from Waddington, No 29 Squadron with Javelin FAW.9s from Akrotiri and No 5 Squadron with Lightning F.6s from Binbrook were taking part in an exercise.

Lime-Jug '70 which ran from 2 to 15 November, in fact involved more units, and the complete list of aircraft is shown in the table below.

There is something to say about each unit. For No 11 Squadron, under the command of Wing Commander Jeremy Jones, this was the first major deployment to the Mediterranean since re-equipping with the Lightning F.6 in 1967. They were to provide the most spectacular of all take-offs from Luqa during Lime-Jug '70, its aircraft often taking off in pairs and zooming up with full afterburners while still above the run-way. Wing Commander Geoff Davies' No 12 Squadron was the first RAF unit to receive the Buccaneer and had a mix of ex-RN S.2s, modified S.2As and new built S.2Bs. The latter two versions had weapon pylon changes to accommodate Martel anti-shipping missiles. Until then the S.2Bs were distinguishable only by their XW serials, having not yet been fitted with the bulged internal fuel tank in the bomb bay area. No 43 Squadron was still then the only RAF unit to fly the long-nose-wheeled FG.1 version of the Phantom that had originally been earmarked for shipboard use by the RN. Its commanding officer was Wing Commander I R Hank Martin. No 360 Squadron, flying Canberras with that strange-looking long, bulged nose which we used to compare to the tail-cone of the Vulcan, was a shady unit then, still four years old and engaged in electronic countermeasures training for the benefit of land based, airborne and ship borne radar operators. Its crew component was novel in that it was composed of both RAF and RN officers. No 201 Squadron had just exchanged its Shackletons for the new Nimrods the previous month, becoming the first unit in the RAF to operate the new maritime patrol aircraft. The Marham Tanker Wing, flying the BK.1A tanker version of the Victor, was in fact composed not only of No 55 and 57 Squadrons but also of No 214, which did not, however, send any aircraft to Lime-Jug '70.

The 50,000-ton aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, then the RN's largest warship, had entered Grand Harbour one week before but left with part of her air complement on 29th October to participate in the exercise at sea, during which time her aircraft operated from her and not from Luqa. Before her departure from Malta she did disembark three Buccaneer S.2s of No 809 NAS, three Phantom of No 892 NAS, two Gannet AEW.3s of No 849 NAS 'B' Flight, while her newly-acquired Sea King from No 824 NAS shuttled to and from the sea-going carrier to Luqa.

Grand Harbour was as congested by RN warships as Luqa was with warplanes. Besides Ark Royal, there were the guided-missile destroyers HMS London (Flagship, Western Fleet) and Fife, frigates HMS Juno, Scylla, Galatea, Yamouth, Exmouth and Argonaut, and the submarines HMS Alliance and Otus. In addition there were a number of Royal Fleet Auxiliaries either in port or just off Malta, including RFA Wave Ruler, Tidesurge and Lyness. The Commando Ship HMS Albion and the training frigates Eastbourne and Scarborough were also in Grand Harbour but were not taking part in the exercise. In fact they remained in port when all the other vessels had left with Ark Royal on 29th October. The Albion's Wessex HU.5 assault helicopters were conducting their own mini-exercise during the same period, landing 800 Royal Marines of the Singapore-based 42 Commando and some 180 Land Rovers, trailers and pieces of artillery at the Mayesa ranges in Ghajn Tuffieha. This, of course, contributed to the added busy miiitary atmosphere on the Island, especially when the Albion left port and the "evacuation" of the Green Berets, again with their 180 pieces of cargo slung under the shuttling Wessexes, had to be made from Ghajn Tuffieha to the vessel while she steamed off Malta on her way to Corsica where the exercise was continued with French troops.

For Lime-Jug '70 RAF Argosy C.1 transports of No 70 Squadron provided logistics between Malta and their base at Akrotiri, which was also very much involved in the exercise. In fact, on 10th November, No 1l's Lightnings departed for the Cypriot base to continue the exercise from there, followed next day by No 43's Phantoms.

During their stay at Luqa the Lightnings found time, on 5th November, to stage a flypast with the visiting Buccaneers of No 12 Squadron and the Canberra PR.9s of local No 13 Squadron to represent consecutive RAF unit numbers 11, 12 and 13.

The first phase of the exercise came to an end on 4th November and most of the ships taking part returned to Malta for the usual debriefing, HMS Ark Royal and some of her escorts remaining at sea. The vessels left again the day after to continue the manoeuvres in the Eastern Mediterranean, at the end of which they again returned to Grand Harbour. The exercise was considered a success, marred only by a curious incident. On 9th November the Soviet Navy destroyer Kotlin, which was shadowing the RN flotilla during the exercise, came so close that it collided with HMS Ark Royal, some 350 miles east of Malta. Both ships suffered some damage, that on Ark Royal being very visible, though not serious, on the bow. (See brief report below.)


Ark Royal/Kotlin collision

On Monday evening on 09.11.70, the carrier was involved in night flying exercises, south of Greece. In accordance with International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at sea, Ark had three lights in a vertical position, one above the other, middle light being white, the other two red, indicating that she was a hampered vessel, and could not get out of the way.

A Soviet destroyer, Kotlin 356, which had been shadowing the RN ships, approached the Ark Royal from her starboard bow on a collision course. The captain ordered the cancelation of aircraft launches, turned to port, and order the engines into full astern, reducing the ships’ speed from 18kt to 4kt at time of impact. It is estimated that, if the captain hadn’t done this, the Soviet destroyer would have rammed into the Ark Royal amidships, injuring or killing a substantial number of British sailors.

Nine Russian sailors were swept overboard, four swimming back to the ship, three were rescued, and handed back, by the Royal Navy. Two remained unaccounted for.

Needless to say the air activity generated at Luqa by Lime-Jug '70 afforded an opportunity for local aircraft photographers to use innumerable rolls of film.

Webmasters note: Details of Royal Navy aircraft kindly provided by Keith Wilson-Smith. Lightning arrival dates taken from Squadron’s ORB.

After the termination of the exercise in Cyprus, two of the Lightnings made a diversion, and overnight stop, at Luqa for unknown reasons.
Av. Vulcan B Mk.2 XJ781 Completed 20.2.61. Olympus 201 engines. 83 Squadron 23.2.61, 12 Squadron 29.10.62, 230 OCU 4.2.64, Waddington Wing 10.2.66, Cottesmore Wing 22.4.68, Akrotiri Wing 18.4.69. Damaged during landing, Shiraz, Iran 23.5.73. Struck off charge 27.5.73. All Vulcans were from No. 9 squadron, but not based at Luqa.
Av. Vulcan B Mk.2 XJ782 Completed 2.61. Olympus 201 engines. 83 Squadron 2.3.61, 12 Squadron 23.10.62, 230 OCU 20.12.63, Waddington Wing 25.3.661 Cottesmore Wing 9.4.68, Akrotiri Wing 19.3.69, Waddington Wing 8.1.75. Modification to B.2(MRR) standard 1.77. 27 Squadron 15.2.77. Flew last Vulcan sortie at Scampton 31.3.82. Allocated to Scampton dump 31.3.82. Reallocated to 101 Squadron 22.5.82. To Finningley for preservation 4.9.82 (8766M). Later transferred to dump and scrapped.
Av. Vulcan B Mk.2 XJ783 Completed 6.3.61. Olympus 201 engines. 83 Squadron 13.3.61, 9 Squadron 7.11.62, 230 OCU 28.2.64, Waddington Wing 3.1.66, Cottesmore Wing 22.3.68, Akrotiri Wing 15.1.69, 35 Squadron 16.1.75, 230 OCU 11.8.76, 35 Squadron 23.8.76, 617 Squadron 23.11.78, 35 Squadron 3.4.81. Spares recovery 1.3.82. Sold to Bird Group as scrap 11.82.
Av. Vulcan B Mk.2 XJ784 Completed 30.3.61. Olympus 301 engines. A&AEE 29.3.61, 230 OCU 22.12.66, Akrotiri Wing 21.7.70, Waddington Wing 15.1.75, 9 Squadron 2.75, 44 Squadron 6.79, 101 Squadron 6.80. Spares recovery 10.9.82. Sold to Bird Group as scrap 8.12.82.
Av. Vulcan B Mk.2 XJ824 Complete 11.5.61. Olympus 201 engines. 27 Squadron 16.5.61, 9 Squadron 25.2.63, 230 OCU 2.12.63, Cottesmore Wing 4.7.66, Waddington Wing 4.10.66, Cottesmore Wing 19.6.68, Akrotiri Wing 5.2.69, 35 Squadron 24.1.75, 230 OCU 14.2.77, 44 Squadron 10.79, 101 Squadron 7.82. Last Vulcan to leave Bitteswell after manufacturers modifications 8.6.81. Delivered to Imperial War Museum Duxford 13.3.82.
Av. Vulcan B Mk.2 XM570 Completed 26.2.63. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 27 Squadron 27.2.63, Scampton Wing, Waddington Wing 2.1.67, Cottesmore Wing 26.1.68, Akrotiri Wing 26.2.69, 27 Squadron 8.3.74, 35 Squadron 8.12.76, 230 OCU 28.2.77, 35 Squadron 2.3.77, 617 Squadron 4.9.78, 35 Squadron 31.10.78. Delivered to St. Athan 11.3.81. Sold to Harold John & Co as scrap 29.1.82.
Av. Vulcan B Mk.2 XM571 Completed 20.2.63. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 83 Squadron 22.2.63, Scampton Wing, Cottesmore Wing 20.1.67, Waddington Wing 3.7.67, Cottesmore Wing 13.9.67, Waddington Wing 15.12.67, Akrotiri Wing 19.3.69, 27 Squadron 3.1.75, 35 Squadron 9.4.75, Waddington Wing 16.6.75, 35 Squadron 3.11.75, 50 Squadron 15.6.76, 35 Squadron 15.11.76. St. Athan 9.1.79, 617 Squadron 27.3.79, Waddington Wing 20.8.79, 617 Squadron 4.12.79, 101 Squadron 8.1.82. Conversion to K.2 11.5.82. 50 Squadron 25.8.82. Waddington Station Flight 4.84. Allocated 8812M 22.3.84. Delivered to Gibraltar for preservation 9.5.84. Later scrapped.
Av. Vulcan B Mk.2 XM572 Completed 28.2.63. Olympus 201 engines. Blue Steel modifications. 83 Squadron 28.2.63, Scampton Wing, Cottesmore Wing 5.4.68, Akrotiri Wing 19.3.69, 35 Squadron 24.1.75, 9 Squadron 2.9.81. Grounded 10.9.82. Sold to Bird Group as scrap 30.11.82.
EE Lightning F.6 XR723/L c/n 95206. f/f 2.2.65, as F3, Salmesbury Warton. Stored, conv to F6 9.6.67 to 'L' 11 Sqn. 29.11.67 endurance flight 8 hr 15min with five AARS, pilot Flt Lt W. D. E. Eggleton. 22.3.72 60 MU overhaul and store. 6.73 to 'K' 23 Sqn. 9.73 re coded 'F' 23 Sqn 7.74 re-coded 'A' 23 Sqn 9.8.74 60 MU overhaul. late 74 to 'F' 23 sqn. 3.11.75 Binbrook. 3.76 'D' 5 Sqn; in and out of store, camouflaged. 9.78 A' 5 Sqn. 18.9.79 crashed into sea 15 miles south of RAF Akrotiri after engine fire. Pilot (Gp Capt P. Carter) ejected safely, returned to dry land within 1/2hr. All Lightnings from No.11 Squadron, based at RAF Leuchars. Arrived on 24th October. Made an overnight stop between 18-19 November on the squadrons return to Leuchars.
EE Lightning F.6 XR724/M c/n 95207. f/f 10.2.65 as F3, Salmesbury Warton. Stored, conv to F6. 16.6.67 to 'M' 11 Sqn. 4.3.72 60 MU overhaul. 5.72 'M' 11 Sqn 11.8.72 re coded 'K' 11 Sqn. 3.76 Cat 3 damage when starter exploded, Binbrook. 17.7.76 Leconfield (temp base for 11 Sqn) as 'K' 11 Sqn 1.6.79 Binbrook display a/c, 5 Sqn marks one side, 11 Sqn the other. 12.79 'K' LTF. 13.1.81 'AG' 5 Sqn. 14.7.82 re-code 'AV', later reverted to 'AG'. 19.10.82 St Athan light grey respray. 9.11.82 returned from St Athan with transposed serial XR742(!) as 'AG' 5. 11.83 'BC' 11 Sqn. Intermittent storage until 2.4.86. 17.4.86 'AE' 5 Sqn. 3.6.86 St Athan dark grey respray, returning 19.6.86, rejoining as 'AE' 5 Sqn. 5.87 stored Binbrook. 8.87 'AE' 5 Sqn remained in use until disbandment 12.87, then fitted with over-wing tanks and used for BAe Tornado F3 radar trials (still as 'AE' 29.3.88). 11.4.88 to BAe Warton for continuation of trials. Arrived on 25th October.
EE Lightning F.6 XR757/D c/n 95222. f/f 19.8.65 as F3A, Salmesbury Warton, for store. Late 5.67 'R' 23 sqn. 26.1.68 BAC Warton for mod to F6. 21.2.69. 60 MU store. By 9.69 Leuchars Pool as 'V' 2.70 'D' 11 Sqn then 60 MU overhaul same month. 4.5.71 'D' 11 Sqn. 13.1.75 60 MU overhaul. 6.6.75 'D' 11 Sqn. 17.7.76 store. 11.78 'A' 11 Sqn. 7.80 store. 4.81 5 Sqn (uncoded). 4.1.82 St Athan light grey respray with white underwing serials!), returning 26.1.82, into store. By 6.82 'Y' LAF. 8.82 'BE' 11 Sqn. 9.83 St Athan dark grey respray returning 10.10.83, placed into store. 24.2.84 5 Sqn (uncoded), 29.6.84 11 Sqn marks, 7.84 'AL' 5 Sqn. 24.9.85 'BA' 11 Sqn. 10.85 store. 2.7.86 5 Sqn marks applied. 7.86 'BL' 11 Sqn. Last flown 12.87. Salvaged 4.88 (4,316hr). Arrived on 24th October. Made an overnight stop between 18-19 November on the squadrons return to Leuchars.
EE Lightning F.6 XR763/B c/n 95228. f/f 15.10.65 as F3A, Salmesbury Warton for storage. 11.2.66 'H' 5 Sqn. 3.1.67 BAC, Warton mod to F6. 1.11.67 'G' 23 Sqn. 7.70 'B' 11 Sqn. 14.10.71 60 MU overhaul. 5.72 'B' 11 Sqn . 5.77 store (19.7.79 painted as 'E' 56 Sqn for 25th anniversary). 8.8.79 'E' 11 Sqn. 10.80 re coded 'BE' 11 Sqn. 4.81 store. 9.11.82 St Athan light grey respray, returning 25.11.82, then 12.82 'AL' 5 Sqn. 1.83 re coded 'AE' 5 Sqn. 8.84 store. 31.1.85 'AN' 5 Sqn. 2.86 store. By 7.5.87 'AP' 5 Sqn. 1.7.87 crashed on approach to Akrotiri during APC after engine flame-out following ingestion of part of target banner. Pilot ejected safely. Arrived on 24th October.
EE Lightning F.6 XS920/F c/n 95253. f/f 25.10.66, Salmesbury Warton. 5.12.66 'L' 74 Sqn. 7.70 60 MU overhaul. 11.8.70 'F' 11 Sqn. 19.12.73 60 MU overhaul.7.74'E' 11 Sqn, store. 17.7.76 60 MU overhaul. 9.76 Binbrook. 9.77 'E' 11 Sqn. 12.77 store. 21.9.79 'B' 11 Sqn. 10.80 re coded 'BB' 11 Sqn. 7.81 store. 6.83 St Athan for respray, returning same month, put into store. 11.83 'AF' 5 Sqn. 13.7.84 crashed Heuslingen, 25 miles east of Bremmen, West Germany, while following USAF A-10 at 20Oft, hit power cables; pilot killed. Arrived on 25th October.
EE Lightning F.6 XS931/G c/n 95264. flf 31.3.67, Salmesbury-Warton. 31.5.67 'G' 11 Sqn. 11.8.72 60 MU overhaul. 6.11.72 'G' 11 Sqn. 17.7.76 store. By 12.77 'D' 5 Sqn. 25.5.79 crashed North Sea off Hornsea following control problems. Pilot ejected safely. Arrived on 25th October.
EE Lightning F.6 XS932/H c/n 95265. f/f 9.4.67, Salmesbury Warton. 21.6.67 'H' 11 Sqn. 14.5.71 60 MU overhaul. 25.10.71 'J' 56 Sqn 25.9.75 60 MU overhaul. 25.2.76 'R' 56 Sqn. 1.7.76 60 MU overhaul. 17.7.76 Binbrook store. By 8.77 Coningsby, stored in BBMF hangar. 4.79 'F' 5 Sqn. 2.80 store. 25.8.83 St Athan for respray in dark grey scheme, returning 12.9.83. 29.9.83 'AM' 5 Sqn. 10.83 re coded 'AC' 5 Sqn. 4.85 store. 15.1.86 'AG' 5 Sqn. Last flown 10.86 (3,655.30hr). Salvaged 4.88. Arrived on 24th October.
EE Lightning F.6 XS934/K c/n 95267. f/f 11.5.67, Salmesbury Warton. 3.7.67 'K' 11 Sqn. 19.7.71 60 MU overhaul. 11.71 'J' 5 Sqn. 3.73 'B' 56 Sqn. 3.4.73, crashed two miles off Cyprus following severe vibration and fire, caused by disconnected air trunking. Pilot ejected safely. (1,775hr 30min.) Arrived on 25th October.
B. Buccaneer XN983 D/D 29/3/65 to RN and delivered RNAY Sydenham to Honington for delivery to No 12 Sqn 29/8/72. Transferred to No 237 OCU by 1/73 until 5/74, passing back to 12 Sqn to at least 2/78. To No 15 Sqn by 2/79, remaining at Laarbruch until 6/81 when passed back to No 12. To No 208 Sqn 3/84 but back to No 12 by 5/84. All Buccaneers from No.12 Squadron, based at RAF Honnington.
B. Buccaneer XV155 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 29/10/8 1.  
B. Buccaneer XV157 D/D 28/6/66 to RN. Delivered RNAY Sydenham to Honington 18/7/72 for issue to No 237 OCU remaining on charge until 9/76 although in this period spent several occasions on loan with No 12 Sqn. With No 208 Sqn 10/76 to 1/80 passing to No 12 before being placed in store at St Athan in 8/81. Storage passed to No 27 MU Shawbury in 11/83.  
B. Buccaneer XV347 D/D 15/8/67 to RN and became one of No 12 Sqn's original airframes before being destroyed by fire following disintegration of port engine whilst taxying at Lossiemouth on 9/12/71.  
B. Buccaneer XV349 D/D 7/9/67 to RN and became one of the first aircraft for No 12 Sqn in 1969 but returned to RNAY Sydenham on 5/7/72 for major overhaul. When returning to Honington joined No 237 OCU in 5/73. By 9/73 it had been re-located to No 15 Sqn for a short period before receiving mod. to S2B standard. To No 12 Sqn with which it served until being placed in store at St Athan in 1/81. Long-term storage with No 27 MU Shawbury.  
B. Buccaneer XW526 D/D 30/4/70 to No 15 Sqn and loaned to No 237 OCU in 3/76 but back with No 15 by 5/76 although displaying markings of both units. Transferred to No 16 Sqn by 11/76 and lost in a crash at Osnabruck on 12/7/79.  
B. Buccaneer XW527 D/D 3/7/70 to No 15 Sqn but transferred to No 16 in 4/73. With No 208 Sqn in 6/77 but to No 12 by 2/78.  
B. Buccaneer XW528 D/D 4/8/70 to No 15 Sqn with which it spent its entire career until the grounding in 1980. Upon inspection the airframe was found to have a severe fatigue problem in the region of Rib 80 and was taken by road to St Athan for further examination on 19/8/80. Airframe placed in store until declared beyond economical repair and being surplus received maintenance serial 8861M for BDR at Coningsby.  
McD Phantom FG.1 XT874/J c/n 2775.F/F 29/6/68. d/d 30/9/68 to 23 MU. Issued to 43 Sqn as 'J' in 69. Appearing briefly in mixed 43/111 Sqn marks in 9/78 but returned to 43/J by 11/78. To 111 Sqn as 'E' 3/79 and received grey c/s in 10/85. Re-coded 'BE' 2/87. All Phantoms from No.43 Squadron, based at RAF Leuchars.
McD Phantom FG.1 XT875/K c/n 2813. F/F 18/7/68. d/d 22/10/68 to 23 MU. Loaned to 767 Sqn between 27/1/69-30/7/69. To 43 Sqn as 'K' late 69. Received RWR in 3/75 and grey c/s in 9/83. Re-coded 'AK' 9/86.  
McD Phantom FG.1 XV574/B c/n 3087. F/F 20/11/68 and d/d 14/2/69 to 23 MU. Issued as 43/B passing to 111/Z in 3/82. Repainted in grey c/s at 19 MU in 4/85 receiving its special scheme on 17/3/86.  
McD Phantom FG.1 XV576/D c/n 3134. F/F 29/11/68 and d/d 2/6/69 to 23 MU. Issued as 43/D and repainted into grey by 3/82. Re-coded 'AD' 9/88.  
McD Phantom FG.1 XV581/E c/n 3235. F/F 4/3/69 and d/d 28/4/69 to 23 MU. Issued as 43/E receiving its RWR in 9/76 and repainted into grey in 9/82. Re-coded 43/AE in 2/87.  
McD Phantom FG.1 XV582/F c/n 3253.F/F ll/1/69 and d/d 5/5/69 to 23 MU. Issued as 43/F receiving its RWR at 23 MU in 10/75 and painted into grey in 9/83. Re-coded 43/AF in 3/87 and on 24/2/88 became the first RAF F-4 to pass 5,000hr, at the same time undertaking a record-breaking run from Land's End to John O'Groats in 46min 44sec. The flight averaged over 757mph for the 590-mile distance and was flown by 43 Sqn's CO Wg Cdr John Brady with navigator Sqn Ldr Mike Pugh.  
McD Phantom FG.1 XV584/I c/n 3286. F/F 12/3/69 and d/d 11/8/69 to 23 MU. Issued as 43/I and passed to 111 Sqn in 3/79 as 'F'. Repainted in grey e/s at 19 MU in 1/85 and re-coded 'BF' in 7/86.  
McD Phantom FG.1 XV585/H c/n 3302. F/F 28/3/69 and d/d 19/5/69 to 23 MU. Issued as 43/P receiving its RWR in 11/76 and repainted into grey by 9/83. Re-coded 43/AP in 9/86.  
HS Nimrod MR.1 XV236   All Nimrods from 201 Squadron, RAF Kinloss.
HS Nimrod MR.1 XV238 Scr. Elgin 1991. Departed on 01.11.70, due to technical problems.
HS Nimrod MR.1 XV239 Crashed Lake Ontario, Canada during airshow, w/o 02/09/1995.  
HS Nimrod MR.1 XV242 To MRA4 PA-3/ZJ517. Arrived on 01.11.70, as replacement for XV238.
EE Canberra T.17 WD955 d/d 1951, to Bodo, Norway 27/04/1995. All Canberras from No.360 Squadron, RAF Cottesmore, arriving at Luqa on 02.11.70. Three T.17s departed for Akrotiri, returning for a night stop between the 15/16th. Fourth T.17 departed for Cottesmore on the 11th (from Luqa?).
EE Canberra T.17 WH665 d/d 23/12/1952, to Samlesbury 28/04/1983 for disposal, to Bristol Filton dump, submerged at the National Diving Centre, Tidenham. There was a recommendation regarding T.17 operations from Luqa. The ‘Old sunspot’ site at RAF Luqa should not be used by Canberra T17 aircraft. Transporting sensitive ECM equipment across the bumpy road from the ECM store could do it no good and possibly presented a security hazard.
EE Canberra T.17 WH740 Loaned to RNZAF 07/1958 to 01/1962.  
EE Canberra T.17 WH902 Scrapped Wyton 1995.  
HP Victor BK.1A XH619 d/d 25/06/1959, scr. St. Athan 1977. No.55 Squadron, RAF Marham.
HP Victor BK.1A XH587 d/d 17/10/1958, b/u St. Athan 1975, scr. Siddal 1989. No.57 Squadron, RAF Marham.
HP Victor BK.1A XH616 d/d 24/04/1959, to Manston Fire School 20/01/1976, perished 1988. No.57 Squadron, RAF Marham.
HP Victor BK.1A XH618 d/d 15/08/1960, w/o 24/03/1975. No.57 Squadron, RAF Marham.
HP Victor BK.1A XH651 d/d 01/04/1960, scr. St. Athan 1978 No.57 Squadron, RAF Marham.
B. Buccaneer S.2C/D XT280/033 D/D 2/11/65 to RN. Converted to S2B standard following demise of 809 Sqn and issued to No 16 Sqn at Laarbruch in 11/83. Following the latter's deactivation on the Buccaneer, airframe passed to No 12 Sqn in 3/84 and following Sea Eagle mod. Taken on strength of No 208 Sqn. 809 Squadron, based on HMS Ark Royal.
B. Buccaneer S.2C/D XV342/027 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. 809 Squadron, based on HMS Ark Royal. Identified from photographs.
B. Buccaneer S.2C/D _____/023    
F. Gannet AEW.3 XG790/R040 d/d 06/02/1957, broken up as spares and produce 1978 at Lossiemouth, remains to Tain Ranges 18/09/1978, since destroyed. From 849 Squadron, based on HMS Ark Royal.
McD Phantom FG.1 XV565/R001 c/n 2872. F/F 30/8/68 and d/d to RN 12/3169. Lost as 892/ROO1 off the Florida coast on 29/6/71. From 892 Squadron, based on HMS Ark Royal.
McD Phantom FG.1 XV586/R003 c/n 3317. F/F 11/4/69 and d/d 23/6/69 to RN. To RAF charge on 11/12/78, to 43/J by 9/83. Repainted in grey at 19/MU and suffered a nose wheel collapse on 18/3/86. Re-coded 43/AJ in 9/86.  
McD Phantom FG.1 XV590/R007 c/n 3394.F/F 12/5/69 and d/d 9/7/69 to RN. Passed to RAF charge on 11/12/78 and issued as 43/X in 12/79. Repainted in grey c/s at 19 MU in 5/84 and re-coded 43/AX in 2/87.  
McD Phantom FG.1 XV591/R006 c/n 3409.F/F 3/6/69 and d/d 22/7/69 to RN. Passed to RAF charge 11/12/78 and issued as lll/M in 8/79. Painted in grey c/s by 6/82 and re-coded 111/BM in 2/87. Reported as wfu in 12/87 due to a structural fault. Fuselage to 19 MU dump, tail and outer wings to Abingdon BDR.  
McD Phantom FG.1 XV592/R004 c/n 3424. F/F 17/6/69 and d/d 17/11/69 to RN. Passed to RAF charge on 7/12/78 and issued as 111/X in 5/79. Re-coded 'L' in 3/80 and repainted into grey in 11/85, finally being re-coded 'BL' in 9/86.  
W. Sea King XV657/R053 f/f 21/01/1970, d/d 11/02/1970, to A2600.  
W. Sea King XV658/R054 f/f 03/02/1970, d/d 26/02/1970, w/o 03/02/1983.  
W. Sea King XV659/R055 f/f 13/02/1970, d/d 03/03/1970, to 9324M.  
W. Sea King _____/R052.    
W. Soiux XT112/3CBAS/B Broken up Wroughton 1977.  
W. Soiux XT115/O w/o 03/08/1976.  
W. Soiux XT184/3CBAS/V d/d 05/10/1965, w/o 11/06/1971.  
W. Wasp XS545/452   Ship?
W. Wasp XS564/AT466 d/d 21/05/1964, to G-17-22, to Brazilian Navy as N-7038. Possibly from frigate HMS Argonaut.
W. Wessex XS149/FF403 d/d 18/10/1963. From HMS Fife. Other Wessex helicopters were coded “D”, “E”, “K”, “P” and “Q”.
W. Wessex XT480/RG468 d/d 04/1966, to A2617, A2603. From RFA Regent.
HS Argosy C.1 XP450 f/f 29/11/1962, d/d 13/03/1963, to Philippines as RP-C-1192, broken up Manilla 1983. 70 Squadron, based at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus. Identified from photographs, but additional aircraft involved.
Air Defence, 1966 (Testing of) Dawn Patrol DMX 51/Beehive Easy Gambler Eden Apple Forthright IV Lime Jug 70 MEDASWX 26 Naval exercises Sundial Sunspot Vulcan
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