20 June 2024 Military Aviation » Royal Air Force Luqa » Major Exercises » Forthright IV  

Forthright IV - July 1964

This was the name for the rapid deployment of Lightnings to both Malta and Cyprus involving in-flight refuelling. Precursers of the 'TRAIL' * deployments later, the main reason would have been to cut down on the number of refueling stops, and the risks of aircraft going unserviceable when on the ground.

Although I only have details on only three aircraft, it is highly likely that the entire squadron was involved.

* Would anyone have additional details?

23.07.64 EE Lightning F.1A 111 XM190/G A photograph shows this aircraft in a four-gun “fit”, although the upper pair were blanketed off, and armed with Firestreak missles. Departed on the 24th. c/n 95088. f/f 1.5.61. 20.6.61 'G' 111 Sqn. (Flown by Indian AF pilots when India considering purchase of former RAF Lightning Fls.) 6.6.63 Cat 3 damage, subsequently repaired Wattisham EE working party 14.6 30.7.63. 25.2.65 56 Sqn (believed still in 111 marks). 1.4.65 to 190/226 OCU. 15.3.66 crashed North Sea off Cromer after pilot successfully ejected following engine fire.
23.07.64 EE Lightning F.1A 111 XM192/K   c/n 95090. f/f 25.5.61. 28.6.61 'K' 111 Sqn. 2.65 to 192/226 OCU. 60 MU major servicing 26.8.65-6.66 then to OCU. 1.10.69 Binbrook TEE (possibly 'Z'). Early 70 Wattisham TEE. 60 MU 10.73 servicing. After TFFs disbanded 31.12.73 redecorated in original scheme as 'K' 111 Sqn, returned Wattisham 27.9.74 display at main gate. Current.
23.07.64 EE Lightning F.1A 111 XM214/N   c/n 95092. f/f 29.6.61. 1.8.61 'N' 111 Sqn. 1.1.65 33 MU servicing. 4.8.65 to 214/226 OCU. 60 MU major servicing 10.66-4.67. Withdrawn active OCU use by 6.74. 15.6.74 Gutersloh use as decoy.
  V. Valiant BK.1 90 XD813 Noted at Luqa on the 24th. d/d 18/07/1956, s.o.c. 01/03/1965 as CAT 5(S), scr. BKL Alloys.
  V. Valiant BK.1 232 OCU XD826 Noted at Luqa on the 24th. d/d 12.02.57, broken up at Wyton, 1965, (N) to No. 1289 ATC Sqn, Stratford-upon-Avon as 7872M, to Abingdon dump 09/1984, to Wales Aircraft Museum, Rhoose 06/1986 as WZ826, to the cockpit collection, Rayleigh, Essex 1993.
23.07.64 V. Valiant BK.1 90 XD830   d/d 24/01/1957, s.o.c. 15/12/1964 and broken up as scrap
23.07.64 V. ValiantBK.1 214 XD860 Departed for RAF Akrotiri on the 24th, returning to Luqa the same day. To El Adem on the 25th, flying back to RAF Marham the 26th. d/d 20/02/1957, s.o.c. 01/01/1967 at St. Athan, (C) to Farnborough for G/I, since scrapped.
  V. Valiant BK.1 90 XD872 Noted at El Adem. d/d 06/1957, s.o.c. 10/06/1965 and broken up as scrap at Wyton

201 Sqd. 1937 Mediterranean Cruise Air Defence, 1966 (Testing of) Dawn Patrol Deep Stream DMX 51/Beehive Easy Gambler Eden Apple Forthright IV Lime Jug 70 MEDASWX 26 Naval exercises Sundial Sunspot Vulcan
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