3rd Jun 2012, 11:29
Iím looking for a little information on Op PURPOSEFUL, the deployment of a 39 Sqn Canberra PR9 to what was then Zaire (now DRoC) in 1998.
Could someone confirm there was only a single jet deployed?
Approximate flash to bang time from deployment order to first mission.
Detachment size (including TIW chaps) and duration.
Sensors employed (within open source limitations obviously).
Iíve tried the www but can only find fairly brief reference to it. Many thanks in advance and feel free to PM if you wish to confirm I'm not a journo!
3rd Jun 2012, 14:47
TIW didn't form until 2002 so it would have been RIC personnel who were part of the Sqn.
3rd Jun 2012, 15:06
1998 or 1996?
See this Hansard extract
Zaire: RAF Flights: 15 Nov 2007: Hansard Written Answers and Statements - TheyWorkForYou (http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2007-11-15b.34.0)
see also this thread which says 1996 - and may give some of the info you need
RAF Canberras operating in africa within the last decade. - Key Publishing Ltd Aviation Forums (http://forum.keypublishing.com/showthread.php?t=56814)
Background in another Hansard extract
Zaire (Hansard, 20 November 1996) (http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1996/nov/20/zaire)
Record of the photos deposited in the House of Commons Library
Deposited papers - UK Parliament (http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/deposited-papers/?page=2269&sort=1)
3rd Jun 2012, 15:14
Good point on the TIW comment!
Apologies, my typo; yes I meant 96.
Many thanks for the Hansard link which is most useful and nicely reinforces your second link which I had managed to find.
3rd Jun 2012, 15:51
if you can find a hard copy of this in a library it may tell you more
Zaire Reece Mission Air Forces Monthly Magazine (AFM): Volume 10, Issue 02, February 1997 | TheAviationIndex.com (http://www.theaviationindex.com/publication/volume-10-issue-02-february-1997/article/zaire-reece-mission)
""RAF CANBERRA PR.9 XH169 of 39 (lPRU) Sqn returned to its home base at RAF Marham on December 19 following a four week detachment to Entebbe, Uganda (see AFM January News Briefs p3)
The aircraft was part of an RAF photo reconnaissance party sent to the region in response to the latest Rwandan refugee crisis . The RAF component of the party comprised some 40 personnel from 39 Sqn including engineers, a fully equipped photo processing and interpretation unit , a small RAF Police unit and a medic from the Tactical Medical Wing at RAF lyneham
The Team was flown to Entebbe Airport in Uganda by a 10 SQn VC-10 and the detachment was supported by regular Hercules flights from RAF Lyneham..."
3rd Jun 2012, 16:18
that edition can be downloaded for free from
doesn't say a lot, has some photos, including one of the camera used
3rd Jun 2012, 21:50
Got a very nice framed photograph (courtesy of local rag) hanging in my home of the boss departing just as dawn broke.
I was the Ops bloke on the squadron at the time.
4th Jun 2012, 11:00
Many thanks for the links to AFM. So far I've not been able to download the edition but I'll keep trying.
You were clearly a very loyal ops chap if you had pictures of your Boss on the wall at home!:ok:
4th Jun 2012, 12:54
Not quite, it was the aeroplane just off the runway. Liked the aeroplane picture.
2nd Sep 2012, 03:49
Just found this thread as researching, I was one of the RAF police deployed on this mission. I was wondering if anyone has any ide where I can get photos? There was a photographer there and he took hundreds.
2nd Sep 2012, 16:31
the photos in that edition of Armed Forces Monthly are marked as copyright of "Cpl John Cassidy /RAF"
Track him down and you may find them