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Old 10th Jan 2021, 20:54
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Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,775
Another aspect of RAF Valley's history:
In 1955, No 6 Joint Services Trials Unit was established at Valley as a lodger unit to undertake trials with the Fairey Fireflash air-to-air guided missile. As an air-launched beam-riding missile, the Fireflash possessed only a limited advantage over fixed gunnery and was destined to never achieve operational status. Intensive trials of the missile were however conducted with the redesignated No 1 Guided Weapons Development Squadron in 1957 with 10 modified Swift F7s acting as their carriers.

By 1957, the air-to-air guided missile, Fireflash, has started full-scale Service trials on the Swift 7. The purpose of these trials is both to work out the tactics for using air-to-air missiles and also to get practical experience in the handling of such weapons. In this way, the entry of the next air-to-air missile, Firestreak, for which substantial orders have been placed, would be made easier.

In 1957-59, the Swift made a name for itself in successful trials of the Fireflash (Sky Blue) air to air missile aboard specially configured, radar equipped Swift F7s at RAF Valley. As a result, some consideration was given to its possible use as a high level bomber destroyer but with the Lightning and Javelin on the horizon the idea was soon abandoned.
I think that the late Sqn Ldr John 'Farmer' Steele might have been on 1 GWDS?

Last edited by BEagle; 10th Jan 2021 at 21:06.
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