View Full Version : Gloster Javelin book

Alex Crawford
10th Nov 2006, 19:03

After a break from writing for almost a year I have decided on my next project. Having wrote about the Gauntlet and Gladiator I thought I'd turn my attention to the Javelin.

If anyone would like to share their experiences while flying or working on the Javelin then please get in touch. Either here on the forum or via email.

Thanks for your time,

[email protected]

15th Nov 2008, 21:20
I was stationed at RAF Celle in 1956-57 (I was very young). There were three squadrons 16,94 and 145 stationed there.
I am sure that one squadron flew Javelins, they were very modern in comparison with Venoms and the sound of the starter cartridges was unmistakable. I am sure it was not 16, doubt if it was 94 and suspect it was 145. I can find no record of this.
Is there anyone old enough who is still lucid who can remember this?
The Group Captain was Reg Tomalin who had dived for GB in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Good swimmers got very special treatment while rugby players worked a lot of shift-work. The famous Don Kingaby was the Wing-Co Flying and I played football with a F/O Osborne who I recently saw a picture of in the press.
There was still a curfew i.e you were permitted to die at Suez but not to be in the Zillertal after 10:30 pm. If there had have been a war the infamous SP Cpl Smith (there is a picture of him on the web somewhere) would have been fired on by both sides.:)

15th Nov 2008, 21:55
All of the above Sqdns were disbanded at Celle in 1957 - none flew Javelins.

15th Nov 2008, 22:11
Javelins were based at RAF Middleton St George now Durham Tees Valley for a number of years as I am not that old I cannot say much else about them.

15th Nov 2008, 23:32
I know what the checkable sources say but it was the only place I have ever seen Javelins. I went to Gutersloh afterwards which flew Canberras and Swifts. Thence to Linton which flew Provosts and Vampires thence to Sealand which was an MU (no flying).

The Javelins were in the farthest hangar and pans from the guardroom if you have ever heard the engines fire up, they are unmistakable..

16th Nov 2008, 01:05
The only reason I can think of would be either a detachment of another squadron for exercises or a temporary posting whilst work, such as runway resurfacing, was done at another base.

Certainly none of the squadrons you list flew Javelins from Celle in the period you state.

There were many detachments of Javelins to Gutersloh and these became commonplace after the failure of th 1960 summit meeting, derailed by the U-2 shootdown, and during the Berlin crisis in the summer/autumn of 1961.

Malcolm G O Payne
16th Nov 2008, 15:35
I was an apprentice at Gloster's and worked on the shop floor and the drawing office. I also managed atwo or three flights in the back seat of 33 Squadron's T3 when I was flying Wing Adjutant at Middleton. If I can help please get in touch.

16th Nov 2008, 19:59
Didn't 29 sqn fly Javelins at Akrotiri in 1964ish or was it a detachment. I was on 249 at the time (canberras) and we certainly had them there. A Master Pilot name forgotten I am afraid had double engine failure just after take off and finished very close to the bomb dump. It was often told that you could not loop a javelin but had to get high reduce to 125kts invert then pull through. Never knew if that was true or not .Was it?

henry crun
16th Nov 2008, 20:05
bluesilk; Pilots notes said aeros in the looping plane were forbidden, the danger of stalling going over the top was considered too great.

17th Nov 2008, 09:51
Many years ago there was an article in Air Clues (under the 'I learn't about flying from that!' banner) describing a junior pilot looping the Javelin out in the Far East, and discovering most of the reasons for not doing so, together with the subsequent discussion in the crew room.

PS - remember those days when that was the place where you heard all the old tales and discovered what you really could and could not do with an aircraft.

17th Nov 2008, 13:01
The looping problem on the Javelin was because the elevator assembly would be blanked of by the mainplane at high angles of attack. Should it all turn to worms and the aircraft entered a spin then the trick was to eject the navigator. The recoil from his seat firing would push the nose down sufficiently the bring the elevator and rudder back into clean air.

17th Nov 2008, 14:53
Around 1959/1960, 85 Squadron with Javelins were based at RAF West Malling, Kent. Quite a bit of additional concrete construction was necessary to accommodate them, including massive blast walls at numerous dispersal points around the airfield, and I think the runway may have also been extended at this time.

When the Javelins were night flying their landing approaches often passed close to my house, which was located about 4 miles east of the threshold, and the eerie wail of their twin Sapphires would give a very distinctive series of "wake-up calls" until they were all safely down. Much more penetrating and slumber-disrupting than their Meteor NF11 and NF14 predecessors had been through the late 1950's, which I had become accustomed to and could sleep through undisturbed.

17th Nov 2008, 15:58
This site has many photos as well as useful links:Gloster Javelin (http://www.btinternet.com/~javelin/index.htm)

I remember the Javelin "wing", nominally 60 Squadron, at Tengah in the period 1963/66 when I was at Changi on Hastings. They used to fly cover for us in Borneo, a service that somehow had its drawbacks when viewed in the cold light of day. We did our stuff down in the valleys near the border. The opposition, if it made an appearance, was rumoured to use Mustangs that, unlike the Javelin, could fly as low, as tight, and as slow as we. A Firestreak fired at such a combination was as likely to take out the prey as the predator! Their advice? Fly even lower, slower and tighter still!

17th Nov 2008, 16:34
I was an engine fitter at Boscombe Down in the middle fifties and was involved in the maintenance of the Javelines there (WB 827 ?? 544 ??).

Anything specific you're looking for ? I could try dusting out my brain cells.

(I think I can put you in touch with the pilot who accidently ejected - it happened on a several occasions - and when trying to release himself from the seat, released his harness and decended several thousand feet simply hanging onto some canvass webbing !)

PM me.

17th Nov 2008, 16:39
60 at Tengah was joined by 64 Sqdn in 1964 to form a joint squadron because of the Indonesian confrontation. Four aircraft at a time rotated out to Kuching (Sarawak) and Labuan (2 to each location).

Sorties did border patrols and escorted Beverley/Hastings forward supply airdrops.

Initially the QRA pans at Kuching were PSP which did no good to tyres if turned on the pan, so they stopped on the runway and tractor backed on - we got pretty good at swift ground handling.

AI17 radar Plessey plugs were always tracking causing fuses to blow; we developed a system where we disconnected all of them and reconnected in a clever order where the one that blew the fuse when connected was the faulty one. It was a non-trivial exercise to work out the order.

I posted a pic a while back of a Kuching aircraft, showing appropriate protective clothing/H&S. Yes, the firestreaks are live.


17th Nov 2008, 20:12
Thanks for that Henry Crun, I always assumed it was a tailplane blanking problem but it seemed odd to us mere bomber boys that we could loop and roll and a fighter couldn't. I must say the javelin was an impressive looking (and noisy) aircraft though.

18th Nov 2008, 08:07
I was at Benson 60-61. Two Ferry Squadrons No's 147 and 167, had responsibility for the ferrying of RAF aircraft to all parts of the world including Germany, the Near and Far East. The Ferry Wing, as it was known at Benson was disbanded during late 1960 so I could no longer listen to the erie sound of two Sapphires intake noises beating against each other as a Javelin taxied towards the holding point. Fabulous moaning reverberations.
Sitting by the Glideslope transmitter got me closer than most to the runway. The other delta that impressed was the mighty Vulcan, in those days the white ones, so an approach in rainy conditions and subsequent climb on full power was both ghostly, noisy, spray filled and to me something close to heaven!

That erie Javelin/Sapphire sound? Is that available as a sound file?

Found a flying one but the taxying sound is even more mournful.... :)


18th Nov 2008, 09:56
For you good folk who are interested the complete list of Javelin squadrons with marks are;
Mark 1 46,87
Mark 2 46,89 (later 85)
Mark 4 3,5,11,29,72,141,151
Mark 5 41, 137, 151
Mark 6 29,46, 89 (later 85)
Mark 7 23,25, 33, 64.
Mark 8 41,85
Mark 9 23,25,29,60,64

Think that's the complete list. :ok:

21st Nov 2008, 13:38
Two Ferry Squadrons No's 147 and 167, had responsibility for the ferrying of RAF aircraft to all parts of the worldWhen the Ferry Wing was disbanded I flew one of the second "convoy" of Javelins on the 60 Sqn Ferry Flight detachment. The delivery was an interesting couple of weeks, but sadly marred by the loss of our leader on the Calcutta to Rangoon leg. I believe he (Ted Owen) was formerly at Benson as a Ferry Wing pilot.

22nd Nov 2008, 18:09
Alex, check your PMs?

John Farley
23rd Nov 2008, 19:28
The following message to <[email protected]> was undeliverable.
The reason for the problem:
5.1.0 - Unknown address error 550-'Administrative prohibition - mailbox disabled'

Try this way

Hi Alex

I noted your post on PPRuNe about writing a book on the Javelin.

Have you read The Quick and the Dead by Bill Waterton (who died 17 April 2007)?

If not you should.



PS I see there are 13 on Amazon

24th Nov 2008, 07:59
Book published with author named as William Arthur Waterton. Easier to find as so many movie DVD's for The Quick and the Dead fill pages before Bill W's book.

13th Dec 2008, 10:40
The only reason I can think of would be either a detachment of another squadron for exercises or a temporary posting whilst work, such as runway resurfacing, was done at another base.
You are of course almost certainly correct. There were a number of Squadron exchanges