View Full Version : RAF Canberra losses during Suez

22nd Apr 2010, 08:14
Hello Gents,

This is my first post on here. I am hoping to tap into your knowledge and wisdom!

Basically, I am looking for as much info as possible regarding RAF Canberra losses during the Suez crisis. This includes aircraft lost in accidents, specifically WT371, a B.6 of 9 Sqn attached to RAF Nicosia.

All/Any help appreciated. Its for a good cause as well.



henry crun
22nd Apr 2010, 09:27
PltOffMW, the entry in Broken Wings reads as follows.

6.11.56--Canberra B6--WT371--139 Sqn--Nicosia, Cyprus-- Control lost on asymmetric approach; rolled and dived into ground--(3) fatal

John Farley
22nd Apr 2010, 10:08
From RAF Cat5 listings

6/11/56 WH799 Canberra PR7 58 Sqn Off the west coastal area of Syria

The aircraft was on a recce mission during the Suez conflict. Shot down by a Syrian MiG.

For details of crew PM me

22nd Apr 2010, 10:09
Thanks Henry.

The issue I have is that the record I have seen has him with 9 Sqn who were attached to RAF Nicosia from Binbrook with the B.6. 139 Sqn was a Pathfinders Sqn based, I believe at Hemswell, and also flying the Canberra. I am struggling to establish which Sqn the aircraft was with when it crashed.:ugh:


22nd Apr 2010, 10:24
You should get all you need from the National Archives. I don't know why the link says as below, but it works.

Detecting your browser settings (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATID=360454&CATLN=6&accessmethod=5)

22nd Apr 2010, 15:59
I watched the accident of WT371 from the cockpit of my Hunter sitting on the readiness platform at Nicosia. It rolled to starboard. Had the other engine been failed instead it would have taken out at least two of us strapped in our aircraft. The ORP was at right angles to the runway and we were positioned looking at the approach.

22nd Apr 2010, 16:13
I was told a story that one Canberra chap totally disagreed with the whole Suez thing. To avoid bombing Egyptians, he selected 'gear up' whilst lining up on the runway. The aircraft settled onto the piano keys and effectively blocked the runway preventing the bomber stream from taking off.

Any truth?

22nd Apr 2010, 18:20
The version I had is that he deliberately ran off the runway whailst retracting the gear. THe truth/facts are out there somewhere.

22nd Apr 2010, 18:41
The gear certainly was deliberately retracted. I think he was court martialled. I remember reading it in the Telegraph at the time. [Excellent memory for things long ago, can't even remember what I had for dinner yesterday]

22nd Apr 2010, 19:10
Some details here

CYPRUS: Grounded Bomber - TIME (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,809045,00.html)

The Glasgow Herald - Google News Archive Search (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2507&dat=19570118&id=WS81AAAAIBAJ&sjid=DKYLAAAAIBAJ&pg=5343,1741552)

23rd Apr 2010, 10:49
Another one I heard was that when they were going to attack Port Said, they called ATC for QDMs then bombed it!!

23rd Apr 2010, 18:44
To answer the original question, WT371 was a 139 Sqn aircraft being flown by a 9 Sqn ferry crew.

Pontius Navigator
25th Apr 2010, 12:10
chevron, I heard that too not long after the event, say 9 years or so.

26th Apr 2010, 14:09
Thanks gents, some really interesting and useful stuff there.

Redsetter, how/where did you get that nuggest of information from?! That makes total sense as to why I couldnt establish the squadron in question.:ok:


26th Apr 2010, 19:16
From the 139 Sqn ORB. The pilot was 9 Sqn but the other crew may have been from another squadron. Ferried in a replacement aircraft to Nicosia and were ferrying back a battle-damaged aircraft.