View Full Version : RB-45 visit to Prestwick and Thornaby in September 1955

26th Apr 2012, 09:19
A friend of mine in the US is trying to follow up on the log book of his recently diseased brother in law. Ray Schrecengost was based with the 19th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Sculthorpe flying RB-45 Tornadoes.
His log registered a flight in RB-45C 034 on 16/17 September 1955 from RAF Sculthorpe to Prestwick - then on to Thornaby that night. Rays wife recalls a trip to Scotland and a dining in with 608 Squadron at Thornaby.
We are trying to ascertain what the object of the flight was and if there was any particular significance in Ray and the RB-45 crew being invited to the 'dining in'
I have two names which someone may recognise and hopefully who are still with us and might be able to shed light on this event.
They are Squadron Leader GA Martin, DFC, AFC; and Squadron Leader HD Costain. Both I think were with 608 Squadron which at the time flew Vampires.

26th Apr 2012, 12:17
Being a 'baby boomer' with strong Thornaby connections (born there & Dad was 608's Atco from 51-53), I have faint recollections of seeing B-45's (RB-45's?) in my childhood;

Doug Gordon's post practically confirms this - 16/17 September would almost certainly have been 'Battle of Britain Day' at Thornaby and visits from US a/c were quite common on such occasions - as I had been returned to Uk for schooling at that time I would have almost certainly attended the event;

Sqd Ldr George Martin DFC AFC had been 608's CO from ?'53 to '55 when Sqd Ldr Hank Costain took over, so presumably the 'dining in' night was either in connection with the BoB or possibly the change of command or even both;

Now ALL I need is for someone to tell me that the RB-45 in question was in RAF markings!!!

PZULBA - Out of Africa (Retired)

Sqd Ldr Costain was promoted to W/C and was 608's last CO

perhaps Blacksheep could add to this?

26th Apr 2012, 12:45
What a great reply.
Thank you very much. Sorry the aircraft in question was not in RAF markings; but was one of the RB-45s to take part in the RAF overflights in 1952, 48-034.
Have you any photos?
With Gratitude,

17th Sep 2012, 16:03
PZU---Like you I was born on Tees Side and hence always followed Thornaby and 608 history ----although I later served with 605! I can still remember seeing my first Hudson, actually two of them heading N out of Thornaby over Hartburn mid morning on Sept 4th ,plus or minus a day, in 1939. I have always conjectured they were heading for Leuchars.
Anyway I wonder if you can shed any light on the following entry in Air Britain AEROMILITARIA where they list single seat Meteor histories.
"WK985--------608 Sqdn 12.7.56.Both engines cut; abandoned 6 m SE of Cueta,Spanish Morocco,27.8.56;F/L L C Murphy killed."
608 with a single seat Meteor?Summer Camp in ??? ,borrowed aircraft?
Best wishes DFCP

17th Sep 2012, 19:22
That seemed odd for a Meteor to crash there but not so odd when you look at this

ASN Aircraft accident 27-AUG-1956 Gloster Meteor F.Mk.8 WK985 (http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=21318)

17th Sep 2012, 23:08
I photographed this Sculthorpe-based USAF B-45 Tornado at the 1954 Royal Observer Corps Recognition Day at Biggin Hill.