View Full Version : RAF in Jordan 1958

10th Oct 2014, 10:01
I would like to correspond with anyone directly involved in the RAF action in Jordan between July and October, 1958; following the request for assistance received from King Hussein after the coup in Iraq.
As I understand it three transport squadrons were involved:
70 Squadron with HP Hastings
84 Squadron with Beverleys
216 Squadron Comet C.2

One fighter squadron, 208, with Hunter F6s deployed to Amman.

Shackleton MR2s from 42 and 204 squadrons.

Also I'm trying to find out what FAA squadrons were based on HMS Eagle in the latter part of 1958. can anyone help?

10th Oct 2014, 12:18
How directly involved?

I was with the RAF Liaison Party at Base Aérienne 115 Orange-Caritat, Vacluse.

We had the Hunters, and Beverley's loaded with troops stage through. So I would have re-fueled the a/c.

To us they were just transit a/c, though a few more than was normal traffic.

11th Oct 2014, 09:45
Doug, As a 99 Sqn Hastings 2nd pilot, I was detached to RAF Nicosia from June to Sept 1958. Initially we were there to fly arms and ammunition to Amman, Jordan, but when the first wave of Hastings, Valettas and Beverleys was turned back by Israeli fighters on the first night the USAF took over the airlift and we reverted to practicing large night formations of Hastings and Beverleys, ending in night para drops. The navs were given a fuel figure for a secret operation and told they would not be returning to Nicosia after the drop. Years later a reliable source told me the operation involved dropping Paratroops near Teheran to support the return of deposed Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and that we would have ended up in Bahrain.
In the event it never happened and I had plenty of spare time to fly the Levant Comm Squadron Meteors!

11th Oct 2014, 10:40
Thanks very much for the input.
Both your responses introduce new elements into my understanding of the operation ie, the role of BA 115 and the Israelis involvement in turning back the transports.
Do either of you guys have any photos of those times?
I'll get back to you in a while by PM when I've done had some more replies to pick your brains a little more!
Thanks again,

11th Oct 2014, 10:56
Regarding 216 Comets. I am sure they were never involved in the Jordan Airlift. They were used to position Transport Command crews to Nicosia

11th Oct 2014, 13:56
ISTR a short feature film in colour shown in cinemas shortly afterwards showing the RAF involvement in Jordan

11th Oct 2014, 14:11

A snippet of news from those days

Cornish Jack
11th Oct 2014, 17:20
Correction on the Bev squadron, fairly certain 84 was still Valettas at that time .. we were there on 30 from Dishforth (before it went to Eastleigh , Nairobi) The other Bevs were 47 and 53 from Abingdon. Such luxurious accommodation too!:p One safari bed in a two man tent on Niccy airfield, plus a cardboard box (bedside locker) and a hurricane lamp. Every 10 days, 2 days R&R at the Dome in Kyrenia and brandy sours in the Harbour Club ... "not half as thunk as some tinkle peep I am" - anyone else recall that from the Harbour Club membership card? nostalgia, mumble, blah, blah:O

11th Oct 2014, 18:39
Cornish Jack, you must have known Veg West. He tipped me off about the shortage of pilots to fly the Levant Comm Squadron Meteor 7 & 8's over lunchtime when it was too hot for the Hunters.
Poor veg disappeared over the North Sea in a Hunter after escaping from his job as a Beverley 2nd pilot.

Cornish Jack
13th Oct 2014, 11:13
Brakedwell - indeed so. He was exceptionally keen on moving to FJ from the 'flying henhouse' and his success in that, as you say, was short-lived. Notable also for his enthusiasm for an unusual in-flight culinary combination, possibly related to the 'veg' title!:ooh: Seem to recall an en-route 'happening' with 'Dad' Owen as skipper which was unusual, to say the least!
One of the other notable occurances on that detachment was a Bev 'escaping' from its tow-bar with no brake man aboard and trundling off to find a mate to entangle itself with - successfully!:{ Great days ... I think!

13th Oct 2014, 11:21
If I remember rightly Dad Owen conjured up his own unusual happenings! Wasn't Veg's disappearance blamed on lettuce sandwiches?

Cornish Jack
14th Oct 2014, 11:09
Not sure about lettuce but processed peas and sugar were favoured! Each to his own!:ok:
Whoops, the OP will be along again shortly wondering WTH got us into Pret a Manger territory:hmm: