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Davef68
1st Mar 2021, 22:39
Had the modern equivalent of a bar room conversation (Zoom!) with an old chum about whether or not the RHKAAF was considered ‘part ‘ of the RAF or not. He says it was, I’m not so sure but then I’m a bit younger than him!

what is the opinion of the pprune experts?

Barksdale Boy
1st Mar 2021, 23:58
As far as I remember, it was always an "auxiliary" organisation to the Royal Air Force. Two (at least) of its officers, the Chief Pilot and the Chief Engineering Officer, were RAF squadron leaders on exchange. Former members (it was disbanded in 1993) would be able to give a more accurate answer.

Wunwing
3rd Mar 2021, 02:14
It looks like it was RAF and Army.
In Robbie Shaw's book on Kai Tak, The Final Decade, there are a number of images of helos with RAF numbering and in one case a Royal Air Force Wessex.
He says they were operated by 660 Squadron. On the opposite page to the Wessex is an Army Scout .Later there is an image of an S76 in VR Rego when they became the GFS.
Wunwing

Barksdale Boy
3rd Mar 2021, 05:08
28 Sqn RAF should not be confused with the RHKAAF.

ShyTorque
3rd Mar 2021, 09:40
A couple of thoughts:

The RAFs last Spitfires(Mk24) were operated by the the RHKAAF.
The RAFs 28 Sqn did operate from HKGFSs Kai Tak base for its last few months before being disbanded.

megan
4th Mar 2021, 05:06
Background to the Auxiliaries page 19, Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force page 173. Part of the RAF, yes.

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documents/research/RAF-Historical-Society-Journals/Journal-29A-Seminar-Reserve-Auxiliary-Forces.pdf

Barksdale Boy
4th Mar 2021, 09:38
Part of the RAF, no. Alongside the RAF, yes. Their personnel were, apart from a few on exchange, volunteers, their COs were civilians.

brakedwell
4th Mar 2021, 10:58
I spent two longish detachments in Hong Kong flying to Katmandu with the Britannia in the early seventies. We spent quite a lot of time in the bar of the RAF Officer's mess at Kai Tak and I can't remember meeting anyone from the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force. I think they only had helicopters at thet time.

Fareastdriver
4th Mar 2021, 11:04
The HKAAF had its own officers mess downtown. Kai Tak was far too difficult to get to for a party.

VictorGolf
4th Mar 2021, 16:32
There's a very nice video of the final flypast of the HKAAF Spitfires on www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060042560. Might be of interest?

ShyTorque
4th Mar 2021, 17:51
There's a very nice video of the final flypast of the HKAAF Spitfires on www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1060042560. Might be of interest?

I have what is possibly the only remaining original example of that video, on a 16mm film. The video is a shortened version.

It was, I believe, the last ever official formation flight by any Spitfires in RAF service. Hence the title.

Davef68
9th Mar 2021, 10:01
Background to the Auxiliaries page 19, Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force page 173. Part of the RAF, yes.

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documents/research/RAF-Historical-Society-Journals/Journal-29A-Seminar-Reserve-Auxiliary-Forces.pdf

Thanks, I think from that and further reading they were never part of the RAF command structure, but could be classed as a British Military flying organisation (as Barksdale says alongside, but not part of)

chevvron
10th Mar 2021, 01:26
I spent two longish detachments in Hong Kong flying to Katmandu with the Britannia in the early seventies. We spent quite a lot of time in the bar of the RAF Officer's mess at Kai Tak and I can't remember meeting anyone from the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force. I think they only had helicopters at thet time.
I always thought the RHKAAF operated from Sek Kong rather than Kai Tak.

happybiker
10th Mar 2021, 10:54
According to Wiki RHKAAF was based at Kai Tak from 1949 to 1993 when it was disbanded and the non military operations moved to the newly formed Government Flying Services. They did make use the runway at Sek Kong when it was not operating as a camp for the boat people.

ShyTorque
10th Mar 2021, 14:06
I always thought the RHKAAF operated from Sek Kong rather than Kai Tak.

No, the RAF did. A nice new GFS HQ was built at SK but never used for the purpose it was designed for. The local joke was that "GFS" on the building stood for "Government Furniture Store".

They did make use the runway at Sek Kong when it was not operating as a camp for the boat people.

The "boat people" camp came after the RAF had gone home and then GFS moved to Chek Lap Lok in June 1998. There were two GFS helipads on the north side by the HQ building but some "heavy weight" departures for the S-76s (such as long range SAR missions) needed a runway takeoff, as did IFR departures and arrivals.

chevvron
11th Mar 2021, 08:14
According to Wiki RHKAAF was based at Kai Tak from 1949 to 1993 when it was disbanded and the non military operations moved to the newly formed Government Flying Services. They did make use the runway at Sek Kong when it was not operating as a camp for the boat people.
According to Wiki if you google 'RAF Sek Kong', the RHKAAF was based at Sek Kong from 1979 to 1993 and was an 'auxiliary unit of the Royal Air Force' formed in 1949 and disbanded on 1 Apr 1993.

ShyTorque
11th Mar 2021, 11:16
Yes, my mistake, I meant GFS. The RHKAAF staff went home in RAF uniforms and the next day wore their new “local government issue”. The aircraft were retained, albeit on civilian plates. The unit crest was along the same lines as all other RAF ones, with the Royal Crown and "Semper Paratus" as it's motto.

megan
12th Mar 2021, 01:48
was an 'auxiliary unit of the Royal Air Force' formed in 1949 and disbanded on 1 Apr 1993It seems we have no definitive answer to whether the unit was part of the RAF or not. The RAF Museum article makes the quote, "The unit was affiliated to No 601 Sqn RAuxAF in1954. Standards were checked annually by the Central Flying School’s examiners". One asks what do they mean by "affiliated to 601"? I would have thought being checked by CFS and having RAF personnel posted to the unit would have meant some formal connection. Or would the RAF personnel be regarded as on exchange? Questions, questions.

ShyTorque
12th Mar 2021, 12:09
I think they were part of the RAF. There were always some supervisory RAF staff posted there, i.e. QFIs /QHIs. Would the RAF "give" away a squadron of Mk24 Spitfires to a non RAF organisation? I doubt it and after all the "R" in RHKAAF stood for "Royal". The unit had a royal crown on its badge.

Fargo Boyle
12th Mar 2021, 15:41
I have what is possibly the only remaining original example of that video, on a 16mm film. The video is a shortened version.

It was, I believe, the last ever official formation flight by any Spitfires in RAF service. Hence the title.

One of the Mk 24 Spits in the film (VN485) is the one on display at Duxford.

ShyTorque
12th Mar 2021, 17:37
One of the Mk 24 Spits in the film (VN485) is the one on display at Duxford.
Yes, I'm very much aware of that. Surprisingly, they showed no interest some years ago when I offered them the use of the original film of "their" aircraft.

pr00ne
13th Mar 2021, 17:31
A repeat of what I have just said on the Military forum, but wasn't the RHKAAF a department of the Hong Kong Government? Surely that is why RAF Officers were seconded/loaned to it rather than just being posted?

Top West 50
13th Mar 2021, 21:01
A repeat of what I have just said on the Military forum, but wasn't the RHKAAF a department of the Hong Kong Government? Surely that is why RAF Officers were seconded/loaned to it rather than just being posted?
See the Hong Kong Defence Force Ordinance 1 May 1949

megan
14th Mar 2021, 01:55
Many thanks Top West, that puts it to bed.

Top West 50
14th Mar 2021, 12:33
Many thanks Top West, that puts it to bed.
Welcome. I was an ex Honky Tonk loan service qfi. There is a current website which is very good.

Top West 50
14th Mar 2021, 18:35
I wrote a recollection, How to Write Off and Entire Air Force, about my time in Hong Kong. There are 3 episodes, the final one of which is:

https://www.yorkshiremushroom.com/2017/11/how-to-write-off-entire-air-force-3.html